The following is subject to Eric’s approval, but he has incorporated most of the following to date….
Gayle Mason did most of her ham work on 80 meters, and while she liked QRP (low power), she had a legal limit amplifier using four big commercial radio station transmitter tubes as the final for when she really needed to “reach out and touch someone. The tubes are rated for 20,000 watts. Running them at 1/4 power, and at 650 KHz, they should be good for between 5 and 8 years of service.
So, sometime in the early part of 1634, VOA will go on the air using a fractional height antenna, and Gayle’s transmitter running AM at under 1000 watts at 650 KHz. You will be able to pick up this version of VOA within 20 or 30 miles of the station on any salvaged AM radio from a car, or a transistor radio or whatever….
We will, at the same time as VOA goes on the air, begin printing one page broadsheet designs for a VOA crystal radio receiver. This uses a Galena (lead sulphide) crystal, a coil of wire, an wire antenna, and an earphone. The earphones can be built by local german artisans using the thinnest wire they can get and the shellac we’ll be importing. Without the shellac, an earphone CAN be made using wax and paper for an insulator ’cause the voltage is so low. Shellac will be available in late 1634 or early 1635.
So, starting in early 1634 VOA will be on the air, and local germans can hear it in bars and rich local germans can hear it using boughten radios from the salvage market.
hopefully by 1635 Gayle will be back, and the upgrade of VOA to 5000 watts running off the Great Stone Radio Tower will be able to be scheduled. With the better antenna location, and the higher power, you should be able to hear VOA using salvaged radios out 400 to 1000 miles in the night time, possibly longer if the radio gods smile.
Using crystal radios you should easily hear it to 300 or 400 miles and again, out to 800 on the nights that the radio gods smile.
Through 1635, a team of local artists, glass blowers, and machinists have been working on building vacuum tubes. The trick is getting a mercury pump running. We can use sodium or magnesium as a getter, and graphite (we will need a supply of good english graphite) as the anodes) and salvaged wire with rare earth coatings as the cathode.
we’ll start small, but we will be working towards building water cooled tubes about 2 feet tall, and a foot in diameter, which running in quad should allow is to take VOA to 50,000 watts. Perhaps in late 1635 to early 1637. Perhaps longer, who really knows. But once we’ve got 50K watts, you will be able to hear the station from anywhere within europe mostly.
Meanwhile, our first production tubes (before we get to 50K,) can be used, starting to bring the Voice of Luthor on the air in Magdeburg. the first station won’t be much, but we should let Gustav Adalphus get VOL on the air by mid 1635. We’ll upgrade both stations as fast as we can.
Eventually, EVENTUALLY, 10 or 20 or 30 years out, we want to take VOA to a half-million watts. VOA will LITERALLY be listenable around the world. But not for a while.
Tom Spencer created an audio file as a sample of the “interval signal” used as a sign on for VOA. Many stations use a snippet like this as a “station identification” while warming up the transmitter and tuning before actual programming goes on the air. This snippet would be repeated for 5 minutes or so during the ramp up of power while bringing the station on-air and can be used by listeners to ensure that they are correctly tuned in before programming starts.
US is limited to 1500W PEP.
I doubt any ham has an amplifier rated for 20,000 watts.
The local MW [AM] station is a 1KW, 1000W station.
It is much more likely her power amp was capable of 2KW [2000W], which is nothing to sneeze at.
If you are really interested in seeing what a 1~20KW transmitter would look like, visit the local MW stations in your area.