THE CGC COMMUNICATOR
                            CGC #667
                  Wednesday, December 29, 2004
               Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR, Publisher
    Copyright 2004, Communications General® Corporation (CGC)
  Roughly the upper half of the historic KSON(AM) self-
supporting tower collapsed in heavy winds at about 1:30 a.m.
today.  The tower site is located a few miles south of downtown
San Diego next to the I-5 freeway.  Some of the falling
debris reportedly landed on I-5, while other parts impacted
an automobile impound yard at the base of the tower.  However,
a considerable amount of tower metal simply "bent over" and
did not fall to the ground.  What was once a straight vertical
tower has become a U-shaped nightmare with the inverted
part suspended in mid-air.
  According to FCC CDBS data, the electrical height of the
KSON tower was 442 feet, meaning that the physical height would
probably have been a few feet more.  According to Jack Rabell,
approximately the top 200 feet of the tower has collapsed.  A
thumbnail photo of the damaged structure is currently available
as front page news on SignOnSanDiego at the URL below - but the
photo probably won't last long.
  The following stations transmitted from the KSON tower
and are now off the air: KSON(AM), 1240 kHz; KURS(AM), 1040
kHz; and KBNT-CA, Channel 17, a Class A LPTV facility.  Since
CH-17 fed CH-62 on Mt. Soledad which in turn fed CH-49 on
San Marcos Mountain, these other LPTVs are now dark as well.
The tower disaster may have also taken down the emergency
antenna for KSON-FM (this point remains unverified); however,
the main KSON-FM antenna is located elsewhere and was not
affected by the incident.
  Thanks to Jack Rabell and Jose Sevilla for providing initial
reports on the tower collapse.  Fortunately, no injuries were
reported, and steps are already underway to restore service to
the affected stations.  A small photo of the remaining tower 
structure is currently available at:
  If you have jpeg images of the collapsed tower, please hold
them for now.  We are trying to arrange for someone to web post
them - not an easy task over the holidays.  If you can web post
your own photos, so much the better.  Send us the URL and we will
include it in the next CGC Communicator.
  We hope that 2005 will be a much better year for us all!
  The CGC Communicator is published for broadcast engineering
  professionals in so. California by Communications General®
  Corporation (CGC), consulting radio engineers, Fallbrook, CA.
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