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Re: [coldwarcomms] Re: Down time at a hardened facility

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  • Steve
    I ve been a member of this group for about three months now, and hereby submit my first post. I hope you will find it useful. I m a retired radio station
    Message 1 of 50 , Feb 4, 2011
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      I've been a member of this group for about three months now, and hereby submit my first post. I hope you will find it useful. I'm a retired radio station chief engineer. I've been in broadcasting since 1965 so I've been around the block more than once.

      Broadcasters used to be tied to the telephone companies exclusively, and AT&T and their operating companies gave high priority to making sure their circuits worked.

      Here in central Illinois, radio stations used to broadcast a number of high school football and basketball games. One I worked at carried one game on AM, another on FM, and tape-delayed a third one on AM in the 70s. In-town games were on a dedicated, non-amplified dry pair. Out-of-town games were usually on a voice-grade toll circuit, or in the case of bigger stations, on 5 KHz lines known as Schedule Bs. Friday and Saturday was real busy at our place and at our local Illinois Bell office, as they lined up all the out-of-town games. The circuit was comprised of three components: the out-of-town arena or gym to the distant CO, the interexchange toll circuit, and then the in-town circuit from the Illinois Bell CO to us. Lining up the circuit involved sending a telco man with a tone oscillator to the distant arena and feeding 1000 hertz tone and having us verify we got the tone and it sounded okay. We have a number of "ma and pa" telcos in Illinois,
      and farting around with them could take much of the day. The principal problem involved them over-driving the input to the carrier equipment which resulted in distorted audio. Explaining this to some wet-behind-the-ears telco kid was a challenge in some cases. Our local Bell guys were top-notch, because they also handled video toll as well as audio toll and often had FCC First phones like me.
      When ABC came to town to televise a game coast-to-coast, they had five or six telco trucks at the stadium. The video ran on cable to the CO, and then was microwaved out of here by AT&T. AT&T had scads of horn and dish antennas on their tower.

      So, yeah, major COs were manned heavily on Fridays and Saturdays here. We have CBS and PBS stations locally who were fed on telco video until the switch to satellite by the networks in the 80s, but network service typically ended at 10:30 in those days. CBS did run a late movie in those days, which the guys at the central office would often watch, because the local CBS affiliate ran re-runs of Hawaii 50 instead. I believe that every minute local TV affiliates were running network programming that Illinois Bell had someone working the toll board, just in case.

      Out of town college games could originate anywhere. I remember one in Gainesville, Florida that we had a 5 KC loop on. It could have been patched through...conceivably...Savannah on the way to Chicago and us. When AT&T lined up a game from 1000 miles away, it was patched through a bunch of toll boards, each of whom could screw it up if the levels were not set correctly. It could take hours before I'd approve the circuit for broadcast, and you had to give your initials to the telco guys saying you approved it.

      And there can be some pretty crazy routing sometime. I remember one game...airline distance about 120 miles...that ended up going several thousand miles. It originated at Indiana University, then Bobby Knight's home. AT&T's 5 KHz lines from Indianapolis to Chicago were all busy, so they ended up going from Bloomington to Indianapolis, Indianapolis to Detroit, Detroit to New York, New York to Chicago, then Chicago to us. It had something to do with supergroups that couldn't be broken in Detroit. They could go east but not west, but there was plenty of spare capacity out of NYC to Chicago. There was a little more line noise than normal, but the crowd noise masked it. We started on that one early Friday, and I don't think they had that one lined up until the next morning.

      Stu





      --- On Thu, 2/3/11, Mike Walker <thecloudboy@...> wrote:

