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EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?

 
Watcher on the Wall
User ID: 878577
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02/01/2010 10:09 PM
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EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
We live on top of a mountain in North Carolina overlooking a valley outside Asheville. A cell tower in the center of the valley (some 20 mls from our home)has always had a red light blinking on it but tonight starting around 7 pm, the red light switched to a VERY bright strobe light that flashes every 2 seconds! (It's quite a nuisance as it is visible from every South facing room in our house!)

This strobe light is SO bright and my first thoughts are that it is some sort of emergency beacon or locator? Has anyone out there seen anything like this before? We have lived here for 4 years and the light on this tower has always been a dim red blink until tonight?

As a side note (or not), we have seen heavy military plane activity beginning this summer over this valley and over our home, especially late at night. We also experienced strange "Boom" sounds this summer that no one here could explain!
Anonymous Coward
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02/01/2010 10:14 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
It means that they do not want planes to fly too low and hit the tower. OH NOOOOOOOOOO! PANIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Eschatology

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02/01/2010 10:17 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
We live on top of a mountain in North Carolina overlooking a valley outside Asheville. A cell tower in the center of the valley (some 20 mls from our home)has always had a red light blinking on it but tonight starting around 7 pm, the red light switched to a VERY bright strobe light that flashes every 2 seconds! (It's quite a nuisance as it is visible from every South facing room in our house!)

This strobe light is SO bright and my first thoughts are that it is some sort of emergency beacon or locator? Has anyone out there seen anything like this before? We have lived here for 4 years and the light on this tower has always been a dim red blink until tonight?

As a side note (or not), we have seen heavy military plane activity beginning this summer over this valley and over our home, especially late at night. We also experienced strange "Boom" sounds this summer that no one here could explain!
 Quoting: Watcher on the Wall 878577


Probably just a change in lighting. They have them on most towers here in IL., mostly for areas that get a decent amount of fog.
As a man begins to live more seriously within: He begins to live more seriously without.
Anonymous Coward
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02/01/2010 10:17 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
Military has communications systems that use different wavelengths of light to communicate, or it could be a giant deneuralizer!
TARDIS

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02/01/2010 10:19 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
Can you take a video and upload it to youtube for us?
Watcher (OP)
User ID: 878577
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02/01/2010 10:19 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
You are wrong! That is what the blinking red light was there for! This strobe light is 10 times brighter and would probably blind any pilot that flew near!

I am not panicing but simply curious why a tower has all of a sudden changed from red blinking light to brilliant strobe light.

Also, we can see 3 other cell towers from our home on the various mountain tops and they are all still blinking red!

Any other comments? Aside from the shills, that is!
Anonymous Coward
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02/01/2010 10:20 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
Instead of a full hit, try just 1/2 a tab next time
Anonymous Coward
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02/01/2010 10:22 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
maybe like the red part came off and that's how it looks
under it?
Anonymous Coward
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02/01/2010 10:22 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
Theres a tall tower to the south of Sacramento International airport that has been flashing strobe lights for at least a couple of years. More than one strobe light on the tower and they flash in patterns and different intensities. Ultra high speed communications system?
Anonymous Coward
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02/01/2010 10:23 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
maybe the red glass covering the light has been broken.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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02/01/2010 10:25 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
Probably just a change in lighting. They have them on most towers here in IL., mostly for areas that get a decent amount of fog.
 Quoting: Eschatology



The valley does get a good amount of fog but this particular tower has always had the red light on it. This strobe is definitely something new! Won't rule out fog warning though. Maybe they just switched it out tonight for just that reason.

Certainly a nuisance, though. I hope it doesn'n do this every night as it distracts from our star gazing!
Anonymous Coward
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02/01/2010 10:27 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
The visitors will be landing shortly. Whatever you do DO NOT GO OUTSIDE!
Watcher (OP)
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02/01/2010 10:30 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
maybe the red glass covering the light has been broken.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 475553


That is what my husband said. We did just have that strong winter storm come through this weekend. Not ruling that out as a possibility.

