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Here is the long-awaited update to In Search of ARL5, with few additional details, but with more pictures.  Hopefully these pictures are a little clearer.  Please note, before you "click to enlarge", that the large pictures are about 300 k-bytes each.

Click to enlarge - 346K The wooden stake has been moved a little since my last visit.  (Looking generally west.)

Click to enlarge - 338K Here is the cover with the shadow of the wooden stake.

Click to enlarge - 317K The cover is open, and there is more dirt than I saw last time, but you can see there is just a little indentation in the end of a steel rod.  That's the ARL5-A reference point, which is located at exactly 32 45' 30.04048" North, 97 03' 43.02741" West, at an altitude of 533.51 feet.

Click to enlarge - 268K Out behind the building there is a short self-supporting tower.

Click to enlarge - 285K This tower holds a GPS reference antenna.

Click to enlarge - 316K Somewhere on the bottom of this antenna is the reference point known as ARL5, which is at exactly 32 45' 32.49931" North, 97 03' 36.99084" West, at an altitude of 562.1 feet.

Click to enlarge - 525K In the center of the base of the tower is brass disk, which is a Texas Highway Department (TXDOT) benchmark.  I completely missed this one during my first two visits to the site; after all, who would think there would be one reference mark directly under another one?  The official datasheet for this mark is available here.

Click to enlarge - 155K The disk is engraved with "Texas State Department of Highways & Public Transportation", which was the name of the Highway Department before it became TXDOT.

Click to enlarge - 149K This brass marker is somewhat larger than most benchmark disks.

Click to enlarge - 476K There is another benchmark out by the dumpster.

Click to enlarge - 531K This is a TXDOT marker, considerably smaller than the one under the GPS antenna tower.

Click to enlarge - 149K Here is a close up shot of the marker.

Click to enlarge - 510K Finally, on July 20, 2003, I made it out to ARL5-B, the last of the benchmarks on this site, and the most difficult to reach.  It's out in the weeds about 250 yards east of the TXDOT parking lot.

Click to enlarge - 136K Using the description in the official data sheet, and a GPS receiver, I could have found this mark, I guess, but the witness post surely helps.

Click to enlarge - 64K And the witness post is a good place to hang the GPS while taking pictures.

Click to enlarge - 154K Here is the station, just as I found it, with the cover closed.

Click to enlarge - 504K With the cover open, you can see the mark is in excellent condition.  That is probably because it is so difficult to reach this spot.

Click to enlarge - 122K This shows the size of the hardware involved, if you've never seen one of these.

Click to enlarge - 515K I would have taken more pictures, but the temperature was at least 100°, and there were lots of insects and other animals living in these big cracks in the ground, so I didn't want to stay out there all day.





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Updated August 10, 2003.

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