WLLH info for Dan
Sun May 6 00:12:09 EDT 2007
Dan, during my years of employment at Jam'n 94.5 and WLLH I became
very friendy with the Lerner family who owned WLLH from the 50's through
the 90's. Arnold Lerner gave me copies of an interesting collection of WLLH
information from its inception on October 10, 1934.
I will list the details that I think will answer your questions.
Original owner Merrimac broadcasting 100 watts on 1370 from a rooftop self
supporting tower on top of the Rex Center in downtown Lowell. The Rex
was a roller skating rink and the WLLH main studios were located on the
second floor, pictures show them to be quite elaborate. Original
transmitter was a 100 watt
Western Electric Do not know if self supporting tower was insulated or base
grounded and shunt fed.
On December 1, 1937 WLLH Lawrence signed on with 100 watts from the
roof of the Clegg building which is the same site WLLH Lawrence still uses.
It also had a Western Electric 100 watt transmitter and the stations used a
crude system of frequency syncronization designed by Bell Labs.
You are correct about plans for a third site at 100 watts in Haverhill hence
LLH...Lowell-Lawrence-Haverhill. It was never built because all local
given a power increase to 250 watts fulltime and it seems the thinking was
that the Haverhill coverage was sufficient.
Antenna on Clegg building is the original Linco pole installed in 1937which
is grounded and shunt fed, the antenna system also uses part of the top guy
wire as top loading for increased electrical height due to short physical
length of 100' on a 100' building. Other Linco pole antennas survive at WFEA
Until recently there were two more antWNJR in Union, NJ, I think they have
been torn down. WLLH Lawrence also had a completely staffed Lawrence
in the Clegg building, I remember visiting it in my early teens.
WLLH moved up three spots on the dial to 1400 in the great frequency
of 1941. The Western Electrics were upgraded for 250 watt service.
During the late fifties class IV am stations were once again given a daytime
power increase to 1000 watts, at this time WLLH installed identical RCA
BTA-1R transmitters which had the power reduction necessary for continued
Sometime in the early sixties the city of Lowell initiated an urban renewal
and one of the casualties included the Rex Center.
WLLH moved its studios and transmitter to an industrial building called
One Broadway which if I remember correctly once had a Kings discount
department on one of the floors. A new 100' guyed shunt fed tower was
the roof. I remember some of the studios and transmitter room were lined
with copper mesh screening as a Faraday cage. Not a pretty place...
In the 80's both stations received the clas IV 1 kilowatt fulltime upgrade.
In 1985 the Lowell transmitter was moved to its current location on Veterans
Memorial highway with a new Harris SX-1 which ran at the reduced power of
680 watts due to the increased effiency of the standard 1/4 wave antenna. A
series of actual field readings were done in the mid nineties to prove poor
condutivity would allow for full 1 kilowatt operation which resumed in 1996
The studios were moved to 40 Church St in 1995 after the sale of WSSH-FM
During the nineties the high accuracy frequency oscillators in use since the
RCA installations were replaced with Odetics GPS receivers that provide a
output. The installation of the GPS system and a new STL system that feeds
audio from an equal path using Wood Hill in Andover just about eliminated
problems that plagued sychronous operations.
The WLLH Lowell site was updated with a new Harris DAX-1 in November 2006
due to SX-1 parts unavailablity. WLLH Lawrence is off the air awaiting
another new DAX-1 as the SX-1's life is also over.
Recently WLLH Lowell suffered serious vandalism that unfortunatly happened
just after Lawrence breathed its last breath Lawrence will be back in a few
Studios were again moved to the Lowell Hilton and remained untill the sale
which consolidated them with WAMG/WNFT/and various combinations of call
letters and frequency switches.
Hope this answers your questions
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