FROM PROMISE TO FULFILLMENT
“God causes all things to work together for good”
This is a continuation of the story of Engineer F. M. Perry’s involvement with the construction and start-up of The World Christian Broadcasting Corporation’s international short wave radio station KNLS at Anchor Point, Alaska.
August 1983 -
Lectureship and Dedication Planned at Anchor Point to Celebrate Opening of International Broadcasting Station KNLS, August 18 and 19, 1983.
This is the announcement and schedule of events that the KNLS staff and members of the Anchor Point Church of Christ distributed far and wide.
WORLD CHRISTIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION
LECTURESHIP AND DEDICATION
NEW LIFE FOR ALL NATIONS
August 18-19, 1983 Anchor Point, Alaska
5 PM DINNER at the Anchor Point Elementary School - Everyone welcome
7-7:15 SINGING (at the Anchor Point church of Christ)
7:15-7:45 HOW CONCREGATIONS CAN MAKE USE OF KNLS. Bro. Charles Whittle. Bro. Whittle is an elder at Natick, Mass.; Assistant Vice-Pres. Director of Operations Administration, Zayre Corp.; Chm. of the Board of Directors.
8:15-9PM CHURCHES WAKE UP Bro. Reuel Lemmons, Editor of the FIRM
10AM-5PM OPEN HOUSE at station KNLS
2PM-4PM KNLS DEDICATION at the station site. Bro. Reuel Lemmons featured Speaker
5PM DINNER (At the Anchor Point school) featuring fresh halibut donated by Christians from Homer and Anchor Point
7-7:15 SINGING (At the Anchor Point church of Christ)
7-7:45 THE NEED, Bro. Maurice Hall, Minister of the Painter Ave. Church of Christ,
Whittier, California; former missionary to France and Vietnam; Vice-Chm.
of the Board of Directors
8:15-9PM REALIZING THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM Bro. Jim Caldwell, Minister 29th and
Yale, Tulsa, Okla; State Senator for 12 years; Member of the board of trustees of
York College; adminstative assistant to both Winthrop and Nelson Rockerfeller.
9PM CLOSING REMARKS Bro. Bob Scott, Pres. WCBC
As F. M. writes this in the year 2006, he can’t remember any part of the above Lectureship and Dedication except the Dedication itself. He wonders now if he even attended the other parts of the program before and after the Dedication which occurred in mid-afternoon on Friday, August 19. The afternoon meeting was held in the transmitter room of the KNLS building. The room had about 1,000 square feet of total space and the transmitter occupied only about 1/5 of the space, say about 200 square feet. The rest of the room, some 800 square feet, was usually entirely vacant. Fitted with chairs borrowed from the Anchor Point Church of Christ, the room was full, say 200 people or more. Most of the sub-contractors had representatives present. Many friends, especially a large number of those who had volunteered as laborers from the community of Anchor Point, were there. A large contingent from the “lower 48" (members of the Board of Directors, financial donors, and others) were there.
F. M. had sent out letter invitations two weeks before to all the sub-contractors he could remember. His letter read:
“As a sub-contractor to WCBC, your organization contributed significantly to the successful construction and start-up of the international radio station KNLS. You and other interested members of your staff are cordially invited to attend a ceremony commemorating the completion of the construction of the station on August 19, 1983 at 2 PM to 4 PM at the station site.
“In conjunction with the opening ceremony at the station site, the local Anchor Point Church of Christ will present a series of lectures by outstanding broadcasters and ministers of the gospel on the evenings of August 18 and 19 at 7 PM. In addition we will be holding open house at the station site from 10 AM to 5 PM on August 19.
“We hope you will be with us on these occasions.
“Francis M. Perry
Director of Engineering.”
This letter was sent to the following list of sub-contractors:
6000 A Street
Anchorage, Alaska 99502
Mr. Paul Roderick
P. O. Box 836
Anchor Point, Alaska 99556
Mr. Talley Moon
12441 Atherton Road
Mr. Daniel C. Millard
Millard Skidding & Equipment Repair
Anchor Point, Alaska 99556
P. O. Box 2910
Kenai, Alaska 99611
Mr. Mike Tauriainen, PE
Soldotna, Alaska 99669
Mr. Ellis E. Penrod
Gene & Jon’s Floor Service
Homer, Alaska 99603
Mr. Brad Kiffmeyer and Mr. Brian Nolan
Soldotna, Alaska 99669
Mr. David F. Becker
P. O. Bo103
Homer, Alaska 99603
Mr. Arthur Stinchfield
P. O. Box 811
Homer, Alaska 99603
The letter to Denali Drilling contained an added paragraph which read as follows:
“We would especially like to have Mr. Bill Sommerville attend the ceremony as we would like to publicly recognize him for the special assistance he gave in fighting the destructive fire in our new building on January 31, 1983.”
Bill Sommerville was unable to attend the ceremony. Plaques were presented to Norman Lowell Smith and Kevin Chambers for heroic actions in putting out the fire. The plaque that would have been given to Bill Sommerville personally at the ceremony was forwarded to him with the following letter to his boss:
“Please reply to:
P. O. Box 473
Anchor Point Alaska 99556
22 August 1983
“Mr. Hal Ingalls President
Denali Drliling, Inc.
6000 A Street
Anchorage, Alaska 99556
“Dear Mr. Ingalls:
“On January 3l, 1983 while your earth anchor drilling team was still working under contract at the radio station site here in Anchor Point, your employee Mr. Bill SommervIlle, performed an heroic act at risk to his own life in helping to extinguish a fire in the transmitter building. Bill crawled into the burning building and into the crawl space under the floor to retrieve a garden hose which was then used to extinguish the blaze. The interior of the building was full of smoke and extremely hot when Bill entered. His action enabled others to save much of the structure which otherwise wou1d have been destroyed.
“At a ceremony commemorating the completion of the construction of the radio
station on August 19, 1983, Bill was recognized publicly along with Norman L.
Smith and Kevin Chambers for heroic acts which helped save a good portion of the building. At that ceremony the Board of Directors of the World Christian
Broadcasting Corporation presented plaques of recognition to these three men.
Bill was unable to be present at the ceremony.
“We would be pleased if you would present to Bill the attached plaque as a token of our appreciation of the invaluable assistance he gave.
“Also, we are pleased to tell you that your drilling team consisting of Mr. Ed
Aberle, Mr. Bill Sommerville, Mr. Mark Maslonka, and others performed excellently in fulfilling the recent contract to install earth anchors at the KNLS station site here at Anchor Point. It was a pleasure for us to work with them.
“Francis M. P-erry
Director of Engineering
Mr. Ingalls replied with the following letter:
“Denali Drilling, Inc.
6000 A STREET ANCHORAGE, ALASKA 99502
August 30, 1983
“World Christian Broadcasting Corp.
P. O. Box 473
Anchor Point, Alaska 99556
“Attention: Mr. Francis M. Perry
Director of Engineering
“Reference: Commemoration Ceremony
“Dear Mr. Perry,
“Denali Drilling, Inc. would like to thank you for your very kind words for our employees. We are grateful that our efforts were so graciously received.
“I am very sorry that our people, especially Bill Sommerville, were not able to be present for the ceremony. We were mobilizing for another project and they were not able to attend.
“Thank you again for your considerate letters, as well as the beautiful plaque for Bill.
“Very truly yours,
“DENALI DRILLING, INC.
Hal Ingalls, President.”
F. M. does remember Brother Reuel Lemmons’ speech delivered at the Dedication ceremony. Brother Lemmons was a special individual whom he admired. F. M. especially was attracted to Brother Lemmons’ writings in the Firm Foundation publication of which he was editor. His speeches were pure poetry and always enlightening and challenging as the speech he delivered that afternoon at KNLS. The speech is reproduced below. [As an interesting sidelight F. M. remembers that friends of Brother Lemmons, hearing that he was invited to go to Alaska to speak at the dedication of KNLS, rather than let him go by air, chipped in and bought him a ticket on a resort ship that takes tourists to Alaska via a week or more on the scenic “Inside Passage.” Several years later F. M. was present in an audience in Texas that heard Brother Lemmons give his last sermon. He died only a few days later.]
F. M. was given the opportunity to speak during the closing minutes of the dedication ceremony. He pointed out all the contractors in the audience and all the volunteers, staff members, and friends whom he had met since going to work for WCBC, and thanked them each pointedly for what they had done to make the station “come alive.” F. M. pointed out a special group of young men and women volunteers who were gazing on the proceedings and listening from behind the transmitter console window to the Transmitter room. It was indeed a team effort from start to finish with faith in the Son of God and His gospel message for the world which motivated all the action.
By Reuel Lemmons
International Radio Station KNLS
Anchor Point, Alaska
August 19, 1983
“The significance of events are seldom recognized at the moment when they are happening. It takes years and years sometimes to change the drabbest of circumstances into the most important life changing things in our lives.
“One afternoon many years ago, when this dream was aborning, one remembrance of mine is the afternoon spent in th office at Abilene Christian University of Dr. Lowell Perry. And he and I were picking each others brains, nas we sometimes did, about you get the gospel to the whole world, and how do you do it on a scale we’ve never dreamed of, and how do you do it in such a way that it will be favorably received.
“And through a certain evolving process, this station and this mission to which it is committed was hammered into shape, and the plan was put into tangible form. I didn’t realize sitting in Dr. Perry’s office just talking about this sort of an idea, that something might some day come of it.
“And now here we are many yars later on almost th farthermost point west of the continental United States, dedicating a piece of land on the top of a hill to the fulfillment of a dream that Dr. Perry had, and to the fulfilling of every evangelist’s desire to get the gospel to the whole world.
“We are met on a rather historic spot. There was a time in restoration history when th spot might have been Cane Ridge, or Lexington, or Nashville. And it could well be that those who chronicle the next hundred years of our history may point to this day ands to this spot and say this was the hinge, this was the turning point, this was the place where the Churches of Christ broke out of colloquialism for which they were famous, into a world wide, unfettered, free, undenominational proclamation of the gospel of Christ, that their wildest dreamers had not up until that time envisioned.
