2020 - Present
After a complete rebuild and modification process, the BBC-250 broadcasts for the first time.
History of WMLK Radio-BBC 250KW
We purchased this TX from the SDA's for upgrading WMLK Radio to a higher power. This TX was originally one of several (seven I believe) TX's at Radio Swiss Com. They decided to dismantle their operation and sell their TXs on the open market. We found out about this TX being offered, from a friend in the US Government. He directed us to a broker in Europe that was handling the sale of this unit. This unit was in a large warehouse in Italy. Originally it was intended to be installed at a location nearby for Shortwave TXing operation. Due to the religious/politically charged atmosphere (Catholic) in Italy, this became impossible. So, they decided to sell this unit.
Elder Jacob O. Meyer and I went to the location in Italy to see this unit up-close. We wanted to inspect this unit personally. We liked what we saw, and a deal was brokered for this unit. We had the unit shipped by boat to the USA for installation at our location in Bethel, PA.
This unit was re-assembled subsequently. Once the unit was assembled the "shake-down" phases began. But, prior to this, we had to purchase and install many peripherals for this unit to operate.
We had to install:
- A power supply to transform power from 13.2 KV to 16.2 KV.
- Cooling tower for vapor cooling the tubes.
- Chiller unit for cabinet and component cooling. (Also filament cooling)
- New 480 power supply for controlling above units.
- Antenna and Balun upgrades to handle higher power levels.
- Distilled water supply.
- New addition to house extra parts necessary for continued operation.
Each one of these necessary editions added cost to the overall project.. We are a small non-profit organization. We do not have a lot of this world's possessions. We are supported by a small group of faithful people. They send in their tithes and offerings in support of this ministry and the WMLK Radio project.
As I began to check out the circuitry of this unit, I found many problems. Corrections and replacement parts were made and ordered. This cycle continued until we found the final plate breaker switch to be defective. This was a setback for this project. We had to acquire funds to purchase the replacement parts. Also trouble was experienced with the ordering process. It seems that the company ordered the wrong switch for replacement. I caught this only because they e-mailed me and asked for a choice on one of the switch parts. I told them there was no choice on the switch I had ordered. There was only one standard selection where this was concerned. I then asked for the schematic of this replacement breaker they were building or perhaps already had built
! When the schematic arrived, lo and behold! It was the wrong breaker! I told them they were making the wrong breaker! They then had to start over with the specifications that I once again submitted. I was glad this happened before the circuit breaker arrived. Imagine that!
Eventually we received the correct breaker after an extended delay. I wired and installed it immediately! This has been the case right along. The 40-Ton chiller unit was sold to us in working condition? Was it in working condition? No! I had to call in the Trane Corporation for an estimate on doing the repairs if needed. I was advised as to the extent of the necessary repairs. Also, I was told this unit was not working when they sold it to us. It was not possible said the Trane Technician, that this unit was working recently. Many repairs were noted. I gave the cost evaluation to Elder Meyer. Needless to say he was not happy and neither was I.
Circuit evaluation continued and many problems were found. Many circuits were by-passed by the previous operators so the unit could even run. This is not a good idea, as it bypasses the fail safe protection incorporated into the overall system. Many circuit boards were in need of replacement. Also, relays were found to be defective. These needed to be replaced. These of course can only be ordered from a certain distributor, as they are unique to this unit. Also these components are very expensive!
The decision was made to restore this unit to its' original state. With this approach, we can be assured of good operation for many years.
Presently we are in the process of accumulating enough funds to replace several printed circuit boards. And of course they are expensive. And of course you can only get them from one location as they too are exotic and peculiar to this unit. We also had to purchase testing equipment necessary for performing tests on this unit! Again? Thousands of dollars!
We are in the final stages at the present time. When the circuit boards are purchased and installed, this should be about it! Of course-Yahweh Willing!
Radio WMLK cannot be stopped at the border of a given country. Many people on this earth only have access to the outside world via shortwave radio. With this method of communication, we will reach many people and many countries, that otherwise would present difficulty in accessing. There comes a time of government restriction/intervention, and also the time comes that attempts will be made, to silence those in opposition to their views. The beast system will be very oppressing. With our own broadcasting capabilities, we will be able (Yahweh Willing!) to continue to send forth Yahweh's Truth to a dying world! Also in the works is obtaining our own power generator. We want to be able to produce our own electricity if necessary.
Gary A. McAvin
Chief Operating Engineer
WMLK Radio was in operation since going online in the Spring of 1985. However, several years later it was brought to our attention that the radio signal was not as strong as it should or needed to be. We were covering the major continents of the earth. The FCC wanted our signal to become stronger. So, a plan was created to boost the power of WMLK Radio to 100 kW.
A used AM radio station transmitter, like the one used to build the initial radio, was purchased in the late 1990s and delivered to the radio station site. The building realized a substantial addition to house this new upgrade adventure.
Cost analysis was rendered to Elder Jacob O Meyer for his consideration. This would be an expensive undertaking. The SSM section alone would cost around $135,000. The final tube increased the cost and soon the estimate surpassed $200,000. This is where plan B would come into effect.
It was pondered and then proposed that the Assemblies of Yahweh needed more outreach capabilities. The idea presented itself that shortwave radio broadcasting could be a method worthy of consideration. Further discussion during the late 1970s brought forth a plan to pursue this avenue of outreach.
The groundwork was then laid, and the search for requirements was pursued. This led to the necessity of contacting the FCC, who controls all international broadcasting stations and requirements for operating such. Initial contact was made with the FCC and qualifications were expressed to Elder Jacob O Meyer. This resulted in a visit to Washington, DC to the FCC headquarters.
Upon arrival, we met with the head of the FCC at the time one Mr. Charles Brieg. Mr. Brieg was pleasant, gracious and very helpful in obtaining the necessary paperwork required to file for an application and to secure our permit to begin construction. (Building_HF_radio_station_FCC_1980_timeperiod
) However, he recommended that we secure the services of a licensed engineer to assist us in the entire process. He gave us the name of two renowned individuals who could help us complete the FCC requirements.
But, we were seriously shaken when we contacted these engineers, and the prices were quoted for their initial preliminary services…$50,000! Needless to say, the Assemblies of Yahweh did not have that kind of money! However, by the grace of Almighty Yahweh another way presented itself and much less expensive. We could do the paperwork ourselves under the tutelage of one of the engineers of renown. So the process of application was begun with a reduced retainer fees for his assistance.