The Shively 6810 FM antenna

Update, W232AL:

The news is out; this is for the new “WFAS-FM” which is actually W232AL retransmitting the WPLJ HD-2 channel.  What do they call translators these days… Metro stations?  Something like that.  Anyway, quite a bit of work went into getting this off the ground before the start of Labor Day weekend and here it is!

We are currently working on a project that involves installing a Shively 6810 FM antenna. Since few people get to see these things up close, I thought I would post a few pictures.

This particular antenna is a four bay, half wave spaced directional antenna.  It is going to be side mounted on a 430 foot tower.  To do this, we had to lower the AM skirt wires by about fifteen feet and retune the AM antenna.

This Shively antenna came in seventeen boxes with sixty four pages of assembly instructions.  There are many parts and they need to be assembled in the order specified, otherwise things get in the way.  We found that Shively provided many extra bolts, washers, O rings, etc because things get lost.  Also, all of the parasitic locations and bay orientations were clearly marked.  One thing that the tower crew said; always check the allen screws and other hardware on the elements before installing the RADOMES.

Shively 6810 installing elements
Shively 6810 installing elements

Since this is a half wave antenna, the radiating elements are 180 degrees out of phase, bay to bay.

Shively 6810 mounting brackets
Shively 6810 mounting brackets

Stainless steel tower leg mounting brackets.

Assembled element with RADOME.  This is the top bay with the gas pressure release valve
Assembled element with RADOME. This is the top bay with the gas pressure release valve
Shively 6810 top bays staged for hoist
Shively 6810 top bays staged for hoist

We hoisted two bays at a time. The top bays are ready to go up.

Shively 6810 top two bays lift
Shively 6810 top two bays lift

The bottom two bays were hoisted next.

Shively 6810 four bays installed
Shively 6810 four bays installed

This is the antenna installed, less the tuning section and parasitic elements. It is tilted off axis from the tower by design due to its highly directional nature.

The transmission line was installed and we swept the antenna. I will snap a few final pictures once the transmitter is installed, which will happen tomorrow.

Updated Pictures: Here are a few pictures of the finalized installation:

W232AL antenna, new installation on WFAS AM tower
W232AL antenna, new installation on WFAS AM tower

The fully installed antenna, tuning unit and transmission line. We did some program testing, made sure the audio sounded good, then the station was signed on. We also had to lower the AM station’s skirt a few feet and retune the ATU. Actually, the ATU needed to be reconfigured because the shut leg had been disconnected and there was a capacitor added to the circuit after the base current meter.  All of that was fixed, along with a few other things…

W232AL transmitter, a BW Broadcast TX300 V2
W232AL transmitter, a BW Broadcast TX300 V2

The W232AL transmitter is a BW Broadcast TX300 V2. These little transmitter are packed with features like a web interface, on board audio processing, etc. They are pretty neat.

Its Friday, time to go home!
It’s Friday, time to go home!

The tower crew from Northeast Towers did a great job, as they always do.

8 thoughts on “The Shively 6810 FM antenna”

  1. Thanks for the great pics. Hard to realize how huge these things are when they’re way up on the tower!

  2. I have not been to the Shively factory in Maine. I guess I need to get out of the house more often

  3. Paul, please excuse the question from the non-engineer, but always curious guy! Most translators I’ve seen are using a single bay or maybe 2 bay antenna. Why is this one a 4-bay? For the directional signal requirements?

  4. Hey Paul,

    Long time reader here. I always enjoy your posts.

    I’m facing a similar project here in Phoenix at the moment and I’m curious if you can elaborate a bit on how the translator is fed? I’m pretty sure to be 100% legal the translator would need to be fed off air from the HD-2, but it seems that in practice no one is really doing it that way. I see the Intraplex IP Link in your photos, is that your STL for the translator?

    Curious as to your take on the scenario.

    Thank you very much!

    Paul Schminke

  5. Hey Paul, to answer your question; the translator is fed directly from the Gates IP link. The HD2 receiver is there as a backup. We found there is too much delay in the HD2 signal and the direct link sounds better. There is a provision in the FCC rules for direct feeding a translator, but I cannot think of the rule off the top of my head.

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