WSM 650AM “The Legend”

On my way back from Florida, Ruth and I stopped at WSM 650 AM radio station. WSM uses a monster Blaw Knox antenna for transmission. When the 878-foot tower was built in 1932, it was the tallest antenna in North America. Its height was reduced to 808 feet (246 m) in 1939 when it was discovered that the taller tower was causing self-cancellation in the “fringe” areas of reception of the station (it is now known that 195 electrical degrees, about 810 feet, is the optimum height for a Class A station on that frequency). For a period during World War II it was designated to provide transmissions to submarines in the event that ship-to-shore communications were lost. It is now one of the oldest operating broadcast towers in the United States. It was also part of the CONELRAD US National Emergency Plan in the event of a nuclear war, or another national catastrophe. We just happened to be there on the 80th anniversary of the tower and the radio station. I was able to get up close to the antenna and related gear. The transmitter house was open but due to the long line to get in and our travel schedule we had to skip that part. I will post more pictures in the coming days. 73




One response

  1. That’s some serious feedline heading out to the tower.

    November 18, 2012 at 2:01 am

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