KZRO 100.1FM-Mount Shasta, California USA



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.

Nice view from our tower at 5,000'. Outside view of our transmitter building. Another outside shot of our transmitter shack. tower_6.jpg (47807 bytes) tower_1.jpg (71967 bytes) tower_3.jpg (93210 bytes)

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 Mount Shasta 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 it stood.

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, wouldn't start.

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 freeway pix).

Anyway, I've 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.



Zstudiosno1.jpg (78722 bytes) Zstudiosno2.jpg (70105 bytes) Zstudiosno3.jpg (82269 bytes)
tower_truk.jpg (102941 bytes) tower_2.jpg (63350 bytes) tower_4.jpg (79173 bytes)

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 



Big Tree Communications 2004