Sunday, May 30, 2010

What is this?

I biked for a few hours down in Lukang today with the awesome Nathan Miller and Drew Kerslake. We passed these poles, some kind of old electricity system, on the north side of the city. They appear to run between the old military base there, and the current modern radio transmission towers in a field north of the city. Is this an old power transport system? A horizontal radio aerial? Or what?
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MJ Klein said...

it looks to me like some kind of modified horizontal folded dipole antenna, designed for HF reception.

Michael Turton said...

Thanks man.

Stripe said...

An antenna? Would it not simply be the connection between the communication facility and the military base?

StefanMuc said...

If it's an antenna it should be in a very straight line, not have e.g. any turns following the road or lines of houses. It should also be relatively level. The wires should have the same distance from each other over the length of the installation. For a dipole I'd expect a single tap in the middle.

From the pictures it seems that the poles are very close together, much closer than normal power lines, is that right? That would support the antenna hypothesis. On the other hand there are two sets of three wires, and the three wire arrangement is more typical for power transmission. (Three phases.)

If it's an antenna I would tend to go for the other side of the frequency range though - i.e. long wave. The lower the frequency the longer the wave, and that means you typically need a longer antenna. Is it close to the ocean? Below 50kHz is sometimes used for submarine communication (higher frequencies don't penetrate water).

Long wave is also used for beacons (marine and aerospace navigation), but those are non-directional and a dipole in this arrangement would be directional.

Found a picture of a polish long wave antenna on wikipedia:

Not by any means an exact match, but there are some similarities, I think.

Michael Turton said...

Stefan -- it is close to the ocean, but the ROC hasn't much of a sub fleet. It resembles that picture, for sure.

Anonymous said...

It a communication line to 5 Antennas (23.066165 120.421769).

Michael Cannon said...

Though stated above for submarines, you can also use this radio antenna to push signals to maritime listening posts or for beyond the horizon surface vessels.

Anonymous said...

This may be a feed cable from studio to the Radio Taiwan International transmitter site. Lukang transmitter broadcast to mainland China on 612 kHz and 1008 kHz. There is a recent photographic article here: