Bob Kabewa is chief engineer for FM100, a low-power commercial FM network based in Port Moresby, the largest city in Papua New Guinea. When he shared a photo of himself at work with me, I asked for more information.
“This is a new site in Balimo, Western Province, sharing the border with Indonesia,” he emailed back. “I am on the 70-meter tower checking the final installation of the four-element dipole antenna, a Chinese-made STDTXVPFM4, before commission of the 300-watt Nautel VS300 transmitter repeater FM station.”
Kalang Advertising Ltd. runs the FM100 radio network, which is owned by Telikom PNG, a semi-government FM radio station. Papua New Guinea has about 100 LPFM transmitting stations run by the government, churches, universities and the private sector.
The rebroadcast of the signal at the site shown here is uplinked from the Port Moresby studios using Telesat 19 15(C) 166 degrees east, which is downlinkedusing a 3-meter Comstar Antennas mesh dish and Norsat 3125 C-Band PLL LNB down converter to IDC Star Pro Audio three-channel satellite receiver. “The coverage reaches up about 80 km in radius and this is one of the most remote sites in Papua New Guinea I have installed. We have 38 LPFM sites in the country and I run the entire network.”
Kabewa said he has worked on and built the network over 28 years; he also has worked with Christian radio stations including Radio Maria in Papua New Guinea.
“Looking over my left side is the popular Balimo Lake of Gogodala tribesmen and famous canoe-racing title holders in the Middle Fly River District of Western Province, capital town Daru — the province where the OK Tedi giant gold and copper mine is situated.”
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Site Name: Balimo FM100 repeater station
Date Commissioned: Nov. 9, 2013
Antenna Height Above Ground: 60 meters
Height ASL: 10 meters.
Transmitter Power: 300 watts
Team Leader Engineer: Bob Kabewa