Lon’s Lair, best in show merchant at A-Cen

Recently, I attended Anime Central in where, among other things, I needed a set of disposable dice so I could run a few rounds of MAID RPG without worrying about my personal set running off. At the Lon’s Lair booth, I was able to pick up a solid set of d6s for less than $2!

As good as its at-con prices were, dice prices on Lon’s Lair website are even more reasonable! So I figured they were worth a shout-out.

My only disappointment was that the booth was mainly selling Chessex sets, and I am a total Koplow fanboy — so I was happy to see that the website is full of Koplow sets for sale!

What’s the deal with KSMQ?

Just doing some wiki magic today.  One of the stories I’ve been following is the KSMQ tower collapse (throw a couple bucks their way and support public TV!), but the reporting just seems to get a few things wrong, which of course trickled onto Wikipedia.  The big misnomer being that a “440 foot transmitter tower” fell.


Technically, it wasn’t the transmitter, but the Studio-Transmitter Link.  And here’s my homework:

Right off,  KSMQ’s transmitter is out by Grand Meadow, easily looked up with an FCC Media Bureau TV Query.

The media reports (Albert Lea, KTTC, Austin Daily Herald) indicated a “440 foot tower” that collapsed over an ancillary building at the KSMQ studios (at Riverland Community College in Austin MN).  Photos of the tower collapse site match this Google Map of a tall tower at the RCC campus.  There is another tower at the campus, also associated with KSMQ.


440 feet is about 137 meters, the height of the STL tower at KSMQ:  (FCC ASR search)



The STL link can be confirmed by looking at the microwave associated files in the FCC ULS:

accessed via http://transition.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/tvq?list=0&facid=28510


The transmission point is its studio tower, called the “KSMQ TV Tower”, and the receiver is the Grand Meadows “KSMQ DTV Tower”.  There is an older, cancelled set of licences for a multi-point link, which to idly speculate may have been the source of the “old microwave dish” mentioned in the Daily Herald article.

KSMQ also seems to have a link relaying its signal from the DTV tower to KTTC in Rochester.  Maybe a backup cable feed?

Last but not least, who owns KSMQ’s actual transmitter tower?  Checking the ASRs again, entering the DTV transmitter site coordinates of 43-38-35, 92-31-34…  Well, it can only be this tower — owned by KTTC!  I have to say, it’s pretty cool of them to help KSMQ out so much.

And hey, there’s an added bonus:  Poking around we can see something in the public files about KSMQ wanting to build a tower out by Winona a new transmitter or a translator, perhaps?