Northern Berkshire Update

Ah Berkshire County, MA. My favorite place anywhere. Having grown up there, the place holds a special place in my heart.

We documented here the 2014 North Adams tower collapses. Our friend Paul Thurst did an incredible job documenting it from first disaster to final construction on his excellent website.

I finally traveled up to “Florida Mountain” to picture document the new, final construction of the new 98.9/100.1 tower, and the new location of the 101.1 Translator.

The new 98.9/1001 Shively 6810BB-4R antenna.
The new 98.9/1001 Shively 6810BB-4R antenna.

On the way down the hill, we stopped in North Adams to grab a quick shot of the new LPFM, WMNB-LP.

North Adams Community TV's WMNB-LP
North Adams Community TV’s WMNB-LP

We also got one incredible picture of Mt. Greylock,
Which is , of course, home to the WCDC/WAMC-FM/W38DL tower.

Mount Greylock taken from Route 7 in Williamstown, MA.
Mount Greylock taken from Route 7 in Williamstown, MA.

And finally a stop in Pittsfield, to grab a quick picture of 103.3 W277CJ, the new translator for WUPE 1110, mounted on top of the vacant hotel in downtown Pittsfield.

W277CJ way up on the former Crowne Plaza hotel in Pittsfield.
W277CJ way up on the former Crowne Plaza hotel in Pittsfield.

New Year, New Update

So this is a long long time coming update from me here at NECRAT. What better way to welcome in 2017, then with a whole plethora of new pictures?  How many new?  81 to be exact!

This is a accumulation of 4 months of getting pictures here and there, along with a trip over the weekend to update some long needed pictures.

It all started in September, with the construction of the WTMU-LP translator in Needham, which would become the primary signal for NBC Boston as WBTS-LD.

WBTS-LD on the American Tower in Needham.
WBTS-LD on the American Tower in Needham.

As well as a visit to a tower in Webster to see a LPTV that launched as a Providence market signal rimshot

WCRN-LD on the Industrial Tower in Webster, aimed towards Providence, RI
WCRN-LD on the Industrial Tower in Webster, aimed towards Providence, RI

September also got us a shot of the new WLAS-LP, the third station in the Boston 102.9 LPFM “tri-plex”

WLAS-LP on FM128
WLAS-LP on FM128

October got us up to the Hancock tower for some work, and gave us the shot of the transmitters on the 61st floor there. It also got us into the old WBZ-WCVB analog combiner room, where the new WBTS-LD transmitter now sits.

WBTS-LD's transmitter.
WBTS-LD’s transmitter.

As well as the funky new antenna at Webster’s WGFP 940.

WGFP's new antenna.
WGFP’s new antenna.

November brought some contract work for NECRAT (You do know we do contract work, right?  More information is coming)
We installed one of many new AM on FM translators, this one for WVNE.

WVNE's new 101.5 (W268CQ) translator on Asnebumskit Hill in Paxton.
WVNE’s new 101.5 (W268CQ) translator on Asnebumskit Hill in Paxton.

Plus thanks to our good friend Vic Michaels, we got into WGAO 88.3 at Dean College.

WGAO's tech racks.
WGAO’s tech racks.

In the first week of January, I went to Springfield to pick up a couple of Springfield Fire Alarm boxes that were being sold off, and did a quick round trip to see the new translators for 104.5 //1490 WSPR
and 100.1 //1250 WACM.

100.1 on the 1490 tower, even though it simulcasts 1270. The tower on the island!
100.1 on the 1490 tower, even though it simulcasts 1270. The tower on the island!

Then comes this past weekend, where I took a leisurely 8 hour drive to visit all the new FM translators and LPFMs I could do in one day.

Starting with the two new LPFMs in Essex County, WHAV-LP and WGUA-LP

WHAV-LP on the WXRV tower in Haverhill
WHAV-LP on the WXRV tower in Haverhill

Plus those got us a couple of good new views of the new WXRV Aux/IBOC antennas.

