WSAJ AM 1310 K.C. 1933 Grove
Grove City, PA.
I was delighted to see the verification card from WSAJ. This is a gem for any broadcast band DXer. Noticed that it was signed by Dr. H. W. Harmon who put that station on the air prior to 1920. He was the head of the engineering department. This station was on the air only about 6 hours a week and was on the air until 2007. They returned the license back to the FCC. Some people at the college have no sense of history. This station was one of the last AM stations to operate with a long wire, as you can see in the photo.
Rockwell Science Hall on campus was home of WSAJ AM 1340. They were on the air in 2002 with the horizontal T type "cage" antenna with counterpoise and feeders after repairs. They resumed their few hours of weekly broadcasting keeping alive a license that was first granted in 1921. The college also runs fulltime broadcasting on 91.1 FM. In 1921 the A.M. coverage was from 25 to 60 miles plus out of state reports from NY, CT, and Columbus, Ohio.
When the station changed A.M. channels in 1928, the winter coverage was from 500 to 1,000 miles with occasional longer range attained.
The college relinquished their A.M. license in 2007 and continued a low power LPB transmitter and the FM outlet on 91.1 Mhz. They have a station modification request for a taller tower at present.
Here is some info from the Fall
1924 edition of Citizens Radio Callbook;
WSAJ - Grove City College. Grove City, Penna. 254 meters, 1180 kilocycles, class A. Schedule irregular. College entertainments, athletic games, etc. Wed. 7:30 - 9 pm. Eastern standard time. 250 watts.
I believe you will find that 8JB is Dr. Herbert W. Harmon, 418 Poplar St., Grove City, PA., trustee of Grove City College station WSAJ, born 1873. The station licensed to Grove City High School was his son, 8HM, Herbert F.Harmon, born 1902. He must have been a student. He had the same address on Poplar St. as 8JB in the 1920 Census. The license for WSAJ-AM was allowed to expire several years ago, the call is presently assigned to their FM station only. The antenna for WSAJ-AM has been removed, in fact the entire Rockwell science building, where WSAJ was located, is slated for demolition according to an alumni newsletter. For most of it's life WSAJ-AM was under the direction of Prof. Dale O. Smock who died just a few years ago. He was head of the EE department and was a person I knew quite well. I later worked for the station in Oil City that shared time with WSAJ on 1340 kHz. That station's license was also allowed to expire last year. 73 de W8JV
The earliest licensed station at GCC was an
amateur station, described as an "experimental" station
with the call 8CO and later 8YV using three VT2 tubes. This
station was closed by WW1 since it was an "amateur"
station but reappeared after the war, again as an amateur
station. The equipment was updated during the summer of 1922. The
broadcast license for WSAJ was granted on 29 November 1922 (KDKA
license was granted 2 November 1920) and they were authorized to
operate with 100 watts on 360 meters for unlimited time. I have a
letter from the president of the college in reply to my letter
pleading with them to renew the license of WSAJ-AM and return it
to the air as a student-run station. They ignored it obviously.
The current Chief Engineer had no interest in AM and had some BS
reason about needing to replace capacitors in the transmitter
and, later, when a new LPB solid state transmitter was supplied,
he invented a problem with the "timer" (a Radio Shack
special) that turned the AM station on and off. So the AM license
was allowed to expire. In the latter days the AM turned itself on
Tuesday and Thursday evenings for a few hours and simply
rebroadcast the classical programming from the FM station. What a
waste! The AM station had been silent for several years and this
historic facility was finally allowed to pass into history.
73 de W8JV
QSL Courtesy of W8SU
Photos and info courtesy of W8CXO, W8SU, W8JV
Citizens Radio Callbook info courtesy of K8CX