Wednesday, November 09, 2016


Not the ovens, the communications capacity.  ARS Technica talks about microwave transmission in today's world.  For an old geek,, it's cooler than hell.

My dad was an old Bell System long-lines expert and he worked on microwave communications technology back in the '60s and '70s.  He worked with microwave systems for 40 (sometimes 60) hours per week, and knew it inside-out.  Yeah, the old man was a geek, with a deep, detailed knowledge of communication technology.  He helped during the switch over from microwave to fiber optic tachnology.

Just before we lost him in 2007, I was driving him on south McArthur Drive and he saw a new microwave tower that he had never seen.  He had me pull over to study it.  "I don't know who it belongs to" he said, "but they are pushing some serious wattage through it."  He waved me back onto the roadway.  "I always thought that microwave would make a comeback.  It has a lot of advantages that most people don't realize."

Just as an aside, back in the '70s, one of the kids was reading the comics and talked about Dick Tracy's wrist phone.  The old man told us that one day, portable, personal phones would surpass and supplant the standard telephones that we had in our homes.   We all looked at him like he was crazy.


Old NFO said...

Microwave is still hanging around... :-) Military still uses quite a bit of it. And he knew what he was talking about...LOL

jon spencer said...

Unlike fiber optic it is hard to sever a microwave signal with a backhoe.
And you can buy a acre of land put in a solar system, tower, repeater about anywhere.
Compare the cost of that to trenching a run through the same area and distance.
Maintaining the the two too.
For really long, high bandwidth runs fiber is almost always the choice.

Now you could go satellite but then you have that half a second delay (or greater), expensive and sometimes limited bandwidth.