During my junior and senior high school days, I lived in the shadow of the towers for WOW and another radio station (the call sign escapes me) in Omaha, Nebraska. I guess it was the flashing red lights in the evening that must have attracted me to broadcasting (no red light comments, please). I focused in my teens on becoming a Broadcast Technician. Earned my First Class FCC Radiotelephone License at 19 while in the U.S. Air Force. On discharge from the Air Force, I went to work for the Nebraska Educational Television Network as a television engineer first at their transmitter in Merriman and then in Holdrege, eventually moving to the studios in Lincoln. At that point my career moved into education, technical training, and finally publishing. But I never lost my love for the simple grace of a clean vertical broadcast tower.

I’ve just read the book KMA Radio, The First 60 Years. The sketch nearby was included in the book. I really like the directional arrays, such as this one, because there is then double, triple, or an even higher number of those wonderful broadcast towers.

Only the Internet could reveal others that have a far more serious passion for broadcast towers. Check out this site at http://www.fybush.com/ This guy travels around the US and often to other countries photographing and writing up the towers and broadcast facilities that he sees. It can be particularly fascinating to see his write ups on towers and transmitters that I’ve seen in my travels.

Now as to amateur radio towers, the most I’ve ever had was a roof mounted tripod on a very small home in Lincoln. It supported a four or five element two-meter quad with a TV rotator. That was in 1975-77. The best that I’ve done since is the current 20-6 meter vertical mounted on the top of a twenty foot mast that’s bolted to my back yard stockade fence — and leaning precariously when the wind blows. The other “tower” is the painter’s pole that I use to elevate the Moxon beam I put up for contests. It gets as high as perhaps 20 feet.

I’m hopeful that in our next home, which is planned to be a smaller retirement home, with considerable ground around it, that I can put up a 30 to 40 foot tower. Right now I have my hopes set on a Spiderbeam. It’s lightweight, offers low wind load, and at three elements, offers a great deal of gain for a relatively low cost. We’ll see what happens.

Thanks for stopping by. Let me know if you, too, have “tower envy”!

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Jim-K5ND

Freelance writer and active Scouting volunteer. Retired publishing and communication executive who writes for fun and to finance his hobby, amateur radio.

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