WXRV's new aux antennas.
WXRV’s new aux antennas.

And some new AM on FM translators like 95.1 in Lowell.

WLLH's soon to be former primary with the 95.1 translator mounted to it.
WLLH’s soon to be former primary with the 95.1 translator mounted to it.

102.1 in Framingham

The 102.1 on the 650 (Formerly 1200, 1060) tower in Framingham.
The 102.1 on the 650 (Formerly 1200, 1060) tower in Framingham.

And 101.3 in Milford, complete with sunset tour from our friend Doug!

101.3's new transmitter racks in Milford.
101.3’s new transmitter racks in Milford.

And the round trip was an excuse to finally photograph a number of the WXRV boosters. We got antenna pictures of 3 of the 5 boosters.

The booster montage, Clockwise from top left, Natick, Waltham, Hancock Tower, Lexington.
The booster montage, Clockwise from top left, Natick, Waltham, Hancock Tower, Lexington.

And we finish off the trip with a couple of donated pictures from our friend Steve Conti of WTBR-FM in our home neck of the woods, Pittsfield, MA.

WTBR-FM with WRRS-LP in Pittsfield.
WTBR-FM with WRRS-LP in Pittsfield.

As always, the complete list of updates can be found at the top of this page!

Late August update

So let’s say you were driving down a country road in Herkimer County, NY, and you come across a giant TV antenna on a telephone pole, next to the road, in a field. Strange right? Well it’s not some conspiracy theorists’ dream. It’s an actual analog TV translator.

The W04AE translator near Herkimer NY.
The W04AE translator near Herkimer NY.

W04AE serves Herkimer as a relay of WTEN out of Albany.

This late summer trip was a good excuse for us to update a rather neat little corner of New York. Not quite Albany, not quite Utica, the stations of the Mohawk Valley serve the “tri-city” area of Johnstown, Gloversville, and Amsterdam. A total of six AMs serve
the area.
Three in Johnstown/Gloversville

WIZR with 102.9 on top
WIZR with 102.9 on top
WENT with 105.1 on top
WENT with 105.1 on top

and WFNY 1440.

WFNY
WFNY

WFNY’s translator is not located here, but rather up on a hill north of Gloversville, along with an LPTV (Co-Owned with WFNY), and WNGG 90.9

The West Bush tower with WFNY-CD, W231CF, and WNGG all side mounted.
The West Bush tower with WFNY-CD, W231CF, and WNGG all side mounted.

Amsterdam has two AMs

WVTL with 104.7
WVTL with 104.7

and WCSS
WCSS

WCSS

Amsterdam also has one large TV tower with FM side mounted to it.

WYPX's tower, serving Albany and this area. WEXT 97.7 is side mounted near the top
WYPX’s tower, serving Albany and this area. WEXT 97.7 is side mounted near the top

Plus one of New York’s newer AM’s, that had a little controversial startup with the FCC rejecting the original license application.

WKAJ 1120 St. Johnsville's little AM.
WKAJ 1120 St. Johnsville’s little AM.

This update also includes the Herkimer County Community College station WVHC…

WVHC studio and tower.
WVHC studio and tower.

And of course, a complete update to the Stewart’s Shops page from a summer of Western New York travel!

Cooperstown Stewarts!
Cooperstown Stewarts!

Spring update 2016

This is one of those updates, that I would call NIFTY.  I got to see some towers that have long long been on my list to visit, as well as visit some family sites.

But the first visit I did was actually back in March. Doug Kehrig has been a close friend of mine for many years, and we both have been trying to find some time to get together to see the little AM he engineers, WMRC. (See, Doug is a transmitter engineer for WHDH-TV, just like I am for WFXT, so both our schedules are quite busy).
Anywhos, we got a chance to finally merge off work so I could see his station.  I have a full 15 photo gallery of the station on the page. (Linked above)

Doug standing next to the WMRC processing gear at the transmitter.
Doug standing next to the WMRC processing gear at the transmitter.

