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N5NPO
09-23-2007, 06:38 PM
I have recently become very interested (ok, infatuatied) with the AT&T Long Lines towers and blast proof buildings that dot the countryside. I would like to speak to someone who worked on or maintained some of these, especaily in my area (Southwest Alabama).
If you would like more info, go to http://www.coldwarcomms.org/ for an interesting read. I am starting a photo collection and would swap photos via e-mail if you like....

KA5PIU
09-23-2007, 07:18 PM
Hello.

Search around for telephone pioneers of america.
Another option is the communications workers of america.
I could never understand the blast proof buildings, anything with enough force to worry about would have knocked the tower down.

WA2ZDY
09-23-2007, 09:42 PM
A lot of those microwave sites were up for sale a few years ago. I recall reading they were going for an average of $25,000. Seems cheap to me, but . . . what a ham station!

W5HTW
09-23-2007, 09:46 PM
Though I almost had forgotten it, I worked briefly for AT&T Long Lines Battalion, in Arllington, VA, in 1970. Had just left the US Government, and with a TS clearance, was accepted. Began as a frame tech, though I was hired as an electronics technician. Turns out my job was extremely boring, and I stayed with it only a few weeks before going back to the government.

Alas, I never worked on the microwave stations. With the government, though, there was a good relationship between numerous common carriers for lease line service, and AT&T was one of them. Others were IT&T, Western Union, RCA, Page, and perhaps some I have forgotten.

It was interesting to be, temporarily, on the inside of Long Lines, but it was not at all what I had expected as an ET, as the work consisted mostly of replacing modules that were suspected of being bad, and testing lines, shifting lines to follow White House travels, etc. Never really got to "dig into" the modules at a component level, and that was what I enjoyed, so I was becoming a "module swapper."

Not for me.

Ed

KY5U
09-23-2007, 09:48 PM
Blast proof buildings had to do with Mil Spec to protect the equipment. Tower could be rebuilt in a week, but equipment could not be replaced that fast.

AG3Y
09-24-2007, 02:34 AM
I have a friend who worked for AT&T "Longlines" . He was involved in "forward scattering" Microwave technology, where those signals were beamed at the horizon, and picked up at several times the ordinary line of site distances by ( at that time ) extremely sophisticated equipment. The technology was so secret at that time, that he was never allowed to bring anybody in to see the setup, but my understanding is that it looked kind of like those bunkers you see in the old James Bond 007 movies !

Hope you can find something left to photograph! I would suspect that satellite technology has pretty much usurped those old installations!

73, Jim

N2RJ
09-24-2007, 02:49 AM
Didn't ab0wr do microwave for the phone company?

KY5U
09-24-2007, 03:04 AM
Quote[/b] (N2RJ @ Sep. 23 2007,19:49)]Didn't ab0wr do microwave for the phone company?
After I got out of broadcasting to try to make a few dollars, I applied at the phone company to do microwave work and with a local marine electronics company. They both called me on the same day offering a job. I decided that I didn't want to be a "Bell Head" and went with the marine radio company. How ironic that I am now a "Bell Head" by the most round about way imaginable. I wouldn't change a darned thing either. What a ride.

N5NPO
09-24-2007, 11:00 AM
Quote[/b] (AG3Y @ Sep. 23 2007,19:34)]I have a friend who worked for AT&T "Longlines" . # He was involved in "forward scattering" Microwave technology, where those signals were beamed at the horizon, and picked up at several times the ordinary line of site distances by ( at that time ) extremely sophisticated equipment. #The technology was so secret at that time, that he was never allowed to bring anybody in to see the setup, but my understanding is that it looked kind of like those bunkers you see in the old James Bond 007 movies ! #

Hope you can find something left to photograph! #I would suspect that satellite technology has pretty much usurped those old installations!

73, Jim
There are quite a few of these installations near my location that intact except for the waveguide and equipment connected to it. The towers still stand along with the buildings that are empty. The ones that are near enough to a sizable town have cell phone equipment or other two way repeaters installed. Most of the ones around me however, are miles from any sizable town and are overgrown and deserted. The strobe on the top is the only sign of human concern. If you get chance, check out http://www.coldwarcomms.org/ and find a map of your area under maps and downloads. You may be closer to one of those installations than you think. Take some pics if you are inclined so and we can swap and compare.
73

W5HTW
09-24-2007, 01:44 PM
The tropo scatter systems were very reliable. I never worked with AT&T's, as already noted. But STRATCOM (US Army) operated a tropo system in the Far East that relayed many-channeled comms over quite long distances, from the STRATCOM site in Okinawa to the Philippines and Taiwan. We used it, along with other cable type systems, and our own HF.

Had I been involved in AT&T's tropo or HF systems, I probably would have stayed there.

Ed

N2RJ
09-24-2007, 01:45 PM
Quote[/b] (AG4YO @ Sep. 23 2007,22:04)]
Quote[/b] (N2RJ @ Sep. 23 2007,19:49)]Didn't ab0wr do microwave for the phone company?
After I got out of broadcasting to try to make a few dollars, I applied at the phone company to do microwave work and with a local marine electronics company. #They both called me on the same day offering a job. #I decided that I didn't want to be a "Bell Head" and went with the marine radio company. How ironic that I am now a "Bell Head" by the most round about way imaginable. I wouldn't change a darned thing either. #What a ride.
I frequently get calls to interview at AT&T in Middletown NJ.

I don't hear good things about them, but also the commute is too far.

N8ODF
09-24-2007, 03:21 PM
Most of the old sites have been sold to American Towers....leasebacks have been arranged with American Towers for the sites that still have service....most government sites had redundancy either with fiber or radio...the hardened sites as Charlie stated were built to mil spec's and usually maintained an Autovon switch or other type govt customer...there are only a few of the Long Line hire's left....the Bell Ringers have a net I believe everyday around 7225 @ 9:00 am & alot of those fellas are Long Line retiree's if I can be of further assistance....N8ODF@Yahoo.com

KY5U
09-24-2007, 03:31 PM
Quote[/b] (N2RJ @ Sep. 24 2007,06:45)]
Quote[/b] (AG4YO @ Sep. 23 2007,22:04)]
Quote[/b] (N2RJ @ Sep. 23 2007,19:49)]Didn't ab0wr do microwave for the phone company?
After I got out of broadcasting to try to make a few dollars, I applied at the phone company to do microwave work and with a local marine electronics company. They both called me on the same day offering a job. I decided that I didn't want to be a "Bell Head" and went with the marine radio company. How ironic that I am now a "Bell Head" by the most round about way imaginable. I wouldn't change a darned thing either. What a ride.
I frequently get calls to interview at AT&T in Middletown NJ.

I don't hear good things about them, but also the commute is too far.
Can you say "Dilbert" ?

KL7AJ
09-24-2007, 03:32 PM
Quote[/b] (N5NPO @ Sep. 23 2007,11:38)]I have recently become very interested (ok, infatuatied) with the AT&T Long Lines towers and blast proof buildings that dot the countryside. I would like to speak to someone who worked on or maintained some of these, especaily in my area (Southwest Alabama).
If you would like more info, go to http://www.coldwarcomms.org/ for an interesting read. I am starting a photo collection and would swap photos via e-mail if you like....
We have a bunch of these up here, still owned and maintained by Alascom.

N8ODF
09-24-2007, 07:05 PM
I thought of another site you may wish to visit...bellsystemmemorial.com....this site has more information as to what you are looking for especially in the mid-atlantic area....

WB2WIK
09-24-2007, 09:15 PM
Quote[/b] (N2RJ @ Sep. 24 2007,06:45)]I frequently get calls to interview at AT&T in Middletown NJ.

I don't hear good things about them, but also the commute is too far.
Used to be a great place to work 20 years ago...don't know about "now."

AT&T has another labs in Florham Park, which is closer to you.

"In the good old days" AT&T had many labs facilities around NJ. I worked for the one in Murray Hill, which was a great radio location right at the summit of the Watchung Mountains overlooking everything in all directions. There was an active ham radio club, and it always seemed that half the engineers, most of whom had PhDs, were hams.

What a place that was.

WB2WIK/6

KC9JIQ
09-24-2007, 11:13 PM
Yeah I've seen these, but never knew what they were. #in Centraila IL there is one, huge self supporting tower with a nice walking platform at the top to play a game of basketball! http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

All those honking huge transmitters are gone, so a nice spacious servicing platform at least.

W5HTW
09-25-2007, 12:36 AM
Bill, the tropo throughout Asia and SEA was our primary comm link to Clark and Saigon, Bangkok and others. It was almost "never" out. When it was, of course, we had alternate routes, both cable and HF, but the tropo was the way to fly. Only difference we saw was when crypto would drop out we had to go to carrier (mark) for 10 full seconds to reset the time division multiplex system. Otherwise it was as fast as anything around. We ran cable to Honolulu and it was most of the time a disaster. Mostly ran HF with cable as a last resort.

Yup, the STRATCOM site was impressive.

Lots and lots of good old HF on the island. And our cable to Honolulu was, I think, AT&T but I am not sure now. May have been IT&T or WU. We didn't "do" the cable - we just 'used' them! As with the tropo. We didn't do that either - just used it.

However, that has little to do with "Long Lines." For the short time I was with them, I helped with shifting comm wires on the main frame for White House comms. Of course it was all encrypted, no way to listen in. But we did know in advance where the Pres was going, as we set up the long distance phone lines. It was steady but very boring work. Not for a guy who came from an HF background!

Ed

W5HTW
09-25-2007, 02:27 AM
Weren't some of the AT&T towers hit back in the 60s in the western USA? Blown up by radicals? I seem to recall two of them were damaged by explosives. But I can't recall when. Cold War days, for sure.

Ed

WB6MMJ
09-25-2007, 06:09 AM
Quote[/b] (N5NPO @ Sep. 23 2007,11:38)]I have recently become very interested (ok, infatuatied) with the AT&T Long Lines towers and blast proof buildings that dot the countryside. I would like to speak to someone who worked on or maintained some of these, especaily in my area (Southwest Alabama).
If you would like more info, go to http://www.coldwarcomms.org/ for an interesting read. I am starting a photo collection and would swap photos via e-mail if you like....
I live near Keller Peak and Strawberry Peak here in the San Bernardino Mountains. Those sites, to me, look hardened. Do you have any information on them? I have always wondered about those sites.
Randy

N5NPO
09-25-2007, 12:24 PM
Quote[/b] (wb6mmj @ Sep. 24 2007,23:09)]
Quote[/b] (N5NPO @ Sep. 23 2007,11:38)]I have recently become very interested (ok, infatuatied) with the AT&T Long Lines towers and blast proof buildings that dot the countryside. I would like to speak to someone who worked on or maintained some of these, especaily in my area (Southwest Alabama).
If you would like more info, go to http://www.coldwarcomms.org/ for an interesting read. I am starting a photo collection and would swap photos via e-mail if you like....
I live near Keller Peak and Strawberry Peak here in the San Bernardino Mountains. Those sites, to me, look hardened. Do you have any information on them? I have always wondered about those sites.
Randy
Sorry, I do not have any info about those particular sites. Sounds intersting though.
If you can get close, take pics and we can swap. I am gonna collect photos from as many of these as I can get.
73

WB6MMJ
09-26-2007, 05:06 AM
Quote[/b] (N5NPO @ Sep. 25 2007,05:24)]
Quote[/b] (wb6mmj @ Sep. 24 2007,23:09)]
Quote[/b] (N5NPO @ Sep. 23 2007,11:38)]I have recently become very interested (ok, infatuatied) with the AT&T Long Lines towers and blast proof buildings that dot the countryside. I would like to speak to someone who worked on or maintained some of these, especaily in my area (Southwest Alabama).
If you would like more info, go to http://www.coldwarcomms.org/ for an interesting read. I am starting a photo collection and would swap photos via e-mail if you like....
I live near Keller Peak and Strawberry Peak here in the San Bernardino Mountains. Those sites, to me, look hardened. Do you have any information on them? I have always wondered about those sites.
Randy
Sorry, I do not have any info about those particular sites. Sounds intersting though.
If you can get close, take pics and we can swap. I am gonna collect photos from as many of these as I can get.
73
I`ll see what I can do about getting pictures. I don`t have a "adventure pass" that allows you to get out of your vehicle in the San Bernardino National Forest, But maybe I can take at least one of the Keller Peak site. The Strawberry site might be harder. Both sites look very well built. You can see them on Google Earth.
Randy

N5NPO
09-28-2007, 11:17 AM
I am going to the Fruitdale site today. Weather and time permitting, I will climb it and take photos. 260'+!!!

K0RGR
09-28-2007, 05:07 PM
My father, W6VPV, retired from Pacific Bell in 1983. He started with Western Electric prior to WWII. After the war, and a long stint in the Navy, he returned to Western Electric in the LA area, and worked primarily with microwave equipment, at least after he transferred to Pacific Bell.

As a very young boy, I remember Dad taking us out for a drive, and stopping to check on things at 'his' microwave towers.

Dad became an engineer for Pacific Bell in the early 60's, and designed a lot of microwave installations in that era. When he retired, he was 'Western Area Equipment Manager'. I believe his major focus for the latter half of his career was PBX and ESS.

He was replaced by my little brother, Mike, WB6HVW ! But, I don't think Mike knew anything about the microwave towers, though it wouldn't hurt to ask.

Sadly, Dad died a few months after he retired.

N5NPO
10-01-2007, 01:13 AM
Quote[/b] (K0RGR @ Sep. 28 2007,10:07)]My father, W6VPV, retired from Pacific Bell in 1983. He started with Western Electric prior to WWII. After the war, and a long stint in the Navy, he returned to Western Electric in the LA area, and worked primarily with microwave equipment, at least after he transferred to Pacific Bell.

As a very young boy, I remember Dad taking us out for a drive, and stopping to check on things at 'his' microwave towers.

Dad became an engineer for Pacific Bell in the early 60's, and designed a lot of microwave installations in that era. When he retired, he was 'Western Area Equipment Manager'. #I believe his major focus for the latter half of his career was PBX and ESS.

He was replaced by my little brother, Mike, WB6HVW ! But, I don't think Mike knew anything about the microwave towers, though it wouldn't hurt to ask.

Sadly, Dad died a few months after he retired.
Sad to hear about your dad.
I would liked to have discussed the equipment with him.
73

W7KI
10-01-2007, 04:06 AM
Quote[/b] (W5HTW @ Sep. 24 2007,19:27)]Weren't some of the AT&T towers hit back in the 60s in the western USA? Blown up by radicals? I seem to recall two of them were damaged by explosives. But I can't recall when. Cold War days, for sure.

Ed
http://www.porticus.org/bell/longlines-expdam.html

W7KI
10-01-2007, 04:10 AM
Quote[/b] (N5NPO @ Sep. 23 2007,11:38)]I am starting a photo collection and would swap photos via e-mail if you like....
Feel free to copy my photos. I put them up on one of my web sites: http://www.northwestradio.net/wiki/index.php/AT%26T_Microwave_Sites_in_Central_Oregon

KB2FCV
10-01-2007, 05:37 AM
My dad worked in Long Lines as part of his 30 year career with AT&T. He was a manager with AT&T. It was certainly neat to hear some of the stories of his experiences in Long Lines. While I'm not 100% sure of some of his tasks, I know he managed some of the people who maintained some of the sites and would deal with some of the day to day problems that would come up both with the autovon military and the civilian networks.

He had some sort of clearance level with the government (not sure what level, etc). I think one of the coolest parts was that he knew alot about the Greenbriar bunker and it's communications. It was of course a part of the Long Lines system. He could never talk about it and never uttered a word about it until he read about it being exposed in the newspapers.. even then he was cautious to say anything. It was pretty amazing to find that out!

I find it fascinating to read about how much infrastructure was put in place during the cold war from Long Lines to Missle Silos to Nike Missle bases and more.

WB2WIK/6,
I to worked in Murray Hill Bell Labs for a few years back in the 90's. It was certainly a cool place to work! My old boss there used to tell me some of the stuff that went on back in the 60's and 70's. The Radiation labs are cool.. there was one that was about 75 feet below the ground! (The other one was not quite as far down and easier to 'get to'... I had to fix a few computers down there). The fiber optics drawing tower and clean rooms were also some neat stuff that I was able to see. From talking to some people that still work at the Labs alot of it is a ghost town and alot has been transformed into cubicles - a shame really, considering some of the pioneering technology that came out of that place.

W8ZNX
10-01-2007, 08:31 AM
octopus tropo, octopus tropo
i send you ring
you send me ring

N5NPO
10-01-2007, 11:15 AM
Quote[/b] (W7KI @ Sep. 30 2007,21:10)]
Quote[/b] (N5NPO @ Sep. 23 2007,11:38)]I am starting a photo collection and would swap photos via e-mail if you like....
Feel free to copy my photos. I put them up on one of my web sites: http://www.northwestradio.com/interceptnw/attmic.htm
Hey, thanks for the linky...
Those are some pretty cool pics!
I need to make my owne webpage for those. The ones down here have towers 200-330' high. Some of the buildings are 1' thick concrete. Some are poured cinder block walls.
73

N8ODF
10-01-2007, 01:07 PM
Quote[/b] (KB2FCV @ Sep. 30 2007,22:37)]My dad worked in Long Lines as part of his 30 year career with AT&T. He was a manager with AT&T. It was certainly neat to hear some of the stories of his experiences in Long Lines. While I'm not 100% sure of some of his tasks, I know he managed some of the people who maintained some of the sites and would deal with some of the day to day problems that would come up both with the autovon military and the civilian networks.

He had some sort of clearance level with the government (not sure what level, etc). I think one of the coolest parts was that he knew alot about the Greenbriar bunker and it's communications. It was of course a part of the Long Lines system. He could never talk about it and never uttered a word about it until he read about it being exposed in the newspapers.. even then he was cautious to say anything. It was pretty amazing to find that out!

I find it fascinating to read about how much infrastructure was put in place during the cold war from Long Lines to Missle Silos to Nike Missle bases and more.

WB2WIK/6,
I to worked in Murray Hill Bell Labs for a few years back in the 90's. It was certainly a cool place to work! My old boss there used to tell me some of the stuff that went on back in the 60's and 70's. The Radiation labs are cool.. there was one that was about 75 feet below the ground! (The other one was not quite as far down and easier to 'get to'... I had to fix a few computers down there). The fiber optics drawing tower and clean rooms were also some neat stuff that I was able to see. From talking to some people that still work at the Labs alot of it is a ghost town and alot has been transformed into cubicles - a shame really, considering some of the pioneering technology that came out of that place.
I am one of the last Long Liner's left in VA/WV & was associated with the projects you mentioned...what was your fathers name...I may have known him or my father may have known him...I am 3rd generation LL & the last...as I mentioned earlier in this thread if you need more information please e-mail & I will see what I can do... n8odf@yahoo.com 73's

KC9JIQ
10-11-2007, 12:50 AM
http://members.aol.com/mikhail999/longline.htm

This topic is useless without pictures!!! http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

K0RGR
10-11-2007, 04:16 AM
Quote[/b] (N5NPO @ Sep. 30 2007,18:13)]
Quote[/b] (K0RGR @ Sep. 28 2007,10:07)]My father, W6VPV, retired from Pacific Bell in 1983. He started with Western Electric prior to WWII. After the war, and a long stint in the Navy, he returned to Western Electric in the LA area, and worked primarily with microwave equipment, at least after he transferred to Pacific Bell.

As a very young boy, I remember Dad taking us out for a drive, and stopping to check on things at 'his' microwave towers.

Dad became an engineer for Pacific Bell in the early 60's, and designed a lot of microwave installations in that era. When he retired, he was 'Western Area Equipment Manager'. I believe his major focus for the latter half of his career was PBX and ESS.

He was replaced by my little brother, Mike, WB6HVW ! But, I don't think Mike knew anything about the microwave towers, though it wouldn't hurt to ask.

Sadly, Dad died a few months after he retired.
Sad to hear about your dad.
I would liked to have discussed the equipment with him.
73
I wish I could remember his stories. The only one that comes to mind is how he was out checking signals at a site on one side of California's Big Valley that talked to another site on the other side of the valley. The signals were so strong that at one point,they unbolted the waveguides from the big horns, and pointed them across the valley. At the other side, the signals were still so strong, they couldn't tell the difference.

I know he took credit for sites in Tonopah, NV, and Wendover UT. And I vaguely remember him being involved in replacing the towers that were bombed, of which I think Wendover was one. I was a young kid at the time.

KC9GUZ
10-12-2007, 03:04 AM
Yes. There are a few around here. There is one located 5 miles to my west and another that sits south of Fort Wayne right along I 69 thats for sale. There was another near Angola, Indiana near a small town called Pleasant Lake. The P' Lake facility tower was flattened by an F-3 tornado back in 1991, and only the hardened building still stands and its used as a garage.

Does anyone know what the concrete towers were used for? Near Angola, Indiana and near Lagrange, Indiana there are 2 HUGE concrete towers that used ot be used for some sort of radio system. They have not been used in years if not decades. Ill take some pics someday and post them on here. Now, ive been told by my ham neigbor that the concrete towers actually spanned the USA from coast to coast and were some sort of long distance phone service started up after WW2.

N8ODF
10-15-2007, 02:55 PM
Quote[/b] (KC9GUZ @ Oct. 11 2007,20:04)]Yes. There are a few around here. There is one located 5 miles to my west and another that sits south of Fort Wayne right along I 69 thats for sale. There was another near Angola, Indiana near a small town called Pleasant Lake. The P' Lake facility tower was flattened by an F-3 tornado back in 1991, and only the hardened building still stands and its used as a garage.

Does anyone know what the concrete towers were used for? Near Angola, Indiana and near Lagrange, Indiana there are 2 HUGE concrete towers that used ot be used for some sort of radio system. They have not been used in years if not decades. Ill take some pics someday and post them on here. Now, ive been told by my ham neigbor that the concrete towers actually spanned the USA from coast to coast and were some sort of long distance phone service started up after WW2.
These concrete tower's were used for the early microwave routes built across PA, OH, & IN into Chicago... the equipment room was placed @ the top of the tower as waveguide was in its early development stages & had a great amount of loss....stairs were in a circular pattern internal to the towers so the equipment could be lifted up the middle of the structure as necessary...as waveguide was improved the equipment areas were placed at the bottom of the structures...eventually steel towers came into being as the equipment could be maintained from up to 400+ feet from the antennas.....73's

N8ODF
10-15-2007, 05:13 PM
Quote[/b] (W0LPQ @ Oct. 15 2007,08:48)]Microwave towers covered the US very well. #Not sure about the waveguide being in early developmental stages, as our old WP-103 airborne radar used waveguides and this was from the late 50's, so it had been around for a while.

Many sites decided to forego long waveguide runs by installing the dish either on top of the building or on the tower and having a reflector at the top. #This method worked quite well. #We had one of those in Cedar Rapids years ago (now gone) that fed data to our Project Echo site in Marion.

Long waveguide runs have to be pressurized with dry nitrogen to help keep condensation down. #There were also containers of crystals to help with the condensation also.
Not going to argue with you...Just wanted to explain what it was all about if anyone was interested...I work for Long Lines as did my father who worked in a site as I described in Jennerstown Pa....radar & MUX applications have slightly different technology requirements & the loss to the antennas during the early stages of TD radio was not exceptable so the equipment was located as close to the antenna as possible...this loss affected fade margin & channel loading...in the late 50's & early 60's technology changes allowed the xmtr/rcvr to be located further away from the antennas...circular waveguide was also introduced to provide a horizontal & vertical polarity so more channels could be utilized....TDAS switching was used until the 100 A switch system was introduced which allowed 10 working channels & 2 Protection channels..X & Y where as in the event of a channel failing the switching systems provided continuity of service until the failure could be repaired...73's

N4CD
10-15-2007, 06:33 PM
Some early microwave systems used what was called a 'periscope' antenna. The equipment and the dish were at the bottom. The dish was pointed straight up. At the top was a large reflector at 45 degrees providing a reflector. Usually you had one on each side of the tower.

They stopped being used as microwave equipment improved, and the requirement for tighter antenna patterns was introduced. The reflector had a wide beam width compared to a good dish at the same height. Additionally, you could get more link margin - which became a factor as operators wanted to put more and more channels on the microwave signals.

It was primarily independents and systems like power companies and state wide systems that used the periscope antennas.

N4CD
10-15-2007, 06:42 PM
Early history of the first AT&T microwave site and pictures at:

http://www.microwaves101.com/downloa....ute.pdf (http://www.microwaves101.com/downloads/1947_ATTs_First_Microwave_Radio_Route.pdf)

Picture of tall AT&T concrete tower in INDIANA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT&T_Communications

Lots of early route details here..

http://long-lines.net/places-routes/index.html


Go down to the states listing to see pics of many of the installations

N4CD
10-15-2007, 06:52 PM
One of the first military microwave scatter systems was built in Alaska - the White Alice system (google it for the story and sites). They built large reflectors on mountaintops in AK - in very very remote locations

Pic here

http://www.tomsnome.com/anvil.jpg

Got to see this one in person on trip to Nome AK about 6 years ago - had to go there for county hunting reasons.


Imagine trying to maintain this....used to connect DEW line radars back to the lower 48 with communications links. No satellites back then!

Here's the sites

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki....m_sites (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_White_Alice_Communications_System_sites)

Some history here

http://www.whitealice.net/history/history.html

Lots of people who worked on microwave systems either now retired, or moved to cellular radio and fiber systems as demand for trained microwave people declined, equipment reliability increased by orders of magnitude, and folks no longer wished to climb towers at 10 below zero to fix things.

It's a lot easier to trouble shoot fiber systems on the ground - and they aren't located 20 miles up a gravel road that requires a snowmobile to get to! (and maybe digging down through 10 feet of snow to get to the access hatch into the site!)

N0NB
10-15-2007, 11:17 PM
Like most everywhere a number of the LongLines towers still exist around these parts. Most have little use and if one inquires about putting equipment on them, the current owners seem to believe they are made of gold! http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

One thing I heard about those microwave sites is that they were the same everywhere. When walking into one in Kansas or California or anywhere else, everything was the same equipment and in the same place and wired the same. I'd like to know if that was actually the case.

Also, I think that AT&T LL also used buried landline cables that were recovered about a decade ago through here.

N4CD
10-16-2007, 02:01 AM
They were similar, but different sites used different generations of microwave equipment, and different frequencies that were set up differently.

However, usually each type of equpment was configured in the same way - with rack space reserved for expansion. The same layout right to left, the same multiplex equipment, the same or very similar power equipment. AT&T standardized everything. If you trained on TD-2 microwave, it was installed the same everywhere.

But there were many generations of microwave and frequencies - and later vendors. Each vendor used slightly different layouts. But once you saw a Rockwell 6 GHz system, it was laid out the same everywhere.

Tower height varied depending upon the requirement as did antennas. Even there, there were only a few types in use.

When MCI started up, it built entire 'sites' into transportable shelters. Generators in separate hut. They were indentical inside for an entire route. Popped them out like popcorn in the assembly facility in RIchardson, TX - hauled them out to a site, installed them next the the already installed tower, and on the air in a few days.

AT&T had to build a toilet facility into each site. MCI hired folks that knew how to go out behind the shelter, or drop by a 7-11 store in town to use the facilities on the way to the site.

Then again, for the first 50 years, AT&T had no competition, and if it wanted to chare $3/min for long distance, you had no choice! NOw for $20/month, you can call all over the world.

N8ODF
10-16-2007, 04:54 AM
You are correct with what you say...the LEC also utilized the portable shelters with the engines in a separate unit...this was long before MCI started building its long haul systems....usually for local hops TL/TN or TM...I have been trained in TD2 with the 45 bays & 416C tubes then we solid stated in the early 80's...I also worked TD3, which had TWT.s Raytheon also had TWT's...I think it was KLR and most anyother type microwave system that was in use Rockwell Collins & NT DR4...I currently maintain DR6/ DR11 & you are correct about the fiber it is so much cheaper as a transport medium...I have a 1.6 Terra bit system here in Roanoke that is capable of 80 OC48's....in the TD3 shelters the incolet...electric toilet was the rage....toilet faculitys were required @ all reporting locations...outhouse's & incolets were found @ most remotes...however as you stated it is important to have a friendly gas station in your travels....during the winter a snow plow was also necessary to get out to the sites....going out to the sites I maintain is like stepping back into time...even the ladders are antique...73's

N5NPO
10-16-2007, 02:00 PM
Keep up the stories guys. I love this stuff.
I got some pics if anyone is interested. E-mail me...
n5npo@hotmail.com

N4CD
10-16-2007, 04:13 PM
It will be interesting to see how long the current microwave systems stay in operation. Most are just spurs off the fiber backbone, or do get locations connected to the grid.

Then again, AM radio is still around and still the same 80 years later - nothing has changed other than they added a few more channels at the top end, that most people still don't know about and could care less about. AM stereo? Yawn. HiFi AM? Yawn. Now FM radio in most places sounds just like AM did 30 years ago - fulf of commercials, screaming DJs, and the like.

I guess the serious radio listeners are now gone to satellite, and the rest of the yougins are listening to their Ipods through their car stereo systems - the new cars come with a jack to plug in your Ipod or equivalent sound source.

At some point, all the microwave will be replaced with 10 gigabit fiber systems or faster - wavelength divided systems - 50 wavelenghts on a fiber pair....and each single wavelength carrying more than the entire microwave system. It might not follow the same route- fiber likes to go along 'rights of way' - railroad lines - medians of highways - along/throgh gas pipelines - and along with or actually in the High Voltage power lines around the country.

So the days of Field Techs climbing towers, using snowcats to get up to mountain sites in the winter, spending 3 hours just getting to a site (or more) may be numbered.

Of course, with cellular radio - there are now thousands and thousands of more short hop microwave systems going in connecting cell sites together to save money.

All of the DEW line and White Alice stations have been demolished - and I'd venture that many of the old microwave towers are sold off, and in some cases, demolished or removed from towntown areas as they are no longer used, and no one wants to pay to maintain them longer.

Microwave had a good run - 4 decades without challenge - and still going 2-3 decades later - but the era of long haul backbone systems is over.

Much of the MCI microwave was sold off to China - who promptly installed it and are using it - bought it at bargain basement prices so their 'cost' to install and operate is small, and they had great need for immediate telecom expansion to many rural and unserved cities.

Soon folks will be talking about petabit systems - 1000 terrabits.

The microwave Field Tech for long haul systems may go the way of the tube replacing TV repairman - at one time likely 100,000 people or more made a living repairing TV sets that usually needed work every couple years. Now, they're like the Maytag appliance repairman...seldom needed (or wanted since it is usually cheaper to replace than repair - hi hi).

N8ODF
10-16-2007, 11:40 PM
You are correct where as I am a dying breed...not to many of us out here that do my job...I work alone & have 6 locations all fed with radio either as a primary path or redundancy...radio was supposed to go away years ago but keeps on ticking as it makes money & is paid for except from the maint. aspect...some locations in southern WV may be working on radio for at least 10 more years or so...MCI still has a DR90 system that works out of Roanoke...thats 2-45mbs tribs...where as the DR135 has 3...I was not aware that they sold their junk to China...although I did know that China is purchasing test equipment & other products...but it makes sense....except for parts...I have worked through the transistion from tube type systems...to solid state and have been very fortunate to do so & also be one of the last man standing if you will...pretty much everyone I worked with has retired... I used to feel like the Maytag repair man but times have changed & there seems to be more work then time...73's

N5NPO
10-23-2007, 07:48 PM
Got some great pics if anyone is interested from on top a 300' AT&T tower... e-mail me...
73

KL7AJ
10-23-2007, 08:00 PM
Arrrrh! Tis a loverly sight indeed!

W8GTF
10-23-2007, 08:08 PM
I'd sure love to find an abandoned bunker to get some pictures of for my urban exploration site.

W8GTF
10-23-2007, 08:12 PM
I'd sure love to find an abandoned bunker to get some pictures of for my urban exploration site.

W9AFB
10-23-2007, 08:44 PM
There are a good number of Long Lines towers in Illinois. My favorite http://long-lines.net/places-routes/NRWYILNO/index.html

WA9CWX
10-23-2007, 08:53 PM
I have not seen any Pics of the all concrete towers.

There are several still standing here in the Illinois area.

Are these also AT&T Microwave towers?

KC9JIQ
10-23-2007, 09:23 PM
Quote[/b] (wa9cwx @ Oct. 23 2007,13:53)]I have not seen any Pics of the all concrete towers.

There are several still standing here in the Illinois area.

Are these also AT&T Microwave towers?
Yeah, anybody got picture post them!!

BTW I got a question, why was all the majority of reflectors enclosed in those conical weather proof enclosures, why didn't they just use the "flyswatters"?

In fact there is one of these sites near my house, I'll get some pictures over the coming weekend, the site is for sale btw!

http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

W9AFB
10-23-2007, 09:58 PM
Quote[/b] (KC9JIQ @ Oct. 23 2007,16:23)]BTW I got a question, why was all the majority of reflectors enclosed in those conical weather proof enclosures, why didn't they just use the "flyswatters"?
I came across the answer to that but forgot it. I think it was something to do with radioactive debris. I also think the horns were pressurized to a few psi.

W0LPQ
10-23-2007, 10:18 PM
AFB since the waveguide is pressurized, so would be the horn. It is a conical shaped reflector serving as the feedhorn for the system. Usually dry nitrogen is used, but in some cases just air that is dried by crystals. You want to keep moisture at a minimum, since it is an attenuator at microwave frequencies.

N8ODF
10-24-2007, 06:33 PM
The waveguide & the KS Horn antenna are usually pressurized with 7-9 inches of dried air...there are 25 inches of air in a pound...the air is dried by a dehydrator located in the equipment area of the building...the horns are multiband 4,6,11 Ghz and have been around for quite sometime...there is one laying on the ground @ Greenbank WV that was used for early radio exploration of space...the KS horn is a very reliable high gain antenna that in some cases have been in use for over 45 years...the hardware is stainless steel & the horn itself is AL...the cover is of a canvas type that is sprayed with a sealent to maintain airpressure...some horns have reflectors installed on the side of them to prevent interference....there was a modification made 15 or so years ago to provide for air flow with-in the horn as air stagnation was creating problems...most waveguide is vented where as the air is sent up on one polarity & returns to the waveguide window on the other where a small hole in the window provides air circulation...there is a mercoid switch associated with each run to monitor the air pressue & send an alarm if the air pressure drops below 3 inches....73's

N5NPO
10-24-2007, 09:15 PM
Quote[/b] (w8gtf @ Oct. 23 2007,13:12)]I'd sure love to find an abandoned bunker to get some pictures of for my urban exploration site.
You want photos from inside one of the AT&T Long Lines equipment buildings?
I can get those. Stay tuned....

