View Full Version : Off topic, on Titahi Bay radio mast.

Pumpkin Eater
08-11-2004, 12:23 PM
Tallest structure at 220 metres in NZ before the Sky Tower. it feed National Radio, short wave and some comerial sattions. i think also ship to shore, and telephone to the USA proir to cable. The recevinng masts are 80 Km up the coast at Himatangi.

Febuary this year they started doing it up. saying they would finish September. 45-minutes to climb to the top. 2 years ago they water blasted it and found it in poor condition. this year thye were going to water blast, sand blast and paint. some bits would be brought down fro painting. their resorse consent siad the had to shelid the mast tp prevent sand going all oveer the place. in April the local paper called it a condom on the mast, just the top section. thhe it blew out, and only today are they climbing up again while i watch. they were also going to put a light on it, it has neever had one before, yet it is on the direct runnway path to Wellinton Airport.

Here in Titahi Bay, it is bad news, geting into telephones, when i moved here, i changed the old dail phone to a push button. so much static in the air, every time i tried to push a button to dial out to telecom fro help the connection crashed. I now have suppressors on the line from Telecom, recent new locals complain that telecom charges fro the suppressors now, but i got 1 for free back in 1993 when i first moved it, and a 2nd when got a dial up ISP in 1997.

I am told they have large sheets of copper in the ground to provide a decent earthing, nad only about 2-3 years ago, did they replace their stand by generator. the original geenerater and diesiel was intended for a USA submarine in WW2 but we got given it when the war finished and it was not neeeded.

elswere on F1 i have posted about a slow Jetstream conncetion accesing F1, it is not the radio mast as everything else works fine. with dial up, i had a very fast connection amazing Paradise Net when they got me to ping. this si because i rewired my whol house with seilded cable, nad having a 2nd line with only a modem hooked up helped too.

Pete O\'Neil
08-11-2004, 12:30 PM
You should talk nicely to the contractors and see if you can mount a Wifi access point and high gain antenna up there. You'd get wicked coverage, and you could brag about having the highest wifi node in NZ :D

Pumpkin Eater
08-11-2004, 12:34 PM
I managed to press the buttons on hte phone with a 400-mm dowel, to call out, as everytime my finger went near the buttons, i could hear radio, yet holding the hand set did not cause proboblems.

When it is wet, my voice line picks up radio quite well, i would say i had my own music on hold fro free. now with a digital cordless phone, and no other phones plugged in, i have a clear line. I was looking froward to Clear bringing in firbre optic, 5 years they brought the cable in from up north along the sea bed, then inland over our beach to Wellington city and then seabed to the south island, we neevr even got to tap into it. We had a cable ship off the beach fro a while, they buried the cable, it cma every close to our Telecom Exchange, i think it quite likely Telecom gets to lease some capacity on it, for our local exchange, or even a sharing agreemnet if theTelecom cable is cut.

Pumpkin Eater
08-11-2004, 12:42 PM
There were pix published from the top, line of sight up north along the coast into kapiti, from driving up there each weekend i would guess you could get Levin but because of the range of hills along the coast, you would get a narrow band only. I do not think you could cover Wellington city very well because of the height of the mountin barrier. it would cover Porirua bissness area, and parts of the city and suburbs. i hear they can bounce off reflecters if no direct line of sight but with some problems.

great idea Pete, but can it be done if that mast is live with some many radio transmissions?

Terry Porritt
08-11-2004, 12:44 PM
There can be advantages living near to a high powered transmitter.

It reminds of the story from about 50 years ago, of a bloke who lived very near to the long-wave, 1500 metres, 200Kcs ( In those days Hz, Hertz, were unheard of it was cycles per second, Kcs, Mcs, etc) transmitter at Droitwich Spa in the UK. This had been built in the 1920s, it was very powerful, but forget the actual power.... hang on... my 1954 Collins Radio Diary says 400KW.

This bloke built himself a frame aerial and drew off enough power from the magnetic field component to light his entire house.

He had free power for quite a while until the BBC engineers were able to find out why their meters were behaving in a funny fashion.

08-11-2004, 12:47 PM
I used to get the radio on my phone when I live in Titahi Bay.

Free hold music !

