Mike Callaghan, Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer

Forgive the 'Vanna White' pose; this photo was for an article about processing written for the June '98 issue of 'Radio World'

Mike has written and presented numerous professional papers at various NAB Conventions, and written 25+ articles for broadcast trade journals,
He developed the 'C.D. shuck' compact disc shell first used by Denon in their Broadcast C.D. players, as well as the Megacruiser and the Neon Billboard.
Despite all this, he started in radio by accident, and almost got out of the business as soon as he'd gotten into it..

A mere month after starting at legendary Free-Form Progressive Rocker KPPC, Mike managed to get the whole station moved out of the basement of the Pasadena Presbyterian Church. (Hence the kPPC). The reason involved rigging a set of plastic statues of the Holy Family with lights so that when the first spot (commercial) was done, Joseph would light up, when the second spot was done, Mary would light up, and when the jock turned up the volume too loud for the transmitter, Jesus would light up. The Church elders decided it was time to get the 'heathens' out of the basement, and gave us two weeks to move. The deadline to move out was a Sunday, and the party held in the basement Saturday night is still legendary,. About a month after the studio move, we started building a new transmitter plant on Flint Peak. between Pasadena and Glendale.

That was the very first FM transmitter plant in Los Angeles to use two transmitters working together to make the station run.
The big advantage was that if one of them failed, the other would keep the station on the air, albeit at lower power.

The design didn't work at first, and a substantial amount of anguish went into solving the problems. But the concept proved viable, the transmitter plant worked, and the idea is now used at many FM plants across the nation.

Especially interesting is the music selected for when the new transmitter went on the air. If you're familiar with Camille Saint Saens "Organ Symphony # 3 in C Minor', you recall the Allegro where the music builds, and dwindles and then fades to a very faint chord. Then there's a 6 measure pause while the organist pauses to pull out all the stops. The people pumping the bellows work like mad to build up a good head of pressure. . Then, just as expected, this great, huge, C Major Full Organ Chord just starts and builds from there. That 6 measure pause was when we switched from the old 4,400 watt transmitter in the Church Basement to the new ' 25,500 watt' one on a mountaintop..

It was an incredibly dramatic moment. We got phone calls from San Diego to Santa Barbara about the fantastic new signal and the way people could hear the station.

My roommate, Steve Lantz, had made a tape of the transmitter swap... It can be played back using Real Audio... Just click on the button ...

Please note: This sample starts at very low level. The actual transmitter swap is some :20 into the piece. Total Running Time is 1:44. The recording was made using a tuner with an indoor antenna in Santa Monica..

Other Notable Projects

Click on the Mike..
KIIS Neon Billboard The KIIS Megacruiser

The KIIS Neon Billboard

The KIIS Megacruiser

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It all started for me at

The KIIS-Link Satellite System


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The Push-On/Push-Off
Contest-Winning Circuit:

The Satellite Power Controller

Measuring Cart Deck Pull-In Time

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The Master Cruiser
P.A. Project

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