KE5JQZ
10-25-2007, 08:51 PM
There is a HUGE Microwave tower between Clarksdale and Tunica MS on Hwy 61 It also has the hardend building attached to the free standing tower. I dunno if it is still in use.

Harry

W9AC
10-26-2007, 01:21 AM
Quote[/b] (W9AFB @ Oct. 23 2007,13:44)]There are a good number of Long Lines towers in Illinois. #My favorite http://long-lines.net/places-routes/NRWYILNO/index.html
The CLLI code for the site you mention is NRWYILNO. #It is in fact located on Route 52, and is more commonly known as the "Norway" facility. #

My father was a systems manager there from '67 through '77 and I was able to spend an awful lot of time in that facility. #Much more than was likely allowed at the time. #

From a capacity perspective, the Norway facility was the largest in the Long Lines system. #As such, is deliberately located to the southwest of Chicago in the event the city became the direct nuclear target. #The tower originally stood with the traditional four legs but was later modified with eight supporting legs up to about the 100' level. #(I believe by Kline Iron Works) # From below, the tower was incredibly massive.

Today, many of the 6/11 GHz horn antennas are still present on the tower and as of last year, the original project Echo-Fox antenna was still perched atop the tower. #Echo-Fox was the code name used for the U.S. President's communications system when airborne in Airforce One. #At the Norway facility, the Echo Fox repeater was sectioned off and a red strobe light was fixed on top of the cabinet. #When the President was communicating through the repeater, the light would flash to alert personnel not to in any way interfere with its operation. #Maintenance was scheduled with U.S. Secret Service.

The Norway facility was nearly self-sufficient and contained two large diesel generators, with a platform for a third. #Water was obtained from an aquifer approximately 1500 feet below the ground. #I loved drinking from the fountain, as the water was always ice-cold.

If you ever visit the site, look for the short sections of Rohn 45 tower with CCTV cameras. #My father and I installed them one weekend back in the mid '70s. #They were still there on my last visit during the summer of 2006.

Paul, W9AC

N8ODF
10-26-2007, 12:34 PM
312-207-4320...may have been your Dad's old #..Norway was strategic as you stated...was a very large office in its hay-day....was a hub for the east-west & north-south traffic into Chicago...alot of carrier function for Radio & Coax...there was also an FMAC center there which was for restoration & remote switching of the radio & coaxial routes....the remote sites would send their alarms to stations like Norway & tech's could be dispatched to clear the trouble...Norway covered alarms for the Central area...maybe your Dad knew Dusty Justin...Dusty was a manger who worked that area...73's

N5NPO
11-14-2007, 04:35 PM
Ok, I got some photos from the inside of one of the hardened long lines repeater buildings. These buildings are 58' x 22' (roughly) with 1' thick solid concrete walls. E-mail me if you are interested... n5npo@hotmail.com

K8TTK
11-17-2007, 04:41 AM
What many have not mentioned, or explained fully (as I skimmed thru)...that all these towers were NOT military/government specific. Most of these were for day to day TV and telephone traffic. Yes, government was a customer, but most of the traffic was commerical (that we paid for in the telephone bill AND in taxes).

Many of the important juntion points were built within a hardened building, especially if near a city or possible "target". Most others (IIRC) were built to withstand a 2PSI overpressure, as well as the towers. These would also have facilities that could support a small crew for x days or weeks should the "cloud" be seen. They included nuclear and biological protection/filtering systems and the such.

It took a lot to bring down a tower, and very few failed.

The more interesting Long Lines facillities were the ones used for the L Carrier (underground cable) system. The junction points were underground by a couple of stories or so, and the really neat ones were the Project Offices located in mid-Atlantic states (NC/PA/VA/etc). Most of these were in support of the COG missions and had links via MW, Cable, tropo, radio/HF and sat.

AT&T didn't use the periscope antenna system, that was a MCI thing. AT&T used end-to-end routing, meaning that their sites were placed in the "line of fire". MCI used avoidence routing, meaning that their sites were outside of potentional blast areas, which meant they didn't need to spend millions of dollars on each site. The likelyhood of one of their sites being taken out in an attack was significally smaller.

However again, most of the sites that you see, where simply just relay sites for the day to day long distance call, and nightly coast to coast TV program or football game.

K8TTK
11-17-2007, 04:45 AM
Forgot to add...

Pics of these are almost like taking a pic of a cellphone tower. Once you have a couple, the rest are pretty much the same (not saying that you shouldn't have any, but they are pretty common). Quite a few are getting "dehorned" to lighten the tower load, to be recycled, etc in place of two-way and cell equipment. Some owners just don't have the resources to bring them down on the tall/remote areas and just leave them. Some have actually reused them and have links to other former sites on a commerial or experimental basis with newer equipment. Some sites still have just about or all of their orginal equipment.

One thing that I don't think that has fully been explained where the "future expansion" equipment that was installed towards the end of the MW system (N8ODF?) IIRC, these were blue? equipment modules thats were located in with everything else, plugged in, and had a DB-??(?) connector on them and are thought to be end-to-end encyption modules or some sort of data collecting devices for Uncle Sam.

KD4RME
11-17-2007, 07:36 AM
Quote[/b] (N8ODF @ Sep. 24 2007,08:21)]Most of the old sites have been sold to American Towers....leasebacks have been arranged with American Towers for the sites that still have service....most government sites had redundancy either with fiber or radio...the hardened sites as Charlie stated were built to mil spec's and usually maintained an Autovon switch or other type govt customer...[/EMAIL]
There were many different levels of hardening, and many different uses of the hardened sites. The Autovon sites ranged from semi hardened (Just the thick walls, and a basement) to full undergrounds. Although most were sold to ATC, AT&T still owns over 200 sites, and sells some of them from time to time.

The sites that were hardened the most, were primarily the L carrier sites, and the project offices, for the most part.

KD4RME
11-17-2007, 07:39 AM
Quote[/b] (K8TTK @ Nov. 16 2007,21:41)]AT&T didn't use the periscope antenna system, that was a MCI thing. AT&T used end-to-end routing, meaning that their sites were placed in the "line of fire". MCI used avoidence routing, meaning that their sites were outside of potentional blast areas, which meant they didn't need to spend millions of dollars on each site. The likelyhood of one of their sites being taken out in an attack was significally smaller.
I think you mean Western Union thing, not MCI. MCI used andrews dishes and eliptical waveguide in most sites. They put their sites out there with no concerns about hardening or avoidance routing.

WU however did use periscope and avoidence.

KD4RME
11-17-2007, 07:43 AM
Quote[/b] (N8ODF @ Oct. 15 2007,07:55)]stages & had a great amount of loss....stairs were in a circular pattern internal to the towers so the equipment could be lifted up the middle of the structure as necessary
Normally, as you walked in the door of the concrete square towers, the steps were to the left, equipment hoist to the right, and the stairs were not circular, rather just back and forth with platforms.

KD4RME
11-17-2007, 08:10 AM
Quote[/b] (N0NB @ Oct. 15 2007,16:17)]Like most everywhere a number of the LongLines towers still exist around these parts. #Most have little use and if one inquires about putting equipment on them, the current owners seem to believe they are made of gold! #http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

One thing I heard about those microwave sites is that they were the same everywhere. #When walking into one in Kansas or California or anywhere else, everything was the same equipment and in the same place and wired the same. #I'd like to know if that was actually the case.

Also, I think that AT&T LL also used buried landline cables that were recovered about a decade ago through here.
Three of the smaller companies that have AT&T towers totaling over 200 of them in fact, and are VERY responsive to working with HAMS also have towers in your state.

Frosty Towers
Heartland Towers
Vangard Wireless.

And most every site was different. Different paths, different regions, different site aspects, etc. Now, a TD2 rack was a TD2 rack everywhere, but the layouts were why they had very exacting diagrams.

If you have a run of 6 sites, they will be very similiar, but compare them to a run in another part of the country and they will be very different.

N0LSD
11-17-2007, 02:25 PM
Quote[/b] (N5NPO @ Sep. 23 2007,11:38)]I have recently become very interested (ok, infatuatied) with the AT&T Long Lines towers and blast proof buildings that dot the countryside. I would like to speak to someone who worked on or maintained some of these, especaily in my area (Southwest Alabama).
If you would like more info, go to http://www.coldwarcomms.org/ for an interesting read. I am starting a photo collection and would swap photos via e-mail if you like....
there's a net on 7230kc at 1400Z (0900EST) monday-friday called the Bell Ringer's; mostly retired Bell employees. you might check in and see if any of those blokes worked the LL segment.

cheers! de Joe

N3JI
11-17-2007, 03:56 PM
This is just too cool!! #I started working on military tropo shots right at the end of the era. #I went on Active Duty in 1988 and worked a major Tropo/LOS/Satellite site in Coltano, Italy. #I also made it to other sites around Italy, but most of my time there at Coltano. #I just started researhing the systems I worked on last year and found out a ton of stuff that I never knew existed. #At this point, I have found a bunch of sites using Google Earth, but not just the ones I was looking for. #I found out about the DEW Line and the White Alice systems already mentioned, but I also found out about the ACE High Nato system, and some other Tropo sites used in Japan & Vietnam.

I know this is a bit off the real topic, but this is probably the first time my research has been relavent http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif. #Here are a couple other places I found some interesting info on mil/gov tropo:

Ace High & other Cold War Stuff (when you get to the bottom of the page, click the continue button for LOTS more):
http://www.subbrit.org.uk/rsg/features/ace_high/index.html
http://www.subbrit.org.uk/rsg/index.shtml

Here's a link about a site one of my classmates worked at:
http://www.xs4all.nl/~kazil/antenne_hvh.html

A site at Martlesham Heath, England:
http://www.bunkertours.co.uk/autovon.html

Italian Ace High site document (in Italian!) done by an Amateur:
http://www.ik4mgv.it/TAC_104_105.pdf

Another Ace High site in Southern Germany:
http://freenet-homepage.de/ACEHighStationFeldberg/

This one has a lot of info about some sites in Turkey & Greece (that I remember working with) as well as the sites I was at in Italy. #I sent Chief Shediak some pics & info and he was nice enough to post them. #There is a pic of the actual radios as well:
http://www.bluejeansplace.com/Page26.html

EDIT: Lef off one more kind of important link, if you've been around military comm in Europe:
http://www.usarmygermany.com/Units/Signal/USAREUR_SignalCorps.htm

If you made it this far, I would love to hear from you if you worked the same tropo stuff in Europe. #I'm still missing info on some sites, particularly in Spain, Turkey, and one large one in Italy. #Feel free to email at my address here on the 'zed...

Thanks,
Joe, N3JI

KC9JIQ
11-18-2007, 09:04 PM
Ok guys I got pictures of the micowave repeater site near me, and guess what, IT'S FOR SALE!!! http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Check this out, look at the rusty guy wires, look at the explosion proof building(?) and a outhouse? and there is a generator in there in the brush!!! http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

It's right by a highway in a remote location, looks like it has not been touched in years!
http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

The rusty guy wires:
http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/5272/0000157pk4.jpg

Guy wire/tower
http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/8084/0000158jm6.jpg

Looks like a lack of maintaince!
http://img219.imageshack.us/img219/9581/0000159zg6.jpg

Tower:
http://img67.imageshack.us/img67/9003/0000160in2.jpg

FOR SALE, there is a "800" number out by the road, this number is probably no longer used.
http://img219.imageshack.us/img219/6236/0000162fn5.jpg


The flyswatter!
http://img67.imageshack.us/img67/4585/0000163ad8.jpg

Explosion proof? It is concrete.
http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/3007/0000164ca9.jpg

Beautiful flyswatter
http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/7241/0000165gz0.jpg

The Generator: hard to see!
http://img219.imageshack.us/img219/6886/0000166li7.jpg

http://img67.imageshack.us/img67/3428/0000168gm5.jpg

Another veiw of the rusty pitted guy wires:
http://img67.imageshack.us/img67/844/0000169fh6.jpg


and below.... I think it is a outhouse, a perfect picture for the zed!

N5CE
11-18-2007, 11:19 PM
I doubt that this is an old AT&T site. Not the right stuff.

KC9JIQ
11-18-2007, 11:47 PM
Quote[/b] (N5CE @ Nov. 18 2007,16:19)]I doubt that this is an old AT&T site. #Not the right stuff.
What this links to is a major hub to a town, the town used to have a self suppoting tower with those sealed periscope antenna reflectors behind a "GTE" building that is now owned by verizon.

K8TTK
11-19-2007, 05:07 AM
Sorry,yes I meant Western Union in the previous post, not MCI. This site above does not look like an AT&T or WU site. Possibly a local telco, or power provider (in short, really anybody).

This is what the typical/unaltered WU tower looked like (periscope/refectors):
http://img.groundspeak.com/benchmark/lg/74462_100.jpg

Some have been upfitted over the years, but with the "up and over" design like this (periscope reflectors removed/high-performance dishes added), you can be pretty sure it was WU:
http://gallery.wirelessadvisor.com/files/7/9/9/4/1/wu-singerly_original.jpg

KC9JIQ
11-19-2007, 11:31 AM
Was there once a advantage of using reflectors instead of feedline on towers?

Was it a cost issue or they just did not have the low loss coax for those microwave frequencies?

W0LPQ
11-19-2007, 01:36 PM
JIQ microwave and coax don't go together in the same sentence. Either waveguide or air.

KE5OFO
11-19-2007, 05:59 PM
This is defanatly an intresting toppic. I happen to work for ATT now and have only seen one microwave system in use in the old SBC ILEC reagon. We do have one lonely LL tower with hardend building here in Spring TX. I believe it's used for AT&T Wireless now. I would love to get a repeater on top of that tower and have been talking to a few people at work to see who I would need to see.

One other intresting microwave fact. My father is a comm tech for the BNSF and at one time back in the 80's and 90's they owned the largest private microwave telco system in the country. I don't know if that is still true but I know he still has about 75 sites he maintains.

Kerry
KE5OFO

K8TTK
11-19-2007, 08:40 PM
Southern Pacific Railroad (now owned by Union Pacific) actually had the largest/or at least most complicated system. It was in a sense, the forerunner of SPRINT. SPRR leased their excess MW space to them around 1972/1978ish IIRC. I know there is more to it, but thats what I recall.

These days, I would say that UPRR and BNSF would have the most extensive MW systems in place due to the size of their operating terriorties.

K5PHW
11-20-2007, 12:12 AM
Great thread guys! There is an old flyswatter tower between Oklahoma City
and Tulsa. Last I looked I think it had dishes at the top now. Next time I
get out that way I will get some pics.


Cheers
Clyde K5PHW

KC9JIQ
11-20-2007, 12:47 AM
We had one of these down south, I always wondered how they kept them from twisting in high winds, seems to me the two tower would twist in the middle, and lots of windload being that high up!

The Army reserves took the tower down in 2000, and all that is left is the brick building amist shurbs.


But what is more interesting is the self supporting towers of the railroads, they are huge 307 foot towers and enough room at the top to install a crane for tower work.
http://www.alaska-highway.org/delta/images/tower.jpg

KD4RME
11-20-2007, 04:01 PM
Quote[/b] (K8TTK @ Nov. 18 2007,22:07)]This is what the typical/unaltered WU tower looked like (periscope/refectors):
Beautiful pictures!

N5RFX
11-20-2007, 04:23 PM
I was at a site on Pine Log mountain GA that was a hardened shelter with a large tower. I don't know if this is one of the AT&T Long Lines sites.

I have been to similar sites on Ft. Mountain and Doug Gap, also in GA.

73,
Mark N5RFX

N5NPO
01-04-2008, 10:47 PM
Got more photos... Found a site that had a ton of blue-priints on micro-film and in 3 ring binders... Wish i could buy an intact site and make a musuem....

W8NSI
01-08-2008, 04:17 PM
Quote[/b] (N5NPO @ Sep. 23 2007,06:38)]I have recently become very interested (ok, infatuatied) with the AT&T Long Lines towers and blast proof buildings that dot the countryside. I would like to speak to someone who worked on or maintained some of these, especaily in my area (Southwest Alabama).
If you would like more info, go to http://www.coldwarcomms.org/ for an interesting read. I am starting a photo collection and would swap photos via e-mail if you like....
I didn't work at any of the towers. I worked in the Bell Building in Grand Rapids, Michigan and did some of the maintenance on the Western Electric TD2/TD3 microwave radios, and Collins Digital Microwave. We had to get the 1st class FCC commercial license with radar endorsement to work on the euipment. Near the end when fiber optic was coming in, the license requirement dissapeared. We did have the same horn antennas as the towers. When we had to work on the roof anywhere near the antennas we wore special metal weave faraday suits.

The microwave radios went from tube type frequency multiplier/mixers to solid state bricks.

The microwave horns are gone from the Bell Building now.

Out to the east of Grand Rapids is the Saranac AT&T Tower and it is still equipped with the horns, but I have no idea what it is used for anymore.

