Saturday, November 10, 2007

1936 WLW Mobile Unit Revisted

Many thanks to Robert S. Butts for the accompanying photo (click for larger image). As a second-year electrical engineering coop student at the University of Cincinnati, Mr. Butts was hired by Crosley Chief Engineer James Rockwell to work in the Crosley Broadcast Engineering Department. This department built most of the audio equipment for both WLW and WSAI.

Robert Butts worked on several projects, one of which is shown in the photo. I'll let him describe it: "An interesting project was the design and construction of a portable remote broadcast pickup unit consisting of a high frequency (HF) transmitter mounted in a Dodge car with reinforced springs and a generator in the truck for power. It was used for remotes of all sorts, parades, soap box derbies, and even driven aboard the Island Queen for moonlight dance cruises. A receiver atop the Carew Tower was always on to pick up the HF transmissions and relay them to the studios by telephone line." (Note: The Island Queen was a paddlewheel riverboat that regularly cruised between downtown Cincinnati and the Coney Island amusement park.)

"Another remote broadcast device," Butts continues, "was a backpack HF transmitter used primarily for interviews, notably 'Fans in the Stands' with Dick Bray at Crosley Field." The photo (taken at the Indianapolis 500 race) shows Robert Butts, Dave Conlon, and Bob Booth. Conlon is holding the backpack transmitter.

I'll be sharing more from Robert Butts in future postings. Thanks, Robert!
P.O. Box 175, Oxford, OH 45056

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