Tag Archives: NECRAT

The expansion of Bull…

With the recent filing from this past summer to “non directionalize” WBWL 101.7 in Boston,  iHeartMedia had to downgrade the signals of WWBB and WCIB in order to complete the moves. This was done on a pretty much expedited process. This update I’ll bring you the antenna installs for the new signals for both, plus the new “93.5 Frank FM” translator (W230AW 93.9) located in Mashpee…

 

WCIB's new 2 bay Shively 6810-2R-SS-DA antenna in Falmouth.
WCIB’s new 2 bay Shively 6810-2R-SS-DA antenna in Falmouth.
WWBB's new single bay ERI on top of Hospital Trust in Downtown Providence.
WWBB’s new single bay ERI on top of Hospital Trust in Downtown Providence.
W230AW's new antenna on Echo Rd., in Mashpee.
W230AW’s new antenna on Echo Rd., in Mashpee.

Blue Hills Update

So go figure the changes close to home are the longest to update. Anyways, two of the closest radio stations to my house made some big changes over the last two months.  I finally used this gorgeous day to show both of them off.

WGBH with new antenna and mast on Great Blue Hill in Milton, MA.
WGBH with new antenna and mast on Great Blue Hill in Milton, MA.

The first update, you got to see a taste of with the post “Da Crane” below.  WGBH‘s new FM Antenna and mast on top of Great Blue Hill in Milton. The grandfathered 100,000 watter replaced the antenna/mast this past September. We hope to get inside pictures of the new transmitters too. I also used this update to get better pictures of the tower, and it’s other FM tenant, WKAF.

A late New England Autumn Snowfall leftover on the radomes.
A late New England Autumn Snowfall leftover on the radomes.

Before I leave Blue Hill, though, I have to show this picture. We got a late Autumn snow fall here in New England, and up here on the hill, they got some accumulated snows, which mostly melted off today, but you can see a little on the radomes of the WGBH aux antenna.

The other update, was the newest signal on the air in the Boston market.  Just off of the Quincy Quarries, on Ricciuti, sits the very well known 800′ Industrial Communications and Electronics tower.
It is on the eastern edge of the Blue Hills range, and in clear shot to the core Boston area. Because of this, this tower has become home to a lot of two way users, and most recently to FM. We saw WUMB-FM move to this tower in 2013, and now W271CG calls this tower home. The 102.1 translator for Horizon Christian Fellowship signed on a couple of weeks ago using this single bay ERI antenna.

W271CG near the top, on this single bay ERI.
W271CG near the top, on this single bay ERI.

All these updates are now online here at NECRAT.

A small mid Autumn update

It was Pumpkin Fest time again, and despite the recent news from the area, I had a good time revisiting one of my favorite corners of the world.  Of course, I also got the opportunity to revisit to transmitter sites.

WGAW 1340 Gardner's tower.
WGAW 1340 Gardner’s tower.

The town of Gardner was nice enough to build a little park next to their little radio station, WGAW, which allowed me to get some new pictures!

I also took a trip (to get away from the chaos) for a return to Gunn Mountain, the great hill and former home of WRLP Channel 32.
The old creeky tower still stands, still needs a paint job, but has had some new residents since I was up last, along with a small demolition to one side of the transmitter building.

New Cell Building at the Gunn Mountain Tower.
New Cell Building at the Gunn Mountain Tower.

Also the phone number on the old transmitter has changed again… for the third time in the 12 years I’ve been coming up to visit.

Phone Number 2001
Phone Number 2001
Phone Number 2004
Phone Number 2004
Phone Number 2014
Phone Number 2014

 

 

Changing the fluid… on your transmitter… P1

On most high power UHF, some VHF and some FM transmitters, the transmitter’s “residual transmission heat” is dissipated by liquid cooling systems.

Transmitter Liquid Cooling Plumbing for a Comark high power UHF transmitter.
Transmitter Liquid Cooling Plumbing for a Comark high power UHF transmitter.

Here in the US, it is very common to use a mixture of distilled water and Propylene Glycol (“Glycol”). The mixture varies based on the environment of the transmitter and the location of the external cooling systems (heat exchangers).

Transmitter heat exchangers mounted outside.
Transmitter heat exchangers mounted outside.

Glycol is used because it will prevent the outdoor systems from freezing. It also prevents the water from boiling when transferring heat. Glycol is a nasty substance if you have to handle it, with an invasive pink dye, which is very difficult to wash out when dried, and a perfume agent that is pungent at best. However Propylene Glycol is considered non toxic. (Unlike Ethylene Glycol, which is used in radiator fluid and plastics manufacturing.).  Glycol is a chemical that can leave behind residue, which over time, especially when mixing with water, can cause the pH balance and other properties of the glycol to change. This breakdown of the elements of the glycol, causing deposit buildups in both transmission components and the cooling system itself. It is important when using a piece of transmission gear, that this chemical be tested every other year, to determine if it needs to be changed out before that damage occurs.

We take the sample using the drain port on the IOT tube bottom.
This is done by running the fluid into a small bucket for about 15 seconds to flush out the crusted contaminants. Then using the sample container, we fill it slowly with the fluid.

Glycol sample collected underneath the IOT
Glycol sample collected underneath the IOT

The company we use, Dow Chemicals, provides the sample containers to put the samples in. They give you documentation and a little box to ship the samples out.  Because we have two discreet cooling systems, two samples of the chemical are sent.

Dowtherm SR-1 contained and ready to be sent for analysis
Dowtherm SR-1 contained from both systems and ready to be sent for analysis.

In a few weeks, we will get the results, and based on the results, will determine if we need to flush the entire cooling system and replace the Glycol in it.

Da Crane, Da Crane!

WGBH-FM (89.7 Boston) on Blue Hill in Milton is undergoing an antenna replacement. As part of the replacement, the top mast  is also being replaced with a new mast. This morning I caught this on the way into work, the crane is up working on the replacement.

(Sorry for the fuzzy picture. Smart phone picture!)

WGBH-FM crane setup to replace antenna and pole.
WGBH-FM crane setup to replace antenna and pole.