Help me identify some infrastructure along the interstate in NV and UT.
August 8, 2012 2:28 PM   Subscribe

Help me identify some sights I saw on a recent Nevada / Utah road trip (antennas, houses, earthworks).

1. I saw a curious antenna & radio shack close to the Nevada / Utah border on State Route 30 (Nevada side). The antenna tower was about 10x taller than the little shack, and terminated in two light-colored plates that diverged from one another by about 60-80 degrees at the top. Plates were probably no bigger than 5 feet on a side.

To describe the shape of the antenna: Straighten both of your forearms in front of you, vertically, palms facing each other, about two inches apart. Then pull just the tips of your hands away from each other, keeping your fingers straight, until just before it starts to hurt. :-)

2. There was also another antenna array in Nevada along I-80...the antennas looked like ice cream cones from the side, sort of inverted elongated pyramid shapes. I think it was an array of four. Pretty large as antennas go; probably larger than a human. Wondering what those are, too.

3. There are some pretty nice two-story houses we saw along I-80 that made us wonder if they were "real" houses or not--completely isolated, just sitting there along the interstate. We wondered why they would be there and what they're for.

4. At the southern end of Salt Lake in Utah, along I-80, there is some sort of huge earthwork that has been built up since I went there last. I think it's part of a mine, but am not sure. It's in this area which I thought was really pretty (especially the mountainous area to the south).

Thanks for your help with random road trip object identification!
posted by circular to Travel & Transportation around Nevada, NV (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Regarding #3 - were you near Colorado City? Lots of homes in that area that are basically abandoned since the fundamentalist Mormons moved out.
posted by Sassyfras at 3:10 PM on August 8, 2012

Sassyfras, it seems more like the kind of house where you open the pleasant-looking garage doors and it's actually used to store road salt or something. But I could be totally blind to some fascinating religious backstory. /mormon
posted by circular at 3:12 PM on August 8, 2012

1 and 2 sound like either microwave repeater antennas and/or radiophone antennas. In rural farm areas there used (and may still) be radiophones that kinda functioned like cell phones for farmers and ranchers that had huge areas to cover and might live miles from a paved road. That area is full of farms like that.
posted by bartonlong at 4:12 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

#4 is almost certainly the tailings pond for the Kennecott copper mine.
posted by baho at 6:17 PM on August 8, 2012

Thanks baho, #4 was Kennecott Tailings Pond Number Two. That seems a long way from the mine.
posted by circular at 8:43 PM on August 8, 2012

I just found an image of the exact type of "ice cream cone" antenna I saw. Anybody know what it's for? Seems like it has some bulk to it.
posted by circular at 8:45 PM on August 8, 2012

OK, what I saw are called "cornucopia" or "horn" antennas similar to the AT&T KS-15676 given in the wiki article.
posted by circular at 9:08 PM on August 8, 2012

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