High power FM transmitters in houses

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bigic
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High power FM transmitters in houses

Post by bigic » Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:20 pm

Does anybody know of a case like that? So for example the transmitter room is in the attic or in one of the rooms, which feeds an antenna on the tower in the backyard? Admin/mod please correct the title if it's imprecise.

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Deep Thought
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Re: High power FM transmitters in houses

Post by Deep Thought » Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:04 pm

There are a lot of high power FM transmitters in upper floors (or equipment penthouses) of tall buildings, with a big antenna on the roof. What are you wanting to know, exactly?
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Re: High power FM transmitters in houses

Post by kcbooboo » Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:51 am

Back in the 70s there was a station near me that had a small 4-room house, perhaps 20x20. TX room, main studio, production studio, kitchen, bathroom. At one time they were running a pair of Harris 10kw transmitters and a combiner.

I don't think very many houses are built to support the kind of floor load a high-power FM transmitter would impose. We're talking a thousand pounds or more into a few square feet. Of course today's solid-state equipment is much lighter. A ground floor could definitely handle it though, even if it had to be beefed up a bit. Just make sure the doors are big enough to allow entry.

A bigger problem might be getting sufficient three-phase AC power in a residential situation.

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Re: High power FM transmitters in houses

Post by awsherrill » Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:42 am

Not an FM...but one small-town station I worked for in Nebraska was a class-C AM, with the transmitter site at the bookkeeper's house. The McMartin and RCA transmitters were in the garage, and the tower was out in the yard.

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Re: High power FM transmitters in houses

Post by RGORJANCE » Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:56 pm

My meager math skills say that a transmitter weight of 750 pounds in a square footage footprint of 42 inches X 32 inches would relate to approximatly 214 PSF. If you weighed 250 pounds and stood in a one square foot footprint, you would exert 250 PSF. If the termites haven't chewed the floor joists into sawdust, it is a pretty modest PSF for a 750 pound transmitter, and a 250 pound engineer wouldn't end up in the basement.

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Re: High power FM transmitters in houses

Post by ChuckG » Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:11 pm

RGORJANCE wrote: a 250 pound engineer wouldn't end up in the basement.
Fossil
but what if there were 12 of those engineers, standing shoulder to shoulder in three rows of four? :lol:

FM's in houses.... I remember one in a mobile home. Gates FM5c where the kitchen table had ought to be. Studios in the bedrooms.
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Re: High power FM transmitters in houses

Post by kcbooboo » Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:02 pm

Unfortunately in my earlier post, I was thinking about, and wanted to say, that the support system in a ceiling (attic floor) probably wouldn't support the transmitter's weight, and then you'd have problems getting it up there. What my fingers typed was ordinary floor load, and most floors probably would support a 750 pound TX. Might not like a Continental 816R-series 20kw 3-bay unit though; they weigh almost 2,000 pounds.

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Re: High power FM transmitters in houses

Post by NECRAT » Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:28 am

WRKI(FM)/WINE(AM) in Brookfield, CT had their transmitters in a modified house, but it was an actual house. (With a 600' tower in the backyard!)
The inside of the house was wild. Big old stone chimney, 70's yellow paint in the living room, an old kitchen. The bedroom area was gutted for the rigs.

They have since built a new transmitter facility in a real building.
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Re: High power FM transmitters in houses

Post by w9wi » Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:06 pm

A Class A about a half-mile from where I grew up was built in what sure looked like a residence. I'm not sure it was ever used for anything other than a radio station though. Today the station's* transmitter is elsewhere although I think they still have an aux in the house, and there's definitely a pile of cellular stuff.

* WZMF, now WJMR-FM
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Re: High power FM transmitters in houses

Post by Shane » Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:15 pm

Mike,

I SAW the old stone house on US7! Also in the 70s the staff gave me a tour. At the time it was WINE AM&FM (94 & 95) and they mostly simulcast. The control room was about the smallest I think I have ever seen. Still they had a big old Gates Dualux (with the 3 VU meters on top) stuffed in there.

That little room actually worked pretty well ergonomically. Nothing was out of reach. It couldn't be!

Wood floors where a small hole had been worn by the swivel chair rolling back and forth.

They were building a new studio (in the master bedroom I guess) which even had a slide pot board. And I'm thinking this was 1972 or 73. Every male I encountered had long hair, as did I. The engineer was there and even in my callow youth I could tell this guy had a lot on the ball.

Was in the area in the fall of 2003. I knew the station wasn't there anymore but I thought I could find the old stone house. Nope. Apparently bulldozed for highway construction.

Two things I remembered most from the visit:
Everyone I spoke with acted like they were really glad to see me. The folks were really nice and I got to see some good on-air teamwork. It was the first time I'd heard "I have it jacked all the way up" to mean the pot was wide open.