“It could be that when th station’s gone and the hill is bare and all of us sleep with our fathers, somebody will come and put up a monument od some kind on this hill to the place where we really began to preach the gospel to the whole world.
“This is a historic occasion. It is a historic place. And we are met to dedicate ths piece of ground and this facility to the greatest cause the human race has ever known.
“Men he always given themselves to great causes. Some give themselves to a patriotic cause and die for their country. Others give themselves to a political cause and become martyrs to it. Others spend all their energies in casual causes that perish with the generation. But here is a cause greater than any cause tro which any man has ever given his life, and some men have given their lives to this one. That he given their lives in order that we might be here and that we might be dedicating this spot of ground to the most noble task. In fact, every donor who has ever given anything of himself to the progress of this project has done so in order that the whole world might hear of him who gave everything he had to give that they might have the remission of their sins.
“Here is a timeless cause and a spaceless cause that transcends all the ages and covers all the inhabitable space in this world. This day has greater possibilities than most of us grasp at this moment. But, in a greater sense, there is no way that you and I can dedicate and consecrate this facility to this cause like those who have given their lives and those who have given their means and of their time and of their talent have dedicated it. They are the ones who have made this facility the moving, transforming force that it undoubtedly will be in the years that are to come.
“And so, those who have given so much to bring us this facility must not have wasted their sacrifices. They must not have died in vain. They must not have given in vain. And it becomes our task to perpetuate what they he started, and to dedicate ourselves tro the on-going task of seeing that what thy sacrificed for does not fail.
“Needs do not stop with today. This is not the graduation of a cause. This is not the termination of an effort. This is simply the beginning of the real effort. And both God and man will expect of those of us who are still here a greater degree of devotion and dedication and sacrifice even than that which h been made in th past.
“We have come this far, and we are setting up a sort of Ebenezer here today to mark the path we’ve come by the help and grace of God. And we need to vow, deeply and solemnly, that we will finish the course and we will keep the faith.
“So it is for us who are still here and those who will come on later, as long as there is humanity on the planet, to carry on the work that these noble souls have begun, and not leave it terminate today or in the near future. Ours will be the task of seeing that it is perpetuated, that this work goes on, that these sacrifices continue, and that others will be enlisted to make sacrifices so that this stream of influence may broaden as it flows down through history.
“These who have made sacrifices up until today must not have sacrificed in vain. And so we come vowing today to lay this piece of work before the Lord as a sacrifice to Him. We pray that it may be an acceptable sacrifice, that whatever all of these have done who have contributed to the success of this effort thus far, may not be a rejected sacrifice, but an accepted one. For we live by sacrifice. Life depends upon it. And the success of this effort depends upon it. There never was a worthwhile effort that didn’t glow through the smoke of sacrifice.
“And so we are not here dedicating a gadget made by man to serve the purposes of man. We are dedicating a mighty force and facility to the on-going cause that’s the greatest cause for which men have ever struggled or died.
“It simply is beyond the power of pen or tongue to describe the influence of the gospel of Christ in our world. All the hope, and whatever hope the human race may have of living after it has died, and whatever hope it may have of pleasing it’s Maker, rests solely and squarely upon the cause for which this station was built and to which it is today dedicated. There is no other cause really worthy of a man’s whole life and soul. This is the only one.
“And so I count myself fortunate to be alive on this day and to be present at this hour. And I join with you in honoring these who have made such gigantic sacrifices. But I also want to join with you in a solemn vow to let these sacrifices not be in vain.
“We must cover the earth with the gospel like the waters cover the sea. We must teach good men to respect it and bad men to fear it. We need to preach it, preach it, preach it in every conceivable way. Let it echo from the streaming jungles of the equator to the snowcaps of the arctic until in every race, speaking every tongue, a knowledge of God may shine like a light in a dark world, and from the throats of men hallelujahs may arise to Him who died that they might live. This is what its all about.
“And for this cause, and to this end, we dedicate this station.”
Although all outdoor construction (antennas, transmission lines) was finished, things inside the transmitter control room were far from finished. The console mixer, tape recorders, and cartridge tape players were all temporarily mounted in left over packing cases while Kevin Chambers went to work designing and building the special console cabinetry. And the console equipment was all plagued with RFI (radio frequency interference) emitted from KNLS’ own antennas. There was difficulty grounding the equipment. Different copper rods driven into the ground, supposedly to form a common ground potential for each piece of equipment, gave different potentials one from another. During the early broadcasts we often used movable ground connections, using the one that gave the best results for the particular frequency at the time. The problem was not fully solved until sometime in 1984 after Kevin had finished building and wiring the console furniture with many little RFI filters and a special well was drilled next to the transmitter building with a deep copper insert to act as a common ground. Kevin became an RFI expert. But during the first months of operation, Real Peloquin and other Program Technicians became expert at where to place certain round connections for various hours of broadcasting.
In reviewing correspondence in the August 1983 archive file, there is found a letter from F. M. to Lavoy and Jewell Hooker thanking them for gifts they bought and left behind in the mobile home for use of later volunteer workers who mght live there. Among these gifts were an electric dishwasher built in to the kitcen, bunk beds in a bedroom, linens, blankets, pillows, towels, bath accessories, mattress pads, table covers, dishes, kitchen utensils, lamps, curtains, extension cords, a letter file, door mat, etc. (with a total value of over $1,500.00).
It was about this time that Lavoy and Jewell Hooker and Herb Peterson returned home, having completed the volunteer work they had come to perform by helping in assembly of the transmitter. F. M. and Charlotte took them to Anchorage in their Chevy Suburban to catch their flights home to the “lower 48.”
September 1983 -
The following letter to the FCC was the first of regular “end of season” reports. It reveals a number of problems that occurred during the first month’s use (the “breaking in” period) of the new transmitter:
“Please reply to:
P.O. Box 473
Anchor Point Alaska 99556
7 September 1983
“Federal Communications Commission
Mass Media Bureau
Policy and Rules Division, Room 8102A
2025 M Street, N. W.
Washington, D. C. 20554
“Attn: Mr. Charles H. Breig
“Re: Report of HF Broadcasting Operations of KNI.S, Anchor Point, Alaska
during the Season May thru August 1983.
“The following narrative report describes the use af the frequency-hours authorized by the FCC for HF broadcast operations of KNLS during the May thru August 1983 season. The report also describes reception and interference reported to KNLS by DX listeners throughout the world.
“Program Test authority was requested and license app1ication was made to the FCC in a letter from our attorney, Mr Larry A. Blosser, on July 14 1983. Informal authorization to start program
tests was given by the FCC by telephone through our attorney on July 23, 1983. Formal authorization was received at KNLS by te1egram from the FCC on August 9, 1983.
“During the period July 23, 1983 thru September 3, 1983, KNLS was authorized to broadcast for a total of 322.5 hours. Following is a tabulation of the total frequency-hours actually used compared to the total authorized:
Hours Frequency Ant. Beam Hours Hours Actually
UTC Dates KHz: Azimuth Authorized Used
0900-1200 7/23/83 thru 11820 330 Deg. 129 hrs. 121 hours 31 Min.
1200-1330 7/23/83 thru 9690 300 Deg. 31.5 hrs. 27 hours.
1200-1330 8/13/83 thru 9525 300 Deg. 33 hrs. 33 hours
1330-1630 7/23/83 thru 11820 0 Deg. 129 hrs. 120 hours.
“An attempt was made to go on-the-air at 0900 UTC on July 22, 1983, the first day authorized. However, audio distortion in the transmitter modulation prevented broadcast operations that day. The problem was cleared up and program tests began at 0900 UTC on July 23,1983.
“During the period July 23 through July 28, 1983 there were a number of intermittent momentary transmitter outages each day and it was necessary at times to reduce transmitter output by 25% to 50%. Extensive trouble shooting work was done each day during off-the-air hours to eliminate the problems. However, on July 29, 1983 at 1118 hours UTC a catastrophic break-down of one
of the high voltage capacitors forced us to stop the tests. Spare parts air lifted from Quincy, Illinois enabled us to return to the air at 0900 UTC on July 31, 1983.
“Some DX listeners brought to our attention in early August that our transmission frequency, 9690 KHz, to zones 42, 43, and 44 (People's Republic of China) was exactly the same as that used by Radio Free China (Taiwan) and that the frequency was constantly jammed by the People's Republic of China. On August 12,1983 I telephoned Mr. Charles H. Breig at the FCC and obtained authorization to change the frequency of the daily Chinese language segment of broadcasts to 9525 KHz. This frequency (9525 KHz.) was then used, starting on August 13, 1983, for the rest of the season during the hours 1200 to 1300 UTC each day.
“On-the-air program tests continued with a few intermittent momentary transmitter outages occurring each day until another catastrophic breakdown of a high voltage capacitor occurred at the start of operations on August 5,1983. The basic cause of the transmitter problems was finally discovered on August 5, 1983 to be a faulty damper tube in the modulator circuit. The damper tube was replaced and program tests resumed at 0900 UTC on August 6,1983.
“On August 9,1983 the FCC issued to KNLS a Radio Broadcast Station License. No further transmitter breakdowns occurred during the season. A frustrating problem of RF feedback into the audio modulation system was steadily improved during the season. Finally, during the period August 20, 1983 to the end of the season (September 3, 1983) virtually no RF feedback occurred. The transition into the September-October season on new frequencies occurred smoothly with a virtually trouble free transmitter.
“During August 1983 a number of DX listeners in Europe informed us that the frequency 11820 KHz, authorized for KNLS by the FCC, was being used by an internal USSR service of Radio Moscow. Signals from KNLS were said to be effectively masked when Radio Moscow was on-the-air. Since the start of the new season on new frequencies was drawing near, we did not seek to change the frequency 11820 at that time.
