Posts Tagged ‘emf’

Does This New Cell Phone Antenna in the NoPA Represent “Blight” or Progress?

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Isn’t it beautiful?

You’ve got the box filled with whatnot mounted on the right side of an exisiting wooden phone pole, the all-important cylindrical antenna up high on the left , and down below you’ve got a soothing sign from Next G complete with a phone number for a real live person, basically a counselor who will talk you down from your anti-technology panic attack.

Hurray!

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(Personally, I think that anybody what wants to stop a cell phone antenna from being put wherever an engineer wants to put it should be required to complete an environmental impact report first, you know, so we can calculate the effect of a lack of utility service on the Commonweal.)

Enjoy.

What’s the frequency, Kenneth? Is your Benzedrine, uh-huh
I never understood the frequency, uh-huh

People, Turn Off Your iPods and Whatnot When You’re Below 10,000 Feet the Way They Tell You – Here’s Why

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Now it’s sort remarkable how no passenger has died the past decade in an Airbus or Boeing jetliner that either took off or landed in the United States. Of course there was the 9/11 and shortly after that at the end of 2001 there was American Airlines Flight 587, but since then, nothing. That’s a pretty good record, non?

But you people, you don’t listen when they tell you to turn off your portable electronic devices during critical phases of flight. And then stuff like this happens.

Just saying, bro-ham.

Ah the daily Lufthansa flight from Frankfort, Germany. This happens to be an aging Boeing 747-400, but in a few months it will get replaced by a superjumbo A380.* Can you see someone iPodding or texting up there? I can:

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*No, contrary to what the Mayor’s Office tells you, the A380 doesn’t use less fuel than legacy aircraft. And the version that’ll soon be coming to SFO each and every day has wings that are too big for its body, and it’s overweight, and blah blah blah. But oh well.

Know Your Area Cell Phone Mini Towers – They’re Just Above Our Heads – The Great NoPA Cylinder on Fulton

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Now the first time I posted about these cell phone box / antenna things mounted on our telephone poles in the Western Addition / Western NoPA, people from Bernal Heights and the Dogpatch wrote in to say, “Like, where’s our box, man?” ’Cause, you know, they wanted their mobiles to work more better.

Since then, we’ve gotten more phone stuff above our heads transmitting and receiving,* but I don’t know if people are happier now.

Anyway, leave us review the sitch from last year at Fulton and Central and then get an update from this week.

Back in the day, you’d need a big, tall, ugly (or not so ugly) monopole tower reaching up to the heavens to get your cell phone to work. But these days, cellie transmitters are mounted just above your heads, just like this one recently installed on Fulton Street in the Western AdditionNOPA area.

Click to expand:

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These new-school transceivers that our corporate overlords at AT&T and T Mobile have seen fit to use rely heavily upon fiber optic cables. And That’s A Good Thing, per NextG Networks, which adores these things.

See their sign? It’s alarming and reassuring at the same time. Go ahead and call them up, they’ll answer. I don’t think they really want you to call them over there (I think it’s Delaware or someplace) but they’d prefer that you give them a ring if you’re totally freaking out or something. The last thing they want is you starting a new NIMBY group:

IMG_7722 copy

[Nitpick Mode=ON] NB NextG: The plural of antenna is “antennas,” not “antennae, unless we’re talking bugs, which we aren’t. [Nitpick Mode=OFF]

(I don’t know how people are supposed to read the fine print on these signs if they’re mounted so high.)

And here’s the mise-en-scene with a recent photo from the boys at Google (I’ve never seen a woman driving a Google Maps car, wonder why…) Can you see the white warning sign and then the gray PowerWave box down low? Well that box is connected to the Giant Beige Cylinder of Death jutting out over the street. See how somebody took care to make sure it didn’t get blocked too much by the building on the corner? And NIMBYs, how would you like to open your third floor bedroom window only to see a GBCOD antenna hard at work?

