What is this thing?

I was going through San Diego last weekend, when I spotted this thing. I couldn’t really figure out its purpose. .
It’s a post, about twenty feet high. It isn’t connected to any power lines; rather, it has two photo voltaic cells. And it seems to be controlled by two metal (secured) boxes.

Moderator: please fix, and teach me what I did wrong.

I am not a mod, but I fixed the links for you. I was curious and wanted to see the images. You just need to be more careful if you are going to handcode your posts, or use the icons above the compose box to facilitate your posting. :slight_smile:

This seems close:


Please, Zablai, tell me how you fixed the links, that was my major problem.
A short description of what I did wrong would get you millions of acclaim.

You were using \ slashes instead of / slashes to close your codes.

I bet you’ll be able to sleep easier now. :smiley:

Oh, and I’m gonna move this post to GQ, it really isn’t much of a debate.

For the Straight Dope

There are lots of devices now that are installed using photovoltaics for power & a cell modem or 802.11-type radio system (http://motorola.canopywireless.com/solutions/) for communication. That avoids the need to connect it to any other infrastructure.

It could be a pollution monitor, a traffic monitor or even a power outage mionitor. There might be a water or gas or sewer line buried there that it is reporting flow on, or even remote controlling valves.

Which is it? No way to tell from the pix. Any markings on the boxes, even serial numbers, might give a hint. Likewise a good pic of the spike on top might tell us whether it is an antenna or a sensor.

DOH!, DOH! and DOH! Yeah, I’ll sleep like an idiot.

Well, this is a quiet, residential street, without much traffic, and about five blocks from the beach. So I don’t know what they would be monitoring.

I’m just going to keep my tin foil hat on, for now.

San Diego might be getting into the WiMax business - basically WiFi networking on a citywide scale.

Another possibility, is it’s a HPWREN node. (High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network - operated by UCSD.)

So you’ve got a password for this node then, right? Mind handing it over?