My shop is on a rather high hill in my town with a decent line of sight to a lot of homes. I would like to start providing 802.11 access to as many people as I can, however and I know that the higher I can mount an antenna(s), the more potential people I can service. When I asked my local building inspector about how high I could mount a tower on the roof of our building the answer was, more or less, show us your plans and well tell you if we approve it. My question is what can I expect to get away with? What is the average overall hight of an antenna in a buisness district? (considering how tall the building is allready).
Also, another factor for me is that there is an airport runway about 300 yards up the hill from me. Does anyone have any experience installing antennas near an airport? Will I have to have it approved by the FAA, or am I ok because it is in the public ISM band?
Also can anyone reccomend a company that makes antenna towers suitable for mounting on a flat rooftop?
Usually, tower heights are specified someplace in the local zoning ordinances. That kind of "show us first" line is BS. Hell, if that's they make a decision individually, start off at 1000' and whittle them down to 500'!
They have to have some guidelines someplace. I'd suggest talking to Planning/Zoning Dept.
Towers are available from a variety of sources. Electrocomm and YDI both carry a number of lines. For a small one, I like the Rohn 25 and 45 models.
If you're that close to an airport, most likely the FAA will be involved. Band and licensing has nothing to do with it. Normally, unless you go over 200' there's no requirement to file with the FCC and FAA. However, there is a requirement to file with the FAA is you are within the confines of the controlled space, which varies according to airport size and air traffic, if I recall correctly. There is also a glide path ratio (7:1, I think.) Anyway here's some links for the FCC and FAA regs:
There should also be an FAA office at the airport, and they can advise you. I haven't filed one in years, but hear the FAA currently has a three to four week turn around on approvals/denials.
Get it ALL in writing.
BTW, "higher is better" isn't always true. With these freqs, you can actually get an umbrella effect where you get under the antenna and cannot get the signal. If you are going to do this as a WISP, then you might want to get some proper help in planning it.