      > From: Mike Walker <thecloudboy@...>
      > Subject: Re: [coldwarcomms] Re: Down time at a hardened facility
      > To: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com
      > Date: Thursday, February 3, 2011, 9:03 PM
      > When I lived in Savannah, Georgia, a
      > friend lived near the downtown central
      > office for AT&T there. I'd often go over and play cards
      > or watch movies with
      > him and his room-mate and would leave late and night and
      > notice there was
      > always two or three civilian cars in the central office
      > parking lot. I
      > cannot imagine given the degree of automation these days
      > that they needed
      > two or more overnight staffers but I guess they did? What
      > are these folks
      > doing all the time (unless something goes wrong)?
      >
      > Mike
      >
      > 2011/2/3 Jason Bourne <quiet_cool1986@...>
      >
      > >
      > >
      > > Thanks for reply, I was curious how those people
      > passed the time----as for
      > > me, I'd once considered looking into a career with
      > AT&T and maybe be
      > > assigned to a project office, but I don't do real well
      > underground. A buddy
      > > of mine worked at one during the 70s and he told me
      > you could not even tell
      > > you were underground, except for the lack of windows!
      > >
      > > --- On Thu, 2/3/11, David <wb8foz@...
      > <wb8foz%40nrk.com>> wrote:
      > >
      > > From: David <wb8foz@...
      > <wb8foz%40nrk.com>>
      > > Subject: Re: [coldwarcomms] Re: Down time at a
      > hardened facility
      > > To: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com
      > <coldwarcomms%40yahoogroups.com>
      > > Date: Thursday, February 3, 2011, 10:30 PM
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > On 2/3/11 4:52 PM, OZOB99 wrote:
      > >
      > > > Every toll office large enough to be covered
      > during evening, nights,&
      > > > to some extent weekends/holidays, had varying
      > down time since much of
      > > > the testing/restoral work was on demand; there
      > were recurring routine
      > > > tests to be made on equipment, and the "off
      > tours" as they were
      > > > called,often had "make work" tasks assigned like
      > filing BSP's&
      > > > drawings, inventories,housekeeping, etc.
      > > >
      > >
      > > I once heard a story about framem{a,e}n who would
      > climb up in the cable
      > > tray and go to sleep...
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      > > 
      > >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >     coldwarcomms-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com
      >
      >
      >
    • Craig Scott
      Just a quick note on Mt. Tom; it is home to TV stations: WGBY, WGGB and WSHM, also FM: WHYN and WVEI. That might explain why the road is plowed in the winter.
      Message 50 of 50 , Apr 25, 2011
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        Just a quick note on Mt. Tom; it is home to TV stations: WGBY, WGGB and WSHM,
        also FM: WHYN and WVEI. That might explain why the road is plowed in the
        winter. And you can add NYS as also having NO USAF bases anymore!
        Craig
        Watervliet NY



        ________________________________
        From: Jason Bourne <quiet_cool1986@...>
        To: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sat, April 23, 2011 12:08:27 AM
        Subject: Re: [coldwarcomms] Re: Down time at a hardened facility

        This would be another bunker in addition to "The Notch" at Bear Mountain in
        Hadley, MA.
        And speaking of Hanscom, if I'm not mistaken it is the only active duty (not
        just reserve or guard) military base in the 6 New England states. Heck the
        stories about the summit of Mount Tom are interesting by themselves!

        --- On Sat, 4/23/11, Mike Walker <thecloudboy@...> wrote:


        From: Mike Walker <thecloudboy@...>
        Subject: Re: [coldwarcomms] Re: Down time at a hardened facility
        To: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Saturday, April 23, 2011, 4:01 AM


        A possible bunker near Holyoke MA? Does anyone else know more about this? A
        friend who was USAF and worked in comms some time ago said someting in
        passing about his CO having been in Mass at some point of his career and I
        asked if he was at Hanscom ABF near Concord and my friend said, "no, he was
        at Holyoke" so I said "at Westover?" and he was like "well, somewhere there"
        which I found odd enough.