“Although KNLS received no reception reports from the specific target areas in
the USSR and China, we have reason to believe that our signals were propagated effectively to the target areas at field intensities that could be received by average home receivers. We reached this conclusion by virtue of DX listeners' reports from Japan reporting excellent reception (SINPO 44444) at 11820 KHz from the eastern side of our 330 degree azimuth beam. From Scandinavian countries we have received reports of fair to good reception (SINPO 32332) at 11820 KHz from the western side of the 330 degree azimuth beam. We have received a few reports from Europe indicating reception "behind" a Radio Moscow station on the same frequency (11820 KHz) from the 0 degree beam directly over the north pole. We believe that propagation directly over the pole will be effective if we can find a clear frequency.
“Francis M. Perry
Director of Engineering.”
September was a bee hive of activity for nine employees. The following copy of the financial report to Bob Scott at the Abilene office gives a list of nine full time employees.
WORLD CHRISTIAN BROADCASTING
P.O. BOX 473
ANCHOR POINT, ALASKA
September 30, 1983
Financial Report for Month of September 1983.
Bank balance 9/1/83 6,121.21
Deposits and other credits during
Checks and other charges during
Bank balance 9/30/83 4,291.23
Gross salaries and wages during
Withheld for social security 1,031.56
U. S. Withholding Tax 2,101. 90
Net salaries and wages during
Employees during the month of September 1983
Kevin K. Chambers
Victor P. Hall
Duanne A. Hollingsworth
Susan M. Ledger
Stephen S. Lockwood
Real K. Peloquin
Charles R. Perry
Francis M. Perry
Richard D. Ragland
Expenditures during September 1983 as shown on carbon copies of checks issued and on Petty cash account sheet.
Carbon copies of checks issued
Petty Cash account sheet
Copies of all billings
Semi-monthly time & earnings statements for all employees during the
period 9/1/83 thru 9/30/83.
Francis M. Perry
During September WCBC received a bill from the Borough of Kenai for taxation of “personal property” in the amount of $5,350.00. This was a mystery for it was thought that WCBC property was tax exempt. F. M. guessed that this taxation figure probably represented the WCBC pickup truck. Attorney C. R. Baldwin made inquiry as in the following letter:
“C. R. BALDWIN
P. O. BOX 4210
KENAI. ALASKA 99611
TELEPHONE (907) 283-7167
September 29, 1983
“F. M. Perry
P.O. Box 473
Anchor Point, AK 99556
“Dear F. M.:
“I have researched the issue of the assessments on vehicles owned by the Corporation and I came to the conclusion that the vehicles are exempt from Borough property taxes. I then called the Borough and found out that the only vehicles which the Borough exempts are church buses. I have asked for a formal ruling from the Mayor on the issue. I will let you know his decision. I doubt if the money involved is worth the hassle of contesting an adverse decision. I have also discussed with the Assessor future property taxes that would be assessed against the real property of WCBC. His preliminary assessment is that the radio station and its facilities are exempt from taxation but he wants to check it with the Borough Attorney. He will get back to me and will provide me with a form for claiming the exemption. I will let you know as matters progress.
“Very truly yours,
“C. R. Baldwin
cc: Robert E. Scott.”
A number of DX enthusiasts throughout the world were listening for the new radio station and upon hearing it were sending listener reports to KNLS. Instructions given out over the air were to write to the Anchor Point address. All mail received from listeners was promptly answered by F. M. or someone on the KNLS staff. A special card was printed to give DX hobbyists a receipt they could mount on their bulletin boards. These reports from DX hobbyists were very valuable to KNLS to indicate the range, direction, and strength of the transmitted signals. F. M. began to make computerized records of all correspondence received. A summary of correspondence was sent to the FCC with the station seasonal reports to give an indication of the success of the broadcasts.
At this point almost all English followup correspondence was being done by the KNLS Anchor Point staff. F. M. does not remember getting any foreign language correspondence from Russia or China during the first months of operation. Russian and Chinese language programs apparently were being produced in several places in the “lower 48.” One September letter from Alan R. Henderson of Lubbock, Texas speaks of programs teaching basic English to Chinese people that he was producing. He had contact with Chinese Brethren Bobby Liang and George Tien who were possibly working on Chinese programming.
Kevin temporarily set up his wood working equipment in the back room behind the transmitter room so that he could produce the master console and other furniture needed at the station. (By placing his wood working machinery there, he could close the door of the room and protect the transmitter from the saw dust generated by the machinery.)
There were numerous minor problems with transmitter components as the transmitter was “broken in.” One large power amplifier tube had to be returned to the manufacturer and numerous small components were returned for in-warranty replacements.
October, November, December 1983 -
During these months KNLS was on the air for 7 ½ hours per /day. The first 3 hours was in the Russian language to the central USSR. The next 1 1/2 hours was in the Mandarin language to China, and the last 3 hours was in the Russian language (over the north pole) to European USSR. The staff was working out a system for efficiently airing the programs supplied from the programming staff in the “lower 48," and giving an account after airing so that sponsors of programs could be kept informed. Dick Ragland worked out a system of (1) daily program logs, (2) program discrepancy reports, and (3) program air time summaries. These gave the whole story of what happened to a sponsor’s programs as well as what went on at KNLS during “on-air” time.
F. M. continued financial management of the KNLS operation, giving Bob Scott estimates in advance for the funds that would be needed each month and an accounting of the funds expended. Bob sent funds directly to the Alaska Bank in Homer for F. M. to settle accounts by check. About mid-November F. M had to write the following to Bob Scott:
“Dick Ragland resigned a few days ago. He will stay on with us for another week or so. I was hoping that the raise we gave him recently would enable him to continue with us. He explained that he must provide more for his family than his salary with us will allow. He will go to work for a construction company supervising projects throughout Alaska. He will be away from home part of each week.
“We have arranged our work schedule for everyone else so that we can get along without Dick. I do not plan to hire anyone to replace him until you get here and I have a chance to talk the situation over with you. Perhaps we will not try to replace Dick with someone who has comparable experience, but simply hire another person, perhaps a woman, to share combined secretarial/program technician work with Susie Ledger. Susie and I will now have to take on some night shifts so, at those times, there will be no one on duty in the daytime, even to answer the telephone.”
On November 5, 1983 KNLS extended its on-air time from 7 1/2 hours per day to 13 hours per day. The schedule was planned as follows:
1. 0700-0930 UTC, Russian, to eastern USSR.
2. 0930-1200 UTC, Russian to central USSR.
3. 1200-1500 UTC, Mandarin to China.
4. 1500-1730 UTC, Russian to European USSR (over the pole).
5. 1730-2000 UTC, Russian to European USSR (over the pole).”
There were lengthy letters to the programming people discussing details of announcement (tape) cartridges. An announcer at KNLS could make corrections as necessary to English language announcements but, of course, could not make corrections, or even recognize the need for corrections, in Chinese or Russian tapes. There was a fear that details in announcing frequency and time schedules in Chinese and Russian languages were not always accurate.
F. M. wrote to Alan R. Henderson at the Sunset Department of Chinese Studies in Lubbock, Texas where some of the Chinese programs were being produced:
“Please tell all the interested persons that we have been broadcasting into the heart of China since July 24, 1983 We have not received any correspondence directly from communist China but we have received many letters from Japan and Korea. We know that our signal strength in China are very strong and our programs may be picked up on standard home short wave receivers. As you know, on November 5, 1983 we start 3 hours of programming daily into China. The programs will be received there at the prime time hours of 8 to 11 PM each day.
“We here at KNLS have no doubt but that God’s Word received in China will perform God’s intended purpose. I believe God will use these broadcasts in His providential influence upon the future history of China, and especially, He will use them to claim for Himself Chinese people who are ‘appointed to eternal life’ (Acts 13:48). The Chinese people ‘live, move, and exist,’ as we all do, in the omnipresent God. Surely many Chinese people are aware of that. God is neither inactive nor silent, even in communist China. He will take His harvest there and we pray He will use KNLS in doing so.
“We know that the production of good programming tapes to be broadcast 3 hours per day every day, continuously from now on, is a tremendous task to contemplate. It is a greater task than was the building of the station facilities here at Anchor Point. We thank God for all of you there in Lubbock who are devoted to this task.
“We pray that a number of Chinese speaking Christians will be moved to dedicate their lives to this great task of producing effective programming, and that congregations of the Lord’s church will support them in this work.”
In December F. M. submitted to Bob Scott a budget for the year 1984. He indicated that the station could get along with a total staff of eight people and asked for no salary raises during the year. The total salary budget came to $175.465.00. For on-going development of the site and construction of the transmitter building F. M. requested the following items be budgeted for 1984 for a total of $48,584.00:
“1. Paul’s Service for work already done building third mobile home pad.
2. ‘As is’ survey of private road needed to proceed with Road Association legal work.
3. Add heating ducts to take heat from transmitter exhaust to heat front of transmitter building.
4. Complete fence and gate around transmitter building.
5. Rebuild hill portion of access road to reduce grade and widen.
6. Purchase 3rd mobile home, new, delivered Homer, and put on site.”
F. M. reminded Bob Scott in a letter that he had requested from the FCC and received authorization to start 2 1/2 hours of English language programming in March 1984, but that John Fisk felt that he would not have time to produce all of the programming. F. M. asked for Bob’s permission to produce some English language programming in Alaska, namely:
1. An a capella music program of hymns of the church with comments.
2. A program of Bible reading.
3. An authentic American folk music program.
F. M. and Kevin, working on the premise that phase two of the KNLS construction plan would start soon (addition of two more transmitters and associated antennas), started technical planning for expansion. F. M. wrote a letter to a major manufacturer of RF transmission line multi-coupler switches in order to get a quote on equipment that would be needed for three transmitters. The following sketch (on page 260) describes the multi-coupler:
January, February, March 1984 -
A letter was received from Mr. Roger Stubbe, Director of Communications for HCJB, a well known international short wave radio station broadcasting from Quito, Ecuador. Mr. Stubbe wrote that he had heard of KNLS’ use of the Harris 100 KW transmitter and would like to know of the KNLS experience with it since he was thinking of possibly purchasing one. F. M.’s letter to Mr. Stubbe gives a good summary of the KNLS experience in “breaking in” the Harris transmitter:
“Please reply to:
P O Box 473
Anchor Point, Alaska 99556
16 January 1984
“Mr. Roger Stubbe
Director of Communications Division
“Dear Mr. Stubbe:
“We do have a Harris SW 100A transmitter. It is our one and only transmitter. We are so well satisfied with it we plan to purchase two more in due time.