Then this month (April, 2016), was my annual “field trip” to Allentown, PA to the Spring Melt fire convention, which includes a free day for tower gathering. This year, I got two days in.

The first day I got out to Carlisle, PA to see the six radio stations there. See Carlisle is a special place to me. My Aunt Marge (Marjorie Ann Fitzpatrick January 01,1934 – November 12,2011) lived here for all of my life, and had been inviting me to come down for many years. Unfortunately, I was never able to make it down, and she passed in a tragic car accident on November 12th. So this year, I corrected that wrong, and visited her grave, as well as saw her old houses.
Anyways,  it gave me a chance to visit all the Carlisle radio stations, including the one at Dickinson College, where she was a professor.

WDCV-FM at Dickinson College
WDCV-FM at Dickinson College

After visiting this historic and beautiful town, I headed south to see the towers of York, Lancaster. (Plus some of the prettiest country you’ll ever see.).

WGAL's tower site with WROZ on it.
WGAL’s tower site with WROZ on it.

While down there, I had to go to Millersville to see the college station at Millersville University, where family of mine graduated.

WIXQ 91.7 "The Ville" at Millersville U.
WIXQ 91.7 “The Ville” at Millersville U.

After leaving Lancaster, I had a ton of daylight left, and decided to polish off two more sites from my list that I’ve always wanted to visit. The first was just outside of Hanover. The hill where WGTY Gettysburg, and WYCR York-Hanover both site. What a surprise it was to find WYCR’s very old RCA Batwing still mounted up the hill!
Plus across the street was an old AT&T Longlines tower.

The WYCR and WGTY towers off in the distance. WGTY is just left of the cell tower. You can also see the roof of the long lines building!
The WYCR and WGTY towers off in the distance. WGTY is just left of the cell tower. You can also see the roof of the long lines building!

See the whole Carlisle set here, and the whole Lancaster-York-Hanover set here.

After leaving that area in Pennsylvania, the plan was to go to Elizabethtown to get a picture of 106.7 , licensed to Hershey. I was surprised when I came upon the tower of WWKL 93.5, while taking the back roads up there!

WZCY-FM's tall tower in Elizabeth town, licensed to Hershey, PA.
WZCY-FM’s tall tower in Elizabeth town, licensed to Hershey, PA.

On my way back home from Pennsylvania, I decided to polish off a few more sites in the New York City area that I have never been to.
The first is one that I didn’t realize was as close to the highway as it is. The monster signal of WAWZ in Zarepath. Back when I started the website, a gentleman sent me some old pictures of it, with the caption. “I couldn’t find the way up”. Well thanks to Google Earth, I was able to find this easy to get to site.

WAWZ and one of the beautiful mansions that line the road up to the tower.
WAWZ and one of the beautiful mansions that line the road up to the tower.

From there I headed to West Orange, to visit the WNSH 94.7 site, which also is home to WFMU 91.1, as well as the backups for several other NYC Stations, AND one TV station as well, WNYJ-TV.

The West Orange site.
The West Orange site.

On my way there, I was quite surprised to see a big beefy self supporting tower about a mile and half up the road , I wasn’t expecting. After photographing it in good detail, I learned it is home to a massive NYC TV backup site.

The NYC Backup site for WCBS-TV, WNBC-TV, WPIX-TV, WNYW, and WWOR-TV.
The NYC Backup site for WCBS-TV, WNBC-TV, WPIX-TV, WNYW, and WWOR-TV.

Leaving there, I visited the WWRL 1600 site to update my pictures of there and got a picture (not fantastic but ok) of the new WEPN towers.  Along the way, however, I stopped and added another very prominent AM site to my list. The big 570 WMCA/ 820 WNYC site. As an added unexpected bonus, I got a shot of the new One World Trade center behind them.

WMCA/WNYC with the new One WTC tower behind them.
WMCA/WNYC with the new One WTC tower behind them.

