April 2011
M T W T F S S
« Mar   May »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

Archives

Categories

WCKY transmitter site tour

This is of interest because of the GE BT-25-A transmitter footage.  I do not know the serial number of the WCKY BT-25-A transmitter, but it is looks identical to the old WPTR BT-25-A unit which can be seen in this post.  As I stated in that missive, I have not heard any transmitter before or since, that sounded as good as this unit.  They were really engineering marvels, even in 1999 when this video was shot.

No doubt the MW-50 (no letter) and particularly the DX-50 transmitters are more efficient. In this day and age when many AM stations are just scraping by, over paying for utilities is not an option. I noticed the Harris MW-50 transmitter with the PDM drawer open. That brings back memories too, those PDM boards where a pain in the rear, as I recall.

Be Sociable, Share!

5 comments to WCKY transmitter site tour

  • J. Aegerter

    In the ’60’s, WCKY had a consistently strong signal every night into Wisconsin, and their BT-25 audio was astounding. WLS had the newer design, a BT-50, and its audio was also remarkable. However, I always preferred the BT-25 audio over all the other 50 kW transmitters of the time. The GE BT-50, the RCA BTA-50F1, and the Westinghouse 50HG series were all very close, but my personal preference would always be the BT-25 with its slightly warmer sound.

  • Lee Rust

    Paul,

    I see you worked at WPTR in the ’90’s. I was pretty closely associated with Rust Communications, one of the prior owners of that station. Those GE’s were very similar to the Westinghouse 50HG that was in service at WHAM in Rochester until the early ’80’s. Back when those things were made, everything was so very big and heavy at those power levels. The whole building was built around those old transmitters, and everything about them was taken very seriously.

  • Paul Thurst

    Lee, I was meaning to ask you if you were any relation to Bill.

    WCKY never came in well around here, mostly due to WKBW on 1520 and WPTR on 1540.

  • Dewey Jacks

    When I watched this video tour of this GE transmitter,I would have to ask why any radio station would want to shut it down and run the newer,more modern solid state transmitters. Granted,I am sure the newer,more modern solid state units run more efficiently,but I don’t think they can match these tube jobs when it comes to the audio quality. Those old tube transmitters are engineering marvels!

  • Paul Thurst

    @Dewey, you are right, the older transmitters are engineering marvels and very inefficient. Most stations in the 70’s and 80’s installed newer transmitters that paid for themselves in electrical savings in a few years. That was when electricity cost 2-3 cents per KWh, unlike today where it can range up to 15 or 20 cents a KWh. Plus, the older transmitters like this one had PCB capacitors and transformers, which became too much risk for financiers to tolerate.

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Axiom


A pessimist sees the glass as half empty. An optimist sees the glass as half full. The engineer sees the glass as twice the size it needs to be.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
~1st amendment to the United States Constitution

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.
~Benjamin Franklin

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
~Rudyard Kipling

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers
~Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, Article 19

...radio was discovered, and not invented, and that these frequencies and principles were always in existence long before man was aware of them. Therefore, no one owns them. They are there as free as sunlight, which is a higher frequency form of the same energy.
~Alan Weiner

Free counters!