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(NPR)   Welcome to Green Bank, WV - no wifi, no cellular service, one tiny radio station, all because of some wicked cool radio telescope. Tag is for who it's named after   (npr.org) divider line 38
    More: Obvious, Radio Telescope, Wi-Fi, West Virginians, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Virginia-West Virginia, optical telescopes, chief engineer, medical sign  
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4653 clicks; posted to Geek » on 08 Oct 2013 at 9:45 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



38 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-10-08 09:56:45 AM  
Yeah, the NSA is probably also doing signal intelligence out of there.  I mean, why wouldn't they?.
 
2013-10-08 10:00:57 AM  
Heard this story on the radio this morning.
Interesting.

/Jody Foster is still gay.
//Waste of space?
 
2013-10-08 10:02:17 AM  
midnightbluesays.com


My telescope, my rules.
 
2013-10-08 10:06:55 AM  

HotIgneous Intruder: Heard this story on the radio this morning.


That's funny. They didn't.
 
2013-10-08 10:08:36 AM  
Those pictures look serene. Almost... heaven.
 
2013-10-08 10:13:44 AM  
I never realized the National Radio Quiet Zone was that big. I guess that explains why my cell phone signal would disappear the instant I cross the bridge into West Virginia. Though since then I switched to T-Mobile, so I don't have a signal on the Maryland side of the river either.
 
2013-10-08 10:14:11 AM  
So it's basically like everywhere in Canuckistan 200 miles north of the border?
 
2013-10-08 10:37:58 AM  
There's something similar in the Okanagan in BC.  The Dominion Radiophysical Astronomical Observatory (or something like that) sits in a little bowl valley at White Lake, which blocks most of the radio interference.  There are about 12 houses in the valley who get to live under the same restrictions mentioned in TFA.

I saw it on a field trip in undergrad.  There's a fancy bigass dish, a series of dishes on railway tracks to get a variable effective diameter (the technical name for this escapes me), and a huge array of wire nailed to wooden posts.  It also contains Canada's solar flare monitoring equipment: someone's high school science project from the 50s.  I've kidding about the science project, but not the 50s.  There's an entire trailer full of vaccuum tubes and other vintage equipment because it's not compatible with modern technology.  This is all that stands between us and catastrophic infrastructure damage.

Also,

Almost every radio station disappeared, too, except for , which broadcasts at a low enough frequency to avoid being banned.

What are the odds the reporter is using the word frequency correctly here?  It's NPR, so it's a high probability than other media outlets.  I can see a correct interpretation (the station's broadcast frequency is outside the window used by the astronomers for observation), but did the reporter understand that, and could it be explained correctly?
 
2013-10-08 10:50:14 AM  

Bondith: a series of dishes on railway tracks to get a variable effective diameter (the technical name for this escapes me),


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_aperture
 
2013-10-08 11:10:48 AM  
 
2013-10-08 11:19:57 AM  

DonQuixote314159: I never realized the National Radio Quiet Zone was that big. I guess that explains why my cell phone signal would disappear the instant I cross the bridge into West Virginia. Though since then I switched to T-Mobile, so I don't have a signal on the Maryland side of the river either.


Hell, it includes part of Charlottesville VA where I've lived for most of the last 15 years - I had no idea we were in the zone til today
 
2013-10-08 11:39:37 AM  

ikanreed: Yeah, the NSA is probably also doing signal intelligence out of there.  I mean, why wouldn't they?.


They do:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_Grove_Station

In fact, the NRQZ is more centered on Sugar Grove Station than it is on  the NRAO.

And, of course, ham radio comes to the rescue yet again:

Emergency communications are allowed in the zone, as is ham radio, a hobby among a set of West Virginians who chitchat or coordinate plans over their ham radios as they would their cellphones - if they had cellphones.

"Last year the big windstorm we had, we were without power for some days. And without a lot of communications. All the phone lines were down, so we had different spots around the county where we could talk from one end of the county to the other, and maybe relay about a store being open or somewhere having ice," said Pat Schaffner, a Green Bank native.
 
