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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Santa's Workshop

Sorry, I couldn't resist that title being as the holiday has just finished, but we do have a new workshop to talk about. The air intake/storage, AKA "the spider room" has been transformed. Now closed in, the newly painted, white walls shine, the tools are all lined up and ready for use, and it's perhaps even a bit more organized now. The new tool room also gives the men a little more worktop space for future projects.
As I look around at the work that already has been accomplished, I am amazed at the skill and ingenuity of our men, and as they show me all that is yet to be done, I am struck at how dedicated they are. In all that they do, they are mindful of the get these new transmitters in place to bring God's Word with even better clarity to people around Asia who are starving to hear that God loves them. There is a lot yet to be done and they remain short-handed. Please pray for short-term and full-term workers to come join them in serving God with their whole body, mind, and spirit.

As the year closes, we must bring all praise and glory to God who has blessed the ministry of TWR Guam. We have seen His hand at work in so many ways; through the Holy's Spirit's guidance in decision making, for delivery of the new transmitters, and other equipment, short-term helpers, provision of safety for the men, and for the many friends who have pledged financial aid to pay for the transmitters and upgrade work. Perhaps you can sing along with us the great song: "To God be the Glory, Great things He has done....
For what You have done I will always praise You in the presence of Your faithul people. And I will hope in Your name, for Your name is good. Psalm 40:3

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bound for Lebanon

The container that holds TX3 and its associated equipment has been picked up by the shipping company. Those of you who are not familiar with shipping containers may not realize how literally we use the phrase "pick up". The photo to the right shows how that is done.

The buyer is having it shipped to Lebanon, Tennessee. Once it is reassembled, it will be used for ministry again.

With TX3 out of the way, we can move on to the next step in the transmitter replacement project. We need to move a 20KW generator and its fuel tank to make space for an air conditioner.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Heavy Lifting

The 6000 + lb High Voltage Transformer for Transmitter 3 was successfully moved today.  The transformer will be placed into a container with the rest of Transmitter 3 to be shipped to the new owner.

The access wall was removed...

The Transformer was jacked up and placed on "Skates"

 Pushed out the opening...

Lifted with the Backhoe

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Why missionaries don't need to join a Gym

Much of this week was spent preparing an old room to become a new tool storage area. The room had air openings for filtered air to be delivered to the transmitters. Since Air conditioning will be used with the new transmitters the room is being transformed into a tool room.

All the tools stored against a wall will be moved to the room. The wall will be torn down and the old Transmitter 3 will be removed, packed in a container and shipped to the new owner.

The new doorway was made by knocking out a filled cement wall... view the short video to see the guys swinging 12lb sledge hammers... does it look like fun or just hard labor?

The blocks were brought down to the site by pickup truck... driven slowly....

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Few Brave Men . . .

There is a room at the back of the TX building that has been fondly nicknamed the Spider Room. It is a name that is well-earned, and one in which anyone with a spider phobia would have avoided at all costs. The room I am referring to was (I'll get to the past tense reference in a moment) also called the air intake/storage room. It was a room that had decorative block along two sides allowing air to be sucked in by the transmitters to keep things cool. Now remember that we are on an island and our site is located very closely to the ocean, thus all that air that was coming in to cool the transmitters (through filters), was also full of salt. As they started to remove all the metal parts from around the room, they found that most of the metal was completely rusted through . . . and then there were these huge (personal biased opinion) banana spiders! (pictures above) Seems they had decided to make this room their very own special arachnid condo. So, last week, with gritted teeth, great bravery, and a backhoe, the men of valor approached the task of bringing down the "air vent" walls. Kudos go to the original builders of this room because when the guys tried to take down the walls with a sledgehammer, they made little progress thus it became a job for the backhoe. But oh how I imagine the guys thought that was fun!

