Tag Archives | AM
November 22, 1970
After three weeks of blizzards and winds, the weather has briefly cleared.
Volunteers John Pfeifer and Tom Busch are belted to the AM tower at the 95-foot level, and eight others on the ground hoist the microwave receive antenna, which the pair install. Weather closes in again, and work can’t resume for two more days.
October 31, 1970
The AM tower construction is complete. Nome Joint Utilities runs a power line across the tundra to the tower, and it is lighted. It’s finished just in time. Two days later, blizzards shut down Nome for almost three weeks.
October 25, 1984
After nearly two years of lobbying, frequent intervention by Senator Ted Stevens, and five inches of paperwork, the FCC grants KNOM and fifteen other high-power Alaskan stations protection against interference that is beyond what is afforded large Lower 48 stations, by creating a new class of station, 1-N (“N” for north).
It is the result of two years of work undertaken by Tom Busch, then president of the Alaska Broadcasters Association, and Augie Hiebert, KNOM friend and Alaska broadcasting pioneer. It was initiated by a petition by Canada to establish thirty AM stations in the western regions of their country, interference from which would have wiped out nighttime radio listenership throughout most of rural Alaska. Senator Ted Stevens prevailed to preserve the coverage rights of KNOM AM and the other rural Alaska radio stations.
September 25, 1997
Chief engineer Les Brown (pictured) has almost single-handedly built the extended fence around the AM tower, preparing for the mission’s higher-power, 25,000-Watt signal. Snow drifting has always been a problem there, and Les tries an innovative solution.
For (fence) pickets, he uses 1/2-inch plastic pipes, which he figures will be aerodynamic and won’t stop as much snow as wooden slats. It turns out to be an excellent decision. The needed material costs $931, and by doing it himself, Les figures he is saving the mission about $4,500 in labor.
Last week, we welcomed the last of this year’s five volunteers to Nome. Lucus Keppel is from Michigan and has committed one year to the KNOM Radio Mission. He joins Margaret, Eva, Dayneé, and Josh. They look forward to a wonderful year of service to listeners in remote bush communities.
As always, we thank everyone who helps us overcome each obstacle and meet every challenge. Sometimes, our challenges are of a technical nature.
Recently, KNOM’s AM transmitter shut down, and the sensor monitoring the temperature inside our transmitter building read 128 degrees! The fans had turned off and had failed to restart. After cooling the building, engineering volunteer Rolland Trowbridge located the reset switch in a control panel and restarted the AM transmitter, returning the KNOM signal to the air.
In the rare moments our AM signal goes offline, we often receive phone calls from listeners asking us “where did you go?” We’re gratified to have such devoted listeners – and dedicated volunteers, staff, and community members who make sure such outages are not just rare, but also brief.
August 23, 2009
The transmitter fails this morning, just as the automated remote control commands the increase to daytime power. From Anchorage, Tom Busch talks general manager Ric Schmidt into coaxing it to operate at very low power, about 2,000 watts. After flying to Nome, Tom discovers that a jumper cable 100 feet above ground has severed. Due to high reflected power, the station might be actually transmitting at only a handful of watts.
We so appreciate everyone’s support for KNOM and for our efforts to trim energy costs.
With the cost of gasoline at almost $6 per gallon here in bush Alaska, you can understand why we are looking high and low for ways to save.
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