“We came on-the-air in July 1983 operating 7 1/2 hours per day. In November 1983 we increased our on-air time to 13 hours per day. During this 13 hour daily period we change frequencies but once, but we chanqe antennas or antenna azimuth four times.
“The transmitter seems to be ‘loafing along’ on the 13 hour per day schedule. We keep the RF output at the maximum 100 KW at all times. We "process" the audio input so as to keep the modulation as close to 100% as possible at all times. We see no reason the transmitter could not be operated 18 to 20 hours per day, or even continuously as long as it could be shut down from me to time for preventive maintenance.
“The transmitter could be equipped with a frequency synthesizer. But we elected to purchase the 10 channel crystal controlled model. In addition to 10 master oscillator frequency channels, there are 10 sets of memory circuits in the servo tuning system so that each of the 10 channels can be set-up for its particular tuning load conditions. Once the 10 channels are set-up, each with its own frequency and antenna load, channels can be changed automaticly within 3 to 5 seconds merely by rotating a channel selector switch and pushing a button. We have to change antenna slew positions manually, so it takes us a total of almost 3 minutes to change channels. But the transmitter itself only requires a few seconds.
“The automatic transmitter tuning works quite well as long as the antenna load conditions do not change. Our antenna load conditions do change occasionally due to ice and snow. But, even then, the change is minor and usually we are able to refine the tuning even while we are on-the-air with full modulation.
“So you see, we set-up our channels at the start of each broadcast season. Then, for the rest of the season, changing frequencies and transmitter tuning can be accomplished within a few seconds each time.
“We do not have a very good handle on long term maintenance as yet. We purchased the transmitter with the Harris recommended spare parts kits. They included 2 each 4CV 100,000 E Tubes at $ 6,806 each, 2 each 4CX 1500 A tubes at $644 each, and 1 each F 1099 Damper Diode tube at $1,247 each. The entire set of spare parts cost a total of $42,828.
“Initially we had a number of problems due to "bugs" incurred either in manufacturing, in shipping, or due to faulty components. The internal grid structure of one of the 4CV 100,000 E PA tubes collapsed. It caused only minor damages otherwise due to the "fail safe" circuits of the transmitter. In addition a high voltage capacitor worth about $1,200 arced over due to an imperfection in the insulation material. This caused an F 1099 Damper tube to go bad. We found a few faulty small components. All of these start-up problems were covered by warranty without argument from Harris. Operation has been trouble free for several months now.
“Harris has a fast response spare parts group. We can telephone for a part and have it in Anchorage, Alaska within 24 hours. (However, it usually takes another 24 hours to get it from Anchorage to Anchor Point). The air shipping costs are usually about the same as slow surface shipping costs.
“As yet, we do not know what normal tube life will be. The transmitter is relatively easy to work on. A special tool for installing and removing the PA tube is helpful.
“The pulse duration modulation (PDM) circuits have worked perfectly for us. The most complicated sections of the transmitter are the "fail safe" circuits. They really work.
“You may be interested in the 1982 FOB costs of our equipment:
“Transmitter SW 100A $311,895
Spare Parts 42,828
RF Duct Kit (pre-fabricated ducts to carry xmtr output to dummy load and antenna switches) 14,000
Dummy 1oad 23,610
Heat Exchanger duct work and
vent system 2,000
“Quite a bit of additional money went out for shipping, primary power installation, etc. We employed the services of a Harris Field Engineer to initially trouble-shoot and energize the transmitter after we had assembled it. His services cost about $14,000 but was worth it. He gave us a fast but good practical education and minimized the time to get on-the-air.
“We have a few minor dissatisfactions. The crystal oven which contains the 10
channel crystals does not lend itself to easy and frequent change of crystals. you may want to specify a re-design on this so that crystals may be removed and replaced quickly and easily.
“A large metal flange connector is provided by Harris for connecting the steam
lines to the heat exchanger. The outer portion of the flange is soldered to an inner portion. The constant vibration caused by the fan in the heat exchanger causes this solder joint to crack and separate, over and over again. It takes one or two hours to repair and usually breaks when we are on-the-air. A better flange should be provided.
“The transmitter is not normally manufactured to FCC specifications (with respect to spurious emission attenuation) probably because most of the Harris SW transmitters go to countries outside the US. We were quite disappointed to find that we had to put a special harmonic filter in the output transmission line which restricts our use of the transmitter above the 19 meter band. We advise that you present a comprehensive specification to Harris showing your requirements in every respect.
“I hope these comments will be helpful.
“I greatly admire the work HCJB has done through the years in developing its facilities. I'm especially desirous of knowing how successful your propagation is over the north pole to the USSR (if, indeed, your are attempting it). We are beaming daily directly over the north pole to Europe on a relatively inexpensive 14 db gain log periodic antenna. We hope to gather enough data to decide whether we should construct a 20 db gain antenna for that beam. So far we do not have conclusive evidence that even 20 db of gain will overcome the added attenuation of the aurora. (Our 20 db gain beams to the Far East avoid the aurora most of the time).
“Francis M. Perry
Director of Engineering.”
Board of Directors Approves Production of English Language Programs at KNLS.
Starting in March 1984 two English language programs will be produced by KNLS at Anchor
Point. These two programs, “Good News in Song” and “Daily Bible Readings,” will be in addition to other English language programs to be produced in the lower 48 states. Bob Scott contacted the Elders of the Anchor Point Church of Christ to get their help in the production of these two programs:
Church of Christ
Anchor Point, AK 99556
“The help and encouragement of Christians at Anchor Point has been one of our greatest resources in building and operating Station KNLS. We are genuinely grateful for all you have done to help make all of this possible.
“Now that Station KNLS is broadcasting every day, we appreciate your recent commitment to send funds monthly to help provide air time. This will be an example to other brethren and will help us reach out with God's Word every day to people beyond our previous missionary contact.
“In early March we shall begin broadcasting in English, as well as in Chinese and Russian. Some of that English programming will be prepared at the station in Alaska.
“One of the principles our Board of Directors has followed is to have all programs with Biblical content to be prepared under the oversight of a congregation with elders. The Chinese Bible broadcasts are prepared under the oversight of the Sunset church in Lubbock, Texas and the Russian programs from the Scriptures are produced under the oversight of the Chestnut Boulevard church in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. One Russian program is produced by still another congregation.
“I was wondering whether or not you would consider overseeing the work being done by our KNLS staff in the two 15 minute daily broadcasts we have them preparing for English audiences. They have a broadcast of hymns and comment called, "Good News in Song," and a daily Bible reading program. I think most of the ones working on the programs are members at Anchor Point, or have been to my knowledge. Your role would be much like that of relating to Jim Dillinger in his preaching and teaching, or perhaps that of a missionary. I am sure F.M. Perry and those working with him would welcome your participation. It would require no financial obligation.
“Your consideration of this request and your early reply will be appreciated. Other congregations will be providing the funds to help supply the needed funds for air time.
“Robert E. Scott.”
Just what do eight people do at KNLS day after day? Why are eight people needed? F. M. addressed these questions in the following letter to Bob Scott:
P. O. Box 473
Anchor Point, Alaska 99556
13 February 1984
“Dr. Robert E. Scott, President
World Christian Broadcasting Corporation
301 South Pioneer Drive
Abilene, Texas 79604
“Perhaps you will want to share the following report with the Board of Directors at the February 18 meeting. KNLS is running smoothly, on-the-air 13 hours each day from 10 PM through each night until 11 AM Anchor Point time. The Harris transmitter and all the other equipment is performing beautifully. We have had to shut down for a few hours on three or four stormy weather occasions. Extremely high winds caused our larger antenna to billow out and malfunction on three or four occasions. Also, trees fell across our electrical power line and RF transmission line. Repairs were completed within a few hours each time.
“We are operating KNLS in a financially austere fashion with a "skeleton" staff. We have a total of 8 people performing the tasks outlined on the attached task sheet and working on the following schedule:
1. General Manager/Engineer 8:15 AM thru 4:45 PM Mon. thru Fri.
2. Secretary/ Program Technician 8:15 AM thru 4:45 PM Mon. thru Fri.
3. Chief Engineer 6:15 AM thru 4:45 PM Tues. thru Fri.
4. Program Technician 6:15 AM thru 4:45 PM Tues. thru Fri.
These people perform on-air duty from 7: 15 AM thru 11: 00 AM.
5. Engineer 9:15 PM thru 7:15 AM Tues. thru Fri.
6. Program Technician 9:15 PM thru 7:15 AM Tues. thru Fri.
These people are on-the-air for their entire shift.
7. Engineer 9:15 PM thru 11:00 AM Sat., Sun., & Mon.
8. Program Technician 9:15 PM thru 11:00 AM Sat., Sun., & Mon
These people are on-the-air for their entire shift.
“Whenever an engineer takes a holiday or is ill, the General Manager abandons his regular schedule and takes his on-air shift.
“Whenever a program technician takes a holiday or is ill, the secretary abandons her regular schedule and takes his on-air shift.
“National holidays are taken one employee at a time on a substitute day.
“The General Manager, Chief Engineer, and Secretary try to hold the same schedule all the time except when substituting for someone else. All other staff personnel trade shifts every two months.
“All employees work more than (some considerably more than) their scheduled 40 to 42 hours per week in order to accomplish all tasks.
“Some employees are already asking about summer vacations. One desires to go to Europe, another to the "lower 48". Additional personnel will be required to operate the station when such absences occur.
“We need to import another Engineer (with FCC license). Housing for him and his family will be a problem. We can get all necessary program technicians from the local area.
“All housing on the station site is fully occupied and, except for a spare cot or two, there are no facilities to care for volunteer workers or visitors. My wife and I occupy one mobile home and we provide board and room for Real Peloquin (Program Technician). Victor Hall (Engineer) and his family occupy the other mobile home. Victor has a building lot in Homer and plans to build and occupy his own house. He cannot do that, however, until he sells his house in California. I expect Victor and his family will be in WCBC housing for another year. The cabin is occupied by Stephen Lockwood (Engineer) and Charles Perry (Program Technician).
