ITHACA — News/talker 870 WHCU is back to transmitting at full power, less than 12 hours after a fire at the transmission tower knocked the station off-air for most of yesterday’s morning drive hours. APD Dave Vieser sums it up nicely:
“We got the main transmitter back on line at about 4 PM, thanks to an incredibly good tower crew who raced up from NYC to help us out. Jay Waggoner deserves big kudos as well, our chief engineer helped us find the damage in a couplet which caused the short and fire—and helped rewire the tower with the crew so that we can avoid anything like this in the future.”
As Vieser explained yesterday, the problem could have been much worse: because WHCU’s daytime and nighttime transmitters are at two different tower sites, he and Waggoner were able to revert back to the nighttime tower.
That means WHCU was only off-air for about 2-3 hours, as opposed to sitting out through the entire ordeal. Even though the nighttime tower is only 1,000 watts, compared to the daytimer’s 5,000 — Vieser said the signal still covers most of Tompkins County.