Mlalo Transmitter


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Lunch break close to Mombo

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Savely arrived on the old mission of Mlalo

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The meter spinning fast because of a short on the cable

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On the way up troubleshooting the cable

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Many poles need to be replaced

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Tanga is over there!

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Still no power at the transmitter hut

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Cable gor burned by a bush fire!

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Reparing the cable, the bush needs to be cleared, that the cable is not beeing burned again!

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Hunting a snake in the transmitter hut

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Cleaning the hut and replacing the battery that telemetry is working again

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Nearly sunset on the way back to Lushoto


On Tuesday April 19th 2011 we took off heading for the LRC transmitters in the Tanga region. This trip Martha Minja went with us. She is the assistant of the head of the technical department, because she did not get the chance to see the transmitter in Mlalo yet.

Shortly before Mombo we made our lunch break. We passed Lushoto to head straight to Mlalo. We wanted to get up to our transmitter site still the same day. Unfortunately the brodge in Mlalo had been closed, and we had to take a long detour to the next bridge. But still we arrived around 4 o`clock in th eafternoon, still time to go up to the transmitter to do the service work, if we are ready to return in the dark.

We passed our electricity meter first and saw that it was spinning fast. But the transmitter was not on air! What had happened? We went up further to the house of Mzee Bendera. Unfortunately he was on a funeral. We left all heavy items at his house and continued to surch. At the point the earth cable comes up as over head cable, about half way up to the transmitter, we measured again and found thatthere was a dead short on the line about 900 metres up!

The same eveneing Mzee Bendera came to the old Mission house, wher we got accomopdation. He told us the complete storry: Our old director told the pastor of Mlalo congregation: "It is your transmitter! You are responsible to make sure it getting its power! If you do not help, I will send our technicians to move it some where else!" So the pastor choose a comittee taking care of this challenge. The comittee came together but they could not do anything, because unfortunately the pastor did not choose Mzee Bendera into it, and because no funds were allocated to it as well! Now when the transmitter did not get power any more shortly before Chrismas, they did not tell any one it is not on air any more, fearing the director will take the tansmitter away! No one tod us even with us asking, that the transmitter was not on air!

The next morning Mzee Bendera bought a pice of cable, some connetors and insulation tape in town before we went up again to surch for the short. We passed the hole line up to the transmitter, writing down all what is needed to repaire the eectricity line. Many poles have to be replaced, many clips holding the cable to the stelle wire above are rotten, and all the way the grass and bushes have to be cutted to prevent bush fires to reach the cable! The actual short had been close to the transmitter hut. A fire had burnt the cable, which was shorted now. We replaced the burned one, and electricity came up to the transmitter hut!

A snake lived in te hut making sure no rats are eating our wires again! We replaced the telemetry battery to make sure we kow again if the transmitter fails in Moshi.

We left Mzee Bendera 100 000 Tsh. to enable him doing all the work on the power line.

Down agian at the old mission we took off heading to Lushoto imeadedly, because it already became dark.