2013-10-08 11:40:15 AM  

GRCooper: DonQuixote314159: I never realized the National Radio Quiet Zone was that big. I guess that explains why my cell phone signal would disappear the instant I cross the bridge into West Virginia. Though since then I switched to T-Mobile, so I don't have a signal on the Maryland side of the river either.

Hell, it includes part of Charlottesville VA where I've lived for most of the last 15 years - I had no idea we were in the zone til today


Whoa! We're in a radio quiet zone? That's why my calls always drop in the same area on 250?
 
2013-10-08 11:42:21 AM  
And all the whackos who think that WiFi gives them headaches, arthritis, and psoriasis are moving there.  Read an article earlier this year about it.
 
2013-10-08 11:44:08 AM  
 
2013-10-08 11:44:53 AM  

FrancoFile: And all the whackos who think that WiFi gives them headaches, arthritis, and psoriasis are moving there.  Read an article earlier this year about it.


Polish Hussar: I first heard about the National Radio Quiet Zone thanks to Fark, due to an article on the hypochondriacs flocking there because they thought electromagnetic waves were making them sick.


Yep.  That one.
 
2013-10-08 11:49:23 AM  

Bondith: There's something similar in the Okanagan in BC.  The Dominion Radiophysical Astronomical Observatory (or something like that) sits in a little bowl valley at White Lake, which blocks most of the radio interference.  There are about 12 houses in the valley who get to live under the same restrictions mentioned in TFA.

I saw it on a field trip in undergrad.  There's a fancy bigass dish, a series of dishes on railway tracks to get a variable effective diameter (the technical name for this escapes me), and a huge array of wire nailed to wooden posts.  It also contains Canada's solar flare monitoring equipment: someone's high school science project from the 50s.  I've kidding about the science project, but not the 50s.  There's an entire trailer full of vaccuum tubes and other vintage equipment because it's not compatible with modern technology.  This is all that stands between us and catastrophic infrastructure damage.

Also,

Almost every radio station disappeared, too, except for , which broadcasts at a low enough frequency to avoid being banned.

What are the odds the reporter is using the word frequency correctly here?  It's NPR, so it's a high probability than other media outlets.  I can see a correct interpretation (the station's broadcast frequency is outside the window used by the astronomers for observation), but did the reporter understand that, and could it be explained correctly?


DNTRFA, but I am a radio astronomer; your interpretation is correct.
 
2013-10-08 12:01:46 PM  

FrancoFile: And all the whackos who think that WiFi gives them headaches, arthritis, and psoriasis are moving there.  Read an article earlier this year about it.


Beat me to it.

I find this to be one of the more interesting aspects of the radio free zones around observatories - they attract a bag of mixed nuts that believe wifi is causing their sniffles.

It's an intriguing dynamic between government mandated zoning, technology, and nuttery.
 
2013-10-08 12:10:54 PM  

Bondith: What are the odds the reporter is using the word frequency correctly here?  It's NPR, so it's a high probability than other media outlets.  I can see a correct interpretation (the station's broadcast frequency is outside the window used by the astronomers for observation), but did the reporter understand that, and could it be explained correctly?


There are different allowable signal levels based upon the transmitter frequency within the zone:

Power Density Thresholds
Based on a 20 kHz measurement bandwidth, the calculated power density of the transmitter at the reference point should be less than:
1 x 10-8 W/m2 for frequencies below 54 MHz
1 x 10-12 W/m2 for frequencies from 54 MHz to 108 MHz
1 x 10-14 W/m2 for frequencies from 108 MHz to 470 MHz
1 x 10-17 W/m2 for frequencies from 470 MHz to 1000 MHz
freq2 (in GHz) x 10-17 W/m2  for frequencies above 1000 MHz
except for frequencies that reside in the radio astronomy observing bands listed in the US Table of Frequency Allocations, in which case the power densities listed in Table 1 of Recommendation ITU-R RA.769 shall apply.



An AM broadcast radio station is going to have an easier time meeting those limits than an FM broadcast station.
 
2013-10-08 12:11:31 PM  
This AGAIN?

Seems like only a few months go by on Fark before someone posts SOMETHING about the NRAO and the Quiet Zone that EVERYONE in WV knows about.

/ lived in Snowshoe for 2 years.
// no cell service for quite some time.
/// It's a beautiful part of the country and the last thing it needs is more and more people coming to see it and farking the hell up.
 
