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Thread: Gael warning in the Congo

  1. #545
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    And the photo Johan referred to
    Name:  IMG_4040.jpg
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  2. #546
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    Looks like a mobile phone mast?

    Have a good trip home

  3. #547
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    Simon, your picture of the bikes parked up has prompted me to reflect a little, if you'll permit.

    Great to see the bikes together again and safely tucked away. Well done in completing the Africa, North to South trip, one of motorcycling's most challenging rides. You also highlighted it could be done in stages, allowing return to UK in between. You managed to find a number of safe storage areas throughout Africa, like this one in Windhoek. Using these storage areas makes the North to South trip more practical for people who can not find the time needed to do the trip in one go. The other advantage of this approach is it allows time to explore a particular area, like you did in the Dogan region of Mali.

    Your trip piloted another approach, which is close to my heart, of sharing the trip for some of the time with another rider. I enjoyed riding down through Spain, Morocco, Western Sahara and Mauritania with you on my own bike. Then flying into Pointe Noire and buying a local bike was also a bit of a novel idea. This bike allowed us to share an interesting part of the trip, riding out of Congo and through Angola, crossing the Congo River, into Namibia and Botswana. Another plus for me is now having a bike in Namibia which I hope to use again to explore South Africa, later this year.

    Kit of course also joined you a couple of times to ride pillion when you were in the Gambia/Senegal region and latterly in Namibia and Botswana. Personally it was a delight to share some time with you both and see you sharing the experience together.

    I look forward to a catch up when we are both back in UK and I'd be surprised if that meeting does not include the perusal of at least one map. Safe travel back home and again, well done!

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  4. #548
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    Cheers Jim and thanks again for your company and support at stages along the way

    And thanks to the GSer community for the support and banter along the way!


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  5. #549
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    It looks like there are several Mobile phone anntenna at the top of the mast.
    The 5 small dishes on the top half of the mast are probably the short range microwave communication dishes that distribute the mobile network to other masts.
    There are several UHF and VHF dipoles on the top half of the mast, these are probably for government (and maybe some private) services such as Police, Medical, etc., they could also be carrying simple telemetry signals.
    The three large dishes on the Concrete/brick section of the mast are long range microwave dishes. These could be carrying the main trunk route for the mobile telephone services but, depending on the technology being used, the data bandwidth on these routes could be quite large so it is very likely they are also carrying other services such as the trunk route for landline telephone service, telemetry for control systems (for just about any industry, e.g mining, oil, steel works, etc.), video, and even TV channels, etc.

    Not knowing the terrain of the area it's hard to say why there are two antenna on one side, but only one on the other, it could be that there are two independent radio links in that direction. However, if the microwave signals are passing over water, especially tidal water, this can have serious attenuation affects on the radio signal as the water level rises and falls, so to get round this they use space diversity techniques. This is simply sending the same signal to two antennas, a short distance vertically apart, on the same route (sometimes there are two antenna at both ends of the link, sometimes only two at one end of the link), the signal is then monitored for fading on both antenna and the one with the stronger signal is selected as the 'online' antenna. Because there is a small distance separating the two antenna there are effectively two paths for the signal, if they've done their calculations right only one path will suffer from excessive fading at any one time, so there'll always be at least one good path.

    I believe a similar fading effect can be caused when the signal passes over desert (due to heat haze changes), so if there is no open water nearby this may explain why there are two antenna facing the same direction. It may also explain why there is only one antenna on the RHS of the mast, space diversity may be achieved on this link by using two antenna at the far end.

    Now I've bored you all with my over-simplistic explanation I'll clear off

  6. #550
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    Quote Originally Posted by trebor View Post
    It looks like there are several Mobile phone anntenna at the top of the mast.
    The 5 small dishes on the top half of the mast are probably the short range microwave communication dishes that distribute the mobile network to other masts.
    There are several UHF and VHF dipoles on the top half of the mast, these are probably for government (and maybe some private) services such as Police, Medical, etc., they could also be carrying simple telemetry signals.
    The three large dishes on the Concrete/brick section of the mast are long range microwave dishes. These could be carrying the main trunk route for the mobile telephone services but, depending on the technology being used, the data bandwidth on these routes could be quite large so it is very likely they are also carrying other services such as the trunk route for landline telephone service, telemetry for control systems (for just about any industry, e.g mining, oil, steel works, etc.), video, and even TV channels, etc.

    Not knowing the terrain of the area it's hard to say why there are two antenna on one side, but only one on the other, it could be that there are two independent radio links in that direction. However, if the microwave signals are passing over water, especially tidal water, this can have serious attenuation affects on the radio signal as the water level rises and falls, so to get round this they use space diversity techniques. This is simply sending the same signal to two antennas, a short distance vertically apart, on the same route (sometimes there are two antenna at both ends of the link, sometimes only two at one end of the link), the signal is then monitored for fading on both antenna and the one with the stronger signal is selected as the 'online' antenna. Because there is a small distance separating the two antenna there are effectively two paths for the signal, if they've done their calculations right only one path will suffer from excessive fading at any one time, so there'll always be at least one good path.

    I believe a similar fading effect can be caused when the signal passes over desert (due to heat haze changes), so if there is no open water nearby this may explain why there are two antenna facing the same direction. It may also explain why there is only one antenna on the RHS of the mast, space diversity may be achieved on this link by using two antenna at the far end.

    Now I've bored you all with my over-simplistic explanation I'll clear off
    Nice description- this is also how we got internet in Aberystwyth when I was at university there. Was great except when the wind blew strong enough it shifted a dish and we dropped to a copper line backup and basically where cut off. Of course that was rare as it’s never windy in west Wales

  7. #551
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    The compendious knowledge of the Tossariat continues to amaze...but perhaps a separate thread?


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  8. #552
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    Quote Originally Posted by simondippenhall View Post
    The compendious knowledge of the Tossariat continues to amaze...but perhaps a separate thread?
    Quote Originally Posted by simondippenhall
    Any kind reader tell em what these are for? (They appear periodically here and I assume are for telecoms?)
    Well, you did ask in this thread

  9. #553
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    I know, I know


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  10. #554
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    Great read, thank you for taking the time and effort to write it up

    Mark

  11. #555
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    Simon and Jim

    Very many thanks for putting so much effort into keeping us up to date with your latest adventure. Yet again it has been fascinating reading your descriptive and colourful reports of places and people most of us can only dream of visiting and meeting. All backed up by some great photographs which worked so well with your writing. Particular praise goes to your problem solving en route, be it mechanical issues, buying a bike in country or the inevitable issues with paperwork and bureaucracy.
    I can guarantee it has inspired a number of us to go a bit further than Tescos and stop thinking of reasons why we shouldn't.

    Thanks again

    PS Looking forward to reading your next ride report

  12. #556
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    Baggers

    Thanks on behalf of both of us for your feedback. It has been good for us too to record events as they happened, since then the memories are most vivid. (So vivid, in the case of the Angoka flywheel teeth shredding, that I could not record the events and had to ask Jim to do so).

    Without tempting fate, there is a chance our African journey (s) will resume in the (European) autumn, albeit in different directions. I think Jim us attracted to S Africa and I am going to head East and Norrh in the general direction of Europe.

    But who knows?����

  13. #557
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    Quote Originally Posted by simondippenhall View Post
    I know, I know


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    The large dishes and concrete tower date from the seventies. Because of the long distances involved, mictowave dishes were used instead of copper telephone lines between Namibia and South Africa. The steel structure on top would have been added much later after the invention of mobile phones.

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