[AMRadio] Automated Ole Buzzards?

Jim Wilhite w5jo at brightok.net
Mon Aug 18 12:06:36 EDT 2008

KOMA in Oklahoma City, a 50 KW R & R station used a Schaffer 
automation system in the 60s.  All the music was on 10" tapes run on 
Ampex playback machines.  The commercials were on carts like these 
and they used the Gates carousels.  They were a maintenance headache 
for sure.

When the engineer took down the main transmitter for maintenance he 
also had to do a lot of head and capstan cleaning.  They used a non 
audible tone to control everything and sometimes there would be a 
musical note that would last long enough to fire the next sequence 
leading to two sound tracks at the same time.  Even today with the 
compute control, I hear that happen.  It was mesmerizing to watch 
that thing in action.  Two complete systems, one for operation and 
one for back up.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Todd, KA1KAQ"

> On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 11:05 AM, Robert Nickels 
> <w9ran at oneradio.net> wrote:
>> Here's everything you'd ever need to achieve AM Immortality - 
>> just program
>> it to turn on the receiver once in a while, otherwise there 
>> should be enough
>> capacity here to keep your AM station ole buzzarding long after 
>> your key has
>> become silent ;-)
> Ugh.....maintenance nightmare, migraine alert! Was just discussing
> these beasts recently with a list member. Yes - they look much 
> cooler
> than they [reliably] worked!
> Jack K9ACT actually built a nifty little loop system for calling 
> CQ a
> year or so back. Works pretty well. Don K4KYV followed suit 
> sometime
> after. That's as much automation as I'd ever want to have in my
> station. And those rotary 8-Track-looking beasts are the reason. 
> There
> has to be some audio evidence out there of one going berserk on 
> the
> air. Makes HAL seem like a pre-schooler.
> No sleep tonight, the carousel nightmare is sure to return. Thanks
> Bob. Thanks a lot.
> ~ Todd,  KA1KAQ  (o:

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