Steam Powered Radio

A Collection of Non-Memorable Radio Memorabilia


Here are some pictures of the KKHI AM transmitter plant. These images were taken during my time there as Chief Engineer, 1981 to 1988. When I first arrived at KKHI, the RCA 10DX was still there as the back-up transmitter. Due to the large amount of PCB capacitors, it was decided to replace the RCA. Another factor was the City of Belmont had opened a drainage pipe south of the transmitter site. This pipe, according to the city, had been crushed and had its capacity reduced to about 10% of normal. This happened long before KKHI and its predecessors were ever built. The site remained fairly dry even during high tides. Yeah, we got water in the field but after the pipe was opened, the water level was up to the floor of the building with the city predicting high water a foot above that! Panic time. I tried to get Buckley Broadcasting to get me a nice pre-fab building with good insulation, air conditioning and new power. To say Buckley was tight with money at that time is an understatement. No new building. You must figure something else out. OK. First the RCA was removed. We raised the floor with 18" of concrete. We acquired a Collins 820F, 10KW transmitter from KRVN in Lexington, Nebraska. We then rebuilt the entire inside of the building, moving the DX10 next to the phasor with the 820F to its right. By the time we were done, I estimate we spent half again as much as it would have cost to just get a pre-fab building. But hey, Buckley was happy that they didn't have to buy a pre-fab, go figure. The field still floods to this day but the inside remains dry.