- About Us
- Sharathon 2015
On Thursday, May 7, we successfully tested KOLU at 39,000 watts! The test started around 3pm and the transmitter ran flawlessly until we returned to our current 4,100 watts at around 7pm. A couple of quick drives around town and to nearby areas confirmed the increase in signal with less “drop outs”. Fringe area listeners reported a much stronger signal as well.
This test is part of our required “equipment testing” to insure that all is working well before placing the transmitter on the air. We are required by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) to have a measurement made of the strength of our signal on the ground near the antenna before we can apply for the license that authorizes us to broadcast at 39,000 watts. We are scheduling this test and expect to have it completed and receive the report within a couple of weeks.
In the meantime we have lots of work remaining to prepare the transmitter for full-time duty. Our remote control system needs to be set up to monitor the “health” of the transmitter and give us the ability to control it from our studio and other locations. We also want it to turn off automatically if something is wrong well before major repairs would be required. A robust grounding system that will protect the transmitter and other equipment during thunderstorms is being finished. We have a list of fixes and improvements for our used transmitter to make it as reliable as possible, and will try to have them completed before going on the air.
Once again, your prayers and financial support are a very important part of this project, and we are praising the Lord for each success. Our heart is to see Christian Family Radio used to bring glory to the Lord!
This is the latest full-length Founder’s Corner sermon. “Seven Reasons Why I Love America” is scheduled to play Thursday and Friday, May 7-8. It was originally preached by Dr. Dallas Dobson in July 1990.
This is the latest full-length Founder’s Corner sermon. “The Path of Least Resistance” is scheduled to play Monday through Wednesday, May 4-6. It was originally preached by Dr. Dallas Dobson in July 1990.
We have crossed another milestone in the upgrade of KOLU to 39,000 watts. The 20,000 watt transmitter has been tested at full power and is working well!
Along the way, we have installed a wire tray that will carry wiring that sends signals to control and monitor the transmitter. Although we had completed re-wiring of the high voltage section, we weren’t entirely satisfied since some wire was brittle and there was many wires that had extra length, so we dove back into it and “cleaned up” that wiring.
The transmitter came up well although there were a couple of “hitches” along the way. Some was due to our unfamiliarity with the control system and a couple of indicator lights that were burnt out. Together with a wiring error in the smaller “driver” tube circuit, we had a couple of challenges yet all was figured out and fixed. The transmitter engineer that is helping us commented that this used transmitter is in excellent condition, with only a few minor problems that we have easily corrected.
As of this writing, the transmitter is still tuned to the frequency of its former owners. All power that the transmitter generated was directed into our “dummy load”, making for a lot of heat in the building!
Our next step in the upgrade will be to tune the transmitter to 90.1 MHz. After this, we will run full power through the antenna for a couple of hours to make sure all is well. This is what the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) describes as “equipment testing”, which we are authorized to do. We are not authorized to leave it on the air, as testing for safety from strong radio frequency fields must be done before we can apply for the license that will authorize us to transmit at the higher power.
We will schedule the testing shortly. While this is being arranged, we will complete the wiring to remotely control and monitor the transmitter. The completion of the test report and an electronically-filed application for license will allow us to immediately broadcast at 39,000 watts, which is known as “program testing”.
In case you are wondering how a 20,000 watt transmitter produces 39,000 watts in coverage, it has to do with what is known as “antenna gain”. Our antenna has a gain of about 2, which enables us to “multiply” our power compared to an antenna without as much gain.
Praise the Lord, we believe we are a few short weeks from broadcasting on KOLU at 39,000 watts!
This is the latest full-length Founder’s Corner sermon. “On Renting out the Church” is scheduled to play Thursday and Friday, April 30-May 1. It was originally preached by Dr. Dallas Dobson in July 1990.
This is the latest full-length Founder’s Corner sermon. “The Eagle” is scheduled to play Monday through Wednesday, April 27-29. It was originally preached by Dr. Dallas Dobson in July 1990.
This is the latest full-length Founder’s Corner sermon. “Blessed Assurance” is scheduled to play Thursday and Friday, April 23-24. It was originally preached by Dr. Dallas Dobson in July 1990.
This is the latest full-length Founder’s Corner sermon. “Are You Disappointed in Jesus” is scheduled to play Monday through Wednesday, April 20-22. It was originally preached by Dr. Dallas Dobson in July 1990.
As we continue to work on upgrading KOLU’s power to 39,000 watts, we now have electrical power connected. We have also re-connected the wiring inside the transmitter in preparation for initial testing.
Several listeners have wondered why it is taking so long to complete this upgrade. There are several reasons for this, the first being that we are optimists! In order to save a huge amount of costs (literally over $100,000), we have been searching for used material that will do the job. The biggest item (both by cost and weight!) is our “new” transmitter, a 1995 model that did nearly 20 years of continuous service in Iowa. Bringing used equipment and material back to operating condition is a much greater challenge and takes time, and sometimes progress is halted while necessary parts are found.
We have many volunteers working on this project and others that are working for very low rates. Jobs and businesses must be attended to, so we have to wait for them to have time. But, of course, we really appreciate the sacrificial giving of their “spare time”! This is the highest powered transmitter that I have ever installed, and we are taking our time as we learn while we repair and rebuild.
We are confident in bringing this project to a fruitful close. God has brought many into this project that have excellent skills and experience in dealing with exactly the equipment and needs we have. Our transmitter engineer has over 40 years of experience working with this type of transmitter. Our electrician runs a very productive industrial electrical contracting business. Many others are lending their extensive experience to this upgrade.
We are now getting very close to seeing KOLU’s power raised to 39,000 watts in the coming weeks! Stay tuned…
In late March, Christian Family Radio Staff visited our new Yakima translator site to replace a temporary support on the receive antenna and to set up Internet access for the equipment installed there. Although it took a bit longer than we planned (these kinds of things seem to happen that way!), we were able to replace the “stiff arm” that keeps the antenna from turning sideways in strong winds. This stiff arm is made of fiberglass to prevent it from interfering with the operation of the antenna.
Of course, the receive antenna is a vital part of the system that takes a very small signal from KOLU, over 66 miles away, and sends it to the receiver so that we can have a clear signal to broadcast.
The difficulty came in working over 40 feet off the ground and reaching where the stiff arm connects to the base of the antenna. The antenna had to be “swung” sideways to be able to work on it, which meant the translator was off the air while this was being done.
Once it was connected to the base of the antenna, the rest of the work went quickly and we were back on the air. Since then, there have been several windstorms in the area, but the antenna continues to point the right direction, giving a clear signal to our Yakima and Upper Valley listeners.
It took another visit and the installation of a different piece of equipment than originally planned, but we now are able to access both the receiver and transmitter parts of the translator remotely. This enables us to check up on the translator without making the long drive to the site, and will help us to keep the translator on the air as much as possible.
Thank you for your prayers and faithful support that has enabled us to extend the ministry of Christian Family Radio into the Yakima area.