Author: John Ramsey
# of Pages: 128
Over 220 high quality images
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
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Radio broadcasting has been an integral part of the history of Hartford since the early part of the 20th century. WDRC was the state’s first station (1923), and they helped pioneer FM radio technology in the early 1940s. Many Hartford residents learned about the end of World War II via radio, and the medium played a key role in keeping people informed during the floods of 1938 and 1955, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the great Northeast Blackout of 1965. Surprisingly, Hartford, the capital of “the land of steady habits,” saw two stations break from the pack to help bring the British Invasion to the state in the early 1960s. And thousands of schoolchildren eagerly listened to WTIC’s legendary Bob Steele on wintery mornings as they excitedly awaited school closing announcements. Hartford Radio offers a glimpse into the history of the area’s broadcast stations and the people who ran them.
WTIC-FM (W1XSO) ENGINEERING
Above: Construction Permit modification from January 1941 showing that a six bay turnstyle antenna will be used sitting on top of a 193' tower (below). The transmitter is specified as being capable of 1,000 watts out using a pair of 833 tubes in the final on a frequency of 45.3 mc.
Above: FM license dated August 26, 1941.
Above: Diagram of W53H tower dated May 5, 1941 specifying that a turnstyle FM antenna would be used. Courtesy of Jeff Huggabone.
W53H tower shown in the diagram above in a rare 1968 photo showing it before the top 3/2 were cut off to accomodate channel 3's "new" weather radar. From 1973 to 1995 WWUH used the tower for its main antenna.
1941 Map of the Predicted Coverage of W53H
1957 Photo of the WTIC AM/FM/TV transmitter facility on Avon Mountain. TV antenna is to the left of the building. The East AM tower can be seen in the background at it's full height. turnstyle antenna on the roof of the building near the rear is an FAA beacon.
Close up of rooftop in photo above. This turnstile antenna might have been part of an FAA beacon that was reportedly at the site back in the '40s but its design suggests that it may have been used instead by either W1XSO or W53H 45.3 Mhz.
W1XPW Antenna in Meriden, very similar to the one above.
FM Defense Net
The left hand tower is all that remains of the original W1XSO/W53H tower. W53H became WTIC-FM which uses the tower on the right.
(A side note of interest only to engineers is that the white building in this picture is the original center tuning/feed house used by WTIC am back in the thirties! The open wire line entered the building in the opening to the right of the door now occupied by a pair of fans and the RF exited to the antenna from a bowl insulator at the top of the buliding.)