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Old Timey Radio
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Mike Harrison
The Gates of Troy


Joined: 03 Nov 2007
Posts: 1895
Location: Equidistant from New York City and Philadelphia, along the NJ Shore

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why you should never, ever touch an AM broadcast tower (the tower structure itself is the radiating element).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHSuInSkHtA

But, if you're the daring type:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9UO9tn4MpI[/i]
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Mike
Male Voice Over Talent
The first step, they say, is admitting it: I am an O.A.V. And proud of it.

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Bruce
Boardmeister


Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Posts: 7258
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iím always amazed at the folks who climb the towers to change the light bulbs up top. Thereís a trick to jumping up and not making ground. We had a novice workman clip the wrong belt high up just before I went to work one morning. Made for a somber day at the station.


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I'm not a Zoo, but over the years I've played one on radio/TV. .
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Mike Harrison
The Gates of Troy


Joined: 03 Nov 2007
Posts: 1895
Location: Equidistant from New York City and Philadelphia, along the NJ Shore

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, there have been some nasty accidents.

Whereas AM transmitters are optimally located in marshy areas because the moisture helps conduct the ground wave, FM and TV require as much height as possible (the signals go only as far as the horizon), so FM & TV antennas are devices that are generally attached to a tower or tall building.

Here's some great drone footage of a guy changing a strobe on top of a 1500-foot TV tower.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1BgzIZRfT8
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Mike
Male Voice Over Talent
The first step, they say, is admitting it: I am an O.A.V. And proud of it.

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Frank F
Fat, Old, and Sassy


Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 4332
Location: Park City, Utah

PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Watching the videos provided by Mike shows why I always had "bad hair days" at the AM I worked at in the early days.

And, I thought all that electricity was just my brain getting charged up. Laugh cool

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todd ellis
A Zillion


Joined: 02 Jan 2007
Posts: 9858
Location: little egypt

PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i replaced the bulb in a 500' tower when i was young & bulletproof --- we also took a 600' tower down 10' at a time - 2 guys at the top lowering sections down on an extremely sketchy and quickly rigged boom pole - then relocated & re-built it as a HAM tower. BOY - is there a lot of sway at the top!
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BruceG
Contributore Level V


Joined: 01 Jun 2012
Posts: 191
Location: just south of Boston, MA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've worked in studios like this one as well as modern studios. I hav'ta say that the "old school" studios have that nostalgic charm that just can't compare...back when radio was actually FUN. Smile
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JohnV
Been Here Awhile


Joined: 25 Feb 2016
Posts: 212
Location: Md/DC

PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah... top pic looks like a bare bones quick production corner...
phone, typer, headphone amp.
mic and a RTR (is that a Pioneer rt707...??) into a M68 mix into a cart deck for air.

Never had carousels... when I was at Mutual Radio, same years, master control had several banks of these 10-cart-high on a single long capstan monstrosities so they could automate several different USA-wide zone feeds with same or different shows and actualities then switch even more differenter spot breakouts to zones on the clock. those were fun to maintain...

Was installing gear in a rack, me behind, other guy around front, and slowly easing this one piece into place...
a metal part behind stuck down JUST a tad...
as we got it right up against the other thing in the rack...
that part touched another part
little blue spark and a buncha relays chattered
whole network went silent coast to coast...
glad the guy on the front guiding with me was VP of engineering...
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Mike Harrison
The Gates of Troy


Joined: 03 Nov 2007
Posts: 1895
Location: Equidistant from New York City and Philadelphia, along the NJ Shore

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnV wrote:
little blue spark and a buncha relays chattered
whole network went silent coast to coast...
glad the guy on the front guiding with me was VP of engineering...

That's worthy of an official George Takei "Ohhh myyyy!" And, some of those multiple cart players sharing a common capstan were often problems waiting to happen. If there were issues with bearings, you wound up with wow & flutter on all the common decks. And, a motor failure meant you'd lose all of them.

The Chief Engineer where I once worked had an issue with wiring audio. When the company's mostly-automated AM (with its largely-stereo music library) was moved into the same building as the FM, a big problem arose. Many of the songs suffered phase-cancellation; where content common to both channels at equal volume was cancelling each other out on the mono station.

To fix the problem? Believing most of the station's music was mono (or simply not caring enough to find out), the Chief Engineer simply clipped the wiring from one of the audio channels. This immediately solved the phase-cancellation problem. But, with songs like many of the early stereo Beatles' songs, which had most or all of the instrumentation on one channel and the vocals on the other, we wound up hearing only instrumentation or only vocals. This meant the poor Chief Engineer now had to actually do some work.

A couple of years later, the company added another local FM to the cluster and converted it from the previous owner's all-live configuration to automation-assist. When the Chief Engineer announced one day that he was going to run overnight tests later that evening prior to the official sign-on, I decided to listen for a while. Again, there was phase-cancellation when listening in mono: the positive and negative leads on one of the audio channels were reversed (audio cabling has red and black insulation for a reason). Had the Chief Engineer thought (or bothered) to test by listening in mono, he would have realized his problem. He was ready to put the station on the air until I told him what I'd heard.
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Mike
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The first step, they say, is admitting it: I am an O.A.V. And proud of it.

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