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 Post subject: 500,000 watt AM station WLW's Big transmitter
PostPosted: Feb Sat 26, 2011 5:36 pm 
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I just came across a great story of WLW AM700, In the 1930's they experimented with transmitting at half a million watts. Its a great read!
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W8XO's late-night tests went on for months. This wasn't your mom's hot plate. When Ohio's famous lightning hit the tower, RF would simply sustain any resulting arcs, at the air gap or anywhere else, until the carrier was interrupted. There were folk tales, probably accurate, of talking rain gutters, sparking fences, singing water pipes, and nearby street lights dimming on modulation peaks.


http://www.ominous-valve.com/wlw.html


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PostPosted: Feb Sat 26, 2011 5:59 pm 
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When we were kids back in the 50s and 60s WLW listed a show every night around midnight or 1:00AM called "Moon River"; my Brother and I decided to listen to it several times over the years and every durn time we fell asleep before the show came on! WLW was the only station we could pick up consistently day or night back then. Some pictures of the Moon River theatre organ appear on the photos page:

http://www.ominous-valve.com/wlwpics.html

Chuck


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sat 26, 2011 7:11 pm 
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If there is any truth to people hearing radio stations in their fillings (myth busters busted this), that was the time. This one station covered half the USA. Pre-internet that is a big deal. 50 KW clear channel stations still do alright.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sat 26, 2011 8:00 pm 
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I used to listen to the Dick Biondi Show from WLW every night. We'd drive my mom's Buick to the highest spot around for the best reception.

By the way, another urban legend says that when WHAS in Louisville went on the air with 50,000 watts, people living close by could hear the station in their coal stoves.
Terry

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sat 26, 2011 9:15 pm 
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I read a story in ARC once that a resort or motel or something located very close to the tower could actually power light bulbs connected to nothing but an antenna. Seemed like BS at the time and actually still does but an interesting thought none the less. I've actually been able to pick up the "Big One" lately pretty consistently in the evenings. WJR is coming in better too while the Chicago stations I usually can receive anytime in the evenings, are weaker. Sunspots??


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sat 26, 2011 9:47 pm 
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ggregg wrote:
I read a story in ARC once that a resort or motel or something located very close to the tower could actually power light bulbs connected to nothing but an antenna. Seemed like BS at the time and actually still does but an interesting thought none the less.

I read somewhere that Tesla actually did a wireless transmission of power, around a hundred years ago...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sat 26, 2011 10:22 pm 
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Quote:
I used to listen to the Dick Biondi Show from WLW every night.


Biondi was on WLS from Chicago.

Rich


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sat 26, 2011 10:49 pm 
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Rich, W3HWJ wrote:
Quote:
I used to listen to the Dick Biondi Show from WLW every night.


Biondi was on WLS from Chicago.

Rich

Dick Biondi made the rounds; he was on a station here in Los Angeles in the sixties. It was either KHJ 930kc, or KRLA, 1110kc.

Speaking of WLS/Chicago, I've received it out here at times with just a ferrite antenna...Almost 2,000 miles away...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sat 26, 2011 11:19 pm 
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WLW has an interesting story. They went on the air with the RCA 500KW RCA transmitter in 1934. As planned, it DID get coverage around the country, but from the outset, it caused headaches for Crosley. There were some east coast Canadian stations that it interfered with, as well as some US stations in other locations. Crosley had to play with the antenna patterns, to little or no avail. Yes, there were all sorts of tales about RF, causing the station to be heard in metal buildings, and all sorts of things and places.

Finally, in 1938, they had to shut down the bif 500 KW transmitter. I have heard that it still exists....partially, and can be seen at WLW's transmitting site, north of Cincinnati.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sat 26, 2011 11:51 pm 
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I'd like to see this place if I ever get out to that part of the country again.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sat 26, 2011 11:51 pm 
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Rich, W3HWJ wrote:
Quote:
I used to listen to the Dick Biondi Show from WLW every night.


Biondi was on WLS from Chicago.

