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The NASH: WNSH, Newark, NJ

Lately, I have been working at a site in West Orange, NJ connecting various parts and pieces and thought that this was interesting:

WNSH 94.7 MHz, Newark, NJ main antenna (top)

WNSH 94.7 MHz, Newark, NJ main antenna (top)

That is the main antenna for WNSH, 94.7 MHz Newark, NJ, aka “Nash-FM.”  Below that is the backup antenna for WEPN-FM (98.7 MHz), WQHT (97.1 MHz) and WFAN-FM (101.9 MHz).  More on those stations later.

WFME studio building

WFME studio building

This is the WFME studios, located off of NJ Route 10.  It is kind of hard to see the call letters behind all those trees and whatnot.  There is an older picture from 1999 floating around, which shows the studio building in better condition.  This is a better angle:

WFME studio

WFME studio

I believe WFME is still originating its programming here, now being broadcast on WFME 106.3 MHz, Mount Kisco.  I had to use the facilities there, the interior is like a way back 80’s time machine, which is kind of cool.  If I owned a radio station, I would go for the 70’s office decor; dark wood paneling, shag carpets, bright blue bathroom tile and avocado green appliances, but hey, that’s just me.

WNSH backup antenna, WFME-TV antenna

WNSH backup antenna, WFME-TV antenna

This is the WNSH backup antenna, mounted on top of a UHF slot antenna for WFME-TV.  There is an LP TV antenna mounted there also, but I don’ t know who it belongs to.  Overall, it is an interesting transmitter site on “First Mountain” in West Orange, NJ.  Also located here, WFMU-FM, an old ATT microwave site, now owned by American Tower and several cell carriers.   In other words, it is just like most other mountain top transmitter sites, except there is a shopping plaza across the street.

I gave a listen to the NASH while driving there.  For where it is, it seems to have a pretty good coverage area.  As for the music, well, I am not sure how a Manhattenite will relate to Tracy Byrd’s “I’m from the Country” wherein:

Everybody knows everybody, everybody calls you friend
You don’t need an invitation, kick off your shoes come on in
Yeah, we know how to work and we know how to play
We’re from the country and we like it that way

Being from upstate NY, I get it.  Perhaps the Manhattan salary man will too.  There are no DJ’s on air quite yet, just music, some commercials and a few “Nash-FM” liners that sound slightly distorted.

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11 comments to The NASH: WNSH, Newark, NJ

  • Zach D

    That primary ERI for WNSH is fairly new, correct?

    If you can say, what are they running for a transmitter?

  • Yes, that is a new ERI antenna. There transmitter is a Continental 816. I hear through the grape vine that there is some talk of moving this to Empire.

  • Robinsmark

    Paul: I know this site, I have been here myself back in the 1980s. The WFME Transmitter back then was a Collins that at that time was fairly new. The other tower was the old WVNJ tower that now has NASH on it. WVNJ FM was 100.3 MHz and that license was moved to NY.city years ago as ownership changed. WVNJ FM ran 24kW ERP from that site. They had an RCA BAT WING antenna Horizontal only polarization back then. The WVNJ tower at one time had so many 2 way radio antennas on it that they started installing them upside down so they could get more of them on the tower. And they had them all over that tower at varying heights as well. WFMU formerly belonged to the now defunct UPSALA College in E.Orange NJ.

  • Paul Thurst

    Robin: About the site; it has the “old radio” feel to it. The WFME building looks like a late 1940’s construction. It is interesting that 100.3 was also there are one time. WFMU is on it’s own short tower and shed in the WFME parking lot.

  • It’s actually a full power TV station there, WFME-TV RF29.(Virt. 66)
    Licensed to 200kW using a small 4 element directional antenna.
    ASRN: 1045804 (Family Radio Stations, Inc.)

    Did you happen to get a shot of the WFMU stick?

    I have some old, unpublicized photos of it here http://www.necrat.us/wfme_pro.html
    which I don’t link to anymore, because they are so outdated. They were sent to me
    from a visitor of my site.

    The AUX antenna is the old Emmis aux antenna setup. Big fat Shively 5 bay.

    — Mike

  • Nick Straka

    What the heck is that whip antenna right next to the top bay??

    Whatever it is, there had better be a hefty bandpass filter on it!! When that was the main, that equals a lot of RF concentrated on that little whip.

  • Paul Thurst

    @Nick, I questioned that too. This is the backup antenna and it appears to be one of two, there is a two bay ERI medium power mounted on a short tower next to the studio.

  • @Nick, you would be surprised how many times I see two way radio antennas in the apateure of FM radio antennas. It always made me question the amount of RF coming back down the line of the coax, and the two way antenna’s interaction with the antenna. (Is it causing pattern distortion, causing reflected power, etc…)

  • Pete Tauriello

    The WFME building was originally built as the transmitter site for WATV and WAAT-fm circa 1946.

  • Chas

    I used to live in Montclair, and anything RF fascinates me. The number of times I drove by that site and nearly rear-ended a car is really high.

    I found this post by searching for WFMU on your blog, which is such an anomaly in how radio is done (non-commercial, and no funding other than listener support, very, very early internet presence, streaming archives, etc. etc.). I love that station – it takes some time to find “your” shows, but wow – especially for indie rock and such, it’s kind of nice to be exposed to such an endless stream of new stuff with no bias. Beats spotify/pandora for me.

    What I dislike is that I know they have a ton of very “creative” engineering going on, being a non-profit, and their blog has no engineering section. If you ever bump into anyone that does work for them, a writeup on their operations would be incredibly fascinating.

    One story floating around is that the T1 to their Mount Hope relay was so flakey someone loaded up one of the old/original iPods with a bunch of stuff and left it running on shuffle. Someone built something that would cut the feed to the iPod when the link back to the station dropped. 🙂

  • Ed Montgomery

    The picture with the WNSH-FM backup antenna does not have a TV transmission antenna underneath it. This is the original WAAT-FM RCA Pylon FM antenna. Feeding the antenna from a center point reorients the current and voltage creating horizontal polarization. RCA sold a lot of these in the late 40s and early 50s. The antenna was used into the late 60s. The VHF bat wing antenna for channel 13 was mounted atop the pylon. This was a package antenna system that RCA sold. When Family Radio purchased the station they installed a mast above the pylon antenna and mounted a c-pol antenna on it. The pylon antenna was made of aluminum and had a plastic shield around it preventing moisture from entering the slots.

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