Friday, January 4, 2008

106.9 Travails - Dennis

As of this writing, KCCK's Johnson County translator at 106.9 is back on the air. The recent ice and snow storms have really taken a toll on this aging unit. The current problems are compounded by the fact that our auxiliary transmitter has only been running at about half its rated power of 100 watts for several months now, a result of old wiring and an antenna that needs to be either totally overhauled or replaced.

Why aren't we doing anything about it? Well, we are, but the timetable is complicated.

First off, we've been told we need to move the transmitter and antenna from its current location (northeast of Iowa City off Highway 1). But, we haven't been given a date by which we need to do so.

That's OK, as it gives us time to plan. We wrote a grant to cover at least a portion of the cost. And we received the funds.

Full disclosure: The grant requires a 50% local match. So, look for us to ask 106.9 listeners to make a one-time special contribution to help us raise that match during the spring fund drive.

More good news: The new repeater will be able to transmit HD radio, plus its supplemental audio channels, AND the antenna will be mounted at Kirkwood's Iowa City campus, much closer to metropolitan Iowa City-Coralville.

So, please bear with us a little while longer. We hope to have the new translator up and running this summer.


Don said...


Thanks for the update. I'm listening to CD's and KSUI in my office these days. I just can't pull in 88.13 in my office in downtown IC. While waiting until summer will be painful, I'm hoping that the new repeater will be powerful enough to provide a strong signal to your Iowa City/Coralville listeners.

I'm also pleased to hear that you already have the grant and at least a portion of the necessary funds.

Anonymous said...

So, that's a month ago, where we at?

Gus said...

Thanks for the update Dennis.

As a commuter between IC and CR daily, I use both frequencies, mostly in my car. 106.9 is definitely "iffy" at best, and sometimes 88.3 comes in better when I am on the south end of the corridor (on the SW side of IC of course).

It's great news you received the grant, and as a half time user of each of the two presets on my car's FM, I guess I'll have to (make that WANT to) contribute to your special IC/Coralville funding request for the grant match.

As a faculty member here on Kirkwood's IC campus, I am PUMPED that the translater will be probably located, literally, no further than 1000 ft from my office!

Of course, I have been accused of not completely shedding my nerdy engineering past - just in some aspects of course.

But I am a jazz/blues nut thanks to KCCK, and that of course is my best comeback to people who mistakenly think I used to wear a pocket protector with 10 writing utensils and polyester shirts of colors not found in nature, during my five year stint at the radio factory on the NE side of CR...

Of course, KCCK online works just fine in my office too and is what I use now, but there is something ironic to be said about the fanatical member listener (e.g. myself) living about a mile from your main transmitter on the CR campus, and working even closer to the new translater.



gus said...

Uh, sorry, I guess that would be translator, not translater. Sorry, we don't want to ruin the station's reputation for having very intelligent AND best spelling listeners ...

Dennis Green said...

Thanks for the feedback! We're off again (see latest post), but hope to be back on in a couple days. And, we're still set for replacement in late spring/early summer.