Other projects finished last week were to pour a concrete pad for the generator (see pictures above), and to take down a bathroom to make room for the much longer transmitters to come.
This week, the destroyed walls will be replaced by solid concrete blocks to close in the "spider" room. It will now become a storage room that will also double as the shop for building maintenance tools. Once again the move of the shop was made necessary to expand the width of the TX room for the new transmitters.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pumping & Draining

It was a busy weekend for Jim McIntyre and Mike Sabin as they worked to get TX 2 up to full power. Remember folks that I am the non-techie who writes for this blog, so I was interested to learn that even a little bit of dirt or dust can cause arching within the transmitter. . . not a good thing! There is an old saying, "once the dust settles" things will work out okay. Apparently not so with transmitters, ALL dust particles must go. Therefore Jim and Mike spend many hours Saturday pumping and draining water through the transmitter. In other words, flushing out the system of TX 2. Perhaps "flushing" is a bit to strong of a word to use as it takes a long time for the water to run through the system, with water just dripping out at the end. It has taken at least twelve 5-gallon buckets of water so far, but the system is getting better and they are hoping to get TX 2 up to full power today. In the meantime, we send out a special thank you to FEBC in Saipan who aired some of our programming on Thursday and Friday so that our listeners would continue to hear their programs.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Working for the Lord --heating and cooling!

This week has been all about the relocation of Transmitter Two and teamwork is what makes it possible! All hands were on deck for this project. The old radiator has been removed, and a new one fit to a new spot. Its new location, exposed to the outside of the building, will mean less work for the new air conditioner to cool the system. Yesterday was a full day with Jim and Sterling working on the steam lines -- preparing them to fit the new design, Kevin and Paul were working on the temporary air ducts, Mike was working on insulating the lines, Doug was working on preparing the new motor, and Dave was assisting to bring the cooler down and help wherever he was needed. Bob was working behind the scenes in the financial area.

These changes to Transmitter Two will result in improvements and this is one of many steps in setting the stage for the eventual installation of the new digital transmitters. Like a symphony all the different parts come together in harmony. Though the noises heard right now - the drilling and sawing - aren’t very pleasant to the ear, the final product will result in "music" to the listeners’ ears!

Two of the youngest members of the TWR staff team, Sarah and Joy took their school “on the road” and headed to KTWR to record the progress of the transmitter project. Following are the interviews they conducted:

Interview with Sterling Ottun:

What is the project you are working on?

Helping remove the old radiator, putting it outside so it’s not as loud inside and so the heat from it is outside. Then, we can put the new air conditioners in.

What is your part of the project?

Well, we are all crossing over and doing different parts of the job, so that is hard to answer. But, I have been mainly disassembling and helping to take out the old radiator, threading pipes, and building water lines.

What do you enjoy about your part in the project?

Knowing it’s going to be an improvement later.

Interview by Sarah and Joy Gregson

Interview with Mike Sabin

What is the project you are working on?
Transmitter two relocation

What is your part in the project?

Wiring, electrical, design.

What excites you about your part in the project?

The results. With the air con, the transmitters will last longer.

What are some of the challenges?

Fatigue and working in tight spaces. As an example, when I crawled inside the transmitter to work.

How long do you think this part of the project will take to finish?

One phase will be done today but maybe a few more weeks before it’s completely finished.

Joy concluded that the outcome of persistence is great things! Interview by Joy Gregson, age 9


Interview with Jim McIntyre

What part of the transmitter project are you working on?

Move cooling system outside so the station will be cooler. (it’s the first step)

What is your part of the project?

Helping, planning, buying materials, helping with the work.

What do you enjoy about your part in the project?

I like to build things with my hands and it’s exciting to work for God!

What is the trickiest part of doing this job?

Not a lot of time! We have to get this done and ready to go on the air.

How long do you think it will take to complete it?

Half a day (we spent the whole day yesterday already)

Sarah concluded that hard work and determination can get the job done!!
Interview by Sarah Gregson, age 11

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Love Asia by Radio" Sharathon . . .

With excitement in the air, multiple phones ringing, and passionate volunteers, a two-day Sharathon was held in Cary, NC to raise funds to cover the transmitter upgrade project for Guam.

Partnering with Moody Radio stations in three major cities (Cleveland, OH, Chattanooga, TN, Tampa, FL) and KCBI-FM in Dallas, TX, the "Love Asia by Radio" sharathon was a resounding success. During the two-day campaign, 2,577 calls were fielded by volunteers at the Cary, NC call center and over $270,000 was received in gifts and pledges. This combined with previous gifts, means that we are well on the way to paying for the Thompson transmitters and the upgrading expenses. What a great and mighty God we serve Who provides in abundance!

