EARL PARK, Ind. — Early Saturday morning, April 17, WIBN(FM), 98 Gold, was taken off the air when its tower and antenna were knocked down by farm machinery that was planting corn.
The tower collapsed across WIBN’s transmitter building, silencing the station, though it continued to stream its programming online. Without the transmission signal, a significant portion of west central Indiana and east central Illinois was without the local news, weather and classic hits music WIBN provides.
View from the top of WIBN’s new 295-foot tower showing the new ERI LPX-6C RotoTiller FM antenna.
WIBN is a Class B1 FM facility, licensed to Earl Park, Ind., and operates from studios in Oxford. WIBN originally signed on as a 3 kW Class A facility, assigned to 98.3 MHz. In 1988 the FCC granted its application to change channels to 98.1 MHz and operate at 25 kW. These improved facilities made WIBN a regional broadcast service covering a nine-county area of Illinois and Indiana south of the Chicago metro and including Lafayette, Ind.
Shortly after the tower collapse, WIBN’s owner Brothers Broadcasting Corp. contacted ERI to begin the process of replacing the fallen tower and wrecked antenna system.
Following settlement with the station’s insurance company and after the tower and antenna system details were finalized, ERI was awarded a contract for a new FM antenna, replacement transmission line, and a new guyed tower, as well as the installation services to erect the tower and install the antenna and line.
The design and fabrication of WIBN’s new 295-foot tower, ERI Model LPX-6C FM antenna, and Andrew air Heliax began at the end of May. The project was completed and the station returned to the air at fully authorized facilities on the evening of July 27.
The ERI supplied equipment included a 295-foot, 24-inch face, guyed tower with an ERI Lambda Optimized FM Antenna Mounting System, a six-bay center-fed LPX Series RotoTiller FM antenna and a run of Andrew 3-inch air Heliax. ERI’s services complemented the equipment package through a complete installation of the tower and guy anchor foundations, the tower steel and the antenna and transmission line system.
The choice of a single supplier, with ERI’s range of capabilities and resources, allowed this complex project to be completed quickly and without unexpected changes, additional cost or delays.
For information, contact David White or Denise Ruffin at ERI in Indiana at (812) 925-6000 or visit www.eriinc.com.
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