KRSN to plead case before P&R board Thursday

-A A +A
By Carol A. Clark

Station owners Gillian and David Sutton are asking the community to support KRSN AM 1490 by attending Thursday’s Parks and Recreation Board meeting.

This is the couple’s first meeting, set for 5:30 p.m. at the Aquatics Center, to gain county approval for placing a broadcasting antenna on North Mesa in the corner above the roundabout.

“We are asking everyone to come out and support their local community radio station and its desire to serve them better,” Gillian said.

AM radio waves are ground waves affected by gravity, she said, and work best when the antenna is near the elevation of the area to be served and not at a lower elevation.

David explained that an AM radio station needs a grounding field equal to about a 1/4 wavelength of its frequency. KRSN’s frequency is 1490, meaning the station requires a grounding field radius of 186 feet.

“This equates to a plot of land more than two acres in size,” he said. “We have measured all the parcels of vacant land in the Los Alamos townsite and have found that this parcel will work best as well as meet all federal requirements.”   

Everything east of the Hawks Landing water tower is too close to the airport to install an antenna, according to FAA regulations, which eliminates the majority of North Mesa and anything on DP Road.

“These really are the only two locations of vacant land in Los Alamos County,” Gillian said. “Los Alamos National Laboratory is unwilling to provide any land within the immediate vicinity and townsite elevation and the idea we proposed of putting the antenna on the Hawks Landing water tower was rejected by the Department of Utilities.”

“Also, to minimize the environmental impact, we have chosen a newer technology that includes a six wire, above the ground, grounding system rather than the traditional grounding field, which has 180 copper wires buried in a cleared field,” David said. “The area will be fenced and the steel, unpainted antenna will be the same height as the water tower and stabilized with three sets of guide wires. It will also be lit at the top.”

The antenna requires both local and FCC building permits, he said, and the proposed location ensures it won’t be near enough to area homes or park equipment to cause any type of health hazard.

“KRSN AM 1490 has been here longer than the county,” Gillian said. “It began as KRS in 1946. KRS has grown over the last 63 years and remains the community radio station for Los Alamos. It is a piece of our history intertwined but independent of the Laboratory and it should be preserved and continued.”

The desire to entertain and keep you informed remains its objective,” David said. “Local issues are what the station addresses best. KRSN supports local business, schools, high school athletics, nonprofit organizations, county government and LANL. In the case of an emergency, one phone call to KRSN quickly relays that message to the world. We hope you’ll show your support by attending Thursday’s meeting.”

For more information, access www.krsnam1490.com or call 663-1490.