WEAU tower update: the end is in sight

By: Amelia Cerling Email
By: Amelia Cerling Email

FAIRCHILD (WEAU) -- It’s been nine long months, first of shock after toppling during a March snowstorm, then planning and rebuilding our 2,000 foot WEAU broadcast tower in Fairchild.

But on Tuesday the winds died down long enough for engineers to place the final piece, the antenna on top of the tower.

The assembly of the tower is now complete, but engineers still need a couple of weeks before the tower will be ready to transmit a signal.

At long last, the WEAU tower could begin broadcasting its UHF signal by the beginning of the new year.

“It looks like there is an end in sight, that we will be back in probably two-three weeks, maybe a month at most I hope,” WEAU 13 News Chief Engineer Ron Wiedemeier says.

For our far away viewers it means getting NBC programming back after a long hiatus, and for those who do still get us, a crisper signal.

“We are moving to a UHF signal that has been proven to penetrate buildings better than the VHF. We are putting out more than three times the power, or will with this one,” Wiedemeier says.

WEAU 13 News General Manager Terry McHugh says he's thankful the building process was able to get underway so quickly.

“The new tower here today is the same exact height as the other one that fell which is 1,998 feet. What's interesting is that we were able to use our same permit from back in 1965 so that really helped speed up the process and we didn't have to go through all the red tape to get this all done,” he explains.

While it's the same height as our old tower, structurally engineers say it's much stronger.

“This tower is probably four times as heavy, if not more, than the old one. It comes to a single point at the base rather than three points, which is supposed to make it stronger,” Wiedemeier says.

Wiedemeier says the new tower is also built to be able to sway 17 feet in the wind at the top, and still be within its comfort zone.

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  • by Rich Location: Phillips Wi on Apr 3, 2012 at 07:38 AM
    I cannot get the signal from Phillips Wi. any advice antenna wise or settings wise?
  • by Butch Location: Hatfield on Jan 9, 2012 at 01:21 PM
    I ran a scan in Hatfield over the weekend, and found both 13.1 and 13.2, but not at channel 13.1 or 13.2. I want to say it was somewhere in the twenties on my conversion box. Was definitely WEAU. Signal was strong, no staggered motion or pixelation. Looked like a quality signal.
  • by John Sesvold Location: Holmen WI on Jan 9, 2012 at 05:50 AM
    Saturday January 7, 2012 No signal yet! In Holmen WI. Attempted several rescans and no luck, used to be very strong signal. For now watching KTTC 10.1 in Rochester for Green bay Packers Game. Weau 13.1 used to be alot stronger than Rochester, is the change to UHF reducing the range of the signal?
  • by Jason Location: Hannibal Taylor County on Jan 8, 2012 at 10:03 AM
    We are not able to pick it up now either.
  • by Deb Location: Stratford on Jan 7, 2012 at 03:28 PM
    We have been waiting to get WEAU back but no luck. We have scan and nothing. Is the signal weaker? Will it get stronger? We use to get 13-1,13-2 and 13-3 before the tower went down. Anybody got any ideas to help?
  • by Jason Location: Marathon City on Jan 4, 2012 at 07:41 PM
    Congratulations We have been waiting patiently and are so happy it is done. The signal is a little weaker than before. Curious if the power is at full strength or are you going to bring it up? Did do a scan several times. Any answers would be appreciated. Thank You.
  • by Sue Location: Arkdale on Jan 4, 2012 at 06:43 AM
    Thank you, thank you, thank you! We just happened to do a scan on Christmas day before heading out to watch the Packer game & your channel came in! What a great Christmas present!
  • by Roger Location: Edgar on Jan 3, 2012 at 06:09 AM
    No signal yet.
  • by kim Location: Arkdale wi. on Jan 2, 2012 at 07:39 AM
    We are wondering if anyone else is getting weak signal.Tried scan, with no luck.Boy, I wish it worked.It has been a long 9 mo.Any other ideas out there? Thank you and happy new year.
    • reply
      by Sue on Jan 4, 2012 at 08:14 AM in reply to kim
      We had to raise our antenna a couple of feet & aim it that direction and then do a new scan. Good luck!
  • by Jim Location: Pittsville WI on Jan 2, 2012 at 05:52 AM
    reception is very good but still cuts out once in a while with both picture and sound. thanks for being back on air for us
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