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Author Topic: Operation within 1 block of Hospital??  (Read 2550 times)

Posts: 18

« on: September 12, 2003, 06:45:45 PM »

Hello gentlemen/ladies,
    I have a friend that lives less than 1 block from our local Hospital.  He was wanting to setup an HF system, but is worried about patients and equipment in the hospital.  I have searched and can not find any documentation (rule wise) that might prohibit his system, but am looking for anything that I might have overlooked before we erect the antenna.  His system will use a collinier vertical, mono-band for 10 meters.  However, his use of an amplifier is in extreme question.  Any ideas or thoughts are greatly appreciated....73...

Posts: 3159


« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2003, 11:50:51 AM »

There are hospitals, often being some of the highest buildings in an area, that have a literal forest of antennas, of all types and frequencies.  Some even have HF antennas.  I don't believe that antennas a block away are going to be any more significant than those.

Dennis - KG4RUL

Posts: 55

« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2003, 05:18:56 PM »

As long as you operate a "clean" station, following FCC regs and good engineering practice, and have done the required RF exposure survey of your station, you are good to go!

         73, Paul WA9PWP

Posts: 21

« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2003, 03:11:26 PM »

I work at a hospital, and we have an HF station on the roof.  There are problems with telemetry with 900Mhz analog phones, but with the new quiet band telemetry units this is less of a problem.

I think your friend will be FB.  I totally agree with the statement that if he uses good operating practices the hospital should experience no adverse effects.



Posts: 2

« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2003, 09:12:54 PM »

Hi, James.

I laude you for your concern and that you took the time ask about this.  I agree with Dennis, Paul, & Steve.  There are no prohibitions on your friend installing his station.  As long as the station is installed properly, you probably won't have any problems with the hospital.  Even running the full legal amateur limit shouldn't present a problem, but if your "1 block" separation is small, I'd like to make a few suggestions if he anticipates doing so.

You should contact the clinical engineers at the hospital and tell them what you intend to do.  (You may find that one or more of them are also licensed amateurs.  It's not uncommon.)  Let them know that you are unlikely to cause them problems, but that you want to proactively avoid this situation.  Ask them to log any problems they may believe are RFI-related, by recording the date, time, device (including ID/Serial Number), location of the device when the interference occurred, and a description of the symptoms.  (Actually, they should already be doing this.)  Your friend should log his operating times, frequencies, and power, if he doesn't do so already.  If the clinical engineers have a problem, they should contact your friend and compare RFI episodes with your friend’s operating times.

If the clinical engineers aren’t hams and they have any questions about all this, have them give me a call.  (You should feel free to do so, as well.)  I’m also a clinical engineer and my full-time job is handling spectrum management and RFI issues for several large hospitals in the Boston area.

Chances are, you and your friend stand to become a very valuable resource for the clinical engineers.  There is a lot of discussion nowadays regarding RFI from devices within the hospital itself and the CE's sometimes need some disinterested parties to help them sort things out.

Please let me know how things work out.

Rick Hampton, WD8KEL
Wireless Communications Manager
Partners Healthcare System
Boston, MA

Phone: 617-726-6633

P.S. Steve, could you give me a call.  We’re looking into the possibility of installing some HF/VHF/UHF equipment for ARES purposes at our facilities.  I’d like to compare notes.

Posts: 27

« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2003, 12:04:56 AM »

Check to be sure the hospital does not have a helo pad. If it does, antenna height restrictions will apply.

Posts: 44

« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2003, 09:20:41 PM »

You should be OK. VHF/UHF may be another problem with all the squaking, paging systems, etc. but HF at this distance should be fine. Their paging systems for the higher V/U bands can really reak havoc though. Everytime I go past one of the main hospitals in this area to and from work my XM radio fades out for just a second.
It has to be from the hospital. I have it down to almost a science at where it's going to occur.

Have fun.

Posts: 221

« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2003, 07:36:18 AM »

Have you noticed the avenue of approach the cellular brokers are now using. Rather than put up towers every 1 square mile to give customers 100 percent coverage per square centimeter and having to battle with city/county halls they have resorted to putting up 5 times as many sites on top of any elevated building they can bribe theirselves onto and bumpning the power up proportionately to arrive at the same power level per square centimeter so look at any hospital, high-rise apartment buildings, billboards office buildings the list is unlimited. Society wants instant unimpeded cell coverage from the most inefficient antenna system possible their handheld cell phone in a car surrounded by a rolling dummy load. So to give the custimer what they wants they have to send out tons of RF to do it from less than ideal locations.

 Think the cellilar brokers gave a glimmer of a thought about patients in a hospital, only if they wanted to purchase a cell phone. Not on your life but a noble gesture from this poster but why worry about it. The hospitals are selling the space to the cellular people for added income. Think they thought of their patients. You bet your ass they have a sick patient equals income.


Posts: 2

« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2003, 12:24:51 AM »

Hi, Bob.

With all due respect, you are so far off the mark, it's not even funny.  As the Wireless Communications Manager for a hospital system in Boston, I can tell you for a fact that I and my fellow clinical engineers in hospitals around the world are VERY persnickety concerning the use of cell phones (and all other radios, actually) in and around our hospitals.  Most control the use of radios very closely, some even banning them entirely from the hospital proper.  Those of us that do allow the use of radios perform some tests of medical devices that can be pretty extensive and expensive.

Rick, WD8KEL

Posts: 22

« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2004, 11:08:59 PM »

It's probably not the hospital's fault, but on my cable tv, on channel 19,I hear (and see) hospital voice pages following the digital encoder codes.

I live approximately 1,000 yard from Mad River Hospital in Arcata, CA.

I have an Amateur friend who also lives in Arcata, and he also gets interference on ch 19 cable.

I talked to Cox Cable in Eureka, Ca a long time ago (3 years ago), and they said they were checking the coax lines anyhow.

Unfortunately, if I were to call them now, I would be connected to someone in San Diego (the other end of the state).

Luckily, I don't watch channel 19 anymore (QVC or something else now).

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