WHAT"S HAPPENING TO SHORTWAVE RADIO?

WHAT"S HAPPENING TO SHORTWAVE RADIO?

Post by Michael A. Terrel » Sun, 03 Mar 2013 12:16:49



Quote:



> >>>  FWIW, I was running automated radio stations 50 years ago.

> >> Yup, been there, done that. WKMI-AM / WSEO-FM, Kalamazoo, in 1966 and
> >> 1967.

> >> A couple of "vertical cart machines" that held 20 or 30 carts run by a
> >> big lead***(can't remember the mfr) for the spots and several Ampex
> >> 350 decks with 15 inch reels for the music.

> >> AM programming ended at midnight, switched over to simulcasting AM and
> >> FM, locked the door at midnight and me and the AM jock went out for a
> >> beer. It ran unattended until the morning staff came in around 5 or 6 AM.

> >> Not really sure how it handled broken carts or tapes. I was a University
> >> engineering student full-time during the day, worked until midnight,
> >> then went to bed, so never actually listened to it. IIRC, the overnight
> >> program was the "Dolly Holiday" show sponsored by...Holiday Inn. Daytime
> >> programming was "elevator music".

> >> Most of my duties had to do with the AM side of the shop -- transmitter
> >> readings, recording air checks, base current readings, changing the
> >> pattern at sunset and of course doing my school homework. The only
> >> 'work' on the automated FM that I remember was changing the music tapes
> >> and occasionally loading new carts for the spots/PSAs. The person most
> >> responsible for the installation, programming and operation of the FM
> >> automation was the Chief Engineer, Chuck Gustaffson. Thanks for the job
> >> Chuck and R.I.P.

> >> Finally, the automation seemed pretty reliable considering the
> >> technology of the day.


> > It was illegal until much later to leave a transmitter unattended. ATS
> > began in the late '70s and Reagan deregged in the '80s.

> Interesting! I never would have suspected. Even though I was just a 21
> or 22 year old kid at the time, it seemed to me that the C.E. respected
> the rules and ran everything on the up-and-up.

> Do you think the Statute of Limitations has run out???   :-/

   I knew of a lot of stations without remote monitoring that had no
engineer on site to read meters.  Some had been that way for over 20
years, in the '70s.  One was in a tiny old railroad building (maybe 150
square feet) with most of the floor rotted away. They had to throw down
boards to move around and not fall into the ba***t
 
 
 

WHAT"S HAPPENING TO SHORTWAVE RADIO?

Post by Brenda Dye » Sun, 03 Mar 2013 13:59:49




   I knew of a lot of stations without remote monitoring that had no
engineer on site to read meters.  Some had been that way for over 20
years, in the '70s.  One was in a tiny old railroad building (maybe 150
square feet) with most of the floor rotted away. They had to throw down
boards to move around and not fall into the ba***t

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Shoot, I don't even know who our CE WAS at KVAS. I never saw nor met the
person. I only know that the DJ on shift at the time of a power change did
that power change. This involved the following sequence:

1) Turn on filaments to other transmitter
2) Kill PA power on operating transmitter
3) Walk over to the inner wall and throw an OPEN DPDT knife switch to change
the antenna to the other transmitter
4) Move a coaxial cable (PL-259) to change the board input to the other
transmitter
5) Turn on PA plate voltage to other transmitter
6) Shut down filaments and main power to the transmitter you just changed
over from

Just think... the new stuff does all work for you, all in the same box. Our
setup was an RCA 1 KW box using 833a's and a Raytheon 250W using a single
833a.

 
 
 

WHAT"S HAPPENING TO SHORTWAVE RADIO?

Post by dave » Sun, 03 Mar 2013 23:00:37



Quote:



>    I knew of a lot of stations without remote monitoring that had no
> engineer on site to read meters.  Some had been that way for over 20
> years, in the '70s.  One was in a tiny old railroad building (maybe 150
> square feet) with most of the floor rotted away. They had to throw down
> boards to move around and not fall into the ba***t

> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

> Shoot, I don't even know who our CE WAS at KVAS. I never saw nor met the
> person. I only know that the DJ on shift at the time of a power change
> did that power change. This involved the following sequence:

> 1) Turn on filaments to other transmitter
> 2) Kill PA power on operating transmitter
> 3) Walk over to the inner wall and throw an OPEN DPDT knife switch to
> change the antenna to the other transmitter
> 4) Move a coaxial cable (PL-259) to change the board input to the other
> transmitter
> 5) Turn on PA plate voltage to other transmitter
> 6) Shut down filaments and main power to the transmitter you just
> changed over from

> Just think... the new stuff does all work for you, all in the same box.
> Our setup was an RCA 1 KW box using 833a's and a Raytheon 250W using a
> single 833a.

