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The Move from WRKL to WA2IAC

The BC1E was moved from the WRKL building in Pomona, about 15 miles NW of the WA2IAC shack. The two towers are on the left. Click on image for huge (1 MEG!) HI-RES image

Gates Model BC1E -- Size: 48" X 33" X 78" -- Weight: 2,100 lbs

Number of movers: 5 -- Date: March 20, 2001

March 20, 2001 - Pomona, NY - A full-size distance moving van was required to move the transmitter, in part for the hydraulic tailgate capable of lifting the BC1E. The moving truck is shown parked next to the WRKL building with the BC1E and four of the movers inside the truck. The picture to the right is a detail of the first image. The BC1E looks small inside the cavernous truck. Too bad it wasn't as easy getting the transmitter out of the building.

The WRKL building evolved over time after the BC1E was installed. At some time, apparently in the 70's, a new rear-door was installed on the building. Stock doors had shrunk at that point, and cinderblock was used to reduce the opening to accept pre-hung steel doors about 6' 7" high -- not quite high enough for the BC1E to slip through while on rollers. This was the major stumbling block in removing the transmitter. Two undersize thresholds had to be crossed, leaving the transmitter room (left below with phasing cabinet at left, Chief Engineer's desk at right) and the building (right). The doors are guarded by a WRKL operations staff member. The giant spools hold cable in preparation for installation of a third tower for night-time operation and an eventual increase in power. At the time the transmitter was removed, WRKL 910 was a regional day and evening station.

To move through the puny modern doorways, the BC1E was laid on its side with moving dollies strapped to the cabinet against frame sections (side doors removed). It was then moved outside the building, and over to the waiting truck. Plywood sheets were used to smooth the trip over the gravel back-lot to the truck. The picture at the left, below, was taken earlier when there was snow on the ground. A metal plate was used as a ramp to get the cabinet onto the tailgate. Both are visible in the foreground above. The cabinet was righted and placed on two rol-a-lift hydraulic dollies. It was then moved onto the tailgate, and lifted by the hydraulic tailgate.

The trip to WA2IAC took about 15 minutes by car, and about 45 minutes by truck. The driver (in plaid shirt) amazingly maneuvered the truck into the WA2IAC driveway, bringing the tailgate within 15 feet of the door of its' new home.

To prepare the space, a breakaway (created for such an event) interior panel had to be removed from one bay of the WA2IAC garage extention). The panel is shown with pink fiberglass insulation exposed.

The BC1E slipped easily into its new home, and was placed on 2x4 chocks to make it easier to grab the unit and lift it again. This will need to be done after improvements are made (like a new electrical service) to the garage.

Preparation included removing the heavy power transformers, chokes, and modulation transformer from the bottom of the cabinet. This really wasn't optional, as it reduced the weight of the transmitter from 2,100 lbs to under 1,500 lbs. Gates didn't recommend moving the cabinet with the heavy metal installed! It would probably rip up the cabinet while moving if attempted. Wires were carefully tagged, and connections recorded. The tubes were removed. The tube count was already diminished, as the rectifier tubes had solid-state replacements installed. The 833a's were marked and tagged when removed as the transmitter had been fully operational prior to removal.

Tags keep track of what went to which choke or transformer. Solid-state rectifier stacks are visible. Note very thick dust in bottom of the cabinet.

In anticipation of adding an electrical service, two 6" conduits were run. One was for power, the other for communications circuits and cable. The conduits were installed several years earlier. The transmitter requires only 220V split-phase power, so special power requirements (i.e. 3-phase) are not required. Gates recommends running #8 wire from the service to the transmitter. The rated power consumption is 5,700 watts at 1,000 watt operation for a whopping 17.5% power efficiency. This is the price for the vintage cabinet and window! Later models are quite a bit more power efficient.

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