2013-10-08 12:26:40 PM  
chard:
What are the odds the reporter is using the word frequency correctly here?  It's NPR, so it's a high probability than other media outlets.  I can see a correct interpretation (the station's broadcast frequency is outside the window used by the astronomers for observation), but did the reporter understand that, and could it be explained correctly?

DNTRFA, but I am a radio astronomer; your interpretation is correct.


Woo!  I've learned to cherish being correct.  It happens infrequently outside my narrow area of expertise (and not as frequently as I'd like inside it).

Now can you remind me what it's called when you have a series of smaller dishes linked together to create and virtual big-ass dish?
 
2013-10-08 12:31:49 PM  

Bondith: Now can you remind me what it's called when you have a series of smaller dishes linked together to create and virtual big-ass dish?


It's called an Array.
 
2013-10-08 12:36:53 PM  

Bondith: Now can you remind me what it's called when you have a series of smaller dishes linked together to create and virtual big-ass dish?


Aperture-synthesis interferometry.  The VLA is perhaps the best-known example.
 
2013-10-08 12:36:54 PM  

midigod: Bondith: Now can you remind me what it's called when you have a series of smaller dishes linked together to create and virtual big-ass dish?

It's called an Array.


Interferometer.
 
2013-10-08 12:43:37 PM  

Gonz: Those pictures look serene. Almost... heaven.


But the Shenandoah RIver isn't located there.
 
2013-10-08 03:26:11 PM  
They should just drop all the pretense and call it "The Robert C. Byrd State of West Virginia".
 
2013-10-08 03:31:25 PM  

FrancoFile: And all the whackos who think that WiFi gives them headaches, arthritis, and psoriasis are moving there.  Read an article earlier this year about it.


Farking excellent.  Get all the nutjobs together, so they can leave the rest of us alone.
 
2013-10-08 03:45:25 PM  
I heard about this ages ago, in any case the Green Bank Telescope is now idling as a result of the shutdown.
 
2013-10-08 04:15:23 PM  

ikanreed: Yeah, the NSA is probably also doing signal intelligence out of there.  I mean, why wouldn't they?.


What do you think the Sugar Grove research facility is?

Why are there dark colored sedans sitting outside my house?
 
2013-10-08 04:42:12 PM  
www.droidforums.net
 
2013-10-08 04:54:16 PM  

cretinbob: [www.droidforums.net image 251x251]


Oh look, this point again.
 
2013-10-08 05:45:28 PM  

FrancoFile: And all the whackos who think that WiFi gives them headaches, arthritis, and psoriasis are moving there.  Read an article earlier this year about it.


Yeah came here to mention this. I read the same thing.
 
2013-10-08 10:14:34 PM  
So stop people from using devices so that...we can see the queefing out of some bullshiat a godzillion miles away for no purpose whatsoever.

Look, some more emf!

Retarded.
 
2013-10-08 10:58:21 PM  

ReverendJasen: Farking excellent. Get all the nutjobs together, so they can leave the rest of us alone.


It's called "Kansas" and it doesn't really work.
 
2013-10-09 02:20:11 AM  
"Tag is for who it's named after"

Captain Obvious?
 
2013-10-09 06:26:24 AM  
csb/

A few years back I was sent to do a job in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Lucky for me there was a miscommunication and the job had been done months beforehand. Sooo, I hop in my little rental car, cross the island, and head up into the jungle at Aracibo. Not a cell signal for miles around. Cool radio antenna built into a karsk (think some James Bond film had Bond in a car chase in the dish). Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Got back to civilization to a string of missed calls/emails detailing how I was needed in Oklahoma and a flight had been arranged several hours prior. Oopsie. Called the boss and said sorry, I'm needed in a little bar in Old San Juan. Rum happened.

/csb
 
2013-10-09 09:17:57 AM  

Skyfrog: "Tag is for who it's named after"

Captain Obvious?


Sir John Greenbank.
 
2013-10-09 10:04:05 AM  
HAH! George Murphy is my old boss. After he got fired, he got that job in WV. He's come back a few times to tell us about his experiences with getting any kind of service or signals to the area.
 
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