Category Archives: Government Wireless

Summiting Table Top 10MAR18

http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ascent.aspx?aid=937449

4375′ elevation – clean prominence: 2333′ – isolation: 31.3 mi

GPS log available at peakbagger link above.

Time-lapse video of drive off pavement

Kind of clandestine wireless communications site – off-grid

From the parking lot, Woolsey’s in-between the two saguaros. There was one other vehicle in the lot.

Trail register.

Timber at the top of the ascent trail. This is the SE end of the mesa.

A solar powered radio facility! And all camo’ed out.

While I do not know its purpose or owning agency, it definitely appears to be some sort of relay site, with the cheesy, wire omni antenna (even with an antenna BNC connector, who’d have thunk?), perhaps monitoring VHF high-band transmitters around the peak and relaying messages/signals from them on some UHF frequency using the directional Yagi antenna in the green radome.

Amazing that the panels are not damaged or missing.

The equipment enclosure. Must have batteries and the two radios inside.

The antenna connector at the bottom of the case. Note the green ground wire, so someone working on this has some fleeting idea of the correct insulation color for ground. However, it’s interesting that no critter has chewed through the insulation.

Honestly, I’d be so embarrassed to hoist an antenna as crappy looking as the VHF high-band omni on the right. And what’s worse, the connector used there is a BNC, definitely not rated for outdoor environments.

From the trail-top timber post, looking at the high point of Table Top. There is a very deep gulley/draw between there and here and the trail to the peak is around the east side of the mesa.

As I get closer to the true peak, a shot back toward the SE end of Table Top – the radio equipment and trail-top timber are at the right side of the ridge.

Finally, the benchmark is achieved. It’s been sprinkling lightly for the past hour.

The peak register is hidden near the benchmark. Signed in.

From the top, came back down retracing the path up.

Arrived at the truck right around sunset, by the time I made it to I-8 it was well after 1900.

No CBP or DEA observed. I’m sure that they were observing me, though %^)

Summiting Newman Peak 11MAR18

http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ascent.aspx?aid=937700

~4500′ elevation – clean prominence: 2500′ – isolation: 24.5 mi

GPS log available at peakbagger link above.

Time-lapse video of drive off pavement

Wireless communications site – off-grid

At the trailhead around 1000. Cloud cover promised a cool day for a hike.

Looking down the main canyon back toward the CAP Tucson extension (the curved line in the middle-foreground). Trailhead is just about where the canal touches the right canyon slope.

Now in the narrow slot that climbs abruptly out of the main canyon.

A handy, helpful bit of guidance for someone who’s vertical-orientation challenged.

Continuing up the slot, view is opening up as clouds break up. Can see at least 100 miles. Rock towers abound.

Atop slot, great views. The hogback-shaped peak in the distance is Table Top, which I’d summited the day before.

While it can’t be seen in this photo, my white truck is naked-eye visible at the trailhead, just to the right of the bridge over the canal.

There really is an end to this climb! Newman radio site in view from below.

Benchmark and peak register.

Again.

That little bump in the center middleground is Picacho Peak. Kinda small from here. Also, the trains were very hearable when they blew their horns.

In far left, Catalina Mountains and Mt Lemmon. In far far center, Baboquivari. A frickin’ gorgeous day for a climb.

More or less east from the site.

Towers.

More towers. And remember to smile, ’cause you’re on camera!

Towers bristling with radomed-microwave dishes.

Another view.

Want to lease space at the site? Call the number.

This power pole is the top end of the line down the side of the mountain. Only single-phase power, anyone know what voltage level?

A shot of the hump at the southernmost part of the main Picacho range, with Picacho Peak in the left background and the freeway easily visible.

Final shot of radio stuff. I promise.

View to the NW, with the Sierra Estrella in the left background, and Camelback even visible (but not in this scaled-down photo).

End of the trip, just on the east side of the CAP Tucson extension. Not a single person seen. Very isolated. Back to vehicle around 1600, and out to pavement and I-10 about 45 minutes later.