Say hello to my little friend. Didn’t know what this thing was at first, but, in context, it can only be an antenna. This is new part, I’ve figured out where / what the antenna is – hadn’t noticed it before…

But are we safe what with all that RF floating around? I don’t know. Probably. Do the NIMBYs know about all these boxes and antennas being mounted on existing telephone poles? I don’t know, probably not.

All right, that’s it, including the update.

If you’re fretful, see you after the jump for ever more deets.

What’s the frequency, Kenneth? Is your Benzedrine, uh-huh
I never understood the frequency, uh-huh

*Were these bits from SF Weekly supposed to be funny? I generally get this kind of humor, but the whole SFW series about the SFBG’s cellie towers seemed a bit on the petulant side.

(more…)

Here’s What You Need: A Ear Rest for Your Cell Phone – Presenting ‘Earos’ by Robert Potter

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Here’s the latest idea to get attention from our Funk Seoul Brothers and Sisters in South Korea. 

The Seoul Design Fair 2010‘s competition for “future technology and daily living” is called Design for All and it just shortlisted an ear rest for your cell phone.

It’s called Earos” and it was dreamed up by Robert Potter. Check it:

With Earos, you can order more Latisse (aka Bimatoprost)* in comfort:

It’s new, it’s you:

Will it hurt your iPhone’s reception? Don’t know.

Will it keep your valuable brain a significant distance away from your brain-warming mobile? Hell yes.

Maybe you could use this at home or something.

Enjoy.

*Speaking of which, here are some of the possible side effects of listening to Brooke Shields about what to do with your eyelid hair. Wow:

  • May cause blurred vision.
  • May cause eyelid redness.
  • May permanently darken eyelashes.
  • May cause eye discomfort.
  • May eventually cause permanent darkening of the iris to brown.
  • May cause a temporary burning sensation during use.
  • May cause thickening of the eyelashes.
  • It may cause unexpected growth of hair if applied inappropriately, on the cheek, for example.
  • It may cause infection if the one-time applicators which come with the genuine product are reused.
  • Lashes may grow so long that they become ingrown and scratch the cornea.
  • May cause darkening of the eyelid or of the area beneath the eye.

On November 19, 2007 the FDA issued a warning during the seizure of a bimatoprost-containing cosmetic. The warning stated that “the extra dose of bimatoprost may decrease the prescription drug’s effectiveness. Damage to the optic nerve may lead to decreased vision and possibly blindness.”

But aside from that….

Our New and Improved Sutro Tower Now Has New and Improved Digital Broadcasts

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Not that you’d really be able to tell, though. Sutro Tower Inc. has just finished a project that had some of the digital TV broadcast antennas (not “antennae” – that plural term is only used for bugs in our silly English language) gaining a higher altitude.

Not much howver, maybe a seven-percent increase, max. Does that make a big difference? No, not for most people, but at least STI is trying.

Here’s the antenna of KPIX-TV (OMG, that’s the home of Eye on Blogs – big ups, Brittney Gilbert!) a way up top, like 1700 feet above sea level. Now Channel 5 is as high as possible:

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Click to expand

The Future is Now, and what’s labeled “CURRENT” is history:

current_and_future

From this:

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To this:

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Well, they were still wrapping the KPIX, KRON, KTVU antenna assembly, but you get the idea.

So it looks like we’re all set with the Great Digital TV Conversion of 2009. As long as Sutro Tower doesn’t get hit by a shooting star….

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…we’ll be all right.

San Francisco’s New Cell Phone Transmitters are Now Just Above Our Heads

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Back in the day, you’d need a big, tall, ugly (or not so ugly) monopole tower reaching up to the heavens to get your cell phone to work. But these days, cellie transmitters are mounted just above your heads, just like this one recently installed on Fulton Street in the Western Addition / NOPA area.

