Antenna problems once again screwing up over-air transmissions of several Boston TV stations

WGBH reports the balky Needham antenna that has plagued it, WGBX, WBZ, WCVB and WSBK for months now is on the fritz again.

Engineers first noticed new problems yesterday and shut the lower antenna down overnight to try to remove a damaged part on the upper antenna but were thwarted by ice on the way up so they came down for safety reasons. Engineers will shut the lower antenna down again tonight - which will knock WGBX off the air - so they can remove the part and ship it up to a repair facility in Maine.

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    i never realized how

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    i never realized how complicated antenna troubleshooting and repair can be. to me it is just a piece of metal attached to a wire :)

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    reflected power and transmission line

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    You are not wrong, but if they have a damaged antenna, they risk blowing up their amplifier if they crank the power, due to reflected power.

    Well, sounds like they have waveguide not coax.

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    microwavable human meatsacks are the problem

    Tower stuff is pretty interesting. The big issue is that there are multiple devices on most towers and the high power output devices need to be shut down when a human climber is nearby so that the poor tech does not get cooked or irradiated.

    I learned this the hard way when I had wimax internet delivered wirelessly via Towerstream from towers in Waltham. There is a ton of stuff on those towers and my internet access would get shut down every once in a while due to a cause described as "human climber on tower".

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    haha

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    I was thinking "just in time for the inauguration "

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    Those are some serious towers

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    I'm too lazy to look it up again, but the Newton towers are all over a thousand feet up. Reading about the ice has me thinking about the poor repairmen that have to climb up to do work.

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    Just a Feeling ...

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    If 'over the air' reception were the only means of transmitting their signals, instead of a decidedly secondary means, the equipment on the tower would have been fixed right (perhaps entirely replaced) months ago.

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    Are any of them REQUIRED to broadcast?

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    If you're an elderly person still clinging to broadcast, tower problems are one way to move you to pay for cable TV.

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    Not just the elderly

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    Cord cutters who still want to watch local news or the occasional network show, too.

    I need to call RCN for a chat about why they've now raised our rates three times, for a total of $30, over the past four months. Given that we're not really watching cable much anymore, if they tell me to like it or leave it, we'll cut the cord and either downgrade to just Internet and phone (OK, yes, we're old enough to still want a landline) or move over to Comcast for Internet and phone, at least until FiOS comes the two blocks down the street to our house.

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    I object ...

    to the notion that only the elderly are huddled around a B&W CRT. Cut the Comcast cord some years ago and installed a rooftop antenna pointing toward Needham in the attic. Last scan, we picked >40 channels of which half or more are of interest [personal opinion]. Watching the Patriots, for example, my OTA picture is sharper that the one delivered via cable d/t lossy compression.

    With bundle discounts, you usually have to give up two of three services to gain a meaningful reduction in the bill. We are now internet-only Comcast customers and pay a hefty undiscounted monthly fee. However, overall, after 4 years, saved thousands of $ with OTA reception and Ooma for phone.

    Last, cutting the cord definitely implies you will be OK with missing a lot of sports.

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    Belichick

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    He is at it again.

    [Not Serious (whatever excuses Mike Tomlin wants to make)]

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