N5NPO
01-11-2008, 10:34 PM
Quote[/b] (W8NSI @ Jan. 08 2008,09:17)]
Quote[/b] (N5NPO @ Sep. 23 2007,06:38)]I have recently become very interested (ok, infatuatied) with the AT&T Long Lines towers and blast proof buildings that dot the countryside. I would like to speak to someone who worked on or maintained some of these, especaily in my area (Southwest Alabama).
If you would like more info, go to http://www.coldwarcomms.org/ for an interesting read. I am starting a photo collection and would swap photos via e-mail if you like....
I didn't work at any of the towers. I worked in the Bell Building in Grand Rapids, Michigan and did some of the maintenance on the Western Electric TD2/TD3 microwave radios, and Collins Digital Microwave. We had to get the 1st class FCC commercial license with radar endorsement to work on the euipment. Near the end when fiber optic was coming in, the license requirement dissapeared. We did have the same horn antennas as the towers. When we had to work on the roof anywhere near the antennas we wore special metal weave faraday suits.

The microwave radios went from tube type frequency multiplier/mixers to solid state bricks.

The microwave horns are gone from the Bell Building now.

Out to the east of Grand Rapids is the Saranac AT&T Tower and it is still equipped with the horns, but I have no idea what it is used for anymore.
Facinating.
I now have a set of 3 ring binders full of info and I don't know how many 100's of micro-fiche (sp?) cards with stuff on them, but no reader to veiw them. I would REALLY like to find information on the lat and long of each existing and no longer existing tower site along with data on how how the tower was/is at that site.
I have been wanting to take pictures of as many sites as possible for a webpage some day devoted to them...

N5NPO
09-25-2009, 10:37 AM
I have now located over 130 of these AT&T long line sites accross Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Lousiana and Florida. I have a few left to find in Alabama and Mississippi. I have now visited and photgraphed dozens and dozens of them. I have seen guyed, added on guyed and modified non-guyed towers. I have seen cinder-block walls and poured walls. I have seen sites with tiny 10k generators up to 12-71 detroit diesel powered 225k generators. I have seen some sites that would make awesom homes for hams... Oh well. Anyone still interested in swapping photos?
73 all!

W1GUH
09-25-2009, 02:02 PM
'CD said...


I guess the serious radio listeners are now gone to satellite, and the rest of the yougins are listening to their Ipods through their car stereo systems - the new cars come with a jack to plug in your Ipod or equivalent sound source.


Or your mobile radio!

Fascinating thread....I'm loving reading it. Reminds me of a ham club meeting in the spring of '60 when the featured speaker was a microwave guy from AT&T. He had a microwave receiver and transmitter and demonstrated various techniques for transmission and reception. The one thing he said that I remember very distinctly was when he was talking about VHF, UHF, SHF, EHF, etc. He said that it's usually "GWHF". "Gollly (well, that's probably cleaned up for a "general" audience!) What a High Freuency!)

We had the same type of demo a few years later as a High School Assembly. As the audio that demonstrated reception, he used a Four Seasons Song (I think it was Sherry...Sherry Baby). Most of the audience could have cared less about the microwaves, but when the song came on people were dancing in the aisles!

K8MHZ
09-25-2009, 04:44 PM
While I was snooping around the links, I came across a page that had information removed relating the locations of active microwave towers due to a homeland security request.

Of course, I can't find it now or else I would provide a link.

If what I saw wasn't BS, I would be careful about posting location information on the Internet of the sites.

W1IM
09-25-2009, 05:06 PM
There is a site in the town next to mine with a tower somewhere around 300' high. It still has the microwave horns on top. They are inactive, but cell equipment was installed recently, and the antennas for that stuff are mounted about half way up the tower.

Somebody put together a site with some pictures and info.
http://www1.shore.net/~mfoster/Peru.htm

One of the most interesting things about this site is that the icing on the tower and horns was so bad that they had to install a roof over the exterior walkways and parking lot next to the building to protect people from falling ice chunks.

KB3PXR
09-25-2009, 05:54 PM
Great link to the bell system memorial. That site turned me into a Bellhead. Unfortunately I'm too young to remember the bell system :(, I do have a piece of former Bell Bystem property sitting on my desk. I love my 2500 set and I have a few other phones (WE Licensed not WE), but this stuff about the microwaves is interesting, I always thought it was point to point and switched at every point or something.

N8ODF
09-25-2009, 06:55 PM
Normally, as you walked in the door of the concrete square towers, the steps were to the left, equipment hoist to the right, and the stairs were not circular, rather just back and forth with platforms.

I was speaking of the circular buildings...i.e. Jennerstown PA & others that were built in PA & OH...alot of information is available of the Long Line sites however most was lost when folks retired....some retirees have built sites putting together pictures & there memories...I am a Long Lines person & there are not many of us left...especially that worked radio....a co-worker with 41 years service is going to retire this fall...once he is gone...I will be the last Long Line hired person in WV....Hard to believe but I still maintain radio....eventhough fiber is the workhorse now....1.6 Terrabit DWDM....alot faster in the major corridors.....

KD4MOJ
09-25-2009, 07:11 PM
Got more photos... Found a site that had a ton of blue-priints on micro-film and in 3 ring binders... Wish i could buy an intact site and make a musuem....

Funny you should mention that, a friend if mine (fellow ham) is in the process of buying one of those sites in south georgia. I'll found out from him how he went about it.

...DOUG
KD4MOJ

KD8JEB
09-25-2009, 07:38 PM
Facinating.
I now have a set of 3 ring binders full of info and I don't know how many 100's of micro-fiche (sp?) cards with stuff on them, but no reader to veiw them. I would REALLY like to find information on the lat and long of each existing and no longer existing tower site along with data on how how the tower was/is at that site.
I have been wanting to take pictures of as many sites as possible for a webpage some day devoted to them...

I have a microfiche reader if you are interested. I believe it still works. I had one microfiche schematic if I can find it to check it out. I can send photos if you are interested. Email me engineering at 103cir.com
Along the same lines, if anyone has any pictures of Western Union gear or knows where some are, I would like to see those, too.

Randy
KD8JEB

AI3V
09-25-2009, 07:42 PM
Yeah, anybody got picture post them!!

BTW I got a question, why was all the majority of reflectors enclosed in those conical weather proof enclosures, why didn't they just use the "flyswatters"?

In fact there is one of these sites near my house, I'll get some pictures over the coming weekend, the site is for sale btw!

http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Like this?

http://greg.org/archive/echo_horn_antenna.jpg

Or this?

http://www.engineeringradio.us/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/western-electric-microwave-antennas.jpg

This is called a horn antenna.

It is a "slice" of a parabolic reflector.

The sides of the cone are shielding , Pretty much eliminates sidelobes from the antenna.

The towers reused the same frequency's going in different directions, the shielding made it possible.

The top antenna is for early satellite comms, the shielding made the receiver more sensitive by blocking the "KTB" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noise_figure) noise from the Earth from being picked up by the antenna.

Rege

AI3V
09-25-2009, 08:08 PM
Was there once a advantage of using reflectors instead of feedline on towers?

Was it a cost issue or they just did not have the low loss coax for those microwave frequencies?

The Natural Gas and electric companies still use flyswatter reflectors here...

I think it's a overall cost issue, the reflector is pretty efficient, only a few db loss from a direct path, You could save more $$ on the lighter tower, and build a slightly larger dish antenna than would be needed up on the tower, now that it (the dish) was on the ground, right next to the equipment shack.

Here is a free book on designing passive repeaters:

http://www.valmont.com/userfiles/file/specialty_structures/Catalog161A.pdf

Rege

WR5AW
09-25-2009, 08:22 PM
Not sure if this is what you're talking about. But, I'm told this tower near my home, which is no longer in service, was in place to reroute phone service around Dallas/Fort Worth, TX in the event they received a nuclear strike.


http://forums.qrz.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=30724&d=1253910095

W5RB
09-25-2009, 08:24 PM
The Natural Gas and electric companies still use flyswatter reflectors here...

I think it's a overall cost issue, the reflector is pretty efficient, only a few db loss from a direct path, You could save more $$ on the lighter tower, and build a slightly larger dish antenna than would be needed up on the tower, now that it (the dish) was on the ground, right next to the equipment shack.

Here is a free book on designing passive repeaters:

http://www.valmont.com/userfiles/file/specialty_structures/Catalog161A.pdf

Rege
Our agency had a bunch of these, in the 6 GHz TV band .
I recall hearing , back in the mid-90s , that FCC had outlawed new installation of those, due to their signals cluttering nearby orbital space . Existing installations were grandfathered , but no transfer or reinstallation was allowed.

N8ODF
09-25-2009, 09:40 PM
Our agency had a bunch of these, in the 6 GHz TV band .
I recall hearing , back in the mid-90s , that FCC had outlawed new installation of those, due to their signals cluttering nearby orbital space . Existing installations were grandfathered , but no transfer or reinstallation was allowed.

Andrews had a formula to calculate forward gain off of a passive reflector on one of there slide rule tools for path loss...someone asked earlier about usage & it had to do with cost as you pretty much eliminate you W/G...with practically no overall loss....yeah the FCC got rid of that type arrangement...in a crowded area one could see an interference issue....

The Horn antenna above looks like one that may have been used @ Green Bank Observatory....as you go into the site they have old Horns & other antennas that were used in the early Radio observatory

N5NPO
09-25-2009, 10:56 PM
Not sure if this is what you're talking about. But, I'm told this tower near my home, which is no longer in service, was in place to reroute phone service around Dallas/Fort Worth, TX in the event they received a nuclear strike.


http://forums.qrz.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=30724&d=1253910095

Nice picture. Can you tell me what the coordinates are for that tower?
Thanks again!
73 de N5NPO

N5NPO
09-25-2009, 10:57 PM
Like this?

http://greg.org/archive/echo_horn_antenna.jpg

Or this?

http://www.engineeringradio.us/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/western-electric-microwave-antennas.jpg

This is called a horn antenna.

It is a "slice" of a parabolic reflector.

The sides of the cone are shielding , Pretty much eliminates sidelobes from the antenna.

The towers reused the same frequency's going in different directions, the shielding made it possible.

The top antenna is for early satellite comms, the shielding made the receiver more sensitive by blocking the "KTB" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noise_figure) noise from the Earth from being picked up by the antenna.

Rege

Can you tell me where that tower is located?
73 de N5NPO

N5NPO
09-25-2009, 10:59 PM
There is a site in the town next to mine with a tower somewhere around 300' high. It still has the microwave horns on top. They are inactive, but cell equipment was installed recently, and the antennas for that stuff are mounted about half way up the tower.

Somebody put together a site with some pictures and info.
http://www1.shore.net/~mfoster/Peru.htm

One of the most interesting things about this site is that the icing on the tower and horns was so bad that they had to install a roof over the exterior walkways and parking lot next to the building to protect people from falling ice chunks.

That is really nice. I will have to add that to my bing map collection. I can faind it on American Tower's website...
Again, thanks for the link!
73 de N5NPO
Norm

N5NPO
09-25-2009, 11:00 PM
Funny you should mention that, a friend if mine (fellow ham) is in the process of buying one of those sites in south georgia. I'll found out from him how he went about it.

...DOUG
KD4MOJ

Hey, if you don't mind, please find out what site he is trying to buy and or where it is..
Thanks!
73 de N5NPO
Norm

N5NPO
09-25-2009, 11:05 PM
I have a microfiche reader if you are interested. I believe it still works. I had one microfiche schematic if I can find it to check it out. I can send photos if you are interested. Email me engineering at 103cir.com
Along the same lines, if anyone has any pictures of Western Union gear or knows where some are, I would like to see those, too.

Randy
KD8JEB

I actually obtained a working microfiche reader from a differnt site along with a bunch more microfiche too look at. I was hoping to find info on coordintes to all the other sites, but no luck there. I have found some interesting info in some other sites, like liscense applications to go from 2.5 to 5 watts output, callsigns etc... I would REALLY like to find a list of sites with map coordinates. It would make my job of locating all past and present sites easy...

73 de N5NPO
Norm

KB2FCV
09-26-2009, 12:54 AM
My dad worked in Longlines for many years. He was more on the management side. What's cool is the reason I was born in WV in 1974 is that he was one of the people assigned to maintaining and providing communications to the Greenbriar government bunker. He was only able to tell us about that after it was exposed back in the 90's. He has some amusing stories of other locations and some of the problems they encountered. One night they lost one of the circuits that was carrying one of the big 3 television communications (either CBS, NBC or ABC). All hell broke loose. Other amusing stories of squatters who placed mobile homes out in remote microwave sites. My dad has seen many of the nuclear hardened bunkers, etc... he was deeply involved in all the 'cold war comms' you see on the site. Neat stuff to read about!

KD8JEB
09-26-2009, 02:15 AM
My dad worked in Longlines for many years. He was more on the management side. What's cool is the reason I was born in WV in 1974 is that he was one of the people assigned to maintaining and providing communications to the Greenbriar government bunker. He was only able to tell us about that after it was exposed back in the 90's. He has some amusing stories of other locations and some of the problems they encountered. One night they lost one of the circuits that was carrying one of the big 3 television communications (either CBS, NBC or ABC). All hell broke loose. Other amusing stories of squatters who placed mobile homes out in remote microwave sites. My dad has seen many of the nuclear hardened bunkers, etc... he was deeply involved in all the 'cold war comms' you see on the site. Neat stuff to read about!

I used to have a broadcast microwave site near the Kates Mountain AT&T site that served the Greenbrier bunker. I used to drive up to the top of the hill and wish I could get inside just to see what they had in there. If I could get some time, I'd drive up there and get some pictures. Great site. Had a friend from school whose dad installed the phone system in the bunker when it was built. Didn't find out about it until many years later. Funny thing about the bunker, it seems as though everyone who lived around there knew what was going on.

Randy
KD8JEB

WR5AW
09-26-2009, 02:49 AM
Nice picture. Can you tell me what the coordinates are for that tower?
Thanks again!
73 de N5NPO

Here's what I get with a GMap macro on my web server:
32.831321012570825,-97.86752933261596

[Edit]See if you can spot anything interesting at the end of this seamingly innocuous little road.
This is about 20 miles west of me or about 80 miles west of Dallas:
32.82299064838183,-98.04694765804015

N5NPO
09-26-2009, 02:58 AM
This is from the top of the Fruitdale, Alabama site.

N5NPO
09-26-2009, 02:59 AM
Here's what I get with a GMap macro on my web server:
32.831321012570825,-97.86752933261596

I will go and check that out...

N5NPO
09-26-2009, 03:03 AM
THis one is from the Whynot, Mississippi site. I think it is an "add-on" tower. Note the straight setcion above the platform and the "periscope" dishes to augment the signal from the "horns"... At least that is what I gathered...

WR5AW
09-26-2009, 03:06 AM
I will go and check that out...

Check out the edit on my post. I added a little something to fancy your treasure hunting pleasure.

N5NPO
09-26-2009, 03:13 AM
These "periscope" antennas were added later aparently. These are from the Wing, Alabama site.

W9VER
09-26-2009, 03:21 AM
Just a question, but was it not foolish to install microwave links vs a cable route?

Could the Microwave links of the long lines system handle a EMP attack?... I kinda doubt it would, no excuse since they knew about "radioflash" of the mid 50's.

WR5AW
09-26-2009, 03:54 AM
Not sure if this is what you're talking about. But, I'm told this tower near my home, which is no longer in service, was in place to reroute phone service around Dallas/Fort Worth, TX in the event they received a nuclear strike.


http://forums.qrz.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=30724&d=1253910095


I will go and check that out...

I'd be curious to know some history on that site. All I have is what I was told by a local radio guy who's familiar with the tower site. I've been tempted to take a ninja style closer look. Maybe even snag a few close-ups while I'm there.

N5NPO
09-26-2009, 10:19 AM
Just a question, but was it not foolish to install microwave links vs a cable route?

Could the Microwave links of the long lines system handle a EMP attack?... I kinda doubt it would, no excuse since they knew about "radioflash" of the mid 50's.

But, my best guess is that they could since there would probably be no solid state equipment involved... I am pretty sure that stuff was "tube-type".

N5NPO
09-26-2009, 10:55 AM
Here's what I get with a GMap macro on my web server:
32.831321012570825,-97.86752933261596

[Edit]See if you can spot anything interesting at the end of this seamingly innocuous little road.
This is about 20 miles west of me or about 80 miles west of Dallas:
32.82299064838183,-98.04694765804015

Ok, the site with two towers appears to be the Authon (or Authon Pass?) site. I cannot be 100% sure. My map is not real clear. There should be another site not far to the north and east of it. Maybe a mile or two. Hard to say looking at the 1979 AT&T map I have. If I am right, this site was a link between Weatherfor (where I have an Uncle who lives on Tin Top Road) and Jacksboro...

After looking at it some more I could be wrong. The dishes/horn are pointed wrong, but they could have been deliberately mis pointed. Hmmm. Can you find any signs on the site with an owmners name or a site name. I could possibly figure out more.


Now, about the little white metal building at the end of the dirt road with the tower next to it.... What do you know???? :D

N5NPO
09-26-2009, 11:26 AM
These are also from the Fruitdale, Alabama site.
The horns are now gone. Sold for scrap. I am told each weighs 2100lbs. They are mostly aluminum. I sure wish I could have seen how they got them down.

