Another FAX 5 install

At the risk of becoming redundant, here are a few pictures of a GatesAir FAX-5 install recently completed in Westerly, RI.  This was installed in a recently vacated Verizon cell site next to the old transmitter building.  The old transmitter building and the equipment contained therein had seen better days, to be sure.


As requested, the only pre-installation photo I can find:

Some Verizon equipment still in place
Some Verizon equipment still in place

That photo was taken back in October 2018, when we first looked at the Verizon shelter as a viable alternative to the current transmitter site.

FAX-5 transmitter with fancy logo, placed in position
Transmitter in place, AC mains and RF connections made
Ground strap installation
Test mode, clamp-on AC current meter, measuring amps per leg at full power
FAX-5 transmitter and equipment rack, on the air
Transmission line, supported by unistrut
Delta coax switch and Electro impulse dummy load, salvaged from old installation
FAX-5 running into antenna for the first time

Overall, the transmitter sounds great.  Much better than the old unit which had an AM noise problem.

If it wasn’t so far away, this would have been a pretty easy project.  There were minor miscues along the way that added up.  I will say that I learned a few good life lessons about the reliability and responsibility of people.

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6 thoughts on “Another FAX 5 install”

  1. One thing I’ve learned, people suck! They will let you down in ways you can never imagine.

    Looks like a great install. Those old Verizon buildings are kick ass. Got any pictures of the old site for reference? LOL

  2. Is this one of the Block island sites? I spent a day at that site once, but it was fogged in the whole day.

  3. 102.3 in Westerly means it’s WMOS, licensed to Stonington CT but the tower is just over the Pawcatuck River in RI. Owned by Cumulus, used to have studios in the Mohegan Sun casino & runs a classic rock “Wolf” format, IIRC. I don’t get down that way all that often so I’m not sure if either of those are still true.

    It’s a good little signal. The times I *am* down that way I’ve noticed the audio fidelity was a little iffy, so I’m not surprised there was an AM noise issue. Be interesting to hear how it sounds now!

    It’s funny how modern gear fits in such a small footprint and you need so little hardware to be a perfectly-fine-operating station these days. Especially if you’re not in a PPM market. That new space seems cavernously huge. 🙂 Almost to the point where I wonder if the air conditioning is overkill to where you have humidity issues? And a bit disappointing they didn’t replace the Burk ARC16 while they were at it. Solid boxes in their day but they’re getting awfully long in the tooth and parts are unobtainium.

  4. Ooh I was in the old site. Was a very rough “driveway” up to the tower as memory recalls. The old TX was in an old house type building. Glad to see they got a new building. Install looks nice, and shall I say, never redundant. 😉

  5. First, redundancies aside I love seeing your work! I still enjoy and appreciate the attention to detail put into a transmitter installation. I don’t care if it seems redundant but I still like seeing new installations.

    Second, I love that they proudly announce that their gear is Made in the U.S.A. I always try to buy American made (harder and harder to do). I appreciate that they flaunt it.

    Third, I hope the holes around the coax coming into the building were properly sealed. It has always been a huge pet peeve of mine when installers leave the openings around the coax open…especially in a climate controlled facility.

    As usual great work. I would also like to see a “before” shot if you got one.

  6. Scott, looking for an pre install photo on my phone, I’ll post it as an update.

    Andy, the site is on the main land. It’d be fun to do some work on Block Island.

    Brad, the ARC-16 replaced a Sine Systems RFC-1, so I consider it a step up. I don’t know if there will be an issue with the AC units, they do have a fancy controller that sets one as the primary and one as the backup. The controller alternates units every month.

    Adam, the boots on the coax feed through panel were applied after the picture was taken. I forgot to take a final picture as I was in a hurry to get out of there before the I-95 weekend traffic kicked in.

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