Farnsworth Peak

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Farnsworth Peak
Farnsworth Peak from the west face in May 2008
Elevation 9,066 ft (2,763 m)
Location Salt Lake / Tooele counties, Utah, U.S.
Range Oquirrh Mountains
Coordinates 40°39′35.22″N 112°12′08.45″W / 40.6597833°N 112.2023472°W / 40.6597833; -112.2023472
Easiest route Hike or private road.

Farnsworth Peak is a peak located on the northern end of the Oquirrh Mountain range, approximately 18 miles (29 km) south west of Salt Lake City, Utah. The mountain is named for Philo Farnsworth, the inventor of the first completely electronic television.[1] It is used mainly for radio and television transmission, but could potentially become part of a ski resort owned by nearby Kennecott Land.[2] On the eastern side of the mountain, the land is completely private, and access is restricted. The peak can be reached by hiking from the Tooele side, which is mostly public land. The public BLM land extends from ridge peak West to the base of the mountain.[3] Public access to this land is available off SR-36 near Lake Point. Several Cattle gates need to be opened and closed, but are public access roads to public lands for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

Radio and television use[edit]

A closeup of "Big" Farnsworth, which houses transmitters for KSL among others.
Deep snow covers the transmitter site. The mountain is often only accessible by snow machines, snowmobiles or a helicopter.

Farnsworth Peak, in local radio terms, refers to three separate radio transmitter sites. They are known as "Big Farnsworth," "The KSTU Site," and "Little Farnsworth."[1] Each site hosts a number of radio towers which broadcast radio and television stations. Big Farnsworth, the farthest north, hosts towers for KSL-TV, the local NBC affiliate. Extensive studies of RF radiation from the site have been conducted recently, in an effort to aid engineers who work on the mountain.[4]

FM Terrestrial stations with transmitters on Farnsworth Peak[edit]

Farnsworth Peak contains a vast majority of Salt Lake FM signals. The following is a complete list of FM stations with transmitters located on (or around) Farnsworth Peak.

KBER 101.1 Active rock
KBYU 89.1 Classical
KBZN 97.9 Soft adult contemporary
KHTB 101.9 Alternative
KODJ 94.1 Oldies
KAAZ-FM 106.5 Rock
KRCL 90.9 Variety
KRSP 103.5 Classic rock
KSFI 100.3 Soft adult contemporary
KSL-FM 102.7 News/Talk
KSOP-FM 104.3 Country
KNRS 105.7 News/Talk
KUBL 93.3 Country
KUER 90.1 Public Radio/News
KUUU 92.5 Hip hop music
KXRK 96.3 Alternative rock


FM HAM radio Repeaters on Farnsworth Peak[edit]

Local television networks KSL-TV, KSTU and other sites on Farnsworth Peak have provided space for HAM Radio Repeater operation. Farnsworth peak serves as a major hub, connecting western and southern Utah to the Utah Intermountain Intertie main hub repeater a top the Snowbird Tram on Hidden Peak.

KI7DX 53.15 MHz (–) 1.0 MHz 146.2 Hz KSTU
KF6RAL 145.125 MHz (–) 0.6 MHz D-Star
W7SP 146.62 MHz (–) 0.6 MHz KSL-TV
K7JL 146.94 MHz (–) 0.6 MHz 88.5 Hz KSTU
K7JL 147.12 MHz (+) 0.6 MHz 100.0 Hz KSTU
KF6RAL 448.075 MHz (–) 5.0 MHz D-Star
KI7DX 448.15 MHz (–) 5.0 MHz 127.3 Hz KSTU
K7JL 449.15 MHz (–) 5.0 MHz 100.0 Hz
K7JL 449.5 MHz (–) 5.0 MHz 100.0 Hz
K7OJU 1285. MHz (–) 12.0 MHz 88.5 Hz
KF6RAL 1287. MHz (–) 12.0 MHz D-Star
KF6RAL 1299.25 MHz (S) simplex D-Star


Television stations[edit]

Farnsworth Peak is home to several full service television stations. KSL-TV is perhaps the best known transmitter site on the mountain, but the peak houses transmitters for KSTU-TV,[7] the local FOX affiliate, KUCW[8] (The CW), and KUTV[9] (CBS) among others. KTMW, an independent station and KUPX, the local Ion affiliate, now broadcast their digital signals from Little Farnsworth Peak about 0.45 miles to the south. KSL-TV was the first television station to use the mountain for broadcasting. It also is responsible for transmitters on the mountain, having engineers on site for periods of time in case of emergencies.[10] A large number of the television stations located on the peak previously carried their analog signals from the same sites. Farnsworth Peak was one of the first places in the country to construct a facility specifically for digital television transmission.[11] Specifically, Farnsworth Peak houses transmitters for the following stations:

KUEN 9 Independent
KULX-CD 10 Independent
KJZZ-TV 14 Independent
KUPX 16 Ion Television
KUTB-LD 18 Trinity Broadcasting Network
KTMW 20 Independent
KBTU-LP 23 Independent
KPNZ 24 Independent
KSVN-CD 25 Azteca
KUCW 30 The CW
K39JS-D 39 Azteca (translator of KSVN-CD)
KSUD-LP 45 Independent
KEJT-CD 50 Independent

Lightning Incident[edit]

On September 13, 2009, lightning struck the main DTV stick carrying a majority of the area's digital television signals. The lightning strike took eight stations in total off air, and damaged the combiner for the tower. According to the engineers on site, the combiner was leaking oil all over the place. The lightning strike of the tower also caused a failure of the waveguide switch control system, which caused it to display improperly. An engineer on site was able to correct that situation within hours, but the combiner would not be working for a few more hours. By the next day, the problem had been fixed and the stations were back on the air and all were in working order.[12]


  1. ^ a b "A bit about Farnsworth Peak". Utah Amateur Radio Club (UARC). Retrieved 2008-04-30. 
  2. ^ Doug Smeath. "Kennecott unveils plan for the Oquirrh foothills". Deseret Morning News. Retrieved 2008-04-30. 
  3. ^ "Utah Federal Lands" (PDF). Governor.Utah.gov. Retrieved 2012-10-30. 
  4. ^ "LITTLE FARNSWORTH PEAK Electromagnetic Energy Measurements, Alpha Property, Ground Level and Rooftops Date: July 29, 2003" (PDF). Utah Communications, Inc. Retrieved 2008-04-30. 
  5. ^ Radio-Locator Salt Lake City Stations
  6. ^ "Farnsworth Peak Repeater". Utah VHF Society. Retrieved 13 November 2015. 
  7. ^ "KSTU-TV (Salt Lake City)". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2008-07-05. 
  8. ^ "KUCW TV Query from the FCC". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  9. ^ "KUTV TV Query from the FCC". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  10. ^ 50th Anniversary: Utah News from KSL-TV
  11. ^ "Utah Enters the Era of Digital Television". DTV Utah. Retrieved 2008-04-30. 
  12. ^ "Lightning strike disrupts transmission of Utah broadcasters". Broadcast Engineering.com. Retrieved 2009-09-17.