One of the perks

Occasionally, I get to go for a nice walk in a snowstorm. No, I am not being sarcastic. It is the middle of March and winter has decided to make an appearance. One of the FM stations we take care of went off the air and the remote control was not able to get the transmitter to come back on, so a stroll through the woods was necessary. This station is located at Sam’s Point Preserve, in Craigsmore NY.

Self-supporting tower has ATT and a Low Power TV station

The site is owned by Vertical Bridge. There are a few tenants on the tower and fortunately, somebody left the gate open before it snowed. I was somewhat dreading trying to wrestle with it when I got to the site.

The problem itself seems to be due to a power hit; the main transmitter was off and the remote control, a wheezing Genter VRC-2000, was not able to control either the main or the backup. Those should be replaced at some point.

Neighboring tower

There are several other towers up here for various cell carriers, 911 dispatch, etc.

My SO decided to come along.

My phone said we walked 2.7 miles round trip, which sounds about right. The station is back on the air. When I can get up there with a vehicle in a few weeks, I will look into the remote control problem.

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8 thoughts on “One of the perks”

  1. I have become a big fan of’s gear. There’s no dial-up aspect, but these days it’s usually easier to supply internet connectivity than POTS connectivity to a remote site.

    One trick I was shown by Josh Bohn was to use a Burk ARC Plus Touch with the SNMPPLUS option to be the “brain” behind the CBW gear; in fact you can leave the Burk at the studio and put the CBW’s X400 “brain” at the xmitter site, controlling all the various CBW peripherals. (don’t get the X600; it’s SNMP v3 only and Burks can only handle SNMP v1 & v2c) The two will “talk” over almost any VPN just fine (you don’t really want to expose SNMP over the public internet except via VPN; it’s too insecure) and the nice thing is you can set up the X400 to be sort of a “fail safe” remote control to do various, basic tasks should the Burk not be connected to do it.

  2. I have installed a Control by Web X-332 and those are not bad units. I never thought to use SNMP and a Burk as a control system. I do think any POTS line remote control needs to be replaced soon.

  3. I think my longest hike to a site these days would be a one-mile round-trip. I carry snowshoes in the car, but haven’t had to use them in several years.

    My long-suffering wife is also my SO…Safety Officer. She usually rides along when I have to do troubleshooting with voltages on and covers off. She’s also built at least two sets of R55e wiring harnesses for me over the years. She can crimp DB25 pins better than I can.

  4. Greg, that’s pretty good. Last year, my SO helped pull 7/8 inch coax up two floors at the State Tower in Syracuse, NY. I bought her a beer afterward.

  5. That’s an impressive FM site. Way back in the day, the little class A up there was doing an automated soft AC format. I could hear it in Great Barrington, MA without much issue. I even recorded air checks from it, because that’s what nerdy high school kids do. I visited that site about 10 years with a former engineer who has since passed away, and it was kind of a thrill to see this little signal I heard so often. You can’t hear it in GB anymore due to the HD IBOC signal coming from the Heldebergs. (Perhaps with a good high gain directional antenna, but seeing that I don’t live there anymore, why bother?)

  6. Mike, That station’s TPO is 300 watts into a 1 Bay Shively antenna. Yes, it goes a good way with a little power!

  7. It’s a great site! I mentioned I visited it back in 2010, with Bill.
    I have pictures from that era on my site. It’s a great testament to so many examples of the behavior of FM.

  8. I have nothing to add about the broadcasting and engineering end. Just wanted to say, What a nice pic!

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