Tag Archives | Tom Busch
December 3, 1986
A storm this week deposits ice the thickness of cucumbers on the KNOM tower and its guy wires, which sag dangerously. The tower is in imminent danger of collapsing.
Tower expert Rod Ewing immediately flies in from Wasilla, Alaska to supervise Timothy Cochran and Tom Busch as they strain to keep the structure standing by carefully tightening the stretched guys, one by one. “It was close,” Timothy relates.
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.
The temperature is dropping, and the days are getting shorter. Although Thanksgiving is weeks away, we continue to count our blessings and be thankful for our amazing KNOM family.
Today, in a special way, we remember KNOM friend and founder Tom Busch, who passed away on this day in 2010. Today is also the 65th anniversary of Tom’s birthday. We miss Tom dearly and are so appreciative for all he did for our mission and for the people of Western Alaska.
It’s a simple testament to Tom, who, along with his wife Florence, established KNOM as a positive presence to young and old alike. Thank you, Tom and Florence. You made a world of difference in the lives of generations of Western Alaskans.
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.
Construction of the Tom and Florence Busch Digital Studios has begun! The pilings are in place, and the contractor will arrive soon to build our super-insulated addition. Please pray that more supporters come forward to make this last dream of the late Tom Busch a reality.
We are so thankful for your gifts and for all the blessings we have received, especially lately! Engineering volunteer Rolland Trowbridge is replacing five dysfunctional power modules in the Nautel AM transmitter; one of the modules actually caught fire for a brief time. Thankfully, the fire was limited only to the module itself! The new transmitter equipment brings us an unexpected expense of $5,000-6,000. However, the cost would have been much higher if the entire AM transmitter building had caught fire.
There are always challenges to meet and obstacles to overcome as we work to keep KNOM on the air in service to dozens of remote communities. Thank you for making our mission possible. We thank all who help KNOM.
September 21, 1970
Volunteers Tom Busch and John Pfeifer and dynamite expert Sam Tucker put in another day, melting holes into the permafrost with red-hot chisels and heavy hammers. Sam’s dynamite blasts excavate an average of about a foot a day on the main hole for the tower, as well as the three smaller holes for guy wire anchors.
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.
July 4, 1989
Walking on the main street of Provideniya, USSR, general manager Tom Busch encounters a young English teacher who recognizes his voice from the radio. “Everyone in Provideniya knows you!” she exclaims. Tom and son Steve are part of a Cub Scout field trip to the Soviet Union. They and the thirty others on the visit are the first ordinary Americans to visit the region, which is a militarized zone. The friendship-forging event is later recounted in the children’s book Friendship Across Arctic Waters by Claire Rudolph.
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