Sequim’s nonprofit radio station soars to new heights: a transmission tower
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Workers with the North Star Broadcasting Co. tighten bolts on KSQMs new 155-foot transmission tower Monday. -- Photo by Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM –– The sounds of Sequim will soon cover the entire North Olympic Peninsula after nonprofit radio station KSQM erected a new 155-foot tower Monday.

Over the next two weeks, transmitters will be atop the Peninsula’s most-elevated transmission tower located on a 435-foot ridge off Blue Mountain Road to beam Sequim’s radio station at a new signal strength of 2,400 watts.

“I can tell you one thing, this will be the strongest FM signal on the Peninsula today,” Bob Schilling, KSQM executive director, said on site.

Now confined to Sequim with a 700-watt signal, KSQM will be able to reach Island and San Juan counties and into the southern tip of Vancouver Island when its new transmitters go live.

Schilling anticipated the transmitters would be turned on at half-power Oct. 23. After a review from the Federal Communications Commission, the tower will be able to use the full, 2400-watt signal.

The radio station has been working for nearly three years, Schilling said, to raise the money to build the tower, which will cost $325,000. Schilling said the station still needs about $125,000 to pay off construction and equipment costs.

Earlier this year, the station received a grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust of Vancouver, Wash., and First Federal gave the project a funding boost.

Schilling added that 30 people entered the station’s “Celebrity Circle” by donating $1,000 or more to the tower project.

The tower is located on ground KSQM is leasing from the Department of Natural Resources.

In addition to the radio signal, emergency responders like the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office will have transmitters posted on the tower.

The station also plans to lease space on the tower to other telecommunications companies.

For more information about the radio station, visit www.ksqmfm.com or phone 360-681-0000.

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Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: October 07. 2013 6:47PM
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