RF-Transparent Windows Help Hide 5G CBRS Site

Allfasteners was approached by an infrastructure solution provider to fabricate RF-transparent windows for a communications site being designed by French & Parrello Associates, to be positioned inside a cupola. It was part of the architecture in a shopping center in Rehoboth Beach, DE, a tourist resort on the Atlantic Coast. A cellular carrier had proposed a 5G CBRS cell site with three sectors, each with a JMA Wireless antenna, two diplexers and a Nokia Airscale dual 4T4R remote radio head.

One of the requirements of the landlord and the town’s zoning board was to make sure the cupola would look exactly the same as it did before the communications site was placed inside, according to Bruce Carmichael, Sales Manager, Allfasteners. “One of our deliverables was to create an exact match, making the landlord happy, the town happy and meeting all the zoning requirements,” he said.

For the cupola to be turned into a cell site, its “window” facade would need to be replaced with RF-transparent material. Previously, the design called for six individual “window panes” per side, meaning 24 separate windows would need to be assembled on site. Allfasteners’ engineers decided it would be too labor intensive to frame 24 windows on site, according to Carmichael.

Our engineers said, ‘This isn’t about building new concealment windows. Let’s make it in one complete panel.’ So, we built that in the factory here as one complete panel for each side of the cupola,” Carmichael said. The final product looked like 24 windows, but indeed was four panels.

The window facade would also have to be RF-transparent. Even the structural members had to be made from RF-transparent material. Allfasteners used proprietary composite material, which was made to be translucent to match the existing frosted windows.

Allfasteners needed to show what the windows would look like. Using the shop drawings and computer graphics, the in-house marketing team created a photo simulation to mirror the finished product. The client not only liked the look of the windows but also the ease of deployment it required in the field, according to Kevin Carney, who was with the infrastructure solution provider.

“Much to our surprise all of the structural members required for this install were already incorporated within the decorative preassembled faces. The brackets that attach these faces to the existing structure allowed for minor adjustments, which were easy to make during the installation process,” Carney said. “All in all, it was a seamless installation. From the design, to the materials, even down to the field measurements which were taken months before and translated over to the engineers and ultimately the shop fabricators.”

For more information on Allfasteners, visit https://allfasteners.com/.


By J. Sharpe Smith Inside Towers Technology Editor


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RF-Transparent Windows Help Hide 5G CBRS Site