  My first station was a 5KW daytimer. It had a Collins transmitter with
mercury vapor rectifiers that took 30 minutes to warm up. You'd call a
phone at the transmitter to turn on the Filaments, then ride the bike
the 3 miles to the studios.

Being the licensed Operator on Duty was a very serious thing. You had to
sign logs and take readings every half hour. It appears some people were
forging logs (from earlier discussions).

 
 
 

WHAT"S HAPPENING TO SHORTWAVE RADIO?

Post by Brenda Dye » Sun, 03 Mar 2013 23:48:06



  My first station was a 5KW daytimer. It had a Collins transmitter with
mercury vapor rectifiers that took 30 minutes to warm up. You'd call a
phone at the transmitter to turn on the Filaments, then ride the bike
the 3 miles to the studios.

Being the licensed Operator on Duty was a very serious thing. You had to
sign logs and take readings every half hour. It appears some people were
forging logs (from earlier discussions).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

At least back in the day, there were some minimal standards for broadcast
shift workers. You had to have at least a 3rd Phone with a broadcast
endor***t to even be there to take the readings and fill out the logs. To
actually touch the transmitter required a 1st Phone. Now, there are no
requirements at all.. your CE doesn't have to have any license at all and
can be responsible for multiple transmitters at different locations. Even
PoP's aren't pushed anymore.

 
 
 

WHAT"S HAPPENING TO SHORTWAVE RADIO?

Post by Michael A. Terrel » Mon, 04 Mar 2013 05:38:03


Quote:



>    I knew of a lot of stations without remote monitoring that had no
> engineer on site to read meters.  Some had been that way for over 20
> years, in the '70s.  One was in a tiny old railroad building (maybe 150
> square feet) with most of the floor rotted away. They had to throw down
> boards to move around and not fall into the ba***t

> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

> Shoot, I don't even know who our CE WAS at KVAS. I never saw nor met the
> person. I only know that the DJ on shift at the time of a power change did
> that power change. This involved the following sequence:

> 1) Turn on filaments to other transmitter
> 2) Kill PA power on operating transmitter
> 3) Walk over to the inner wall and throw an OPEN DPDT knife switch to change
> the antenna to the other transmitter
> 4) Move a coaxial cable (PL-259) to change the board input to the other
> transmitter
> 5) Turn on PA plate voltage to other transmitter
> 6) Shut down filaments and main power to the transmitter you just changed
> over from

> Just think... the new stuff does all work for you, all in the same box. Our
> setup was an RCA 1 KW box using 833a's and a Raytheon 250W using a single
> 833a.

   These were mostly daytimers, and a clock type timer turned the
transmitter on & off.  Mostly 1K & 5 KW stations.  The operator was at
the studio, and recorded when they went on & off the air.
 
 
 

WHAT"S HAPPENING TO SHORTWAVE RADIO?

Post by dave » Mon, 04 Mar 2013 23:22:45



Quote:



>   My first station was a 5KW daytimer. It had a Collins transmitter with
> mercury vapor rectifiers that took 30 minutes to warm up. You'd call a
> phone at the transmitter to turn on the Filaments, then ride the bike
> the 3 miles to the studios.

> Being the licensed Operator on Duty was a very serious thing. You had to
> sign logs and take readings every half hour. It appears some people were
> forging logs (from earlier discussions).

> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

> At least back in the day, there were some minimal standards for
> broadcast shift workers. You had to have at least a 3rd Phone with a
> broadcast endor***t to even be there to take the readings and fill out
> the logs. To actually touch the transmitter required a 1st Phone. Now,
> there are no requirements at all.. your CE doesn't have to have any
> license at all and can be responsible for multiple transmitters at
> different locations. Even PoP's aren't pushed anymore.

Tell me about it.
 
 
 

WHAT"S HAPPENING TO SHORTWAVE RADIO?

