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Bald Mountain gate camera

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posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 12:51 AM
bald mountain gate camera (wide)

Bald Moutanin gate camera (zoom)

Bald Mountain has many crossings at the border of Area 51. Only one has a camera right at the gate, as shown in the links above.

OK, I think I'm losing it. At one time this camera was a pan tilt
zoom. I know so because it tracked us when we had a large group out
there. Now I'm looking at the photographs, and it is not a PTZ. Even
more puzzling, there are no solar cells or wiring.

Now there are two antennas on this setup. One microwave dish, and one
VHF or UHF yagi. Is it possible they blast the camera with microwaves,
convert that power, then beam back the video on the yagi?

The writing on the camera is Cohu, which is the brand of camera. Very
typical around the range.

posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 01:07 AM
reply to post by gariac

Hi Gariac,

Thanks for your usual high quality photos and information.

Bald Mountain always interests me as, whichever way you go - on the way to the back gate and at the front gate - it's there! They sure knew what they were doing when they chose it.


posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 02:14 AM
I know its not a good idea to put solar panels on the same mount that you have a camera on. The wind tends to vibrate the camera till it become less useful

So its likely the solar panel is some place else. Maybe on the ground or near by were it gets better sun. This camera may also be sharing power with other equipment near by and the power line may be inside the pipe of the tower to protect it from damage.

Pan tilt can be replaced with a wider field lens if the megapixel of the camera is high enough. Pan and tilts have problems with snow and ice locking them up and burning the motors out.
And the government has the money to buy very good cameras.
And with a wide angle lens and a computer you can zoom in on only part of the frame being taken with the camera.

posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 02:23 AM
reply to post by ANNED

They use the PTZ only once. I've been to that spot many times.

I know what you mean about megapixel. There are open source programs like Zoneminder that can look at a large array and detect movement. However, the new camera at the back gate is a PTZ.
back gate
Another Cohu with perhaps some other electronics in the can.

I also think you are right about the solar panels being a "sail" for the pole, though it is pretty common in installations.

I took a look at the front gate cameras. No obvious power source either. In fact, the yagi and dish combo have been there for a decade as far as know.

Another possibility is they control the camera with one band and beam the video back with another. Then the box would have to hold a gel cell that periodically gets swapped out. If the duty cycle is low, the gel cells would last a while. The more I think about it, that has to be the case.

posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 02:32 AM
reply to post by The Wave

Not everyone can get these overlays to work, but give this a try
bald mountain viewshed kmz

The highlighted area is more or less (to the degree of my computer analysis) the viewshed of the gear on Bald Mountain. I've verified many of these locations, that is I've gone to the locations where the map indicates you can't be seen, and it is pretty accurate. Much of the road to the back gate is out of view from Bald Mountain. Some very common locations, like the parking area at Coyote Summit, cannot be seen from Bald Mountain. Note that the dudes do patrol the ET Highway.

posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 02:38 AM
Someone has pointed out that the coax to the yagi is cut. That would make the gel cell in the box scenario more likely. I would have noticed solar cells in the area. In the desert, they are hard to hide.

posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 07:57 AM
S&F for the great insight on TPTB. I am sure I speak for many when I say that ATS members from all spectrum's and beliefs greatly appreciate all of the effort this member, and many others alike go above and beyond to bring great solid discussion to us here at ATS. Maybe it's just me, but I find it rather refreshing to see hard fact, well researched and insightful info regarding such things many of us cannot see for ourselves. Bringing these topics to light, for many who may not be informed is a testament to how the ATS community can really make difference when we are firing on all cylinders. Thanks!

posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 08:52 AM
reply to post by Jnewell33

I'll drink to that! As you said, facts - supported by great photography plus 'local'and technical knowledge.


[edit on 17-11-2009 by The Wave]

posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 09:31 AM
And I'd like to "third" that. I find gariac's posts to be upfront and
Not being that technical myself, I'm able to learn many things just
by reading the great presentations. Good work.

posted on Nov, 18 2009 @ 08:43 AM
Hi Gariac,

Interesting pics as always!

Looking at the pictures though, it appears that there's definitely no cable going from the junction/telemetry box towards the ground, suggesting no external power source is feeding the camera.
This jars with me a bit as I'm pretty sure you'd need a large battery to power the camera, the heater in the housing, and the microwave transceiver, surely the box mounted on the pole would not be large enough?
Even a 50 amp hour battery would only last a day or so and I don't think you'd fit anything bigger in that box?

Just to chuck a spanner in the works....could this be a dummy?



posted on Nov, 18 2009 @ 03:52 PM
reply to post by stratsys-sws

Assuming it is not a fake, then they probably turn the camera on remotely after a road sensor is tripped. With a low duty cycle, a small gel cell could last a long time. The dudes could do diaper changes with freshly charged gel cells.

The more I poke around the border, the more I think the perimeter is very insecure. It's just too big. They just monitor the border crossings. If you got closer, I'm sure the security is top notch. But some dude on a mountain bike could probably get a few miles into the border before meeting the welcoming committee.

posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 08:25 AM
If you look up the info on COHU cameras they are multi voltage 120, 24v,12v.
a small gel cell battery could easily power a camera and radio equipment for 24-48 hours. and noone has been around the camera long enough to notice if someone changes a battery every so often. As for microwave, it is possible that low voltage is being delivered via microwave, power inverters and transformers are small, Look at your chargers for cell phones they drop 120 down to about 4 volts. so it would be easy to fit into a small box as seen. also the wire hanging out could be a cut coax, but could also be a wire tie , hard to tell from far away.

posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 11:15 AM
reply to post by triaxrob

Hi Triaxrob

Yeah I agree with you about the coax, it could easily be a cable tie and that was my first impression when I looked at the pic.

Powering via the Microwave link is extremely unlikely. At the ranges we're looking at here the microwave transmitter would have to be pushing serious amounts of power out even to receive 1 watt at the receiver, plus they'd need warnings about non ionizing radiation etc....and it would be extremely inefficient. I don't see the reason to do this over a cheap solar panel?
Yeah the unit could be powered on a gel cell for 2 days but that's a serious maintanence burden....again why no solar panel?

Gariac, good thinking with the motion detector, but the housing would need some heating at night, all external camera housings have small resistive heaters so remove condensation from the lens and protect the you know it gets pretty cold up there! A motion triggered camera is no good if the lens is misted up!

Strange......if there is no external power source and no solar panel I reckon this is a dummy! Also explains why they've replaced the pan and tilt unit for a cheaper fixed mount!!!

Just my thoughts



posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 12:49 PM
reply to post by stratsys-sws

Well they have been using microwaves to transmit power in the 5-10 killowat range since the late 70's, i also dont see the camera using more than 1-2 wats an hour. and a little known fact the YAGI antenna was invented to use in directional power transmission. Hidetsugu Yagi published a paper on it in 1926.
now it could be that it is just a dummy camera setup, but i am sure the government has the technology to power a remote camera without having a huge battery or a solar panel in site. i would like to see if there are any other cameras of the same kind close by, and also see if there are any other microwave antennas nearby, would be interesting to know.

posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 06:44 PM
reply to post by stratsys-sws

The range has low humidity most of the time. Perhaps they can get away without a heater. Or they could put in silica packs. I bought a used NEMA box at a surplus shop just for the box, though it was populated with stuff. Anyway, it was full of those moisture absorbing packs. I keep them inside my telescope OTA as well using a special end cap.

I'm really inclined to say it's not a dummy. Based on the situation at Road Block Canyon, they just rip out the unused gear. Same with the old Range 61 repeater, i.e removed when shut down.

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