Sorry to be so late jumping in on this, but I figured you'd like to hear the story from the horse's mouth. KAAY went through the worst case of serial copper theft I've ever seen.
KAAY's transmitter plant was built in the late 40's and early '50's, a three tower inline with the phasor on a panel in the center doghouse. All three towers had an elevated counterpoise about 90 feet in diameter. The transmission line was RCA 3-1/8 rigid that, of course, was above ground. The array had approximately 2000 feet of that line, much heavier than today's rigid lines because copper was cheap back then.
For the first fifty-something years, copper thefts at KAAY had been limited to the counterpoises and the copper straps that ran from underground up to the transmission line, approximately every 40 feet. In 2010, copper theft became more of an issue. Our first major incident was the theft of several hundred feet of 500MCM copper wire between the standby generator and the building. I remember standing there shaking my head and giving thanks that the copper thieves hadn't figured out what the transmission lines were made of. Two weeks later, the first incident involving the transmission line occurred.
It was desperate times for a lot of people, and copper theft was one of the most popular crimes. With the site in such a rural location, even stepped up police patrols and hidden cameras didn't deter the thieves (they stole the cameras. Really.) After one particularly nasty attack in December we were no longer able to run the DA. About two years of small hits led to a December attack that left us without enough undamaged line to stay on the air. The best we could do was string a piece of 7/8" line from the tower to our 5kw aux.
The restoration began in 2015 with a new 3" Heliax (underground) to the center tower, allowing the return to the 50kw Day, 10kw ND night in the STA. After much study and debate, the decision was made to rebuild the night DA complete with a new phasor in the transmitter building where it belongs. We installed new lines to the end towers in 2016 and Kevin Kidd built us a beautiful new ground system earlier this year. The Phasor , racks, and a small truckload of components for the tuning units are due to ship in early October (we're rebuilding the doghouses on the same panels with new components to save a little money). We hope to have the DA complete, MOM and paperwork filed before the end of the year.
As for transmitters, we're still running the old MW-50, with a Collins Power Rock (5kw) as backup. We have a nice new NX-50 on site, still in its crate until we finish the dirty, dusty task of dismantling the old RCA BTA-50F. Most of that's done, but we still have to pull down the big air inlet duct downstairs and patch the big holes in the floor before we can break out the Nautel. The MW-50 will become our backup, throttled back to about 25Kw to extend its usable life.
Before long, you'll hear that big flame thrower DA again. They used to call it "The Mighty 1090" but in view of the current format, I call it "The Almighty 1090"!
Oh, ant BTW Lyle, you're right. The original calls were KTHS.
Director of Engineering/IT, Little Rock Market
From: firstname.lastname@example.org@mail.messagingengine.com [mailto:email@example.com@mail.messagingengine.com] On Behalf Of RADIO DOCTOR
Sent: Saturday, September 16, 2017 5:02 PM
Subject: Re: [CRTech] Immediate Opening for Assistant CE in Little Rock, AR
Thanks, Dave. Good to hear from you after a long time. In my MUCH younger days when 1090 was pop/rock, I used to listen to it sometimes, especially if KOMA wasn't coming in well. I don't know why we got 1520 as well as we did most evenings in NE Wisconsin unless they often 'forgot' to switch their pattern west at sunset.
Didn't realize they'd been at low power at night, but from the sound of the original post (below) I infer that the antenna is part of the upgrade. Maybe the ground system issue you mention, though I don't know if that has much effect on skywave.
What was their call many years ago? KTHS or something like that is bouncing around in my head.
On Sat, 16 Sep 2017, Dave Obergoenner wrote:
> As far as I know, they have been operating on a hastily shipped-in Collins
> Power Rock 5 for a few years now...since the 50kw rigs were damaged.
> I also heard vandals made off with a lot of the copper in the ground system.
> From what I've seen at some other web sites, they have a new Nautel 50kw
> that will be going in soon.
> Dave O.
> On Fri, Sep 15, 2017 at 11:03 PM, RADIO DOCTOR <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> When did the big night signal go away? I remember that it was huge north
>> of Green Bay, WI when I lived back there many years ago, but 1090 has been
>> just a jumble of signals in recent years when I've been back there. What's
>> it been running at night since the old days?
>> On Fri, 15 Sep 2017, Dan Case wrote:
>> We have a rare opening for an Assistant Chief Engineer for our station
>>> cluster in Little Rock , Arkansas. We have nine stations here, including
>>> KAAY-AM 1090, where we're currently in the midst of a massive rebuild and
>>> restoration of its legendary 50,000 watt nighttime DA to its former
>>> flamethrower nighttime signal.
FMeXtra digital SCA systems - encoders and receivers
SCA/FM/FMeXtra radios: fixed & tunable-wood cases-nice sound
Sidekick SCA generators - 67/92kHz-checked and calibrated
Lyle Henry, CPBE THE RADIO DOCTOR K9DKW Los Angeles, CA
SCA Consultant: Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Taiwan, SE Asia
323-660-4690 Home/Office 213-880-4690 Mobile
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