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San Francisco, Bernal Heights Tower

Located in Bernal Heights, overlooking the San Francisco Skyline. Funny that there is a cell tower at this elevation in a big city. Taken on my CA trip on 8-1-2007

San Francisco, Bernal Heights Tower
KyleAndMelissa22, Aug 8, 2007
San Francisco (Bernal Heights)
Location / Street Address:
Bernal Heights Blvd.
Landmarks or cross street:
Folsom St.
ZIP Code:
Distance of GPS #s to cell site:
35 feet
Structure Type:
Radio/Latticed tower
Camouflaged/Stealth Cell Site?:
Overall Height (in feet):
80 feet
Antenna Use:
Multiple Types
Number of Carriers:
Carrier on 2nd highest antenna:
    • larry
      Yep that is highly unusual to find a cell site with HAAT that high.
    • KyleAndMelissa22
      I guess that microwave is used to beam signal down at Bernal Heights below. But it it's not pointing down :confused:
    • TelcomJunkie
      That microwave drum is used by a regional WiMax company as part of their backhaul. Several of the sectorized antennas you see there are their's too.

      Shame about that tower though, it probably looked much better with it's original, AT&T conical horns.
    • RJB
      Wouldnt that be nice to live by lol
    • KyleAndMelissa22
      The homes in Bernal Heights encircle the hill where this tower is. There are at least 500 homes within a quarter mile of this hill / tower.

      I included 2 pictures of another point of view on this tower / hill (from Google Earth).
      One is zoomed in to the hill and surrounding houses.
      The other is the location on the San Francisco Peninsula.

      When I see from above how urban this area is, I can't believe there is a cell site up to 300 feet above surrounding terrain.
      See for yourself and tell what you think.

      [​IMG] [​IMG]
    • TelcomJunkie
      So don't take this the wrong way, but this picture bugs me as I don't really see any signifying a cellular site except for the three Nextel panels. I see plenty of antennae for the city trunking system and for the local wimax company. I don't see any ATT or VzW antennas. In that market, both are using the cellular and PCS bands and there aren't any antennas visible to support that.

      Now on a side now, when this tower was originally built back in the 1960's this was a lower class neighborhood and this hill was one of the few spots high enough to clear over the water and across the bay. In it's heyday it was processing thousands of long distance phone calls every hour.
    • KyleAndMelissa22
      I've seen old AT&T towers like this. Ironically, both in the two places I lived the longest.
      There is one in where I live in Gaffney, on S.C. 18 (still with the horns on top).
      And there is also one near where I used to live, in Toms River, NJ
      (along the Garden State Parkway exit 83, near the TR toll plaza, and the horns were removed back in '04).

      There's also a similar old at&t tower close to me in Spartanburg:


      On top of this hill in SF, Verizon gave me -040 Rx (full) signal with the antenna off my phone, and the Ec/Io was -2.5.
      So VZW was up there I'm sure. It wouldn't be on / even closer to those houses. :browani:

      See my other pix on the tower in the gallery too, there are more panels on the other side.
    • larry
      The cell site here is absolutely a Nextel site. The site ID# is CA0507 and there are plans to add Sprint CDMA to it.
    • TelcomJunkie
      These towers are all over the country but were built for a previous AT&T (Bell System at the time) wireline operation, not wireless. Most of these assets were sold before AT&T got into the wireless business though many wouldn't have been prime locations for cellular service being that they were extremely remote. Very few (Like your examples) were actually in the heart f town. Though I should add, quite a few of these long haul microwave sites also were host to IMTS base stations.

      The Verizon site is about a 1/3 mile away on top of a hospital.

      You were at the yellow dot and the VzW site is the red dot in the upper right corner. A received signal of -40 dbm is possible since you were probably direct line of site to the antennas across the street.

    • RJB
      Hey nice diagrams guys
    • TelcomJunkie
      Ha, I try :browani:
    • KyleAndMelissa22
      I kinda remember looking at a hospital in that area from on top of the hill. It was right over a very busy street (Mission Street).
      I just thought that since I was on top of a big hill in a big city, that there would be so much interference.
      Probably dozens of sites were visible with binoculars.

      When you go up 40 stories in a tall building, sometimes theres Pilot Pollution, it's alot harder to connect to a signal.
      I thought it was a similar situation.

      Another example would be along the Blue Ridge Parkway, (near Asheville, NC) it's mostly affected by interference;
      I can see a town 15 miles away, and my phone would show a full signal but my phone wouldn't connect. (elev. 3,000 ft)
      But it's rural, and there weren't as many cell sites, like there are in a big city (where more people are on the phone).
      Again, I thought it was a similar situation.
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  • Category:
    California (CA)
    Uploaded By:
    Aug 8, 2007
    View Count:
    Comment Count:
  • GPS Coord. LAT.:
    GPS Coord. LONG.:
    Ground Level Altitude (in feet):
    446 feet
    Cell ID (CID) or ASR# or FCC#:
    Antenna Types:

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