Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Mega 106.3 tower fell down and went boom

Last week's winter storm was pretty strong.

It was strong enough to knock over the broadcast tower for Mega 106.3. (Note: Mega also broadcasts on a second frequency on 104.9, I'll get to that in a moment).

I could write a really long article about how a radio station's programming gets from our studio into your radio and it'll sound like a foreign language to most people who read this. So I'll try to make it simple.

We originate our programming from a cute little two story building on Tucson's east side on Rosewood Street in the Gateway Center. That's near Speedway and Kolb.

The signal is then transmitted to our transmitter sites. One is located on the west side of Tucson and that then sends the happy radio waves to your radio on 104.9 fm. The other transmitter is located in the Mount Lemmon area in the Catalina Mountains northeast of Tucson and it sends its happy radio waves to your radio on 106.3 fm.

Broadcast towers vary in height and radio transmitters vary in power. Its all decided by the brilliant minds of the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, DC (the FCC). They determines how far a radio station signal can be transmitted and how powerful the signal is. They also determine where the transmitting towers can be located.

There is a far more technical explaination but I am trying to make it simple!

The tower that transmits 106.3 was covered in unusually thick ice and snow from last week's winter storm and couldn't handle the unusual weight and stress when it faced nearly 100 mile an hour wind gusts. It fell over and was twisted into a big mess. A tower is needed to broadcast a radio station to your radio.

Engineering crews couldn't make the trip up to that location due to the multiple feet of snow, ice, and winds that didn't subside until late into the weekend to even determine what had happened to the station. Once they got there they discovered the problem.

Repairs are underway. If all goes the way its supposed to 106.3 will be restored by the weekend and we'll all live happily ever after.

In the meantime, we are still broadcasting Mega normally on 104.9 fm. Give that a try. Or, just hum your favorite songs in your head until 106.3 is back in service!