For more information about the project and pledge information:

Meanwhile, back here on the "island", the following was accomplished through this past week:

* Testing continues on TX 1

* One air-conditioner arrived

* General maintenance and cleaning around the shops

* Grounds maintenance (grass cut in and around the antenna field)

* Scrap metal that has been collecting for several years was rounded up and sent for recycling
* The beginning prepation work for the cooling radiator for TX 2 was begun

Monday, October 25, 2010

Getting the Thumbs Up

Things are progressing well with getting TX 1 pieced back together and up and running. All the wiring has been completed; it received a good cleaning, and this past week the steam and condensate pipes were connected to the radiator. The unit is now being tested and while there are a few things that have to be tweaked, the first analysis has gone well. Soon attention will be turned to TX 2 which also needs it's cooling radiator moved outside. While TX 2 itself will not be moved, the radiator transition means that TX 2 will have to be taken down for at least one night. However before this happens, we need to give our listeners ample warning ahead of time of the change so they will know their program will not be aired that day.

As you are aware, there has been much work done to move the cooling radiators outside so that the new transmitters can be in an air-conditioned environment. Those air-conditioners are on their way and should be here within the next two weeks. Planning meetings are being held to plan all the steps needed to install the air-conditioners in a timely manner.

Brief news: --A new phone system has been put into place with each team member receiving their own phone and extension.. . thanks to the hard work of Cassius Smith.
--November brings a new broadcast season (B10) so preparations are being made for frequency and program changes.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Design Elements

For those of you who are less technically experienced, have we got a blog for you today. As a writer for the blog, I often find myself challenged to understand the ins and outs of shortwave technology; but talk about interior decorating, and I can keep up with the best of them. So, I delight in sharing about the conference room makeover that happened last week. We were blessed to have Alex and Mandi Gursey come out to design, oversee, and work hard to bring about the transformation of the conference room, taking it from a bland, awkward room, to one that will function on a much better level. Included in the makeover was repainting the walls, adding chair railing, painting a bright, white wall surface for video presentations, and cutting and resurfacing exisiting tables. Lighting for the room was improved with the addition of recessed lights in the ceiling. Alex and Mandi (expecting their fourth child), had only 10 days to pull of this project, so they worked long hours, often into the late evening. Joining them in the endeavor was Paul Gregowske and John Norcyk (cutting and resurfacing the tables), and Jim McIntyre (electrical work). Not to be forgotten is Sterling Ottun who invited the Gursey's to come and who drove them all over the island to find the materials needed. (Yeah, for Home Depot!). The results are a beautiful, professional looking conference room that the TWR staff and guests will enjoy for years to come. A special thank you to Alex and Mandi for their hard work and creative minds. . . the room is stunning!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More Power to the Fans

There are still some things left to be done before TX1 can be brought back on the air. Since the heat exchanger will be cooling the steam outside the building, we added another fan. The additional load from the extra 1HP motor caused an existing circuit breaker to be too small. That is why this photo shows me changing the breaker.

Other things we are doing include running the steam and condensate pipes from the transmitter to the heat exchanger, using the old storm door to seal a wall, and making panels and other parts for the transmitter. This work requires electronics, electrical, plumbing, carpentry, and metal working skills.

Even without the work related to this project, we can use people with these skills just about all of the time. We have greatly benefitted from the help from short-term helpers on this project. We could also use people with these skills as career missionaries. Please prayerfully consider whether or not the Lord could be leading you to join the team here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Project Management and Moving Radiators

Cassius Smith arrived last week to help with Project management of the Transmitter Replacement Project. Cassius recently retired after working 32 years as a software developer and project manager and is now working Full time with TWR. More Information about Cassius and his wife Valerie can be found on TWR org.

Heat exchanger move

On Friday 8 October we moved the large cooling radiators (120lb each + 100lb fan and frame) for Transmitter 1 and 2 to the outside of the building in preparation for the new layout of the transmitter hall. The radiators were originally mounted as part of the transmitter inside the building and when operated pulled in moist salty air. This modification will provide for a cleaner operating environment for the existing old and new transmitters. Check out the video to see how “many hands make light work”.

Monday, September 27, 2010

TX 1 Goes Skating . . .

How do you move a huge transmitter across a room? You put it on "skates" and push! Sounds simple, but the process took a lot of planning, man power, and a dedicated staff to accomplish this massive task. More importantly, the Lord was front and center throughout the whole procedure for which we give Him all praise and honor.

In preparation for the move, the TX was placed on "skates" (see pic 1) to make the move easier. Once the TX was pushed out into the transmitter hall, some prep work was done on the area that had been inacessible since it's first installment. Then came the all-hands-on-deck effort of pushing it across the room and to the opposite space once occupied by TX 4, (pics 2-4) and placing it into it's new home (pic 6). Next, the upper level section of the transmitter was put into place. Also moved was the temporary wall that had been placed in former TX 4's spot to cover the gap now left by TX 1. For a "moving" experience, be sure to see the video posted below.

