In the News

January 19, 2015 — A January 19 Summit Daily article said the following about the Summit Foundation including $50,000 for SPRTV’s power line replacement project in its 2014 Fall grant cycle:

While some organizations apply for grants every year, others only apply in certain years, when they have a project coming up. Such was the case with the Summit Public Radio & TV (SPRTV), a local nonprofit that keeps Summit County connected to the outside world via antenna television and radio signals. The group was awarded a grant that will go toward replacing 3 miles of cable to the station at the top of Bald Mountain.

“We got huge support, I was thrilled,” said Sue Greene, vice president of development for SPRTV, about The Summit Foundation grant. Though it’s only a single part of the fundraising necessary for the project, knowing that it was approved “is pretty amazing,” she said.

See the entire article at http://www.summitdaily.com/news/14709786-113/the-summit-foundation-announces-largest-grant-cycle-increase-in-its

 


Snowmobiles Join SPRTV Family to Aid Repairs

Posted by on Jan 16, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Summit Public Radio and TV technician Gary Peterson took delivery of two used Polaris snowmobiles and trailer in mid-January following the board’s approval of the purchase from Gary Waterman of Summit TV, Audio and Video in Frisco. The sleds replace a much-used snowmobile and are needed to get to the the FM and TV translator site located located on Bald Mountain.

July 4, 2013 Summit Daily Article — Summit Public Radio and TV broadcasts signals blocked by mountains

Posted by on Jul 23, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Special to the Daily<br /><br /><br />
Summit Public Radio and TV is a local nonprofit organization that works to maintain electrical equpiment on Mount Baldy that captures radio and television broadcasts and re-transmits them to Summit County.

Special to the Daily Summit Public Radio and TV is a local nonprofit organization that works to maintain electrical equpment on Mount Baldy that captures radio and television broadcasts and re-transmits them to Summit County

Anyone who has ever turned on the radio in Summit County to catch the latest news on NPR or to relax to the soothing sounds of classical music, or who’s used a television antenna to pick up the local TV8 Summit channel or CBS, NBC or FOX, has benefited from Summit Public Radio and TV (SPRTV).

SPRTV is a local nonprofit that keeps Summit County connected to the outside world via antenna television and radio signals. Due to the surrounding mountains, through which the signals cannot travel, radios and TV antennas in Summit don’t receive these programs directly from their source. This is where SPRTV steps in, with its array of antennas and translators set up at a site on Mount Baldy. At 12,600 feet, the equipment can pick up signals sent from the Front Range and elsewhere, then re-transmit them to Summit County.

“We just literally pick the signal out of the air,” said Suzanne Greene, current SPRTV president.

Greene is one of a small number of dedicated volunteer board members who do what they can to keep radio and TV channels on the air for the community.

Can’t stop the signal

The origins of SPRTV go back to the 1950s, when a group of locals decided to take action and end the county’s signal isolation. They deemed Mount Baldy as the perfect spot and set up the first television translator, powered by a gasoline generator. Later, another ambitious group assembled to replace the gas with a power line. The endeavor reportedly required 50 volunteers to dig holes and set up poles to string the 10,000-foot line from French Gulch up to the translator on the mountain.

Several groups were involved with maintenance on the site before SPRTV came into the picture. First known only as Summit Public Radio, the “TV” was added in recent years to more accurately reflect the organization’s work. SPRTV received 501(c)3 nonprofit status in 1998.

Gary Peterson is SPRTV’s vice president of engineering and site management. He became involved with the equipment in a technical sense when it was under the care of the Blue River TV Association. Peterson lives in a cabin in Breckenridge Park Estates, just a short distance from the start of the power line. After speaking with the head of the Blue River TV Association, Peterson managed to get keys to the site and became “ad hoc site manager.”

“It was really ripe for improvement; a lot of things had just broken down,” he said, “so I actually learned all about the site just on-the-job training, so to speak, and about translators in general.”

Electronics have been a passion of Peterson’s ever since he tinkered with shortwave radio as a kid. Later, he worked as a shipboard interior communications technician in the Navy.

Over the years, Peterson has come to know the equipment on the mountain very well.

“I spent hundreds of hours up there every summer, there was so much to do,” he said.

Now, with updated equipment, Peterson will visit the site if circumstances require it, particularly in winter months.

“I think of the Baldy site, in the wintertime, a little bit like a ship at sea,” he said, “where you really aren’t going to be doing any major work up there, construction work and maintenance, it’s more a matter of just on a case-by-case basis when something happens.”

That was the case two years ago, when high-speed January winds knocked over a new shed and required equipment replacement.

For the most part, though, Peterson doesn’t mind the trek. He’s skied it before, with skins, although often he said he doesn’t even need them and can hike on the compacted snow.

