Re: [coldwarcomms] Fiber Optic Crossing Under Black Hills lake
- Anybody have any info? Wonder if the cable was there before the lake was created. Suspect it runs to Monrovia. There is a cable backup power station in the area too. First and only one I've ever seen. Anyone know how far apart the backup power stations are?
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- Actually, there are 2 fiber paths under the lake. One, originally L4, is the Finksburg-Dranesville route. The regen hut that you see on Old Baltimore Road next to I-270 is on this route.
The other, perhaps K originally, is the Monrovia-DOE Germantown route. Both went in before the lake was created in 1983
The original access road to manhole 36 on the Finksburg-Dransville route (next to a playground in the park) was off of Clarksburg road and is now partially submerged.
There were probably at least 3 markers on the Monrovia-DOE path the were submerged. There is a video on YouTube that shows the area before the construction of the dam and as it was flooded. Markers can be seen at timecode 2:04 and 2:42. The marker at 2:04 is fairly modern. The one at 2:42 is unmistakably and L4 marker.
Nearest K was Wash-Balt; never heard of a LL toll cable Monrovia-Germantown, & none on route maps; perhaps local channels on C&P cable with VF and/or short haul carrier to LSO's feeding customers in the area?
- From what I see on HistoricAerials, the cable went in between 1963 and 1965. Too early to be fiber? About 0.7 miles from DOE the cable passes through a small park where there is a manhole directly in line with the cable and 4 manhole covers side-by-side just off of the path. I don't know if these are 4 separate manholes or 4 covers into a single large manhole. I suppose the original cable could have been VF, but then why the manholes? The 4 could be C&P (Verizon) I suppose. There is a CO about 0.3 miles away. The path is marked as fiber today.
The cable seems to terminate at DOE directly opposite the AT&T Germantown tower as if it was put in to replace the microwave link.
OK, that cable could be a C&P inter-exchange trunking cable feeding circuits to the AEC(in that day), and possibly other customers; including a branch to nearby Olney Federal Center; or it might have been a Special Construction local channel cable for the AEC.
Since there is some evidence the Germantown tower might have fed a 50KB wideband loop to the AEC there, the cable in question could have had some pairs providing wideband service as a replacement or augment.
- I don't think this had anything to do with FEMA Olney. The cable from Monrovia to FEMA Olney runs well north of the AEC/DOE. This cable does not run to the nearby CO although whatever is in those 4 manholes might.
What do you think about the 4 manholes? Could they be 4 openings into a single large manhole or 4 individual manholes side-by-side? They can be seen clearly on Bing maps at: 39.178331,-77.267294 with north oriented down.
I've only seen a photo of a two cover manhole & I doubt there would be four on a single vault, but I know little about urban outside plant; perhaps the four are different utilities running parallel.
My swag on a Germantown tower-Olney cable(C&P or special construction) is based on these observations previously posted:
"In the 1960's there was one shot there(Germantown) from Hamilton(we know it had a multiplex section to Wash 4), by 1970 another from Haymarket(possible diverse routing),in 1971 the Hamilton shot was discontinued & Garden City added; all this was a means to a (dead) end, that is Germantown was a terminal station for something, not a repeater or junction; and it would not have been for POTS/commercial private line, already well served by existing short haul carriers from the DC area.
In addition to the AEC/DOE and Wheelhouse, or other air-ground connection, there may have been an Olney CD/FSC connection via a 10 mile wideband and/or voice grade loop ,or a gov't microwave shot from Germantown; and lastly, perhaps another classified facility in the area that hasn't surfaced."
Mention of "another classified location" in this snippet":
"A friend of minne told me of a classified facility near Germantown in the 60 ish time period. Her mother worked there and took a bus from DC to get there. Said it wasn't DOE. Any idea what it was and if that's where the Comms link terminated. Been out here for almost 20 years and I've never seen anything that resembles it "
- All 5 of the manhole covers here are the classic Bell System type.
I've not seen any pathway between Germantown and FEMA Olney. Definitely Monrovia-FEMA Olney, now marked as fiber. The Monrovia-DOE path is also marked as fiber. I have these and the others from Monrovia mapped almost marker for maker.
I've been to the Germantown site but was unable to see any evidence of an old cable path going next-door to DOE. Of course it would be pretty well grown over by now.
I wonder if the "classified location" actually was DOE. It wasn't called that in the 60's. It was still the AEC.
I posted a couple of photos of the manhole covers. They're in the "MD manhole covers" album. One shows the 4 side-by-side covers. The other is a tighter shot showing the Bell System markings.
- The 4 manhole covers actually cover two different, adjacent vaults (notice that the covers are not in a straight line, two are slightly offset from the other two). Both are roughly 12x6x10. They date back to the early 70's and appear to be only C&P stuff. They probably started are interoffice trunk facilities. The AT&T right of way is closer to Germantown Road.
Ok. That makes sense. Glad you recognize it.
There is another "single" manhole cover there as well. The AT&T cable runs up the north side of Walter Johnson Road, continues through the park apparently just skirting the single manhole, continues in a straight line crossing Germantown Road and then paralleling it on the north side from just west of the shopping center entrance where Walter Johnson used to intersect Rt. 118. Rt. 118 was extended as Germantown Rd in the '80s and Walter Johnson terminated where it is now.
The cable runs along the north side of Germantown road until opposite the northwest corner of the DOE property then make a turn into DOE.
---In email@example.com, <lists@...> wrote:The 4 manhole covers actually cover two different, adjacent vaults (notice that the covers are not in a straight line, two are slightly offset from the other two). Both are roughly 12x6x10. They date back to the early 70's and appear to be only C&P stuff. They probably started are interoffice trunk facilities. The AT&T right of way is closer to Germantown Road.
- There are lots of Telco manhole covers at the former Comsat property and Black Hills park. Wonder if the Telco at Comsat was a ground entry point for Satellite and Telco at Black Hills was for wildlife :-). I find the goings on at the former Site D AJCC tower of more interest. There is what appears to be a gap filler radar on a small tower and a new radome on the former Site D microwave tower. There was an interesting workmanship basket on a cable between Boston towers; or so it appears. Looks like an active site again. Hmm
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- The manholes in Black Hill Park are on the Finksburg-Dranesville route. Probably went in as L4--no huts and manholes every 2 miles. This cable runs along the south side of Old Baltimore Road past Comsat.
I know there is Verizon fiber going into Comsat. We used to send video over it for uplinking.
- This past summer they removed the remaining Satellite dishes from Comsat. They also locked the entrances for the first time ever. There is one nondescript bldg near where the Intelsat dishes were located that I could never figure out its purpose. maybe theVerizon connection.
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