This week's work will be focused on re-assembly, re-wiring, and reconnecting power to TX 1. Once that TX is up and working, TX 3 can be taken out (after a potential buyer has viewed it as a working TX). Another cooling radiator move is also on tap fo this week.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Moving Transmitter 1

There were a lot of smiles to be seen the day Transmitter 1 was successfully moved from one side of the KTWR Transmitter hall to the other, making room for a new transmitter!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Heave Ho . . .

"On the count of three, you pull, and we will push." . . . And so with a loud 1-2-3, three 5/8" high-voltage lines (SSC) were threaded through a narrow 1 1/2" conduit pipe that took the lines through two 85 degree turns and one long 40 foot run (see pic 4). It took two men to push the lines through (pic 3), and as the lines got to the end of the pipe, four men to finish pulling it through (pic 5). This was done twice. As I watched this, I was reminded of sailors of old, hoisting up a main-sail. All this was done to make room for the Thompsons; the old lines having been in the way.

On tap this week: the new power lines will be connected, and TX 1 will be moved to its new location across the room, after which installation will begin.

Monday, September 13, 2010

TX 1 is feeling disconnected . . .

After the drama of these past several weeks, this week's work on the GTR project seemed rather tame. The goal? To get TX 1 ready to be moved across the room to its new location. The wires that had to be disconnected were disengaged and the top of the unit is off, so now it is ready to be moved.
This week's project toward the ultimate goal of installing the new transmitters, is to move high voltage lines over so that there will be room for the Thompsons. It goes without saying that prayer will be greatly appreciated with this venture.
Excitement grows as the aspect of more workers to come out to help with the project continues to develop. John Norczk from Florida, will be flying in on Friday and staying for a month. Kevin Baker from Canada plans to arrive in October and will be staying on for several months. Others are also expressing interest in helping for which we are very thankful.
Above are several photos as part of our visual diary of the GTR project.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

TX 1 goes wireless . . .

What? A transmitter without any wires? Well, at least for now TX 1 will be without it's wiring as this week's task for the Guam Transmitter Replacement project (GTR) included disconnecting the wires in TX 1 in preparation for its' move across the room. Perhaps not as challenging as gutting an entire transmitter, but certainly important to the entire move.

Last week we reported moving the TX 5 cooling radiator. All the bugs seem to have been worked out, and we praise God that it has been functioning well; perhaps even better than before.

In other news, we sponsored a group of people from Moody Radio (pictured above) who came to visit us as part of their vision trip to China. The main goal of the Moody group's visit was to see first-hand the work and ministry of TWR-Asia and thereby help us to raise the needed funds for the GTR project. By actually seeing the transmitters, towers, and staff, then to actually see our listeners in China, the group was better able to understand the importance and need for the new transmitters. As they return to the States and to their broad radio audience, they will be able to tell the story of TWR and encourage listeners to support the GTR project financially. While they were with us, we had two opportunites to fellowship together as a staff, they observed a "P" shift, and were also able to have a bit of fun as they enjoyed the beautiful island of Guam. It was a joy to share mutual experiences as radio people, and they were an encouragement to us as well. It is probably safe to say we all came away having developed great relationships and friendships with each other.

Monday, August 30, 2010

P-u-s-h it back, p-u-s-h it back, w-a-y back!

That was was the project over this past week. Adventuring where no others had gone before, the cooling radiator for TX 5 was moved outside the building and placed into a custom-made box.

The new transmitters which will be installed later this year, will require air-conditioning to keep them cool. It was felt that leaving the radiator inside (from the remaining TX) would cause too much heat to build up within the building. Because moving and locating this radiator outside had never been done before, the TWR engineers put their heads together with others outside TWR and came up with an ingenious plan:

The main radiator was put into an air pleuum with a 3000 CFM fan. This was set outside under a porch roof that protects the system from the weather. The pleuum was installed above the air-conditioner duct work to conserve space. The 3" steam pipe was then insulted (inside the building) to reduce the load on the air-conditioner. The condensate pipe from the radiator was attached to the existing pipe inside the transmitter.

Since the move, there have been some bugs that had to be worked out, but overall, the crew is very pleased with the project, and over the past few nights, the transmitter has not tripped off as it had been during the first few nights after the move.