We are pleased to announce that we’ve moved our children’s programming to earlier time slots to provide these stories and teaching programs at times that would be more convenient for this special audience.

2015-03_kidsradioThis was only done after much thought and input from our listeners.  During the week, children’s programming used to start at 4pm and was in a one-hour block.  When we started airing Adventures in Odyssey, it was simply added after the other programs, putting it into a time when listeners were commuting and preparing for their evening.  By moving these programs up to 3:30, they are airing in the “after school” time block.  And, placing them back-to-back, they are finished before 5pm.

Saturday programming also began later in the morning, at 9:30.  Most children are up well before this time, and families are starting their Saturday activities well ahead of the noon time that the programs ended.  We now start the airing of the programs at 8am, and finish them before 10:30.  Of course, Bible Quiz will continue to air during this time, so be sure the kids (12 and under) listen carefully to win a Walmart gift card!

In making these changes, a couple of other programs were affected.  Here’s a list of the changes:

Monday through Friday

Story Time moved from 4:03 to 3:31pm
Adventures-Bookshelf moved from 4:18 to 3:46pm
Stories of Great Christians moved from 4:33 to 4:01pm
Keys for Kids moved from 4:48 to 4:16pm
Answers with Ken Ham moved from 4:53 to 4:21pm
SRN News moved out of the time slot (airing at 3 and 5pm)
Adventures in Odyssey moved from 5:03pm to 4:22pm

Saturday

The Gospel Hour moved out of the time slot from 9:05 to 6:31am
SRN News moved out of the time slot, airing at 8am, then at 11am
(Note that program times for children’s programs are approximate, depending on when Bible Quiz airs)
Adventures of Patch the Pirate moved from 9:35 to 8:03am
Storybook Room moved from 9:50 to 8:18am
Verse of the Week moved from 10:05 to 8:34 and 9:56am.  Verse of the Week will no longer play in the afternoons.
Adventures in Odyssey moved from 10:31 to 9:00am.  This program still airs in the evening at 8:03pm
Ranger Bill moved from 11:00 to 9:26am
Fables of Faith moved from 11:31 to 10:06am

Unrelated to the children’s program schedule, we also moved Bible Tract Echoes from 4:31am to 1:18pm to reach a wider audience.

2015-02-27 Feed Line Small

The old, smaller feed line

We are happy to have completed the next major step in the upgrade of KOLU to 39,000 watts.  The larger “feed line”, which carries KOLU’s signal from the transmitter to the antenna, is now installed.  This new feed line is rated to handle much more than the nearly 20,000 watts of transmitter power that will be running through it.

Work was completed Friday, February 27.  It took a bit longer than we anticipated as we dealt with winds and having to work around some of the things mounted on the tower.

We now turn our attention indoors, where the large transmitter is waiting to be connected, checked out and tested.  There are some parts we need to hook things up, and most of these have been located as used parts that will save us thousands of dollars.

The new larger feed line

The new larger feed line

A concrete slab was poured outside for our new 5-ton air conditioner that will keep the transmitter running cool.  This air conditioner should be installed within a few weeks.

We are so thankful for your prayers and support of this project, and patience as we have to disrupt our regular broadcast signal while work like this is performed.   Of course, we are all looking forward to the day in the coming weeks when we will be broadcasting at 39,000 watts from Beck Mountain!

We are pleased to announce that the tower work to prepare KOLU for our 39,000 watt upgrade has been rescheduled for Friday, February 27.  During this time, KOLU will be unable to broadcast at our present 4,100 watts, since the work involves the replacement of the cable that feeds signal to the antenna.  Instead, we will use our 100 watt backup transmitter, which serves primarily the Tri-Cities and Hermiston.  Our translators in Yakima and Prosser will automatically shut off during this time, since the signal will not reach them.  We will also need to be off the air for brief periods of time while climbers are near our backup antenna.  We expect to operate at low power from approximately 9:30AM for about 4 hours on Friday, February 27.  Also note that we will continue to stream on the internet at kolu.com.  Thank you for your patience and understanding as we progress toward upgrading KOLU to 39,000 watts in the coming weeks.

We welcome Yakima area listeners to Christian Family Radio!

On Thursday, February 19, at around 4pm, Christian Family Radio took to the air on 88.9 FM in Yakima.  A preliminary survey of coverage matched well with our predictions, providing decent in-car reception from Selah to Sunnyside.  Coverage in Yakima itself was better than expected, with a clear signal in most areas.

We had originally thought that simply testing the translator would meet the FCC requirement that it be returned to service by February 20, but learned from one of the attorneys working with us that it had to actually be on the air and broadcasting.  Thus, we worked with the current licensee (with whom we are trading translators) to install the receive system that put KOLU’s signal on the air on 88.9.

This deadline was brought about because the former Yakima translator was taken off the air on February 20, 2014, and FCC rules require that if a station is “dark” for more than 1 year, it’s license is revoked.

Praise the Lord we have reached this milestone and met the deadline!  There is still some work to do at the site, but most of this work is “behind the scenes”.  In addition, we also need the FCC to finalize it’s approval of the trade shortly.  We appreciate your support of this project and your continued prayers.

2015-02-10 Climber Installing Antenna

Climber Installing Translator Antenna

Praise the Lord, the transmitter and antenna for the Yakima translator have been installed and tested!

This critical step had to be completed prior to February 20, or the license for the translator would be cancelled by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission).  In a couple of days, the filing for the license will be complete, documenting the installation and “resetting” the cancellation date.

