New antenna installs showing up, what are they?

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kb0nly

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I know someone on here must know whats going on.

Around here along the rail lines they are putting in a ton of new installs. They all consist of a small square building, an antenna mast, and an antenna thats two loops, its a folded dipole type antenna.

They are along the rail line every 2-3 miles here, most of which are not near a crossing or switch, just along side the track. They have been putting them in like mad. I can drive one section of Hwy 23 in MN and see them all the way home.
 

radioman2001

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Could be PTC, look at Tessco or other radio vendors for the antenna, PTC is supposed to be nationwide on 220 mhz and completed by 2015 ( there is no way it will get done by then). We are still in the testing phase and have put up about a dozen in a 10 mile area, and they don't have to be by the interlocks, actually they are supposed to be outside that area, so there is time for the train to stop in the event of an emergency. A commuter train takes 1/4 mile a freight can take a mile or more.
 

burner50

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Could be PTC, look at Tessco or other radio vendors for the antenna, PTC is supposed to be nationwide on 220 mhz and completed by 2015 ( there is no way it will get done by then). We are still in the testing phase and have put up about a dozen in a 10 mile area, and they don't have to be by the interlocks, actually they are supposed to be outside that area, so there is time for the train to stop in the event of an emergency. A commuter train takes 1/4 mile a freight can take a mile or more.
I was under the impression that this was all to be sat based.


They're testing PTC in some places, and I did not see any new antennas.
 

SCPD

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I have seen those too along highway 10 on the way up north. Those antennas along with it looks like a ptp link, the upside down small ku satellite dishes. I meant to get a couple of pictures but was driving at the time
 
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kb0nly

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I have seen those too along highway 10 on the way up north. Those antennas along with it looks like a ptp link, the upside down small ku satellite dishes. I meant to get a couple of pictures but was driving at the time
I have seen those, they look different then the ones showing up down here.

These just have a small metal building with a pole and antenna on it, nothing else. I have been meaning to snap a picture but the only times i have been past i was driving. I will try and get a pic of one tomorrow or next week.

I saw one being installed about a month ago. They came out and put a big pad of gravel next to the tracks, run power to that spot by trenching through the ditch, then came out and dropped the building in place and dug a hole for the antenna pole, thats about it.

I haven't heard any new transmissions listening to the RR channels, so if they are transmitting anything i haven't heard them.
 

W9BU

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Scott, if they are for PTC, they may or may not be transmitting anything yet. PTC is still in the development phase, though trial installations are being rolled out on BNSF and UP.

As others mentioned, the PTC systems currently being developed use the 220-222 MHz spectrum (which was "taken" from amateur radio and "given" to UPS several years ago, but UPS never used it). The transmissions will be data.

Wikipedia has a lengthy write-up on PTC here.
 
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radioman2001

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If I get a chance to go by one of our sites I will take a picture, not exactly easy to get to without going down the wayside, but it is definitly in the 218 mhz range, and I can't give you the specific frequency. It is a 9600bd TDMA digital transmission and it supposed, I say supposed to be encrypted at an AES 256 level. Also the power output is 2 watts, with an ERP max of about 20 watts.
The sites with a satellite dish might be for the back haul to the control center. We have fiber all around our sites, and I heard from one of our radio engineers that CSX is using satellite, cellphone and radio for their back hauls.
 

K4DHR

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There are PTC installations along the BNSF Birmingham and Thayer South Subs, and along the NS Birmingham East End District just to name a few. They are all using 220 MHz equipment.
 

GKolo

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Any of you guys have a picture of a defect detector ? I hear them when i use the base antenna and just wondered what it looked like.
 

GKolo

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Thank You !
I need to start searching for the one i can hear.
My great great grandfather was a engineer so i guess trains are in my blood.
 

timkilbride

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I know someone on here must know whats going on.

Around here along the rail lines they are putting in a ton of new installs. They all consist of a small square building, an antenna mast, and an antenna thats two loops, its a folded dipole type antenna.

They are along the rail line every 2-3 miles here, most of which are not near a crossing or switch, just along side the track. They have been putting them in like mad. I can drive one section of Hwy 23 in MN and see them all the way home.
Similar stuff going up along the UP in Iowa as well.

Tim
 

burner50

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Any of you guys have a picture of a defect detector ? I hear them when i use the base antenna and just wondered what it looked like.
There are multiple different styles of detectors and antennas on detectors.

I've found discone antennas, and even 1/4 wave NMO drilled into the shanty roof before.


YMMV
 
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kb0nly

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Here is the ones that are going up around here, these things are popping up everywhere, every 2-3 miles along the line. Sorry the picture isn't closer... But as i described it, just a small shack, with a tilt up mast, and a dual loop antenna at the top, basically a folded dipole.
 

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kayn1n32008

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The first photo looks like a 210-C2. Based on a rough guess on the scale of other things in the photo
 

kayn1n32008

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The first photo looks like a 210-C2. Based on a rough guess on the scale of other things in the photo
dumb dumb moment when I posted that, I meant in the photo above my post, thought a photo from the other thread was in this one.
 

SCPD

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Good picture, Railham. Like how you got close, pulled over, parked, and took a decent picture.
Nice detail. You must of had a nice wide shoulder to pull over on right next to it, eh?
 
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