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KBRT(AM) Broadcasts Live From Oak Flat

Crawford flips switch at new Southern California site

Crawford Broadcasting Co. President Don Crawford inaugurated KBRT(AM)’s new transmitter site at Oak Flat, Calif., on Feb. 28.

Director of Engineering Cris Alexander wrote about in the March edition of the company’s Local Oscillator engineering newsletter. Once Crawford pressed the RF On button on the new Nautel NX50 transmitter, Chief Engineer Bill Agresta phoned the remote control at the old Santa Catalina Island site to tell them it was time to switch off the transmitter.

The moment marked the culmination of KBRT’s move from its historic location on Santa Catalina to the new property.

Alexander wrote that the new transmission facility does not cover the same listening area as the old location. Despite the fact that the Santa Catalina site was only 10 kW compared to the new 50 kW facility, ground conductivity simply cannot compete with salt water (5,000 millisiemen). Its old island site enabled KBRT to broadcast clear to San Diego and the San Fernando Valley — areas where Alexander says the signal now drops off.

However, he said that the Oak Flats transmitter puts out metro-grade (2mV/m) and city-grade (5mV/m) signals to a combined 32 million listeners in Southern California. KRBT, which is now licensed to Costa Mesa, broadcasts clearly to the majority of Orange County, Los Angeles County and from Oceanside to Burbank, as well as Victorville.

By December, KBRT must remove the generator and Nautel XL12 from the old island location. They have sold their ND10 auxiliary transmitter to a buyer in Colorado; that must also be recovered and shipped. Alexander notes that the rest of the equipment is for sale; buyers will be in charge of transport.