LYON MOUNTAIN -- Mountain Lake PBS is back on the air, thanks to some help from WCAX-TV.

The station's 400-foot TV transmission tower atop Lyon Mountain completely collapsed during last week's nor'easter, partially damaging the station's transmitter building.

As a result, Mountain Lake PBS went off the air in most areas, delivering programs only via cable in Clinton County.

WCAX-TV agreed to let WCFE temporarily use its third digital channel by microwaving their programming to the WCAX transmitter on Mt. Mansfield in Vermont.

"Several members of the WCAX engineering and operations team had an impromptu meeting where we were discussing the unfortunate tower collapse at WCFE," WCAX-TV/DT Chief Engineer Joe Tymecki said in a news release.

"After only a minute or so, it became clear to me that we could use the power of the digital television system to add another digital channel to the WCAX service and make WCFE available to folks who have a digital TV.

"Thanks to two of our key vendors, Harris Corp. and Microwave Radio Corp., we were able to borrow the few pieces of equipment needed to make our third digital channel available for WCFE.

"Nothing can replace WCFE's original analog and digital signals, but we felt we had to try to do something to help get them back on the air. This was the fastest way to accomplish that goal." Viewers with a digital receiver can simply punch in channel 57 and their receiver should bring in the temporary WCFE digital feed.

Depending on which equipment viewers have, they may have to first rescan or reprogram the TV channels so that their receiver will discover the new temporary WCFE channel.

Mountain Lake PBS hopes to build a new tower this summer.

WCAX-TV/DT is the CBS affiliate in Burlington and is locally owned and operated by Mt. Mansfield Television Inc.

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