Gates Transmitter

It all started in early June.  A thunderstorm passed over the Accomac area with lightening striking the power pole behind WESR radio.   The strike took out power to the station and it was off the air for almost three hours until the ANEC line crews could replace two of the three transformers on the pole.  When power was restored in the early morning hours, it became apparent that the main transmitter at WESR 103.3 was hit and furthermore was not repairable.   We soon returned to the air at reduced power using an auxiliary transmitter.

The following morning, General Manager Will Russell and Charlie Russell determined that the only course of action was to place an order for a new transmitter.  But supply chain issues resulted in the realization that a replacement transmitter may take as many as two to three months before it could be delivered.  The order was placed.

However, the dealer very generously offered the use of an interim transmitter that was four times stronger than our auxiliary and it boosted our signal to cover over 95% of our coverage area.

After another months delay due to problems acquiring a critical part the new Gates Air Flexiva transmitter arrived in late October and finally went on the air on November 8 generating 50,000 watts of power.  The signal strength improved over  the old transmitter and WESR can now be heard better in lower Northampton County in the South and at the Delaware line to the North. We have heard reports of our signal being received in Cambridge Md. Kevan Lipscomb, a loyal Western Shore listener, reported he picked us up clear in Montross, Va.

Eastern Shore Custom Carts

WESR owner Charlie Russell said, ” in the 50 years I have been here, I have never seen a lightening strike like that one.  We appreciate the help from the dealer SCMS including Bob Cauthen and Mike Phelps with whom we would have been in serious trouble.  Also, Jennifer Annis at Shore United Bank  and our engineer Tom Reynolds. Both were vital to us being able to get back up and running as well.

The new transmitter features state of the art solid state technology that will provide reliable radio services to the Eastern Shore for the next 25 years or beyond. It has four independent stages that operate separately.  If something happens to one of the stages, the transmitter will continue to operate at slightly reduced power. “