In September 1999, WZYP (Athens/Huntsville, AL) did a major transmitter site upgrade. We took them from an 8 bay ERI array feed with 3 1/8 in line with a 30 kw BE transmitter to a new Harris HTD60 combined system feeding 5in line and a 4 bay Dielectric array. WZYP became the first North Alabama station to employ High Power / Low Gain to assure FULL coverage of the desired area. Ironically, even thought the new transmitter was running roughly twice the output power (54kw), the interference to telephones (etc) in the area decreased.
The new setup consists of a pair of Harris HT-30's combined into Andrew 5 inch line. The Dielectric antennas are mounted at approximately 680 feet in the position of the old 8 bay ERI. Below are pictures of the transmitters and other stuff.
Concrete pad waiting on the new building.
The new building a couple of days after
A picture of the transmitters and the control
rack with some of the equipment mounted. This image was taken the afternoon
before the official change over at midnight.
A true plumbers / electricians nightmare.
A shot of transmitter a Power supply (right)
and the waste load (far left) with the combiner in the background.
My buddy and WZYP chief engineer, Bill
(bitchin & moanin) Shrode mugs with the new transmitters.
Bill practices his gymnastics (with little
improvement) early on into the project. None of the electrical or venting
had been completed at this point.
Bill disposes of the evidence of our extreme
thirst. During the drought of 1999 we drank about 15 bottles of water each
day on top of Capshaw Mtn.
Yet another picture of the waste load and
Close up of the control panel for the combiner
and transmitters. Top to bottom: Combiner metering panel with reject and
output forward/reflected meters, Exciter phasing adjustment, Combiner control
panel, Burk Arc16 remote control, CRL RDS encoder, New Harris Digit Exciter.
Currently, this rack also holds the standby Digit exciter, Moseley DSP6000
Decoder / Repeater with associated Moseley STL RX & TX on to another
site and a Side Kick SCA encoder.
My truck and the tail end of my tractor.
The concrete building was built and installed by Alabama EasySet for this
project. The buildings seen to the right of this image are Wireless One's
TV transmitter building and the the far right the old WZYP transmitter
One of the JCrow Tower crew comes down
on a winch cable.
Nothing in particular here but the odd
cloud / sun formations.
John Morrow of JCrow Tower operating the
personnel winch truck. JCrow used 1 winch truck to hoist personnel and
2 others to hoist antenna and line. The 5 inch line weighed in at a little
over 2000 lbs. Each JCrow truck is capable of about 1500 lbs but 2 was
used for added flexibility and safety.
The 5 inch line came on the tall reel in
the center of this image. The old 3 1/8 cable (650 ft) was rolled up on
the smaller reel to the right. The larger reel weighed more than the cable
for a total of almost 6000 lbs.
It's amazing the amount of trash a project
like this creates.
An image of the 2 heavy hoist trucks and
the backend of my tractor again.
The old transmitter building.
The old racks of STL & processing equipment.
The old (semi) reliable BE30. After
the new transmitters were put on the air and power removed from the old
equipment, it was spooky and not just a little disconcerting to walk into
the old building and hear... silence.
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