Upgrading Panamint Springs Resort from analog to digital cellular connection phone service

Panamint Springs Resort

The Panamint Springs Resort (http://www.panamintsprings.com/) located in Death Valley National Park, California is completely isolated form the grid and all public utilities. Water is piped in from a spring 5 miles away, electricity is generated on site and internet connectivity is through a satellite provider. Telephone, including fax and credit card processing is cellular using Alltel Wireless.

Panamint Springs Resort is a popular stop over for travelers to and from Death Valley National Monument as well as to Panamint Valley and the Panamint Mountains. It is on State Hwy 190 between Lone Pine and Death Valley. Accommodations include comfortable rooms, a modern cafe, gift shop and service station. Trailer space and camping space is available. The resort is open all year.

panamint springs bar

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Alltel operates two towers in the area. The one in direct line of site of the resort is analog only. The other that is both digital and analog is several miles away and not in the line of sight by any means Our goal was to acquire a usable digital signal from the distant tower and begin upgrading the resort to digital cellular.

The existing analog installation is made up of 3 watt bag phones, yagi antennas, rg8 coax and cellular connection (dial tone modems) that are fed to regular desk phones and credit card terminals throughout the bar, restaurant, office and gas station/general store. One rule I had was that no changes could be made to the existing analog equipment. Digital equipment would be added to new or unused lines then the old analog lines could be forwarded to the new digital equipment.

panamint springs phones

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Existing analog equipment. Yagis are pointed directly at analog only site (blue line), regular phone lines are run throughout the resort.

Because line of sight is blocked by a mountain we had to use a reflection of the signal off panamint butte.(red line)

Update 6/2011: ATT has taken over this area as part of their acquisition of Alltel and has forced Panamint Springs
to convert to UMTS/GSM phones. The new phones do not work at the location because the Analog tower (blue line) has
not been upgraded to digital. I have activated two of their existing phones with a company who still allows use of
the analog tower.

Update 8/2011. The Park Service killed Rogers Peak analog so I installed another antenna and Telular box for a second line of service.

panamint springs yagi antennas

panamint spring map

panamint springs cellular

A 'hot spot' was found at the General Store and a Yagi antenna was mounted. A Telular SX5 will be used to replace the 3 watt cellular connection. The SX5 creates a dial tone and is a direct replacement for the existing equipment. The existing analog number will be forwarded to the new digital Telular linepanamint valley cellular

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Glacier Pack Train Big Pine CA Cell Install

Rural Setups


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