WEDNESDAY JANUARY 9, 2008 - 9PM PACIFIC Well, it's been an interesting week. If you live in this area I
don't have to tell you because you've been shoveling out, but if
you're listening from a different climate, this storm was something to
behold. Wave after wave of dry snow, wet snow, rain, wind, freeways
shut down, etc.
For the past week,
Northern CA's been hit by this wave, killing power to many cities and
keeping the power crews busy.
Read the local story here. Here's a few pix from our last outage a
while back. Will try to get some current shots on the next trip up. Snow this week is near the
top of our transmitter building below.
Thanks to our
friends at Pacific Power and
US Cellular for cutting the initial path
with two snow cats to our tower site. Snowmobiles would have been
useless in getting to the site with this much snow. Plus, we have
another Winter Storm Warning in effect now with even more snow.
We started our trek
to the tower at Microwave Road and Route 89 next to the
Board and Ski Park with various trucks, guys and two snow cats. Made
it to the railroad tracks in the snow cat to find the train had come
through and created an eight foot drop from the top of the snow to the
tracks which was promptly plowed down at an angle. Made it to the site
but couldn't see the tower, was hoping it didn't fall down but there
US Cellular's site
was blown out as well and as we made it to our building, we had to
dig down to find the power meter, dead. Since USC's rectifier had
blown, had a feeling that ours would be too. After resetting the
outside breakers, tried to power up the xmitter outside by cell phone,
Since the snow
level was near the top of the building, had to dig out around eight
feet to get to the door. Got in the shack and smelled burnt
electronics, probably because the power surge went through three sets
of thirty amp breakers including those on the high power circuit of
the xmitter. That be smokin. Tried restarting the xmitter again,
tripped all the breakers on power up.
(As I write this,
listening to the scanner with a runaway semi-truck coming off the
freeway that just took his chains off.. oops. Been slippin' and slidin'
around here for the last week.. see webcam shots on our website for
ordered up the diode boards I believe will be needed from the East
Coast for our QEI-FMQ 5kw box that feeds our hungry SWR six bay
antenna for FRI delivery if needed.
So, depending on
the storm that's rolling in tonight and tomorrow, we anticipate having
our main transmitter active once again either THUR or FRI, if we're
able to keep the main power up (as the lights here at the house are
flickering) and hope to be speaking to y'all on the morning show
6-10AM and the rock show at 6PM. Below, a few more archive pix from
our photo gallery.
Update: THURSDAY JANUARY
10, 2008 - 3PM PACIFIC Looks like we won't be making it to the tower today. Seems the
site has once again lost power, so even if our transmitter was fixed,
we'd still be down. We rent tower and building space to two other FM
stations at the KZRO site, one of which had an engineer up there this
afternoon to fix their equipment which was fried as well. Not only can
they not fix it because the power's down (nor could we), but it
appears that the cell company next to us had their equipment fried for
the second time in as many days.
We will however
(assuming there's power) continue with our plan to get Bob-O-Dee (our
Z-Engineer) up there Friday afternoon to see exactly how bad our
transmitter is fried. Hopefully, the electronics we ordered to be
overnighted tomorrow from the East Coast will resolve the problem. I
was told today by the xmitter. manufacturer that there is a
possibility that the electronics could have fried some very costly
sections of the unit, so we're hoping for the best. But considering
the power situation, I'm reluctant to even turn it back on until the
surges subside even if it were fixed. Ugh.
Update: FRIDAY JANUARY
11, 2008 - 7:30PM PACIFIC Happy to say that the Z-Channel is once again pumping out the
Classics to Northern California. Damage consisted of a fried rectifier
board (diodes) and a blown fuse in the exciter. After sitting up there
frozen in the shack for so long, we're hearing a little grunge in the
signal at startup, but as the transmitter warms, it appears to be
subsiding as the components warm to optimum operating temperature
which could take a few hours. If that isn't the problem, we'll deal
with it tomorrow. Thanks to Z-Engineer Bob-O-Dee for hiking up
w/snowshoes tonight to replace the boards. The end. dm
Big Tree Communications 2008
PO Box 1234
Mt.Shasta, CA 96067
530 926-1332 Fax: 926-0737