The Site Inspection follows the steps below with expected variations and emphasis to encompass the unique characteristics of each site. All items must be considered in order to achieve a complete and well-designed protection system.
The first step, before inspecting the actual site, is to meet with the site management to get an overall business and engineering understanding of the site. This meeting will focus on:
· Damage history and the business consequences;
· Business or engineering constraints regarding engineering;
· Preliminarily agree on what equipment should be protected; and
· Create a box-level schematic of the key areas of the site.
The next step is the actual site inspection and it is performed in two phases. The first phase is labeled as a “walk through.” During this phase, the site representatives and I literally walk through the site for the purpose of understanding the physics of the installation, associating the business understanding with the actual site, and getting a feel for the site as a whole. Once the big picture is understood, the second phase of the inspection is ready to begin.
The second phase concentrates on the specific areas that are key to establishing a site survivability strategy. On the exterior the following areas are inspected/measured and documented as appropriate:
· The antenna base, guy-anchors, and their connection to the grounding system;
· The ground field radial system with optional resistance measurement;
· Coaxial cables on the tower;
· Coaxial cables as they transition from the tower to the equipment facility;
· Surface soil conductivity and pH measurement;
· Primary and secondary power and communications cable entrances; and
· Near-by metal objects both above and below grade.
On the inside the following are inspected/measured and documented as appropriate:
· Identify the radio and computer equipment that is to be part of the protection scheme;
· Examine the electrical interconnections between the equipment to be protected and the rest of the world;
· Examine other near-by or co-located equipment in the vicinity of the equipment to be protected for compromising connections;
· Inspect the power distribution, telephone, and control signal wiring as it feeds the equipment to be protected;
· Examine the equipment chassis, frame, and inter-frame grounding with respect to a single point ground; and
· Examine any existing lightning protection measures installed on the site.
During the second pass through the site, the site box-level schematic is updated as appropriate and a photograph record of key elements of the installation is created. The schematic and photographs become the basis upon which the protection recommendations are developed. Also during this process, there is the opportunity for the site engineering personnel to interact with me to ensure a thorough understanding of the principals and practices being applied.
On a moderate size site, the management meeting and physical site inspection and documentation can be performed in one to two days. For larger sites, or if the optional ground system measurement is performed, the effort could take more time depending on the size and complexity of the site.
Once the site inspection has been completed a report is created. The report, which typically takes two to three days of engineering effort, contains a summary review of the existing installation followed by a recommendation for appropriate corrective action. The corrective information is presented in detail with appropriate drawings and photographs so that your technicians can make the recommended changes. The final report is delivered within approximately two weeks after the completion of the site inspection.
Fees for this service are:
- On-site work: $1500/$500 (commercial/amateur) per day plus transportation and subsistence at actual cost;
- Report creation: $150/50 per hour; and
- Post implementation site re-inspection: $800/$300 per day plus transportation and subsistence at actual cost.
It is possible to create a bulletproof protection scheme. Even from direct lightning strikes. The rules must be followed completely and the protection system must be maintained. Are you ready?
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