As you may have noticed yesterday and through the early portion of this afternoon, KFYO was operating at reduced power.  This was because we were having our three towers repainted.

KFYO's Transmitter Site consists of three towers, each just over 300 feet tall, in south Lubbock County.

Now, as you might imagine, repainting radio and television transmitter towers is an interesting task.

When towers are initially constructed, and before they are stacked, the towers can be painted while they are on the ground.  But once they are constructed, the painting, or in our case- repainting, becomes more difficult.  Most towers that are painted, have to be repainted every few years.  The reason the towers are painted are for visibility for aircraft.

So, let's answer the obvious question, how do you repaint a radio or television transmission tower?

Well, in most cases it involves a lot of climbing.

As you can see through the video below, and on the photos above, someone has to climb the tower wearing a special harness.  The harness includes various clips, so you can attach safety rigging to the tower and tools to your harness, plus belt attachments for tools.



The team of tower climbers for KFYO also carried paint buckets with them on their rigging.  Using special mitts, the climbers dip paint sponges into the paint bucket and then basically rub the paint on to the tower.

Since the towers were being repainted, the tower crew didn't have to make any measurements concerning which sections needed to be painted red or white.

A team of six was able to paint KFYO's three towers in two days.  The high winds yesterday afternoon made work a little difficult, but the great weather today made things easier.

In the world of broadcasting, KFYO's towers are pretty short (but the tallest towers for an AM station in Lubbock).  For example, in Lubbock, most of the towers used by FM radio stations and television stations are between 700 to 900 feet tall.  In major cities, FM radio station and television towers can be between 1,500 to 1,900 feet in height.  Many of the towers taller than 1,000 feet are built with an elevator, so workers can more safely travel up and down the tower.

Newer broadcast towers don't even have to be painted.  Recent changes in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules allow towers to be unpainted.  The way the newer towers are visible to aircraft in the daytime involves strobe lighting.  Basically special high-intensity strobe lights blink in unison and are able to be seen by aircraft.

Well, I hope you enjoyed our special tour of the KFYO Transmitter Site and thank you for listening to the News & Talk of West Texas- News/Talk 790, KFYO.