February 17, 2014

1960 Snow Lake to Thompson Manitoba Tropo Link

This is what a 28' D S Kennedy Parabolic antenna looks like.
Back in 1960, a troposcatter communication link was set up between the town of Snow Lake and the City of Thompson.  The two locations are separated by 105-120 miles, and other than their names on the below map from the 1966 edition of the IEEE Spectrum publication; I have no idea where the tropo antennas located at either place were.  From the information below, they would have been a pair of D S Kennedy 28 Foot parabolic antennas at either end, have been built by RCA ~1960, and supported 30 voice channels.  The tropo link was listed as "Common carrier", suggesting it wasn't a military communications link (however, the Hay River / Lady Franklin Point link is also listed as Common Carrier, and it is well known to have been dual use).  On the map below this tropo link is shown as #39.

Because both areas have heavy industry, there are a lot of power lines, roads, rail, and other scars to the landscape that make my usual tricks (like following gaps in the tree line) ineffective at finding the site.  Even after 50 years of growth, a trail in the forrest is still usually visible if a road has gone into disuse - but there are too many dead ends around these areas.

Chisel Lake, Osborne Lake, and Herb Lake are other towns near Snow Lake - but I've found the closest reference point is always used to name these sites, so I'm betting the tropo antennas are closer to Snow Lake than the rest of the surrounding towns.  Unfortunately, I still don't know exactly where.

Different vantage point of a 28' D S Kennedy Parabolic
I've checked Google Maps, Bing Maps, Toporama, and leafed through other maps available via GeoGratis.  No luck.  So, I'll just leave this here as an unsolved mystery and come back to it later.

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