Click to expand:

IMG_7724 copy

These new-school transceivers that our corporate overlords at AT&T and T Mobile have seen fit to use rely heavily upon fiber optic cables. And That’s A Good Thing, per NextG Networks, which adores these things

See their sign? It’s alarming and reassuring at the same time: 

IMG_7722 copy

[Nitpick Mode=ON] NB NextG: The plural of antenna is “antennas,” not “antennae. [Nitpick Mode=OFF]

But is it safe what with all that RF floating around? I don’t know. Probably. Do the NIMBYs know about all these boxes being mounted on existing telephone poles? I don’t know, probably not.

If you’re in a mood for reading, take a gander at City and County of San Francisco vs. NextG Networks of California, Inc:

The City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) claims that NextG is violating the terms of the certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) granted in Decision (D.) 03-01-061, because NextG:  1) has failed to timely exercise its authority to offer competitive local exchange or interexchange services, and 2) is representing to CCSF that it is authorized to provide radio frequency transport services, a service the Commission has not authorized it to provide.  CCSF further claims that NextG is violating the terms and conditions of its CPCN because the Commission has not authorized NextG to install either:  1) microcell and antenna facilities in the public rights-of-way, or 2) any equipment or facilities on existing utility poles.

I’m thinking NextG won that little dustup, based on this pithy entry from Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP. It looks like NextG can put their little boxes where they want, whether you like it or not

All you can do is just sit yourself down and read this cheery FAQ from the Gs at NextG.

Q. What safety codes does NextG comply with for its installations and site operations?
Q. What is so unique about the RF energy produced by NextG’s equipment?
Q. What benefits does NextG provide for the community?
Q. To start the process, what does NextG submit to the City?
Q. Is the City’s relationship with NextG similar to the City’s relationship with the incumbent local telephone company?
Q. What facilities does NextG use to provide service in the community?
Q. What type of company is NextG Networks?
Q. What kind of service does NextG provide?

Q. What safety codes does NextG comply with for its installations and operations?
A. NextG’s installations and site operations comply with all applicable regulations and safety codes, such as the National Electrical Safety Code. The company also works closely with all appropriate entities to ensure a safe installation and operating environment.
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Q. What is so unique about the RF energy produced by NextG’s equipment?
A. NextG’s DAS sites produce RF energy at levels 50 – 100 times below the FCC’s maximum allowances. In fact, these levels are so low that they don’t even meet the FCC’s minimum threshold that establishes the need for conducting routine RF energy testing. The FCC has exclusive jurisdiction over the regulation of RF energy.
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Q. What benefits does NextG provide for the community?
A. NextG’s facilities and services are less intrusive than traditional cell towers. Whereas wireless providers have typically relied on large towers or monopoles, NextG’s service is based on discrete fiber optics and small, unobtrusive equipment located on existing utility and/or streetlight poles. In addition, NextG’s solution allows wireless providers to rapidly improve their networks’ coverage, capacity and performance, which leads to new and/or enhanced service opportunities for consumers. Finally, NextG’s solution can accommodate multiple service providers, which helps drive more service choices and more competitive prices for consumers.
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Q. To start the process, what does NextG submit to the City?
A. NextG applies for the right to design, permit, build, operate and manage telecommunications system in the public right-of-way of the City, in compliance with the City’s ordinances and permitting requirements. NextG typically submits a right-of-way use agreement that seeks:

  • the right to enter into the public right-of-way to provide telecommunications services;
  • the right to use City-owned streetlight poles and traffic signal poles for the collocation of NextG’s facilities;
  • the right to use third-party-owned property (utility poles) in the public right-of-way for deployment of NextG’s system;
  • the right to use any available City-owned fiber for the collocation of NextG’s facilities; and
  • the right to use any available City-owned conduit for the collocation of NextG’s facilities.

