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TOWERRADgif Broadcasting from COHASSET

COH1978JUN.JPG, 34 kB
Picture is Lower Cohasset
My good friend Gil (pilot) and I were flying over Cohasset.
Voses Store: upper left (in the curve)
Trailer park and Cohasset store: center picture
I was casually planning - perhaps only mildly ruminating - on how to control two sites, separated by all these hills and pine trees: The transmitter site, not shown and to the north 5 miles, and the other site, the studio, to the south 12 miles. What was the best method? There was Radio, Microwave, or Phonelines. Actually, more than anything else, Gil and I just wanted to go flying that day. From up here, one can not help but think about all kinds of stuff...

Voses store is upper left inside the semicircle of a road. I have slowed down inside this curve - literally - several thousand times over the years. The road heading northeast from the curve is Lower Vilas. Approximately 5 miles north of here is my seven acres, located on Upper Vilas. Here, I first practiced with remote control, and began to control a site. My place was ideal: I was only one mile away, and could jump in my truck and make quick changes at either end.
"I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it."
- Voltaire
I was going to be taken to court if I did not drastically remove pictures. Legally, I can not show you much. I personally think the censorship is ridiculous, but what do I know. This site was the birth place for one of my systems. The company stuff that I was forced to remove has been replaced with personal stuff. But it is still an interesting page...

The town of Cohasset itself is located five miles south of the site that I later controlled. Lower Cohasset (in the picture) is located at an elevation of only 1500 ft and Upper Cohasset is at an elevation of 2800ft. South is right hand side and is toward Chico.

COH76MAR25.JPG, 19 kB
3500 ft At COHASSET
looking back down toward Chico
Chico is in the distance.
My work constantly gives me opportunities for beautiful views...

I once lived in Cohasset.

ANTCONST.JPG aprox 1953

My control systems would later control this large superturnstill antenna. I was only a kid, seven years old, when this antenna was installed. And I had no idea that I would some day control it later in life.

Early morning ice sickles.

Weather environment is a big factor in any control system; a real "killer" of a challenge.

I have walked-in many, many, many times - emphasizing the point for remote control.
Time may be of the essence; and several times, I have totally blocked the road with a four wheel drive and walked in. I would usually have the problem fixed before the plows came, which needed passage. I would have time to go back and remove the truck.

I have taken a snow mobile in a few times.
My good friend Russ Pope, executive vice president of Golden Empire Broadcasting, gave me a snow mobile - a gift from the company. Sure was fun spinning around in the snow with a machine that I did not have to buy! A company even kept the license tags up for me. What a gift! I used it to help other companies as well - and all with Russ's blessing. You can see, with this kind of trust, I easily obtained the green light for my remote control system.

I have taken a snow-cat in a few times. A snow-cat is much larger and more capable than a snow mobile. I would park it down at the store, five miles away. There are reasons to park at the store:
The roads may not be graded at night;
and the store may be the only accessable location by truck.

Such is the environment in which my control systems had to perform; in deep snow, in destructive lightning storms, in merciless winds, and with total loss of PGE power. Places like this establish a real proving-ground for a control system. What works on paper will never work here. A virtual world does not exist here. This is reality.


In the winter, snow laden tree limbs will glow as they touch PGE lines. With these unstable conditions equipment is difficult to control. In the summer, and in a dusty environment, equipment will overheat. A control system is soon beyond it's capabilities.

COHFRONT.JPG, 46 kB 2005.03.29
No matter how good a control system, a control system must have controllable equipment.

The trees help keep road dust out of the High Voltage. Dust in the transmitters just keeps maintenance higher than it needs to be. Stations have gone off the air due to dust. Indirectly, my control control systems must counteract contamination and the effects of dust.

BBALLBLU RCA TT-25    Historical Transmitter          TOWERRADgif

Fascinating pictures inside a Broadcast Transmitter...
I was told to remove this section. Perhaps I will be allowed to publish these in the future.

I was told to remove this section, and probably because of the extensive pictures of performance associated with each tube, including Spectrum analysis and meter readings. I was proud of this section for its detailed performance data. And it was a good reference for other broadcast stations. As an engineer, I embrase the concept of helping other engineers, no matter their affiliation: Engineers are engineers.
These are my engineering feelings, pervasive personal feelings, that are unpopular with competitors. Clearly, I have also been noted as a champion of FreeWare, Open Source Software, Shareware, and Humanitarian concepts in general. Company performance of Tubes is no different.

This was one of the transmitters that I controled, and was part of my control system. The transmitter had an option for primitive control, but my control system was already in existence, integrated, user friendly, and proven reliable. My controls and monitoring were therefore chosen. I also removed dozens of spectrum analysis pictures, and performance pictures. I, naively, considered them mine because I was in charge. Attorneys, absolutely considered them company property.

My control system controled this transmitter too. In fact, I controled all transmitters. The public did not have access to the control of any transmitter, but they could view performance data. Sorry, I can not show you anything.

Sorry, there were many company pictures...
I hate for the seminars on HD broadcasts to go to wast. I plan to reintroduce this section by removing company pictures and sensitive descriptions. Then again, perhaps not: HD is complicated and pictures are essential.

This section was very sensitive and important. Although I controled these areas, I can not show you anything. PGE power and Diesel Generation are too sensitive and too specific to the station. I am keen to the concerns, and quite agree.

STOP15 Removed TOWER #1 (NORTH)
There are renters and third party patrons on the tower. This is addition to company equipment: antennas and dishes and their functions. Due to their legal rights, I can not show you the tower combined with any discussions. In the past, I have been carefull about this. But I am removing this section entirely to be on the safe side, because I can not determine exactly were the line is. I wish no burden and no liability.

STOP15 Removed TOWER #2 (SOUTH)
There are renters and third party patrons on this tower too. This is addition to company equipment of antennas and dishes and their functions. Due to their legal rights, I can not show you the tower combined with any discussions. In the past, I have been carefull about this. But I am removing this section entirely to be on the safe side, because I can not determine exactly were the line is. I wish no burden and no liability.



I was specifically told to remove all rf levels, displays, and analysis of broadcast signals. For an engineer they were interesting and helpful as reference. I have spent a lot of time out in the field gathering and studying these signals. To have them immediately available on the internet was a convenience, but not worth the political controversy.

STOP15 Removed SIGNALS FROM Channel 36 and Channel 43 DIGITALS
I was specifically told to remove all rf levels, displays, and analysis of broadcast signals. Personally, I thought they were interesting and helpful as reference. This was a new and smaller section, but still interesting.

The 14 bay superturnstill required a lot of maintenance, and vandals and vandalism was always a concern.

I have no beef about removing Maintenance notes. I will do that. After all, they are only good to engineers, and attorneys are not engineers. But in my defence and for what it is worth...

I stored my notes on the internet because - there - I have never misplaced them. I had always known where they were, no matter if I was in Chico, Cohasset, Redding, or any other of 25 sites. It is like wearing an ephemeral hat of information: the hat is all around you and constantly with you.

I also keep maintenance notes in binders at each site, as well as at home. But these notes can be inaccessible. Actually, I conceder these notes as back ups, and my Web site as primary. Not only can I find my notes on my web site, but I do not have to drive somewhere and open a binder to find information. Also, my notes were open to third parties, and could be viewed by all as we discussed things over the telephone.

I am surprised that more people have not discovered the convenience of the internet for storage. More and more people should choose to store pictures, or information, (and files in general), on the internet, just as I once liked to do.

In any case... Sorry, I have been pursued, criticised and told to remove Cohasset Maintenance Notes.