Our thanks to all who participated in our 2021 Sharathon, “50 Faithful Years”.  We were able to rase $92,420 toward our annual operating budget of $115,000 during the Sharathon and are humbled by the sacrificial sacrifice of our listeners!

A special thanks to our co-hosts, Don and Mike Cline.  We really appreciate their  many hours of planning and having at least one of them on-air for the entire Sharathon.

You can read more about the Sharathon here

We are really looking forward to replacing our main transmitter at KOLU.  Many hours were spent in early spring working on the “driver” tube in the transmitter.  The old driver had been running well for around a year, but it was obvious it was “wearing out” as the output was falling due to lowering “emissions”, and it could no longer keep the transmitter running at full power.

Not to worry, we had 2 rebuilt tubes ready to place in the transmitter and bring it back to full power.  So, a trip was scheduled, and we carefully followed our replacement procedure with the rebuilt tube, set the transmitter to the initial burn-in settings at full power, and returned to the studio.  As I was entering a meeting, my cell-phone relayed a transmitter alarm that said transmitter power was very low.

Returning to the site, I noted that the output of the transmitter was low, but I could switch to lower power operation and the transmitter would be fine at that power level, so I continued to burn in the tube in case it needed more time.  After several days of this burn in, returning to the site I tried restoring full power, but stayed and watched the power decrease over a period of about an hour until it was less than the low power setting.

Okay…time to try the second rebuilt tube.  That one was placed in the transmitter and exhibited exactly the same symptoms.

At this point we reached our final option, which was to order a new tube at over twice the cost of the rebuilt ones, but new tubes seemed to work fine.  Another $2,000 spent…

Replacing the driver with the new tube, the burn-in process went back to normal and the transmitter has been working fine since then.  That is, until the final tube wears out, which should be in couple of months.

A new solid-state transmitter doesn’t use tubes and has much lower maintenance costs (and a warranty!).  Not only will it run cooler, use less electricity, and not require tubes, but it also positions us to where further upgrades could give us a “digital” signal, with more than one program stream that could be listened to on 90.1.  Stay tuned!

 

This year’s Sharathon “Little Is Much When God Is in It” featured how the Lord has taken the “little” things of small offerings and prayer in the ministry of Christian Family Radio and used those to make a tremendous difference in the lives of many.  God’s way of working in our lives often runs counter to our nature.

The Sharathon started October 22nd at 1 pm and ran through October 24th  at 10 pm.  Friday, we start at 1pm and Saturday at 10:30 am. Praise the Lord, we raised $110,618, covering most of our costs for the coming year and a record for any Sharathon! Our special thanks to Don and Mike Cline, who hosted the entire Sharathon, with engaging and interesting conversation for all three days.

Our operating budget this year is $120,000, which remains very low for a network that includes a 39,000 watt main station along with 3 translators, covering a potential audience of over 750,00 people.

Listeners had the opportunity to participate and learn more about this ministry. Saturday brought a hot dog cookout (in the gymnasium due to the cold weather) and many came to enjoy the food and fellowship.

Please accept our heartfelt “thank you” for your participation in the Sharathon and standing behind this ministry with your prayers and sacrificial giving.

At 4am today, I was awakened by a call from our station Manager John Paisley. KOLU’s transmitter was running, but there was no sound going over the air.

I checked the usual suspects in our automation system remotely from my home, and all was running fine but no sound. I also had a message that communication with our site was down. Time to head to the studio…

…at the studio, all equipment was working well, and I could see that the “backhaul” that communicated with KOLU’s equipment was working on the studio end, but there was nothing on the transmitter side. Time to visit the transmitter site…

…arriving at the site after a 40 minute drive, the transmitter was humming along well, but as I looked at the receiver that gets the signal from the studio, I noticed it was dark, not a good sign. Going behind the rack, I checked the recently installed “UPS” (uninterruptible power supply that provides power to important equipment), and all lights appeared to be on. While I considered what that meant, I moved the power cord from the receiver to bypass the UPS, and all of the sudden we were back on the air!

A closer look at the UPS revealed that it has a “GFI” (ground-fault interrupter) outlet installed on it that had tripped for an unknown reason. Resetting the GFI brought power back to all equipment.

Feeling that I didn’t want the same problem to take us off the air again, I temporarily bypassed the UPS (it only keeps the equipment running while the generator starts up during a power failure) and will look at ways to keep the GFI from causing this problem again. Hopefully, we’ll have a permanent solution soon.

Thanks for listening, and your prayers are always appreciated!

Christian Family Radio’s latest translator went on the air to the Grande Ronde Valley of northeast Oregon August 28. K229BN now serves the towns of La Grande, Summerville, Union, Cove, Island City, Imbler and Elgin on 93.7 with our Christ-honoring family friendly programming.

Nearly a year of planning was necessary to find a license that could be purchased, negotiating leases and access, and filing with the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) to transfer then relocate the translator to Mt. Harris, which provides coverage to the entire valley.

