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AT&T Oxon Hill, MD

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  • Albert LaFrance
    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
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 29, 1999
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      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
      destruction..." signs.

      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.

      ...Albert
    • Albert LaFrance
      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
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 5, 1999
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        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.

        ...Albert
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