First LPFM Booster in U.S. Signs On
KWSV(LP) airs country music in the west San Fernando Valley
milestone was reached on July 22 when KWSV(LP), also known as “99.1 The Ranch,”
switched on the first LPFM booster station in the United States, according to a
statement from consultancy REC Networks, which is involved in the project.
granted the booster application in June. The station is in the foothills east
of Simi Valley and faces coverage challenges due to the surrounding terrain.
Networks said a location in the Chatsworth Hills was chosen to put a signal
into the San Fernando Valley. The new booster puts out six watts into a
directional antenna aimed to the southeast, extending coverage to the valley
west of the 405 San Diego Freeway.
FM boosters are normally
used by full-service FM broadcast stations to fill in coverage gaps created by
terrain. Boosters are limited in power to 20 percent of the maximum ERP for the
service class of the primary station. For LPFMs, that comes out to 20 watts
maximum ERP. As with translators and LPFMs themselves, FM boosters have
The application for KWSV’s booster was
filed by REC Networks,
which also cautions that such solutions are not a wholesale answer for LPFM
coverage issues. Rather, they are mostly beneficial to stations surrounded by
substantial terrain, as is the case with this California LPFM. REC Networks is
also representing KXRN(LP) in Laguna Beach, Calif., who has also filed for an
LPFM booster to overcome difficult terrain issues.
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