This is collection of images from the wireless world. Click on any of the images to see a larger version of the picture.
Here are some views of cellular towers and sites. First, some cellular towers.
There's considerable controversy about the aesthetic appearance of cell towers. These next few shots are of a cell tower right in the middle of Santa Fe, New Mexico. This is a pretty quaint town and the zoning is directed toward preserving the Spanish colonial architecture. For example, you couldn't put a McDonald's in Santa Fe unless it was adobe and confirmed to numerous rules. This cell tower clearly doesn't fit in with this overall architectural philosophy!
Of course there are various "stealth" approaches to hiding cellular towers. Here are some disguised as trees and one doing double duty as a flagpole. Thanks to Clay Johnson in Florida for sharing these! The first frame is sort of a stereo pair. The one on the far right is an antenna that is becoming part of a church steeple that's being built.
Jim Barat captured this one in New Jersey:
Jim also found this collection. First there are three views of another "tree" along the road.
Now, let's hide a cell tower out in the open. Jim sent this shot of a highway sign also in New Jersey. See the panel?
Finally here are some views of the top of a cell tower from Jim:
This next group of pictures is from Katie O'Connor at Verizon Wireless. These are views of existing and proposed cellular installations in Vermont. Folks in Vermont are sensitive about the impact of cellular infrastructure on aesthetics and these views show the "before" and the "proposed" for some tower installations. The farm is in Ferrisburg and the industrial building is in South Burlington. In this sequence the "before" is on the left and the "proposed is on the right. Look carefully for the differences!
Here are some examples of cellular antennas attached to existing structures and towers.
These are some views of the base of the a cell tower. The cables leave the shelters on the left and right and go up through the hollow tower to the antennas at the top. The cables have special connectors on them and here's a view of a sample connector and some of the cable. The connectors cost about $600 each!
The next image is the building at the base of the tower. It contains RF transmitting and receiving equipment. The actual control and interface to the PSTN is located at a remote site. There is no telephone switching taking place at this location.
Finally, there is Global Positioning System (GPS) antenna at this cell site. At first this seems pretty silly: the cell site isn't going anywhere so why do you need a GPs system? This site uses GPs signals for accurate time generation which is critical for time division multiplexing operation.
Microwave and fixed wireless communications are used to cover long distances where fiber optic cable isn't practical. This is a view of the microwave site on Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine. These dishes carry telephone calls back to the mainland about 10 miles away.
The next collection of photos is not strictly wireless but is related to Monhegan Island. First, there's the CO building that supports the island. As you can see it's not too big! Note the tower in the background. Next is the island power supply. In this particular case it would be too expensive to run power cables from the mainland to the island so there's a portable generator that runs the entire island. Note the "fuel tank". It's "wireless" in that there are no electrical cables to the mainland so I guess this can be considered to be a series of wireless pictures.
Here are some other views of antennas and microwave dishes.
This image is a microwave antenna on Vinalhaven Island also off the coast of Maine. It is used for telephone communications with the mainland.
Are are some other fixed wireless applications. There is a microwave system monitoring a dam in Arizona, a fire alarm box in Burlington, and an alarm antenna on a Champlain dormitory.
Commercial broadcasting creates special opportunities, ah, problems for RF applications. Commercial sites run high power that can overwhelm nearby equipment even if the operating frequencies are widely separated. These are images are of a commercial broadcast site on Mount Mansfield in Vermont.
You can't escape RF, even when you're on vacation. This next image is from a RV park in western Maryland. If your computer is equipped with an 802.11 card you can access the Internet. This is an example of good and bad news. The good news is that you can never be far from the Internet, even on vacation. The bad news is that you can never be far from the Internet, even on vacation.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) maintains time standards for the US. Standard time signals are distributed in audio and digital format. Both kinds of signals are broadcast on short wave frequencies and through the Internet. Here are some images of the NIST broadcasting facility in Kauai, Hawaii. The call sign of this station is WWVH.
This section wouldn't be complete without a visit to my radio shack. I've been a licensed radio amateur since 1983 and hold the call N1CPP. The first image is the radio table in my basement workshop. There's a Kenwood 430S for HF operation, a Kenwood 7950 for 2-meters, a Collins R-388 receiver (for the BBC) and a Hammarlund HQ-180 receiver. There are several miscellaneous bits and pieces too include a digital packet radio controller. The other image is the Mosely TA-33 HF antenna out on my barn.
Satellite dishes round out this image collection.
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