New AM Transmitter & Tech Tune-Ups

Two men look on while a Catholic priest prepares to read a blessing at the remote site of KNOM Radio's AM transmitter.

The new Nautel NX25 transmitter was installed in June, capping off a long series of logistical challenges and technical work.

After being factory-tuned to KNOM’s AM frequency, 780 kH, the 1,828-pound unit was trucked from Bangor, Maine, to Anchorage, then airfreighted to Nome. The timing was crucial: KNOM’s prior, decades-old transmitter was on the verge of failure.

Engineers Les Brown and Van Craft were on hand to prepare the site, then worked with Nautel technician Nelson Bohorquez to connect and restore the AM signal as quickly as possible.

Prior to the transmitter work, a crew painted the AM tower, aligned its guy wires to make the tower both “plumb” and “true,” and replaced the beacon at its tip and obstruction lighting along its sides.

KNOM’s FM tower received attention, as well, with a rebuilt Christmas star affixed to the top. At the beginning of Advent, the star will once again beam over the skyline of Nome, remaining illuminated through Epiphany in memory of longtime Nomeite Connie Madden.

Image at top: while engineers Van Craft and Les Brown look on, Father Peter Gorges prepares to bless KNOM’s newly-installed AM transmitter. Photo: Margaret DeMaioribus, KNOM.

Photos below: Margaret DeMaioribus, KNOM (first three); photo of Christmas star and aerial view of Nome courtesy of tower crewman Tyler Osland.