Wed May 30 21:08:48 EDT 2007
About eight years ago I inspected the 990 studios located in what were the
old WLKW AM and FM studios on North Main Street in Providence and
the transmitter site in Burriville for a broadcast entity interested in
buying the station at auction. Ended up telling them that unless the price
is a real bargin
The studios were pretty much a waste product with little value. The
transmitter site was a mess but not quite as bad as I expected.
Two of the ATU's were in very bad condition, the other four were a bit of
a surprise and were in pretty good shape.
Some of the towers needed work and I remember the guy wires being badly
Processing was a current Optimod and Remote Controls I think were Moseley
MRC-1600 or 1620
At the time the Nautel had several modules missing and the transmitter was
running at about 20 KW .....condition of RCA Ampliphase unknown.
Current problem of transmitter sucking up power may be due to it being
in such deplorable condition that the efficiency is way down.
I remember there being major problems with tower lighting some of it
AC wiring to the towers.
One big problem was expensive unreliable telco audio STL from
downtown Providence with little or no hope for an easy RF STL path.
Years ago I was Al Tangers Director of Engineering at General Cinema
Communications, he was one of the original owners who really developed
WLKW AM and later the FM into the major Beautiful Music sucess story.
He told me the story behind the 990 mess. It almost mirrors the WBZ
situation when the transmitter was moved to Millis, the WJZ move to
Boundbrook, NJ and the WOR move to Carteret, NJ.
These were all situations that looked good in theory on paper but in reality
did not perform as expected.
The ground conductivity between Burriville and Providence turned out to be
much worse than anyone thought, maybe no one thought of getting the OK
from the FCC to do a low power test at 1 kw like what WMEX did before the
Waltham 1510 site was developed.
If anyone is interested in the WBZ Millis disaster, talk to Jim Robinson
retired from WNAC/WRKO in the late 90', he lives somewhere in the
Hyannis area. While we worked in the WRKO engineering shop he
always had wonderful engineering stories of working at WNAC AM-FM-TV
back to the 40's until he retired.
His father was the CE of Westinghouse WBZ who took the fall for the
Donna Halper, If you have never talked to him, look him up.....he is a
nice guy with lots of interesting stories to tell
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