An Alternative Site: Respini Ranch


Respini Ranch has been a major contender for a KOWS antenna relocation site since December 2014.

All content on this page has been copied directly from the KOWS Steering Committee notes, which are available online. ONLY italics, bold type, and bracketed comments have been added by SHARP.

 

December 2014 SC Meeting:  Primary relocation prospects:

Respini Ranch
Vinegar Creek
Cherry Ridge

A Longley- Rice survey (a statistical model of radio propagation) was authorized for Respini Ranch.

May 2015 SC Meeting:  Paul Bame from Prometheus Radio was hired to work with the Antenna Relocation Committee. Respini Ranch was still the leading candidate. They needed to do a test broadcast from Respini Ranch.

June 2015 SC Meeting: Respini Ranch was still a major contender which would not require a signal change. [See the June 2015 Steering Committee notes for an in depth discussion of sites, frequencies, adjacent signals, interference, and site pros and cons.]

July 2015 SC Meeting:  Relocation sites still under consideration:

  • Pleasant Hill Reservoir
  • Police station pole on Laguna Parkway
  • Three other sites in Grandview/Cherry Ridge area
  • Respini Ranch
  • Dusty Lane
  • New Cherry Ridge property

Most sites required a change of frequency to 92.5 FM [not Respini Ranch]. City properties would entail 6-12 months approval process. Concern was expressed about losing the Pleasant Hill Reservoir site if KOWS didn’t file for the 92.5 frequency.

The following discussion revealed two directions:

  • Respini Ranch– easily expedited with no long approval process, relatively inexpensive, no need to change frequencies, no need for antenna tower structure (antenna would be in in a redwood tree), less range but adequate range.
  • Pleasant Hill Reservoir–  Potential approval process difficulties and delays, the biggest range available, required a frequency change,very expensive, tower infrastructure necessary.

It was decided that the Antenna Relocation Committee would have 90 days to pursue the Pleasant Hill Reservoir site and then either move forward or pursue the second choice location at Respini Ranch.

August 2015 SC Meeting:  Options at Pleasant Hill Reservoir:

  • An antenna tower of approx 100 feet that would use omnidirectional transmission and cover outlying areas of west county but somewhat erratically. Transmission into Sebastopol would not be as good as next listed option.
  • An antenna of approx 60 feet using directional transmission, which would saturate Sebastopol area but perhaps not much of surrounding area.
    The total cost could be approx $25,000-30,000 or more.

In another scenario, KOWS would move to the Respini Ranch site.

Broadcasting there would be as effective as either tower option, but costs would be exponentially less. There would be no tower, eliminating a large portion of the expense. The antenna would be in a tree, as it is currently, an omnidirectional antenna would be used, which it was guessed cost less.

The total costs at Respini Ranch would be in the range of less than $5,000-10,000.

Any of the options listed above would provide a better and wider signal than the current one at the OAEC.

A suggestion was made by Don Campau to first move to Respini Ranch and then, with the added audience support, raise the funds to move to the PHR site eventually. No motions were made.

A decision was made to file for 92.5 FM which would become the new frequency. A motion was made and passed to spend approx $200 to do a test broadcast from the Respini Ranch and PHR sites using a large “scissor track” outfitted with necessary equipment.

September 2015 SC Meeting:  A frequency change was filed for. Benefits, costs etc of Respini Ranch vs PHR were again reviewed. 30 days was allotted for the final ARC decision.

December 2015 SC Meeting:  The Antenna Relocation Committee made a presentation. The Steering Committee approved the PHR site by vote of 7-2.

March 2016 SC Meeting [after the Planning Commission meeting]:  Other options for antenna were discussed, including going down to 50 feet at Pleasant Hill Reservoir, which would lose half the (potential) listeners;  but there would be less loss of potential listenership at 60 feet at Respini Ranch.

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©2018 SHARP Watch

SHARP - Sebastopol Hills Alliance for Rural Preservation Preserving the natural beauty and character of the West Sonoma County Hills, for today and for future generations. Next action: Limit the proliferation of CELL PHONE Towers in the Hills of Sebastopol.

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