Backup Antenna Undergoing Repair

Nov 9, 2015

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Wed 10/18/15 • 3:54 pm:  Winds at the tower today were in excess of 35 mph, too high to safely hoist the remainder of the antenna onto the tower. Hopefully by tomorrow the remnants of the weekend's storms will clear out. Thursday afternoon's ground winds are forecast from 3-8 mph, which might be gentle enough when magnified 1000' aloft. In the meantime, both stations continue broadcasting at full power.

Tim Diehl of RF Solutions and Roger Newton of OETA testing the antenna on the ground
Credit KWGS

Sat 10/14/15 • 6:22 pm:  Tests indicate some hardware connecting the antenna elements may have been mis-configured, according to manufacturer's drawings. The wind picked up this morning, preventing all of the antenna from being mounted on the tower. Because of scheduling conflicts, it might now be Wednesday before the antenna can be completely reassembled 1000' in the air for final tuning.

Antenna elements hoisted on the tower in pairs
Credit KWGS

Fri 10/13/15 • 8:12 am:  After waiting for Wednesday's strong wind storm to subside, the crew started re-mounted the backup antenna onto the tower on Thursday afternoon. This morning, KWTU will go off-air and KWGS will broadcast at low power to allow electronic measurements to guide the re-tuning of the antenna and transmission line.

The Public Radio Tulsa backup antenna, temporarily reassembled on the ground for testing
Credit KWGS

Wed 10/11/15 • 9:03 am:  The antenna elements have been thoroughly cleaned, inspected, and reassembled on the ground. They're in the process of being electrically analyzed by Tim Diehl of RF Solutions to insure that everything is in tip-top shape before disconnecting the antenna elements in preparation for hoisting them back onto the tower, two-by-two.

Inside one of the eight Public Radio Tulsa antenna elements
Credit KWGS

Tue 10/10/15 • 9:23 am:  All eight backup antenna elements are on the ground and are being disassembled for inspection. Some loose hardware inside the antenna elements is being found in addition to what looks like ants or bugs. How they got into an antenna 1000' feet above the ground or survived the intense radio frequency fields is a mystery.

Precision Communications Inc. tower crew: Rocky, Trent, Clint and Cody.
Credit KWGS

Mon 10/9/15 • 10:41 am:  Both of Public Radio Tulsa's stations will be going on- and off-air this week to allow tower crews to repair our backup antenna. Since the backup is intertwined with the main antenna, it's not safe to broadcast at the same time the crew is on the tower. This necessitates turning off Classical 88.7 and Public Radio 89.5 for a number of hours at a time. Repairs should be completed by this weekend.