Iowa Public Radio 90.9 FM returns to full power Print
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by Scott Vezdos   
Friday, 20 March 2009 12:02
Iowa Public Radio station 90.9 FM is back to full power after experiencing a major transmission line failure Saturday, February 7. Due to the extensive damage to 90.9 FM which serves eastern Iowa repeater stations receiving their signal from 90.9 FM, including 89.7 FM and 98.7 FM in Dubuque, 94.5 FM and 102.1 FM in the Quad Cities, and 88.9 FM and 101.7 FM serving Des Moines, were also affected. 90.9 FM returned to low power on February 17, restoring service to much of eastern Iowa and to repeaters in Dubuque and Des Moines.

The transmission line that extends the length of the 2,000 foot tower west of Walker failed about 1,000 feet above the ground, according to Wayne Jarvis, IPR director of network operations. Last summer, the original thirty year old transmission line was replaced and the February failure in the new line appeared to be due to design and manufacturing issues in the new line components. The manufacturer cooperated with IPR to correct this massive failure.

Before returning to normal power, all one hundred of the transmission line's seventeen foot sections had to be disassembled, replaced or cleaned and inspected. Most sections had to be cleaned on the ground and then reassembled on the tower. High winds, snow and freezing rain had limited work to one or two days a week delaying the return to full power.

A tower crew restored the signal to low power on February 17 through an auxiliary antenna, followed by periods off the air for transmission line repair. After line reassembly, nitrogen was run through the antenna to remove any moisture that had built up during the repair period. Then the entire line and antenna were electronically swept to detect any faults. The crew finished repair and final testing on Tuesday, March 17, returning 90.9 to full power.

Iowa Public Radio informs, enriches and engages Iowans through radio programming and other media. Iowa Public Radio includes the WOI Radio Group (Iowa State University, Ames), KUNI-KHKE (University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls), and KSUI-WSUI (University of Iowa, Iowa City).

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