Tower crews replace antenna on Mt. Mansfield

Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 7:41 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 31, 2020 at 4:59 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - It was a busy day for Vermont broadcasters on Mount Mansfield Saturday morning. Beginning at dawn, WCAX powered down the over-the-air signal until approximately 2:30 p.m. This power down is for the safety of tower crews working at the shared broadcast site on Mount Mansfield.

Engineers climbed up the WCAX tower to fix the antenna, which is jointly owned by WCAX-TV and WPTZ, to start the process of removing the antenna damaged by a fire last November.

It’s taken months to coordinate the project between the broadcasters but less than two minutes to take away the old antenna. Crews attached a harness to the structure and then unbolted the base.

A helicopter lifted off with the old one to a landing zone close by returning with the new one shortly after. Mount Mansfield, known for it’s high winds was calm Saturday morning.

“We were expecting a little bit of wind, but this is awesome, we hope for days like this all the time and today we just got lucky I guess,” said Daniel Cuervo of GTI America.

“The good news about this is it returns Channel 3 to the same power, or maybe a little more power than what we used to broadcast prior to the fire,” said Jay Barton, WCAX-TV Vice-President and General Manager.

It will take a few days for WCAX to get up to full power but General Manager Jay Barton says viewers in the eastern half of the state, specifically in the Northeast Kingdom, will see an improvement.

We will have more on the how the tower crew and the helicopter pilot work in unison to retrieve and install these massive antennas on Monday’s broadcast.

Work will continue Sunday with intermittent shut downs expected. WCAX’s online streams, many cable and Dish subscribers should be generally unaffected, but over-the-air viewers, DirecTV and some cable subscribers will be affected. We apologize for the inconvenience.

There is no need to rescan your TV tuner as the signal will return automatically. Rescanning while the signals are turned off will cause your TV tuner to “forget” the channel positions for any reduced-power channels, which include WCAX, WFFF, WPTZ and WVNY .

Click here for more information about the work at our tower.

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Transmission tower fire interrupts Channel 3 broadcast signal

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