WR5AW
09-26-2009, 01:29 PM
Now, about the little white metal building at the end of the dirt road with the tower next to it.... What do you know???? :D

Er, that's not a little metal building. :cool:

It's an old missile silo from the cold war days. My girlfriend and I used to drive down that road and park at the gate. We never went past the gate. But then we never got out of the car either. :D

KC9FSH
09-26-2009, 04:52 PM
Here is one located in Stevens Point, WI. I just took this picture in May 2009.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3540/3492664917_6513d41a3c.jpg
For a bigger version go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/kc9fsh/3492664917/

Estimated Coordinates (within 1/3 mile) are: 44°31'22"N 89°34'42"W or 44.5229 -89.5782

ND5Y
09-26-2009, 06:29 PM
I know where two former sites are, neither one has the original pyramidal horn antennas.

Copy and paste these into Google Earth or Google Maps and look at them with Street View

You can see the square holes where the horn antennas went.
32° 59.510'N, 98° 23.470'W

I lived near here back in the 70's when I was a kid. This one had 4 horn antennas. They were removed and it now has an extension with cellular antennas.
39° 47.340'N, 94° 51.425'W

This is very close to the one above. It was built some time after we moved.
39° 47.525'N, 94° 51.060'W

ND5Y
09-26-2009, 06:36 PM
Here is a useful tool for finding antenna sites that are in the FCC's Antenna Structure Registration database.

Cavell, Mertz & Associates (http://www.fccinfo.com/fccinfo_google_earth.php) has a Google Earth file that shows the FCC ASR data among other things.

ND5Y
09-26-2009, 07:00 PM
Here is another. I remember this one when I lived in El Paso.
31° 38.710'N, 105° 44.880'W

ND5Y
09-26-2009, 07:11 PM
I forgot about this one.
33° 41.360'N, 98° 1.150'W

I think thats all I remember for now.

N5NPO
09-26-2009, 07:16 PM
Er, that's not a little metal building. :cool:

It's an old missile silo from the cold war days. My girlfriend and I used to drive down that road and park at the gate. We never went past the gate. But then we never got out of the car either. :D

Well, Ok. I looked at it on Bing (formerly Microsoft Virtual Earth) and it looks like a metal building with a small tower, such as Rohn 25, next to it. Am I looking at the right spot?

N5NPO
09-26-2009, 07:40 PM
I forgot about this one.
33° 41.360'N, 98° 1.150'W

I think thats all I remember for now.

Thanks for all the coordinates. I have them saved and I will attempt to get their names and current owners soon...

N5NPO
09-26-2009, 07:47 PM
This is a picture of the Goodway, Alabama site. The tower is only 150'. The land is VERY flat around this site.

N5NPO
09-26-2009, 07:55 PM
This is the Quitman, Mississippi site. If anyone knows who ownes it now, let me know. I want to get better and more pix...

K5KGB
09-26-2009, 09:05 PM
Here is a useful tool for finding antenna sites that are in the FCC's Antenna Structure Registration database.

Cavell, Mertz & Associates (http://www.fccinfo.com/fccinfo_google_earth.php) has a Google Earth file that shows the FCC ASR data among other things.

Downloaded and bookmarked.

Thanks

N5NPO
09-26-2009, 11:31 PM
THis is the Bayminette, Alabama site. It is owned by American Tower (they seem to own the majority of them) and has been transformed to mostly cell site duty.

N5NPO
09-26-2009, 11:56 PM
These came from the inside of one of the foot thick poured concrete buildings... This style is roughly 24x54 sq. ft.

ND5Y
09-27-2009, 12:10 AM
Well, Ok. I looked at it on Bing (formerly Microsoft Virtual Earth) and it looks like a metal building with a small tower, such as Rohn 25, next to it. Am I looking at the right spot?

That is not a missile silo. It is a concrete block building on top of a hill with a 90 ft rohn tower. It used to be a comm site for Fort Wolters and originally had a free-standing tower. Now it is the Mineral Wells Amateur Radio Club clubhouse.

Fort Wolters had Nike missile sites in this area and the other poster apparently got is coordinates confused with a real silo.

N5NPO
09-27-2009, 12:12 AM
Just a few from here and there...

N5NPO
09-27-2009, 12:15 AM
That is not a missile silo. It is a concrete block building on top of a hill with a 90 ft rohn tower. It used to be a comm site for Fort Wolters and originally had a free-standing tower. Now it is the Mineral Wells Amateur Radio Club clubhouse.

Fort Wolters had Nike missile sites in this area and the other poster apparently got is coordinates confused with a real silo.

Thanks for clearing that up...
Nice clubhouse for a ham club though.

W6VPS
09-27-2009, 01:03 AM
Most of the old sites have been sold to American Towers....leasebacks have been arranged with American Towers for the sites that still have service....

American Towers IS NOT a ham friendly outfit. They continue to buy up antenna sites right and left...all the ones here in the People's Republic which were purchased by American also included an eviction notice for ANY and ALL amateur operations if there were any on the site. :(

Coporate CYA and we don't want to be bothered approach no doubt.

Paul/W6VPS

N5NPO
09-27-2009, 01:09 AM
American Towers IS NOT a ham friendly outfit. They continue to buy up antenna sites right and left...all the ones here in the People's Republic which were purchased by American also included an eviction notice for ANY and ALL amateur operations if there were any on the site. :(

Coporate CYA and we don't want to be bothered approach no doubt.

Paul/W6VPS

That really SUX too! They (American Tower) have lots of really good sites. They have a 347' AT&T microwave tower in Mt. Vernon Al. that is just begging for a 6m ot 2m repeater. Heck, there is already a run of 7/8 going up there for a UHF antenna that AT&T had there for something... Sheesh!

K5KGB
09-27-2009, 03:11 AM
I've been enjoying this thread and learning more about Long Lines in general by other research.

Quick question: How tall are those sites in general? What I am really wondering is when you see the alternating red/white paint on a structure, what is the length of those sections? Is it usually standardized at 50 or 100'? I've always wondered that.

W5RB
09-27-2009, 03:23 AM
I've been enjoying this thread and learning more about Long Lines in general by other research.

Quick question: How tall are those sites in general? What I am really wondering is when you see the alternating red/white paint on a structure, what is the length of those sections? Is it usually standardized at 50 or 100'? I've always wondered that.

Somebody here will probably cite the regs on it , but my recollection is that it's 7 stripes minimum , all to be approximately equal . No stripe to be more than 150' , so really tall towers have more stripes. Top and bottom stripes must be orange.

on edit , looks like it's a 100' stripe maximum, as described below. The complete FAA bulletin is at https://oeaaa.faa.gov/oeaaa/external/content/AC70_7460_1K.pdf


e. Color Band Characteristics. Bands for
structures of any height should be:
1. Equal in width, provided each band is not less
than 11/2 feet (0.5m) or more than 100 feet (31m)
wide.
2. Perpendicular to the vertical axis with the
bands at the top and bottom ends colored orange.
3. An odd number of bands on the structure.
4. Approximately one-seventh the height if the
structure is 700 feet (214m) AGL or less. For each
additional 200 feet (61m) or fraction thereof, add one
(1) additional orange and one (1) additional white
band.
5. Equal and in proportion to the structure’s
height AGL.

ND5Y
09-27-2009, 03:58 AM
duplicate post. disregard.

N5FOG
09-27-2009, 05:54 AM
American Towers IS NOT a ham friendly outfit. They continue to buy up antenna sites right and left...all the ones here in the People's Republic which were purchased by American also included an eviction notice for ANY and ALL amateur operations if there were any on the site. :(

The reason American tower is hard core anti-ham is because they and other commercial site owners have seen the messes and dangerous situations hams and ham clubs cause when they try and put up a repeater on a shoe string budget and do what every it takes to get it on the air (cut corners left and right). Everything from improper grounding, no circulators, using RG-8 as patch cables, spectral purity issues, ETC.

The vast majority of tower companies can be friendly if you approach them professionally and are willing to carry insurance and pay to have your commercial grade antennas installed by an OSHA certified climber (which really isn't that expensive in the long run).


FOG

N5NPO
09-27-2009, 10:06 AM
The reason American tower is hard core anti-ham is because they and other commercial site owners have seen the messes and dangerous situations hams and ham clubs cause when they try and put up a repeater on a shoe string budget and do what every it takes to get it on the air (cut corners left and right). Everything from improper grounding, no circulators, using RG-8 as patch cables, spectral purity issues, ETC.

The vast majority of tower companies can be friendly if you approach them professionally and are willing to carry insurance and pay to have your commercial grade antennas installed by an OSHA certified climber (which really isn't that expensive in the long run).


FOG

Alas, you are correct. I have seen what you speak. RG8/U or even worse, radio shack RG8/U and RG58/U jumpers and main feelines. No grounding or proper filtering etc....
Perhaps if they made a madatorly list of requirements such as but not limited to: Proper grounding. Filtering/circulators/isolators, double shielded or superflex hardline jumpers, hardline feedline, commercial antennas and hardware etc....
I would guess it is more trouble to them than it is worth since most ham installations are freebies anyway...
Ah well. SO much tower space going to waste. :(

N5NPO
09-27-2009, 10:28 AM
These are the Berry, Omaha and Nectar Alabama sites.
The Berry and Nectar sites are VERY simular. They are the larger series of poured conrete buildings built in the mid to late 60's (I think). The Nectar site appears to have had an ADD-ON placed on top of the tower to increase the height. They then poured concrete around the base about 3 or 4 ft. high. They did the same with the Star, Mississippi site. The Nectar site has a 225kw 12-71 detroit diesel generator!
The Omaha site is very interesting. It appears to have been added on to slightly to add 4 more horns. The building appears to have started life as a regular cinder block building... Then they added lots of floor space and built a basement. The building is probably 5 times the size of what it was at first. It is in the middle of nowhere. It appears to have been a main office. There was a time clock area with coffee pot, lots of office space and a bathroom. I suspect there were living quarters, shower and kitchen in the basement. I didn't go down there to explore because there was about 9" of crystal clear water and I didn't have rubber boots on.
There was a ladder instead of stairs going into the basement. That is why I do not think it was merely for storage, but for livivng. Kinda hard to carry equipment and boxes up and down a ladder... Any thoughts.

N5NPO
09-27-2009, 12:07 PM
Somebody here will probably cite the regs on it , but my recollection is that it's 7 stripes minimum , all to be approximately equal . No stripe to be more than 150' , so really tall towers have more stripes. Top and bottom stripes must be orange.

on edit , looks like it's a 100' stripe maximum, as described below. The complete FAA bulletin is at https://oeaaa.faa.gov/oeaaa/external/content/AC70_7460_1K.pdf


e. Color Band Characteristics. Bands for
structures of any height should be:
1. Equal in width, provided each band is not less
than 11/2 feet (0.5m) or more than 100 feet (31m)
wide.
2. Perpendicular to the vertical axis with the
bands at the top and bottom ends colored orange.
3. An odd number of bands on the structure.
4. Approximately one-seventh the height if the
structure is 700 feet (214m) AGL or less. For each
additional 200 feet (61m) or fraction thereof, add one
(1) additional orange and one (1) additional white
band.
5. Equal and in proportion to the structure’s
height AGL.

THanks for the info. A lot of the towers are not painted. I suspect that this is because they are under 200'. Any thoughts?

W5RB
09-27-2009, 01:44 PM
THanks for the info. A lot of the towers are not painted. I suspect that this is because they are under 200'. Any thoughts?

Unless they're lit by strobes, which exempts the paint requirement. All these towers were built prior to the strobe rule ,so that's unlikely . Also, towers "in the shadow" of taller towers which ARE marked, may be exempt from painting and lighting requirements.

K5KGB
09-27-2009, 06:58 PM
Thanks.

I don't know if I have ever seen the Aviation Orange though, unless it is what I am calling red.

WR5AW
09-27-2009, 10:15 PM
That is not a missile silo. It is a concrete block building on top of a hill with a 90 ft rohn tower. It used to be a comm site for Fort Wolters and originally had a free-standing tower. Now it is the Mineral Wells Amateur Radio Club clubhouse.

Fort Wolters had Nike missile sites in this area and the other poster apparently got is coordinates confused with a real silo.

You know, just when I think my memory is hitting on all cylinders, it proves me wrong again, hahaha. But, really, the story about the girlfriend is definitely not one of those cases. :D

N5NPO
09-27-2009, 10:57 PM
You know, just when I think my memory is hitting on all cylinders, it proves me wrong again, hahaha. But, really, the story about the girlfriend is definitely not one of those cases. :D

When you do get them firing on all 8 and you remember where the silo is, pass it along. I would like to see one.

N5NPO
09-27-2009, 10:59 PM
Thanks.

I don't know if I have ever seen the Aviation Orange though, unless it is what I am calling red.

It looks more red than orange to me. Oh well....

N5NPO
09-27-2009, 11:19 PM
The first one is from the Colbran, Alabama site. Current owner unknown. I couldn't get too close to it. It looks like someone has cut the tops off the horns in order to install some type of panel antennas and a small dish.

The second ic from Hoakes Bluff, Alabama. Currently owned by Crown Castle. It is on top of a high ridge over looking Gadsden.

The third one I too on top of the Fruitdale Alabama site. Don't ya love the angle...

ND5Y
09-27-2009, 11:24 PM
When you do get them firing on all 8 and you remember where the silo is, pass it along. I would like to see one.

As far as I know, Nike missiles were not housed in silos.
Here is a link to a Google Earth Community post about them.
http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=435411

N5NPO
09-28-2009, 01:12 AM
As far as I know, Nike missiles were not housed in silos.
Here is a link to a Google Earth Community post about them.
http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=435411

Could you pick out some coordinates for a nice one and post them. I don't have google earth downloaded on my company PC...

N8CPA
09-28-2009, 08:36 AM
You can see a Bell mil spec tower on Google Earth at

Lat. N39 53 24.52 Long W83 52 39.61.

And if you want to see it at windshield level, use the Streetview on I-70, a few yards north. Pick the right camera, or you'll get a screen full of semi.

When I joined the Bell System in '78, there was a law that any company contracted to work for the US Goverment had to administer the loyalty oath to new employees. If I recall correctly, it was the same oath used to swear in legislators, the only difference being that the administrator was a notary, rather than a judge.

N5NPO
09-28-2009, 10:38 AM
You can see a Bell mil spec tower on Google Earth at

Lat. N39 53 24.52 Long W83 52 39.61.

And if you want to see it at windshield level, use the Streetview on I-70, a few yards north. Pick the right camera, or you'll get a screen full of semi.

When I joined the Bell System in '78, there was a law that any company contracted to work for the US Goverment had to administer the loyalty oath to new employees. If I recall correctly, it was the same oath used to swear in legislators, the only difference being that the administrator was a notary, rather than a judge.

I think that is one of the earlier towers. I have never seen (other than pictures) one that was mostly concrete.
Thanks again!

N5NPO
09-28-2009, 10:52 AM
The first one is of the Mt. Vernon, Alabama tower. It is 347'.

The second is of one of the horn antennas that was on the Fruitdale, Alabama site. They are gone now, sold for scrap. There used to be a turnbucle like thing on the back of these horns that adjusted the elevation. I have never seen one left on the horn. I wonder if they took them down when they (AT&T) abandoned the sites.

The last picture is a dry air compressor used to presurize the waveguide with dried air.

Maintenance on these sites must have been a nightmare. I have seen bullet holes and patches on the horns. So many places water could get inside of one of these systems and ruin performance... No wonder they ran to fiber when it came out...

N8ODF
09-28-2009, 04:06 PM
My dad worked in Longlines for many years. He was more on the management side. What's cool is the reason I was born in WV in 1974 is that he was one of the people assigned to maintaining and providing communications to the Greenbriar government bunker. He was only able to tell us about that after it was exposed back in the 90's. He has some amusing stories of other locations and some of the problems they encountered. One night they lost one of the circuits that was carrying one of the big 3 television communications (either CBS, NBC or ABC). All hell broke loose. Other amusing stories of squatters who placed mobile homes out in remote microwave sites. My dad has seen many of the nuclear hardened bunkers, etc... he was deeply involved in all the 'cold war comms' you see on the site. Neat stuff to read about!


Next time you talk to your dad see if he knows Jack Jenkins, Jack Nelson,Larry Arnold, Gene Osborne or Jerry Cook....

AI3V
09-28-2009, 06:24 PM
Can you tell me where that tower is located?
73 de N5NPO

Sorry, random internet find.

I have my history set to delete after 24 hrs, so I can't even remember where I found them.

Rege

N5NPO
09-28-2009, 07:18 PM
Sorry, random internet find.

I have my history set to delete after 24 hrs, so I can't even remember where I found them.

Rege

Thanks for posting...
BTW, if you do run accross them again....

73 de N5NPO
Norm

KB2FCV
09-28-2009, 07:42 PM
Next time you talk to your dad see if he knows Jack Jenkins, Jack Nelson,Larry Arnold, Gene Osborne or Jerry Cook....

I will certainly ask! I'll definitely get back to you on that.. :cool:

WR5AW
09-29-2009, 06:28 PM
As far as I know, Nike missiles were not housed in silos.
Here is a link to a Google Earth Community post about them.
http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=435411

I'm sure I remember talk or a newspaper article or something about a silo in Mineral Wells. I seem to also remember an interview of someone who had actually been in it. And I believe I remember a photo. The reason it sticks in my memory is because I had always assumed the door(s) would be round. But they were actually a square door in two halves with each half moving on a track. That's what led me to assume the Google map photo was the site I was thinking of - the square shape on the hill (I never even noticed the tower).

Didn't mean to hijack the thread. It was just a fond memory (the secluded road).

