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.