Mena, Mt. Ida games to be broadcast on KENA/KQOR
By Jeri Borst
Target practice that resulted in property damage to Pulse Multi-Media radio equipment has not only created issues for listeners, but may also result in federal charges.
Though the investigation is ongoing, Chris Daniel, interim general manger, said sports broadcast will continue despite the damage.
“The estimated damage amounts to more than $100,000 and there are still unknown repairs that may be discovered after equipment is replaced,” Daniel said.
A police report was filed and an investigation began on June 24, after issues with broadcast were noticed.
“When we went to the tower in Potter to determine the cause of the issues, it was immediately apparent that something more than routine or expected issues was causing the disruption,” Daniels said. “I immediately asked for an investigator.”
The investigation has revealed that gun shots caused damage to a transmitter, which is custom fabricated, and to the aviation obstruction beacon, which is required by law to be placed atop towers to alert pilots.
“We have given notice to the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) in the form of a NOTAM, or a notice to airman, that there is a potential hazard,” Daniels explained. “Because this created issues with safety at a federal level, the crime could come with heavy charges.”
Daniel said the damage to the power amplifiers, which causes impeded flow from the radio to the transmitter, resulted in operating at half power.
The resulting reduced signal strength also means there are temporary times when the power amplifier has high reflective power, causing transmission to temporarily be halted.
Despite the challenges, Daniel said broadcast continue and custom parts have been ordered, though there are only a handful of companies in the world that make the specialized equipment.
Bearcat sports broadcast, which have been aired on KQOR for several years, will now be aired on KENA, while Mt. Ida sports broadcast can be heard on KQOR.
“Especially in this time affected by COVID, we want to make sure those who are not able to attend games can still listen live,” Daniel said.
A bullet hole can be seen in the power amplifier at Pulse Multi-Media’s Potter tower. The damage causes impeded flow from the radio to the transmitter. Being unable to consistently regulate the amplitude of power causes surges and imbalances which cause disruption in radio broadcast. Until custom ordered specialty equipment can be installed, the temporary fix is to reduce the power, which results in reduced distance over transmission, as well as temporary outages.
Damage to a Pulse Multi-Media aviation obstruction beacon may result in federal charges.