February 1, 2008
Do you remember?
On August 17, 1969, hurricane Camille slammed the southeastern edge of Louisiana and continued its devastation through the Mississippi Gulf Coast. If the 200MPH winds weren't enough to destroy everything in its path, a 20' tidal wave followed, finishing the job. Many radio stations fought to get back on the air after this storm, but as you can see from this photo, it wasn't so easy for everyone. WGCM Biloxi's tower toppled into one of the station's buildings, and Broadcast Engineering ran this photo, along with a special report on the storm in its October 1969 issue.
Do you have photos or stories of damage to your station or transmitter site from hurricane Camille or another storm? Tell us about it at radio@RadioMagOnline.com.
That was then
KPO San Francisco began airing radio programming at 9 a.m., April 17, 1922. Because it shared a broadcast frequency with other area stations, it was only on the air for one hour a day. This photo is of the transmitter room, located on the sixth floor of the Hale Brothers' Department Store. On the operator's desk is a radio receiver used to listen for distress calls from sea for five minutes every hour. During this time, the station was required to be off the air. Behind the desk on the left is the generator control panel, which operated a 5-1/2 HP motor that drove a 2kW, 1600Vdc generator. To the right of the control panel is the Western Electric 500W transmitter. At the right of the operator's desk is the speech input panel, which amplified the program audio and allowed the operator to adjust the modulation level of the transmitter. (Information courtesy John Schneider, Quincy, IL)
Sample and Hold
Cellular phones became commercially available in the 1980s, but widespread use has only occurred in the past 10 years. Today's mobile phone, and the phones of the future, makes it possible for the public to access almost anything in the palm of their hand - including radio. This fact makes the future growth of cell phone use very relevant.
Source: SNL Kagan.