Sunday, September 7, 2008


This blog is for the ham radio folks, and the Short Wave listening devotee's.

National Institute of Standards and Technology Station W W V is located North of Fort Collins, Co.

There is absolutely nothing to denote what the towers out in the field North of the county road are used for. If you do drive in a quarter mile from the asphalt, you come to this locked gate.

Looking over the fence, you see towers with antennas strung between and array's of what seems to be skirts sloping to the ground.

I was snapping pictures hoping the wiring would become more understandable. The building is in a valley over the hill from me.

The oil wells didn't seem to be on the Governments property, and the tank was behind me on private ground.

Another picture off into the distance. The antennas are in three groups stretching away from me.

So drove around the entire four mile square that holds the antenna farm. Couldn't get close. But then on the East side of the property, there is a housing development along the lake. I drove as far back as I could and found a gravel lane. This is the first group of the four tallest towers. They seem to have a rhombic strung around the tops in a loop fashion.

I hoped out of the car and walked the lane. at the end, I found the dreaded double wire fence with the no trespassing signs.

The road here is the same road that went thru the locked gate in the first photo. The buildings are in the group of trees, and have almost white roofs.

This is the second group of four towers, that have the loops between them. My guess was that each side was cut to a different frequency, and the center tower of the dipole had the skirt aray sloping down to the ground.

To the North and most distant was the third set of four towers and then a single fifth. It was too far away to see how the wires were stretched between them.

I have listened for WWV since I was a child. My father and I built a Heathcraft AR3 receiver in the early 1950's and we tuned it up by finding the WWV signal and adjusting the band pointer so the station landed under the correct marking on the dial.

Since then radios have become much more sophisticated, having digital local oscilators, and frequency read outs. But I still check them against WWV, because old habits never die.

I read somewhere that if you understand what WWV is for, you are a real geek. Well I am so classified. Geeky enough to want to go see where it is, and upset that my government will not let me anywhere near the place. But then in these times of terrorist attacks, perhaps it is best that it sets out in the country totally incognito.

We went into town on game day curious what a Colorado State game would entail. It is division 1AA and not near as big a deal as I was used to at the University of Iowa. The stadium is out to the West of town in the foothills of the Mountains. The parking surrounding the place seemed to be unlimited, and had oodles of cars and trucks. By the time we got there, it was second quarter, and everyone was in the game.

We drove right by without any trouble, but had we been earlier, when the oodles of cars were trying to get into the parking lot, it would have been a traffic jam to be sure.

We are going to leave Colorado in the morning. we have seen the things we set out to see, and need to head back to Kansas. We plan to take a slow path while crossing the great plain. If we have internet, I will continue to post.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much. Now I know where WWV is located.


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