AFN K-town AM back on air

Christine June, Story and photo
415th Base Support Battalion

***image1***Good news is generating from American Forces Network Kaisers-lautern with the return of its AM 1107 Thursday after more than two months of static and work starting Monday to improve reception on the local TV channel 26 and FM 100.2.

“It’s going to get better and beefy here real soon,” said Master Sgt. Dan R. Robinson, AFN Kaiserslautern detachment chief.

Sergeant Robinson said AM 1107 was off-the-air due to the restoration of its 52-year-old tower, located in Sambach, between Otterbach and Katzweiler, in an empty field by the railroad tracks.

“We had to shut AM down completely because that whole tower is an antenna so we had to be completely off-the-air for the whole time,” said Gerhard Geyer, AFN Kaiserslautern chief engineer.

The quarter-million-dollar project will have far-reaching effects for AM listeners who tune in for talk radio or country music.

“Service will be even better,” said Sergeant Robinson. “We should have a new power distribution grid up there soon and the tower has been renovated so we can get years of service out of it.”

The other good news is for those KMC viewers and listeners who have been experiencing poor reception on the local TV channel 26 and FM 100.2, which carries live deejay shows from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Poor reception started in April when the new 106-meter FM and TV tower, located on Pulaski Barracks, took over for the same-height neighboring tower that had been providing KMC news, music and entertainment for 50 years.

“You have a real huge metal construction right in front of the new tower’s antenna, and that’s draining energy,” said Mr. Geyer. “That can’t be helped, and it’s going to get better starting Monday … ” when demolition of the old tower begins.

Mr. Geyer said the part that is right in front of the new towers antenna should be taken down.
It’s going to take just under two weeks to destroy the old tower, said Sergeant Robinson.

“We may have some brief downtime during that period, but I don’t believe so,” he said. “Initially, there was a radiation concern for workers being so close to the new tower during demolition, but we have been assured that isn’t a problem so we should be able to broadcast the whole time it’s coming down.”