WR5AW
09-29-2009, 06:32 PM
Nice picture. Can you tell me what the coordinates are for that tower?
Thanks again!
73 de N5NPO

Just a little more info. A buddy of mine, who works for ATT, was talking about American Tower buying up all the old ATT microwave sites but said he thinks the tower North of Weatherford is still owned by ATT. Still havent gone back for a closer look. I'll see if I can find some numbers or something.

N5NPO
09-29-2009, 11:03 PM
Just a little more info. A buddy of mine, who works for ATT, was talking about American Tower buying up all the old ATT microwave sites but said he thinks the tower North of Weatherford is still owned by ATT. Still havent gone back for a closer look. I'll see if I can find some numbers or something.

I have found several that are still owned by AT&T. They are usually located in the middle of a town and also have other type of phone equipment besides microwave...
Any more sites or silos, let me know...
73
Norm

N5NPO
09-29-2009, 11:20 PM
First one is from the Fruitdale, Alabama site. It has a deck below the main deck. It is the only one I have seen like that. I would be a great spot for a wx proof enclosure and a repeater... Feedline loss would be nill...

Second one is a close up of the front of one of the horns. They were covered with a fibeglass weave cover.

Third one is from the Citronelle, Alabama site before they removed the horns.

Fourth one is a battery rack from the generator room. There used to be lots of batteries there. 32vdc as best I can tell.

The last one is is the old Silas, Alabama site. According to the current owner, he was offered chance to buy the tower back (his family had sold them the land back in the 50's) and he did. He soon cut the tower down and sold it for scrap. He said he was afraid someone would climb it and fall off and sue him. Judging from what he said, the tower was less than 200'. I vaugely remmeber seeing it when I was a kid, but was uninterested at the time.

W9VER
09-30-2009, 12:05 AM
Here is a useful tool for finding antenna sites that are in the FCC's Antenna Structure Registration database.

Cavell, Mertz & Associates (http://www.fccinfo.com/fccinfo_google_earth.php) has a Google Earth file that shows the FCC ASR data among other things.

WHOA! Bookmarked! :eek::cool:

KB2CRK
09-30-2009, 05:05 AM
there is one of those towers outside of elberton ga. a paging company owns it now. a ham has a leased spot on it and a 440 repeater with excellent coverage sits there now.

N5NPO
09-30-2009, 10:25 AM
there is one of those towers outside of elberton ga. a paging company owns it now. a ham has a leased spot on it and a 440 repeater with excellent coverage sits there now.

Next time you are in the neighborhood, could ya snap me a few photos?
TNX!
73
Norm

N5NPO
09-30-2009, 10:47 AM
These are photos of the "ice bridge" from the Citronelle, Alabama site. Ice is usually not an issue there... More like buzzard dung bridge.
As is typical for the newer sty towers, the "ice bridge" and the waveguide it protects is roughly 7 or 8 feet overhead and a bit less accessable by copper thieves. The waveguide that used to run under there was copper rectangular tube roughly 2.5 X 1.5 inches.
I will try to post photos of the older style "ice bridge" that was mounted on the ground with little contrete pads. I have lots of photos that are too large to post. I will re-size some soon.

KB2CRK
09-30-2009, 12:54 PM
Next time you are in the neighborhood, could ya snap me a few photos?
TNX!
73
Norm

here is a link to the repeater owners page with pics.

http://www.qsl.net/ki4ccz/repeater.html

there is a photo button on the right

N1BHH
09-30-2009, 04:52 PM
Here is a link to a cool map that shows the strings of Troposcatter Networks:
http://rammstein.dfmk.hu/~s200/tropo.html#dew
It takes a few seconds to load, but you can look at all the various systems that existed.

N5NPO
10-01-2009, 03:36 AM
here is a link to the repeater owners page with pics.

http://www.qsl.net/ki4ccz/repeater.html

there is a photo button on the right

I am glad you sent that. Now I am going to track that site down and add it to my map...
73
Norm

N4MXZ
10-01-2009, 03:48 AM
Here is a link to a cool map that shows the strings of Troposcatter Networks:
http://rammstein.dfmk.hu/~s200/tropo.html#dew
It takes a few seconds to load, but you can look at all the various systems that existed.
In the very early 1980s, the only way to to get network television material was through ATT longlines. My station was the first in the market with C Band satellite capability. For about 2 years we still used longlines to supplement our dish. At night when we carried local programming, my ops would would backfeed the Extasy and Playboy channels to ATT night crew.
You might be rolling your eyes, but when when it came to to needing a last minute sectional for a big athletic event, ATT would always get us at whatever we needed. :D

N5NPO
10-01-2009, 12:34 PM
In the very early 1980s, the only way to to get network television material was through ATT longlines. My station was the first in the market with C Band satellite capability. For about 2 years we still used longlines to supplement our dish. At night when we carried local programming, my ops would would backfeed the Extasy and Playboy channels to ATT night crew.
You might be rolling your eyes, but when when it came to to needing a last minute sectional for a big athletic event, ATT would always get us at whatever we needed. :D

I didn't know you could back-feed those. Did you have a dish at your site? How did that work?

N5NPO
10-01-2009, 12:42 PM
Inside shots from a cinder-block building at the Fruitdale, Alabama site.
See if you can find the old electric heater on the wall. The exhaust fans still work. They are 1950's vintage.

N8ODF
10-01-2009, 02:25 PM
First one is from the Fruitdale, Alabama site. It has a deck below the main deck. It is the only one I have seen like that. I would be a great spot for a wx proof enclosure and a repeater... Feedline loss would be nill...

Second one is a close up of the front of one of the horns. They were covered with a fibeglass weave cover.

Third one is from the Citronelle, Alabama site before they removed the horns.

Fourth one is a battery rack from the generator room. There used to be lots of batteries there. 32vdc as best I can tell.

The last one is is the old Silas, Alabama site. According to the current owner, he was offered chance to buy the tower back (his family had sold them the land back in the 50's) and he did. He soon cut the tower down and sold it for scrap. He said he was afraid someone would climb it and fall off and sue him. Judging from what he said, the tower was less than 200'. I vaugely remmeber seeing it when I was a kid, but was uninterested at the time.

You guys are pretty wound up about all this stuff....I have been working sites like these for over 32 years now...& I am also 3rd generation AT&T Long Lines...I find it pretty nostalgic....but shows I am getting old....-32V is used for engine start batteries...they are of the NiCad type & have an associated rectifier....during the days of TD2 radio we had -12V -24V -130V & 250V converters to power the tube equipment....as you have previously discovered dryed air was put on the W/G @ 9 inches of pressure....tube cooler air blowers were also used to put air on the individual cavities of the transmitter....to lenghten the life of the 416C tubes...a TD2 system would have 10 working channels & 2 Protection channels...switching was done by the 100A switch....prior to the 100A was a system called TDAS switching...later one of the protection channels were modified for regular use....each channel was loaded with 1800 message ckts....channel loading
changed over the years from <600 to 600, 1200,1800...in its last years DOV or DUV was added so digital signals could be placed in the baseband signal...
Main stations were full of equipment LMX,MMX, FM's ,200A,100A switches, battery plants, air dryer systems, air blowers,various rectifiers, Diesel engines, VF equipment etc....we were trained on everything you could imagine...there were all kinds of different radio equipment Raytheon, Motorola, Lenkurt, Farinon, TL/TN TM1,
TD3, TH and you had to be trained on each system...in the early 80's most of the TD2 equipment was modified with Solid State Xmtr's & Rcvrs...then shortly after we came into the digital age & the implimatation of DR6, DR4 systems replaced most of the older style radio....I help build the 1st DR6 route from Charleston WV-Pittsburgh PA....it was pretty cool working with the Western Engineers who designed this equipment...we even went up to Merrimac Valley for the string test's of the equipment....some of the sites you have discovered were part of the old TD-3 Faulkner MD-Arkabutla MS route...this was primarily govt services....

I do not believe that the heater in one of those pictures is that old....probably put in to supplement the exsisting heating plant...speaking of which...we also maintained the HVAC systems in our buildings....ah the good old days...I also worked on side legs for TV feeds as described in one of the posts & ours were strictly one way...Most TV feeds were one direction....if we needed to put up a broadcast from one studio to the network....we utilized the protection channels....this could not have been done by locals with out the monitoring center's knowing....it was very important to keep the protection channels in status quo....now we did come in & watch fights & special feeds to monitor service...but never had a 2 way link with a TV station...however anything is possible....if you really start to dig deep into what the Bell System did you would be amazed....especially in the Govt service markets....shame your so far away...we could tour a couple faculities above ground & below....if I can answer any of your questions...

73

N4MXZ
10-01-2009, 02:27 PM
I didn't know you could back-feed those. Did you have a dish at your site? How did that work?
This was 1981-1983
We had the dish at our studios. The longline interface box had a baseband out as well as baseband in. I just connected a patch panel out to their a/v in connectors.

AA0CX
10-01-2009, 02:36 PM
I have recently become very interested (ok, infatuatied) with the AT&T Long Lines towers and blast proof buildings that dot the countryside. I would like to speak to someone who worked on or maintained some of these, especaily in my area (Southwest Alabama).
If you would like more info, go to http://www.coldwarcomms.org/ for an interesting read. I am starting a photo collection and would swap photos via e-mail if you like....

There's an AT&T microwave/long lines tower west of Fargo ND about 20 miles, right north of I-94. It's been there for oodles of years -- I remember driving by it in 1968, anyway. The building sure looks hardened. No windows. I think one time I saw a vehicle or two in the parking lot, but in all the times I've driven past over the years -- that's about the only time. When I was doing a lot of flying about 20 or so years ago, I'd always report inbound to Fargo ATC "inbound for landing from the west, 3500 feet, abeam the AT&T tower at Lynchburg." The guys at the Fargo airport tower would spot me on radar right away.

I always thought it would make one hell of a station for 160 meter work. :eek:

N8ODF
10-01-2009, 03:03 PM
There's an AT&T microwave/long lines tower west of Fargo ND about 20 miles, right north of I-94. It's been there for oodles of years -- I remember driving by it in 1968, anyway. The building sure looks hardened. No windows. I think one time I saw a vehicle or two in the parking lot, but in all the times I've driven past over the years -- that's about the only time. When I was doing a lot of flying about 20 or so years ago, I'd always report inbound to Fargo ATC "inbound for landing from the west, 3500 feet, abeam the AT&T tower at Lynchburg." The guys at the Fargo airport tower would spot me on radar right away.

I always thought it would make one hell of a station for 160 meter work. :eek:

The Fargo site was utilized for 100A switching school for years...many Long Liners attended class there...the site was utilized as the exsisting TD2 system was turned down...

KL7AJ
10-01-2009, 03:12 PM
When RCA Alascom was founded they pretty well covered Alaska in the early 70s with those towers (Alascom is ATT's northern outpost) ALL of them are still in very heavy use...not necessarily by the original microwave system....but leased to other radio entities as well. A lot of this is for fiber backup, at least up here. I don't think long line microwave will ever really go away. A typical microwave radio can handle two DS3's which is STILL a lot of bandwidth by any standard. :)

eric

N8ODF
10-01-2009, 03:34 PM
When RCA Alascom was founded they pretty well covered Alaska in the early 70s with those towers (Alascom is ATT's northern outpost) ALL of them are still in very heavy use...not necessarily by the original microwave system....but leased to other radio entities as well. A lot of this is for fiber backup, at least up here. I don't think long line microwave will ever really go away. A typical microwave radio can handle two DS3's which is STILL a lot of bandwidth by any standard. :)

eric

They have been telling us that radio will be going away for the last 10 years...hasn't...I maintain 5 stations myself....why...its already paid for & making money....DR4 has the capablility of 2 T3's while as DR6 has 3 T3's...
at one time I thought it would be pretty neat to work up in Alaska....we have a couple corporate jets that ferry equipment back & forth from the lower 48 & our tech's are allowed to carry firearms....working the backroads of WV & SWVA has been more than fullfilling...I believe they are utilizing DR4 up your way for the repeater spacing & fading issues....

73

N5NPO
10-01-2009, 11:56 PM
You guys are pretty wound up about all this stuff....I have been working sites like these for over 32 years now...& I am also 3rd generation AT&T Long Lines...I find it pretty nostalgic....but shows I am getting old....-32V is used for engine start batteries...they are of the NiCad type & have an associated rectifier....during the days of TD2 radio we had -12V -24V -130V & 250V converters to power the tube equipment....as you have previously discovered dryed air was put on the W/G @ 9 inches of pressure....tube cooler air blowers were also used to put air on the individual cavities of the transmitter....to lenghten the life of the 416C tubes...a TD2 system would have 10 working channels & 2 Protection channels...switching was done by the 100A switch....prior to the 100A was a system called TDAS switching...later one of the protection channels were modified for regular use....each channel was loaded with 1800 message ckts....channel loading
changed over the years from <600 to 600, 1200,1800...in its last years DOV or DUV was added so digital signals could be placed in the baseband signal...
Main stations were full of equipment LMX,MMX, FM's ,200A,100A switches, battery plants, air dryer systems, air blowers,various rectifiers, Diesel engines, VF equipment etc....we were trained on everything you could imagine...there were all kinds of different radio equipment Raytheon, Motorola, Lenkurt, Farinon, TL/TN TM1,
TD3, TH and you had to be trained on each system...in the early 80's most of the TD2 equipment was modified with Solid State Xmtr's & Rcvrs...then shortly after we came into the digital age & the implimatation of DR6, DR4 systems replaced most of the older style radio....I help build the 1st DR6 route from Charleston WV-Pittsburgh PA....it was pretty cool working with the Western Engineers who designed this equipment...we even went up to Merrimac Valley for the string test's of the equipment....some of the sites you have discovered were part of the old TD-3 Faulkner MD-Arkabutla MS route...this was primarily govt services....

I do not believe that the heater in one of those pictures is that old....probably put in to supplement the exsisting heating plant...speaking of which...we also maintained the HVAC systems in our buildings....ah the good old days...I also worked on side legs for TV feeds as described in one of the posts & ours were strictly one way...Most TV feeds were one direction....if we needed to put up a broadcast from one studio to the network....we utilized the protection channels....this could not have been done by locals with out the monitoring center's knowing....it was very important to keep the protection channels in status quo....now we did come in & watch fights & special feeds to monitor service...but never had a 2 way link with a TV station...however anything is possible....if you really start to dig deep into what the Bell System did you would be amazed....especially in the Govt service markets....shame your so far away...we could tour a couple faculities above ground & below....if I can answer any of your questions...

73

You are the guy I have been looking to talk to...
I found a local guy, but he was really fuzzy on a lot of this stuff...
Ok, a few questions if you will....
Why did they go to the periscope style antenna?
Why did they add height to certain towers? Was it to accomodate more antennas?
Why did they build a few sites with guyed towers; I know of 2.
WHat was the phone handset in the weather proof lock box on the back side of the shelters used for?
Why were some towers very tall (I know of one nearly 400') and some were just over 100' ( I know of a few less than 100')?
Do you know where I could get a list of all sites and their coordinates?
Do you know where I could get some route maps. I have a map from 1979 of the US, Mexico and Canada, but it is really fuzzy. I would like to get newer maps and older maps. I hope to have every single site past, present and demolished mapped. Maybe one day I will get to visit each and every one and take photos... Why? I dunno...
Did you guys actually climb them and point the horns or did you hire people?
How does 9 inches of water translate to PSI?
That should do for now. :D
73
Norm

N5NPO
10-01-2009, 11:59 PM
When RCA Alascom was founded they pretty well covered Alaska in the early 70s with those towers (Alascom is ATT's northern outpost) ALL of them are still in very heavy use...not necessarily by the original microwave system....but leased to other radio entities as well. A lot of this is for fiber backup, at least up here. I don't think long line microwave will ever really go away. A typical microwave radio can handle two DS3's which is STILL a lot of bandwidth by any standard. :)

eric

Can you post some pics of some of those Alascom sites?
THanks.

N5NPO
10-02-2009, 01:57 AM
These are from the Shopton, Alabama site. It is in the route between Tuskegee and Troy. I found blueprints and other info while I was there. It would appear that they added height to the tower, for whatever reason and that required guying. BOY, did they EVER guy it... Take a look.

N5NPO
10-02-2009, 08:16 AM
These are shots from the Brewton, Alabama site. The building is HUGE!
I was told by someone that it once housed a "military switch". I am not sure what that means. Most of the copper waveguide is still intact. It appears that the site is still owned and maintained by AT&T.

N5NPO
10-02-2009, 08:28 AM
These are just a sample of the generators I have seen at various sites...
The first one from the Berry, Ala. site is a 100kw. It was clean enough to eat off of. It has a 6-71 Detroit Diesel engine.
The second was a 30 or 40kw from the Roxanna, Ala. site. It has a 4-71 detroit diesel engine.
The next two are from the Nectar, Ala. site. WOW! This thing was a beast, 225KW!!! It was also clean. It has a 12-71 Detroit Diesel engine. The exhaust pipe was huge!!!
The last one was a small 10kw plant at the Maplesville, Ala. site. It only had 134 hours on the engine. Maplesville is an old site made of cinderblock and didn't have an A/C. It has an outhouse built for two out of wood with a window... Only one like it I have seen...

