United States Naval Academy        

  US Naval Station Annapolis
Transmitter Facility
Tower Demolition:
WB4APR area APRS digipeater temporarily lost

13 November 1999. At 0800, contractors blew up 3 of the 4 300-foot towers at the north end of the US Naval Station Annapolis transmitter facility, in a month-long project to remove all but a few of the historic towers, since they are no longer in use by the Navy, and some public figures question the "eyesore" and cost of maintenance (lighting, corrosion prevention, and structural.) Congress has allowed a few of the towers to remain for future local municipal, amateur radio, and possible commericial use. Next will come the demolishing of the 800 foot VLF tower, followed by the 6 600-foot towers ring and the central 1200-foot tower.

Due to a miscommunication, the WB4APR Amateur Position/Packet [GPS] Reporting System (APRS) digipeater serving the Annapolis area was not removed off one of the towers before it was blown up (we were told that one would be left up 2 more weeks.) It will be relocated soon by Bob Bruninga and the Naval Academy Amateur Radio Club/MARS station.

Click on the images to see a blown-up view.

Charges blow, towers start to lean, then faster, then smoke and dust.
One tower of the four remain on the horizon.
The towers were laid on their sides with explosives at their bases. The remaining 300-foot tower is in the background. The taller towers will be collapsed onto themselves vertically due to lack of a ground clearance radius of the towers' height.
The WB4APR APRS digipeater hardline and antenna lie with the top of the tower, which imbedded itself 2 feet in the ground after the 300-foot fall.
The WB4APR antenna fiberglass shell was shattered, but may be repair-able.
The red aircraft warning beacon was obsolete, thus left in place where it shattered on impact.
John Shorpp, the only remaining transmitter facility employee, views the results of the demolition.
Backhoes get right to work, breaking up and picking up the pieces of shattered towers.
This tower precariously lays balanced on the blown-out third leg.
The only remaining 300 foot tower. 300 feet seems high when looking up...
... but not when laying on the ground. The 800-foot tower in the background will be blown up in the next few weeks.

Point of Contact : LT Johnson/K3FOR/NNN0PEK, Officer Representative 
Revision Date :  
URL : http://www.qsl.net/w3ado/