        Mike


        2011/4/22 Jason Bourne <quiet_cool1986@...>

        >
        >
        > thanks Jack! no apology necessary. actually the closest underground
        > facility to where I live was the AT&T Autovon switching center at
        > Chesterfield MA. which is now Chesterfield Custom Products. The place still
        > looks pretty secure from outside eventhough the back half of the hillwas
        > excavated for the shipping dock and doors. I'm thinking that being an
        > AUTOVON center, it may have been guarded by military police or secret
        > service if Nixon's daughter had bben evacuated to the "Nixon Suite" back
        > when she was going to college in Amherst. A couple places I'd love to poke
        > around would be the facilities in New York state, plus I keep hearing rumors
        > about a bunker in Mount Tom Reservation in Holyoke MA., but aside from the
        > place being really creepy in the wintertime with no amusement park any more,
        > I've really not seen any tell-tale signs, although a friend of mine who
        > lives near the reservation insists that one road to the summit is always
        > plowed several times a
        > day during snow storms.
        >
        > --- On Sat, 4/23/11, Jack McCook <jaxwift@...> wrote:
        >
        > From: Jack McCook <jaxwift@...>
        >
        > Subject: Re: [coldwarcomms] Re: Down time at a hardened facility
        > To: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com
        > Date: Saturday, April 23, 2011, 3:29 AM
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > I apologize for the belated and outdated response to this post, but in
        > regard to Jason's question about security at AT&T facilities, when I was
        > poking around the Chatham Project Office grounds, I found Pinkerton logs in
        > the abandoned guardhouse... for what that's worth.
        >
        > --- On Tue, 2/8/11, Jason Bourne <quiet_cool1986@...> wrote:
        >
        > From: Jason Bourne <quiet_cool1986@...>
        > Subject: Re: [coldwarcomms] Re: Down time at a hardened facility
        > To: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com
        > Date: Tuesday, February 8, 2011, 2:14 PM
        >
        >
        >
        > Charlie, Mike, and everyone thanks for sharing your views and imput!
        > Charle, Mike, and ozoB99 specifically, are you guys referring specifically
        > to underground AT&T bunkers or secure above-ground facilities? The reason
        > I'm asking is I'm wondering if AT&T contracted outside help for armed
        > security to keep the curious at bay or if AT&T contracted outside help for
        > maintaining the nuclear, biological, and chemical filtration systems at the
        > facilities which had them? My buddy who worked for AT&T in the 70s recalls
        > shotgun wielding folks seemed to always be present at the facility he was
        > assigned to. Not sure if they'd be AT&T employees or Wackenhut, Pinkerton,
        > or another "consulting" agency. This might bring up an interesting legal
        > situation; are trespassers charged with trespassing on private property or
        > violating national security regs depending on the facility? Sorry for all
        > the questions.
        >
        > --- On Tue, 2/8/11, s82917 <s82917@...> wrote:
        >
        > From: s82917 <s82917@...>
        >
        > Subject: [coldwarcomms] Re: Down time at a hardened facility
        >
        > To: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com
        >
        > Date: Tuesday, February 8, 2011, 5:59 PM
        >
        >
        >
        > I looked up the FCC records for Blaney Park, Cooks, and a few others on
        > this route. They all had TD-2 and TD-3 radios running through KS15676 horn
        > antennas, and Farinon SS2000C radios (2 GHz band) running through a 10' dish
        > antenna mounted 6' below the platform on the same azimuth as the horns.
        > That's a typical setup for order wire carried via radio.
        >
        > Terry
        >
        > --- In coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com, "s82917" <s82917@...> wrote:
        >
        > >
        >
        > > I can check the records on those specific sites when I'm in the office
        > next week to be sure, but for now I'd say, on the UP towers where there is a
        > dish aimed the same direction as the horn antennas, that's probably a 2GHz
        > order wire/alarm radio. Order wire was hopped via a separate radio system,
        > usually Farinon equipment, from tower to tower in a repeater section, back
        > to a maintenance or junction site. I've seen a number of these out west.
        >
        > >
        >
        > > The UP route is listed in the 1972 Microwave Catalog as being jointly
        > owned with Michigan Bell, but from what I've seen at other jointly owned
        > routes both entities used the same horn antennas.
        >
        > >
        >
        > > Terry
        >
        > >
        >
        > >
        >
        > >
        >
        > > --- In coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com, Tom Scanlan <tomandsue@> wrote:
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > Charlie-
        >
        > > > Your mention of running envelope delays on the TD2 links and working on
        > Lenkurt stuff reminded me of a question that I've had but never remember to
        > ask! On some AT&T facilities, in addition to the usual array of horns, there
        > are, at a few locations, plain old dishes, usually aimed off at a different
        > direction than the horns. At John Tom Hill, Glastonbury, CT there are three
        > such dishes, still there, and by doing some examining of routes and azimuths
        > it appears they were for delivery of NBC to WHNB, New Britain, CT, WWLP,
        > NBC, Springfield, MA and WHYN, CBS (Pre-1957) and ABC (Post 1957), to Mt.
        > Tom, Springfield, MA. However, on some routes, such as going west, in
        > Michigan's Upper Peninsula from Allenville-Rexton-Blaney Park-Cooks-Perkins,
        > there is a pair of dishes on each of these locations, just below the top
        > deck, one east facing the other west facing. I haven't been west of Perkins,
        > but there is also a west facing dish there heading towards Ralph.
        >
        > Allenville & Perkins remain under the AT&T Flag while the rest are American
        > Tower's steel. It appears by looking at the towers, which I did last
        > October, these dishes were possibly added after the initial construction. My
        > experience in the TV business shows zero delivery of television service
        > anywhere in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, although this doesn't mean long
        > lines TV delivery thru the area may have been the case......any info of any
        > of this?
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > Tom Scanlan
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > -----Original Message-----
        >
        > > > From: charlie Fargis <lackey91@>
        >
        > > > To: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com
        >
        > > > Sent: Fri, Feb 4, 2011 8:16 am
        >
