Calais, Maine

Microwaves in Maine
Harold E. Nelson
14 Hill Avenue,
Newport, ME 04953

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1987 Cooper AT&T Microwave



The route that was built in 1954-55 for the opening of the Transatlantic
Telephone Cable, TAT-1

The inaugural call was from New York to London, the undersea route went from Newfoundland to Scotland.  Of course there had to be a land route, the first was out of New York on L1 Coaxial carrier, like a big CB coax.  These were buried.  Coax was not real efficient, and by 1956 microwaves were coming in.

In your area, there was, and still is, though somewhat "de-horned", on COOPER HILL, one in St. George (don't know exactly where), and I do recall the one on Pennfield Ridge near Ozzie's Lunch, on to St. John etc to Sydney Mines, NS, and so on.

The first call from New York to London went over our heads on the microwave route in 1956.  After the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Kennedy installed the "Red Phone" in the Oval Office of the White House, direct to the Kremlin in USSR.  Same microwave route through Maine and NB. AT&T, who built the towers in US sold all of them to American Towers Inc, and some are being re-sold and antenna space rented out.

I went inside the Microwave building at the foot of the tower on Kings Mountain in Orrington.  The panels were painted "RIP 1992", so that is when AT&T pulled the plug.  These were essentially radio stations with pin point microwave beams with little divergence, and had to be aimed precisely at the other horns.  The radio signal did not go up the tower on a coax cable, but in a metal "waveguide", a hollow 2 inch pipe.  The pipe was pressurized with dehydrated air, as was the 850 pound horns on the top of the tower.  If you look at the horn, you can see it kind of bulges out. The horns on top are the original horns, and it was a giant one of these used in the RADOME in Andover for TELSTAR in 1962.











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