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Radio Broadcast Technical Consulting and Sales
 
10032 Island Drive, Brainerd, MN  56401

  Customer

WMIN AM 1010 KHZ/1.7 KW
WVAL AM 800 KHZ/2.5 KW
WBHR AM 660 KHz/10 KW
WXYG AM 540 KHz/.85 KW
WHMH FM 101.7 MHz40 KW/423 Ft.
Sauk Rapids/St. Cloud, Minnesota

The telephone number is 320-252-6200


 

 

WMIN, previously WPPI Radio, is the latest addition to the Tri-County Broadcasting group of stations at Sauk Rapids, MN.  It all started out when WVAL went on the air on August 3, 1963, with 250 watts day and no nighttime authority on 800 KHz.  The station played country music and was much loved in the area.  In 1986, a four tower array was built and the frequency was changed to 660 KHz with 10 KW day and 250 watts at night, later increased to 500 watts night.  In 1998 I was involved in adding 800 KHz, the original frequency, to the same four-tower array with 2.5 KW day and 900 watts at night.  That's right, the two stations were diplexed into the same towers.  In 2008, here we are adding three more towers with the new WMIN Radio, 1010 KHz, sharing three of the four original towers.

The seven towers at sunrise.

June 2008:  Here is your intrepid Radio Broadcast Engineer Mark Persons installing a power amplifier module in a new Nautel 3 KW AM transmitter. 

The transmitter on the far left is an ITA AM-250A.  It was the original 800 KHz transmitter which was manufactured in 1962 and put on the air in 1963.  The transmitter was later converted to 660 KHz and then to 1010 KHz.       

Mark is seen here making adjustments to the new six-tower phasor system for WMIN.  This was added to the existing 800 KHz Kintronic phasor system and the original 660 KHz Harris phasor system.  It is quite a mix of technologies. 
Some of the antenna coupling network components at one of the towers while under construction.  On the left is an 800 KHz coupling network with 660 KHz filter.  In the center is a 1010 KHz coupling network.  On the right is a 1010 KHz filter, used with 800 KHz equipment.  Also, there are 660 KHz and 800 KHz filters used with the 1010 KHz feed to that tower.    
Talk about transportation.  This is an Argo all-terrain vehicle. With a water-cooled two-cylinder V-engine and tank-type tracks.  It goes anywhere...especially to the WMIN towers where there is usually standing water.
Tim Jayney is an all-around craftsman who helped greatly on the project. 
Here, a Bird dummy load was used to test and tune the transmitters.
Technical Consultant Mark Mueller from Mueller Broadcast Design is shown here tuning pass-reject filters at one of the towers.  He is using a new Array Solutions PowerAIM 120 Vector Impedance Analyzer.  Results of the measurements are displayed on a notebook computer.
WMIN finally went on the air at 2:36 PM on July 11, 2008 for testing.  Mark Mueller is shown here tuning the phasor.  He did a quick check, in the transmitter building, of mix products between the existing 660 KHz, 800 KHz, and the new 1010 KHz stations just to confirm that things were basically working before doing any serious tuning of the antenna system.

WMIN went on the air officially as a licensed station at 10 AM on December 9, 2008.  Known as Uptown 1010 or Ring-A-Ding Radio, you will hear entertainer vocals from the 50's, 60's and 70's at 1010 on your AM radio.

July 2011:  Listener letter.

Here is Herb Hoppe running the heavy equipment.  It is right up his line.

The Kintronic Labs phasor for 800 KHz is shown here being moved from the old transmitter building to the new transmitter building along a wooden walkway, which was constructed just for this purpose.  The two buildings are just 25 feet apart.

The new transmitter building is very nice looking.

An STL (Studio-Transmitter-Link) tower is being installed at the new building with the help of a crane.  It consists of two 20-foot sections of tower from the original WVAL 800 KHz installation in 1963.  The STLs are 950 MHz audio links.  
Here is that original ITA 250 watt transmitter with the front door closed, then open, then the back with the back door open. 

It is our understanding that Bernie Wise left RCA Corporation and started ITA in the 1960's.  He left there and started CCA.  Later, he started Energy-Onix.  Spin-offs from CCA were CSI and Singer. 

Does anyone know what ITA stands for?  Some jokingly refer to ITA as "Intermittent Transmitting Apparatus!"  Others think of ITA as "Idiots Tinkering Around!"  The truth is that this transmitter has been very reliable over the years.  09-19-2014 answer:  Read your article from some time back about ITA transmitters. Someone was wondering what "ITA" stood for. I believe I have the answer.  I worked at a radio station in Tuscumbia, Alabama in the mid-'sixties to the early seventies, and we had an array of ITA equipment, including the 5,000-watt AM, the ITA phasor for a four tower 1KW Directional nighttime; and a 1,000-watt FM transmitter that gave 3.1 KW effective radiated power on a 339-foot antenna, all remotely operated from our downtown studios.  From what I was told by our chief engineer, who had once been an engineer at ITA, the initials stood for, "Industrial Transmitters and Antennas."  He would have known, since he had worked for the company that was headquartered in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.  Interesting, also, that the last name of the owner of the radio station was "Darby." It was quite an operation, actually, for a small town, since Mr. Darby was quite wealthy and we had our own "Jet Ranger" helicopter and even a Learjet for doing the news and promotions.  John S. Halbert, in Katy, Texas, a suburb of Houston

Back to WVAL/WBHR/WHMH page.

August 2008:  The WVAL 800 AM transmitters and phasor were moved into the fabulous new transmitter building.  (l-r) A Nautel 2.5 KW transmitter, equipment rack, Kintronic phasor, and a Gates BC-1G Transmitter for backup. 
August 2008:  Here is the WBHR 660 AM equipment, which is also in the new building now.  (l-r) Harris MW-10B 10 KW Transmitter, equipment rack, Harris phasor, and a Nautel 2.5 KW transmitter, which is used for night operation. 

The telephone number for WVAL  WHMH  WBHR  WMIN  WXYG Radio is 320-252-6200.

 Questions?  Email Mark Persons:  teki@mwpersons.com   

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page last edited 02/19/2016