New transmitter building for an old station


What the site looks like now with the old building removed:

Putting the finishing touches on another transmitter site rebuild, this time in central NY. This station for many years used this rambling white residential-looking structure for both the studio and transmitter site:

Former studio and transmitter site for WDLA, Walton, NY

Unfortunately, over the years, the building has deteriorated beyond economical repair. A few years ago, the studio facility was moved to a new location in town. Now the transmitters are being moved to this repurposed cellular building:

Former NEXTEL building, now WDLA AM/FM transmitter site

This was purchased used from a local crane company, which had dozens of them on their lot after NEXTEL was absorbed by Sprint. During the permitting process with the town, they referred to it as a “Circular Use.”

They are actually nice buildings, coming prewired with a 200 amp single phase service, two working Bard HVAC units, ready-made coax entry ports, etc. My only complaint (so far), is the light switch timer. I like the idea, the lights get switched off automatically and are not left on for months at a time when nobody is at the site. However, the timer only goes up to 2 hours. Thus, when we were doing the installation work, periodically there would be an audible click, then everything would go dark. Not terrible.

Equipment racks and transmitters
Transmitters and equipment racks

There are also two other FM stations that have an STL transmitter here.

Rack placement and grounding work
STL equipment for two additional stations

All in all, an enjoyable project.

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4 thoughts on “New transmitter building for an old station”

  1. Purpose built for transmitter equipment, even if it is ‘a little’ different. Glad to see those shelters put to good use.

  2. Now that is a nice little transmitter building.

    What I wouldn’t have given for something like that being in the AFCC Scheme Catalog back in the day. Would have made standing up a new small (1-2 transceiver) permanent narrowband comm facility quick and easy. Just designing the electrical, and speccing out the conduit, panelboards, etc. by itself was a real chore.

  3. Huh, didn’t know most of these buildings were pre-made. Makes sense, sometimes you just want a little shack you can drop down and put stuff in without having to retrofit a premade shed. Also, I spy an Optimod 8000… would love to get one of those.

  4. WDLA was my first broadcasting gig, nice to see the investment in the transmitter plant. I was sorry to hear that the Downtown Walton studio did not work out in their current business plan, but at least they were able to maintain the signals.

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