Monthly Archives: December 2010

Is there a point to broadcast translators?

Well, I guess there is if you want to improve or expand coverage. There are a few examples that I don’t think use translators effectively. Our local Christian station, Spirit 105.3 has three translators, K280FF, in Chehalis, K221BG in Aberdeen, and K278BH in Astoria. These three really don’t need to be on the air.
The first two are close enough to the main station that you can recieve the main station. You may choose to listen off of the translator if you have a lower quality radio, but in some cases, you may just be traveling through the area and aren’t able to pick up the broadcast of the translator. In these cases, the translators seem to improve coverage, but to only a few square miles. The third one has a slightly more valid reason, because it is much farther away from the main station. However, shouldn’t a translator expand coverage? If I am correct, there is at least a little bit of, if not a significant gap in coverage. The other station I wanted to bring up was KMTT, which is licensed to Tacoma, with a transmittor close to the other ones in this market on Cougar Mountain. They have two translators, K281AD, and K277AE. The first translator serves Olympia, which most good radios can recieve the main station. Actually, I think it would take a pretty low quality radio to not be able to recieve the main station. The other translator is licensed to Seattle, where the main station is strong enough. I don’t know what they were thinking there, buildings might get in the way of the signal? Also, the second translator broadcasts at 103.3 fm, which if I have analyzed the situation correctly, could be used for a high powered station. This same situation arises just 80 miles to the north in Victoria, British Collumbia. Vancouver station CBU-FM put a repeater, CBU-FM-1 on the air. At the time, this probably made sense, since Victoria is a provincial capital and it didn’t have a CBC Radio aphiliate at the time, but why does it need to remain on the air now? The 92.1 fm frequency, like the 103.3 fm one, could be used for a new station. Continue reading

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