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Virginia Beach Area Tower Farm




 
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AB3L
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« on: October 07, 2020, 10:41:44 AM »

I was in Sandbridge Virginia last week and on the drive in and out I passed a large antenna farm in the town of Pungo. The western part of the property is bordered by Princess Anne Road and Indian River Road. I pulled into a parking lot to take a look at a tower that had some sort of wire beam hanging off of it. It had the look of a log periodic but appeared to aim more vertical than horizontal. The lot has a building there marked as Verizon but looks unused. Further back within the the barbed wire fenced area was a tower with a metal log periodic mounted on it. From where we were in Sandbridge I could count at least 12 towers with navigation lights at night.
I was thinking that it might have something to do with the Dam Neck Naval Base but then again they have a lot of land up there that they could have house it there.

Thanks, Bob AB3L
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W2PFY
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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2020, 12:01:13 PM »

it appears to be an old airfield but it would have been a bumpy landing as they used cement slabs. Two of the "runways look to be about 2300 feet while the longest is just 2400 feet. It may be an old FAA site now but something from WW! or WW2 is my guess about the property.  

Many of the Russian airfields use slabs of concrete for runways to this day!

Look it up on Google Earth and do a close up study? There must be some History there somewhere. Maybe it you find some old timers from the nearby area, they can tell you what is was and what it is?

http://www.airfields-freeman.com/VA/Airfields_VA_VirginiaBeach.htm

Yes it is an airfield and I discovered a great page to read. Just scanned it but it's very detailed.
The airfield is about 1/3 down the page and is a match to what I have posted.

Upon further reading, it appears to be a coast guard station now. Pungo Naval Outer Landing Field, Virginia Beach VA


* OLD AIRFIELD.jpg (492.67 KB, 1593x897 - viewed 104 times.)
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KD6VXI
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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2020, 02:14:40 PM »

Those near vertical log periodics aren't all that uncommon.  TCI built them.  We have one I know of in California that is at an appx 45 degree angle.  It's used to beam shortwave to Central America.

Last SW station in California, I believe.


--Shane
KD6VXI
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AB3L
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« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2020, 05:20:57 PM »

PFY, interesting history of the land. Thanks for the link and the great info into the history there.
I saw a truck exiting thru the Indian River gate so I suppose the site is still in use. There looks to be some interesting tower footprints in circular and a "U" shape for phasing I would think.
When I Googled it down there I saw a location pin labeled for the auto cross track. Not sure if it still is but you can see the markings on the concrete of some doughnuts done in the past.
Thanks PFY and Shane for the info.

Bob
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K4NYW
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2020, 12:37:26 PM »

It is the transmitter antenna farm for the Coast Guard Communications Station

http://wikimapia.org/2136686/United-States-Coast-Guard-Communications-Area-Master-Station-Atlantic-Pungo-Transmitter-Site

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K4NYW
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2020, 12:39:49 PM »

Antenna map attached

* pungo-C8438G01.pdf (3773.76 KB - downloaded 60 times.)
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K4NYW
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« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2020, 01:00:36 PM »

Aha, I knew I had taken some photos - finally found them and just posted at
http://www.navy-radio.com/ant/pungo/

Cheers,
Nick
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AB3L
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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2020, 08:41:22 PM »

Hi Nick, thanks for all of the info.
In your pictures I was standing by the antenna marked MA29 on the phone company property. I has taken a pix on my phone but didn't really detail what was there like your's do. That is the one I mentioned above which seemed to look like a log but now I'm not so sure. Your picture #56.
In fact I'm really confused as to what most of these antenna's are called. Like MA01 in the top left corner of the property, pix #69. Ground fed point into what looks like a cone.
Anyway, always amazed when I see antenna farms like this and the engineering that went into it. When I heard that VOA Delano was being dismantled I used the Google street view to check out what was contained on their property which was unreal.

Also, quite impressed with your basement view from your website. You have taken the hobby to another dimension!

Thanks again,
Bob
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K4NYW
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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2020, 11:46:14 AM »

I have info on some of these antenna designs at
http://www.navy-radio.com/ant-shore.htm
IIRC, there were some inverted cones as well as the log periodics. It is always tough to tell from photos because you can't figure out the 3-D configuration.
further reading is at
http://www.navy-radio.com/manuals/shore-hfant.htm

And as long as we are drooling over antenna farms - here are some Sterba curtain photos from a visit to VOA Greenville
http://www.virhistory.com/ham/voa.htm

Cheers,
Nick
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KD6VXI
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« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2020, 12:01:54 PM »

Hi Nick, thanks for all of the info.
In your pictures I was standing by the antenna marked MA29 on the phone company property. I has taken a pix on my phone but didn't really detail what was there like your's do. That is the one I mentioned above which seemed to look like a log but now I'm not so sure. Your picture #56.
In fact I'm really confused as to what most of these antenna's are called. Like MA01 in the top left corner of the property, pix #69. Ground fed point into what looks like a cone.
Anyway, always amazed when I see antenna farms like this and the engineering that went into it. When I heard that VOA Delano was being dismantled I used the Google street view to check out what was contained on their property which was unreal.

Also, quite impressed with your basement view from your website. You have taken the hobby to another dimension!

Thanks again,
Bob

VOA Delano is still standing, at least it was a year ago.  I've gone out there multiple times just to stand in awe at the curtains.

You can get in the first gate, but the second gate is locked (the one after the guard shack).  The guard shack was open when I was there, and a quick perusal found some poor shlep had left his COBRA paperwork (for insurance) behind.  Since it had personal info on it, I destroyed it for him, although it was nearly a decade old.

If you stand around or drive around long enough local law enforcement comes out and acts like the gestapo.  They have keys to get inside the perimeter fence, and even into the building.

The farmer next door (to the south) is really cool and will grant you easement on his roads so you can get pretty close to the southernmost tower of the curtain array.

I always dreamed of installing a clandestine OWL from the bottom of the curtain to the edge of the farmers property, but trespassing on government property can carry hefty fines.  Thank God I never did, as most of my work now requires access to sensitive parts of Vandenberg AFB and China Lake Naval Weapons Center.  Been through gates one and two on the latter.  Still waiting for something to come up to go through gate 3..  I hear that's where China Lake gets really..... Interesting.

Last I heard, Kern County was talking about converting the actual building into a homeless shelter.  I doubt that would ever go anywhere, but.....  There was talk.

All the electronics are gone.  One of the TX is on loan from the government to the Collins Museum.  There is a write up online on how it all came to be, and almost didn't.

It would be REALLY cool to get access as a ham club or something.  Fire up those curtains one more time!


--Shane
KD6VXI

 
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