“We need another mobile home on the station site to house temporary help, volunteers, and/or additional permanent staff personnel.
“There are several capital projects that we did not get around to completing during the construction phase. But we should complete them as soon as possible. These projects do not include expansion plans for the station.
1. Construct tape program production facilities.
Equipment needed $ 6,500
2. Add heating ducts to complete heating of the building
from transmitter heat 800
3. Add fire/smoke detection system to building 5,000
4. Complete fence and gates around main building 1,000
5. Repair and improve roof systems of mobile homes.
Build entry porches on mobile homes 8,000
6. Purchase additional transmitter system test equipment 10,000
7. Re-build hill portion of access road to widen and reduce grade 15,000
8. Purchase, transport, and set up new Mobile Home 28,000
“Everyone seems to enjoy their life here at KNLS. We have a record depth of snow on the ground, about 2 to 2 1/2 feet. The cross country skiing is excellent right now and a necessary activity to inspect our antenna field. We are looking forward to spring, however.
“We are excited about starting some English language programming in March. Letters from DX listeners have dropped off some, but we still get 15 or 20 per week. Best wishes.
F. M. Perry
TASKS SHARED BY EMPLOYEES
at KNLS, Anchor Point, Alaska
Revised 13 Feb. 1984
Transmitter Maintenance (preventive).
Cleaning of transmitter.
Maintenance of air cooling system.
Maintenance of steam cooling system.
Periodic replacement of certain components.
Records of normal meter readings.
Logs of operational meter readings/hours of operation.
Logs of routine and special maintenance.
Transmitter Maintenance (repair).
Troubleshooting of transmitter system.
Replacement of faulty components.
Repair of circuit boards.
Routine maintenance of RF switches and indoor Xmission lines (inspection,
Troubleshooting of RF switches and indoor Xmission lines (repair).
Routine maintenance of air duct system in building, both Xmtr ducts and furnace ducts (cleaning, repair).
Routine maintenance of furnaces in building (cleaning, inspection, periodic replacement of filters, ordering of fuel oil).
Logs of all above routine maintenance and troubleshooting w/hours of operation and date.
Troubleshooting of furnace system.
Routine maintenance of outdoor Xmission lines, logs of inspections (look for broken insulators, evidence of arcs, etc.).
Repair of outdoor Xmission lines.
Routine maintenance of antennas and slewing switch.
Tower light inspections.
Replacement of bulbs in tower lighting.
Slewing switch inspections.
Maintenance of fire fighting equipment.
Maintenance of antenna fields, cutting or killing of grass, prevention of field fires.
Repair of antenna system, slewing switch.
Inspection of towers & guys, grounding system. Logs of all periodic inspections.
Repair of fence.
Routine maintenance of vehicles, refueling, logs of same.
Responsibility for vehicle repair, replacement of tires, etc.
Reports and files for all above equipment & maintenance.
Routine maintenance of diesel engine-generator, fuel oil, battery, battery charger.
Repair of engine-generator as needed.
Plowing of snow on road and parking lot as necessary, maintenance of roads (especially the hill, spreading of sand and gravel on icy hill and road, etc.).
Routine maintenance, janitor work, cleaning, etc. of WCBC owned buildings.
Repair of WCBC owned buildings.
Transmitter on-air duties.
Set up frequency channels at start of each broadcast season.
Bring transmitter on-air at start of broadcast day. (Entails channel selection, power switching sequence, setting of proper position for RF switches & slewing switch, transmitter check before going on air, etc. When operating into dummy load, preparation of dummy load, preheating of dummy load room, opening of vents, etc.
Loading into antenna at precise time (WWV time coordinated).
Check-out of all meter readings, transmission lines and antennas eriodically while on-air. Keep logs.
Check modulation and audio equipment before going on air.
Check-out of steam cooling system (level and quality of water).
Monitor and record frequency & modulation, adjust as necessary.
Keep on FCC assigned frequency/hour schedule.
Make frequency changes according to FCC schedule. Coordinate with WWV time.
Shut down transmitter in proper sequence at end of broadcast day.
Set up transmitter, switches, etc. for start of next broadcast day.
Program Technician on-air duties.
Load tape machines, prepare for machine changeover at conclusion of tapes.
Operate tape machines and switching console to put tape material into audio system to modulate transmitter. (On pre-determined schedule).
Rewind tapes after use.
Energize and monitor all audio processing equipment.
Keep logs of all operations, program material used, etc.
Routine maintenance of audio equipment, control console, test equipment.
Keep logs of all maintenance/hours of operation.
Troubleshooting and repair of audio and console equipment.
Receiving, cataloging, and filing program tapes.
Acknowledgment of receipt of tapes to various sources.
Check and monitoring of tapes for on-air use (check winding, start cue, stop cue, rewind as necessary, check quality, sound level, etc).
Log all information for every tape.
Correspond with Program Director (John Fisk) as necessary to notify of "holes" in programming, problems with tapes, arrange shipping and receiving.
Pick-up tapes at shipping terminals.
File tapes in programming sequence for each day's broadcasts (60 days in advance).
Arrange proper notations for repeating tapes.
Log exact time and circumstances for each tape airing, and repeat airing.
Collect tapes after airing. Check for proper wind. File or return tapes to source.
Packing, shipping, mailing and correspondence involving same.
Prepare daily program schedules.
Place daily tapes in sequence at convenient location for use on-air.
Miscellaneous work on grounds. Landscaping, cultivating grass. Preparation of walkways to parking, cabin, & mobile homes. On-going maintenance.
Payroll and personnel procedures.
Financial accounting .
Administration of local bank account, payment of bills, disbursing of funds.
Contracts. agreements, charge accounts, etc.
Correspondence, reports, billing for programs aired, etc.
Purchasing, receiving, shipping.
Interviewing, greeting visitors, arranging quarters and meals for visitors and volunteers. Assignment of tasks to volunteers.
Arranging road maintenance and other contracts.
Propagation analyses -4 times per year, 6 months ahead of season.
Official FCC correspondence.
February -Frequency-hour request for Fall season (tentative).
February -Frequency-hour request ~or Summer season (final).
March -Report of inter season's operations.
April -Frequency-hour request for Winter season (tentative).
May -Report ot Spring season's operations.
June -Frequency-hour request for Fall season (final).
August -Frequency-hour request for Spring season (tentative).
August -Frequency-hour request for Winter season (final).
Sept. -Report of Summer season's operations.
October -Frequency-hour request for Summer season (Tentative).
November -Report of Fall season's operations.
December -Frequency-hour request for Spring season (final)
Program Production ("Good News in Song" and “Daily Bible Reading”).
Find sources and gather records and tapes for A Capella singing.
Choose songs for each daily program.
Write daily program commentary (introduce songs and illustrate Biblical principles of songs).
Record songs and voice channels in audio production studio. Combine song and voice tracks into final program tapes.
Record voice track, announcement tract, and theme music track for Daily Bible Reading" program. Combine tracks into final program tapes.
Planning for future station expansion.
Managing expansion projects.
Installing and building audio production facilities.
Gathering of information and making of decisions concerning usefulness of zero degree azimuth (over-the-pole) antenna to Europe.
Planning and administration of possible student internship program.
Publicity material, pictures, movies, reports, etc.
HOW MUCH DID IT COST TO CONSTRUCT KNLS?
Summary of Costs (from books kept at job site in Anchor Point, Alaska, to Feb. 23, 1984).
Total Equipment Cost (see list below). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1, 131,743.00
Total Construction Cost (see list below). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 983,381.00
Grand Total Cost . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,115,124.00
EQUIPMENT INSTALLED AT RADIO STATION
KNLS, ANCHOR POINT, ALASKA
23 February 1984
Description Equipment Cost
1 each Transmitter, Harris Corp. model $ 317,895.00
SW 100A, Serial 96095, Part #994-6734-117
1 each Dummy Load, RF, 150 KW, Electro 23,610.00
Impulse, Inc. Model TL 150K300B, Serial H510900.
1 each Kit of spare parts for above 41,581.00
1 each RF Duct Kit to connect Transmitter 14,000.00
to Transmission Line
2 each RF Switches, Harris Part No. 583-9051- 17,350.00
1 each Antenna, Dipole array, Harris Part 506,708.75
No. 751-3841-000 for 6 to 11 MHz.
1 set Accessories for above antenna 52,665.55
1 each Antenna, Log Periodic, Model 516, 78,156.25
Harris Part No. 751-3845-000.
1 set Accessories for above antenna. 13,550.50
1 set Transmission lines, prefabricated 16,586.55
1 set End poles for transmission lines 8, 523. 00
21each Feed through Panel, Harris Part No. 2,306.24
1 each Limiter, Audio, Harris Corp. Model 2,080.00
MSP-90 with AGC, Part No. 994-8205-000.
1 each Modulation Monitor, Harris Model 1,430.00
AM-90, Part No. 994-8424-001
1 each Spare pKrts kits for above 2 items 348.00
2 each Microphones, E. V. 635A, Harris Part 248.00
No. 720-0005-000, with arm and mount
2 each Headsets, Sennheiser Model HD-400, 92.00
Harris Part No. 721-0120-000
1 each Cartridge Tape record/play machine, 2,500.00
ITC Model RP-OO3, Harris No. 730-1985-000
1 each Cartridge Tape Play Machine, ITC 1,580.00
Model WP-0003, Harris No. 730-1974-000.
1 each Receiver, Emergency Broadcast System, TFT 1,050.00
1 each Frequency Counter, Hewlett Packard 600.00
1 each Main Electrical Power Switchboard, SquareD Company
type SW-1, Cat. No. 47.29665.1,Serial A341560.
1 each QMB Pane1board, Square DxCompany cat.
No. 8.0017.066.55. 6,258.00
1 each Transformer, 3 phase insulated, Square D Company
Style 34349-17212-041, cat. No. 75T3H.