My intensely ringing ears (and the "tin foil hat" I wear from time to time) cause me to jump straight to the HAARP possibilities, however! I have spent way too much time on these sites!
Anonymous Coward
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02/01/2010 10:31 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
They must have gotten some stimulus money to improve the safty warning system. Heck with the new stimulus money we may get pretty red strobes on all towers.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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02/01/2010 10:33 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
The visitors will be landing shortly. Whatever you do DO NOT GO OUTSIDE!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 879648

chuckle ufo56 ahhh
Anonymous Coward
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02/01/2010 10:34 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
That's the bat-signal!
Art Deco

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02/01/2010 10:35 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
maybe the red glass covering the light has been broken.

That is what my husband said. We did just have that strong winter storm come through this weekend. Not ruling that out as a possibility.

 Quoting: Watcher 878577

So, does that means you're hoping it's something more than that simple, sensible explanation?

I'm going with either new lighting, or a broken red shell, especially if there was a big storm.
In ten years we'll look back on this moment, laugh nervously, and quickly change the subject.
Anonymous Coward
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02/01/2010 10:40 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
That's the bat-signal!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 867576

Actually, I thing Bat Cave is to the East of Asheville.
Anonymous Coward
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02/01/2010 10:42 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
its erasing your memory
AC7654321
User ID: 877750
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02/01/2010 10:50 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
Theres a tall tower to the south of Sacramento International airport that has been flashing strobe lights for at least a couple of years. More than one strobe light on the tower and they flash in patterns and different intensities. Ultra high speed communications system?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 880122

THAT'S IT. YOU HAVE CIPHERED IT OUT. A GODDAM FLASHING LIGHT IS A MUCH FASTER WAY TO COMMUNICATE THAN OVER THE NET!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 878577
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02/01/2010 10:53 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
So, does that means you're hoping it's something more than that simple, sensible explanation?

I'm going with either new lighting, or a broken red shell, especially if there was a big storm.
 Quoting: Art Deco


I am NOT hoping for more than a "simple, sensible explanation!" In fact I would welcome it! I have three small children so I would LOVE "simple and sensible"; however, what have we seen lately that even comes close to that description?!

From our vantage point, we are COVERED in chemtrails every other day here. Does that have a "simple and sensible explanation"? How about this, for 4 months, twice a week at approximately 11 PM(!), a large military plane with no lights (flying by night vision, I presume) would buzz our home so low that it would wake our children up! Does that have a "simple and sensible explanation"! Or what about strange loud booms that we heard all summer and fall long (some so loud it shook the windows on our house) and no one here could give any explanation for them. Sound "simple and sensible" to you?

So forgive me it my first gut reaction is not to the "simple and sensible". I wish it were!
Anonymous Coward
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02/01/2010 10:55 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
I had a problem with this same scenerio a little while back. They had just finished a new cell tower a little over a mile from me in the country. At night, I could see this horrible bright blinking light that lit up the whole sky and was very annoying. There is thick forest and vegetation between the tower and my house so I can't see it directly. But, the blinking light lit up the surrounding sky in such a way that it made me want to climb the tower and bust the damn thing out! I had been so use to the beautiful dark country sky and this was ruining it It has since returned to the soft red light it was previously Someone told me that this bright light is and indicator that the red light is no longer working. If you contact the proper channels, they will get this fixed
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 880122
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02/01/2010 11:02 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
Theres a tall tower to the south of Sacramento International airport that has been flashing strobe lights for at least a couple of years. More than one strobe light on the tower and they flash in patterns and different intensities. Ultra high speed communications system?

THAT'S IT. YOU HAVE CIPHERED IT OUT. A GODDAM FLASHING LIGHT IS A MUCH FASTER WAY TO COMMUNICATE THAN OVER THE NET!!!!!!!!!
 Quoting: AC7654321 877750


Look it up, please. High speed 'free air' communicatios systems using pulsed white light were proposed some years ago.
whateva
User ID: 880166
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02/02/2010 12:22 AM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
generally, the cell phone tower lights are meant for Helicopters, not planes, though I could see where a plane may use them for guidance, though with GPS these days running everything, I would suspect the lights would only be for planes with no so sophisticated radars, tracking systems.