In addition, NextG provides information related to the physical construction in, and occupation of, the public right-of-way.
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Q. Is the City’s relationship with NextG similar to the City’s relationship with the incumbent local telephone company?
A. Yes. Local authorities must treat competitive providers, such as NextG, in a competitively-neutral and non-discriminatory manner. As a result, local authorities cannot impose on NextG requirements or fees that are not imposed on the incumbent local telephone company. In addition, local authorities are not permitted to regulate the activities of telecommunications providers in the public right-of-way.
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Q. What facilities does NextG use to provide service in the community?
A. NextG provides its service with a combination of fiber optic lines connected to a DAS site consisting of small wireless antennas, optical repeaters, and associated equipment. Thus, it must generally install a certain amount of fiber optic cable, either underground or on existing utility poles. In addition, NextG must install small wireless antennas and associated equipment on utility poles and/or streetlight poles, typically located in the public right-of-way. In areas where NextG needs to install its own utility poles, the company complies with local regulations governing such installations. When possible and appropriate, NextG may lease capacity on existing fiber optic facilities owned by the City or other providers, thus diminishing the physical impact of NextG’s installation.
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Q. What type of company is NextG Networks?
A. NextG Networks is a next-generation communications company that provides managed RF transport and backhaul services to wireless communications carriers. The company is commonly known as a “carrier’s carrier” since it is not licensed to provide wireless services and does not control wireless spectrum, but rather provides services to the carrier community. NextG’s innovative and cost-effective RF-over-fiber transport solution enables wireless carriers to expand their coverage, capacity and performance throughout metropolitan regions and in dense urban and isolated suburban areas. NextG Networks is headquartered in San Jose, California, and operates wholly-owned regional subsidiaries throughout the United States. The company is certified to provide telecommunications services in the states it is active.
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Q. What kind of service does NextG provide?
A. NextG provides telecommunications services—physical access, via radio frequency signals, to the wireless carriers’ licensed services. Specifically, it carries voice and data traffic handed off to it by wireless providers. It carries that traffic via its fiber optic lines from DAS sites located on utility and/or streetlight poles to a central location where is it connected to the wireless service provider. The service providers support their customers using a range of frequencies, such as cellular, SMR, PCS, AWS, BRS and 700 MHz with a variety of technologies such as iDEN, CDMA, GSM, EV-DO, 1xRTT, LTE, and WiMAX.
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But, as always, You Make The Call:

What’s the frequency, Kenneth? Is your Benzedrine, uh-huh
I never understood the frequency, uh-huh

San Francisco’s Sutro Tower on a Foggy Day

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches          5
and then moves on.

Carl Sandburg

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The formerly-controversial Sutro Tower, as seen from the northwest through the window of an Emirates Airbus A380 super jumbo jet.  

See the entire Sutro Tower mise-en-scene here, courtesy of Telstar Logistics’ Todd Lappin.

The “Conspiracy of Silence” That Built San Francisco’s Sutro Tower?

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

Local writer Anne Herbert, famous for coining the phrase “practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty,” recently announced on her blog:

The closer I live to Sutro Tower, the more I think it isn’t dangerous.

O.K. then. But who says Sutro Tower is dangerous? Well, for starters, the people who live around it in the Twin Peaks area, in small neighborhoods like Clarendon Heights and Midtown Terrace. Among other things, they worry about EMF radiation. They worry that the tower might fall down.

Sutro Tower at night under a shooting star. Looks safe enough:

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But there’s not much they can do about it. The time to do something would have been back in the 1960′s when it was being planned.  

So, let’s take a trip down Memory Lane and check out this 35-year-old piece from Stephen R. Barnett. He alleged:

…the project was cloaked from public view by a media blackout, a conspiracy of silence hatched by the TV stations that own the tower and joined by the Chronicle and Examiner.

Them’s fighting words, don’t you think? You might not agree with his conspiratorial tone, but we all can appreciate little nuggets such as:

“It is ridiculous to assume the FCC will require the entire tower to be painted with alternate stripes of white and orange.” Wheat declared. It “will doubtless be painted a neutral color consistent with the surroundings,” he assured the Supervisors. 

As you can see, it’s white and orange to keep the FAA happy. Note the newish 125-foot-long, 10-ton auxiliary antenna mounted vertically

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More recently,  a movement was afoot to prevent the tower from going digital, but that didn’t work out.

There are updates for the digital future slated and there’s a lot of life left in this structure, so it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

The sun always shines on TV.