4 each Tape record/playback machines, Ampex 9,800.00
440 H, used.
1 each Turntable, Russco Studio Pro model with 1,067.00
tone arm and spare parts, new.
1 each Mixing Console, Tascam Model 10, used 2,500.00
1 each Distortion Analyzer, Hewlett Packard 500.00
Model 334A, Serial 743-01064, used.
1 each Mixing Console, Autogram Model AC-6, 3,772.95
Serial #225, new.
1 each Tektronix Type 544 Oscilloscope, used. 1,200.00
1 each Square Wave Generator, Hewlett Packard 150.00
Model 211A, used.
1 each Wide Range Oscillator, Hewlett Packard 125.00
Model 200CD, used.
1 each Frequency Standard, Global Specialties 625.00
Mode1 4401, new.
1 each Broadband Field Strength Meter, Holaday 3,190.00
Instruments Model HI 3001, Serial 33216
1 each Electronic Counter, Hewlett Packard Model 200.00
5244A, used. _____________
Total Equipment Cost $1,131,743.79
OTHER COSTS OF CONSTRUCTING RADIO STATION KNLS
Access Road construction $ 64,613.00
Clear timber and deck logs 24,981.00
Transmitter/Studio Building construction 137,658.00
Mobile Homes, purchase, move, construct 21,927.00
foundation pads, skirt, refurbish
Cabin, remodel to efficiency apartment 11,384.00
Water system, well and distribution to transmitter b1dg,
mobile homes and cabin 6,064.00
Electrical power connection by HEA 110,000.00
Antennas, construction foundations, 269,307.00
erect towers, etc.
Fence around property, labor and matls 23,303.00
Install and test transmitter 20,710.00
Overhead, management, security, office 293,434.00 expense, etc. during 1 year project.
Total construction cost $ 983,381.00
Equipment cost (from above) 1,131,743.00
The following report to the FCC gives a summary of KNLS operations and response to the broadcasts from November 1983 thru February 1984:
“Please reply to:
P. O. Box 473
Anchor Point, Alaska 99556
6 March 19R4
“Federal Communications Commission
Mass Media Bureau
Policy and Rules Division, Room 8102A
2025 111 Street, N.
Washington, D. C. 20554
“Attn: Mr. Charles H. Breig
“Re: Report of HF Broadcasting Operations of KNLS, Anchor Point,
Alaska during the Season November 1983 thru February 1984.
“The following report describes our use of the frequency-hours authorized by the FCC for the HF broadcast operations of KNLS during the November 1983 - February 1984 season. The report also describes reception and interference reported to KNLS by listeners throughout the world.
“During the period November 6, 1983 thru March 3, 1984 KNLS was authorized to broadcast for a total of 1,547 hours. KNLS actually broadcast for 1,496 hours and 44 minutes during the period. Following is a tabulation of the frequency-hours actually used compared to the total authorized.
Hours Frequency Ant. Beam Hours Hours Actually
UTC Dates KHz Azimuth Authorized Used
0700-0930 11/6/83 thru 6170 315 297:30 280:31
0930-1200 11/6/83 thru 6170 330 297:30 282:25
1200-1500 11/6/83 thru 6170 300 357:00 342:00
1500-1730 11/6/83 thru 6170 0 297:30 296:51
1730-2000 11/6/83 thru 6170 0 297:30 294:57
Totals 1,547:00 1,496:44
Total lost time = 52 hours 16 minutes.
“The major problems causing KNLS to lose broadcast time are discussed below.
“1. On four separate occasions during the season high winds (of unknown speed) occurred in the Anchor Point area. The curtain dipole array antenna (TCI antenna model 611) was caused to billow and shake in the wind to such an extent that a feed line intermittant1y shorted out causing arcing. There was no permanent damage to the antenna, but we were unable to use it on these occasions until the wind subsided.
“The other antenna, a log periodic type (TCI model 516) aimed at an azimuth of 0 egrees, was not affected by the wind.
“A total of 36 hours and 57 minutes of broadcast time was lost due to high winds(occurring on November 8, 28, 29, 30; January 12, and 26).
“The curtain dipole array antenna feed lines have been re-adjusted to minimize the problem. It is hoped that it will not re-occur.
“2. On one occasion ice falling from the roof of the transmitter building broke an RF transmission line connection. On other occasions ice on the antenna elements caused minor tuning problems. A total of about 2 hours and 13 minutes was lost due to icing problems.
“3. On February 27 a faulty RF transmission line connection within the RF conduit (inside the transmitter building) overheated and broke. Apparently the faulty connection had been made during installation. Repair of the transmission line required 3 hours and 57 minutes of broadcast time.
“4. A connection in the pipe line carrying steam from the PA tube to the heat exchanger broke due to constant vibration. Repair of this connection required 2 hours and 30 minutes of broadcast time.
“5. The remaining 6 hours and 39 minutes of lost broadcast time was due to a number of minor problems such as difficulties in transmitter tuning, electrical power ,source failures, etc.
“We are gratified to report that we had no problems with the transmitter itself during the season.
“Reception and Interference Reports.
“A total of 166 listeners throughout the world reported receiving KNLS broadcasts during the November-February season. Reports are still being received. However, no reports were received from the target areas in the USSR and the People's epublic of China.
“Conclusions concerning propagation on the 315 deg. and 330 deg. beams to USSR.
“Thirty eight listeners in Japan and Korea,reporting throughout the season, received these beams at SINPO conditions ranging from 22222 to 55555. Ten listeners from European countries reported receiving these beams at SINPO conditions ranging from 22322 to 44534. These reports from both sides of these beams seem to indicate that receotion conditions in the central USSR, where the beams were concentrated, were adequate.
“Conclusions concerning propagation on the 300 deg. beam to China.
“Fifteen listeners in Japan and Korea, reporting throughout the season, received this beam at SINPO conditions ranging from 22322 to 55455. Seven listeners from European countries reported receiving this beam at SINPO conditions ranging from 22222 to 33333. These reports from both sides of the beam seem to indicate that reception conditions in China, where the beam was concentrated, were adequate.
“Conclusions concerning propagation on the zero deg. beam to European USSR.
“Eighteen listeners in European countries who received this beam propagated over the north pole reported SINPO conditions ranging from 22322 to 54444. We conclude that reception conditions in the European portion of the USSR were adequate.
“Francis M. Perry
Director of Engineering
“cc: Dr. Robert E. Scott, President.
Mr. John E. Fisk, Director of Programming
Mr. Larry Blosser. Attorney.”
In a March 16, 1984 letter to Mr. Alan R. Henderson, Chairman of the Sunset Dept. Of Chinese Studies (who was producing the Chinese language tapes for KNLS broadcasting), F. M. wrote a note summarizing the international mail responses to the broadcasts:
“March 16, 1984
“Thank you for your letter of March 4,1984.....
“Tell the staff that they have one (at least) regular listener to the classical music program. A Japanese man listens regularly. He is Mr. Keiichi Nakata, address: 3-4-12 Kitabatake, Abeno-ku, OSAKA 545 Japan. He is 55 years old and a graduate of OSAKA Musical School, a pianist. He has written to us at least 10 times. He knows all the music intimately, and even writes in the themes of the music in his letters (notes on a staff). We have answered all his letters and wrote him a special letter of appreciation the other day.
“We have finally received two letters from the USSR. One came directly from Novosibirsk by letter. The other was sent by a man in Slantsy through his friend in the Federal Republic of Germany. (Novosibirsk is a large city in the center of Siberian USSR. Slantsy is on the border of Estonia in European Russia.)
“As yet we have not received any letters from China but we are certain that our programming is going into China with great strength. Surely we have many thousands of listeners in China.
“We get the greater number of letters from Japan. Then Finland, Sweden, Norway, Australia, and New Zealand. Lesser quantities of letters have come from Korea, Philippines, Indonesia, Malasia, East and West Germany, Austria, Holland, Denmark, United Kingdom, and France. Finally, we have also received many letters from Canada and the lower 48 States. We have a number of regular DX hobbyist listeners in Texas.”
By this date, March 1984, the experimental broadcasts over the north pole into Europe had been conducted for more than six months. The results of the broadcasts were really not known as yet because no organized way of collecting data had been arranged. F. M. and the KNLS staff had been busily getting things organized in Anchor Point but there was a need to get some organized monitoring of KNLS signals by monitors in Europe. That is the subject of the following letter from F. M. to Bob Scott:
”Radio Station KNLS
P. O. Box 473
Anchor Point, A1aslta 99556
22 March 1984
“Dr. Robert E. Scott
World Christian Broadcasting Copporation
P. O. Box 3857
Abi1ene, Texas 79604
“Subject: Establishment of Official KNLS Monitoring Stations in Europe.
“The suitability of using KNLS, Anchor Point, Alaska as a major WCBC transmission point for shortwave broadcasts over the north polar paths to Europe has not yet been demonstrated. The propagation data available for analysis of polar transmission paths seems to indicate that such paths are not feasible for daily scheduled transmissions. However, data for polar path analysis is incomplete and some experts have indicated that actual propagation may be better than the available data indicates.
“Our adviser, Dr. Robert D. Hunsucker of the University of Alaska, indicates that shortwave broadcasting over the pole on a regular basis may be feasible. On the basis of that advice, WCBC has constructed a relatively inexpensive directional antenna aimed over the north pole toward Europe for the purpose of conducting experimental broadcasts. This antenna is now being used 5 hours per day to beam these experimental broadcasts to Europe.
“A total of 21 reception reports of these polar path transmissions during the broadcasting season November 1983 through February 1984 have been received from European DX listeners. Five listeners reported reception in November, 7 in December, 7 in January, and 2 in February. The average listening time for each listener was about 40 minutes. This is evidence that the broadcasts were getting through at times during the season. We are now into the Spring season, broadcasting on different frequencies. We have not as yet received any reports for the new season.
“In order to properly assess the effectiveness of our broadcasts over the pole toward Europe, we need reception data from several European locations for each hour of each day over several seasons of broadcasting. The only way to get such data is to establish several dedicated monitoring stations in Europe to regularly record reception data on a periodic basis (hourly if possible).