N8ODF
10-02-2009, 11:49 AM
You are the guy I have been looking to talk to...
I found a local guy, but he was really fuzzy on a lot of this stuff...
Ok, a few questions if you will....
Why did they go to the periscope style antenna?
Why did they add height to certain towers? Was it to accomodate more antennas?
Why did they build a few sites with guyed towers; I know of 2.
WHat was the phone handset in the weather proof lock box on the back side of the shelters used for?
Why were some towers very tall (I know of one nearly 400') and some were just over 100' ( I know of a few less than 100')?
Do you know where I could get a list of all sites and their coordinates?
Do you know where I could get some route maps. I have a map from 1979 of the US, Mexico and Canada, but it is really fuzzy. I would like to get newer maps and older maps. I hope to have every single site past, present and demolished mapped. Maybe one day I will get to visit each and every one and take photos... Why? I dunno...
Did you guys actually climb them and point the horns or did you hire people?
How does 9 inches of water translate to PSI?
That should do for now. :D
73
Norm

1. Not sure what you mean by periscope antenna....if your speaking of the KS Horns....they have better gain, directivity & narrower beam then a Dish...if your speaking of the old Horns -vs- the new Horns....we started buying Horns from Gabriel as the Western Horns were discontinued.
2. Added height was usually because of another path being built where as the height of the original tower would not be suitable for the new path...trees/building being placed in the old path created an obstruction....or space diversity was necessary for fading issues & the original tower had to be modified. With the addition of DR6 & DR4 fading became more of an issue & space diversity was implemented to resolve some issues....the radio terminal bay switching is frequency diversity.
3.We did not have many guyed towers however some areas may have due to cost...also many towers were taken over from the LEC's during divesture & vs-vs....the local Bell companies had alot of guyed towers.
4. So you could call someone in the building to gain access.
5.Remember microwave is line of site...point to point the height was necessary to build the path & eliminate future obstructions i.e. tree growth etc.
5. Let me work on that.
6. Sometimes we climbed...it was not a job requiremement....however as a rule we had antenna crew do the work....for a while we had contractors...currently we have construction guys come out & work with us on various issues.
7. 25" = 1lb

Dave

N8ODF
10-02-2009, 12:02 PM
These are shots from the Brewton, Alabama site. The building is HUGE!
I was told by someone that it once housed a "military switch". I am not sure what that means. Most of the copper waveguide is still intact. It appears that the site is still owned and maintained by AT&T.

I believe Brewton was on the old Faulkner-Arkabutla route & a 5ESS may have been designated for that building....probably had decon showers the works...most of these type main stations were set up with Sola turbines for emergency power....we had a site similar to this in WV Missouri Branch was its name...they never built the 5E so you had this huge building out in the middle of no where...one night during an unmanned engine run...the Sola ran out of coolant & the local farmer found parts of the turbine upon investigation of a loud noise laying out in the field out side the building....the turbine was replaced with a 35KW engine....
Yes it is amazing that some engines only have a couple hundred hours on them...mine have been run alot but still have low hours & are of the same type you have taken pictures of...GM Detroits...the one engine panel you showed was manufactured by Western Electric & placed in the field approx 1968...Alot of the TD3 stations had this style engine control panel...the size of the engine was determined by the buildings load....in the shroud where the engine radiator vents to the outside...there is a dummy load to keep the engine load to a certain KW output to prevent the engine from wet stacking....as some sites had much bigger engines then the building load

73

KE5OFO
10-02-2009, 10:51 PM
One of these days I need to go over and check out the tower here in Weatherford Oklahoma. I happen to be the local central office tech here now and have a set of keys for it in my office. Who knows there might be some good stuff in there. To my knowledge it has not been used in many years since the company ran fiber out this way from Oklahoma City along ole Rt 66.

KB3RHV
10-02-2009, 11:48 PM
I don't know if you guys are aware of this, but allot of these old microwave sites are for sale.

There are also quite a few old military com and missile bases up for sale as well.

http://www.missilebases.com/properties

http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02/09/11/230203

If I had the money, I would buy one for a pretty neat home. ;)

N5NPO
10-03-2009, 12:35 AM
1. Not sure what you mean by periscope antenna....if your speaking of the KS Horns....they have better gain, directivity & narrower beam then a Dish...if your speaking of the old Horns -vs- the new Horns....we started buying Horns from Gabriel as the Western Horns were discontinued.

The pictures I have included are of the antenna that I call a periscope.

N5NPO
10-03-2009, 12:44 AM
3.We did not have many guyed towers however some areas may have due to cost...also many towers were taken over from the LEC's during divesture & vs-vs....the local Bell companies had alot of guyed towers.

I will give you the coordinates for the guyed towers I am talking about. One appears to still have the horn antennas still on it... You know the square common Western Electric type.



4. So you could call someone in the building to gain access.

Ok, I thought maybe it was connected to another one up on top of the tower or something, though I have no recollection of seeing another phone on the top of any towers... I am going to try to trace the wires inside now...



5.Remember microwave is line of site...point to point the height was necessary to build the path & eliminate future obstructions i.e. tree growth etc.

Ok, makes sense...



5. Let me work on that.

That would be awesome!



6. Sometimes we climbed...it was not a job requiremement....however as a rule we had antenna crew do the work....for a while we had contractors...currently we have construction guys come out & work with us on various issues.

Ok.




7. 25" = 1lb

Dave

THanks so much for the info Dave. I will get the coordinates for those 2 sites that are guyed...
73!

N5NPO
10-03-2009, 12:52 AM
I believe Brewton was on the old Faulkner-Arkabutla route & a 5ESS may have been designated for that building....

I am not sure. I certainly do not want to question or dispute you. You certainly do know much more about this stuff than I do. Arkabutla, Mississippi is up in north Mississippi near Memphis Tn. Brewton Alabama is about 80 miles or so from the gulf...


probably had decon showers the works...most of these type main stations were set up with Sola turbines for emergency power....we had a site similar to this in WV Missouri Branch was its name...they never built the 5E so you had this huge building out in the middle of no where...one night during an unmanned engine run...the Sola ran out of coolant & the local farmer found parts of the turbine upon investigation of a loud noise laying out in the field out side the building....the turbine was replaced with a 35KW engine....
Yes it is amazing that some engines only have a couple hundred hours on them...mine have been run alot but still have low hours & are of the same type you have taken pictures of...GM Detroits...the one engine panel you showed was manufactured by Western Electric & placed in the field approx 1968...Alot of the TD3 stations had this style engine control panel...the size of the engine was determined by the buildings load....in the shroud where the engine radiator vents to the outside...there is a dummy load to keep the engine load to a certain KW output to prevent the engine from wet stacking....as some sites had much bigger engines then the building load

73

WOW!!! Type all the info you want to type. I am soaking it all up...
I am going to post some photos soon of the Omaha, Alabama site. It has a basement.

N5NPO
10-03-2009, 01:11 AM
The first one was the Aberdeen Mississippi site. On microsoft bing you can see the horns and the waveguide holders that are a dead give-away...

33.926944
-88.560278

The next one is the Paulding, Mississippi site. I liked to have NEVER found it beacause it didn't look like any other of the sites I had ever seen, excaept for the Aberdeen site.

32.021806
-89.010028


Hopefully I will be able to drive by and take some good photos...

Again, thanks Dave for the information...

N5NPO
10-03-2009, 01:23 AM
I am pretty sure these are part of the long lines system, but they sure are different.

N5NPO
10-03-2009, 08:08 AM
Omaha is a site in the middle of nowhere. It is very near the Georgia line in Alabama just east of Wedowee. It appears that it started life as an average installation but was later added on to. It has a large generator room. A large office space and there is a basement and bathroom. There was one room with lots of junk in boxes on the floor. Jumpers, connectors, vacuum tubes and books etc.... I found about a 12' coax jumper cable made from RG9/U with the finest set of N male connectors I have ever seen. I kept that jewel.
The "icebride" is typical of the older style that stands on the ground.
The basement had about 9-12 inches of standing water in it. I am not sure if it was ground seepage or if the open hatch in the roof nearby provided the water. The picture doesn't show it, but the water was crystal clear. I didn't have the proper footwear to explore the basement :mad:, so I will have to wait until next time I am out that way, if indeed there is a next time. I tend to belive there may be a kitchen, showers and livivn quarters down there since the ladder was the only entrance. Seems there would be stairs if they used it for storage. Kinda hard to carry suff up and down a ladder. If you look closely in the 3rd picture you can see the metal hatch that covered the entrance to the basement and the sunlight coming through the hatch in the roof to the left of it.
The tower appears to have been added on to to accomodate 4 more horns than origionally built.

N5NPO
10-04-2009, 01:17 AM
The first 2 are from the Steele, Alabama site. The shorter tower appears to be the older of the two.

The 3rd is from a friend in Peetz, Colorado.
I guess the engineers thought it would be best to build a second tower rather than add on to the one already there.
I wonder what happened there?

N8ODF
10-05-2009, 11:37 AM
The pictures I have included are of the antenna that I call a periscope.

These are Gabriels horns....made on the same spec's as the KS horns...however the KS horns have better overall performance

N8ODF
10-05-2009, 11:41 AM
I am pretty sure these are part of the long lines system, but they sure are different.

The first 2 seem to be for sidelegs for either feeding a POP....or a specific customer....the last has had the horns removed

N8ODF
10-05-2009, 11:50 AM
Omaha is a site in the middle of nowhere. It is very near the Georgia line in Alabama just east of Wedowee. It appears that it started life as an average installation but was later added on to. It has a large generator room. A large office space and there is a basement and bathroom. There was one room with lots of junk in boxes on the floor. Jumpers, connectors, vacuum tubes and books etc.... I found about a 12' coax jumper cable made from RG9/U with the finest set of N male connectors I have ever seen. I kept that jewel.
The "icebride" is typical of the older style that stands on the ground.
The basement had about 9-12 inches of standing water in it. I am not sure if it was ground seepage or if the open hatch in the roof nearby provided the water. The picture doesn't show it, but the water was crystal clear. I didn't have the proper footwear to explore the basement :mad:, so I will have to wait until next time I am out that way, if indeed there is a next time. I tend to belive there may be a kitchen, showers and livivn quarters down there since the ladder was the only entrance. Seems there would be stairs if they used it for storage. Kinda hard to carry suff up and down a ladder. If you look closely in the 3rd picture you can see the metal hatch that covered the entrance to the basement and the sunlight coming through the hatch in the roof to the left of it.
The tower appears to have been added on to to accomodate 4 more horns than origionally built.

The jumpers you need to keep an eye out for are RG214 made with silver -vs- copper...I'm almost afraid to ask...How are you gaining entrance to these buildings....as they should be locked up....W/G bridges are standard with all LL towers...also did you know that each tower has a specific engineering code....you can tell the type of tower by the way the steel is erected....that one leg of the tower is usually pointing North & that the self supporting towers can stand on 3 legs....years ago we had to go around and rebuild/repour the leg foundations on some towers...and some towers I worked actually stood on 3 legs while they performed the work....that was pretty cool....cause you can imagine how deep the foundations are for the tower legs....towers used to be inspected on a regular basis....

KL7AJ
10-05-2009, 06:10 PM
Can you post some pics of some of those Alascom sites?
THanks.

If I remember, I'll take a camera next time I go up to Flag Hill our closest one. It's about 35 miles south of Fairbanks

KL7AJ
10-05-2009, 06:14 PM
http://www.kadiak.org/wacs/wacs.html


In the meantime, here's some really cool history about White Alice, that predates Alascom by quite a few years. :)

eric

N5NPO
10-05-2009, 10:14 PM
The jumpers you need to keep an eye out for are RG214 made with silver -vs- copper...

I haven't seen any RG214 jumpers, but I will keep my eyes open...


I'm almost afraid to ask...How are you gaining entrance to these buildings....as they should be locked up....

I have permission from the current owners of these particular towers I have entered.


W/G bridges are standard with all LL towers...

Okay. Some stand on the ground and some (the newer I suspect) are for the most part suspended.


also did you know that each tower has a specific engineering code....

What do you mean by that specifically? Does it have to do with height requirements for the particular location?



you can tell the type of tower by the way the steel is erected....

Are there very many different types?


that one leg of the tower is usually pointing North

Facinating. I never noticed...


& that the self supporting towers can stand on 3 legs....years ago we had to go around and rebuild/repour the leg foundations on some towers...and some towers I worked actually stood on 3 legs while they performed the work....that was pretty cool....cause you can imagine how deep the foundations are for the tower legs....towers used to be inspected on a regular basis....

Wow! I would have like to have seen that. I was told by an old farmer who had bought his land with tower back from AT&T that he remembered that they had erected the tower using a scaffold technique... Is that true?

Thanks again for the info..
BTW, what do you think I would find in the basement, other than water?

N5NPO
10-05-2009, 10:16 PM
These are Gabriels horns....made on the same spec's as the KS horns...however the KS horns have better overall performance

DO you have any pics of the KS horns?

KB2CRK
10-06-2009, 02:02 AM
i did not have the camera ready but i did see a brick tower in downtown south bend indiana. it was part of the ATT building i also saw two of the towers sitting on top of old ATT buildings in indianapolis side by side in front of the new ATT skyscraper.

N5NPO
10-06-2009, 08:39 AM
http://www.kadiak.org/wacs/wacs.html


In the meantime, here's some really cool history about White Alice, that predates Alascom by quite a few years. :)

eric

That stuff is pretty interesting...
It reminds me of a website I stumbled accross once about abandoned installations. There was a Naval Radio Astronomy observatory with a huge dish and other neat stuff like a train station... I am not sure how I stumbled accross it, but I may look again.
73

N5NPO
10-06-2009, 08:41 AM
i did not have the camera ready but i did see a brick tower in downtown south bend indiana. it was part of the ATT building i also saw two of the towers sitting on top of old ATT buildings in indianapolis side by side in front of the new ATT skyscraper.

That would be cool if you got some pics...
They took the tower off the AT&T building in Mobile, Alabama.
They also removed towers from the ATA& sites in Lucedale and Waynesboro, Ms. :(

KB2CRK
10-06-2009, 02:57 PM
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=att&sll=41.673176,-86.251935&sspn=0.000986,0.002057&ie=UTF8&radius=0.05&rq=1&ev=zi&hq=att&hnear=&ll=41.673216,-86.251924&spn=0,359.997943&t=h&z=19&iwloc=lyrftr:lmq:8:att,16826722065261026454,41.673 585,-86.251962&layer=c&cbll=41.673305,-86.251928&panoid=mAgsQkzMrzpHPXDGmCgg8w&cbp=12,173.1190130000001,,0,0&photoid=po-5853154


here is a link from google maps of the south bend tower.

N5NPO
10-07-2009, 12:45 AM
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=att&sll=41.673176,-86.251935&sspn=0.000986,0.002057&ie=UTF8&radius=0.05&rq=1&ev=zi&hq=att&hnear=&ll=41.673216,-86.251924&spn=0,359.997943&t=h&z=19&iwloc=lyrftr:lmq:8:att,16826722065261026454,41.673 585,-86.251962&layer=c&cbll=41.673305,-86.251928&panoid=mAgsQkzMrzpHPXDGmCgg8w&cbp=12,173.1190130000001,,0,0&photoid=po-5853154


here is a link from google maps of the south bend tower.

There is one in Birmingham, Alabama that is kinda like that, but I think it is MUCH taller, maybe twice as high..
THanks again!

N5NPO
10-07-2009, 11:24 AM
The first two pics are from the tower at the Star, Mississippi site. It is very grown up. Kinda reminded me of an Incan ruin. Note the large block of concrete poured around the leg. All four legs have those. This was the only site I had seen with the concrete poured up around the legs, until I went to the Nectar, Ala. site which is what the second two pics are from.
There appears to be a lot more concrete poured around those legs, but since the legs are closer together, it amy be an illusion...
73 enjoy

P.S. The view of the valley below from the Nectar site is awesome... My friends' Father in law was so impressed with it, he tried to buy the site!

KB2CRK
10-08-2009, 12:50 PM
i was wrong about the city when i said indianapolis the other day.
the two rooftop towers are in nashville tn near the newer att building.
i have pics on my camera but it is in the wife's car and she is at work.
when i get them uploaded i will post.

N5NPO
10-10-2009, 04:06 AM
i was wrong about the city when i said indianapolis the other day.
the two rooftop towers are in nashville tn near the newer att building.
i have pics on my camera but it is in the wife's car and she is at work.
when i get them uploaded i will post.

Post 'em when ya get 'em. :D

N5NPO
10-10-2009, 04:14 AM
The first one is from Kutch, Colorado. I didn't take it. A friend of mine sent it to me. It was hard for him to find he said it was in the middle of nowhere. From the looks of it, you would have to be right on top of it to see it. It looks pretty short...

The second is the Rosalie Alabama site. I belive it is one of the newer ones despite the cinder block construction and shingled roof. There was no decking on the top of the tower. Not finished?

The third one is from a site south of Huntsville, Alabama. The new owner calls it Lacey Springs, but it had another name when AT&T owned it. If you know, tell me.

The fourth one is in or near downtown Birmingham, Alabama. I took the picture from the inside of the truck as we passed by.

The fith one is the Carrolton, Alabama site. I really think it should be lit, as it has FCC reg numbers, but current owner begs to differ.. Oh well. It is pretty grown up in back and in a lonely area. Too bad. It woul be a good spot for a 2m repeater...

