Building FM 95.2

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The Studio

The studio building of FM 95.2 was a unique engineering challenge. It is mostly underground (though from the front you can't tell that) and its ceiling can be flooded with water. Both of these innovations were devised in an effort to keep the people and equipment in the studio cool. The idea is that basements stay cooler anyway, and the evaporation of water from the ceiling will further cool the room under it. Our preliminary tests show that it works: after two days of evaporation, it was 85 inside when it was 111 outdoors.

The studio is built in a hole 3 feet deep (left). The soil which came out of the hole makes a berm 3 feet high around the building, leaving about 2 feet above ground (right).    

It took over 30 tons of cement, all mixed by hand, to construct the studio and tower.

The cement slab covering the studio is 4 inches thick and weighs over 7 tons. It was poured in place (right) over a wood and corrugated iron falsework and after drying for three weeks, was covered with tar. 

It takes about 100 gallons of water to flood the ceiling of the studio an inch deep (left). It takes 3 days for the water to evaporate. We ran a water line from our house out to the studio to supply water for the ceiling. (In the picture to the left, the rafters of the studio are reflected in the water. The little dike holding the water in is in the foreground and up the left side of the picture.)


The antenna

The antenna tower rests on a steel reinforced slab of concrete 6 inches thick buried 8 feet underground. Fred High of Sycamore Illinois (with all of our tape measures, right) built the foundation of the tower.

The antenna tower was shipped to us from Canada like a big erector set with hundreds of numbered pieces. Diane's father, Don Stocksdale assembled it on the ground in 8 foot sections (left).

Each 8 foot section was winched up to the top of the tower and bolted in place. Dave Casement and Keith Davis undertook this difficult task. The finished tower is 100 feet tall and is free-standing (no guy wires). 

The business end of things

The transmitter is a Crown Model 250 which is able to emit 250 watts of power (though we will probably broadcast at 150 watts). The 4 bay dipole antenna "bends" horizontal the vertical radio waves which would otherwise be lost in space to give an effective emitted power (so the engineers tell us) of something like 2000 watts which can be heard more than 40 miles away to the north of us. 

The power for the radio station is provided by solar panels and a 400 watt wind generator mounted halfway up the antenna tower. 

The studio equipment is nothing special - just commercially available tape decks, CD player and mixer which we purchased in the USA on the internet. Functional - not extravagant. The picture (right) is of Kinamati making the first Kwong Scripture broadcast while the rest of us look on, and the village people gather outside to listen to a radio we set up for the purpose (below). What an exciting day.

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Copyright 2010-2011 Vanderkooi's Ministry in Chad
Last modified: May 25, 2011