(I hesitate to place this under the “Monday Morning Nostalgia Fix” for fear that the ‘owner’ of that feature might be slightly offended. He might bite. In fact, I don’t know where Mr. Nostalgia is today…perhaps he was so busy remembering he forgot?)
Bill from Connecticut emailed us this morning. Prior to moving to CT in 19– (we’ll not share his approximate age) Bill lived in Beaver Falls and spent some time in Youngstown as well. Two announcements brought back some memories to Bill. He writes,
” The announced sale of WHKZ-1440 in Warren (OH) brought back some memories. In the early post-WWII years, WFMJ (now WNIO) was a conventional 250 watt Class IV in Youngstown on 1450. Similar Class IV WHHH (or possibly WRRN at the time) was on 1400 in Warren, about 13 miles distant. Both subsequently upgraded to 5 kw, but much engineering coordination was required during the conversions because each station’s new frequency – 1390 for WFMJ and 1440 for WHHH – was adjacent channel to the other’s current frequency! Overnight testing – each required 6 towers for nighttime operation – was probably workable, but I have no idea how they tested during the daytime without creating serious QRM to the other station!”
Sounds like a bunch of fancy footwork was necessary in order for the experiments to take place! Hearing of Myron Cope’s passing, Bill was also reminded about WWSW’s AM frequency change. Talk about a sneaky, yet wise, decision!
“Again, in the early post-WWII years, the old 250 watt WWSW-1490 was the Steelers’ “flagship” (if not their only) station! Their conversion to 5 kw on 970 – with 8 sticks – merited a full page Sunday feature in, I believe, the Post-Gazette. Somehow I remember reading that the engineer was one Butch Hinsdale, who must have performed hundreds of mechanical rotary calculator calculations to create the proper pattern! To draw their listeners to their much more powerful new dial position, WWSW brilliantly made the conversion during half-time of a Steeler game!”
Bill notes that you can see a satellite photo of the 8-tower array in Ross Township by entering WBGG (AM) in at http://www.radio-locator.com/?xyz=2. Click on Transmitter location, then satellite, then center and magnify as necessary.) Better yet, we’ve got it right here…
Thanks Bill for your contribution!