This is the War Stories Section of
The Broadcast Archive

Maintained by: Barry Mishkind - The Eclectic Engineer
Last Update: 2/3/10

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True life war stories:
This section is devoted to some of the most interesting stories of the 
broadcasting industry, as told by the participants. Want to share yours with us?
Please send to:

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Real Life Meets History

Sometimes we just read the news. Sometimes we made it!

Camelot on the Moon
by Don Kimberlin
The true story of how the first moon landing came within five minutes of being scrubbed, as an intrepid group of engineers worked non-stop for two days to solve a major problem.
A Gringo and the Bay 
of Pig's Invasion
by Don Kimberlin
Think a young fellow in Florida was safe from the invasion of Cuba? Read on!

Fun and Games with the FCC

The End of KRUD Radio
by Don Kimberlin
A strange signal appears in Southern Florida. Who could it be?

Directional Antenna Systems - The joys and agonies of growing those farms of tall steel 

by Phil Galasso
When the directional went out of whack ... guess what caused the arcing?  !!!

Transmitter Interlock Craziness and other Mishaps

What was that critter that got "smoked" on the HV transformer?

Chasing the Interlock
by Michael Barnes
Who's been modifying those safety interlocks? And why?

The Real Inside Stories of Radio

Western Union's Time Was Up Years Ago 
by Don Kimberlin
Remember those clocks that reset on the hour? Wonder how that happened? Read this!

Pioneering Technologies

Where you there at the beginning of some technical "break through?"

Early Quadraphonic  Broadcasts
by Mark Durenberger
It was 1971. Minneapolis radio WLOL-FM conducted Minnesota's first discrete 4-channel broadcasts. Mark Durenberger, a DJ at WLOL at the time of those broadcasts, looks back and shares his thoughts on those pioneering days.

Tower Stories

WTC Disaster The World Trade Center disaster reviewed from a broadcast standpoint
1572 Feet!
by Nate Wolfe
Ever wondered what it is like to climb one of those reeeaaaaalllllly tall towers? Read on!

Tower(s) Down!

Pictures and/or stories of steel that went the wrong way.

Marconi's 20 tower loss at Poldhu December 12, 1901
WOAI, Selma (San Antonio), TX April 3, 1956
Senior Road Tower, Houston, TX November 1982
WRAL, Raleigh, NC December 1989
KXTX-TV, Dallas, TX October 12, 1996
KNOE-TV, Monroe, LA March 20, 1997
KXJB-TV, Fargo, ND April 5, 1997
WRMD, St. Petersburg, FL. April 2000
WNWI, Oak Lawn (Chicago), IL July 9, 2000
KXEO/KWWR, Mexico, MO August 23, 2000
WVAH/WKLC, Charleston, WV February 19, 2003
WPAY, Portsmouth, OH February 19, 2003
WMBD, Peoria, IL May 10, 2003
KFI, Los Angeles December 19, 2004
Katrina related - several towers in LA, MS and AL August 29, 2005
WFXL-TV, Doerun, GA June 1, 2006
WALB-TV, Doerun, GA June 7, 2006 (related to WFXL)
KRBC-TV, Abilene, TX January 14, 2007
WCFB, Orlando, FL February 2, 2007
WRCE, Watkins Glen, NY - fatality December 2009
KPLO-FM/TV Reliance, SD
KIKK/KSDR/KKSD, Watertown/Milbank, SD
Almagordo, NM tower with a half-dozen FM and TV stations.
WLHR, Lavonia, GA
January 2010
KLAW/KZCD, Lawton, OK February 2010

Not exactly tower failure ...

Fire at Mount Washington
here is the story   ... and further:
Mt Washington Fire Recovery Fund
February 9, 2003
Planned destruction of Radio Liberty towers at Girona, Spain March 22, 2006

Utter Strangeness ... and other stories

Moths in LNB feeds, crawly critters in transmitters ... 

The day the Spooks Stepped on Ma Bell.
by Don Kimberlin
Who was that out there with the enigmatic Morse Code message. Read on and find out!
Attack of the Antenna
by Tom Bosscher
Just when you thought it was safe to leave the transmitter building!