        > > > Subject: RE: [coldwarcomms] Re: Down time at a hardened facility
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > Time for me to chime in.
        >
        > > > In the early 70's AT&T figured out a way to keep unbusy people busy.
        >
        > > > MMICs
        >
        > > > BSPs called for maintenance on just about everything from Batteries to
        >
        > > > bathrooms.
        >
        > > > So the first line boss to keep his job filled in start sheets on MMICS
        > on
        >
        > > > everything that had to be cleaned or adjusted or checked
        >
        > > > and how often.
        >
        > > > When I worked in Garden City, some of the taks I did were making sure
        > the 2
        >
        > > > generators ran when the 2 VEPCO feeds died.
        >
        > > > (I used to ask the boss if it was ok to start the bus as it sounded
        > like one)
        >
        > > > Another would be doing the envelope delay distortion runs on the TD2
        > channels.
        >
        > > > Other folks did the TL/TM and others the Lenkurt.
        >
        > > > SOme guys checked the COG transmitters or receivers for sensitivity and
        > power.
        >
        > > > Places with switch gear PM'ed that.
        >
        > > > PFS and Harmonic generators and power had to be done during the 12 to
        > 8AM shift.
        >
        > > > We even had to sample the fuel and lubricating oils and send them to a
        > lab.
        >
        > > > MMICS was used to justify staff along with trouble tickets and circuit
        > orders.
        >
        > > > They all got added up in the home of the Bengals and WKRP to tell the
        > higher ups
        >
        > > > whether to cut force.
        >
        > > > They cut it to zero 12 to 8 on weekends as the place was locked up when
        > I got
        >
        > > > there on the weekends I worked.
        >
        > > > Risk management.
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > To: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com
        >
        > > > From: quiet_cool1986@
        >
        > > > Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2011 20:37:13 -0800
        >
        > > > Subject: Re: [coldwarcomms] Re: Down time at a hardened facility
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
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        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > I assumed that places like the project offices, being that they
        > supported
        >
        > > > COG programs, would have a large number of folks on hand during a
        > shift, in case
        >
        > > > the balloon went up. But I'm sure that other facilities, like central
        > offices,
        >
        > > > would be pretty boring and very little to do. Of course if the balloon
        > went up,
        >
        > > > the underground facilities crews would have plenty to do I'm sure.
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > From: Mike Walker <thecloudboy@>
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > Subject: Re: [coldwarcomms] Re: Down time at a hardened facility
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > To: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > Date: Friday, February 4, 2011, 3:03 AM
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > When I lived in Savannah, Georgia, a friend lived near the downtown
        > central
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > office for AT&T there. I'd often go over and play cards or watch movies
        > with
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > him and his room-mate and would leave late and night and notice there
        > was
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > always two or three civilian cars in the central office parking lot. I
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > cannot imagine given the degree of automation these days that they
        > needed
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > two or more overnight staffers but I guess they did? What are these
        > folks
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > doing all the time (unless something goes wrong)?
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > Mike
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > 2011/2/3 Jason Bourne <quiet_cool1986@>
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > > Thanks for reply, I was curious how those people passed the
        > time----as for
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > > me, I'd once considered looking into a career with AT&T and maybe be
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > > assigned to a project office, but I don't do real well underground. A
        > buddy
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > > of mine worked at one during the 70s and he told me you could not
        > even tell
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > > you were underground, except for the lack of windows!
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > > --- On Thu, 2/3/11, David <wb8foz@ <wb8foz%40nrk.com>> wrote:
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > > From: David <wb8foz@ <wb8foz%40nrk.com>>
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > > Subject: Re: [coldwarcomms] Re: Down time at a hardened facility
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > > To: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com <coldwarcomms%40yahoogroups.com>
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > > Date: Thursday, February 3, 2011, 10:30 PM
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > > On 2/3/11 4:52 PM, OZOB99 wrote:
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > > > Every toll office large enough to be covered during evening,
        > nights,&
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > > > to some extent weekends/holidays, had varying down time since much
        > of
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > > > the testing/restoral work was on demand; there were recurring
        > routine
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > > > tests to be made on equipment, and the "off tours" as they were
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > > > called,often had "make work" tasks assigned like filing BSP's&
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > > > drawings, inventories,housekeeping, etc.
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > > I once heard a story about framem{a,e}n who would climb up in the
        > cable
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > > tray and go to sleep...
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
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        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > ------------------------------------
        >
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        > > >
        >
        > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
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        > > > ------------------------------------
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
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