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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