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Surfin': Groundhog's Viewing

02/12/2009

The January 30 installment of Surfin' about using Microsoft's Live Search Maps to get bird's eye views of antenna farms, resulted in some revelations.

Some readers e-mailed suggestions of antenna farms to view. Steve McNaughton, KB3JC, suggested the W3DAN/K3LR antenna farm in West Middlesex, Pennsylvania, located just east of the Ohio border on I-80. I have written about this antenna farm before, and it always impresses me as I trek to and from the Dayton Hamvention®.

The W0AIH antenna farm in Fall Creek, Wisconsin, was Art Pahr's, K9XJ, suggestion. Wow! W0AIH has an outstanding collection of aluminum and I cannot imagine any other Amateur Radio station topping it.

I continued bird's eye viewing antenna farms over on my own blog and wrote about the commercial farm on West Peak in Meriden, Connecticut. This is a historic radio site and one of the oldest commercial radio antenna farms in the area. I mentioned that WDRC went on the air in 1939 from West Peak as the first commercial FM broadcast station.

In conversation, I am known to drop in a piece of random trivia like "WDRC is the oldest FM radio station." The other people in the conversation look at me with their mouths agape, then go back to talking about the economy, Carla Bruni, the Red Sox, whatever, and I feel smug knowing that I have just educated some of the great unwashed with some important radio history.

Turns out that my WDRC trivia bomb is wrong!

In response to my blog about West Peak and WDRC, Mike Staines, WM1KE, e-mailed me that WHCN, not WDRC is the oldest FM commercial radio station! According to Mike, "A review of the licensing documents conducted by Popular Communications back in the 1980s shows that the site/tower/frequency and continuity of service falls into the WHCN camp."

Broadcast Pro-File does an excellent job clarifying this bit of radio history and if you are interested in a groundhog's view of the WDRC and WHCN antenna farm, visit Peter Johnson's WHCN and WDRC Transmitter site Web page.

Until next time, keep on surfin'!

Editor's note: To communicate with Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, send him e-mail or add comments to his blog. By the way, every installment of Surfin' is indexed here, so go look it up.

 

Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor



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