Azimuth and or Antenna Orientation Question

Discussion in 'Technical Discussions' started by brian Babkoff, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. brian Babkoff

    brian Babkoff Friend of the Community

    If you are shooting a sector frame on a self supporter, make sure you follow the leg all the way down the tower. Say you took the straight section put it on the ground in the middle of the tower. Look up inside the tower imagine where the leg would be that the frame is attached to all the way down. Shooting off the bottom of the leg will throw you off up to five degrees. Make a reference point and take your time. Teach some of the smarter guys on the crew how to use a compass. Triple check it and it will save you time in the long run. I have never had any issues.
  2. Glen Tenier

    Glen Tenier Industry Observer

    Check out the ad above for SPAA-05. It seems pretty foolproof to me. I heard it might be a little pricy, but it can keep a crew from having to return on their dime. They claim an accuracy of 0.5 degrees.
  3. Brent Witteveen

    Brent Witteveen Friend of the Community

    I have found that shooting the antennas from the back works very well. You need binoculars and your standard compass. If the azimuth is 150 you add 90 degrees and subtract 90 degrees from 150. When you look thru your compass you will see 60 over 240. The back of the antenna is a flat surface so its easy to know you are in line with the azimuth. Just line yourself up even with the back of the antenna (looking across the back) and use this method. Sounds complicated but it?s very easy when you know the procedure. I read up on the SPAA-05 and it looks like you have to mount it to the antenna bracket on each antenna. On a site with nine antennas I know I don't have time for this.
  4. Another method we have used and found to be successful is build yourself a "T" with say 1/2" (aluminum fo the weight but anything will work) tubing installing a fine pin on either side of the tube so they are perfectly aligned. Then mount to that pipe another perpendicular so you have your "T", place the hairs along the side of your antenna so you can site down to the ground, your other side of your "T" should be along the back of your panel antenna. Your man on the ground then places as few as two marking flags say 10' to 20' apart based on the man in the air and a radio. By shooting down those flags your Az. will be a lot closer than trying to site from the ground. Hope this helps you out.
  5. James Gold

    James Gold Friend of the Community

    I have 2 new inventions that are patent pending that take away the guess work, surveyor, etc. You can also provide documentation of the azimuth, etc. for close-out purposes. I have been in the industry over 13 years and found resolution to this long standing challenge. One invention gets your azimuth to +-2 degrees and the other is +-.5 degrees. They are currently being used in the field and have great feedback as well as saving time, money, going back to the site to reset azimuths and they pay for themselves in the first or second use - they are resuable. Please feel free to contact me at
  6. Paul Russell

    Paul Russell Frequent Poster

    Signal strength like Simon says is probably the best way to identify if the antennas are aligned correctly, but that would probably take more equipment and manpower than the carriers are willing to provide or pay for.

    This industry is technological and cap ex driven, not necessarily in that order.
  7. Andy "Skooter" Elliot

    Andy "Skooter" Elliot Industry Observer

    Great idea Lance. I've given this info to our shop to fab one.
  8. Benjamin Ekey

    Benjamin Ekey Friend of the Community

    I would like to pose the question if there is anyone that has a Method of Procedure on Azimuth setting that is bullet proof to scrutiny by our customers. We need to be with in +-1deg that is the amount of accuracy that we are looking for. We have a method but I am engaged in a discussion and wanted to know if there was a industry standard. I have been in the business 10 years and never heard of one. If one is known please post.
  9. Simon Weisman

    Simon Weisman Industry Observer

    There are standard surveying techniques that should work well. Some require no more than some wooden stakes and a plumb bob.

    At 200 ft distance, one degree of error will result in being 3.5 feet off line. This should be easy to notice.

    This is quite general, because there could be a number of considerations. If you wish to discuss a particular application, that would make it easier to determine whether a procedure will work.

    Having said that, I must confess that I always thought the bullet proof procedure is to use signal strength. After all, that is the only reason we care about the antenna's azimuth.
  10. Chas  Wagner

    Chas Wagner Industry Observer

    Benjamin, I don't believe that there is an industry standard, but there are two procedures I have found to be very accurate. Each of these will add additional cost to a project; however, if you want solid verification it will come with a price tag.

    1- Comsat RSI manufactures an alignment device which I originaly found as named "goat" or "hoganizer". This device is attached to the back of the panel antenna. A Goat is not very large as it really consists of a grade level mounted on an attachment bracket to adapt to the antenna. Using known benchmarks such as buildings and water tanks as an orientation can be determined by adding or subtracting i.e. - if a desired azimuth would be 90 degrees and a known benchmark is located 110 degrees [SE] of the tower the device would be set to look 20 degrees south east, and looking directly at the bench mark. This would leave the antenna looking at 90 degrees. You will be surprised at how even one turn of the antenna's hardware [hex nuts] will effect the azimuth as the brackets become tightened so , this is not foolproof... the climber must keep an eye on the benchmark and make certain that the antenna is correct once tightened.
    Solayre Media [I hope I have spelled that correctly] in Fort Lauderdale Fl is quite talented in this process and may be able to offer more information.

    2- There is a second process I've found to be less involved; however, it requires scheduling the surveyor to meet the tower crew. Morgan / Eklund a surveyor in South Fl uses a device that looks somewhat like a Mickey Mouse head, [there are two reflectors for the ears] which is attached to the antenna and a laser transit beam is timed and measured while shooting at each ear from a known bench mark [desired azimuth]. If the time is greatly different the distance of the ear to transit must be adjusted [spin the antenna + / - ] until the timing matches or is within tolerance.

    I hope one of these will meet your needs!

    Chas Wagner
    Morrison Hershfield
  11. Jason Beduhn

    Jason Beduhn Friend of the Community

    We have decided to hire a surveyor to verify our azimuths. With declination and using a compass trying to eyeball the alignment, we were experiencing so many punches on our azimuths. But since we stay pretty local it's an economical solution. On the other hand we have used a transit and a plumb bob and tried to verify with GPS, but it was still hard to get it perfect.

  12. Mike M.

    Mike M. First Time Poster

    The best way that I have found in my short time in the industry is to set your azimuth from the front as you said. Then to double check it I will back my compass off 90 deg. and check it from the side. Don't forget your declination. The other reason that I always double check 90 deg. out is that the minerals in the ground and buried power can and will throw your compass off 20 deg. If you need to check it from all 4 sides it will save you tons of headaches, for the 3 to 5 minutes per sector I find it well worth it.

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