Transmit This


Friday, January 27, 2012

A lot of us learned that Guglielmo Marconi invented radio, but Nikola Tesla transmitted electromagnetic waves before Marconi — the Supreme Court decided the case in 1943. Jim Stagnitto, the Director of Engineering for WNYC, gives Kurt a tour at the top of the Empire State Building to check out a radio transmitter in action.

In the FM combiner room, Kurt notices the transmitters have copper tubes that look like stovepipes. "It looks very low tech," Stagnitto says, but "that's the transmission line, that's actually carrying the signal."

(Originally aired: January 25, 2008)






Video: Kurt Andersen tours the WNYC radio transmitter


Jim Stagnitto

Comments [3]

Jenny from Studio 360

Thanks @Bruce.

@Tim -- There are copper pipes at about 3:30 in the video, but you're right, they're not the ones Kurt specifically mentions in the radio segment.

When we assembled the video, we wanted to use the best footage we had -- in this case, Jim pointing out several other aspects of the set-up, which didn't make the cut for the radio piece. Unfortunately, the reverse also proved true: that bit of audio you heard didn't make the cut for the video piece. But if I can find a photo of those pipes, I'll post it here. Sorry to disappoint!

Jan. 30 2012 09:29 AM
Bruce in MA from Westborough, MA

Tim, click on the tiled icons that come up at the end of the first transmitter video. There's a link to a video rife with pluming and waveguides there.

Jan. 29 2012 05:49 PM
Tim from Brooklyn

This was disappointing. In the show Kurt kept marveling how it looked like plumbing. He even mentioned copper pipes. Then we were told we could see this for ourselves. This section of the story isn't in the video -- no copper pipes, no plumbing. Bait and switch?

Jan. 29 2012 12:12 PM

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