Mystery Site (High Res Pics)

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Feb 21, 2003
Messages
374
This lone tower stands a mile from the major antenna farm atop High Knob, in Southwest Virginia. Due to the inaccuracy of a "license to lat/long" a search of the main farm has licenses spread well over a mile making a search of this site nearly impossible.

Panoramio - Untitled photo (location)


Facts

1. Fiber and power are buried the last mile, whereas the main site has all above ground.
2. There has been no fence around the site for years till recently, also the addtion of a road in the last few months.
3. No markings of anykind, no contact numbers, nothing.
4. With all the Yagis laying horizontal Im thinking a TV translator.












Happend to catch a plane in one pic LOL
 

CCHLLM

Member
Joined
May 10, 2003
Messages
1,020
Does look suspiciously like a receiver and relay site for a cable tv operation or ETV.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 26, 2004
Messages
1,217
Location
Tulsa
No brainer this is a CATV site, one giveaway is the sloppy coax runs and the horizontal LPDA antennas.
 

CCHLLM

Member
Joined
May 10, 2003
Messages
1,020
"...one giveaway is the sloppy coax runs..."

Well, I really didn't wanna go that far, but, yeah....
 

kb2vxa

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Banned
Joined
Mar 22, 2005
Messages
6,131
Location
Point Pleasant Beach, N.J.
CATV head end alright but obsolete. These days it's all via satellites so all you'd see is a climate controlled building with a bunch of dishes in the yard.
 

zz0468

QRT
Banned
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
6,036
Possibly some federal stuff as well? That won't show up in a search!
Highly unlikely. It's pretty typical of a cable TV headend. It's probably not showing up in any searches because the only transmitter there is going to be on the microwave dish, probably around 12 GHz, and possibly expired. All the other antennas would be used for receivers.
 

Thunderknight

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 31, 2008
Messages
2,059
Location
Bletchley Park
CATV head end alright but obsolete. These days it's all via satellites so all you'd see is a climate controlled building with a bunch of dishes in the yard.
Not true. Small market, LPTV, translators, etc are not neccesarly satellite carried, but in some cases due to must carry rules (or demand) are still cable-carried.
 

Gadget

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
7
Location
Norfolk, Va.
Most of the "off-air" must-carry stations have made retransmission arraingements with the cable MSO's to provide either a fiber or microwave link to the cable company's MTC rendering the off-air towers obsolete but yes- some that are too cost-prohibitive for fiber will use a microwave link. This is definately an obsolete off-air hubsite. I don't know how to search them but I know that even if there are no licenses transmitter or "earth stations" functioning there, the FCC does still require there be a tower structure registration on file SOMEWHERE... Like I said I have no idea how to search those.
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2003
Messages
374

nothing, Theres only about 5 of the 20+ towers listed at the main complex a mile away...again its possible when these towers were mapped with GPS in the early 90's before selective availability was discontinued, or they were just sloppily mapped.

I think our best bet at ID'in this one is the antennas, any ideas what the 2 rectangular arrays are?

appears to be 18 poles (stacked array with screen reflector) on the bottom one and at least 25 or more on the top...based on the size it appears to be in the 1.2-1.6 GHz range.

One guess is... since they cut in a new road and added a fence, the square arrays could be high speed wireless internet?
 

zz0468

QRT
Banned
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
6,036
appears to be 18 poles (stacked array with screen reflector) on the bottom one and at least 25 or more on the top...based on the size it appears to be in the 1.2-1.6 GHz range.

One guess is... since they cut in a new road and added a fence, the square arrays could be high speed wireless internet?
Probably not. That's not a frequency range used for such service, and those old bedspring antennas were quite common for UHF television reception. The fence may be because someone has a new use for the site, or it may actually still be active. Was the air conditioner running? Did you check for licenses in the microwave range around 12-13 GHz? In the typical CATV or cable head end site, Heavy duty LP arrays are seen, UHF yagis and bedsprings are used, and there's generally at least one microwave dish. Each TV channel gets muxed onto a microwave carrier, and sent on it's way. They split the the individual TV channels out on the other end of the microwave link.

I've been to many a CATV head end, and they generally look like this one.
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2003
Messages
374
"bedspring" that helps in my searches thanks, AC was not running, did appear to be noise from equipment fans or a vent fan,,,Theres a good size LP gas Caterpillar generator that was added about 3 years ago.
 

techsender

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
105
Location
N of St Paul MN
One way that cable systems distributed signals before fiber was via microwave - as shown earlier - in the 10 / 11 /12 ghz range. Look up AML systems, Hughes used to be huge into AML. Baseband translated from TV off air freq up to microwave. They usually were licensed at a central location so this tower may not show a license for the MW hop. It is an old school cable TV headend. No tower registration number posted either. Hmmmm. Anyway headend with the signals going elsewhere via AML system. There are planty of AML systems stil out there functioning.
 

zz0468

QRT
Banned
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
6,036
Look up AML systems, Hughes used to be huge into AML. Baseband translated from TV off air freq up to microwave.
Those Hughs AML transmitters were ingenious in their simplicity, so far as how they worked, but at the same time had this Rube Goldberg quality to them. I had a UHF ham repeater and 2 meter remote base in a cable TV headend site, and whenever we would bring up the 2 meter remote, it would put crosshatching on the video for HBO . The crosshatching would be sent downstream via microwave to the entire cable system, and every single HBO customer. I ended up wrapping the waveguide mixer for the HBO channel in the aluminum foil from a Hershey Bar for extra shielding, and the interference went away! =)
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top