Skip to main content

Let's Hear It For AM!


A friend and colleague of mine asked me about my AM transmitter today. What can I say other than she is exceptionally, wonderfully, amazingly, remarkably beautiful and solid as a rock for my radio station.

You could say my AM transmitter is a member of my family. We have known each other our entire lives, she and I. I call her mine, but we are like brother and sister I suppose. My dad and his dad were among the first to lay hands on her. I came along later and took their place and became official overseer of her. Well, actually, it is she who oversee's me. If you know anything about radio then you understand what I just typed.

You see, my AM transmitter has been a loyal member of my family for going on 51 years now and, although she might have been kicked a time or two (but not by anyone who had a heart and loved her), she's still stayed loyal and has never strayed from her purpose.

My Gates BC-1T transmitter came to us during the later summer/early fall of 1958 and has never failed to be anything other than loyal to her purpose. She has served well and continues to do that today. She has made many legends in her lifetime - names that you probably wouldn't recognize unless you are from my little corner of the world. She has been responsible for so many popular disc jockeys, and while the faces of so many of those great voices have come and gone, it was settled in my mind long ago that my AM transmitter was sent here for one reason and one reason only - to transmit, and no matter who is here, or who is not here, she will continue to serve her purpose....as long as she is loved and cared for.

I have to confess that at times I have ignored her pleas for things she might need, such as new tubes, transistors and/or resistors, etc., but the thing that has always amazed me about her is when I finally came to my senses and gave her what she asked for, she acted as though nothing had ever happened and went about doing what she does best - transmitting. Even after I have proven to be unfaithful to her, she has never held it against me.

Almost 20 years ago, she had to have a major transplant, but she survived and she continues to survive to this very day. She is my Gates BC-1T AM Transmitter and I will always love her.

Below is a photo of my dad made in 1961. My AM transmitter is directly behind him. Isn't she beautiful?


Comments

  1. Our museum just acquired a Gates BC-1T transmitter and it is beautiful. I, too, am an old radio guy who appreciates "amplitude modulation."

    ReplyDelete
  2. (…back from my Google search of "Gates BC-1T") Randy that's so cool. I was the beneficiary of the morning "Jubilee" transmitted by that sweet machine.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My father was a Disk Jockey at our local radio station back in the '60s and '70s. The station had a beautiful Gates BC-1T, purchased in 1960, as the station was being built to FCC specs at that time. I loved it, with the soft glow of 833As and the 866, and 8008 mercury vapor rectifiers in the bottom, as they danced with every beat of the music. I followed in his footsteps for a short while, and then went into auto parts, as the station was going down hill, took a tumble and was finally sold to a person who got it to 5 KW, then I was saddend to hear that the owners of the station removed the BC-1T with a sledge hammer, and a crow bar!! to make room for the newer designed BE series solid state transmitter. I would have taken the utmost care and tener love in removing it had they told me they were gonna junk it, and even give them a little cash to boot. Where it is now, I have no idea, but I will never forget that inanimate object making such an impression on me as a child, and as it still is in my mind, up and running. God Bless !

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Tornado at Beaty Swamps

Shortly after midnight on Wednesday, May 10, 1933, Beatty Swamps, TN ( also known as Bethsaida), a small rural community located in Overton County, Tennessee, approximately 6.7 miles from Livingston, was struck by an F4 tornado that completely devastated the community. The funnel, anywhere from one-half to three-quarters of a mile wide, destroyed every home in the community, and killed or injured virtually every single resident. Much of the area was swept clean of debris. This is the second deadliest tornado ever to strike Middle Tennessee.

There have been tornadoes that have gained greater notoriety, such as the Super Outbreak of April 3, 1974, but never has a tornado affected a community as completely as the one that struck Beatty Swamps.

According to the National Weather Service, it had been a humid evening in the rural Cumberland Plateau community. In nearby Allardt, the temperature that Tuesday afternoon had climaxed at 82 degrees, a warmer-than-normal reading for early May. …

Ode To A Mule

James Arness died today. Gunsmoke was every one's favorite TV show back when I was a kid. For years, at my house, we watched every single episode that came on the TV. There's isn't any need to explain the show because I am sure that most of you have seen an episode of Gunsmoke at one time or another.

When I heard that Mr. Arness has passed away, I went online, because I wanted to read some quotes from the TV show - more specifically, I wanted to read some dialogue between Festus, played by singer Ken Curtis (Sons of the Pioneers), and the rest of the cast. Festus had a way of speaking, but he always spoke the truth and what he said always made sense, well in a Festus-sort-of way, I guess.

So, I went online to do that, and well, one click led to another click, and then another and another, and before I knew it, I found myself on YouTube, and that's when I heard, for the first time in many years, this beautiful story that I want to share with you.

If you paid close atte…

Long Live The Goat Man

(This photo was made in the 1950's as the Goat Man passed through my town)
Charles McCartney was born on July 6, 1901. In 1915, at age 14, he ran away from his family's Iowa farm. He eventually wound up in New York, and was soon married to a Spanish knife-thrower. When she got pregnant they tried to make it as farmers, but bad weather and the Great Depression wiped them out. About the same time, he experienced a religious awakening. A man on a mission, he hitched up his team of goats to a wagon and took to the open road with his wife and son. His wife made goatskin clothes for him and his son to wear as a gimmick during their travels, but she quickly grew tired of the road and returned to Iowa, taking their son with her.

Charles McCartney looked like a goat. He smelled like one, too because he rarely took a bath. You take a fellow who looks like a goat, travels around with goats, eats with goats, lies down among goats and smells like a goat and it won't be long before peop…