Owlshead Microwave Tower and DV phone service

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Candace_66
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Owlshead Microwave Tower and DV phone service

Post by Candace_66 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:00 pm

I'm combining two topics into this one thread. Both have to do with telephone service, but are not directly related.

First, here are some very awesome photos of the lonely microwave tower down in the Owlshead Mountains. I found the link on Panamintvalley.com. On the thread there, it was stated that the tower will be removed. I'm still checking on that, but in the meanwhile, here are the pics:

https://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread. ... ath-Valley


On the same thread was a link to this Youtube video. Which describes construction of the microwave relay link to bring radio telephone service to DV. It shows construction of the site and tower that connects SW to Cow Creek. That's the site you can just barely see from the highway as you're driving south out of SW. They call that little hill "Hill 254."

They also describe construction of the power line that runs to that site. Who knew that, for the power line poles, they had to dig all the holes by hand?



I had hoped to see something about the site on Mormon Peak. I believe that is the link between Cow Creek and the system outside DV. Come to think of it, I'd like to see a list of all the links in that service.

kwalsh
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Re: Owlshead Microwave Tower and DV phone service

Post by kwalsh » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:26 am

Thanks for the link to that video!

As to the Owlshead tower the only info on potential removal I could find with a quick search was in the Wilderness and Backcountry Stewardship Plan from 2012:

"An abandoned microwave repeater and associated buildings at the end of the Owlshead Mountains road will be reviewed, evaluated, and removed if no longer necessary. "

Let us know if you find out more!

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Candace_66
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Re: Owlshead Microwave Tower and DV phone service

Post by Candace_66 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:45 pm

Last time I was at that Owlshead Mts tower, in March 2014, a sign indicated the site belongs to a company called American Tower. So perhaps it is not abandoned! That company owns a lot of the towers I come across.

They're the ones I reached out to, via contact information on their website. Who knows if they'll respond, though.

Sparky of SoCal
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Re: Owlshead Microwave Tower and DV phone service

Post by Sparky of SoCal » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:08 pm

My understanding is "American Tower" finds the location,procures the land, builds access, brings in the utilities, builds up the structures and then leases the backbone access to anybody to install equipment. They also manage the complex.

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Death Valley Dazed
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Adding to vintage video of Hill 254

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:38 am

I love detailed threads like this and the vintage video footage is a real treat. The combined memory, historical context, and perspective within this forum is a treasure. Just by chance, I have some more detail to add.

Three years ago I took a hiking spin around the Hill 254 area not knowing it had a name and not realizing that there was a repeater tower hiding behind the summit on the south side. Well, I combined a condensed version of the construction of the tower (Thanks, Candace_66 for posting the long version), cleaned up the video quality (this was transferred from old-time VHS I'm sure) and added about eight images taken with my Canon Powershot camera.

For you trivia geeks, here's the 3:37 length video:

Life begins in Death Valley

kwalsh
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Re: Owlshead Microwave Tower and DV phone service

Post by kwalsh » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:33 pm

Sparky of SoCal wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:08 pm
My understanding is "American Tower" finds the location,procures the land, builds access, brings in the utilities, builds up the structures and then leases the backbone access to anybody to install equipment. They also manage the complex.
In this case it was AT&T that found the location, procured the land, built access and built structures back in the 1960s. The microwave long line service was shut down in the 90s and the towers and infrastructure sold off. American Tower bought a bunch of the old ATT long line sites. Many, especially in cities or near highways, have gained a second life for cell and other backhaul. Owlshead has seen no use since ATT shut it down way back when.

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