AT&T Oxon Hill, MD
- Yesterday (8/28/99) I looked at a former AT&T microwave station in Prince
Georges County, MD. Its coordinates are N38-48-48, W76-57-44. The station
has no active microwave licenses. I think AT&T's name for the facility was
either "Oxon Hill" or "North Barnaby", the neighborhood where it's located.
The station is at the dead end of Arts Dr., a short street in a older
community of single-family houses. The tower is readily visible from
nearby I-495 (Capital Beltway).
The facility appears to have been a relay point, but it has a number of
unusual (though probably insignificant) features. For one thing, the lot,
which is still kept mowed, is *much* larger than the area occupied by the
building and tower. Although the property's perimeter is secured only by a
driveway gate with a "No Trespassing" sign (oops!), the building and tower
are surrounded by a very tall (10-12 ft.) chain-link fence, topped by
barbed wire. This fence has the usual "Wilful and malicious
In addition, there's a second, lower fence around the base of the tower.
Most of the AT&T stations I've seen in rural areas have this fence, while
at Arlington 2 (also in a residential neighborhood), there's a fence around
the entire perimeter of the property.
Also, there's a small trash dumpster - not a roll-off container like used
for construction jobs - near the building, and a new-looking above-ground
fiberglass fuel tank. Finally, there's a small box on the gate to the
outer fence, with a label asking UPS drivers to deposit their
attempted-delivery tickets. A typewritten note on the old "American Tel. &
Tel. Co." sign on the driveway gate tells the UPS drivers about the box.
The building is the usual white-painted concrete-block construction. There
are a couple of cell-site antenna arrays on the tower, each with a separate
free-standing equipment cabinet.
The tower has two pairs of KS horns, and a pair of conical horns. Based on
compass readings, I think one pair of the KS horns, and the conical horns,
talked with two stations to the north in Washington DC, and the third pair
talked with the Waldorf, MD station to the south. Interestingly, the two
DC stations and Oxon Hill are almost in a straight line with each other.
I took photos and will post them on my web page shortly.
- I asked a person who has knowledge of the DC-area defense comms scene about
the apparent destinations. He confirmed that Oxon Hill did talk to the two
stations in DC, and to the Waldorf, MD station.