Minden, IA

Common Language Location Identifier (CLLI): MINDIAQ0010
Geolocation (GL) code: IA1260

Site Data

FCC Microwave License Data


Minden's physical facilities consist of a 170 ft. (51.8 M) steel lattice tower and an equipment building.


Minden was built around 1950-1951 as an auxiliary (relay) station on the nation's first transcontinental microwave route, which linked New York City and San Francisco. The segment of the route between Chicago and San Francisco was placed in service on August 17, 1951.

Minden's destinations were Elk Horn, Iowa to the east and Omaha, Nebraska to the west. Like all of the stations on the transcontinental route, Minden would have been originally equipped with vacuum-tube Western Electric TD-2 microwave radios and delay-lens antennas. The route's capacity was doubled when those antennas were replaced by horn-reflector "cornucopia" antennas. Information about the radios and antennas can be found in the Technology and Equipment section of this web site.

As AT&T continued converting its long-distance network to fiber optics in the 1990s, Minden became obsolete and was "turned down". AT&T sold the station to American Tower Corporation, which in turn sold it to the present owner, American Relay Company.

Present Role

More than half a century after its construction, Minden continues to serve as a microwave relay station, though in a network radically different from the Bell System of 1951. Today Minden carries high-speed digital traffic as part of American Relay's backbone network, helping deliver fixed-wireless broadband communication services to customers in the central U.S.


Image courtesy of Mr. Jamie Saker, American Relay Company
Select image to view a larger version

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Updated on November 20, 2002 at 01:02 by Albert LaFrance