*Tower Work Pt II*
A Television Broadcast Site
By: Jaden
31 August 2007

This is the Channel 7 tower we’re getting ready to paint as soon as we get a good painting day. The antenna will also be painted it alone weighs 10,000 pounds and change.

91’ tall TV antenna-----------------------88’ tall tower, Channel 22 antennas side mounted

BIG transmission line

These transmitters that crank out several thousands of watts need to be cooled. They have squirrel cage fans in them that vent to the outside. TV stations broadcast with 2 transmitters. One for video “visual” and the other for audio “aural”. Each is broadcast on a different frequency. If you ever watch TV and lose the sound, but still have a picture it’s possible the aural transmitter went down. This system below will be shut down in 2009 when the FCC mandate takes effect requiring TV broadcast to be in digital.

The studio can control and monitor the transmitter. They all have maintenance overrides so that when we go up to work on a tower, we can take control and the people at the studio can’t do anything about it. This way, when we reduce power or shut it down they can’t turn it back up until we change it back to the remote setting :o)

Cooling ducts------------------------------------Reducing transmitter power

Analog TV transmitter

Here’s part of the combiner that brings the visual and aural signals together so that they use one antenna.

Combiner with Nitrogen gas injection

We removed a couple of old microwave dishes and wave guide (transmission line for microwave) from the tower. I had to cut the big U-bolts off the dish you see me with below because they were so rusty. Those bolts are under a lot of tension and when the first one broke it exploded in my face….nice.

Bangor, Maine (didn’t see Mamabear flying overhead)---------------------6’ diameter 13GHz dish, about 350-400 pounds

It takes 2 people to roll that dish across the ground and it’s just a baby compared to some.

The painting day finally came. We were on the mountain at 0230 and on the tower and painting at 0300. The TV station didn’t want to shut down from like 0500-0900 even on a Sunday morning so we shut them down from 0230-0630 and had several floodlights on the ground illuminating the tower. It was cold and windy. Estimated wind speed 35 MPH. Painting is a dirty job, you will NOT stay clean, be ready to get painted. We were covered in orange & white paint.


The fiberglass pegs going up the antenna aren’t 180 degrees opposite of each other, they’re 90 degrees. That makes for a hard climb. The antenna diameter is huge. I could barely wrap my arms around it and touch my fingers. Painting it was fun, just slide to one side or the other and reach around and give it a good belly rub. From the ground it looks pretty good.

Boss man figured out that his can had upset when he felt something cold running down his leg!! Whahahahaa!!! Hey, at 88’ in the air, hanging on the outside of the tower in the dark & high winds ya just can’t expect perfection :o) He holds the record for the biggest mess made that day.

Dumped ˝ gallon down his leg------------------------Pumpkin boy

I thought this would make a good commercial for Sherwin Williams paint & that we should invite the Dirty Jobs guy “Mike Rowe?” up for a visit. Boss man thought that was a good idea so it might just happen, how cool could THAT be??!! Us on the Discovery Channel.

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