Re: Cellphone tower coverage Qs [Telecom] (Bob Vaughan) wrote:

> > > Other places where you may find antennas include flagpoles (there are > > examples at Palo Alto fire stations 3 (Rinconada Park), and 4 > > Mitchell Park), lamp posts (the old Elks Lodge parking lot next to > > Dianah's), and church steeples. There are also some micro sites > > mounted on utility poles (Junipero Serra @ Stanford Ave). > >Not to mention fake conifers, fake cacti, fake water towers, real water >towers, fake utility poles, smokestacks, transmission line towers, >abandoned billboard poles.

On Nevada Route 160, on the outskirts of Las Vegas, there is a cell phone tower disguised as a pine tree. But no pine trees grow naturally in this desert terrain. In fact, no trees at all. No cactus either, the climate is too dry (2 inches/year of rain) for cactus. The only vegetation is tumble-weed bushes. So here the fake pine tree is a very bad disguise.

***** Moderator's Note *****

OK, but how many people that see it _know_ that trees don't grow there?

"What happens in Vegas ..."

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There's a tower disguised as a fake tree near Bainbridge NY which is twice as high as any of the surrounding trees. Why did they bother?

R's, John

***** Moderator's Note *****

John, that's normal procedure at Ma Bell: you have to plan for future growth. ;-)

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John Levine

Well, yeah. But everything else in Las Vegas is fake too, so why not a fake pine? Makes as much sense as a fake pirate ship in a fake lake, or a fake gondola in a fake Venetian canal.

Neal McLain

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Neal McLain

They also build a lot of real structures specifically to hide a cell tower inside them. The clock towers and church steeples are the most common, but architectural details like a "Lighthouse" at a self- storage facility are a nice way to hide an antenna. Which you would miss if you didn't pick out the panel antennas on the sides.

But the same storage place is pushing the rule of 'hidden in plain sight' to the absurd when a huge and not very well camouflaged "flagpole" tower popped up at the other end of their property...

Actually, that's what they count on - it doesn't have to be a real good disguise job, it just has to look like a "not-a-tower" to the casual observer. Break up the classic silhouette and it disappears.

Those of us who know what to look for can't avoid seing them. But we are not the norm - that's like asking a cowboy not to spot a stray steer waaaay off in the distance, it becomes ingrained.

You can ask the average person with no telecom or architectural or Ham Radio experience "What's different about that Clock Tower?" and they flat out can not 'see the forest for the trees' till you point out all the little clues you saw instantly. Then you can almost watch that metaphoric little light bulb above their head blink on.

The common solution to that problem is to plant a few real pines or palms or whatever around the fake one (tower) so it blends in.

But that only works where you have a water source available to make it a little Oasis. They do occur naturally, but far more often they were manmade long ago, you find a house and a water well under that patch of green.

Now if you place that pocket forest next to an established rest area or service station (like Halloran Summit to pull one name along the way to Vegas out of my...) it would be believable.


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