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AMs Begin Applying for Waivers to Use MDCL

NAB Tech Check says NRSC to review any test results on AM HD stations

AM stations have begun to ask the FCC for waivers to use power-saving Modulation Dependent Carrier Level technologies, which reduce the amount of power transmitted in the carrier portion of an AM signal while maintaining the quality and coverage area of the station.

According to NAB Tech Check, an AM station in California has made the first request for a waiver under the terms of the recent Public Notice.

The station was Crawford Broadcasting’s KCBC in Manteca, Calif.

The Media Bureau recently established procedures for AMs to seek a rule waiver in order to use energy-saving MDCL technologies. The commission suggests that easier implementation of MDCL algorithms and higher energy costs have made these techniques more attractive to domestic broadcasters, according to Tech Check.

RW also has reported that Chuck Lakaytis, director of engineering with Alaska Public Broadcasting, discussed the topic at spring NAB. Lakaytis is using the technique under experimental authorization with both Nautel and Harris transmitters. Over a 90-day trial period, two 10 kW AMs, KOTZ, Kotzebue, and KDLG, Dillingham, saved 30% on their power bill, according to Lakaytis; and there were no complaints about audio quality nor coverage loss.

Lakaytis also told Radio World’s Leslie Stimson this spring he was interested to see how MDCL would perform on an AM transmitting an HD Radio signal. NAB’s Tech Check states a number of broadcasters and transmitter manufacturers are interested in testing how well HD Radio receivers work when presented with DCC-processed signals.

The AM and FM Analog Broadcasting Subcommittee of the National Radio Systems Committee is following work on this technology and will review any test results made available.