Follow-up To Reference To Waterlogged FM's

Dan Strassberg
Mon Oct 17 19:41:46 EDT 2005

According to the Radio-Info board, what failed was not WCRB's transmitter
but the master antenna on the FM 128 tower. The antenna is not the property
of any of the stations that use it, but of American Tower Systems, which
owns the tower. The master antenna is used by all of the FMs that transmit
from the tower except for WBUR, which is directional and therefore must have
a separate antenna. According to NERW, WBUR's brand-new antenna is at the
very top of the tower. I think there is an auxiliary antenna on the tower,
which WCRB--at least--is using, but I gather the antenna is not suited to
delivering full-power signals. Because the coverage of FM-stereo signals is
much less than that of mono signals, it may not be worthwhile for the
stations to transmit in stereo from the auxiliary antenna. Some of the
stations apparently have auxiliary facilities elsewhere. I think I read that
WBMX is operating from the Pru, where it is presumably able to run at or
near full power. I gather that WCRB has no such facilities, so they must
wait for the master antenna to be replaced, which is not something that can
necessarily be done all that quickly. If a new antenna is required, it will
take a while; it's not a stock item; it has to be built. Also, today was the
first day of reasonable weather since the storm knocked out the master
antenna. Moreover, even today, it was reasonably windy. Work on a tall tower
is done at the pleasure of the weather. Are you volunteering to climb the
1200' tower in 45-mph winds?

Dan Strassberg,
eFax 707-215-6367

----- Original Message -----
From: "Laurence Glavin" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, October 17, 2005 7:06 PM
Subject: Follow-up To Reference To Waterlogged FM's

> If you've read this week's NERW, you know that FM stations transmitting
> from the Route 128 tower on Chestnut Street, Newton suffered technical
> last weekend.  The Boston board of specified
> stereo broadcasts on WBMS 98.5 and WCRB 102.5.  As of 7:00 pm Monday,
> only WCRB is still broadcasting in monaural sound (its programming in
> one-dimensional anyway).  I wonder if this means they don't have a backup
> transmitter to use.  This means its most popular program, last Saturday's
> Boston Symphony Orchestra broadcast was not in stereo.  Yikes...they have
> five days to fix the problem before it happens again!
> --
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