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BTA-1M Transmitter Rescue
By Mark Bell, K3MSB, with additional text & layout by Paul Courson WA3VJB and Gary A Burrows W2INR

Yet another radio station throws out yet another classic transmitter, but ham radio operators are there to save the artifact from becoming part of history's archeological ruins.

Many thanks to Bill Parris III (WA3VCH), WFBR Chief Engineer, for seeing to it that his fine piece of history was saved from the scrap heap, and to Paul Courson (WA3VJB), broadcast transmitter rescuer extraordinaire, for making it available to me.

I found that from a logistics point of view, rescuing a broadcast transmitter of this size wasn't all that difficult. Finding the one "for me" took a few years though. Paul worked with me on two previous transmitters but for various reasons (location, type, condition, timing etc) I passed them up. When Paul called me about the BTA-1M, the condition and "shutter door" style clinched it for me -- the quad 833's helped a lot too...

I decided that I'd pony up and get a truck with a hydraulic lift gate; this proved to be a very smart thing to do. I'm not sure we could've pulled off the "rescue" without the lift gate. So, on a bright and sunny Saturday morning my compadres and I left York PA for Baltimore. I drove the truck with Chuck (KB3JXY) riding shotgun, while Scott (KC0RIJ) and Mike (N3VQH) followed in Scott's truck. Mike had his GPS and laptop with him and provided us with excellent driving directions while Scott ("what horns? I didn't hear no horns!!") did an excellent job of lane clearing. This was the first time I'd ever driven a 16 foot truck, and as Mike and Scott will attest, we were half way to Baltimore on Interstate 83 before I hit 65 MPH !! We arrived at WFBR around 0900 and met up with Paul (WA3VJB).

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