They have been seen by thousands of travelers for years. Now, one is coming down and the other – is getting more power.
What does this mean for viewers? The horizon is changing.
You can find information, updates, a live stream and video here as the project moves forward.
> More Power Update (June 20): KOAM is now on the temporary antenna – KOAM is now broadcasting from a lower, temporary antenna. This may significantly affect your reception in the coming days until the big install is complete.
We expect the process of replacing the antennas on the tower to take 1 to 2 weeks depending on how the weather behaves. We’re hoping for a calm, non-windy days!
June 22: 1st of two old braodcast antennas is down: https://youtu.be/teE-C-Z8kEg
(Click the upper left menu of the Livestream below to zoom, play a time-lapse or check out the current weather)
The FCC approved KOAM-TV and KFJX-TV (FOX14) to increase the station’s transmitter power and antenna strength. According to Director of Engineering, William Vickery, the project could take until the end of June 2022 (updated date!!) to complete (midwest weather pending, of course).
During the project, a temporary antenna will be installed and will decrease power for some households who watch over-the-air via an antenna. However, once it’s done, prepare for More Power.
Vickery says, “The KOAM power will be increased from 14.8 kilowatts to 98.8 kilowatts and the power for KFJX will be increased from 5.6 kilowatts to 45.1 kilowatts.” The project will also add vertical polarization. What does that mean? To simplify it, it will help the signal get through walls and help your antenna pick it up.
KOAM History of the Two Towers
First came the 500-foot tower
KOAM’s 500-foot tower dates back to 1953 – when KOAM signed on. During construction, folks from the area lined their cars up along Highway 69 to watch. Of course, there were some pretty incredible sights, including crew members hanging on while being lifted to the top. Just check out the video, which includes footage filmed in color that’s never been released before.
Tower crews put a lot of work into building the 4-state area’s first television tower. It carried the signal for KOAM until 1961 when the 1,000-foot tower was built. It then stood as a standby antenna until 2003 when FOX14 fired up.
A storm brings the 500-foot tower to a halt
KOAM has not used the 500-foot tower in a while. On May 8, 2009, an “Inland Hurricane” or “Super Derecho” damaged the tower, taking it out of service.
However, the tower has been attracting lightning during thunderstorms and ice during the winter. Often, when the ice starts melting, it falls directly on the KOAM building below. So, for safety reasons, it’s coming down. Soon!
Construction Photos for the 1,000-foot transmission tower
Standing Strong: A 1,000-foot transmission tower grows
The 1,000-foot tower will continue to hold the antennas for KOAM, FOX14, The 4-States CW and other subchannels for years to come.
The KOAM News Now MORE POWER project is underway.
What crews will be working on
After taking down the 500-foot tower, work will begin on the 1,000-foot transmission tower.
A professional tower crew will first rig the tower so that they can safely work on it. They will install additional steel supports, similar to what crews do on a building construction site. Except, this one is 1,000 feet in the air. Rigging includes the crew installing a gin pole which is a crane used on the top of the tower.
Next, the team will install a temporary side-mounted antenna that will broadcast the signals while they’re constructing the new antenna. Please note, this temporary antenna will have decreased power. Many over-the-air households may lose signal. We at KOAM want to thank the 4-States for their patience during this project.
The tower crew will then remove the current 111 feet tall digital antenna stack from the top of the tower. This thing weighs 20 tons! Workers will bring it to the ground and start installing 1,300 feet of new transmission line.
After all of that is complete, the new antenna stack (12.2 tons) will go up and crews will place it on top of the 1,000-foot transmission tower.
The new antenna will be commissioned, the temporary side-mount antenna removed and the tower will be un-rigged.
And this begins KOAM News NOW, with More Power.
(Photos below show the new antennas ready to be installed)