One Megawatt of Peak AM Power - Saving the Voice of America Delano Relay

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by W0PV, Feb 22, 2021.

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  1. W0PV

    W0PV Ham Member QRZ Page

    It seems fitting to have found this story and video after two weekends having fun participating on-the-air in the annual AM Rally and AWA AM QSO Party.

    Incredibly, as heard @11:10s into the video, apparently first saved by concern over the diminutive Buena Vista Lake Shrew (link 1, link 2), I'm now wishing the AWA success with their salvage and display. Hope you enjoy reading and watching about it too.

    73, John, WØPV

    In 2007, the Voice of America ceased operations at the Delano Relay site in Central California. The site is destined to be bulldozed along with several relics of Collins Radio Company's Broadcast Communications Division. The Collins Collectors Association, with assistance from the Antique Wireless Association, hatched a plan to retrieve one of the Collins 821A-1 250 KW Shortwave Transmitters from the site and place it on display for all to see. This presentation gives some history of VoA and the Delano site and follows the disassembly and relocation of Delano Relay DL-8.

    Dennis Kidder, @W6DQ, is a retired Aerospace Engineer, having spent nearly 45 years in System Engineering. His career spanned many fields - from building and operating large scale sound systems, computer systems used to publish newspapers and control communications satellites, 4 years as the Chief Telecom Engineer during the construction of the New Hong Kong International Airport, and finally, air defense radar systems and networked radio communications systems used by the military. First licensed as WN6NIA then WA6NIA over 50 years ago, Dennis was granted the callsign of one of his High School Elmers, Chek Titcomb (SK), W6DQ. Amateur Radio has been a nearly life-long passion.

    If you enjoyed this video, consider becoming a member of the Antique Wireless Association at

    Subscribe to the Antique Wireless Museum channel and you'll receive news of our latest video uploads.

    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  2. K4KYV

    K4KYV Premium Subscriber Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    The title is deceptive. The transmitter ran 250 KW carrier power, and only assumed, 100% modulation. AM transmitters are rated in terms of carrier power, not peak power.
    WA3VJB, KM1H and W0PV like this.
  3. KC1CCG

    KC1CCG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I can still remember listening to Willis Conover speaking in slow English and playing Jazz. Jazz on VOA was one of the most subversive things landing in Moscow way back when. There were megawatts of jamming to overcome but with the help of the ionosphere, VOA managed it.
    AF6SA and K0UO like this.
  4. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I remember that too/ they called it "Slow special English"
  5. W0PV

    W0PV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Don, perhaps the creator of the title was referring to the EIRP of the VOA signal? (not just the xmtr output) ;):D

    This story never made it to the QRZ "front page" perhaps because I neglected to include a suitable photo. So here is one below, maybe Dave @W7UUU or Fred would now make it so. :)
  6. WA3VJB

    WA3VJB Ham Member QRZ Page

    The VOA site at Bethany, Ohio gave up one of its 5Kw utility transmitters to an AMer who lived nearby and had retired as an engineer at the site. I remember working him on 75 meters with a de-tuned version of it. Of course it sounded great. IIRC, the transmitter was used for communications among VOA sites worldwide, not as a "broadcast" transmitter in the sense of the big rigs they employed.

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