Rebuilding WNYC AM 820

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For those of you who might be curious… WNYC AM 820 continues to repair in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. As you probably know, they share their transmission facility in Kearny, New Jersey with WMCA 570. A lot has been going on.

 On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy produced profound damage to the Kearny site. The transmitter hut was consumed by flooding from the HackensackRiver and the cat walk to the towers was ruined. Transmitter manufacturer Nautel sent technical support to quickly install model J1000 emergency transmitters for both stations. WNYC was back on the air by Friday, November 2.

 On November 8th, the FCC granted a Special Temporary Authority allowing WNYC to operate with one quarter of their usual power (10 kW days, 1 kW nights), with a non-directional pattern, using only the center tower of their three tower array (Tower 2.) On November 28th, WNYC took receipt of a Nautel XR3 transmitter allowing them to increase their power from 1000 watts (produced by the J1000 transmitter) to 2500 watts during the day and 250 watts at night. In January, WNYC ordered two new Nautel XR12 transmitters, rated at 10 kilowatts, to permanently replace the two original Nautel ND 10 transmitters destroyed in the storm. The remains of the water damaged ND10s will be sold for parts.

 On April 26th, WNYC filed with the FCC for an extension of their Special Temporary Authority to remain broadcasting as the rebuild continues. The document reported: “A 1500-FOOT CATWALK STRUCTURE IS ABOUT 90% COMPLETE. NEW TRANSMITTERS HAVE BEEN PURCHASED AND DELIVERED TO A STAGING AREA. SUBSTANTIAL DESIGN WORK IS TAKING PLACE TO IMPROVE THE SITE AND PROVIDE PROTECTION AGAINST FUTURE SANDY-LEVEL STORMS, INCLUDING RAISING ATU STRUCTURES 6 FEET AND INSTALLING A NEW RAISED FLOOR IN TRANSMITTER BUILDING.”

I thank WNYC for expending the effort and finances needed to rebuild AM 820. I look forward to the complete restoration. – Karl Zuk   N2KZ

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One thought on “Rebuilding WNYC AM 820

  1. Pingback: We’re addicted to this map of average commute times in the U.S. | Tim Batchelder.com

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