As posted above, I am just wondering if anybody here is looking for ideas for a POI project? If so, I would love to see someone update/create any of the following:
-AM/FM Radio Stations
-NOAA Weather Radio Transmitter Sites
-Ham Radio Repeaters
-Cell Phone Tower Sites
The first three have been done, but might be due for an update.
The cell phone tower sites would be a real challenge. Granted, there are some listed at AntennaSearch.com, but from what I have read, not all are listed there. To make things even more confusing, some/many towers are owned by leasing companies and then cell service providers lease out space. I have played around with the FCC web-page and, obviously, some date is there.
There are also the crowd sourcing apps, like Cell Mapper, but I think having an official source, with the actual GPS coordinates, would be better.
This is my initial comment from a simular thread on Mon, 01/26/2015 - 9:02am
I have NOAA weather app on my phone.
Why would I want it on a device that is not really portable (battery life mainly) & stays in the car? And it can show me weather including Maps of what's happening anywhere in the USA. Great for traveling by car.
FM Radio? Never use the car's radio system. So again No.
I can't even see the benefit of the GPS having Bluetooth when the car has it & that's the only place I use BT.
My answer is the same. The NOAA weather (pro) app I have on my cell phone is GREAT. I use it all the time. It even has a nice radar map.
I can place calls thru the car's BT to my phone. Don't need the Garmin to do that either.
Just what would be the purpose of these? While commercial radio stations don't change their frequency or location often, call signs do change along with formats.
NOAA weather stations are something that means little to anyone except during a weather event. The problem there is broadcasts are tailored to a local area most often identified by county. The NOAA weather station serving the county I'm in also serves 7 or 8 others. Alerts for a far western county from me has little to no interest as the conditions for that alert may have nothing to do with any other area. Besides, if driving and I see weather approaching I can find a local station on the car radio with weather faster than I could suss out which county I was in and which ones I was heading into.
Ham radio repeaters are often akin to yo-yos, while many have been on the air for years just what info would you want, and which bands?
As far as I'm concerned you either have cell service or you don't. Why would knowing a tower is within range if your carrier doesn't have radios there? What are you planning to have as far as data? Sprint may be on one tower while ATT and T-Mobile are on a second and Verizon on still another all providing some level of coverage. Putting in a cell site isn't cheap or easy. The hardware costs over a million on average and that doesn't count the cost of the tower, power and hard wired connections to the switching node.
From my standpoint I have exactly zero interest in any of your project suggestions.
Just what would be the purpose of these?...Ham radio repeaters are often akin to yo-yos, while many have been on the air for years just what info would you want, and which bands?...As far as I'm concerned you either have cell service or you don't. Why would knowing a tower is within range if your carrier doesn't have radios there? What are you planning to have as far as data? Sprint may be on one tower while ATT and T-Mobile are on a second and Verizon on still another all providing some level of coverage. Putting in a cell site isn't cheap or easy. The hardware costs over a million on average and that doesn't count the cost of the tower, power and hard wired connections to the switching node.
Thank you for the reply.
The amateur radio repeaters that I find most beneficial are 2 meters and 70 centimeters. I would find it most beneficial while traveling. For example, my wife and I were in New Mexico last October. To look in the repeater book for repeaters is essentially a two or more step process. You can look up the name of the city and then check a map to see if you are near it. Having a POI file would make it simple. It could display how far you are from the various repeaters. As I recall, though, the GPS coordinates for repeaters can be a challenge to obtain.
As far as cell phone towers, one of my hobbies is ATVing. We travel in some very remote areas. Typically, they are state forests. While there is some cell phone service, it is sporadic. If I, or someone else were to have an emergency and find that we had no cell service, it would be beneficial to know whether we should travel north, because the nearest tower is north of us vs. traveling south, if the nearest tower south is much further away.
Coming from a family of ham radio enthusiasts, I can see a bit of a nerd factor in suggestions 2 & 3. During the 1950's, my father, (W2ERK) worked for RCA & ITT designing and supervising the installation of radio & TV towers across the US and Canada. There are a few of us, including myself, who pass these towers every day and are curious as to their purpose.
Following in my fathers footsteps, I spent the last 10 years of my 38 year career with Verizon designing and supervising the installation of cellular towers in NJ & PA. It is only natural that I would have an interest in suggestion 4.
Are there enough nerds out there who would find these POI files useful? Probably not. Is it worth the time and effort to build and maintain these files? Again, probably not.
Although I would find most of these POI files useful, I would not be willing to spend the necessary time to actually create them.
I listen mostly to Sirius satellite radio when traveling. It's nice to be able to tune in "Classic Vinyl" and be able to listen to it coast to coast without touching the tuning knob. Also all the major news and sports channels are available as well as weather and traffic in major cities. I also have a Ham license. I have a 2016 GMC P/U w/Sirius, AM, FM and Nav.
The AM & FM reception is not as good as when the radios (before satellite) were made by Delco. FM reception has degraded and AM reception is the pits. The combo radios are now made by a japanese company and they and GM have settled for a less than desirable antenna system. The AM is also very susceptible to powerline noise, whereas my older GMC P/U was not.
Having POIs for FM, AM and Ham would be nice.
There are syndicated "Talk" programs that are only on AM. There are also syndicated programs on FM that are only on FM (for instance, the PBS stations have a very large listening audience for news and opinion). When traveling, it would be nice to be able to know what frequency to switch to without having to wait for the commercial to finish to hear what the actual program is (except PBS stations). Newer radios show what program or song is on - except during commercials. So as your traveling, POIs would be a help to find that syndicated show you want to hear, especially in large cities with lots of stations.
POIs for Ham repeaters would help tremendously, as the print is small in most repeater directories and would cause distracted driving, unless one would program the Ham transceiver before starting the trip.
Anyway, all the antenna and tower information is online for those willing to search for it. Finding the L/L info at the FCC can be a challenge as there are usually no "lists" and each site has to be searched for individually. There are commercial and individual websites out there that also provide the info and some have lists as well as maps.
Quite a challenge!
Thanks again for additional input, I do appreciate it.
And, as it stand currently, we do have an FM Radio Station POI file already. I doubt that there are a lot of changes. Granted "formats" change, but usually the call sign remains as well as the frequency assignement.
We do have a NOAA Weather Radio POI file. There could be changes, but probably not a great deal.
Ham radio repeater POI files have been done, but there have been a LOT of changes with the popularity of the various digital modulations now. And with the reluctance of many repeater owners to divulge locations, it is a challenge.
I also bought a ham radio hot-spot recently. So, at least for me, it really doesn't matter where the repeater is located because, as long as I have internet data, I should be able to access the repeater.
I did drive to the AT&T tower closet to my home last night. Since I rely on AT&T for home internet, I wanted to see if my speed improved being right there vs. 3 miles away. As it turns out, the speed was the same.
The other reason for wanting cell POIs, is when we go ATVing. After looking at the few AT&T and Verizon towers online near the state forest we ride, I will simply enter those by hand by GPS coordinates. I did find a couple of sites that list the exact GPS coordinates, so they should be pretty quick and easy.
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