A mobile transmitter mounted on a light truck from which can be broadcast movement-by-movement events over short waves, was inaugurated by station WIL last week during the NRA parade here.
The device, which was introduced as one of the greatest surprises in radio for some time, attracted wide attention as an announcer told of the movements of the parade and gave glimpses from the sidelines to an audience who received the news by means of a rebroadcast through WIL’s regular transmitter atop the Melbourne Hotel.
The equipment, installed in a Ford V-8 panel truck, weighs only 150 pounds and is operated by storage batteries. A horizontal aerial strung across the top of the truck carries the ether impulse to the main transmitter.
The station, which was especially licensed, is the first short wave transmitter in St. Louis. The call letters KIFF have been assigned to the station.
“The short wave transmitter will enable us to do unusual things,” L.A. Benson, president of the Missouri Broadcasting Company, said. “We can cover practically any news or sports event movement by movement. We expect to place it in use whenever civic or emergency events occur.”
Each time the transmitter is placed in operation a permit must be obtained from the Federal Radio Commission, Mr. Benson said.
The station operates on 128 meters or 2342 kilocycles and requires a crew of three men when it is in operation - a chauffeur, an engineer and an announcer. Benson plans to use a corps of announcers in special events, each giving his own interpretation of what is going on.
There are only several of such short wave stations in operation and all are in the East, Benson stated.
(Originally published in Radio and Entertainment 8/27/1933)