KPFK Los Angeles Transmitter History
Summer, 1959

Here we have some photographs of the original KPFK transmitter system at Mt. Wilson in the summer or fall of 1959. The following pictures show some of what was involved.

A big thanks to Steve Hawes, who found these photos a few years ago while moving. As far as anyone knows, these are the only existing photographs of the original installation.

The original building. Note the lack of fences or any kind of security. The site had a full-time caretaker who lived on the property. Directly to the left of the KPFK building is the KBCA (105.1 megacycles) transmitter building. That station is still there, and is still owned by Saul Levine.

A close-up of the KPFK building.

KPFK's technical staff. Steve Hawes on the far right.

A close-up detail of the above picture

The KPFK transmitter

Another view of the transmitter

Transmitter power supply rectifier tubes.

Transmitter internal wiring detail

More detail of the transmitter power supply

Various transformers

Mercury vapor rectifier section

Transmitter power amplifier

Driver cabinet

Transmitter power amplifier in operation

3 phase power coming into the building

Transmitter driver and power supply section

Variac transformer power supply

Transmitter exciter section in operation

Detail of Exciter section door

KPFK operates at 90.7 Mhz with 112,000 watts, 5900 feet above sea level and 5600 feet above Los Angeles, California.

For more about Mt. Wilson, check out my pages about the mountain here.

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© 2005 Broadcast Engineering Services of Bonny Doon