WWVA Towers collapse

WWVA Towers collapse

Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

August 6th, 2010, 4:36 am #1

Last Monday a severe thunderstorm hit the Wheeling, West Virgina area taking down all 3 400-ft towers of WWVA.

A interesting video of what Mother Nature can do when she is in a bad mood-

http://www.radioworld.com/article/104490

When you get to the site- click the Youtube video to play-

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cool beans boi
cool beans boi

August 6th, 2010, 2:53 pm #2

I never understood why these stations have no back up towers, this is a 50,000 watt station, no pea shooter.

That must of been some storm!
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

August 6th, 2010, 4:06 pm #3

Some stations- especially FM & TV stations do- but when you put a tower up near another AM tower it changes the directionality of the signal. But it is rare that a station would lose all 3 towers like this- but these Blaw-Knox towers are known to have a weak spot about 50-75' up. It also appears to me that the angle iron used is rather skimpy for a 400-ft tower. These towers were put up during WW-II (1942) so they may have compromised on strength due to war-time steel storages. And the building standards for all towers are much more stringent now then they use to be.
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cool beans boi
cool beans boi

August 8th, 2010, 4:55 am #4

Wow, I wonder how long they will be off 1170? That station comes in clear here in NYC at night. I am amazed that Wheeling got a 50,000 watt station to begin with.
Does insurance cover this? and how long will it take to put up a new tower?
Excuse all my questions but this radio stuff fascinates me, especially the AM band with all it's quirky old time towers and signal patterns
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

August 8th, 2010, 4:26 pm #5

Actually I understand they are back on 1170 now- running 5-kw into a inverted-L wire antenna strung between the tower stubs. It's a primitive antenna but it allows them to cover the local area until something better is arranged. It will probably take months to replace the towers since the steel has to be fabricated for a specific job. And they may have to replace the ground system too. Thats a series of underground wires that radiate out from each tower and is often damage during collapses. And yes, I'm sure they have insurance to cover this. There are insurance companies that specialize in insuring towers and have civil engineers that inspect them to determine how much the insurance should cost.
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Brandon
Brandon

August 8th, 2010, 5:28 pm #6

I've been meaning to do some research on how the FCC allocated the 50,000 watt clear channel frequencies back in the day.

Cities that got class 1 clear channels were:

Los Angeles--640
Nashville--650
New York--660, 770, 880
Chicago--670, 720, 780, 890
Cincinnati--700
Atlanta--750
Detroit--760
Fort Worth/Dallas--820
Minneapolis--830
Louisville--840
New Orleans--870
Pittsburgh--1020
Boston--1030
Des Moines--1040
Cleveland--1100
St. Louis--1120
Salt Lake City--1160
Rochester--1180
San Antonio--1200
Philadelphia--1210

WWVA was a class II clear channel meaning they shared the 1170 clear channel status at night with KVOO in Tulsa.


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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

August 8th, 2010, 5:59 pm #7

Yep, class IIs have to employ directional antennas to protect the other class IIs on the frequency. That why there is more than one tower- to create the directional pattern. A true class I (now call class "A") only has one tower.
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cool beans boi
cool beans boi

August 9th, 2010, 2:21 pm #8

WABC on 770 has this kind of set up, they have one HUGE tower in Lodi, NJ.
So what kind of security do these stations employ to keep people away from these towers?
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

August 9th, 2010, 3:05 pm #9

All stations must have fences around the towers, and many have fences around the whole facility with intrusion alarms and often CCTV cams which can be monitored from the studio.
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cool beans boi
cool beans boi

August 10th, 2010, 1:30 am #10

Explain the clear channels to me. I understand that there were 25 CC's and that meant the channel had only one station on that frequency from dusk to dawn. Why did that change? Is is true that WLW 700 (The big One) had the frequency the longest to itself?
It was said that back in the 60's WABC could carry to 38 states at night. I wonder if that was really true.
AM DXing must have been fun before interference and HD hindered it.

Chris
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