The sound of an ATU

I am not generally given to nostalgia as it is often a luxury I cannot afford. However, there are some times when I think; I remember the first time I experienced that. Here is a brief video of the WABC ATU coils singing with modulation:

I believe the arc at the 23-second mark came from the Delta base current toroid sample transformer and was due to heavy modulation. Sid, shouting into the microphone again!

The current sample toroid is at the highest impedance point in the system and the voltage exceeds 5KV on the positive modulation peaks. There are also some little black flies that like to fly into the gap between the antenna output conductor and the toroid sample. When I clean up the ATU every quarter, I find many dead flies below the base current sample toroid. A 50,000-watt fly zapper. Fortunately, the DX-50 doesn’t seem to notice this and keeps chugging along.

After about a minute thirty I realized I was probably exceeding my 6-minute SAR and left the ATU building for a while.

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5 thoughts on “The sound of an ATU”

  1. I was in the ATU/Combiner building at the WSCR 670 – WBBM 780 site in Chicago. You should’ve heard the noise there. I don’t think I exceeded the time, but I am not sure. I didn’t keep track like I should’ve. Not the highest exposure I ever had. (That would be on Mt Mansfield when WCAX’s old Helical was still in operation, and I had noise on several digital pictures I took. I had none from that trip)

  2. Hi Paul, I see the filter hanging above the ATU is not used anymore.
    I think it was installed back in the day when 1010 WINS shared the aux tower at that time WINS had on location a DX 10 during the WINS array rebuilt.

  3. Hey Ed, that is a 1050 notch filter from when WEPN 1050 and WABC were both owned by Disney. WEPN used the aux tower as a backup transmitter site while construction was ongoing at the Meadowlands complex. We could take it down I suppose, but it is not hurting anything by being there.

  4. Hi Paul thanks for the correction.
    Neat site, I bet it would have been a lot of fun working.
    for WABC back in the music radio days always had it on the radio back then as a kid.

  5. Ed, the old Musicradio 77 days were a blast. I remember Dan Ingram playing his stinger every 30 seconds “DAAAAAN INGRAM!”

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