This is the Nashville History section of 
The Broadcast Archive

Maintained by: Barry Mishkind - The Eclectic Engineer
Last Update 6/8/04

WSM - Station Tour
by Barry Mishkind

WSM, the home of The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, was one of the first stations to install a Blaw-Knox "diamond" antenna, really two self-supporters stacked to create a very tall vertical antenna.

The WSM Blaw-Knox tower


Watt Hairston notes: 

Originally, the WSM tower was 878 feet tall. This included 758 feet of square structural lattice then 120 feet of tapered mast. By 1939, it was determined the tower was electrically longer due to velocity effect. This contributed to a very high angle of radiation that resulted in a groundwave/skywave cancellation (fade) over Chattanooga some 120 miles distance. This condition was alleviated by this adjustment in height to 808 feet.

More on this page.

"We Shield Millions" was the logo of the Insurance company that owned WSM, The National Life and Accident Insurance Company.

The WSM logo in the entry hallway of the
transmitter building. Notice it reads WSM
right-side up or up-side down!



Watt Hairston, CE of WSM in front of the Harris 3DX-50 Destiny transmitter, serial #1

The tower base insulator for WSM. Watt says it is supporting the 808 foot antenna and guy wires to the tune of over 300 tons of pressure.  The Lapp insulator is designed to handle as much as 600 tons of load.f

The main screen of the 3DX-50, showing 50.12 kW radiating over Nashville, with only 100 W reflected.

The old open wire feedline is still visible.
It has been replaced with coax for normal use.