Not related to radio, but interesting nonetheless. Mozilla, the designer of the Firefox web browser has come up with a cool way to see tracking data for any HTTP sessions. It is an add-on called Lightbeam. I tried a little experiment, after installing lightbeam, I surfed around a little bit then looked at the results. A screenshot of the graphical output is below:
The round circles are the sites that I visited. The triangles are third party sites connected to the visited site. During the real Lightbeam session, a mouse over the icon will show the name or url. It is an interesting exercise. Visiting 27 web sites nets a total of 172 third party sites or approximately 6 third party sites per visited site. Commercial news sites like CNN and NBC seem to have the most connections to third party sites. In this case, it appears to be mostly innocuous advertizing. Even so, it is an enlightening experiment.
This was filmed in 2006. In 2010, Radio Sweden ceased broadcasting on medium and shortwave, thus I believe these sites have Horby (HF) has been dismantled. Medium wave installation Solvesborg is visible starting at 15:30. Two tower directional array 180 degree towers with 600 KW carrier power. Quite impressive.
We loaded a couple of ATT bucket trucks on a landing craft and waged an assault on Pleasure Beach. This is to finalize the repair work from Hurricane Sandy last year. The other factor is the construction taking place on the Island. The City of Bridgeport is constructing a park, which involves extensive repairs and renovations to the buildings. Construction vehicles driving under the old lines have ripped them down several times, thus repairing the lines on the new utility poles was necessary.
ATT is the LEC for the Bridgeport area, something they don’t do in most other parts of the country, from what I am told.
It took approximately four hours to complete this work and reload the trucks back on the landing craft. The boat itself looks like a slightly modified LCM (Landing Craft, Mechanized), which were produced from 1943 onward. This is an LCM-8.
WICC towers almost in line, I was about one second too late with this shot. This would be “down the bore” of the daytime pattern into downtown Bridgeport.
Another shot of the WICC towers. These were designed to hold up a horizontal T top wire antenna strung between the two of them. At some point in the early thirties, somebody realized that the tower itself could be excited as a vertical radiator and the antenna configuration was changed. Up until the mid 1970’s there was a horizontal wire which supported third wire element hanging between the two towers, making it a three tower directional array. This was removed and it was then that the current phasor and two tower DA-2 system was installed.
This is both an opportunity and burden. Since the Wikipedia articles place so well in most search engine results, it would be a benefit to radio stations to keep an eye on them; keep them up to date, make sure that no one vandalizes them and fix it when they do. Most importantly, keep the station website link and streaming link information up to date. That is the burden but it is relatively small.
The opportunity comes from the ability to document the history of individual radio stations. In the grand scale, the history of any individual radio station is like a grain of sand on the beach. It is only pertinent to those who care. But then there are those who do care and for some of us, reading a well written, well sourced article about some station we are familiar with is interesting. To be sure, there are many crappy radio station articles on Wikipedia. Some of them read like advertisements, clearly written from non-neutral party. Others do not have sections, have poor grammar, improper or no source citations, etc. Those poor articles should be fixed.
In my time as a broadcast engineer, I have found radio station to be like ships; they all have a certain personality. It is difficult to explain how an inanimate collection of equipment and buildings can have personality, but they do. Of course, with time, format and ownership changes those personalities change. Documenting operating histories, formats, unique occurrences, famous past personalities, incidents, accidents, and technical discoveries in one place takes a little bit of time. Having that information available for fellow radio people to read about is valuable service. The one thing that I notice about most radio station Wikipedia articles; there are no pictures. There should be more pictures.