Post by dave » Mon, 04 Mar 2013 23:35:54



Quote:




>>     I knew of a lot of stations without remote monitoring that had no
>> engineer on site to read meters.  Some had been that way for over 20
>> years, in the '70s.  One was in a tiny old railroad building (maybe 150
>> square feet) with most of the floor rotted away. They had to throw down
>> boards to move around and not fall into the ba***t

>> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

>> Shoot, I don't even know who our CE WAS at KVAS. I never saw nor met the
>> person. I only know that the DJ on shift at the time of a power change did
>> that power change. This involved the following sequence:

>> 1) Turn on filaments to other transmitter
>> 2) Kill PA power on operating transmitter
>> 3) Walk over to the inner wall and throw an OPEN DPDT knife switch to change
>> the antenna to the other transmitter
>> 4) Move a coaxial cable (PL-259) to change the board input to the other
>> transmitter
>> 5) Turn on PA plate voltage to other transmitter
>> 6) Shut down filaments and main power to the transmitter you just changed
>> over from

>> Just think... the new stuff does all work for you, all in the same box. Our
>> setup was an RCA 1 KW box using 833a's and a Raytheon 250W using a single
>> 833a.

>     These were mostly daytimers, and a clock type timer turned the
> transmitter on & off.  Mostly 1K & 5 KW stations.  The operator was at
> the studio, and recorded when they went on & off the air.

I have been obsessed with radio for a long time and I have never heard
of such a station. Someone with a license needed to be able to see the
Plate Current and the Plate Voltage meters and know the Efficiency
Factor; or; be able to see Antenna Current meter and how to plug that
value into a calculation; or; see a Calibrated Power Output meter at all
times. Power must be maintained as close to 100% as practicable, never
above 105% or below 90% (exceeding these boundaries requiring a log
entry and remedial action). Means for observing and controlling
Modulation were also required. Operation of the Obstruction Lights on
any towers must be confirmed (visual or current sensing meter) daily.

I started in radio at age 14 and Remote Control and Telemetry was a very
labor intensive activity required every time a station was built or
moved. I learned about BA Pairs, unloaded and loaded leased lines, 950
MHz subcarriers, TSLs, etc.

Point being, if it was possible to eliminate the above before Reagan
deregged, everybody would have done it, and they didn't. Until
deregulation, you needed a First Phone to run a 250 Watt directional (or
anything above 10KW).

Now it's all clusters for big companies and outsourced service companies
for the little stations. No fun.

 
 
 

WHAT"S HAPPENING TO SHORTWAVE RADIO?

Post by Michael A. Terrel » Tue, 05 Mar 2013 05:29:31


Quote:


> ?
> ?     These were mostly daytimers, and a clock type timer turned the
> ? transmitter on ? off.  Mostly 1K ? 5 KW stations.  The operator was at
> ? the studio, and recorded when they went on ? off the air.
> ?

> I have been obsessed with radio for a long time and I have never heard
> of such a station. Someone with a license needed to be able to see the
> Plate Current and the Plate Voltage meters and know the Efficiency
> Factor; or; be able to see Antenna Current meter and how to plug that
> value into a calculation; or; see a Calibrated Power Output meter at all
> times. Power must be maintained as close to 100% as practicable, never
> above 105% or below 90% (exceeding these boundaries requiring a log
> entry and remedial action). Means for observing and controlling
> Modulation were also required. Operation of the Obstruction Lights on
> any towers must be confirmed (visual or current sensing meter) daily.

   I didn't work at any of those stations.  They were low power
daytimers, and the transmitters were in sheds or condemned structures.
I was told by the engineer that he was only there a few times a month,
and calculated the output by reading the field strength at the studio, a
few blocks away.  The same for checking the frequency.  A nice, new HP
frequency counter.  Not the way any of my stations were run, except for
the military station in Alaska.  That only got attention when the
transmitter failed.  The power rating stated 250 Watts, or as deemed
necessary.  The TV station license was the same, except it was for 500
watts.  The expiration dates were, "Until no longer needed"  The TV
station had two transmitters, and they got daily attention, even though
the miltary didn't require a daily log.

Quote:
> I started in radio at age 14 and Remote Control and Telemetry was a very
> labor intensive activity required every time a station was built or
> moved. I learned about BA Pairs, unloaded and loaded leased lines, 950
> MHz subcarriers, TSLs, etc.

   Try a network feed via over the horizion microwave relay.

Quote:
> Point being, if it was possible to eliminate the above before Reagan
> deregged, everybody would have done it, and they didn't. Until
> deregulation, you needed a First Phone to run a 250 Watt directional (or
> anything above 10KW).

   Some stations had nothing to interfere with, and lazy or overworked
FCC types in their district.  As long as nothing was noticed and no
complaints filed, they didn't really give a damn when they had dozens to
hundreds of other violations to deal with.

Quote:
> Now it's all clusters for big companies and outsourced service companies
> for the little stations. No fun.

   It hasn't been fun for 20 years.  That's why I went into electronics
manufacturing on high end telemetry equipment.