Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Antenna Spotting! Really!?

I must admit I'm a bit of an antenna/mast spotter. Purely due to the mystery some antennas are shrouded in. What are they connected to? How long have they been there? Are they still used? Some stand as a reminder of communication systems that are long gone and some are newer and still support systems that are busy today. Don't get me wrong I don't go looking for antennas but if I see something interesting I'll snap a quick photo.

Woodford Airfield

Woodford Aerodrome is local to me and closed for business in 2011 and when I went to take some photos the other day I noticed a few antennas dotted around the site. One was a folded dipole on the top of a small building situated on the southern perimeter of the airfield. The other is a large mast on top of the security hut at the main gate. I wondered what they were used for and how they integrated into the operation of the airfield.

Small folded dipoles? Seen on a mast at the entrance to the airfield. 

There were a few UHF frequencies in use at Woodford until its closure and these were likely used to transmit on these frequencies although only a guess:

455.575    460.875    Woodford Airfield Tower/Ground
455.475    460.775    Woodford Airfield Crash Ops "Red Base"
455.850    461.150    Woodford Airfield Hawker Aviation
455.725    461.025    Woodford Airfield Engineers

It is a shame I got into scanning after all the action at Woodford stopped. Although flying at the airfield was rare in later years, production was still very much alive with the last years of the RJ/RJX series and then the Nimrod MRA4. I bet it made interesting listening when Nimrod was test flying out of Woodford until 2012.

I assume they've long since fell into silence and will be torn down as the demolition of the airfield has started this month.

Point To Point Microwave Links

I find point to point microwave links interesting as they are more stealthy and covert. They are used for all sorts of things such as transmitting data from weather stations, CCTV images from cameras mounted on poles and lamp posts and numerous other uses.

I was recently delivering something to a block of flats in Manchester and as I glanced out at the view from the 16th floor I noticed a couple of microwave links on the corner of the building. One looking towards Manchester City Centre and the other pointing towards the Stockport area. I wonder what they're transmitting?

Well I hope you enjoyed that boring post. I'm sure many of you will agree that antennas are actually pretty interesting!

Thanks for reading!

73's, Lewis M3HHY.

Manchester, UK.

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