Our transmission woes!
You guys are being very patient as we continue to work through issues at the LBL transmission center. It’s Tuesday, May 24, and we’ve been trying to get back to normal since April 21 when erratic meter readings prompted Allen Fowler, our chief engineer, to cut the power going through the antenna in half so that the antenna wouldn’t burn up. We’ve been replacing joints between sections on the small copper pipe inside the larger copper pipe that you see going up the 500 foot tower. When the climbers got to the 400 foot height, they discovered a burnt hole in the outer copper pipe. They also documented a white residue on bays of the antenna that they identified as the by-product of burning copper.
All this while, our main signal has been moved off the ten-bay main antenna to the four-bay antenna usually used for our HD signal, which has been moved to the single bay auxiliary. The main signal strength has been further reduced because of this shift. We’ve also experienced odd and annoying interference both on the analog and the digital transmissions. Allen has diagnosed this as coming from our digital studio to transmitter link, which is closer to both of the antennas being used as alternates than it should be. To cure this, we’ve switched to the analog studio to transmitter link on the analog signal, but not the digital signal. It cleared up the analog problem, but the digital signal is still having trouble. We need to get the signals back to their usual antennas.
Getting back to full power and having the signals where they ought to be coming from, though, is probably going to mean replacing the ten-bay antenna. We will test it once the transmission lines are determined to be secure and sealed again, to see if it is able to carry the full load of the power that we usually transmit with. Early and mid-April thunderstorms started this story and now storms continue to interrupt repairs.
So that’s the story so far. We’re sorry that our services are not as fabulous as they usually are, especially losing 89.5 Fulton, Martin, and Union City, since we’re not transmitting with enough power from the main to reach you there. We will continue to work towards establishing an internet connection to provide you an un-interrupted signal like the folks are enjoying at 90.9 FM, Madisonville. We are also close to being able to fire up the digital signal from 90.9 to make classical 105.1 listenable again. It’s been using the signal from LBL and during the repairs, it’s been undependable. All classical 92.5 Paducah also depends on getting the signal from LBL, so the sooner we get the digital signal back up to its home antenna the better.
We understand your sense of loss without your public radio home! Hopefully we’ll get through this rough spell soon. Thanks again for your patience!
Kate Lochte, Station Manager