Because the FCC has not yet assigned the translator to Christian Family Radio, the installation was completed by the current licensee with whom we are trading our Badger Mountain translator.  We will reimburse them when the FCC completes the assignment, which we hope to see within the next couple of weeks.

We hope to be broadcasting into the Yakima and the Upper Valley very soon.  Please continue to keep this project in your prayers!

2014-01-23 KOLU Tower Work Ice

A tower worker prepares cable reel. Note ice on tower

As you may have heard, we were announcing over the air on Friday that we would be operating KOLU at lower power while workers attached new cable to the tower.  This cable is necessary to handle the power of the soon-to-be upgraded KOLU.

When all arrived at the site at 8 AM, the tower and guy wires were covered with a heavy coating of ice (see picture).  A warming trend that was forecast did not happen as quickly as we expected it to, so the decision was made at 11 AM to delay the actual tower work.  Despite this, preparations were made to do the work, and we hope to be able to complete it on Friday, January 30.

Many thanks to Rob and his crew at RS Technology for their efforts to complete this project, and their patience in spite of less-than-perfect conditions.

Please pray that the weather remains warm enough to prevent icing and that winds are not strong this coming Friday.  Remember that our location is about 2000 feet above sea level, so weather “on the mountain” is often much different that it is in the Tri-Cities.

2015-01-19 CCA In Transmitter Building

The New Transmitter positioned in the building

We’ve achieved another milestone in the upgrade of KOLU to 39,000 watts.  The 20,000 watt transmitter is now in KOLU’s transmitter building on Beck Mountain.

Many thanks to Kennewick Transfer and Storage for doing the “heavy lifting” to move the transmitter from their storage to our transmitter site.

We still have lots more work in bringing the transmitter up to full operating conditions.  In addition to attaching AC power and reconnecting wiring between the two cabinets, we’ll need to make some minor repairs to damage that happened in transit.  None of the damage is significant, but repairs are still required.  In addition, we have obtained a used “load” that we will use to test the transmitter as we bring it up to full power, as well as any time the transmitter needs maintenance.  This load was purchased at a very low cost, but also requires repair.

Our present schedule will have us changing the cable that feeds this higher power to the antenna on Friday, January 23.  We will have to be off the air or at low power for a number of hours, so please bear with us.  We’ll keep our streamed signal at kolu.com running so you can listen on the Internet if you are able.

We also have to pour a concrete pad that will mount the air conditioning unit that is necessary to cool the transmitter with the much greater heat that it will put out.  After this is done, the unit will be installed before we can start broadcasting at the higher power.

In case you’re wondering how a 20,000 watt transmitter broadcasts at 39,000 watts of power, it has to do with what is called “antenna gain”.   Higher gain antennas direct more power toward the horizon, rather than off into space.  This gives an “equivalent power” (known in FCC terms as effective radiated power, or “ERP”) greater than the power of the transmitter.

Keep this project in your prayers.  We appreciate your support!

On November 26th, we completed our filings with the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) to trade the translator located on Badger Mountain south of Richland with a permit to build one serving Yakima from near Wapato.  This vital step took a bit longer than we anticipated, but it required all parties to be satisfied with the terms of the trade agreement, and we are thankful that this step is now complete.

We are expecting approval of the trade by early January.  This approval clears the way for us to construct the translator and be on the air by mid-January.  This is close to the “must complete” deadline of mid-February, so we ask for your prayers for all to go well and that we will be broadcasting Christian Family Radio to the Yakima area and upper Yakima Valley well ahead of the deadline.

Again, we are thankful for the many that gave sacrificially for this project, and look forward to expanding the outreach of Christian Family Radio to the glory of our Lord!

As we’ve been doing for the past couple of years, Christian Family Radio is now broadcasting all-Christmas music through December 26th.  This music is all Christ-honoring and gives a wonderful background to your daily life, whether at home, work or running errands in the car.

We’ve extended the all-Christmas time to two weeks based on listener comments, which have been overwhelmingly positive.

From all of us here at Christian Family Radio, we extend our wishes and prayers to you and your family for a wonderful Christmas and God’s blessing in 2015. 2014 has been a good year for this ministry and we are excited that we will soon be reaching another 200,000 potential listeners through the power upgrade of KOLU and the new Yakima translator.  Read more about these on our coverage upgrade page.

After using our former national news service for 25 years, Christian Family Radio has  transitioned to SRN News.  This new service provides us with more flexibility to vary our newscasts between in-depth and summaries, and also to “nudge” the schedule just a bit to accommodate changes in lengths of other programming.

We worked hard with our former news service to address ongoing problems with their sound, where it would “break up” with odd noises.  This was caused at their end, and there was nothing we could do about it.  In addition, some newscasts were completely “blank” with nothing being aired during these segments.  This forced us to look elsewhere and we were pleased that SRN News offered not only a replacement, but additional features that will enable us to “fine tune” for a good balance of public affairs, teaching, preaching and music programming that we strive to achieve here at Christian Family Radio.

Our national newscast continues to air at the top of the hour, but can vary slightly based on the lengths of programs leading up to the news, giving us much smoother “transitions”.  We’ve set up a basic schedule that rotates news content in 3 hour segments, subject to special programming:

  • On the “3s”, that is, 3am, 6am, 9am and so on, a full newscast is broadcast featuring the latest news, an in depth segment of interest to Christians, and another general in-depth segment
  • The next hour, we shorten the newscast to include the latest news and the in-depth Christian interest segment
  • The 3rd hour, we just air the latest news

Also, on scheduled times where we only have a minute available, we’ll be airing “Headline Updates” to keep you informed.

We are pleased with this improvement to our programming and appreciate your prayers and comments!