I also corrected one huge omission from my site. This is an important one too. Scott Fybush, of Fybush Media/Fybush.com has documented on his excellent site, this tower with very detailed history. Really he has explained it in much more detail than I could ever do!  I am talking, of course, of the Armstrong tower in Alpine, NJ.

A wide shot of the famous and historic Armstrong tower.
A wide shot of the famous and historic Armstrong tower.

The tower is used by two FM broadcasters. WPLJ maintains a Shively backup on the tower, and WFDU has their primary antenna here.

On the way out of here, I stopped by Nyack College to grab a quick photo of WNYK, then stopped in Danbury on my way home.
I had never made it up to the WXCI site. (Sorry Oz!). This time, I walked past the gate up the short hill, and grabbed a few photos of this rather interesting tower.

WXCI's short tower and big Shively antenna!
WXCI’s short tower and big Shively antenna!

I also made one final stop, while in Danbury, to get a shot of the WDBY-FM1 Booster.

So you can see this is quite an update, and I hope you enjoy it.
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Mt. Snow and WTHK

So there are some sites, that for various reasons, we may never get to, and are somewhat difficult to photograph without having someone in the know. So when my long time friend Mike Pelczarski took a ski trip to Mt. Snow, I couldn’t resist asking him to grab a shot of WTHK. Now mind you, he’s not a tower photo nut like me, but clearly, he knew where to aim!

Looking up Mt Snow towards WTHK
Looking up Mt Snow towards WTHK
A little closer view.
A little closer view.
The two bay Shively, closeup.
The two bay Shively, closeup.

Thanks for the pics, Mike!

Cold Winter Update 2016…

Took a long long time, but finally, I have been able to get some much needed updates done to my website!

And it happens to be one of the biggest and recent changes to happen around here! Of course, I am talking about the brand new WCTK Cat Country 98.1 and WNBH 1340 towers in New Bedford.

WCTK's new 600 foot self supporting tower next to the old guyed tower.
WCTK’s new 600 foot self supporting tower next to the old guyed tower.
WNBH's new tower.
WNBH’s new tower.

This update, which comprised of two days of travel got to see the next three steps of the giant “Bull” upgrade, The new 101.7 antenna.

WBWL's new antenna
WBWL’s new antenna

The replacement antenna for WWBB to deal with rooftop RFR issues…

WWBB's "final" antenna install.
WWBB’s “final” antenna install.

And the replacement antenna for WCIB, to deal with downward signal issues.

WCIB's new antenna... again.
WCIB’s new antenna… again.

This update also got three brand new LPFMs, one of which was on the air in Rhode Island.

WWRI-LP, Rhode Island's newest LPFM.
WWRI-LP, Rhode Island’s newest LPFM.
WBCA-LP, one of the three 102.9's in the Boston market.
WBCA-LP, one of the three 102.9’s in the Boston market.
WBPG-LP 102.9, another of the three 102.9's.
WBPG-LP 102.9, another of the three 102.9’s.

A new antenna/tower at Concord High School.

WIQH tower at Concord-Carlisle Regional High School
WIQH tower at Concord-Carlisle Regional High School

A LPTV that simulcasts an NBC O&O out of New Hampshire…

WTMU-LP, on the Malden IC&E tower.
WTMU-LP, on the Malden IC&E tower. Small white panel, middle pic.

A new backup antenna for WBRU

WBRU's new backup antenna on Peck Hill in Johnston
WBRU’s new backup antenna on Peck Hill in Johnston

And a first time look at the one AM never shown on NECRAT prior.

WMVX hidden in the woods near Endicott College in Beverly.
WMVX hidden in the woods near Endicott College in Beverly.

We also got to see an antenna make a rare “re-appearance” on NECRAT! This one is one we’ve featured for many many years on this site. It has been relocated to Rhode Island from Worcester.
Yes, the “WAAF Kegs” are now the “WVEI-FM Aux Kegs”

The exWAAF now WVEI antenna. It's so beautiful!
The exWAAF now WVEI antenna. It’s so beautiful!

As always a complete list of updates sits on the link above.

 

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