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Saga Communications-owned KOEZ-FM in Iowa, serving the Ames and Des Moines markets, wrapped installation of a new Dielectric DCR-C ring-style antenna earlier this month. The circularly polarized, center-fed antenna replaces an antenna knocked off the air by a partial tower collapse caused by a February ice storm. The station had been operating with a lower-power auxiliary antenna for months; the eight-bay DCR-C was currently operating below full power at press time, with full commissioning for KOEZ’s 100kW ERP expected this month.

KOEZ opted to not replace the top 100 feet of the tower lost to the storm. The side-mounted DCR-C has a center of radiation just short of 900 feet. Joe Farrington, Chief Engineer for Des Moines Radio Group (a subsidiary of Saga), believes lowering the antenna position (and dropping from 10 to eight bays) will improve penetration within the Des Moines city limits.

“Downtown Des Moines has always been a challenge,” said Farrington. “There is a very low spot in the center downtown with a surrounding ridge. We believe the DCR-C is properly designed and positioned to actually strengthen our signal through Des Moines instead of somewhat skipping over it.”

Farrington adds that the tower was erected under old guidelines that didn’t consider icing and windload. “We have lightened the tower load considerably, both with the antenna weight and LED tower lights,” he said. “Dielectric added radomes to the antenna design, which will protect it from future icing. We expect that the antenna and tower will each last its lifetime without incident.”

Dielectric’s broadband DCR-C antennas can be end-fed or center-fed, offer a power rating of 10kW per bay, and are available in stacked arrays up to 12 bays with an input rating to 40kW. Info: https://www.dielectric.com/antenna/dcr-c-hdr-c/