WEQX/Albany Tower Falls To Ice, Windy Conditions
December 31, 2015 at 7:29 AM (PT)
NORTHSHIRE COMMUNICATIONS Alternative WEQX (102.7 EQX), whose tower is on the EQUINOX MOUNTAIN, but whose signal covers the ALBANY, NY, area went off the air after an ice storm TUESDAY snapped its tower and trasnmitter in half, according to the ALBANY TIMES UNION.
Listeners to the station could only hear static over their car radios.
The MANCHESTER, VT.-based station continues to stream music online at weqx.com and plans to install a temporary transmitter THURSDAY, according to PD JEFF MORAD. "We hope to be able to piece it together and put it back on full power in the next week."
The temporary transmitter will not have the range of the previous tower. The 75-foot tower crested the peak of the 3,855-foot MOUNT EQUINOX, allowing the station to broadcast from KINGSTON, NY, in ULSTER COUNTY, to PITTSFIELD, MA, and KEENE, NH.
The remote location of the tower means reaching it could be difficult, with the only road to it closed for the WINTER. The station is considering using snowmobiles, a helicopter or other means to carry equipment up the mountain.
TUESDAY was the first serious weather-related mishap in the tower's 31-year history, according to MORAD, who said a deer broke into a generator shaft last WINTER and chewed through some wires. Repairs could cost around $10,000 plus labor. The station will make up ad time once it comes back online.
Listeners were sympathetic. "The static on your station is still better than most of the music on the other local stations," said ANDREW DUNN on the station's FACEBOOK fan page.
MORAD kidded about the station being beyond the grasp of the FCC. "We were joking about it internally that we could be as foul-mouthed as possible. But we realized that's not really our style, though the temptation was there briefly."