WFXT-DT (Channel 31) off the air?

Shawn Mamros mamros@MIT.EDU
Thu Dec 4 10:01:51 EST 2003

>About the note back from WFXT saying "their transmitter is having problems"
>may lead me to believe that possibly the note did not come from the
>engineering staff but the promotions or "public relations" department. Many
>public relations/promotional people at stations don't know the difference
>between a antenna, transmitter or tower. They just know that all three make
>the signal happen somehow, somewhere.

As was mentioned earlier in the thread, the crawl which Comcast is running
in place of WFXT-DT states that the problem is with the "transmission line".
Assuming that to be factually correct (and one would assume Comcast's
engineers would have a more direct line to WFXT's engineers than most
"mere mortals" would), it might explain a few things.

(Warning: the following is gross speculation on my part...)

- I don't know how many stations keep several hundred feet of TV
transmission-grade line lying around as a spare.  If it were the
transmitter proper, one might expect them to keep spare parts around,
as Sid mentioned, but for the transmission line instead, it might not
be common practice to have a spare immediately handy.  Plus, stringing
up new line almost certainly means tower work, which could be delayed
due to wind.

- The problem could actually be with the transmission line leading
to the antenna normally used for analog channel 25.  Rather than try
to put up a temporary tower/antenna, it would be far quicker to use
the antenna for digital channel 31 in its stead, which would take
WFXT-DT off the air but keep the more important analog WFXT running.
An antenna tuned for channel 31 would probably be "good enough" for
a signal on channel 25, but it would certainly be less efficient than
an antenna tuned for 25.  This would explain what is apparently a weaker
signal at present for analog 25, in addition to the disappearance of the
digital signal.

Just a guess...

-Shawn Mamros
E-mail to: mamros -at- mit dot edu

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