Ever since early childhood, I have heard the signal of KGO Radio, 810 on the AM dial. 

In second grade, my radio only got two stations as I was growing up in the small town of

Pullman, Washington.  It offered a choice of either "KDUB or KOFE."  (Not quite Coffee, Tea, or Milk). 

KDUB was actually Pullman's KWSC (now KWSU).  KOFE's was the "other" station.  It's call letters have since moved to St. Maries, ID.

My little radio couldn't even get KOZE in Lewiston, Idaho, only 40 miles away.

Friends of mine, with better radios, could get Spokane stations. 

Then I discovered KGO, San Francisco after touching my radio to the telephone.

Early Real Audio?  

No.

Our phone line worked like an antenna.  

These days, most phone lines make poor antennas due to interference from DSL service.  Back then (1962) no one ever heard of DSL, or the Internet.  

At night, KGO's signal is often heard clear up and down the west coast.  Sometimes even in Alaska.  It can be louder than local stations.

A layer of ionized air, above the Earth works like a mirror.  It reflects radio signals after dark.



KGO towers on far side of bridge.  Bike path goes to old tide flats road.


Trying to zoom in on towers as cars and trucks zoom by.


Another cyclist passing, KGO transmitter building in background.

The station's day time range isn't bad either.  Its  50,000 watts covers most of northern and central California.

At times, I still tune in the talk shows. 

Riding my bike past the KGO AM antenna array by Dumbarton Bridge was a treat.  I just went as far as the towers and then turned around and came back to Palo Alto.  Bike paths and radio.

Me standing by towers.



Radio is more energy efficient

My first letter to the editor, written summer of 1973 in Lewiston Tribune.

Now that gasoline shortages have started making news people are trying to find out who is to blame.  I feel it is easy to place most of the blame on the average use of the car.  It is incredible how much energy is used just to transport one person.

One horsepower output is equal to 746 watts of electricity.  A 150 horsepower car would put out as much energy as 111 thousand watts. In other words an average car puts out as much energy as two of the nation's largest radio stations.  The maximum power allowed for a standard broadcast station is 50 kilowatts; (100 KW for FM).  At night one clear channel 50 KW station can cover all 48 states. Most local sta- tions are 5 KW or below. Multiply the power output of one car by all readers of this letter who drive and one can see the enormous demand. At this rate gasoline is sure to run low.

Legislation could and does need to deal with distribution so independent stations; farm and service needs would have a fair chance at supply.  But I feel the shortages can only be averted by a cut down in average consumption. People need to organize to find ways to get away from dependence on the car. There needs to be an Automobilics Anonymous formed. 

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