I received this picture and story about Steve from old friend
Tom Norman. It is very typical of Steve.
I found a photo that may interest you, regarding Steve
Broomell. As you will recall, he was a very clever guy. There was one time,
during the time I worked for him in Casper, that he referred to technologies
that would make radio signals available on the far side of a horizon (or the far
side of a mountain range), as a Magic Tree. There were actually a few carefully
placed slivers of wire in place in the Sherman Range between Laramie and
Cheyenne at one time, which made 2 Meter propagation possible between the two
cities, before the time of the repeaters. Hidden in the trees, Steve was
specifically thinking of this "Magic Tree" in this conversation.
Years later, there was an interest on the part of KUWR to be heard over the air
in Casper. The path from Pilot Knob to Casper Mountain was a bit tenuous,
because with a wavelength of roughly three meters, fresnel zone issues were
present. Nevertheless, KUWR's signal was there, and with a rhombic antenna
designed by a fellow Steve found in Sheridan (but whose name escapes me at the
moment), the signal was pretty consistent, and pretty good. Steve built the
device shown in the photograph, got it type accepted at the FCC, and put it on
the air as a translator for KUWR, feeding 10 Watts to a Yagi antenna pointed at
Casper. The site was the original KTWO-TV transmitter site, north of the current
site, accessible only by a dirt road owned by others, or by foot up the side of
the mountain. Instead of calling it the Old Transmitter Site, Steve dubbed it
the Magic Tree site, and the name stuck.
The box in the photo, then, is the Magic Tree, the 10 Watt translator Steve
built. The front end was a receiver he bought at Radio Shack, and the PA was a
Broomell custom design with a vacuum tube capable of far more than the 10 Watts
it made. I am not certain, but he may have used an 807 in deference to his
constant interest in beer, but it may easily have been a 6146B. Either of these
were in ample supply at the KTWO transmitter site, since that rig ate these
tubes like some people eat lunch. But that, my friend, is another story.
Larry Dean of Wyoming Public Radio provides more details about
Steve's Magic Tree:
Steve gave me my first full-time engineering position in
broadcast when he was at KTWO Casper at the same time Tom Norman was there.
After a long stint in California I am back in Wyoming, as ” Coordinator of Radio
Engineering” for Wyoming Public Radio at UW. The network now consists of 14
transmitters and 8 translators. Steve put in the first translator to serve
Casper that you picture in about 1980. When Steve left KTWO, the translator had
to be repositioned on the old TV14 tower. WPR replaced it in 2000 with a 500
watt station, KUWC.
The picture is the outside of the building were Steve built