If you’re wondering why you can’t hear KHOP 95.1 on the radio so well right now, I’ve got the official reason why the signal’s so weak right here.
If you’re like me and can’t survive your morning commute or afternoon run without a bit of Top 40 and was pleasantly surprised when KHOP 95.1 sounded a lot weaker all of a sudden, here’s why. According to the Modesto Bee in an update from the radio station owners themselves earlier this week (Feb. 17, 2019) it’s because lightning hit the station’s radio transmitter back in late January. Presumably, the right parts are ordered and we can expect a fix by the middle of March. As you might have noticed, the station IS still up and running, transmitting at a lower strength.
A technician actually climbed up to the tower, which is in Jamestown, Calif by the way, and shared with the Modesto Bee this photo showing the damage.
— Marijke Rowland (@marijkerowland) February 19, 2019
With the naked eye, it looks like this tower got what Cumulus Radio Group, the owners of the transmitter, are calling, “sustained material damage.”
KHOP also has an official explanation of their own on their website,
Dear KHOP Listeners,
We are currently experiencing temporary signal issues due to a lightning strike at our transmitter. Our engineers are working to fix the issue as quickly as possible. This is only temporary. In the meantime, you can stream us here on the website or download the KHOP app.
According to Radio-Locator, KHOP uses a 30,000-watt tower capable of broadcasting in an 80-mile radius (well, it’s more like a cardioid shape.) A quick look at their broadcast map shows that, at full power, they can reach as far as the fringes of the Bay Area and even to Madera down towards Fresno.
A lot of people listen to KHOP and it’s refreshing to learn that quite a few people still value what’s known as terrestrial radio.
So hold tight, 209. We’ll soon have our favorite Top 40 station up to full strength in no time.