Boston's "Folk Radio", WUMB(FM), went on the air with Broadcast Electronics' FMi-106 HD Radio transmitter in March, making it the first public station in New England to go digital, according to Ibiquity Digital Corp.
The installation was completed in four-and-a-half hours.
"At 11 o'clock at night we shut down the station, pulled everything out of the room and put it on the grass outside. Then we vacuumed the floor, assembled the new rack, and put in the new transmitter," said Grady Moates, a contract engineer for the University of Massachusetts-owned station and several other New England stations.
The engineers installed the BE FMi-106 transmitter in a low-level combined configuration to transmit WUMB's analog signal of 660 watts ERP as well as the HD Radio signal. They also installed the BE FSi 10 to generate the digital signal and the BE FXi 60 exciter to modulate both the digital and analog carriers.
Now several weeks after the installation several listeners have noted an improvement in WUMB's signal as a result of going digital, according to the station.
"We were concerned that the digital carriers were going to degrade the reception of our analog signal," said Grady. "Our programming is mostly singer-songwriter material that's kind of delicate, a lot like Classical music, so we have to keep a squeaky-clean transmission system to prevent damage to the audio. In the first two weeks after the install, we got back a couple of e-mails and a half-dozen voice mails, and all reported that our analog signal was improved," said Grady.