WGHQ in Kingston, NY has been downgraded from a 5KW DA-1 to a 1KW non-DA system. This was done because two of the three towers in the directional antenna array dated from 1960, were in very rough condition and needed to be replaced. The remaining tower (furthest from the transmitter building) had been replaced in 1994, is in good condition, and is being kept as the non-directional radiator.
Here are a few pictures:
First tower video (sorry, I appear to have no idea what I am doing with the camera):
Second tower video, this one is better:
Towers on the ground:
I made measurements on the third tower and constructed a temporary ATU with parts on hand to get the station back on the air. They are now running 1 KW day, 38 watts night, as per their CP. I will be going back up to finish the job once the brush has been removed from around the existing tower and the ATU building has been repaired. The coverage with 1 KW is not bad, actually:
It does not look like much, however, that is about $5,500.00 worth of damage. What you don’t see is the mashed oil cooler and radiator. This happened on my way from one place to another during the early morning hours. I was traveling at about 55 MPH when a deer bolted from the woods and entered the roadway from the right. I did not have time to a break.
A momentary lapse of attention causes a loss of $80.00. I think I was adjusting the defroster as I was driving down the road when suddenly, I felt the car tilt over to an alarming degree. You can see the tow truck getting ready to pull it out. Fortunately, there was no damage to the vehicle.
This is on the access road to one of our transmitter sites. The station has a legal right of way through this property, however, the neighbor seems to object. I spoke with him and showed him a copy of our deed, he has since changed plans.
This is the downside of using category cable to make audio connections. The wires are not as rugged as say Belden 8451. This was causing problems because it is at an AM studio/transmitter site.
Three-phase, 30 amp, 240-volt contactor installed in a 480-volt system. Lasted a few years, anyway.
New tenants on one of our towers. This is a white-faced (or bald-faced) hornet’s nest. They are really paper wasps, but that difference aside, these beasts are nasty, aggressive, and have a painful sting. Normally, I am a live-and-let-live kind of person, but in this case, they gotta go.
This is at one of our AM client’s site. Somebody, quite some time ago it seems, made this test load for a 1 KW AM transmitter. It is very nice, with carbon ceramic resistors, 50 ohms, and surprisingly little reactance. Then they attached it to this piece of plywood. As one can surmise, the load gets quite hot under full power and full modulation conditions. We remounted this in a cage-type enclosure and bolted it to the cinder block wall.
The client at this station is complaining of intermittent STL dropouts and low signal strength at the receiving end. Found this Scala PR-950U antenna mounted for vertical polarization, but the antenna element is horizontally mounted. We’ll call it “vorizontal.”
This was discovered during routine maintenance and thankfully not during a power outage. Mice got into the control box of a newish Cummins 135 KW generator and chewed through what looked like a data buss cable. The generator would not run and the cable and control board needed to be replaced.
There are more bulging capacitors removed from flat panel monitors.
High winds seem to be the culprit in the collapse of two towers in North Adams. According to the Motorola system technicians, it happened at about 12:30 am Sunday morning, which is when all their link loss alarms started going off. The larger, self-supporting tower broke from its mounting plate and tipped over into the smaller guyed tower next to it. Effected are WUPE-FM and W226AW (WFCR New England Public Radio) as well as NEPR’s new station WNNI which has not officially signed on.
Cellular service for ATT, Verizon, and Sprint/NEXTEL were all knocked offline as well as internet services and E911 dispatch. Those services are coming back online, with temporary modular cell units en route. N
Restoration work is underway with WUPE-FM expected to return to the air at low power by Monday afternoon.
WUPE-FM was returned to air at low power by about 1pm on Monday 3/31. We took an unused Shively 6812 antenna that was tuned to 94.1 MHz and retuned it to 100.1 by cutting 1/4 inch pieces from the end of the elements until it was on frequency. It took a bit of doing, but with a network analyzer, we were able to get it to 1.2:1 SWR with symmetrical sidebands. Running 600 watts, it covers the city of license and then some.
The STL antenna is a survey antenna mounted on the side of the building. In this configuration, with the leaves off of the trees, we are getting about 250 uV signal, which is pretty good.
The site is now crawling with insurance investigators, cell site technicians, North Adams fire department, Berkshire County Sheriff’s officers, tower workers, etc. After we finished this work, we cleared out to make more room for everybody else. Estimated restore time for W266AW is Wednesday 4/2.
Planning for the replacement tower is already in progress, I’d expect it to happen fairly quickly. The next step for the broadcasters is to put up a 70-foot utility pole and get a full-powered antenna for WUPE. This should happen in the next two weeks or so. That will serve as the temporary facility until the new tower is constructed.