Before there were FTA satellites there was... (1 Viewer)

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LoTech

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Jan 22, 2009
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Whitesburg, Kentucky
WSAZ!

When I was growing up our "local" NBC station was WSAZ, even though it was 130 miles away. I never thought much about it as a kid, but man that was a powerful station. I didn't realize how powerful, until recently. I was reading an article about the history of the channel when I came across the following:

It was in the late summer of 1952 that WSAZ put the "World's most powerful transmitter" on the air, and the station changed from channel 5 to channel 3. With a boost in power from 16.8 to 84 kilowatts, people as far away as Cuba, Australia and Nova Scotia were receiving the signal, which later had to be reduced.
It had a footprint bigger than some satellite transponders.
 

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Jim S.

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84kW? I think the frequency had more to do with the coverage area than the power did.
 

LoTech

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Jan 22, 2009
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Whitesburg, Kentucky
Oh, I forgot to mention that the article said that it was broadcast from an 1100 ft tall tower on top of a mountain 2500 ft above sea level. I guess that might have had something to do with it.
 

N5XZS

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Jan 23, 2005
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I thinks, it's has to do with E-skips and F-2 layers via Ionosperic layers.:)

They may last few minutes, to a few hours depending on the TV skips conductions.
 

LoTech

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Jan 22, 2009
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Whitesburg, Kentucky
Thanks Bill.

Phone calls and telegrams showed that the TV image is being received in towns nearly 120 miles away.
That would have been us. We picked it up with an antenna in the front yard. To pick up the Bristol/Kingsport/Johnson City stations (which was only about 60 miles) we had to have an antenna on top of the hill behind our house.
 

goobenet

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May 24, 2009
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Minnesota
82kW on ch3 is a TON of power on analog! No wonder they could get the reach they did. Out here in the flat lands, it's not impossible with a super high gain antenna on top of a grain elevator (and preamp of course) to get stations 80-100 miles out.

And of course now with digital, there's a station with it's transmitter in the twin cities area that still puts a city grade signal over it's COL 80 miles northwest. Magic i tell ya!
 

milepost72

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Jan 24, 2009
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Kentucky
I grew up on WSAZ as well. i remember one of their famous personalities Jule Huffman the Weatherman there at that time and who can forget Mr. Cartoon which was portrayed by Huffman. Ah the glory days of Television.
 

Bill_KY

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Apr 2, 2008
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Northern Kentucky
Speaking of long distance reception, Chris Dunne from South Florida received WSAZ on skip in 2007. Here is a picture of it.


hxxp://tvdxexpo.com/dunne2007/cd2007.html

(replace the xx with tt)
 

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LoTech

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Jan 22, 2009
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Whitesburg, Kentucky
Rainmaker, I went through Louisa a couple weeks back. I noticed a lot of BUDs along Hwy 3 toward Inez. Several looked like they hadn't been used for a while, but still in good shape.
 

Stargazer

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I remember channel 3 growing up and it is still one of my favorite channels. I just got an outdoor antenna a few days ago from someone that has a larger UHF antenna section on it and it was able to be taken off as a separate section. It was able to pickup channel 3 for me for the first time with a digital tuner.

I remember Mr. Cartoon, Jule Huffman which was the weatherman for many years. Growing up I remember another channel from the south cutting through on top of channel 3 in my area.
 

Bill_KY

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Apr 2, 2008
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Northern Kentucky
I did finally get to see WSAZ here ironically AFTER the digital transition. It was one of those air inversion/weather fronts that also bought in Columbus 4 and 10 one morning for a hour or so. Before the digital transition I would mainly see WAVE 3 out of Louisville.
 
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