The second thing came later at home in NJ. It was just before 1am and I attempted to hear the FM, which signed off at 1. I got a fuzzy partially readable signal but what I beieve I heard after the live sign-off was read was, "stay tuned for (engineer's name) with transmitter testing!" Pretty soon I was hearing proof of performance stuff going on.

Never heard anybody say that before or since. I want to say the engineer's name was Tom and the last name may have ended with ...ski or ...sky. There is a nationally well-known fellow in our circles whose name fits the description and I wonder if it's the same guy. If he lurks here maybe this story will ring a bell.

WHTG AM&FM was housed in a modest ranch house on 9 acres. The end of the house closest to the tower was where the studios (2) and transmitters (4) were located. One of the transmitters, a big large 250 watt Raytheon sat in the one studio/control room. It was the backup which we ran for a bit every Saturday morning. The main was an RCA, the same type a photo of which was recently posted somewhere at WWOL, I think.

The FM had a pair of 1000-watt ITAs. Those and the RCA sat behind the operator in the next room in such a way that you could not see the meters from the operating position, which is what is depicted in my avatar, BTW.

Well the FCC inspector didn't like that. (These folks did many things right and the two times I am aware of them being cited, this being one of them, the guy HAD to be looking for something, anything! He had a reputation for that by the way. I don't want to name names but his initials are Dave Popkin.

So they installed two mirrors oriented so you could supposedly see the meters from the operating position. All I could ever tell was "yep, those are meters!"

The second studio was pretty sparse -just an RCA bidirectional mic (no, not the famous ones) and an Ampex 600 on a table for interviewing, as well as a jack in the wall for connecting the mic to the control room which was sometimes used for a two-man newscast.

The studios seemed to be built well. Between the two studios was an immense slanting (not like what you typically see but slanted at about a 45-degree angle) double pane window in front of which you could stand and holler at the top of your lungs and not hear a peep on the other side. The usual studio doors with seals and a sound lock (remember those?).

One tower for the AM & FM, one short tower alongside the house near the transmitter room with an auxiliary FM on it and a long wire going away from the tower as an auxiliary AM antenna. Also some old RCA audio amp in one of the turntable bases to use as a standby console should the only regular audio console in the house go down.

I probably remember all this detail because it was the first radio station I had ever set foot inside of as a high school junior with a group (that's how we were able to test the window-there was more than one of us). And about 5 years later I worked there for about a year.
Mike Shane, CBRE
---Omaha---

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Re: High power FM transmitters in houses

Post by KPJL FM » Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:16 am

RGORJANCE wrote:My meager math skills say that a transmitter weight of 750 pounds in a square footage footprint of 42 inches X 32 inches would relate to approximatly 214 PSF. If you weighed 250 pounds and stood in a one square foot footprint, you would exert 250 PSF. If the termites haven't chewed the floor joists into sawdust, it is a pretty modest PSF for a 750 pound transmitter, and a 250 pound engineer wouldn't end up in the basement.

Fossil
250 pound engineer... better lay off the cringles for a while, Fossil.
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Re: better lay off the cringles for a while, Fossil.

Post by RGORJANCE » Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:25 pm

I refuse to let that statement to go unchallenged!

O & H Bakery in Racine has a very heart healthy kringle this year called "Wisconsin Kringle. It is made with only the healthiest ingredients.....cherries, cranberries, cream cheese and a very thin layered dough crust.

And at 5'5", 250 pounds on me would mean I wouldn't need motorized transportation.....I could just "roll" :lol: !

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Re: High power FM transmitters in houses

Post by rich wood » Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:20 pm

We have all seen transmitters in the less than ideal locations. There was a Collins FM rig in a cave in Sauk City WI years ago. The cave was in a quarry and the locals liked to put targets on the door and use it for target practice, the rig had taken a few hits. So a piece of 3/8" plate was stood just in the door on rollers to keep the rig "safe". When you walked in you rolled the plate to the side to get to the equipment.
Recently I installed a new transmitter in an old house, which used to have the studio and the rig inside. I really wanted to start this site rebuild with a new cell shelter and bull doze the old house,,, no luck there. So I looked at the floor bracing for the transmitter room and found additional vertical jacks to keep the floor from sagging. Seemed like it would hold up, so out the door went the Henry Radio rig and in came the new Nautel. The lack of seals on the house makes it a mouse motel, I hope the station keeps up with the mouse traps/poison.

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Re: better lay off the cringles for a while, Fossil.

Post by radiowave911 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:58 pm

RGORJANCE wrote:...at 5'5", 250 pounds on me would mean I wouldn't need motorized transportation.....I could just "roll" :lol: !

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Re: better lay off the cringles for a while, Fossil.

Post by KPJL FM » Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:39 am

radiowave911 wrote:
RGORJANCE wrote:...at 5'5", 250 pounds on me would mean I wouldn't need motorized transportation.....I could just "roll" :lol: !

Fossil
I have said many times before - I'm in shape. Round is a shape, right? :P
And purple is a fruit, right?
Trim to fit, paint to match, tune for minimum smoke.

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