Rich


Yeah I stand corrected.
:oops:
My senior moments are turning into senior days.
He was cool, though, where ever he was.
T.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sun 27, 2011 12:08 am 
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Location: Wolfeboro, NH
Biondi described himself as the "Wild Itralian."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sun 27, 2011 12:13 am 
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Location: Dayton, Ohio
IIRC or at the time I listened, "Moon River" came on at 12 mid night and after that "Music Til Dawn" with Pete Mathews. (Soft music with few commercials).

My dad told me that there was a filling station near the tower that couldn't shut off its lights.

I read that Adolph H used to complain about "that Cincinnati station", apparently it could be picked up in Europe and I heard also, Australia.

A long ago WLW morning DJ, James Francis Patrick O'Neal, whom I suspect was of Irish descent, Used to do "interviews" where he would play both parts by changing his voice. He "interviewed" "The WLW Talking Tower" once and his last question was; "What would you like to do if you could move?", the Tower answered; "I always thought I'd like to shoot pigeons", :lol: (I guess you know why).

Charlie


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sun 27, 2011 12:20 am 
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I think you Gent's will like this video:


WLW AM Transmitter Tour 1997
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaaRRGi-jRM

It shows some of the old 500 KW WLW transmitter


old 1,000,000 Watt (1MW) Transmitter
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WXZ2T2fosw

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Last edited by gmcjetpilot on Feb Sun 27, 2011 12:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sun 27, 2011 12:21 am 
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Location: Dayton Ohio
ggregg wrote:
I read a story in ARC once that a resort or motel or something located very close to the tower could actually power light bulbs connected to nothing but an antenna. Seemed like BS at the time and actually still does but an interesting thought none the less.


After seeing some of the experiments by a local radio collector Ed Garner, I do believe they could power lights with WLW's signal.

With a simple long wire antenna, Ed was able to brilliantly light up small dial lamps from a local 1000 watt station.

Just imagine what 500 times that power can do when your in the vicinity of the transmitter. I don't know if Mythbusters could truly bust that myth without having a 500,000 watt transmitter near them.

A good friend and ham radio operator heard an unusual thing happen with RF while sitting in the house with someone else taking a shower. The sound of the water running through the pipes was being modulated by another nearby radio transmitter. As it was CW, my friend could pick out what was being said and wrote down the other operators call.

That should warrant an interesting QSL card!

-Steve


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sun 27, 2011 12:32 am 
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It is nice to see others discovering the WLW story. I've seen one of those monster tubes at the AWA museum.

Here is another good site on WLW: http://hawkins.pair.com/wlw.shtml

Here is a related story about the Mexican stations:
http://www.ominous-valve.com/xerf.html

It appears thatt here may be enough of WLW left that it could be restored, but it would take some better people at the FCC to allow them to use it on special occasions, and would require donated money, as it would surely not be able to operate often enough to pay for such a restoration.

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 Post subject: wlw
PostPosted: Feb Sun 27, 2011 12:58 am 
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Location: cincinnati ohio
Mesuam should be completed in about three years it is half mile from the transmetter .I t will will be called Greys wireless mesuem Thats where we will begin once again holding our regular monthly meetungs of cars cincinnati antique radio society.


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 Post subject: Re: wlw
PostPosted: Feb Sun 27, 2011 1:01 am 
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rca-x12 wrote:
Mesuam should be completed in about three years it is half mile from the transmetter .I t will will be called Greys wireless mesuem Thats where we will begin once again holding our regular monthly meetungs of cars cincinnati antique radio society.


This is great news!
Will the Cincinnati Radiorama swap meet return to the VOA location?

-Steve


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sun 27, 2011 4:23 am 
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Location: Minnesota
OK guys I stand corrected. You've convinced me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sun 27, 2011 4:28 am 
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gmcjetpilot wrote:
If there is any truth to people hearing radio stations in their fillings (myth busters busted this), that was the time. This one station covered half the USA. Pre-internet that is a big deal. 50 KW clear channel stations still do alright.

**********************
"Dr." John Brinkley had an engineer who figured out how to run a million watts out of his transmitter in Mexico (XER). WLW never did figure out how to do that is what I've heard and eventually the U. S. government made everybody (in the U.S.) back off of the high wattage because of interference. Brinkley covered ALL of the U.S. and some of Russia. It was said the Soviet KGB leaned the English language by listening to Brinkley's station. Of course, Brinkley went bust and that was it for 1 million-watt transmitters.


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