After one of our clients had an FM station go off the air over the weekend, I investigated and found this:

Transformer melt down
Transformer meltdown

Looks like something one might find in the reactor room at Chernobyl or Fukushima.

Transformer melted down
Transformer melted down

This is at one of those sites with three phase open delta power.  Needless to say, the transformer is toast, perhaps the entire transmitter too.  This will be another fun transmitter-scrapping project.  I was thinking about this; over the last five years, I have scrapped at least ten to fifteen old tube transmitters.  The old tube types are going away fast, as are those that can still work on them.

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5 thoughts on “Meltdown”

  1. Does Dan Churchill over in Vermont still custom wind transformers? Might be a source with PW Dahl gone.
    I had one site years ago with open delta 3P. AM no less, which only made things worse. I put the largest industrial MOV’s I could find backed by gas tubes on the line and kept my fingers crossed.
    Still cost me rectifier stacks, audio drivers and assorted other parts on a regular basis. Power co. wanted something like Ten grand. Per mile. To close the delta.

    Do they have a standby, or are they dead in the water until this gets fixed?

  2. Chuck, they are on the air with a low power backup. Regarding the transmitter, there is other damage to the unit. In fact, there is a long history of power supply damage at this site which is why the owner is now going to install a single phase transmitter.

  3. Wow. I wonder how long the failure event lasted (how long it cooked before fuse/breaker trip). That must have filled the building up with smoke. I’ve seen 3p blower motors burned to a crisp, but I hope I never seen a plate xmfr fried like that.

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