08-11-2004, 01:41 PM
It's on the direct path into runway 16 at Wgtn as it is the approach radio beacon locator (NDB ), the start of the automated approach system (ILS), and also the start point of the TY holding pattern. Aircraft know it's there as they use it to find the airport :D

Ask them to move the airport!

Pete O\'Neil
08-11-2004, 01:47 PM
Get some glow in the dark paint, it would look funky. Add a strobe light and you could have a Titahi Bay disco.

Graham L
08-11-2004, 03:54 PM
The 2YA transmitter is 250 KW, so the field strength should be pretty good. ;-)

It's probably a mistake to sandblast the tower --- it's likely to be held together by the rust. More (thick) paint is about all you can do after a certain point. :D

Poppa John
08-11-2004, 06:03 PM
Graham L..... Is that why some women wear so much face paint ????????? :D :D PJ

Pumpkin Eater
11-11-2004, 04:33 PM
The local free newspaper just said wosh is coming next year, with transmiters on two hills, one in sight of me. But along the ridge from the big mast.

I am going to experiment with getting power of the mast, i heard years ago, of a crystal radio where the amp was run from energy off a near by transemitter, i am still looking for info on the www.

i do not think you could run the whole house's lights though.

i am close to puting up a small wind generater, on a 5-metre tower, i was going to use a car alnetator, but learnt the thing could burn out if i got it wrong. i heard since thta stepping-motors from disk drives and printer are better.

11-11-2004, 04:43 PM
Just to add to the discussion, I heard that living near locations of high electromagnetic fields can have severe long-term health effects. Eg. Cancers, decreased fertility etc.

Graham L
11-11-2004, 05:01 PM
Wind generators are good, but you need a big one to get useful amounts.

It's hard to burn out an alternator, the stator is designed to "current limit".

You might have problems getting a big enough prop to hit the current limit. Gearing to get the required revs can have efficiency problems , too. Gales might over-rev any generator.

Stepper motors will generate. But they won't generate much power.

The neighbours might complain, too. Noise seems to go with using wind. :D (You might need a permit to put up a 5m tower).

Pumpkin Eater
11-11-2004, 05:18 PM
drinking water causes cancer too, just hope they can find a cure soon.

the generater is to play with, maybe charge a mobile, top up my 12 volt battery for my house, currnetly i have a system running my alarm, a radio and some ermegecy LED lights, door bell. posibly run my cordless when the 240 v is off.

a book i read says you can stuff the alternator if it has no load on it.

the tower is 4.2 metres and already up, bulid up from 1.2 metre fence palings in box section using wood screws. two layers, 45-mm thick it has a radio areail wire coming to the house.

stepper moters give a voltage burst every step, a capacitor would be needed to smooth out the bursts.

I would not be concerned so much about noise as the fact that that metal blades spinning muck up Tv transamitions however i am using a verticl mill, using two sections of 80-mm plastic drain pipe as a rotor, i forget what the arangement is called.

Graham L
11-11-2004, 05:31 PM
If you're charging batteries, you don't need to smooth the output. A rechargeable battery is already a very big capacitor. An alternator might explode (physically) if it runs away (to above about 10000 rpm)when unloaded. Its voltage regulator stops the volts getting too high. But it's not going to run away with a Darrious (and I know that's spelt wrong :D) rotor that small.

I've seen pictures of people driving car alternators with a rotor made out of halves of 44 gallon drums.

You won't get many watts out of that. :D

Graham L
11-11-2004, 06:19 PM
It's Darreius. I think. ;-)

Pumpkin Eater
11-11-2004, 06:29 PM
That is it below, except on a smaller scale using 80-mm plastic drain pipe, posibley longer and more than one unit.

I've seen pictures of people driving car alternators with a rotor made out of halves of 44 gallon drums

Pumpkin Eater
11-11-2004, 06:37 PM
Thanks "somebody" who posted the below mesage, i wrote to the local paper saying forget about the mast, think about the HF from your PC, the xrays from your screen, etc peole moaning the mast slowed their dial up ISP and as well caused cancer.

Just to add to the discussion, I heard that living near locations of high electromagnetic fields can have severe long-term health effects. Eg. Cancers, decreased fertility etc.

Murray P
11-11-2004, 06:40 PM
Hope you've got your small works consent ;)

Murray P

11-11-2004, 06:44 PM
There probably isn't much in the world nowadays which isn't bad for your health.