Existing and expanding

Currently, the equipment on Mount Baldy supplies access to various FM radio and over-the-air TV stations, the list of which can be found on the organization’s website at www.sprtv.org.

The most recent addition was KQSE, a Spanish-language station out of Gypsum, in 2009.

“We decided that was a huge community service,” Greene said, adding that SPRTV continues to be pleased with its ability to offer the station.

Adding a new station isn’t as easy as wanting one, however. Because of the way the equipment works, SPRTV is limited to a certain number of stations that it can re-broadcast, so the organization takes care to be sure it provides a broad enough selection for its audience.

“So then you turn to technology and you say, how might technology help us?” Greene said.

It turns out, there may be a way for SPRTV to add one more FM station for its listeners. It’s a matter of using a hybrid-digital (HDFM) system, which essentially allows the older analog radio systems and newer digital radio system to work with the same translator. If SPRTV can convert its KQSE translator on Mount Baldy to HDFM, it will be able to provide the new station without getting rid of KQSE or any other current station.

Whether this is possible depends on a review by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), Greene said. When or whether that will come through is impossible to guess.

The new station that SPRTV hopes to bring in is KCFR, a 24-hour news channel produced by National Public Radio that Greene said has been heavily requested.

“There’s no question that that’s what (people want).”

 Spreading the word

Greene and others at SPRTV hope to raise and maintain awareness about what SPRTV is and what it does for Summit County.

“Most people have no idea, because they think you just turn on the radio and it’s just there,” Greene said. “They don’t understand why there has to be this electronic site and these translators and these antennae high on towers just so they can get radio.”

SPRTV is not a radio station itself, something Greene said she often has to explain. The organization does not have a recording studio or produce any original content. It simply works to maintain the equipment on Mount Baldy that pulls the signals from the air and re-directs them down between the mountains.

To thank its current members, SPRTV is holding a reception prior to the National Repertory Orchestra concert that it is co-sponsoring for the Breckenridge Music Festival on July 27. From time to time throughout the year, SPRTV will put on small events like the reception and a picnic in August to show its appreciation for the sponsors that keep it running.

One hundred percent of all donations go directly to the maintenance of the equipment and needs of the organization, Greene said.

For more information, or to view the FM and TV stations available, visit SPRTV’s website at www.sprtv.org.

Live Views From Baldy Are Back!

Posted by on Oct 4, 2012 in Technical Difficulties | 0 comments

Live Views From Baldy Are Back!

Earlier today, Gary, our VP of Engineering, worked his awesome magic and restored the SPRTV webcam located on Bald Mountain, after an outage while we changed broadband internet service providers.

A few hours later, we are totally stoked that the live feed from Baldy is also back on our website!

To see it, navigate to “For Fun” in the menu at the top of any page. Then select “Live From Baldy” from the drop down menu that appears.

One caveat … Sorry, but because of the web technology we’re using with our webcam, the live view will very likely not display on your smartphone or tablet.

But enjoy the views on any PC or Mac!

Donations to SPRTV Now Available Through GivingFirst

Posted by on Oct 3, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The next time you make a credit card donation to us via our new website it will be processed by Giving First.  We hope this will improve your donating experience.  The following was extracted from the Giving First website, (www.givingfirst.org):

About Giving First

 

For the local good.

This opportunity to support and give back to Colorado nonprofits is made possible by Community First Foundation, an Arvada-based community foundation whose mission is “to improve quality of life by increasing community generosity and involvement.” GivingFirst.org is a program of our Nonprofit Preservation Initiative to preserve the future of Colorado nonprofits.

Our goal is to make donating to local charities an easier and more informed experience for you. By offering comprehensive, objective and up-to-date information about nonprofits, we hope GivingFirst.org becomes indispensable for your local giving.

And by helping hundreds of organizations raise awareness online, our goal is also to provide greater support to organizations that are essential for protecting and nurturing the quality of life in Colorado.

Together, we can give where we live.

Community First Foundation has been serving the community for more than 35 years, helping donors and nonprofits come together to improve quality of life in the Denver metro area. It funds community programs, supports the services of nonprofit organizations, and assists individuals with charitable giving. The foundation is also known for its new and innovative programs such as GivingFirst.org, an online giving resource that has raised more than $30 million for Colorado nonprofits since 2007, and is the platform for Colorado Gives Day.

Click the DONATE button in the right hand column to make a donation to SPRTV via GivingFirst.  Thank You!

 

 

SPRTV Board Member In The News

Posted by on Jun 17, 2012 in General Discussion | 0 comments

Terese Keil, indefatigable SPRTV Board Member, recently wrote a full-page special article for the Summit Daily News detailing her recent trip to Cuba as part of an organization called Witness for Peace.

She was traveling with three others from Summit County, out of a total of 25 folks in the delegation.

To read more, check out “Cuba: Explore the Forbidden” here.