Quincy, IL (August 13, 2004)–KCSN-FM began testing an HD Radio booster this week to fill in its 1 mV/m contour in West Los Angeles using Broadcast Electronics transmitters, exciters and signal generators. The California State University station, located in Northridge, CA, received experimental authorization from the FCC to conduct landmark testing of a main and booster HD Radio system operating in hybrid mode.
Broadcast Electronics supplied an FMi 73 HD Radio transmitter with FXi 60 digital FM exciter and FSi 10 HD Radio signal generator for the main antenna site in Northridge and another identical BE transmission system for the booster site in West Los Angeles. Both transmission systems are set up in a low-level combine configuration, with 480 watts analog output power for the main and 320 watts analog output power for the booster. Both transmission systems are synchronizing analog and digital broadcasts on 88.5 MHz.
FCC authorization followed KCSN’s eligibility for a Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) grant as part of a “seed market campaign” establishing HD Radio in 13 major markets. The station agreed to convert to HD Radio only if it could convert both the main and a proposed booster site that would fill in part of its licensed coverage area heretofore unreachable because of the Santa Monica mountain range blocking its main signal.
“We were reluctant to go HD Radio on just the main because we fully anticipate a third of our market coming from this new booster site. Converting to HD Radio on just the one may have made the aural experience less than it should be,” explained Mike Worrall, chief engineer for KCSN, a classical/eclectic station.