However, if an HF mast can generate enough EM field to power a house, then there's something to worry about there. Similar to the debate about cellphones causing brain tumors - there isn't a great deal of research yet so it's hard to say whether or not it is a problem.

13-11-2004, 07:36 AM
> they were also going to put a light on it, it has never had one before,

Are you sure about that? When I was a kid in the 50's and 60's, we lived across the harbour at Karehana Bay (Plimmerton) and could see the mast from our house. I'm certain it had lights on it. In fact I think they blinked on and off.


Pumpkin Eater
19-11-2004, 04:23 AM
Hey Baz,

I will check the back issues at the library of the local paper (kapi Mana), i have 3 resaerch projects on htere already, i will try and post after next week friday 26th Nov. It should not be too hard to find as the issues for the first 6 months will be bound up by now, but maybe thye ares til out being done. i may phone the RNZ project manager as he provided me with info in the past.

The report said cival avaiation has toughed its rules so they are putting up a light. i read it as a light for the first time. I niote also that a shorter tower is so far gone it has been completly replaced. we had a big helicopter running up and down to the new site, contcrete the first day, a few weeks later, all day with steel sections, i sppose they could have trucked the concrete all the way, but i know the park is being restored to natual vegitation.

At 4-am just now, i turned my lights off and looked at the top of the tower, and saw no light, but i ma about 400-metres from it and may be at the wrong angle. i have sometimes in the middle of the night thought there was a light there, but after watching for an hour or so, realisewd it was a star.

I suppose you know about the radio becon at the top of Koloial Knob which the planes use to come off the sea and turn to a direct run into Wellington Airport runway. do you knw why sometimes a plane flys over the bay from inland towards the sea? it does not turn over the becon and it is a large pasenager type plane, i see this on average once a year. apart from that, no planes fly in that direction as it is head on to planes coming towards the becon. and it is not calerbrating the becaon as it flys over just once.

Pumpkin Eater
23-11-2004, 09:03 PM
Yesterday I spoke to the Radio NZ project manager who is in charge of the doing up of the mast.
It has a light, as Baz says, but it is no longer legal, what they are replaceing it with is LEDs!!!, i said that is not very bright, he said it was when there are 1000s on them up there. also big $$$$$. one reason for LEDs is they do not burn out often like current light bulbs up there. this minute I realise that a few LEDs could burn out without effecting the brightness.
The job was meant to be finished last Setember, but hardly started becasue of the weather. in fact just the top section has been done.
Some of the steel is being replaced, as they discovered it was from a faulty batch.
It was last painted 10 years ago he said, but the paint job failed, he said he would not name the company who painted it as they would be brassed off with him.
3 years ago the mast had a complete water blasting and some sections were painted to test a new paint system. 2 years ago a part of the mast was water blasted during checking of the new system.
April 2004 they started the complete repainting expecting to be finished in Setember, but as i said above, vey little got done due to the weather. I thought it odd they were were doing it over winter.
Currently there are 5 AM stations broadcasting from it, FM is transmitted elsewhere. the mast will last for a persons life time still, in other words, he can not see it becoming reduntant ever.
As for puting a WiFi relay on there, no reason that it is not posible, as for Radio broadband like the SkyTower, he said this mast while it is high, does not have enough coverage because of the hills, it won't go further north than Purkerua Bay Hills, and little of Wellington City. He said a lot of other RNZ masts around NZ have stuff on them like mobile services etc.

Currently the big mast is not operating while they are working on it, i took GPS and my home is 370-metres from the base of the 220-metre mast. so I am safe if it falls over. No wonder it mucks up telephones. I suppose AM is bad, if it was FM it may not get into everything. Analog cordless phones are useless here, digital cordless is very clear.

The helicopter had nothing to do with the MAST, something else is being built by somebody else. It is all DOC land except for a little RNZ land, the EWellington Regional council is taking the land from DOC soon.

Anyway Woosh just said they are coming to Porirua early next year, one transmiter on Onepoto hill by the water tank, i see there is a cell mast there pointing towards theTitahi Bay, maybe there is one out of sight behind it for porirua city, and woosh is puting a second transmiter on hills on the other side of Porirua, two transmiters will cover a lot but there will be blind spots as we have hills and valley inside the city. the onepoto water tank i can see from my home, direct line of sight.