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WVOS, Liberty New York

In keeping with the theme “Take pictures now, because someday these stations may disappear,” I was out at WVOS-AM in Liberty, New York today removing some old studio equipment.  The former studio building is going to be leased out as office space.  The call letters mean the “Voice Of Sullivan” county, where the station is located.  Urban legend has it, the station’s claim to fame is that while Max Yasgur and Michael Lang were negotiating the use of Yasgur’s nearby farm for a music festival at the local diner, the diner staff overheard and called the radio station.  Thus, WVOS-AM was the first to break the story of Woodstock.

WVOS-AM transmitter building and former studios

WVOS-AM transmitter building and former studios

The station originally signed on the air in 1947 from this location with a power of 250 watts.  At some point, the power was upgraded to 1000 watts along with all the other class C AM stations in the lower 48 states.  The original building has been added onto and recently resided.  An FM signal was added in 1967.  These studios remained in use up to December of 2005, when the stations were moved into the co-owned WSUL studio facility in Monticello, NY.

WVOS-AM tower, along NY Route 17, Liberty NY

WVOS-AM tower, along NY Route 17, Liberty NY

This is the original tower, which is 194 feet  (59.16 meters) tall.  As such, it is no longer required to be lighted or painted.  This is the tower that is on the right hand side of NY Route 17, just as one is entering the village of Liberty.

Lobby, former WVOS studio building

Lobby, former WVOS studio building

The former studio building itself is in remarkably good condition.  Often times, when a studio gets moved, the old equipment is abandoned, the heat is turned off and the place is shuttered.  After years of neglect, these buildings are usually in very rough shape.  Not so with this building.

Nautel Amphet 1, WVOS-AM, Liberty, NY

Nautel Amphet 1, WVOS-AM, Liberty, NY

The transmitter is a Nautel AMPFET 1, short version.  Its serial number 132, which, I don’t know the year of manufacture but I’d bet it was before 1990. At some point, an add on matching unit was installed to better match the transmitter to the tower.  In my mind, transmitter to antenna matching is best done at the tower with an ATU.  I don’t know why the matching unit was deemed necessary.

Gates BC1T transmitter, WVOS Liberty, NY

Gates BC1T transmitter, WVOS-AM Liberty, NY

The backup transmitter is a Gates BC1T, made in 1968.  The nice thing about these old tube transmitters is you can match them to almost anything.  On more than one occasion, I have used a Gates BC1 series transmitter with a horizontal wire, while a tower was being replaced.

WVOS 1240 KHz

WVOS 1240 KHz

It looks like the roof might have leaked onto this transmitter at one time.

When I was there, the station was playing some sort of Hot AC format.  There is no mention of the AM station on any company owned website.  It appears to be changing formats often as several sources have it listed as either Spanish talk, ESPN sports or country music.  Seems to be a throw away, at this point.

Axiom


A pessimist sees the glass as half empty. An optimist sees the glass as half full. The engineer sees the glass as twice the size it needs to be.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
~1st amendment to the United States Constitution

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.
~Benjamin Franklin

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
~Rudyard Kipling

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers
~Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, Article 19

...radio was discovered, and not invented, and that these frequencies and principles were always in existence long before man was aware of them. Therefore, no one owns them. They are there as free as sunlight, which is a higher frequency form of the same energy.
~Alan Weiner

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