“Each monitoring station will need an adequate shortwave receiver and antenna system, and personnel to record the data each day during the hours when KNLS is broadcasting (presently from 1500 to 2000 hours UTC. The shortwave receiver should have the following characteristics:
“1. Capable of tuning all of the international broadcast bands: 49 m, 31 m, 25 m, 19 m, 16 m, and 14 m. (We will probably use only the 49, 31, and 25 meter bands, however).
“2. Sensitivity of about 1 microvolt over the entire tuning range.
“3. Equipped with "signal strength meter" ("S" meter), sometimes called a "carrrier level meter".
“4. An accurate digital frequency readout is desired. Long term accuracy should he in the order of 100 Hz per month after warmup. (This is necessary to find KNLS in the spectrum and to stay tuned to it over long periods of time.)
“5. Highly selective in order to eliminate adjacent channels and interference from the output. Several IF selectivity choices should be provided: at least one with 2.5 to 3.0 KHz bandwidth, and one with 6.0 KHz bandwidth.
“6. If the receiver does not have a built-in loudspeaker, an accessory loudspeaker should be provided. A set of headphones should also be supplied so that the monitoring personnel may listen at any hour without disturbing others.
“7. The receiver should be capable of operating from 115 volts AC, 230 volts AC (Europe), and, perhaps, also from a dry battery pack. (Many of the new transistorized communications receivers can operate from 12 volts DC.)
“There are a number of desirable characteristics not mentioned above, but the following receivers all have the necessary characteristics:
TRIO-Kenwood R60D, about $400.
TRIO-Kenwood Rl000, about $500.
TRIO-Kenwood R2000, about $600.
ICOM IC-R70, about $750.
YAESU FRG-7/GILFER (Japanese receiver modified by GIJ~FER's
in the U. S. ) about $500.
YAESU FRG-7700 (latest version).
“These are the types of receivers used by most of the DX listeners who have written to us. These receivers are available at the following outlets. Some outlets are slightly more economical than others.
“Gilfer Shortwave, Box 239, Park Ridge, New Jersey 07656, phone 201-391-7887.
Ham Radio Outlet, stores in california, phone 800-854-6046.
Spectronics, Inc., 1009 Garfield St., Oak Park, Illinois, 60304, phone 312-848-6777.
Barry Electronics Corp., 512 Broadway, New York, N. Y. 10012, phone 800-221-2683.
Electronic Equipment Banlt, 516 ).li11 St., N. E., Vienna, Virginia 22180, phone 800-368-3210.
Universal Shortwave Radio, 1280 Aida Drive, Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068, phone 614-866-4267.
Harvey Electronics, 25 W. 45th St., New York, N. Y. 10036, phone 212-921-5920.
“It is essential that each receiver be equipped with a suitable antenna and that the antenna be erected properly. A relatively simple antenna is described on an attached sketch. We could make up antenna kits with the necessary wires and insulators to send with each receiver to friends in Europe who might serve as monitors.
“The following three people in Europe may be willing to serve as monitors. I have not written to them.
“Hans J. Dederscheck, Eichenweg 38-Tirolerhof, 2380 Perchtoldsdpr: AUSTRIA. (Hans worked with my brother Bert in Peru for many years. He speaks German, Spanish, and English. He might be good to record some German
broadcasts for WCBC.)
“Floyd M. Williamson, Jr., Bergsgardsgardet 10, S42432 Angered, SWEDEN. Floyd was born in Sweden and speaks Swedish like a native Swede, I am told. His father was once a missionary in Sweden, but now preaches in Washington D. C. at a congregation in Southeast DC.
“Don E. Morgan, c/o American Embassy, P. O. Box 40, FPO New York 09510. Don is a U. S. Embassy employee in London. He knows communications. He and His wife Marie are just a bit younger than Charlotte and I. Don and I served as elders of the Great Falls,Virginia church for several years. One of their daughters is a missionary (with her husband) in Italy.
“The monitoring data could be read and recorded by the missionary himself, his wife, another member of his household, or even another member of the church in his location. It is important that regular daily and hourly monitoring data be recorded. A sample form for recording data is attached.
“I hope this is enough information to get this monitoring program started. I have not pushed it, as yet, because of our financial situation. Let me know what you would like me to do as far as getting the program underway.
“Francis M. Perry.”
At this time something prompted F. M. to write a very long letter to Bob Scott on the subject of “Utilization of Personnel at KNLS.” Once the station KNLS was established and construction was concluded, the item of most expense was the recurring cost of salaries for employees. F. M. was not privy to all financial information of the corporation. He did not know how successful the fund raising campaign had been or how it was going at the time. He only knew that Bob Scott had kept the bank account alive from which he drew the expenses to construct and run KNLS. But F. M. sensed that probably there had been some negotiation of loans by the Board of Directors to keep the construction work going. And there was an effort being made to evaluate the completed KNLS “plant” so that, possibly, money might be borrowed with the KNLS “plant” as colatteral. Anyway, finances were getting tight and both Kevin Chambers and F. M. were beginning to plan ways in which some of the operation of the transmitter might be automated to lessen the number of required employees. F. M.’s letter follows:
“P O Box 473
Anchor Point, Alaska 99556
26 March 1984
“Subject: Utilization of Personnel at KNLS
“Efficient use of personnel has almost constantly occupied the thoughts of Kevin and myself since we started KNLS on-the-air operations. Our own thinking has evolved with experience. We have made a number of changes and adjustment in schedules and responsibilities since we started. And we have a number of ideas and plans to further improve the efficient use of personnel.
“First I will explain where we are with respect to personnel, and how we got there. Then I will present some recommendations for improvement, both long and short range.
“As we prepared to go on-the-air last summer, I laid down the initial personnel guide lines. They were formed in accordance with that portion of my training and experience which appeared applicable.
“Corollary to my thinking was the necessity for the sake of safety to always have at least two people on duty simultaneously when operating the transmitter. One of those people must be an experienced FCC licensed technician (we call him an engineer) trained on the transmitter. In the course of his regular shift duties it is quite possible, as a result of human miscalculation or of equipment failure, for him to come in contact with high voltages that can be lethal. If the other person serves no other purpose, he is there in the case of emergency to shut off power, give
cardio-pu1monary resuscitation, and summon help.
“Unlike the common AM or FM single frequency commercial station transmitter which is switched on and off by remote control and runs unattended for days at a time, our shortwave transmitter must be "peaked" in its tuning each time it is turned on and each time the frequency or antenna is changed (which occurs three or four times each broadcast day). A necessary part of preventive maintenance program requires that the operating parameters (voltages and currents) at some 30 places in the transmitter circuits be read, recorded, and evaluated each time the requency or antenna is changed.
“Although the FCC has relaxed its former requirement to have a licensed technician in attendance at all times to each AM and FM transmitter, it has not relaxed that requirement with respect to an international shortwave transmitter. The FCC licensed engineer attendant to our transmitter not only takes the preventive maintenance readings mentioned above but also makes and records readings required by the FCC of the power amplifier circuit parameters every 30 minutes. He is also required by the FCC to constantly monitor the frequency and modulation by means of clearly visible displays.
“There is little or no safety hazard involved in the normal tuning of the transmitter and the taking of the meter readings described above. However , one of the primary responsibilities of the engineer is to keep transmitter down-time to a minimum by promptly repairing any malfunctions. During the first 6 months of KNLS operation, such malfunctions occurred on about 40 different occasions. Each time a problem occurred on those occasions, it was necessary for the engineer to make repairs within the transmitter or on transmission lines with a potential for danger. In each case safety precautions were observed, including the precaution of having another person near him observing him while he worked.
“Of great concern when operations were first started in July was the security of staff, plant, and grounds. The robbery, fire, and telephone threats that had occurred some months before were still fresh in our minds. Before going on-the-air, we maintained a guard presence on the site 24 hours per day. The special guards were dismissed when the station started operating because personnel would be at the station all night every night who would have time from their regular duties to look around the grounds periodically during the night. There is a tendency for the staff to get lax in their "night watching" duties so I occasionally remind them to not let their guard down. Although no new threats have been made against the station, any real danger to the station which may have existed in the past may still exist. Also, there is always the possibility of other more innocent intruders on the property who should be warned to keep off. Last fall we found a camper with pup tent sleeping not very far from one of the towers. He was a hitch-hiker passing through Anchor Point. Another person came right through the fence to cut wood while we were on the air. He said our ex-logging contractor had given him permission. Several people with pick-up trucks once starting hauling off wood from our log decks just outside our fence. They did not try to hide what they were doing. They said they thought the logs had been abandoned. We have now placed a cable with a sign across the road restricting access beyond the station. Of course, we get a lot of traffic coming to the station office asking permission to go past the cable and we usually give permission. This keeps us in control of our own property.
“This all adds up to what I consider to be the need for a continued security watch at all times. The only one to do this at night is the transmitter engineer for he is the only one of the two on duty at night who has time to leave the building to look around periodically.
“The program technician (tape jockey) has the least amount of spare time while the station is on-the-air. He really has to concentrate when there is a quick succession of spot announcements, religious spots, and station breaks. He can scarcely leave his position at all during the one hour ‘Chuck Cecil’ program which is interspersed with spot announcements. (Incidentally, the result for our listeners is the best yet, I think. They begin to hear the message we really want to get across.) I assume that we will eventually use the same format on the Russian and Chinese programs. If so, the program technician will be more and more constantly busy and have less and less spare time since the number of full 30 minute tapes will be limited. At present the program technician only has spare time when a full 30 minute program is on.
“As we are presently setup to run the station manually, and in view of the safety and security aspects discussed above, it is virtually impossible to run the station without 2 people on duty when we are on-the-air. There are too many things to be done simultaneously for one person to do them all. Since the engineer and the program technician do have periods of spare time, Kevin has assigned them a number of other duties to be done during their shifts. Here are some of the things they do in their ‘spare time’:
“1. Preview tapes that are received from John Fisk. This is a never ending job. The engineer and the program technician preview all they have time for each night, usually two or three hours of tapes. Part of the day shift's time is spent previewing tapes also. If we did not preview the tapes, there would be periods of chaos on the air. We still find a few blanks in the middle of tapes from time to time. We find some audio portions too distorted. And we have found a number of song lyrics in Chinese American Music programs that are offensive to Christians. John knows about all this and there have been improvements. But human errors
(and sometimes equipment malfunction) that cause these problems are very difficult to eliminate altogether.
