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KACY Nears Sign-On

Television Station KACY expects to start its test pattern Oct. 25 [1953], according to Ken Atwood, an official of the new UHF outlet here. After three weeks of 12 hours daily testing "so that the advertising agencies will know what they're selling," Ken says, the station will begin commercial telecasting in November. From the start, all telecasting will be done with full power.

This new outlet expects to produce an output of 350,000 to 500,000 watts of effective radiated power, although the transmitter has been tested at an output up to 540,000 watts. It is described as "the most powerful station in America." The transmitter is here now, and all that remains "is to hook it up."

Perhaps the most potent point of the whole operation is that KACY can be received on a $5 inside antenna, it is said. UHF reception also requires an adaptor or converter. An official of Artophone Corporation made a series of TV tests with a cheap antenna in another UHF area. He reported that reception was excellent, and on the basis of those tests, expects KACY to boom the UHF industry here because of its terrific output.

The tower of the new station is another story. Station officials told the Ad Club Weekly that the tower was actually erected in four days!
(Photos courtesy Leo Tevlin)

Height of tower: 688 feet! Reason: It's what they call a "guided tower," and is put up in sections.It was done at KACY's site because of the immense space around the tower foundation. "It takes about 25 or 30 acres in which to lay out the cables and equipment," explained Mr. Atwood. "It probably would not be possible in the city," he added. Tower contractor is Johnnie Andrews of Fort Worth, Texas.

 Officials of the new UHF station are stressing the point that a high-priced antenna is not necessary when you have plenty of power from the transmitter. Some confusion has been apparent because outdoor UHF antenna installations have ranged from $60-$125 and higher. But it must be remembered that WTVI in Belleville, Ill., now telecasting on limited power, and KSTM, will not have full power for a time. Therefore no immediate conclusions can be drawn until they are on full power.

 (Originally published in the Ad Club Weekly 10/26/1953).