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WSJ article on Swiss Fallout Shelters

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  • Jim Burks
    There s an interesting article in today s Wall Street Journal on fallout shelters in Switzerland. Apparently, it s a law (or building code) that every family
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 17, 2001
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      There's an interesting article in today's Wall Street Journal on fallout
      shelters in Switzerland. Apparently, it's a law (or building code) that
      every family have fallout shelter space, either in their house, or in a
      neighborhood shelter.

      Even though the Cold War is over, they're still keeping them up.

      Boy, I envy that country's preparedness!

      Short excerpt from the article follows:

      The bunker-building boom began back in 1971, when the U.S.-Soviet arms
      race was yielding megaton bombs and all sorts of horror scenarios.
      It was then that the Swiss government passed a law that said,
      essentially, "for every Swiss, a shelter." It became the Swiss version
      of the American right to bear arms: the right to a bunker.

      Some Swiss had already been bunkering down since before World War II,
      but the national requirement meant that every new house, apartment
      building, school, hospital, office block -- practically every new
      structure -- include a bomb shelter. No matter that this zealously
      neutral Alpine republic hadn't come under attack for centuries.
      And no matter that the building of a bunker, with all that added
      concrete and technology, increased the cost of house construction
      by about $1,000 per bomb-shelter place (for a standard single-family
      house with a six-person bomb shelter, that would be $6,000).
      The Swiss homeowner wouldn't have had it any other way. Even today,
      when some boldly question the size of the Swiss army, the bunker law
      remains on the books, though communities with a surplus of shelter
      spaces can exempt new construction from the requirement.

      (c) 2001 Wall Street Journal (under fair-use rights)
      http://www.wsj.com
    • Albert LaFrance
      Glad you were able to get to the site. Unfortunately, as you saw, the building has been pretty drastically altered from its clean Modern (Bauhaus?) lines.
      Message 2 of 10 , Jan 17, 2001
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        Glad you were able to get to the site. Unfortunately, as you saw, the
        building has been pretty drastically altered from its clean Modern
        (Bauhaus?) lines.

        AT&T's first microwave link operated in the 4 GHz band, and the waveguides
        feeding the big parabolics which replaced the original delay-lens antennas
        appear to be sized for that band. I saw no evidence of the combining
        network which would be present if 6 and/or 11 GHz radio was also used on
        the route. In fact, the waveguide configuration appeared to be at least
        partly original: it consists of two rectangular guides rising vertically
        through the roof, each terminating in a Y fitting. One branch of each Y is
        connected by flex waveguide to an antenna. Those Y fittings are visible in
        at least one vintage photo of an early station.

        I know that in 1992, Bald Hill was not operational as part of AT&T's
        network. When I was there in August 2000, I didn't check the electric
        meter so I can't say if anything was running. I did notice that the radome
        on one of the antennas was coming off.

        Did you observe any other antennas (e.g. cellular) which might account for
        the power usage? I didn't see any on my visit.

        Albert

        Message text written by INTERNET:coldwarcomms@egroups.com
        >
        >I am interested in AT&T's first microwave route. After seeing Alberts
        >site in CT, I took a quick trip from home to Bald Hill. It appears
        >that that there is still power to the building. I hear that the link
        >has been decommisioned, but why the power? Is there still a MW link
        >operating? I checked the power meter, and its turning...
      • packy41@yahoo.com
        I did not see any other antenna s or the such mounted on the building. I also did notice the horizontal rip on one of the horizontal antennas facing west. The
        Message 3 of 10 , Jan 17, 2001
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          I did not see any other antenna's or the such mounted on the
          building. I also did notice the horizontal rip on one of the
          horizontal antennas facing west. The Connecticut State Police has one
          of their newer antenna sites at this location, but all the equipment
          and antennas were across the access road. So in short, its still a
          mystery why AT&T would keep up on a building or link that is suppose
          to be abandoned. The only thing that I can think of would be a cell
          relay site, but I doubt that.

          Albert, by any chance did you drive thru the state forest down the
          road and get a look at the other antenna site? I could not find
          anything placed on the building that identifies the owner. There were
          at least three towers with antennas (about 5) arranged in a fashion
          similar to cell sites. Just looked kinda odd.




          --- In coldwarcomms@egroups.com, Albert LaFrance <alafrance@c...>
          wrote:
          > Glad you were able to get to the site. Unfortunately, as you saw,
          the
          > building has been pretty drastically altered from its clean Modern
          > (Bauhaus?) lines.
          >
          > AT&T's first microwave link operated in the 4 GHz band, and the
          waveguides
          > feeding the big parabolics which replaced the original delay-lens
          antennas
          > appear to be sized for that band. I saw no evidence of the
          combining
          > network which would be present if 6 and/or 11 GHz radio was also
          used on
          > the route. In fact, the waveguide configuration appeared to be at
          least
          > partly original: it consists of two rectangular guides rising
          vertically
          > through the roof, each terminating in a Y fitting. One branch of
          each Y is
          > connected by flex waveguide to an antenna. Those Y fittings are
          visible in
          > at least one vintage photo of an early station.
          >
          > I know that in 1992, Bald Hill was not operational as part of AT&T's
          > network. When I was there in August 2000, I didn't check the
          electric
          > meter so I can't say if anything was running. I did notice that
          the radome
          > on one of the antennas was coming off.
          >
          > Did you observe any other antennas (e.g. cellular) which might
          account for
          > the power usage? I didn't see any on my visit.
          >
          > Albert
          >
          > Message text written by INTERNET:coldwarcomms@egroups.com
          > >
          > >I am interested in AT&T's first microwave route. After seeing
          Alberts
          > >site in CT, I took a quick trip from home to Bald Hill. It appears
          > >that that there is still power to the building. I hear that the
          link
          > >has been decommisioned, but why the power? Is there still a MW
          link
          > >operating? I checked the power meter, and its turning...
        • Mark Foster
          ... I believe the only AT&T owned antenna in CT is atCheshire. Maybe the RBOC owns the site.
          Message 4 of 10 , Jan 18, 2001
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            At 05:51 AM 1/18/2001 +0000, you wrote:
            >I did not see any other antenna's or the such mounted on the
            >building. I also did notice the horizontal rip on one of the
            >horizontal antennas facing west. The Connecticut State Police has one
            >of their newer antenna sites at this location, but all the equipment
            >and antennas were across the access road. So in short, its still a
            >mystery why AT&T would keep up on a building or link that is suppose
            >to be abandoned. The only thing that I can think of would be a cell
            >relay site, but I doubt that.

