780 AM | 96.1 FM | “Yours for Western Alaska”

Posts Tagged ‘tower’

August ’09: “Come back soon!”

August 23, 2009 The transmitter fails this morning, just as the automated remote control commands the increase to daytime power. KNOM general manager Ric Schmidt coaxes it to operate at very low power: about 2,000 watts. The reason for the problem was a lightning strike that severed the jumper cable 100 feet above ground. Due to high…

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December 1986: Under a coat of ice, the tower is near collapse

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…

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November 1970: A short-lived Christmas star

November 26, 1970 A 3-foot, lighted Christmas star tops the 49-foot studio tower. Like five successors over the years, it is blown apart by wind before the end of the holidays. (The star’s modern successor – pictured at right – has proven to be much more wind-resistant!)

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A new blog (this blog!), and a new look to our online newsletter

Frequent visitors to our website may have noticed a new blog appear earlier this year. Our Mission Blog – that is, the blog you’re reading right now! – is home to stories, photos, inspirational spots, and updates detailing our radio station’s latest activities, and now, it’s also home to our newsletter, The Nome Static. Starting…

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November 1970: Waiting for the weather for tower construction

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…

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Halloween, 1970: The AM tower is complete

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.

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September 1997: A solution for drifting snow

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…

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September 1970: Dynamiting into the permafrost

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…

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July 1999: Rod Ewing paints the tower

July 21, 1999 Rod Ewing begins to apply a new coat of paint to the KNOM tower. How do you paint a tower? “The first thing you do,” Rod jokes, “is take a bucket of paint and pour it over your head, so you get that part taken care of right off the bat.” Actually,…

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