Friday, May 13, 2022

KRFC Increases Power From 3,000 Watts to 50,000 Watts

 YAY! My favorite local radio stations, KRFC, has flipped the switch on their new transmitter and antenna. They're still tweaking the audio settings a bit, but their signal went up 13dB here.

13dB is a factor of twenty in strength, and should make a big difference in their coverage area.

Before:


After:

If you look at the upper right corner of the spectrum analyzer display, you'll see the center frequency of 88.9 MHz, and directly under that you'll see the signal level in dBuV, or "Decibels Referenced to 1 microvolt".

Some of the increase is due to the increased power level, and the remainder is due to the new antenna. 

This will expand their coverage all along the Front Range, from Denver to Wyoming.

Well done, and now I can listen to them all the way to the Denver airport and back.


14 comments:

  1. There was and may still be there, KFRC in the San Fran Bay area that I use to listen too. Is the station freq 88.9 MHz? I should be able to pick it up on my Shortwave receiver

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    Replies
    1. Per the FCC database, KFRC-FM is still broadcasting in San Francisco. KRFC is on 88.9MHz, but unless you live in the area you won't be able to hear it.

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    2. 50,000 watts, I should be able to pick it up. I have picked up other clear channel high power FM stations from the east coast when the conditions were right.

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    3. You must be East of the Rockies?

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    4. Smack dab in the middle of Northern Idaho, Grangeville.

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    5. It's possible, but not on a regular basis.

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    6. Likely atmospheric ducting enabling distant FM reception at times. Atmospheric temperature inversions can cause that. I used to get an occasional reception report from that sort of thing when I was still doing the broadcast engineering thing.

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    7. Yep, Tropo Ducting can do that. Every summer there's a "pipeline" that opens up between Hawaii and Southern California. I watched Gordon West, WB6NOA, talk to Hawaii with 5 Watts on 2 Meters (144-148MHz) using a hand-held radio. I was never able to do that from my apartment, as the Palos Verdes peninsula blocked my direct path. I had to go up on top of Palos Verdes to hear Hawaii on 2 Meters.

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  2. Interesting... I seem to remember 5Kw was the max output back int eh day.

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  3. AFAIK, but haven't checked lately, is that the limit for broadcasting in the US is 50kW for AM and FM stations. Certain stations are required to run much less power for geographical and interference reasons, and certain classes of license, like "Community Radio" are restricted in max power. KRFC has an interesting history, and originally had a license restriction of 3kW. I don't know when that changed, but they had a "Power The Tower" campaign going on for several years to raise the required funding.

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