N5NPO
10-10-2009, 09:58 AM
The first one is from the Gonzales Florida site. It is very near the Alabama line.
The second one is from the Gordo, Alabama site. Hams have invaded the building and they have installed a UHF repeater.
The third one is the Douglas, Alabama site. It too has been invaded by hams and has at least 1 repeater and possiblely a 220 link.
The fourth one is from the Lumberton, Miss. site. It is actually closer to Poplarville, but that is how it goes sometimes.
The fifth one is from the McLauren Miss. site. Building was added on to at some time and is in very bad condition. There is a packet digi of some sort located here.

KB2CRK
10-10-2009, 10:52 AM
there ia a tower in downtown athens ga. next to the att building.
it has been changed to a cell tower and the microwave equiptment is gone.

N5NPO
10-10-2009, 11:09 AM
there ia a tower in downtown athens ga. next to the att building.
it has been changed to a cell tower and the microwave equiptment is gone.

If ya get a chance, get me some pics and coordinates. I will put it on the Bing AT&T map I am building...
73

KC9FSH
10-10-2009, 04:33 PM
There is also one in Downtown Appleton, WI. http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCP&cp=rc9cv97mzc4g&style=b&lvl=1&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&scene=15896454&encType=1


Also possibly one in Oshkosh, WI. http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCP&cp=rb2y7r7mncd0&style=b&lvl=2&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&scene=38942655&encType=1

Here's one a few miles south of Oshkosh, WI. http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCP&cp=r9rm8p7mcscb&style=b&lvl=2&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&scene=38959323&encType=1

KB2CRK
10-10-2009, 05:58 PM
here is a link to the street view on google maps for the athens ga tower.
this is downtown athens about 2 blocks from UGA

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=att&sll=33.959397,-83.380823&sspn=0.008756,0.013754&ie=UTF8&radius=0.39&rq=1&ev=zi&hq=att&hnear=&ll=33.957831,-83.381166&spn=0,359.986246&z=16&layer=c&cbll=33.957812,-83.381282&panoid=oN-6fdVaWm8K0dGiQvj1pw&cbp=12,168.35,,0,4.85

N5NPO
10-12-2009, 10:40 AM
here is a link to the street view on google maps for the athens ga tower.
this is downtown athens about 2 blocks from UGA

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=att&sll=33.959397,-83.380823&sspn=0.008756,0.013754&ie=UTF8&radius=0.39&rq=1&ev=zi&hq=att&hnear=&ll=33.957831,-83.381166&spn=0,359.986246&z=16&layer=c&cbll=33.957812,-83.381282&panoid=oN-6fdVaWm8K0dGiQvj1pw&cbp=12,168.35,,0,4.85

Thanks for the link. I will now have to go and add that to my BING map...

N5NPO
10-12-2009, 10:45 AM
There is also one in Downtown Appleton, WI. http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCP&cp=rc9cv97mzc4g&style=b&lvl=1&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&scene=15896454&encType=1


Also possibly one in Oshkosh, WI. http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCP&cp=rb2y7r7mncd0&style=b&lvl=2&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&scene=38942655&encType=1

Here's one a few miles south of Oshkosh, WI. http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCP&cp=r9rm8p7mcscb&style=b&lvl=2&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&scene=38959323&encType=1

Thanks much. You used BING and since that is what I am using to map every one of these that can be found, it will be like shootin' fish in a barrel adding those...
73
Norm

N5NPO
10-12-2009, 11:18 AM
THe first one is from the top of the Canton, Mississippi site. I just noticed that I had taken a picture of that phone jack. I wonder if it went down to the box on the back of the bulding where the handset is...

The next two are the inside of one of the old Western Electric Horn antennas.

The fourth one is of the outhouse and pretty flowers in back of the Nectar, Alabama site.

The fifth one is from the top of the tower at the Rosalie, Alabama site. It looks like it never had any decking on top and I am not sure if there were ever any horns installed. It looks like they may have never finished it.

KB2CRK
10-12-2009, 06:07 PM
ok here are the pics i was able to take of the south bend tower and the one in nashville. it was done out the car window so not the best quality. the nashville pics were taken as we were passing them on i-65.

N5NPO
10-13-2009, 12:07 AM
ok here are the pics i was able to take of the south bend tower and the one in nashville. it was done out the car window so not the best quality. the nashville pics were taken as we were passing them on i-65.

Thanks for the pics...
So, the two of same site is Nashville and the one of the building is in South Bend Indiana, correct?

KD5WYU
10-13-2009, 07:02 AM
Here are the coordinates for the two I know of around here, both of which are owned by American Tower :-(

33.01.44N 97.18.04W

This one is just west of Texas Motor Speedway on Highway 114 and does still have horns on it.

The other is 33.10.01N 97.06.43W

This one is off of FM 2181 to the left of the road and does not have any horns on it.

Glad to see people are just as fascinated by these towers as I was when I was growing up.

KB2CRK
10-13-2009, 09:17 AM
Thanks for the pics...
So, the two of same site is Nashville and the one of the building is in South Bend Indiana, correct?

that is correct.
the two towers in nashville are on two adjacent buildings.

KB2CRK
10-13-2009, 05:12 PM
just a few links you might be interested in.
http://long-lines.net/places-routes/MishawakaIN/index.html
http://long-lines.net/places-routes/maps/GA76.html
http://long-lines.net/places-routes/index.html

N8ODF
10-13-2009, 05:44 PM
CRK has found some good information here....should keep you busy for a while

KB2CRK
10-13-2009, 06:15 PM
i had found one built in manhattan in 1974 but cant find the link now.
it was one of the worlds tallest windowless buildings

KB2CRK
10-13-2009, 06:22 PM
http://www.flickr.com/photos/macensteph/483330043/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/33_Thomas_Street

found a couple of the manhattan one

N5NPO
10-13-2009, 11:12 PM
Here are the coordinates for the two I know of around here, both of which are owned by American Tower :-(

33.01.44N 97.18.04W

This one is just west of Texas Motor Speedway on Highway 114 and does still have horns on it.

The other is 33.10.01N 97.06.43W

This one is off of FM 2181 to the left of the road and does not have any horns on it.

Glad to see people are just as fascinated by these towers as I was when I was growing up.

Hi,
My Brother and father live in Duncanville. How far is that from you?
THanks so much for the coordinates. I got those towers marked and added to my Bing Map. I will go into my AT&T map later and get their names.
73!

N5NPO
10-13-2009, 11:14 PM
i had found one built in manhattan in 1974 but cant find the link now.
it was one of the worlds tallest windowless buildings

I heard about that one. Seems I may have even seen a picture of it once on a website. If you find it again, let me know...
73

KB2CRK
10-13-2009, 11:17 PM
http://www.flickr.com/photos/macensteph/483330043/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/33_Thomas_Street

found a couple of the manhattan one


I heard about that one. Seems I may have even seen a picture of it once on a website. If you find it again, let me know...
73


i found it and posted the links right after my earlier post

N5NPO
10-13-2009, 11:21 PM
http://www.flickr.com/photos/macensteph/483330043/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/33_Thomas_Street

found a couple of the manhattan one

Kewl! Thanks...

KB2CRK
10-13-2009, 11:27 PM
i also sent a group of links for a site with all kinds of links.

N5NPO
10-14-2009, 01:43 AM
These are a sample of waveguide entry ports. I don't remember where every one of them are/were. The first 3 were from the same site. I understand the flex waveguide, but I do not understand the "dead ends".
The fourth one had different size waveguide. I know for different frequencies, but when or why did they change?
The last one is where "Southern Link" (TM a Southern Company) insalled a system. That is one well grounded entry point. I will post an outside picture from there soon.

N8ODF
10-14-2009, 05:56 PM
The terminations are placed on the W/G to keep the air from escaping....these pictures are of 4 GHZ W/G....which was the old TD2 Analog type radio....DR6 replaced this radio in the mid to late 80's...DR6 is 6 GHZ....if DR6 replaced the TD2 @ this site the 6 GHZ Elipitical W/G would access the circular W/G on the tower in a network...normally the TD2 W/G was not removed & thus the terminations were placed on the 4 GHZ W/G to keep the W/G pressurized....I had a pressure problem once & we pulled a termination off of an unused Horn...and man...it took a couple minutes for all the water to run out...

N5NPO
10-15-2009, 10:44 AM
The terminations are placed on the W/G to keep the air from escaping....

Ok, duh! That makes sense. I didn't think about that. So they must have quit using those some time ago and just blucked them off.


these pictures are of 4 GHZ W/G....which was the old TD2 Analog type radio....DR6 replaced this radio in the mid to late 80's...DR6 is 6 GHZ....

Was the DR6 used with the "periscope" antennas I posted pictures of?


if DR6 replaced the TD2 @ this site the 6 GHZ Elipitical W/G would access the circular W/G on the tower in a network...normally the TD2 W/G was not removed & thus the terminations were placed on the 4 GHZ W/G to keep the W/G pressurized....I had a pressure problem once & we pulled a termination off of an unused Horn...and man...it took a couple minutes for all the water to run out...

Wow! How did all that water get in there? I bet those sites must have been a maintenance nightmare...
Again, thanks for your input...
73
Norm

N8ODF
10-15-2009, 12:18 PM
Horns & dishes were used for DR6...if the site had exsisting Horns then they were used....depending upon the engineering requirments either a dish or Gabriel Horn was utilized if a new antenna was to be installed or if space diversity was necessary....

The water in the waveguide is a classic example of what might be in the W/G of the antenna systems that were retired years ago....the water in this one particular site accumalated because the antenna was no longer in use & we took the air off....so it filled with water...Ive seen pictures of nuts etc....that squirrels have filled up a 10' dish with....caused a bit of attenuation....& I'm sure the antenna guys were suprised when they looked behind the cover...parbolics are just pressurized to the feedhorn or stinger .....where as the Horns are completely pressurized......

I have noticed alot of the sites in the Eastern Region have not been documented as you are doing for the sites down south & midwest.....that might be a good project for me.....carry on fellas

73

N8ODF
10-15-2009, 12:25 PM
Something else I have discovered was someone mentioned earlier that the concrete towers were square -vs- round....he was correct....My father was a Supv @ Jennerstown & even though I had visited & climbed the stairs to the top of the equipment area....I thought it was round...& a long way up....I had the same problem with the Statue of Liberty back in the early 60's....that was a long stairway also....or at least seemed that way as a youngster.....

WV9L
10-22-2009, 08:02 PM
A lot of those microwave sites were up for sale a few years ago. I recall reading they were going for an average of $25,000. Seems cheap to me, but . . . what a ham station!

We just bought 2 of them in illinois. One for $20K and the other for $25K.

KC9FSH
10-30-2009, 11:26 PM
I was going through my storage unit tonight looking for stuff to sell at a hamfest this weekend when I came across a piece of equipment that I didn't know what it was when I first got it. When I opened it up I was surprised to see that it was some test equipment for AT&T Long Lines.

Could some of you take a look at the pictures and let me know what it was used it? http://www.flickr.com/photos/kc9fsh/sets/72157622573914989/
I assume it was used to test some timing differences between sites or something like that but I am really curious what it was actually used for.

KG4LIW
10-31-2009, 03:45 PM
I was going through my storage unit tonight looking for stuff to sell at a hamfest this weekend when I came across a piece of equipment that I didn't know what it was when I first got it. When I opened it up I was surprised to see that it was some test equipment for AT&T Long Lines.

Could some of you take a look at the pictures and let me know what it was used it? http://www.flickr.com/photos/kc9fsh/sets/72157622573914989/
I assume it was used to test some timing differences between sites or something like that but I am really curious what it was actually used for.


Your test set is mentioned in here... http://www.telephonecollectors.org/DocumentLibrary/BSPs/100Division/100-000-000-Index.pdf

N5NPO
11-01-2009, 02:25 PM
http://long-lines.net/places-routes/Sentinel_OK/index.html

This site appears to have all the equipment intact. Comments anyone?
Thanks!!!

N3UJM
11-01-2009, 03:32 PM
I worked here for years.

http://long-lines.net/places-routes/Hawley_PA/index.html

We took the terrestrial long lines and sent them to Alaska/Hawaii via satellite.


Then it was sold to Loral, which concentrated it's satellite business on TV networks and VSAT data networks. Then they went bankrupt investing $2B in Globalstar, and I left to do satellite work for ESPN and CNN. The facility is now owned by a Israeli company as a backup station with a skeleton crew.

Tom

KD4RME
01-18-2010, 08:14 PM
http://long-lines.net/places-routes/Sentinel_OK/index.html

This site appears to have all the equipment intact. Comments anyone?
Thanks!!!

Part of a route that was turned down and equipment left intact. There were
lots of those out there. That route started at Mounds OK, then down along the chain I believe ending in Dallas.

KY5U
01-18-2010, 08:16 PM
Thread is TWO YEARS OLD!!

AD7N
01-18-2010, 08:28 PM
Thread is TWO YEARS OLD!!

Oh how I long for the day these Long Lines sites to be on the auction block again! :D

KD4RME
01-18-2010, 09:18 PM
P.S. The view of the valley below from the Nectar site is awesome... My friends' Father in law was so impressed with it, he tried to buy the site!

Hayden, AKA Nectar, is not available for sale, but there are a lot of sites in AL, GA, and MS that are available. Email me or PM me.

KD4RME
01-18-2010, 09:22 PM
The fith one is the Carrolton, Alabama site. I really think it should be lit, as it has FCC reg numbers, but current owner begs to differ.. Oh well. It is pretty grown up in back and in a lonely area. Too bad. It woul be a good spot for a 2m repeater...

Just because it has an ASRN does not mean it needs to be lit. Heck, now a days it is almost impossible to license a radio license, two way, paging, etc, if you list it on a tower, without an ASRN.

No need to light this 199 footer.

KD4RME
01-18-2010, 09:49 PM
I believe Brewton was on the old Faulkner-Arkabutla route & a 5ESS may have been designated for that building....



#5 crossbar later upgraded to a 1ESS for Autovon.

Brewton was a junction from a route from Houston to Florida, primarily for NASA operations, and a route that went from the coast to somewhere up north. I am not in the office today so I don't have my maps.

Still in AT&T hands, although they have marketed it, they can't seem to
figure out how to split it up. The still have Govt services operating out of there.



probably had decon showers the works...most of these type main stations were set up with Sola turbines for emergency power....we had a site similar to this in WV Missouri Branch was its name...they never built the 5E so you had this huge building out in the middle of no where...one night during an unmanned engine run...the Sola ran out of coolant & the local farmer found parts of the turbine upon investigation of a loud noise laying out in the field out side the building....the turbine was replaced with a 35KW engine....


73

I am thinking this Dunlow WV? Amazing site, tremendous coverage - if you need to cover trees. Lots of trees. This had to have been one of the hardest sites I ever went to. I trusted my GPS and it took me in places that I heard lots of banjos, and figured no one had been in years. Forded numerous creeks. Had a property owner pull a shotgun on me. (even though I was on a county road I found out later) Ended up at a gigantic coal plant with a very nice security lady who knew right where the tower was. Oh, and then the 911 director for the county was chasing me.....

Presently being used by a cell company, 911, and the VASP. All in outdoor
shelters, the building is leaking terribly.

Had a small basment area, accessed through a hatch. Seeing as I was by myself I did not make access, I would not have been found for years if there was a problem.

Great story about the genset!

Did you have anything to do with Tunnelton WV? Very interesting site, I believe it was a recieve site for the earth station. sat dish has been removed. Another beauty of a site for access.

KD4RME
01-18-2010, 09:53 PM
I don't know if you guys are aware of this, but allot of these old microwave sites are for sale.

There are also quite a few old military com and missile bases up for sale as well.

http://www.missilebases.com/properties

http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02/09/11/230203

If I had the money, I would buy one for a pretty neat home. ;)

Lots of sites in GA, MS, AL, AR, OK, OH for sale, but the prices have gone up from the days of 3K apiece (what ATC sold many for) and even over the 25k from a year or two ago.



If anyone is interested, bbowers@mozarks.com

KD4RME
01-18-2010, 10:15 PM
Omaha is a site in the middle of nowhere. It is very .


Aint that the truth.

A lot of times the water intrusion turns out to be condensation pooling. We have a number of sites that all we did was run an old box fan and that stopped it. I have seen a lot of water come in this way.

KD4RME
01-18-2010, 10:22 PM
The first one is from the Colbran, Alabama site. Current owner unknown. I couldn't get too close to it. It looks like someone has cut the tops off the horns in order to install some type of panel antennas and a small dish.

The second ic from Hoakes Bluff, Alabama. Currently owned by Crown Castle. It is on top of a high ridge over looking Gadsden.

The third one I too on top of the Fruitdale Alabama site. Don't ya love the angle...

Colbran is owened by Vangard and is available for sale if anyone is interested. Contact me... bbowers@mozarks.com

KD4RME
01-19-2010, 01:23 AM
These are also from the Fruitdale, Alabama site.
The horns are now gone. Sold for scrap. I am told each weighs 2100lbs. They are mostly aluminum. I sure wish I could have seen how they got them down.


The guys that did the majority of those towers, cut them up into small pieces on the tower, and threw the pieces off. Left a terrible mess at most sites.

AD7N
01-19-2010, 01:40 AM
I wonder if there are still any Long Lines sites available in the Pacific NW?

KD4RME
01-19-2010, 02:09 AM
I can't say about up there. But if you want to come south....

KD4RME
01-19-2010, 02:24 AM
Thread is TWO YEARS OLD!!

Pretty amazing how like the towers, this thread continues.

The last posts today were still fairly recent, but I admit I pulled some from a few months ago