KSUT in Durango again on the air after repairing the antenna cable
The main KSUT-FM frequency in Durango (90.1) re-broadcast on Monday after a crew repaired a damaged antenna feed that took the frequency out of the air on February 5.
Tami Graham, executive director of KSUT, said the station’s technical manager, Rob Rawls, went to Smelter Mountain with a crew from Visionary Broadband on Monday and managed to fix a damaged feed line to the point where it did Signal can now be heard.
“We are still not at full strength so we may not be as strong as normal, but we are audible and that is important,” said Graham.
Graham wasn’t sure when 90.1 would be back at full strength.
The feed line was accidentally hit by a snowcat during an early morning unscheduled repair by another operator using the towers on Missionary Ridge.
“We’re working hard, it’s been over two weeks now,” she said. “It was pretty tough because it’s our primary Durango signal.”
During the outage, KSUT could still be heard on a weaker signal (89.3) in Durango, but that signal does not 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 feed line runs 30 feet underground and 80 feet above a tower. Graham said a $ 500 plug was used to repair the conduit it was damaged on and that the entire lead did not need to be replaced.
The transmitter has been tested and was not damaged when the lead was hit by the snowcat.
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 broken feed initially dropped the signal from KSUT to Farmington (88.1) and Montezuma County (106.3), but those frequencies were able to be rerouted, Graham said.
“When you have equipment failure and equipment damage, there’s not much you can do until you actually fix the problem,” she said. “So it is good to have a redundant backup signal and to be able to stream.”