Antenna Damage and How We Recovered

Winter and Spring Weather Can be tough!

(For the Latest Developments Scroll Down)

On Sunday (01-22-2012) the winter weather was so intense at our transmitter location (Maynard Peak Comm Site on Blyn Mountain near Discovery Bay) that our microwave studio-link antenna was twisted away from our main studio in Uptown Port Townsend at about 9:27am. Re-orientation, back to the left like the small white-domed antenna seen here, was necessary. Fortunately, wind conditions allowed for safe tower climbing on Wednesday, January 25th and we returned to the air at 11:10am. An extra, stabilizing bar was also added to the antenna to prevent another occurrence of it being misaligned by strong winds.

We appreciated your prayers for our repair and a timely return to the airwaves, but don't stop praying yet! Winter is still with us.
We appreciated your prayers for our repair and a timely return to the airwaves, but don't stop praying yet! Winter is still with us.

 

Here we go again!

Just before 8:00am on Monday (03-12-2012) an even greater ice storm and strong winds severely damaged our transmitting antennae array...tearing one completely from the tower and leaving the other hanging by a cable.

This was a big hit and is taking some doing to overcome. Fortunately, we serve Him who cannot fail to sustain His own, so we gladly forge ahead no matter what.

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We had to go through several blockages (six to twenty inches in diameter) before getting to the transmitter site. Good thing we always carry a chain saw!

What's left...barely hanging on...and what didn't make it.
What's left...barely hanging on...and what didn't make it.

 

In the photo above, the microwave "lawn-chair" antenna that was affected during the last storm is still where it belongs (thanks to an extra stabilizing bar) as is the microwave LAN domed-dish. Ice accumulation was close to five inches. Wind gusts estimated around 65 miles an hour or higher combined with the ice to do the damage.
Directly above these antennae is what remains of half of our transmitting array, hanging by a cable. In the photo below are the remains of the other half of our FM transmitting antenna - bent, broken and blown onto adjacent land.

Presenting the Gospel, on a sin-cursed earth, has its challenges and difficulties.
Presenting the Gospel, on a sin-cursed earth, has its challenges and difficulties.


We fight not against flesh and blood...sometimes it's the wind and ice. While our permanent fix may be as much as two to three months away we plan to return to the air with a temporary antenna just as soon as possible. It will likely require us to use less than full power, but we will be back! Early estimates are between two and three thousand dollars for the temporary fix.

We are also investigating several options regarding our permanent antenna array. We may choose a similar antenna style (Yagi) that is more heavily constructed or a different style (Panel) that is more physically compact, but even more expensive. We have no pricing estimates on the permanent fix yet, but expect to know more in the next week or so.

The state of the project (04-03-2012)

We now have a temporary antenna assembled and ready to be installed. This temporary unit will eventually be converted to a permanant auxilary antenna and left in place should the need again arise. (No time soon, we hope, but it's a dangerous weather world out there!) The current forecast indicates that weather suitable for tower climbing should return to the area late this Friday (4-6) or early next week (4-9). The process for our long-term "fix" has also begun with initial planning complete and new parts-evaluation under way. The original antenna array will be rescued and rebuilt with materials of greater strength and durability. Additionally, special guying will be added for this same purpose. This will be done in a manner that will maintain the original operational characteristics of the antennae and not require expensive, time-consuming recertification.

We're Back! (04-05-2012)

After much prayer and technical preparation Radio of Hope is again broadcasting! At 5:45 Thursday afternoon (4-5-2012) the station returned to the air via our new single-element antenna.

We ARE operating with greatly reduced power, so the signal may bit a bit fuzzy in some areas.
Fortunately, we have NOT lost our greatest blessing which is the mountain-top Maynard Peak Comm Site on Blyn Mountain near Discovery Bay.

Please share our return with friends and family and then continue to pray for our long-term repair/rebuild (already under way!) which will allow us to return to full-power!

Here is what the new temporary antenna looks like:

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While we were preparing for the antenna repair...

The process of re-engineering and strengthening the directional antenna array was multi-stepped and time consuming. There was also the element of weather that had to be suitable for tower-work. So we worked, planned and prayed. More on that later.

While the antenna project was underway we also continued with some original construction and (thanks to many great volunteers) fenced-in our transmitter site at the Maynard Peak Comm site on Blyn Mountain. What a great crew!

Traffic jams are infrequent at Maynard Peak Comm Site!
Traffic jams are infrequent at Maynard Peak Comm Site!

 

Seeking the best direction and protection for the project. Under the shadow of the Almighty...and His tower.
Seeking the best direction and protection for the project. Under the shadow of the Almighty...and His tower.