            I believe the only AT&T owned antenna in CT is atCheshire. Maybe the
            RBOC owns the site.
          • Paxton Heckman
            RBOC? What might that be? When I was up there a couple of days ago, it still had the new and old At&t emergecny signs on it... Oh well Mark Foster
            Message 5 of 10 , Jan 18, 2001
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              RBOC? What might that be? When I was up there a couple of days ago, it still had the new and old At&t emergecny signs on it... Oh well

                Mark Foster <mfoster@...> wrote:

              At 05:51 AM 1/18/2001 +0000, you wrote:
              >I did not see any other antenna's or the such mounted on the
              >building. I also did notice the horizontal rip on one of the
              >horizontal antennas facing west. The Connecticut State Police has one
              >of their newer antenna sites at this location, but all the equipment
              >and antennas were across the access road. So in short, its still a
              >mystery why AT&T would keep up on a building or link that is suppose
              >to be abandoned. The only thing that I can think of would be a cell
              >relay site, but I doubt that.

              I believe the only AT&T owned antenna in CT is atCheshire.  Maybe the
              RBOC owns the site.



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            • Ken Hoehn
              RBOC: Regional Bell Operating Company. The baby bells after the breakup. KWH
              Message 6 of 10 , Jan 18, 2001
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                RBOC: Regional Bell Operating Company.

                The 'baby bells' after the breakup.

                KWH

                Paxton Heckman wrote:

                >
                >
                > RBOC? What might that be? When I was up there a couple of days ago, it
                > still had the new and old At&t emergecny signs on it... Oh well
              • Albert LaFrance
                ... Usually, current AT&T sites have a prominent sign with the blue AT&T deathstar logo, giving the Rockdale 800 number for emergencies. I don t recall
                Message 7 of 10 , Jan 21, 2001
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                  >I did not see any other antenna's or the such mounted on the
                  >building. I also did notice the horizontal rip on one of the
                  >horizontal antennas facing west. The Connecticut State Police has one
                  >of their newer antenna sites at this location, but all the equipment
                  >and antennas were across the access road. So in short, its still a
                  >mystery why AT&T would keep up on a building or link that is suppose
                  >to be abandoned. The only thing that I can think of would be a cell
                  >relay site, but I doubt that.

                  Usually, current AT&T sites have a prominent sign with the blue AT&T
                  "deathstar" logo, giving the Rockdale 800 number for emergencies. I don't
                  recall seeing one at Bald Hill; did you happen to notice if there is one?
                  I think there was just an old "Wilful and malicious destruction..." sign.
                  If so, perhaps AT&T no longer owns the facility.

                  >Albert, by any chance did you drive thru the state forest down the
                  >road and get a look at the other antenna site? I could not find
                  >anything placed on the building that identifies the owner. There were
                  >at least three towers with antennas (about 5) arranged in a fashion
                  >similar to cell sites. Just looked kinda odd.

                  No, I didn't get that far down the road, but I'll check it out next time.
                  Carriers and major tower companies like American Tower usually have signs
                  clearly identifying their sites, but smaller operators might not.

                  Albert
                • packy41@yahoo.com
                  It had the faded sign still attached, and a newer blue one about the same size right above it with the 800 and Connecticut numbers, with Site 26 I think on it
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jan 21, 2001
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                    It had the faded sign still attached, and a newer blue one about the
                    same size right above it with the 800 and Connecticut numbers, with
                    Site 26 I think on it



                    --- In coldwarcomms@egroups.com, Albert LaFrance <alafrance@c...>
                    wrote:
                    > >I did not see any other antenna's or the such mounted on the
                    > >building. I also did notice the horizontal rip on one of the
                    > >horizontal antennas facing west. The Connecticut State Police has
                    one
                    > >of their newer antenna sites at this location, but all the
                    equipment
                    > >and antennas were across the access road. So in short, its still a
                    > >mystery why AT&T would keep up on a building or link that is
                    suppose
                    > >to be abandoned. The only thing that I can think of would be a
                    cell
                    > >relay site, but I doubt that.
                    >
                    > Usually, current AT&T sites have a prominent sign with the blue AT&T
                    > "deathstar" logo, giving the Rockdale 800 number for emergencies.
                    I don't
                    > recall seeing one at Bald Hill; did you happen to notice if there
                    is one?
                    > I think there was just an old "Wilful and malicious destruction..."
                    sign.
                    > If so, perhaps AT&T no longer owns the facility.
                    >
                    > >Albert, by any chance did you drive thru the state forest down the
                    > >road and get a look at the other antenna site? I could not find
                    > >anything placed on the building that identifies the owner. There
                    were
                    > >at least three towers with antennas (about 5) arranged in a
                    fashion
                    > >similar to cell sites. Just looked kinda odd.
                    >
                    > No, I didn't get that far down the road, but I'll check it out next
                    time.
                    > Carriers and major tower companies like American Tower usually have
                    signs
                    > clearly identifying their sites, but smaller operators might not.
                    >
                    > Albert
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