Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Incineration Station

For your radio geekery ce soir, let's take a look at what it took to run an AM radio station at 500,000 watts in the early 1930s.

That's what Cincinnati's WLW ran at back then, enough to cover more than a third of the continental United States at night and even deliver a strong daytime signal as far as Toronto. And in the early 1930s, a team of engineers from several companies -- including the owner of "The Nation's Station," Crosley Radio -- had to figure out how to do what never had been done before.

They had to do this without touching the wrong wire or component when the transmitter was fired up, which basically would result in something akin to self-incineration. Up, up, up in a puff of smoke, indeed.

Really, everything about that transmitter was larger than life. Way larger than life.

God Almighty. Zorch!

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