K1TTT Technical Reference


ZBA Notes, what is important and what isn’t

I just finished reading the opinion. It was very interesting. Although it is

tremendously positive, it certainly leaves lots of room for the ZBA to limit

you to a much smaller installation.


Here are a couple of comments and suggestions for you to consider as you

educate the ZBA about your proposed multi-tower installation: 1.  The public has prejudices about the kinds of amateur radio activities that

are beneficial to the community. The most positive one is clearly emergency

communications. Second is the legitimate pursuit of research, education and

advancement of communication technologies. DXing and contesting pursuits do NOT

make an effective selling point to the public and typical zoning authorities. 2.  Proposals for multiple towers supporting multiple separate antennas send

the message that some of the antennas and supports may be superfluous. 3.  To save face, the board must show that it has had an active role in the

application of the regulations. You must give them information supporting the

notion that your proposed installation already contains compromises designed to

meet the legitimate zoning needs of the town. And, you must decide what area of

your proposal can be further compromised in public - to give the board the

additional "win" they need to have.


So, what to do?

1.  Make the case that your antenna system is designed to enable extremely

effective local and long-distance emergency communications. Establish your

credibility by demonstrating that you have been an active participant in these

kinds of activities. Get a statement from someone important in the local

emergency services that supports the need for a system with the sophistication

you are proposing. Show exactly how your installation will fit into the

emergency infrastructure.

2.  Make the additional case that your proposed installation is the minimum

necessary [or even a compromise] to pursue research on propagation on 160m and

that the height is absolutely critical for experiments that you are pursuing on


3.  Avoid discussion of contesting and DXing as casual pursuits. Mention them

only in the context of empirical testing.

4.  Show that you are serious about emergency communications, technology

advancement, teaching and research by presenting the board with past papers and

articles that you have written and published as a result of your amateur radio


5.  To demonstrate your need for a multiple-tower installation, show that the

three towers are designed to work together as a system. You will be testing

phased arrays of side-by-side stacks of yagis and loops. The spacing of the

towers is, in fact, a compromise that you are willing to live with. It would be

ideal to erect more towers with exactly the right spacing for each band. You

will also be experimenting with the towers themselves as a single antenna

constructed of three vertical elements. Note again that the ideal height of

these elements is 132 feet, but that you are willing to live with the added

expense and degraded performance that you will get from the shortened elements

in order to help address the concerns of your neighbors and the ZBA. Charts and

graphs showing expected performance trade-offs are helpful here.




Jim (k1ir)