In early 2000 Marlin Broadcasting, owners of WCCC-FM, decided to completely rebuild their Avon Mountain transmitter site. A new tower would be errected to support a state of the art FM antenna system and would also be designed to support cellular and other antennas, the latter to serve as a revenue stream for the station. New AM and FM transmission equipment would be installed in a new 1,000 square food transmitter building.
In addition to F.A.A., F.C.C. and zoning approval, the project required extensive surveying, geological testing and RF design work.
It was decided to put up half of a 700-foot tower to allow for future expansion.
The pictures below tell the story of the tower project which was completed in mid-2001.
This is the WCCC tower site as it looked in 2000 at the start of construction. The old building and AM/FM tower can be seen on the right.
Construction has started as you can see above. Cherokee Explosives used over 800 individual charges to blast for the tower base and anchors, and
for the building foundation.
The is the footing for the new tower. It seems small but geological testing showed that the rock undernieth was ideal for supporting the weight of the tower, more than 400,000 pounds!
Finished tower base. You can see the foundation for the new building on the right.
This photo gives you an idea of how large the excavator was that we used to dig the holes for the tower anchors and building. That's WCCC technician Dan Gilligan-Ramsey in the bucket which can hold 3 cubic yards of dirt!
Before the tower could go up we had to pour concrete to form the three guy wire anchors also know as "deadmen". Each anchor was 20' x 4' x 4' and was covered with 10' of compacted soil. You can see the guy wire connecting rods coming out of the concrete on the L of the photo. An outside laboratory was used to test each load of concrete.
While Northeast Towers was working on the tower we were busy starting with the new transmitter building.
We used several dozen loads of concrete and despite the size of the contruction project only had one "accident" and thankfully no one was hurt. In the photo above a fully loaded concrete truck has slipped off a service road into a frozen pond. We were able to off-load the concrete into a front loader and then used an excavator to pull the truck out.
Savino Crane Company is shown lifting the first tower section which was 80' long. This section would then be temporarily guyed while other 20' sections were assembled on top of it. Having the crane work in such close proximity to the old tower's guy wires was a real challenge.
A Northeast Towers crew member rides the first 20' section.
In this photo you can see the "gin pole" which is in essence the boom of a crane which is used at the top of the tower to bring up additional sections. Once this section is bolted in place the gin pole will be winched up to the top and the process will start again.
This photo taken from the east guy anchor shows the old tower on the right and the new, partially completed tower, on the left.
Chief Engineer John Ramsey (L) at the Harris factory in Quincy, Il taking final delivery of the new 20,000 watt solid state FM transmitter, 2001/
In this photo our electrican works on our 400A series-type electrical surge protector.
The building has redundant, 5 ton air conditioning systems.
Arrival of the two new 10kw FM transmitters which are to be combined into a 20kw rig.
Engineers Chris Marti and Chris Larsen installing the power supply in the A transmitter.
The completed tower (on left) with the old tower (right).