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From the Desk of President Neil Best: The Nuts & Bolts Of KUNC

KUNC Pres. Neil Best

Operating a network of five radio stations, 13 translators, and an audio stream serving computers, tablets, and mobile phones is a daunting, but exciting task.

The staff at KUNC, led by Chief Engineer Ken Broeffle and Digital Media Manager Jim Hill are passionate and committed to ensuring that KUNC’s programming is available at all times from all the different signals and streams offered by KUNC.

We are constantly examining ways to ensure reliability. Including recently moving to a new ISP serving the streaming computers, dramatically improving the stream's stability.

But there are challenges. For example our broadcast equipment on Mount Princeton between Salida and Buena Vista was destroyed by a lightning strike.

Earlier this spring critters ate the transmission line for KRNC on Emerald Mountain in Steamboat Springs (honest!). Some of the challenges are more mundane.

Our Eagle translator is located on Castle Peak, at an elevation of 10,500 feet. As you might imagine access can be tough in the winter. This site is accessible through two separate sections of private land. Other locations are easier. The Granby translator is right at the end of the chairlift ride at the Granby Ranch ski area.

Perhaps the easiest and most secure site for the station is our primary broadcast tower on Buckhorn Mountain, west of Fort Collins. But you will recall the High Park Fire of 2012 destroyed power lines leading to that site last summer. This summer we are installing an emergency generator so we will have multiple sources of electricity to ensure stable power at this critical location

Our goal is to always be available whenever you turn on your radio or look to stream the programming. I must admit there are times when it can seem a little like the carnival game Whack a Mole, where you bop the one mole only to have another mole pop up elsewhere in the game. As I noted earlier lightning does strike!

We have built in monitoring systems on a lot of our equipment so that we will be able to respond quickly to problems. Yet our best monitors are our listeners. If the signal you depend upon goes away don’t hesitate to email us at ken.broffle@kunc.org, tweet @KUNC, or call 800-443-5862. The quicker we know of a problem the faster we can fix it.

Warm Regards,

President & CEO

PS: Your thoughts and comments are always welcome below... or you can reach out directly at neil.best@kunc.org, @neil_best, or 970.350.0806

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