Early in the morning of August 27, an installation crew from Christian Family Radio met with our tower construction contractor in Imbler, then drove another 45 minutes to access the site at 5,000 feet of elevation. A pole mounting the broadcast antenna was installed along with a second pole on the side of the transmitter building for an antenna to receive the signal from KOLU’s main transmitter south of Kennewick.

Following a full day’s work, the transmitter and receiver were tested and configuration was made to control the equipment remotely. All equipment tested well. That evening, the license application was filed and the transmitter commissioned.

Crew finishing up construction. K229BN’s antenna is on pole in middle above white antennas

Reception reports confirm excellent signal coverage to the entire Grande Ronde Valley.

We are very thankful for the persistence and support of Summerville Baptist Church and Pastor Franklin Humber, and for all of you that support Christian Family Radio through your prayers and contributions. We are looking forward to hearing from new listeners and seeing many blessed through the latest expansion to our ministry.

Update, November 22: The transmitter has been repaired and is again running at full power.  Thank you for your prayers!

Update, November 15, 7pm: We were able to find the problem with our main transmitter at KOLU, which turned out to be a shorted driver tube that failed prematurely after one month of service.  The short also caused the failure of another component.  We are working to get replacements as soon as possible, but expect it to take several days.  In the meantime, we have our backup transmitter broadcasting through the main antenna, giving us considerably better coverage.

November 15, 2018: Yesterday around 12:40PM the electric service at our main transmitter (KOLU) went down, and was off for several hours.  Our automatic backup system utilizing a generator kept us on the air during this time.  When power was restored, we attempted to restart our main transmitter, but there were problems that prevented us from bringing KOLU back to full power that will be investigated today.

During this time, our over-the-air signal will be degraded and may be “scratchy” or completely off in our fringe areas.  You can listen online to us from our main page at kolu.com if you are able.  We will troubleshoot the problem this morning and hope to be back to full power this afternoon.  You can refer to this page for updates.

Thank you for your patience and loyalty to Christian Family Radio.

Update (June 4, 2018):

We now have the web site working fully!  Let us know if you see any problems or have any questions.  Your patience and prayers are greatly appreciated!

Earlier post:

We are in the process of changing the company that “hosts” kolu.com. Not all our services will be available while we move the site, so please bear with us. We hope to have the site up and running completely within a day or so. Thank you for your patience, and visit us often!

Update (November 19, 2017)

We have switched providers and are now back up and running on our audio streaming.  Please keep in mind that we have little or no control over third parties, such as Tune-In or ShoutCast, that rebroadcast our signal.  It may take a considerable amount of time before you can pick up our signal there.  We recommend that you bookmark our link here at kolu.com and use it to listen to our signal.  Our new signal uses ShoutCast technology and is compatible with virtually all devices.

Thank your for your understanding, prayers and support!

Original Post:

Those of you that use our audio stream have probably noticed that is was not working or would be unreliable for the last week or two.

The service that we have been using for many years has not been checking their server and would not respond to multiple requests to fix the problem. We have cancelled this service and are working on a permanent solution.

In the meantime, we have temporarily switched to another service (BoxCast), which is designed to handle video streams from other related ministries, but has proven to be very reliable. These streams can not be scheduled for more than 24 hours at a time, so we have set up our audio stream to run for 24 hours, then start a new stream each day at midnight.

We appreciate your patience and faithfulness. Please continue to pray for this ministry, and, once again, thank you!

This last Friday and Saturday, work was completed to inspect, check structural bolts, then wash and paint the tower located at KOLU’s studio. Chief Engineer Martin Gibbs and contractor RS Technology, along with a “ground crew” were able to finish this important work during one of the first good-weather opportunities this spring.

Tower Washing

Martin pressure washing the tower

The tower is used for equipment that carries Christian Family Radio’s signal to our transmitter on Beck Mountain south of Kennewick. It is also used for antennas that receive National Weather Service broadcasts and off-air monitoring of KOLU’s main broadcast signal. Small “dish” type antennas provide network links to different buildings on the campus as well.

This tower was originally built for KOLU’s main antenna in 1971 when the station first signed on at 390 watts. In 1978, during KOLU’s first upgrade to 3,900 watts, it was raised from its original 60 feet height to its present 100 feet. The upper 60 feet of the tower had fading white and Aviation orange paint, while the rest of the tower was in its original galvanized construction.

On Friday, the tower was inspected and all bolts were checked and tightened as necessary. Then, the entire tower was washed using a high pressure washer to remove loose paint and other debris. Saturday, the tower was given a fresh coating of gray cold-galvanizing compound, which will protect the surfaces for many years to come.

Tower Painting

Martin and Rob of RS Technology painting

We are so thankful for those that helped in this project, and for the smooth and safe conduct of the work. A special thanks to RS Technology for their hard work and expertise that made this possible. We also extend our gratitude to our listeners for their prayers and financial support that enabled this project. Certainly, we trust that “safety is of the Lord.” (Prov. 21:31)

Sherry challenges parents and grandparents of military personnel to a $10 one-time gift
-Sue answered the challenge
-Pat answered the challenge for her grandson Joseph