Great news! I have an official update on the transmitter replacement from our General Manager.
Here’s the update:
Thank you, so much, for your contribution to the C89.5 Emergency Transmitter Replacement Fund. Your generosity, along with that of more than 400 other dedicated listeners, is making it possible for us to replace our transmitter. Many of you submitted employer matching fund requests, doubling your contribution. Thank you!
Since you made your gift, we researched and wrote the specs needed for the replacement transmitter. While we assumed simply replacing the current model would be sufficient, we needed to verify that no additional features were needed to comply with current broadcast regulations. Once verified, those specifications were forwarded to the procurement department of Seattle Public Schools (our license-holder).
The procurement office went through their standard procedures, requesting information on manufacturers who could bid on the transmitter. As you can imagine, C89.5 is a bit of a unicorn within the school district, and buying a transmitter is quite different from ordering desks, computers, or playground equipment. There were numerous questions and clarifications from procurement as they worked diligently to ensure they understood the nature of the equipment, required elements, delivery and installment needs.
The bid documents were completed and provided to major transmitter manufacturers in early December. Bids closed last week and the winning bid was announced. The purchase order will be issued on January 2nd.
Our current funds will allow us to purchase the three necessary pieces: the 5kw HD transmitter, importer and exporter. As funding permits, we will order a spare exciter and spare parts kits for the transmitter and exciter. Of course, as brand new equipment, we shouldn’t need those any time soon.
Every transmitter is built specifically for the ordering station so ours should be delivered in approximately seven weeks!
If you were listening last weekend, you may have noticed that we were off the air for several hours. In an effort to return borrowed equipment, we put our rebuilt exciter in the transmitter to see if it would hold and make it possible to use it as a back-up. The short answer — no. So, we continue to borrow the exciter from another station in the city. (The picture, above, shows the set up).
We are so appreciative of their willingness to share this critical piece of our broadcast chain, but the spare is not an HD model, so we are broadcasting with an analog signal.
If you have questions about the transmitter, the station, or our public radio mission, please be in touch. I look forward to sharing more updates with you as we get closer to installation.
Happy New Year,
Pictured above: The borrowed exciter, hooked up to our transmitter, is making it possible for us to stay on the air until our new transmitter arrives.