Tower and Transmission Signal Updates



Saturday, January 21, 2017, 1:15pm

The repaired antenna bay was re-installed last night and all stations were moved back to their regular locations on the upper and lower antenna and brought up to full power.

After a number of hours observing the antenna line, it has been successfully holding pressure.  All stations are now operating normally.



Friday, January 20, 2017, 5:35pm

The damaged panel was removed last night and taken to Maine for repairs.  It may return to the tower site later this evening, which would allow re-installation during the overnight hours tonight.  In that case, stations will be off the air tonight and over-air viewers, as well as those on some cable services, should expect to lose our signals from about 12:30am until 6:00am.

If the panel does not arrive to the tower in time for re-installation tonight, the work will likely get pushed to the overnight hours on Saturday into Sunday.

We will post additional updates as they become available. 



Thursday, January 19, 2017, 9:00am

During last night’s climb the tower crew encountered icy conditions near the antenna, so for safety reasons the work was suspended.

The crew will try again tonight.  If successful, the damaged antenna bay will be taken to Maine for repairs on Friday morning.



Wednesday, January 18, 2017, 5:15pm

During the survey work on Monday night additional damage was found inside the upper antenna that required immediate action. WGBX and the network stations that share the upper antenna were moved to WGBH’s position on the lower antenna, and WGBH was moved to an auxiliary antenna running at about 40% power.

During the overnight hours tonight, WGBX and the network stations will need to power down on the lower antenna so the tower crew can remove a damaged bay in the upper antenna.  The shutdown is expected to last from about 12:30am to 4:30am.  Over-air viewers and some cable subscribers will lose WGBX's signal during this period.

Tomorrow morning the damaged panel will be taken to Maine to be repaired.   We are hoping for a quick repair that will allow the panel to be re-installed the same day or very soon after that.  

We will continue to post updates as information becomes available.



Monday, January 16, 2017, 9:30am

While last weekend’s repair inside the upper antenna that replaced a part leaking nitrogen gas was successful, engineers found that a leak also exists in another unknown location within the upper antenna, although a substantially smaller leak.

A crew will need to climb back up the tower and then inside the upper antenna to identify and repair this leak.

Preliminarily, the work is expected to last at least two overnight periods starting tonight, Monday into Tuesday, and then tomorrow night, Tuesday into Wednesday.  That may change depending upon the initial findings and other factors.

To maximize the time the crew will have to identify the issue and apply a fix, the stations will be taken off the air and not moved to the temporary antennas during the work.  Because of this, tonight and Tuesday night, over-air viewers and those on some cable systems should expect to lose service between about 12:00am and 5:00am.  The exception to this is WCVB, which can use their auxiliary antenna during the work.

We will post updates following the work as information comes back from the tower site.



Saturday, January 7, 2017, 8:30am

Just after 7:00am all stations were brought back on the air operating at full power. 

The repairs took longer than expected due to difficult mechanical conditions encountered while replacing the damaged part in the antenna. The transmission line has been pressurized and is holding gas as expected.

Viewers who were affected by the repair work should now have normal reception.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us.



Friday, January 6, 2017, 5:15pm

Last night’s tower work revealed a crack in a small part on the top antenna power divider that caused the gas leak.  Evaluation of that part indicates it was a stress related failure and not a lightening strike.  A temporary seal was applied and WGBX and the network stations were put back on the top antenna operating at about 85% power.

A replacement part is being fabricated and is expected at the tower site this evening.  If the part arrives on time, and the weather holds, the crew will attempt a permanent repair during the overnight hours tonight (Friday into Saturday).

Because the timing for the work is so tight, the stations cannot be moved to broadcast from the temporary antennas as they did last night.  They will need to remain completely off the air.  Over-air viewers and those on some cable systems should expect to lose service between about 12:00am and 5:00am.  The exception to this is WCVB, which can use their auxiliary antenna during the work.

We hope to be back to normal operation by early Saturday morning.



Thursday, January 5, 2017, 10:00am

On Friday evening, December 30, the top transmission line on the broadcast tower in Needham developed a gas pressurization leak.  The transmission lines are pressurized with nitrogen gas to keep out moisture.  The leak is believed to have developed from a lightening strike during last week’s storm.

A tower crew was dispatched from Maryland and worked on the tower Sunday and Monday to assess the situation.  They isolated the leak to the top antenna.  The repair will be complicated, but can be aided by the temporary antennas that are still on the tower from the burnout in October. 

WGBX, WGBH, and the network stations that share the tower—WBZ, WSBK, and WCVB—will be moved to the temporary antennas tonight sometime after 12am.  This will require a brief shutdown during which the signal will be completely out, and then the stations will be operating at reduced power and height on the temporary antennas.  The tower crew will then be able to work on the transmission line in the top main antenna.  By about 4:30am Friday morning, all stations will be moved back to the main antennas at full power.  The work may continue like this each overnight period until the repairs are complete.

Over-air viewers and those on some cable systems should expect to lose service during the brief moves to and from the temporary and main antennas, and reception overall will also be reduced during the overnight hours when the stations are transmitting from the temporary antennas.  Daytime and primetime viewing should be unaffected, as the stations will stay on the main antennas during those hours.

We will post updates following the work as information comes back from the tower site.