Saturday, 02 May 2009

Radio

75 years ago today - 500KW on medium wave


On May 2, 1934, WLW-AM became “The Big One.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt pressed a telegraph key in the White House, firing up WLW-AM’s one-of-a-kind 500,000-watt transmitter, the most powerful in the country.

“The Nation’s Station,” they called it.

From the new 831-foot diamond-shaped tower on Tylersville Road in Mason, Crosley Broadcasting beamed programs coast to coast – and beyond.  It’s the only time the government granted 10 times normal maximum power to a radio station.
...
The half-million-watt transmitter – built for $500,000 under the Mason tower – was truly the big one: 54-feet wide, 13-feet tall and 7-feet deep.

It needed 22 glass radio tubes, each 5-feet high.  They were cooled by 700 gallons of distilled water per minute circulating from a nearby pond.  Each tube cost $1,624. - Cincinnati Enquirer[1]

Elsewhere (via Roberta X, what a coincidence!):

HT:  Darryl Parks (whose stupid Clear Channel blog doesn’t have permlinks).
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[1] The Enquirer site is having problems today.  To see the second page of the article, you may have to turn off javascript.  But there’s a photo gallery on page 1 that you’ll miss if you load the link with it off...

Posted by: Old Grouch in Radio at 15:05:33 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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