 

Tools, willing hands and great weather!
Tools, willing hands and great weather!

 

LOTS of Sakrete!
LOTS of Sakrete!

 

Good shot, Glenn!
Good shot, Glenn!

 

Neither too much, nor too little, but just right!
Neither too much, nor too little, but just right!

 

Fill 'er up.
Fill 'er up.

 

Deep enough and straight, but put in a few more rocks.
Deep enough and straight, but put in a few more rocks.

 

Putting a nice finish on the concrete.
Putting a nice finish on the concrete.

 

Getting things lined up.
Getting things lined up.

 

And a few weeks later...

Mike Rogers cutting posts and pipes to length.
Mike Rogers cutting posts and pipes to length.

 

         Tim and Marilyn May helping to ready the top bars for installation.
Tim and Marilyn May helping to ready the top bars for installation.

 

   The KROH transmitter site, fenced, gated and barbed-wired. Now all we need are some new antennae!
The KROH transmitter site, fenced, gated and barbed-wired. Now all we need are some new antennae!

 

Getting Closer! (10-09-2012)

     Dan Fountain and Joe Mann moving one antenna into the testing position.
Dan Fountain and Joe Mann moving one antenna into the testing position.

 

Joe preparing to conduct final tuning tests of a new antenna.
Joe preparing to conduct final tuning tests of a new antenna.

 

 Glenn and Dan installing a safety/stabalizing bar on the LP gas line leading to the emergency generator. No vibration or movement during the high winds of winter. This is a mountain top!
Glenn and Dan installing a safety/stabalizing bar on the LP gas line leading to the emergency generator. No vibration or movement during the high winds of winter. This is a mountain top!

 

The Antennae are finished and now we wait for the right weather.
The Antennae are finished and now we wait for the right weather.

 

Back and better! (11-02-2012)

On Friday, our new antennae were raised into place, final adjustments were made and, at 2:10pm, the power level was returned to normal!  Signal reports, from many of our local and distant listeners, indicate that Radio of Hope - Nine One One is, as expected, now heard much better than while we were on our temporary antenna and operating at very limited power! Here are some photos of the day.

   Joe Mann and Glenn Gately of KROH and Joe Harrington of Harrington Towers arrive on-site.
Joe Mann and Glenn Gately of KROH and Joe Harrington of Harrington Towers arrive on-site.

 

  Joe Harrington sealing cable connections on one of the new antennae. When it can be done on the ground it is much easier than near the top of the tower.
Joe Harrington sealing cable connections on one of the new antennae. When it can be done on the ground it is much easier than near the top of the tower.

 

One ready to go.
One ready to go.

 

 And now ready to be hoisted by Glenn Gately up the tower.
And now ready to be hoisted by Glenn Gately up the tower.

 

Glenn making sure the ropes will be long enough for the pull.
Glenn making sure the ropes will be long enough for the pull.

 

Joe pulling the antenna horizontally clear of the tower as Glenn draws it to the top.
Joe pulling the antenna horizontally clear of the tower as Glenn draws it to the top.

 

Joe Harrington of Harrington Towers on a return trip up the tower inspecting the process.
Joe Harrington of Harrington Towers on a return trip up the tower inspecting the process.

 

                               Glenn providing directional guidance for proper antennae orientation.
Glenn providing directional guidance for proper antennae orientation.

 

Meanwhile, back on the ground in the transmitter building.
Meanwhile, back on the ground in the transmitter building.

 

               Transmitter control and adjustment made easy...thanks Nautel!
Transmitter control and adjustment made easy...thanks Nautel!

 

The latest addition to our video monitoring equipment. This camera will send useful images to our offices and website. Measure the snow depth and watch the occasional deer pass by.
The latest addition to our video monitoring equipment. This camera will send useful images to our offices and website. Measure the snow depth and watch the occasional deer pass by.

 

This is the view of our front door camera. The 500 gallon LP gas tank is on the left and the "snow-stick" is to the right of the gate. The top of the "snow-stick" is four feet with descending six-inch sections alternating red and white.
This is the view of our front door camera. The 500 gallon LP gas tank is on the left and the "snow-stick" is to the right of the gate. The top of the "snow-stick" is four feet with descending six-inch sections alternating red and white.

 

Now that the antennae are mounted and properly oriented the several cable connections for the signal are next.  Joe Harrington of Harrington Towers.

We want to express our gratitude to all who made our return to the airwaves possible.
Nothing is done at Radio of Hope without prayer and the gifts of our friends and listening family.  Jesus and you make us possible!

KROH, P.O. Box-1882, Port Townsend, WA 98368