“For the sake of program quality, I do not foresee a time when we can stop previewing the incoming tapes. We now have more confidence in some tapes than in others and we are able to speed up their preview by running them at accelerated speed to the end where we always have to check and write down the ‘outcue’ so that the program technician will know when he can switch the program off or how he can shorten or lengthen the running time as needed to match time available. Incidentally, we are finding some problems in the tapes from other sources, also. The "Hymns from Harding" tapes are not labeled, nor are they timed. Some were wound on the reels backward, and some turned out to be half-track tapes instead of full track. So far we have found no problems with "Chuck Cecil's" tapes or with Landon Saunder's spots.
“2. Maintenance and construction work. This too is never ending work. We need to start preventive maintenance on our Ampex tape machines. They need to be ‘overhauled’ after every six months of use. All four of our machines have been in almost constant operation for six months now. Usually, a six month "overhaul" will only require checking of head alignments, spring tensions, and bias voltages. There will be times when worn parts have to be replaced. This is very important for maintenance of tape reproduction quality. We have not started this work because we do not have the proper alignment tools. We have them on order, however. (We are still awaiting the 5th Ampex machine from John.)
“We are already doing periodic alignment checks on the ITC cart machines. We have the special tools for the ITC machines. We had to make an in-warranty replacement of one of the heads on one of the cart machines recently. The tape heads on almost all the machines are cleaned each night.
“We still have much to construct to complete the production studio. Kevin recently completed some of the console cabinet work. We have put doors on the rooms and installed a window between two rooms. We are still overhauling and making changes in the Tascam Audio Mixing console. We have hope now that it will work even while we are on-the-air. We are adding filters to the circuitry and changing unbalanced inputs and outputs to balanced circuits. There is bench work to be done on this and wiring on the console. Kevin instructs an engineer how to do some of this work at night during on-air shifts. We are constructing our own switching panel for the audio production room. There will be bench work at night on it. When these projects are finished there are many more that we must work on. I doubt there will ever be a time when these kind of projects are not before us to be done. There is much of this nature we have not had time to even consider up to now.
“3. Production Work on two 15 minute programs daily. I write the script for the "Good News in Song" program and assemble the music for each program. This takes many hours of work each week in timing and selecting the music. (Others in the church may try their hand at it later.) Then I usually record the music in the proper sequence. Vic records the announcements between songs on a separate tape in proper sequence. He has always had a full schedule of on-air shifts so he has done the recording in over time when off-the-air. We now have the audio production facility at the point where he can do voice tracks while the transmitter is on-the-air. So he will be doing them during his Engineer shifts whenever possible. The Bible reading program tapes are also constructed with two separate tapes this way. Then a technician puts the two separate tapes together, either by running them through the production studio and re-recording, or by actually cutting and piecing the two tapes together. Some of this work can now be done by the engineers during on-air shifts. There is a lot of tailoring that has to be done to get programs the right length. Sometimes after program tapes seem to be complete, we have to go back and eliminate one song or cut out a verse of a song. This production work is done on both night and day shifts as well as in overtime work for those who can find the time.
“4. Chores around the building such as the janitor work is done by the on-the-air shifts. During the morning hours in winter the engineer often has to leave the station in a spare moment and take the 4 wheel drive truck to pick up day shift people at the bottom of the hill so they can get to work. Also, snow-plowing of the access road is often done by the engineer between transmitter readings. At least two people are required to sand the icy hill, so this is often postponed until someone can be found to help. The hydraulic mechanism for the snow plow has broken down twice and had to be taken off the truck into the building for repair. There are almost daily calls for help in winter from stranded motorists who have slid into the ditch on our access road. The engineer often takes time out to take care of these things. It is very hectic for he is always under a very short time limit to get back to the building.
“Last summer I studied the personnel requirements and concluded that 10 people would be required to operate the station. At that time I thought we had 10 people committed to the work. When Bro. Lowell Mann, one of the 10, had to return to the ‘lower 48', I decided not to try to replace him immediately. Dick Ragland was still with us then and I had in mind training him as an engineer. Then, when Dick decided he had to go to other work, I still did not wish to rush the process of recruiting. However, at that time I began to feel the need for another fully qualified engineer.
“At that time also we really began to have a hard time working out a schedule to provide people to cover all the on-air time and other work. The only schedule that works is the one we are using now. Two of our people run the station all by themselves for three full days of 14 hours each on the week end. Then two of our people put in 10 1/2 hours per day on-the-air for 4 days per week. Two more (Kevin included) finish off 4 hours of on-air time on 4 days per week and then put in 6 1/2 more hours on those days on day shift. The last two of us (Susie and myself) try to hold to 8 1/2 hours per day for 5 days per week. But we are the only ones to take over for someone who gets ill or takes a holiday or vacation. It took us a couple of months to get everyone supplied with an alternate day off for Christmas and New Years. Susie is taking her vacation now. As soon as she gets back we will start giving days off in lieu of memorial day and the 4th of July.
“Kevin and I have explored the possibility of running the entire station on-the-air with one person. We have theorized that we can put remote controls on several of the transmitter switches and provide a remote meter display so that one operator/engineer could start-up the transmitter from the console and handle the audio switching and mixing as well. He would have pre-set beforehand the antenna switches and slews for the first segment of broadcasting. The transmitter circuits usually operate within acceptable limits when first turned on. As soon as the first tape of any length is playing, the operator would go quickly to the transmitter to ‘peak up’ its tuning and to take the first set of meter readings. He would have to be back to the audio console in time to start the next set of tapes and cue up the next future tape programs. If the operator/engineer could get through the first 30 minutes or so of taking meter readings without neglecting programming and vise versa, he would probably have a pretty easy time of it until time to change frequency and antenna again.
“At that time he would have the 1st tapes of the new programming segment all cued up. He would conclude the first segment of broadcasting and shut off the audio, leaving everything on ‘standby.’ Then he would go quickly to the antenna switch to change antennas, then come to the transmitter and change frequency channel. Then he would return to the audio console and turn on the transmitter again just as he did in the beginning. The shut down between broadcast segments would be one to three minutes, I think. Again he would go through another period of 30 minutes or so of very hectic work taking transmitter readings and keeping programs going on schedule with no dead air space. (The program technicians sometimes have a hard time doing this without the responsibility for the transmitter.) The antenna and frequency change procedure would have to be repeated two or three more times during the 13 hour broadcast day.
“This procedure would be possible. We plan to set up the remote switches and the remote meter display in this way. We feel it is only a matter of time until we have some sort of personnel emergency (sickness perhaps) that will require us to try to get through a day with only one person. However, operation with only one operator/engineer would only he possible if the transmitter and antenna system performed without a hitch. With a transmitter problem, the operator/engineer would have to shut down the system and then go and work on the transmitter. If the problem should be inside the transmitter, he would have to get on the phone and get someone to come to help him. It is unsafe for him to work inside the transmitter alone. Also, he must not work on transmission lines on go into the antenna field alone at night. The amount of dead air time when malfunctions occur with only one operator/engineer on duty will be much greater than it usually is now.
“With all of the above described responsibilities and eventualities in mind, I do not think it is feasible to operate KNLS with less than two people on duty on-the-air, or with less than the present number of 8 employees.
“However, when we expand the station to two transmitters, we should automate the audio programming function. With the proper kind of audio automation (which we are studying and pricing out right now) it will be possible to continue to run the station with only two people on-the-air. One will attend to the automated audio equipment for two simultaneous broadcasts, and the other will attend to the two transmitters. It will probably be necessary to add some people to the staff at that time because the overall volume of work will increase because of the increased programing. But, it will not be necessary to double the staff just because the programming doubled. With an automated audio system we will not only have to preview tapes, but we will have to put the tones on the tapes in the right places to operate the automatic equipment.
“Our look into automatic equipment at the present time seems to indicate that tor $30,000 worth of equipment you could eliminate the need for at least one staff member and possibly two staff members.
“We could install $30,000 worth of automatic equipment and make it easy for one man to run one transmitter and all the audio equipment while on-the-air. But if we did that right now, we still ought not to get rid of the two man team on-the-air tor safety and security reasons. Also, the additional work to make the tapes ready for the automation system would take extra person somewhere in the system. I believe the station will not profit from automation until we have two transmitters and a lot more programming.
“Finally, I just looked back at my notes taken at KGEI in 1980. At that time KGEI was on the air 19 hours per day, 7 days per week, running two transmitters. That is just a few more hours per day than we have with one transmitter (ours is 13 hours per day). They had 15 people on their direct payroll to run the station. In addition they had a Russian couple, a Japanese couple, and several Spanish speaking individuals who worked full time but were not on the direct station payroll. Of the 15 people on their direct payroll there were 5 engineers who do not become involved in programming but simply monitor the transmitters and perform maintenance. They did not use any automation equipment for the audio programming. They had 5 ‘announcers’ on the direct payroll who ran the audio equipment. In addition, they had 1 station manager who could serve in almost any capacity in a pinch, and 4 clerical/messenger type people. Their Engineers did just the same things ours do except become involved in the taped programs.
“KGEI's budget for the 15 people staff and other operations was $50,000 per month. Salaries for the 15 people were about $33,000 per month. The electric bill was about $9,000 per month.
“Comparing ourselves with that organization in 1980 which had a lot of experience, we are not doing badly at all. Incidentally, I see where they found it more economical to run 10 hour shifts four days a week just as we have.
“This letter has gotten a lot longer than I thought it would be. However, I hope it gives you enough background to be able to explain our personnel level and staff responsibilities to others.
“The church here is very interested in the broadcasts they are sponsoring. The elders came up to the station recently and spent several hours with us.
“Francis M. Perry.”
(To be continued.)