TV/FM Translator Services
The Pitkin County TV/FM Translator maintains and operates a mountain top translator system that re-broadcasts FM radio and television signals to residents of Pitkin County and other portions of the Roaring Fork Valley.
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Maintenance and Outages:
A malfunction in the powerline that provides power to the Lower Red translator site on Red Mountain has caused television and radio outages in the Aspen area and points down valley. The outage is impacting TV stations that rely on the translator to rebroadcast “over-the-air” signals in mountainous terrain, including GrassRoots and Community Government television valley-wide. Over-the-air radio and network television in the Aspen area is also impacted by the outage. Cable customers are not affected.
“We are working to assess the cause of the outage and come up with solutions,” said Pitkin County Communications Site Manager, Jeff Krueger. “Our temporary solution is to use propane to power the translator site over the short term. This will only provide temporary and intermittent power to the site,” Krueger said.
Other solutions could include repairing or replacing the half-mile-long buried power line or finding alternate translator locations nearby to provide over-the-air service in the affected areas.
“Unfortunately, there is no quick fix,” said Krueger. “We expect electric power to Pitkin County’s translator on Lower Red to be out indefinitely. We are working diligently to find a long term solution,” Krueger said.
Cable television and online radio and television service remain available in the translator outage area.
We are now experiencing problems with Lower Red in the Aspen area. Crews are looking into what the problem might be.
We are currently experiencing problems with the 4s and 8s in the Crystal River Valley. We believe that the problem is coming from our Sunlight towers. Techs hope to get up there this week to check it out.
Thomasville TV is up and working. Please rescan in order to update your TV with the latest fixes performed on the Thomasville tower.
Broadband is coming your way. If you are interested in Broadband services, please contact one of the two service providers directly to learn if your location may be eligible for service.
We have had some outages of the 4s in Redstone. We checked the Sunlight towers and they are functioning properly. There may be a problem on Elephant but we will have to investigate further before a last ditch effort of a helicopter ride to the site.
The Thomasville site is still down. Staff hope to visit the site by foot weather permitting within the next week to 10 days.
Channels 3-1 and 3-2 are out County wide. These channels are out from the source at Sunlight Peak and not due to our Translator system. We will provide an update as soon as we learn the nature of the outage and the repair timeline."
We did it! After an interesting trip to the Sunlight tower Pitkin County staff have reconfigured equipment on tower, patched the 4's (CBS, FOX, GRIT, ESCAPE). We hope that this will resolve the County-wide reception issues experienced over the last couple months from excessive snow buildup and freeze/thaw conditions on site. TV viewers who have been experiencing reception problems, particularly with the 4's, may need to perform a re-scan of their TV/channels to see service fully restored.
KSPN on 97.3 and KSNO on 94.9 in Carbondale (and subsequently 98.3 and 103.5 in Redstone, respectively) have been repaired and are back on the air. We are currently having technical issues with KTND on 100.9 in Carbondale, but hope to have them resolved shortly.
Unfortunately the system is very unstable coming out of Sunlight for the 4s. We think there is moisture getting into connections on the towers. There’s too much snow to get up there right now. We got caught short with Sunlight’s rebuild last fall with early snow. We are hoping this summer build season staff will be able to complete the rebuild, deconstruct the old site and get all the connections fixed. This has been a constant on our radar and we continue to work on possible fixes that can be done without going to the site. This has definitely been a most challenging winter for service. The engineers have an overwhelming amount of work on their schedules and hope to finish it all in a timely manner but sometimes are not able to do that due to unexpected delays, roadblocks or weather.
Report a Problem
To report problems with the system, please call 920-5395 or email us. Please provide the nature of the outage, your location and a call back number; someone will contact you within 24 hours.