I live along interstate 20 in West Georgia and directly across from my house is about a 250 tower that blinks the white intense strobe during the day. Every evening as soon as the sun sets below the horizon the light switches to red, so it is light activated, not timed. Every once in a while in a thick fog, the red light can barely be seen from my house which is not even 300 yards away, so the white strobe will turn on, I assume this is manually done, unless there is a fog sensor or something. lol

Anyway, if I were to stand on that same tower, I could probably see more than 100 cell phone towers in the visible range, most blinking red, but I do know there are a few that keep the white strobe working day and night. I am assuming these are, at least for this area, indicating heavily populated areas and to keep helicopters and small aircraft from flying in the vicinity. They mostly keep the same route every time I see one fly over anyway and being in the landing pattern for Hartsfield airport in Atlanta, I am guessing that the lights can serve for more purposes than just a warning to low flying craft.
Anonymous Coward
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02/02/2010 12:28 AM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
Military has communications systems that use different wavelengths of light to communicate, or it could be a giant deneuralizer!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 880122

Excellent rofl
RE
User ID: 973732
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05/17/2010 10:02 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
Same deal up here in Virgnia (Bristol) - our local cell tower sometimes uses a small RED strobe duirng the predawn/shortly after hours, nothing I can tell about the weather or visibility as to why it would be replacing the normal steady on off red lights that are used at night in contrast to the variable intesnity white strobes for day use...whereas the intesnity is based on the visibility.

Theres one on I81 near the 81/26 cloverleaf that will blind you, i know what you mean

check this out

[link to wireless.fcc.gov] afro
Tomahawk Jones

User ID: 879157
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05/17/2010 10:12 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
We live on top of a mountain in North Carolina overlooking a valley outside Asheville. A cell tower in the center of the valley (some 20 mls from our home)has always had a red light blinking on it but tonight starting around 7 pm, the red light switched to a VERY bright strobe light that flashes every 2 seconds! (It's quite a nuisance as it is visible from every South facing room in our house!)

This strobe light is SO bright and my first thoughts are that it is some sort of emergency beacon or locator? Has anyone out there seen anything like this before? We have lived here for 4 years and the light on this tower has always been a dim red blink until tonight?

As a side note (or not), we have seen heavy military plane activity beginning this summer over this valley and over our home, especially late at night. We also experienced strange "Boom" sounds this summer that no one here could explain!
 Quoting: Watcher on the Wall 878577



Okay, here's the deal, cell-tower strobes lights have a "daytime" mode, and a "night time" mode...there are sensors that can detect day from night...strobe light is dimmed,or switched to the red strobe at night...sometimes, sensors go bad.

Last Edited by Tomahawk Jones on 05/17/2010 10:13 PM
Anonymous Coward
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05/17/2010 10:16 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
Something is wrong with the beacon..it is stuck in day mode....at night, an actuator should lower a red glass tube over the lamp....changing the daytime strobe to a red beacon....it is a malfunction
Tomahawk Jones

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05/17/2010 10:36 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
Something is wrong with the beacon..it is stuck in day mode....at night, an actuator should lower a red glass tube over the lamp....changing the daytime strobe to a red beacon....it is a malfunction
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 973744



Damn, that's some old times Flash Technology shit there buddy.

Last Edited by Tomahawk Jones on 05/17/2010 10:39 PM
Anonymous Coward
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05/17/2010 11:54 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
We live on top of a mountain in North Carolina overlooking a valley outside Asheville. A cell tower in the center of the valley (some 20 mls from our home)
 Quoting: Watcher on the Wall 878577


You are not the first to be annoyed by high intensity strobes on these towers. At this point you can poke around to learn who the owners are, and perhaps examine filings to see if something mandated a change. I have read accounts where owners were successfully petitioned to change their lighting based on the nuisance. If it keeps up, find like-minded people in your area, get an attorney if necessary, and write the company.

Towers exceeding a minimum height or close to airports have to be registered with the FCC. You can type in some geographic data to try to determine the owner. This is a link to a database containing publicly available information.

[link to wireless2.fcc.gov]
Anonymous Coward
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05/17/2010 11:56 PM
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Re: EMERGENCY? Local cell tower in NC flashing BRIGHT strobe light as an emergency beacon?
Something is wrong with the beacon..it is stuck in day mode....at night, an actuator should lower a red glass tube over the lamp....changing the daytime strobe to a red beacon....it is a malfunction
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 973744


The FCC will come down hard on owners for lighting that goes unmaintained. Figure out who they are, tell them of the problem, and if it's not fixed pronto, call the FCC or FAA.

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