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DETAILS

KFPY, KXLY's predecessor, moved to this site in 1936. The 460-foot tall, free-standing tower was built in 1936, making it the oldest AM tower still standing in Spokane. FCC records show that as of this writing KTRW 630, KXLX 700, and KXLY 920 all transmit from this site using a multiplexing system. The second tower, built in 2003, is 360 feet in height and is used for the nighttime operation of KXLX.

The city of license of KXLY 920 is Spokane. The transmitter power is 20 kW daytime and 5 kW at night, both non-directional.

The city of license for KXLX 700 is Airway Heights. The transmitter power is 10 kW non-directional day, and 0.6 kW directional night. The frequency allocation originally came from KMJY 700 in Newport, Washington, a station now defunct.

The city of license for KTRW 630 is Opportunity. The power is 530 watts day and 53 watts night, both non-directional.

An art deco type building for housing the transmitters was built in 1936 by Rigg and Van Tyne. Interestingly, Rigg and Van Tyne were the architects for the Symons Block, KFPY's first home. The Western Electric Type 6B 1-kW transmitter, which had been in-use at KFPY's downtown location, was removed and re-installed here in 1936. Additionally, a W.P. Hilliard 5-kW Class B linear amplifier and associated high power supply equipment were also installed. A solid state Harris transmitter is being used at the site today.


George Langford's Account of This Site

George Langford in the "Early Days of Spokane Radio" related some details of this site in a telephone conversation with Thorwald O. Jorgenson in about 1980. Mr. Langford served as chief engineer of KFPY and KXLY longer than anyone else, from 1929 to 1972.

"KFPY was one of the first stations to use a high-efficiency vertical antenna, and due to its high performance, several other stations also changed upon the demonstrated high performance of the KFPY radiation pattern, comprised of a 460-foot tower and a well designed counterpoise-ground system.

"The Moran Prairie location was found by a new system of determining the characteristics of the ground conductivity as it was the key to good broadcast coverage. Although this idea may seem simple at this time, it was somewhat difficult to realize the effects of good conductivity and the effect on the carrier frequency used. Often careful testing would bring out definite facts on radiation; they were not realized due to the limitation of radio receivers at that time.

"Transmitting and receiving equipment developed fast by 1940; some extremely good apparatus was to be had…

"…the famous Western Electric Type 6B 1-kW transmitter was moved from the penthouse on the roof of the Symons Building to a most modern 1937 transmitter building and a W. P. Hilliard 5-kW Class B Linear Amplifier and its associated high voltage power supplies were also installed. This fed a four-wire RF transmission line to the tuning system at the 480-foot tower base. The radiation system consisted of this approximate ½-wave vertical antenna formed by the self-supporting insulated steel tubular tower and a counterpoise ground system of 120 350-foot radials of number 10 drawn copper wire.

"The field intensity at one mile from the transmitting antenna was found to be 500 millivolts per meter and proved the merit of this new antenna system design."


My June 2005 Visit to this Site.

This is a site that I have driven by many times in the past, but rarely stopped. In June 2005, my dad and I stopped by and took a couple of pictures. It was the first time I saw the second tower. Unfortunately, I did not get a good picture of the art deco transmitter building. Maybe next time...


August 2008 Visit to this Site.

Thanks to Tim Anderson, chief engineer of KXLY (I am not sure of the title), I was given a grand tour of KXLY's Moran Prairie Transmitter Site. We had a good conversation about the facilities and its history. He drove me to the base of the tower to take some pictures. Thanks again Tim.


Compiled and edited by Bill Harms - updated 13 October 2008


GALLERY

Click on thumbnail for a larger image


Chief Engineer, Tim Anderson standing next to his rig in front of the KXLY transmitter building.

(28 August 2008 - ©philcobill.com)


Transmitter Room

(28 August 2008 - ©philcobill.com)


KTRW's setup

(28 August 2008 - ©philcobill.com)


Harris MW-5

(28 August 2008 - ©philcobill.com)


Harris DX25U - KXLY main transmitter

(28 August 2008 - ©philcobill.com)


KXLY processing Unit

(28 August 2008 - ©philcobill.com)


Harris DX10 - KXLX main transmitter

(28 August 2008 - ©philcobill.com)


KXLX's setup, or so I am told.

(28 August 2008 - ©philcobill.com)


Phasing Unit for KXLX

(28 August 2008 - ©philcobill.com)


(28 August 2008 - ©philcobill.com)


(28 August 2008 - ©philcobill.com)


(28 August 2008 - ©philcobill.com)


(28 August 2008 - ©philcobill.com)


(28 August 2008 - ©philcobill.com)


(28 August 2008 - ©philcobill.com)


(28 August 2008 - ©philcobill.com)


(28 August 2008 - ©philcobill.com)


(28 August 2008 - ©philcobill.com)


(June 2005 - ©philcobill.com)


The art deco transmitter building with tower in the background in 1939. (Photo by Libby Photography, Spokane Washington. Used by permission of the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture/Eastern Washington State Historical Society, Spokane, Washington - further publication of this image is not permitted.)



Picture of the transmitter building and tower from 1938.


Picture from 1946.


Transmitter and Control Room - Western Electric 106B - 1940's

(The George Langford Collection - Courtesy of Bobbie McBride)


Transmitter Building - 1940's

(The George Langford Collection - Courtesy of Bobbie McBride)


Main Entrance to the transmitter building.

(The George Langford Collection - Courtesy of Bobbie McBride)


SOURCES:

  1. Anderson, Tim. Conversation during tour of KXLY transmitter site. 28 August 2008.
  2. CDBS database. fcc.gov. Accessed on-line 15 May 2007.
  3. "Examiner OKs New Tower at KXLY Site in/around: Moran Prairie." Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. 26 October 2000.
  4. Kershner, Jim. "Reborn Station to Air All News, All the Time" Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. 14 November 1999.
  5. Langford, George as related to Thorwald O. Jorgenson on the telephone. "Early Days of Spokane Radio" manuscript. Spokane, Washington. About 1980.
  6. Prager, Mike. "New Tower: KXLY Group Proposing 360-foot Structure." Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. 12 October 2000.

KKPL 630 9 May 1997-
KXLI 630 5 November 1999-
KTRW 630 24 October 2005-Present

KXLX 700 27 February 2004-Present

KFPY 890 10 November 1936-
KFPY 920 24 March 1941-
KXLY 920 18 December 1946-Present
Moran Prairie.
South 5002 Regal Street.

1936 to present.


Station Links

KTRW
- The Fabulous KTW 630 AM

KXLX
- AM 700 - The Ticket - KXLX

KXLY
- Newstalk Radio 920 - KXLY