VOA, Bethany Antenna Map

Antenna farm layout for VOA, Bethany, Ohio

Antenna Layout Description




S1, S2, S3, S4 57 Degrees S. Europe, N. Africa
T1, T2, T3, T4 74 Degrees West & Central Africa




A1, A2 100 Degrees South Africa
B1, B2 87 Degrees West & Central Africa
C1, C2, C3 62 Degrees Spain & North Africa
H1, H2, J1, J2, J3 168 Degrees Caribbean & South America
K6, L6 66 Degrees Spain & North Africa
K6, L6 (Reversed) 246 Degrees N. Mexico, New Zealand

Bethany Site History

as told by Bruce Mclaughlin - W8FU

Bethany was originally built in part to provide an alternative to the East Coast during the second World War. Because the Germans had been quite active with their submarine warfare along the East Coast, it was thought wise to develop an H. F. site inland from the coast which could be used in the event an East Coast site was damaged or destroyed by enemy action. In fact, some of the rhombic arrays at Bethany were aimed toward Europe. As far as I know, those arrays were not used for many years. Greenville, as well as sites in Europe, replaced any use of Bethany for transmissions to Europe. Another series of rhombics were aimed at North Africa, and were used for many years as relays to Tangiers and Morocco where the VOA had transmission facilities. Of course, when H. F. relays stopped being used in favor of satellite circuits, those antennas ceased to be used on a regular basis. Toward the end of the Bethany sites lifetime, it's principal function was to relay Radio Marte to Cuba and was used for some direct broadcasting to Central and South America. Since the azmuth of those areas was directly south of Bethany, it was a particularly good site for transmission in that direction. Bethany was also used for A.F. R. T. S. service until that was discontinued on the HF bands. Since most if not all of the rhombics were no longer being used, the principal antennas in service were the eight dipole curtain arrays supported by the three tower structure in your photographs. While switching was certainly required, it was nowhere near as extensive as it once was. I think a combination of gradual diminuation of Bethany's role, together with the older, 300 0hm balanced feeder switching situation, and a rather rapid decline in budget allowances, all combined to result in no significant changes being made in the antenna system at Bethany. Perhaps ten years or so prior to the closing of the Bethany station, VOA did replace all of the old wooden pole supports for the rhombics with the steel towers you no doubt saw during your visit. Other than routine maintenance, that was probably the last significant expenditure on antenna systems made at Bethany.

Bruce McLaughlin

Contact: Jim Hawkins