WLLH info for Dan

Dan Strassberg dan.strassberg@att.net
Sun May 6 11:33:22 EDT 2007

Great, Chris! Thanks for the history lesson. Since you CCed the Boston Radio
List, New England radio historian, Donna Halper has been copied. So has
Northeast radio historian Scott Fybush, proprietor of Fybush.com and
publisher of NorthEast Radio Watch, Tower Site of the Week, and the annual
Tower Site Calendar. However, I am CCing both Scott and Donna on this
message to alert them to archive your message. Scott and Donna are widely
regarded as THE sources of accurate radio history info in this part of the
world and your message belongs in their archives.

Dan Strassberg, dan.strassberg@att.net
eFax 707-215-6367

----- Original Message -----
From: "chris2526" <chris2526@comcast.net>
To: <boston-radio-interest@rolinin.bostonradio.org>
Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2007 12:12 AM
Subject: WLLH info for Dan

> 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
> 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
> Center
> 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
> 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
> It also had a Western Electric 100 watt transmitter and the stations used
> crude system of frequency syncronization designed by Bell Labs.
> You are correct about plans for a third site at 100 watts in Haverhill
> LLH...Lowell-Lawrence-Haverhill. It was never built because all local
> channels
> 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
> is grounded and shunt fed, the antenna system also uses part of the top
> 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
> and WCSH.
> 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
> operation
> 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
> reshuffle
> of 1941. The Western Electrics were upgraded for 250 watt service.
> During the late fifties class IV am stations were once again given a
> power increase to 1000 watts, at this time WLLH installed identical RCA
> BTA-1R transmitters which had the power reduction necessary for continued
> 250 watt
> night operation.
> Sometime in the early sixties the city of Lowell initiated an urban
> project
> 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
> installed
> 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
> In 1985 the Lowell transmitter was moved to its current location on
> 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.
> series of actual field readings were done in the mid nineties to prove
> condutivity would allow for full 1 kilowatt operation which resumed in
> 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
> RCA installations were replaced with Odetics GPS receivers that provide a
> 1.4 Mhz
> 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
> the phasing
> 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
> weeks.
> Studios were again moved to the Lowell Hilton and remained untill the sale
> to Mega
> which consolidated them with WAMG/WNFT/and various combinations of call
> letters and frequency switches.
> Hope this answers your questions
> Chris Hall

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