As part of our quest to move the KIIS/KXTA transmitter to a new location for the 50,000 watt upgrade, we found some land East of Los Angeles that looked promising... Barely above the water table, affordable, and almost barren. It was being used to raise barley and oats. It was just North of Norco.

Those of you that know Norco know where our milk comes from. The cows in Norco. The cows also produce a few other things. A rather strong aromatic signature, as well as tons of, well, cow manure.

I have to confess that while this manure makes for very happy oats and barley, it does NOT make for happy radio people trying to set up a test station. After all, we did need to test the location and see if it would work for us. However, the farmer who tilled the land had an agreement with the local daries. They promised him a good 20 truckloads of fresh cow output a day. This was delivered by trucks beautiful only to the people that made them, They would each arrive with 3-4 tons of 'B.S.' and these 'slingers' on the back, and start at one side of the field, going back and forth , over and over; just like mowing a lawn.

Would that it were a lawn they were mowing. No such luck. The 'slingers' would sling this stuff all over so that no one was safe. In these photos, you won't see the raincoats we wore in the early days of out efforts. Or the plastic baggies over the Field Strength Meters. Or the hip boots. All in the name of the science of the art, we fled, dodged, and ducked from the endless procession of trucks. Finally, we reached an accord with the farmer, and the trucks from Hell abated for two weeks so we could build the tower and proced with the work we needed....

The test tower - 100 feet high with a 'field day' ground system. The tower was erected by John Hignite Construction, and was sold to Jacor for further tests after these were finished...

The Antenna Tuning Unit at the tower base. Built on a sheet of plywood, it was cobbled out of available parts.

This project was a lot like field day, (except for the 'cold 807's)

Rolling out the transmission line to the U-Haul truck housing the transmitter. We rented a generator to run the new Harris SX-1. It ran the whole week with nary a glitch.

Tuning up the ATU to match the transmitter with an awfully short tower for 1150. (We didn't want to draw attention to ourselves with anything taller..)

(But that's another story)

The result was a tower so short that you had to do the 'low crawl' and sneak up on the Antenna Tuning Unit to make changes, or else the capacitance of your body would upset the base impedance. This became quite a skill, especially for the more rotund. But, the match was finally made, and the test signals were heard as far away as the San Fernando Valley, while using very little power.

Because the tests had to be completed in such a short time, teams of engineers were brought in from around the country. Each morning, we'd assemble and go over the measurements to be made. This shows the teams gathering maps, instructions, and forms to be used for a day's worth of measurements.

The tests showed the site to be too far from Los Angeles to work for us. It's really too bad, as it would have been easy to access, and, aside from the menace of the 'manure slingers', it was level, and easy to plow ground wires into.

The Tuning Unit and the equipment were suppplied by Burt Weiner, of Burt Weiner Associates. Burt is a free-lancer, and is available for any type of project, from R.F. to studio building. He may be reached at (818) 409-0185...

Copyright 2005 by Vital Sounds - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED