WDVX currently off air

Radio station's transmitter knocked out by weekend storm

The transmitter for radio station WDVX was damaged by lightning during thunderstorms over the weekend and the station is currently off the air. The station, which broadcasts at 89.9 and 102.9 FM transmits from a tower on Cross Mountain in Campbell County. Cross Mountain in the highest point in the Cumberland Mountains, which allows the station's relatively tiny 200 watt signal to be received from great distances, but also makes the tower prone to lightning strikes.

The station continues to stream online at www.wdvx.com.

WDVX general manager Linda Billman said the transmitter that was hit was actually a borrowed transmitter. Billman said that the station already had a request in for a grant from National Telecommunications and Information Administration for a new transmitter, a new stainless steel tower and an antenna that would eliminate interference from other radio and TV signals and insulated cables, which would help protect the transmitter from lightning strikes.

She said the cost of the transmitter itself would be approximately $12,000.

WDVX already has a construction permit to build the new tower, which would be 40 feet higher than the current tower and would improve the station's signal.

However, the grant is not set to be considered until October.

"We Need to figure a stop-gap measure to get us back on the air until then," said Billman. "We do have the Webcast. It doesn't help the people in their cars, but the people in Belgium are still happy."

© 2010 Knoxville.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Already activated? Login