Musings on Wooden Towers

Charles “Buc” Fitch is a frequent contributor to Radio World.A recent blurb about the tallest wooden tower reminds me that at last check, wooden towers were still allowed and are actually detail specified in the Building Officials Code (BOCA), in
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Charles “Buc” Fitch is a frequent contributor to Radio World.

A recent blurb about the tallest wooden tower reminds me that at last check, wooden towers were still allowed and are actually detail-specified in the Building Officials Code (BOCA), in the area of the text where EIA standards are taken into the code for steel towers.

The tallest wooden broadcast install I ever encountered was at the FM in Montour Falls, N.Y., near Watkins Glen. They had two tiers of these big wooden telephone poles strapped together to make nearly 100 feet of guyed vertical elevation ... akin to the big main mast in a circus tent. That’s gone now, replaced with a self-supporting steel tower.

Since wood introduces little influence to the RF, in a few instances I’ve specified a wooden telephone pole for an FM antenna support. A 35-foot pole with a three-bay mounted on it on the top of a tall building is about an nondirectional an FM as you can have.

Fiberglass is another great option ... the people who make sailing masts can make you an FM support.

For years, WSSV in Stillwater, N.Y., had their FM mounted on a telephone pole (the hill was the real tower), just barely making OST-65 compliance on the ground.

The biggest wooden building that most of us will ever encounter is the dirigible hanger at Tillamock, Ore.

Finally, wooden bridges are making a comeback as they can actually last longer with less maintenance in high salt environments. A tidbit for you: Only center-cut lumber can be used for the spans!


It’s a Real Crime

Charles S. ‘Buc’ Fitch is a frequent contributor. I saw Brett Moss’ post about bullet holes. It’s no joke. About 20 years back I went out to inspect a decommissioned TV tower for a potential FM antenna support structure. As

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Love This Beauty Shot of Walton Peak

Charles “Buc” Fitch is a frequent contributor to Radio World.Take a look at the attached picture of “Walton Peak” on Franklin Mountain in El Paso, Texas. (click thumbnail)Walton Peak in El Paso, as photographed by Isaac Chambers Such a beauty.

Buc the Builder

Brett Moss is gear & technology editor.While it’s not quite “A Christmas Carol” in the richness of Christmas tradition sense, Radio World contributor Buc Fitch reminds us every Holiday Season (a.k.a. Christmakwanzaka) that he has an apt seasonal article, especially

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McLane on: KFI's New Tower From the Air

Consultant and friend to Radio World Bob Gonsett passes along a tip that shows the fun you can have with online satelite imagery."Google Maps has been updating their aerial photos, and KFI's new tower with its capacitive top hat is

Fitch: Hey, Is This Thing On?

by Charles S. FitchJames O’Neal’s WTOP story prompts some memories. At my age, everything is a story ... very briefly my favorite WTOP tale ...Back in ’71 I was living in Baltimore and loved to watch the Charlie Chan movies

Michael LeClair at the 2011 NAB Show

The Calm Before the Storm Sunday, April 10 Today is the calm before the storm. It’s the official opening of the Broadcast Engineering Conference and primarily it is just that a conference, with

Moss on: Whither the Car ‘Radio’

There was a time, for us old timers, when simply having a radio in a car was a bonus. Even better if it actually worked. Then came AM FM car radios and then the possibility of a cassette player built