Cell Tower tracker and locator (United States)

Discussion in 'CineStar FAQ - Tips and Tricks' started by Philip Ellerbroek, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Philip Ellerbroek

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    Hey,

    I read stories about the major affects that cell phone towers have on multi-rotor signals and their contribution to flight failures. To avoid having to travel to the site ahead of time to scope out for nearby towers or worse to arrive on site and tell the client that we aren't comfortable doing the shoot due to potential risks, I have started using this site:

    http://www.cellreception.com

    http://www.cellreception.com/towers/towers.php?city=Billings&state_abr=mt

    I can't speak to the accuracy of this site and how often it is updated, but it is better than nothing since its free. Upon closer examination it seems as if it is pulling this data from each carriers website along with FCC registered towers, so I'm guessing its fairly good info.

    Does anyone have any insight or technical guidance on safe distances from cell towers?

    Phil
     
  2. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

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    Cell towers transmit at various frequencies based on the phone companies who operate the towers.
    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellular_frequencies
    Note that some are operating in the 2.4Mhz - 2.6Mhz range -- not the same frequencies as we use for WiFi/Radio control, but get close enough to one and the signal is soooo strong that it will blast into the receiver on the copter and interfere.

    Generally speaking, therefore, think of any reasonably high powered transmitter as yellow snow. It's something to be avoided. :)

    Andy.
     
  3. Marc BRACELET

    Marc BRACELET Active Member

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    If you have a 2,4 Ghz radio system i have a simple advice for you : NEVER FLY CLOSE TO CELL PHONE TOWER...!!!, you will loose the control of your bird, i have tried to fly near from GSM Tower with my old F450 and i have totally lost the control of my quad...( no crash but for 10 secondes, absolutly no control...):eek:.
     
  4. Arthur Vieira

    Arthur Vieira Flight Squad

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    Cell, Radio and TV towers should be avoided at all times.
    They have such a enormous TX power that blinds any small RC receiver.
    Imagine this you want to talk to someone that is 10 feet away from you in front of a Rock Concert speaker-boxes. It doesn't matter the language you use or how high you can scream you will never win. :D

    Good Luck
     
  5. Philip Ellerbroek

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    Marc,

    How close is "close" ? 300 yards? 100 yards? etc? How far were you in your situation?

    Phil
     
  6. Jason Smoker

    Jason Smoker Active Member

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    I had a crash in tokyo near Tokyo tower totally lost control flew away lucky no-one was injured! I guess I was 500m or so away!!
    Marc yeah how close where you??
     
  7. Marc BRACELET

    Marc BRACELET Active Member

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    Hello guys and sorry for late reply...:oops:, i totally lost control of my F450 with naza (no GPS) when it was at 30 meters from the cell antenas. So, no crash but i totally lost control during 10 seconds...and these 10 seconds where soooooo....long.o_O
     

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