Feb
03
2008

Mast Identification

Two mobile cellphone masts are visible from the front of my house. They are sited around 500M away.

The one on the left is a 3G / UMTS mast, which has only recently been erected. Here’s a better photo:

The one on the right is much more interesting. It started life as a regular GSM mobile phone mast, and was updated to accommodate a Tetra / Airwave transmitter – which is used by the Police force.

The Tetra antennas are on the top of the mast, the GSM antennas lower down. The small dishes are directional microwave links to other masts. The small green building next to the Tetra mast was added when it was upgraded, I think it houses a backup generator of some kind. Site access security was also beefed-up when Tetra was added.

Here’s an O2 mast mounted on an electricity pylon:

Cellphone mast on a Pylon

This pylon’s located just behind the Kilton pub off the A50 at Hoo Green, Mere, Knutsford – it was runner-up in Cheshire Life’s ‘best mast’ photo competition (not really).

Here’s a new one: a motorised PTZ CCTV camera mounted atop a mast with square microwave antennas. I think they look just like the old BSB Squariels. This one just sprang up at Bucklow Hill traffic lights on the A556, if you’re driving past remember to give the operators a little wave!

CCTV camera on a mast

To the rear of my house, around 750M away, we have (excuse me coming over all Dr Seussian):

The Weirdest Tree You Ever Did See…

Here’s a close-up :

Its lack of verdant verdure couldn’t be absurder…

This little beauty went up around 10 years ago, and probably caused a few RTAs in those first few months. ‘WTF is that? SCREEECH, BANG…’ kind of thing. According to Ofcom’s Sitefinder it’s just a GSM mast, which would make sense with it having been up so long. I think it looks like a battle-weary fake Christmas tree. Wonderful. Inspiration perhaps for a future Damien Hurst & Tracey Emin collaboration …

It’s situated next to Rangemore Nursing Home, on the A556 near Bucklow Hill, Knutsford, Cheshire. The postcode is WA16 6RR, just in case you’re planning a visit & want to sat-nav your way there. The Weirdest Tree is a UNESCO World Heritage Site & they provide picnic tables. (not really)

Being serious again, for a second, these masts are now everywhere. They even hide them in the illuminated petrol station forecourt displays, which kinda blows the myth about not using your mobile in a petrol station. They need more masts because the 3G signals don’t travel as far as the regular GSM variety.

The only positive thing about living so close to all these masts: my mobile phone battery lasts longer than yours!

Ofcom Sitefinder – Enter a postcode and find your own local masts.

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