Harm to the antenna feed will take away the KSUT frequency from the air in Durango
The main frequency of KSUT-FM in Durango (90.1) has failed since a feed line to an antenna was damaged on February 5th. However, the signal could be available again earlier this week, possibly as early as today.
Tami Graham, general manager of KSUT, said the station’s technical operations manager, Rob Rawls, will be on Smelter Mountain today with a crew from Visionary Broadband to repair the damaged feed line, and the 90.1 frequency should be back on the air soon Week if not within 24 hours.
“He’s on his way there with the plugs in hand. We had a special order to repair this line. It was accidentally damaged in the same place by another operator, ”said Graham. “We work hard, it’s been over two weeks now. It was pretty tough because it’s our primary Durango signal.
KSUT can still be heard on a weaker signal in Durango, 89.3, but that signal doesn’t extend into the northern Animas Valley or well beyond Durango, Graham said.
The station can also be streamed online and has just updated its streaming service to include Air Pocket Player.
The antenna feed was hit by a snowcat while other equipment was being serviced on the towers of Smelter Mountain, and the snowpack and winter conditions made repairs difficult.
The feed line runs 30 feet underground and 80 feet above a tower, but Graham said crews expect to be able to repair the feed line where it has been damaged above ground rather than replace the entire feed line.
The entire fix costs $ 500 for a port to repair the line and Rawls’ time for the fix.
“The best scenario is to have it fixed today,” said Graham.
The transmitter has been tested and is OK. It automatically shut down when the line went down, she said. The antenna lead is pressurized with nitrogen to keep it dry, and damage to the lead releases the nitrogen and automatically turns the transmitter off.
The fix that KSUT is working on should eliminate the need to swap out the entire lead, which would be difficult in the winter, and Graham said the connector manufacturer believes that a fix can be done without replacing the entire lead, but it does more will be learned from the site visit today.
The broken feed dropped the KSUT signal on Farmington (88.1) and Montezuma Counties (106.3) initially, but the signal was able to be rerouted onto those frequencies, Graham said.
“When you have equipment failure and equipment damage, there isn’t much you can do until you actually fix the problem. So it’s good to have a redundant backup signal and be able to stream, ”she said.