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Old 25-Nov-2019, 1:47 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 229
Transmitter Fire in VT

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I thought it would be interesting to discuss among us all...

In the Burlington, Vermont market, the WCAX (CBS) and WPTZ (NBC) transmitter tower caught fire last week and as a result, I am currently without these two networks. Bad timing for me, since it is right in the middle of NFL football season. Here is a link to an article describing the situation:

And here is a picture of the fire:

Within three days, both stations restored service to subscription-based cable and satellite providers, I believe by putting up a temporary truck-based transmitter with enough power to be received by those companies for redistribution. But their full-power OTA broadcast is a different story. I called the stations and they currently have "no idea" how long it will be before OTA is restored and would not even take a guess at a timeline.

So my questions for forum discussion are:

1) Assuming the transmitters are completely destroyed, how long do you think it will take to replace them?

2) How long if both the transmitters and the tower itself are destroyed?

Note that the tower is on top of Mount Mansfield and the only way up there this time of year is by Snowcat (ski-slope groomer). Conditions up there are very difficult to work in, with high winds (often 70+ mph) and fog/icing conditions dominating at this time of year.

3) Also, have any of our more experienced forum members ever seen anything like this? I wonder if the fire had anything to do with WCAX's recent re-pack-related move from RF-22 to RF-20, for which I don't think they installed new transmitter hardware. I could be wrong, but I think since the new frequency was so close, they just decided to drive their existing hardware at the new lower frequency. If so, could that have caused unexpected heating that led to the fire?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg transmitter fire.JPG (8.8 KB, 943 views)

Last edited by jrgagne99; 25-Nov-2019 at 5:56 PM.
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