Looking Back with Gratitude: Chuck To Chuck, 1980-2020 HPPR Engineers
From Chuck to Chuck, 1980-2020. The minutes from May 25, 1980 reflect the board’s awareness of the importance of the station’s engineer by marking the technical staff as one of the highest priorities. Chuck Lakaytis, the first engineer, discussed those duties as including maintaining existing equipment, designing new equipment, and fulfilling the FCC guidelines and regulations.
The engineers through the last forty years, including the current HPPR Chief Engineer, Chuck Springer, much like the horsemen in Chapter One, have continued the journey of the station across all of western Kansas, parts of southern Nebraska, eastern Colorado, and the Panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas. The station’s strength has grown from 100,000 watts [at one site near Garden City] to a little over 445,000 watts [at multiple sites in four states]. Watts refer to the effective radiated power (ERP).
Transmitters dotted the landscape, in locations as varied as the terrain, from the top of grain elevators (mounted by volunteers with ropes and pulleys) to shared towers, each with the mission of connecting the common man of the High Plains and keeping them “in touch with the world…at home on the High Plains.”
HPPR transmitters and the date that joined HPPR are as follows: KANZ Garden City- November 1980, KZNA Hill City-November 1987, KJJP Amarillo-January 1997, KZAN Hays KS- August 2002, KTOT Spearman, TX-March 2003; KTXP Bushland, TX-November 2004; KGUY Guymon, OK- March 2010; KCSE Lamar, CO -April 2011; KZCK Colby, KS-September 2011; KZNK Brewster, KS- September 2011,KTDH Dalhart, TX -February 2012.
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