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Old 29th May 2020, 7:03 pm   #1
Sparks
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Default Mystery antenna array

This group of antennae is situated adjacent to a brick shed at the highest point of The Chevin. For those not familiar, The Chevin is the edge of an escarpment above Otley in West Yorkshire. It has far-reaching views over lower Wharfedale and to the south and east.

Does anyone have a clue as to the purpose of these antennae or who might be the owner ?I couldn't get very close for the photograph but they look like small microwave dishes. If it's relevant, there is direct line of sight to the mast at Hunter's Stones/Norwood Edge, about four miles north.

Thankyou. Mods, I've put this question here as I think it may be a telecommunications subject.
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Old 29th May 2020, 7:19 pm   #2
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Default Re: Mystery antenna array

It's a microwave-relay station which seems to have also acquired what looks like a set of mobile-phone antennas on top.

Could be all sorts of things - mobile-phone inter-urban trunking [though that tends to be done by fibre these days], a relay for links between broadcast TV/FM transmitters... the lack of any kind of perimeter security suggests it's not 'classified'.

Interesting you mention Hunter's Stones: in times-past I had an interest there, as did one of my competitors. One particularly-cold winter, when there'd been a lot of freezing-fog, said competitor making a site-visit had to beat a hasty retreat when foot-long ice-daggers started dropping off the antennas and on to his van!
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Old 29th May 2020, 8:01 pm   #3
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Default Re: Mystery antenna array

Thankyou for your insights G6. It's not an obviously protected site - just leap over the wall and you're there but you never know who's watching! I expect there's an emergency phone number and site owner/operator details posted on the shed wall.
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Old 29th May 2020, 8:04 pm   #4
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Default Re: Mystery antenna array

I don't know what goes on at Hunter's Stones these days. Many years ago there were at least two microwave dishes mounted at the very top of the mast - undoubtedly bleak and dizzy in lousy weather - but they're long gone. I've alluded to the provenance of microwaves in another thread this evening, re: BT Chiltern towers.
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Old 29th May 2020, 8:09 pm   #5
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Default Re: Mystery antenna array

There's a lot of spooky stuff in that part of the world - Menwith Hill is just up the road. It's probably military/government, but almost certainly out of use now, maybe repurposed for mobile phone use.
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Old 29th May 2020, 8:17 pm   #6
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Default Re: Mystery antenna array

The golf balls are still at Menwith Hill, looking much the same as those at Fylingdales many years ago (that IS a creepy, menacing place). MH was an RAF listening/early warning station the last I knew, but technically a USAF installation. Nowadays, I expect it does at least the same as it ever did.
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Old 29th May 2020, 9:58 pm   #7
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Default Re: Mystery antenna array

There's a DAB broadcast tx at Hunter's Stones, see tx.mb21.co.uk
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Old 29th May 2020, 11:00 pm   #8
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Default Re: Mystery antenna array

Just to clarify, Menwith Hill certainly isn't out of use - it's huge
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Old 29th May 2020, 11:13 pm   #9
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Default Re: Mystery antenna array

The nearby Royal Navy site is though, HMS Forest Moor, once a Y station. Replaced by a school.
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Old 29th May 2020, 11:27 pm   #10
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Default Re: Mystery antenna array

There used to be a couple of huts with antennae in that area belonging to the university of Bradford.

Someone once told me "Oh, yes Menwith Hill is an RAF facility, it even has that most RAFish of things, a baseball diamond."

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Old 31st May 2020, 12:14 am   #11
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Default Re: Mystery antenna array

RW- lets not forget that in parts a bit further north than you , in years gone past, it might have been cheaper/ easier/ more efficient to provide a single channel VHF link to a remote customer, than a long OH route.
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Old 31st May 2020, 12:32 am   #12
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Default Re: Mystery antenna array

That they did. I've seen a few. I think there is someone on here who used to maintain them.

There was a farm for sale, not far from here, so in the lowlands not the highlands by a good 40 miles. A friend was wondering about buying it with a view to small scale farming and somewhere for her horses. It was only after looking into the third or fourth room in the large house that we noticed what wasn't there.... lightswitches! No power from the grid. They stuck a generator on PTO shft when they needed electricity.

In some places there are sheds with antennae and they're TV relays for places in steep valleys. Some are just passive, A yagi connected to a yagi. Others had amplifiers but before solar cells power was a problem. With the place in the borders, there is also a spring water system, water storage and pumps to handle, plus a septic tank.

These city folk don't know they're born.

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Old 1st Jun 2020, 3:23 pm   #13
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Default Re: Mystery antenna array

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio Wrangler View Post
TIn some places there are sheds with antennae and they're TV relays for places in steep valleys. Some are just passive, A yagi connected to a yagi. Others had amplifiers but before solar cells power was a problem.
Yes, in times-past I installed a number of 'self-help' systems [unlicensed] to brong Colour! TV to parts of mid-Wales. A Yagi pointed at Blaenplwyf, a "masthead"-type amplifier to drive 50 yards of coax over the top of the hill, another masthead-amp, and another Yagi to launch the signal down the valley to the otherwise-TV-deprived locals. Physical antenna-separation coupled with different polarisation meant we could run 30dB of amplification and still not get any feedback issues. Swapping-over the old tractor batteries used to power the amps every month or so was done by an ancient guy called Meirion and his Welsh Cob pony!
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Old 1st Jun 2020, 8:17 pm   #14
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Default Re: Mystery antenna array

I've seen two microwave dishes used back to back just connected by waveguide. The alignment would have been somewhat tricky!
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Old 1st Jun 2020, 9:27 pm   #15
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Default Re: Mystery antenna array

Yes,
There used to be one of those on the forth railway bridge!
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Old 1st Jun 2020, 9:55 pm   #16
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Default Re: Mystery antenna array

The building is of ww2 vintage. Cant remember where I read it but there is a microwave link used for flight test instrumentation telemetry between the bombing ranges in the north and lancashire
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