Before my retirement last year, I was a broadcast engineer for 45 years. I received my FCC First Class License when I was 15. I have designed and constructed a number of big AM and FM stations in my long career.
I am disgusted with the direction that the broadcasting industry has turned. The FCC, once concerned primarily with the safe and legal operation of radio and television stations, has become a political puppet.
The broadcasting “big boys” have all but squeezed the “mom and pop” stations out of existence. With their political power, they have managed to change the FCC rules and regulations for their financial benefit.
In large markets, they put HD2 and HD3 streams onto their FM carriers and then get licensed to operate translators to rebroadcast the digital streams. Translators originally were licensed to provide fill-in service within the licensed contour of the station. HD2 and HD3 streams are an option. They should not be given the same access to the translator rules as the main analog carrier. It is simply an abuse of the FCC rules.
I have another example. KDRP(LP) is an FM station in Dripping Springs, Texas, that operates with 5 watts ERP (mostly vertical). They have a translator, K261DW-FM, which operates with 250 watts ERP (mostly vertical). How is it possible that the translator has so much more power than the primary LP station? Why should an LP station even qualify to operate a translator?
I would certainly like to read somebody’s “take” on the FM translator situation.
Dr. Frank L. Berry