Cable + tower structures (for radio?) off Trans-Canada

My friend recently returned from his honeymoon, during which he drove way out east to the coast. Somewhere in Ontario (or perhaps Quebec), he came across a series of cable structures he’s hoping someone here can identify. (I told him he’d know in a day ;))

They consisted of pairs of towers perhaps 15m / 50 feet tall (with cables strung between the tops and the bottoms, with vertical cables strung between these main cables. Next to each of these constructions was a small brown shack about the size of an outhouse.

Teh lame diagram, not to scale:

|\       /|
|  ------ |
|  |||||| | 
| _______ |  /\
|/       \|  ||

There were many of these pairs of towers, apparently not oriented in any particular direction, and some of perhaps differing heights. The location was likely near the Trans-Canada, but not for certain.

My guess was some sort of low-rent radio telescope, but my Google-fu returns nothing. Anyone got an idea what he saw?

Looks like an HF (high frequency, 3-30 MHz) radio antenna. HF broadcast stations, like the BBC, often have large antenna farms that contain many antennas optimized for different frequency bands and target areas.

Well that’s interesting. It’s a bit furthur east than where he said he saw it, but it seems the CBC has a facility in Sackville New Brunswick for Radio Canada International that looks quite like the description he gave me. He’s gone for the day, but I’ll see what he says tomorrow morning.

It wasn’t the CBC shortwave transmitter array in Sackville, NB, was it?

AM radio stations have arrays of masts… I don’t remember seeing horizontal wires between them, buit I wouldn’t rule it out…

:: checks antique electronics books ::

My copy of the 1961 ARRL Handbook mentions multi-band folded dipole antennas with reflectors that end up looking somewhat like your diagram.

It didn’t look anything like the antennas on this page or in this Google image search, did it?

It sounds like it’s a Bobtail Curtain HF antenna. They’ve been around for a long time.


Sterba Curtain

Awesome - thanks for the replies. :slight_smile:

We think it must have been the RCI shortwave installation he saw, and that the cross-country cannonball run with his new wife wasn’t conducive to geographic accuracy. :wink:

(all those pictures of stations are incredible - if it weren’t for the occasional CD or LCD display, you’d swear they were taken in the 70’s. :D)