96.1 FM, 780 AM, Yours for Western Alaska

A DIY solution for an askew building

We’ve been working hard to stretch our financial resources. Sometimes, that means being creative in problem-solving, even when the ground is literally shifting underneath us – as it has, in recent weeks, at our AM transmitter site.

KNOM’s AM transmitter building and tower sit on the outskirts of Nome, about 3 miles east of town. From one season to the next, the ground at the site thaws and re-freezes, as it does all over Western Alaska.

These cycles of freezing and melting cause the wooden piling supporting our transmitter building to slightly shift its position. In the spring – during the melting period Alaskans call “break up” – the piling tends to push up, or “jack up,” from the ground.

This spring melting was to blame for a slight slant in the foundation of our transmitter building, recently observed by our volunteer engineer, Rolland Trowbridge.

We had planned on hiring a crew to come and level the building. But by tapping past experience and using equipment on hand – some of it borrowed from supporters, some of it more than 50 years in age – we shot levels and jacked down the south side of the building about five inches, bringing the structure back to its proper level.

By going the DIY route (do it yourself), our mission saved about $1,500!

As always, we thank those whose support makes every minute of our mission possible – from broadcasting to problem-solving.