The Almaty Television Tower was built between 1975 to 1983. It is one of the most seismically stable and tallest buildings in the world. It is the second tallest building in Kazakhstan and 32nd in the world. The tower is located on the slopes of the Kok-Tube at a height of 372m above sea level. To date the tower is closed to tourist. Here is an exclusive view of the tower both from the outside and from within.
TV broadcasts here are still being done in analogue. By 2015, Kazakhstan plans to introduce the new Digital Broadcating technology.The first stage of this transformation begins next year with the installation of transmitters at Almaty, Karaganda and Astana. The tower’s basement is to undergo reconstruction to make the tower capable of transmitting digitally. The situation at the tower remains the same as in the Soviet era. But after the introduction of digital equipment, it will be quite different.
The last transformation at the tower was done in 2002, when equipment was changed from tube to transistor.
Each studio has its own transmitter. Earlier on the studios were located at the second floor. From here popular radio stations used to broadcast. But due to the remoteness of the area, the studios had to move their bases to the city. It turns out that their equipment are located at the tower while the rest of the work is done at a different location.
The On-call or rather Duty Room. Each “Duty-day” is handled by a panel of six workers in four shifts.
An operator on duty. Their work is mainly to make sure that the transmissions run smoothly without any interruption. They also monitor audio-visual programs to ensure that continuous operation is provided. They check the input and output quality ensuring that weak signals are shifted to a reserve one. Generally, they monitor the smooth functionability of the entire tower.
The remote control for back-up signal management. Each channel has its own source control.
The Technical Control room. It is here that the work of those on duty is monitored.
Czech glass windows on the second floor at the earlier planned main entrance.
Located on the second floor is the Accounting Section.
Lemon trees decorate some of the corridors .
This section houses the Complete Transformer Substations (CTS). This is the place where electric power from the city gets to the tower, then it is distributed all over the building. Entrance to this section is strictly prohibited due to its hazardous nature. Actually, almost all sections of the tower are hazardous since there are so many electric installations.
The basement of the tower is at 19 meters below the surface.
This section at 6 meters below the surface houses the ventilation equipment for the cooling of the transmitters. Soon these equipment will be dismantled since they were erected in 1982 and be replaced with modern ones.
The empty basement rooms form the tower’s foundation. The dim lights make the place spooky. One is left to wonder if ghosts roam these places.
All the coridoors go around the tower giving it an “art gallery” design.
The warehouse stores old stuff that is no longer in use. Here you can find old equipment.
The Bomb-shelter at the tower. So far it has not been used.
At the tower there is a high-speed lift and a staircase that go to the very top of it.
To reach the top of the tower by lift takes just a few minutes.
To the 240 meter mark all parts of the tower have the same diameter. But the higher you go it starts to get narrow.
During the 1st May earthquake, working on the higher levels was prohibited due to safety reasons. Even during strong winds the swaying of the tower can be felt. This is usual for such a tall building. For instance the spire of the tower during such winds can be deflected by one meter but special mechanisms to absorb the vibrations that keep the tower in position.
The entire length of the tower is equipped with a feeder (a coaxial wave-guide) through which signals are transmitted from the transmitter to the antenna on the spire. The tower is designed to put the antenna at a maximum height on the spire.
At the 180 meter mark is what was supposed to be a restaurant. During construction were some custom-built premises whose function to date is not known. These rooms are still empty.
Even though the “restaurant” is still empty, it gives a nice panoramic view of the city below. One can even go out on its balcony!
Going all round the balcony is impossible due to a high voltage antenna which is a potential danger.