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SBS, Crawford Go With BE For First HD Radio Conversions

SBS, Crawford Go With BE For First HD Radio Conversions

Spanish Broadcasting System and Crawford Broadcasting chose BE gear to transition their first digital stations.
SBS will make its entry into HD Radio using Broadcast Electronics’ new FMi 201 broadband transmitter and FXi 60 digital exciter with FSi 10 signal generator for Miami station WRMA(FM).
BE’s HD Radio products will generate, modulate and transmit the digital signals for high-level combining with the station’s FM analog signals in a shared antenna system. A new high-level combining technique tested by the engineers at BE and their antenna partners will make it possible for the group to inject HD Radio directly into the antenna combiner, instead of into the path of analog FM for combined output to the antenna.
BE’s FSi 10 signal generator, FXi 60 exciter and FMi 201 transmitter, which are designed for HD Radio, will be installed separate from WRMA’s analog FM transmission as part of an isolated HD Radio system. Plans are to run polarized digital and analog signals through the balanced antenna in order to feed the top half of the master antenna analog FM and the bottom half HD Radio.
According to a statement released by BE: “The configuration will reduce the injector loss typical of high-level combining (10dB loss in HD Radio and a .45dB loss in analog), eliminating the need for Spanish Broadcasting to purchase a higher-powered HD Radio transmitter to handle the injector load.”
“WRMA is a 100kW station and normally we’d have to use a 10kW transmitter for the HD signal, but we’re going to be able to squeak by with 500 or 600 watts to get this on the air,” said Chambers.
Crawford Broadcasting Chicago station WPWX(FM) is slated to go on air with HD Radio soon using a Broadcast Electronics FMi 703 transmitter and FXi 60 exciter with FSi 10 signal generator. HD Radio will be introduced to the WPWX transmission chain based on a high-level, shared antenna configuration in which digital and analog FM are combined after transmission for shared radiated power through an existing ERI directional antenna system.
WPWX’ existing FM transmitter, a Broadcast Electronics FM 30T, will remain in operation without modification to continue WPWX’ analog service as a 50kW, Class B station. The FMi 703 will supply transmission for the digital signal and the FSi 10 will supply the digital signal generation. The FXi 60, a direct-to-channel FM exciter that can be used for digital as well as analog FM, will be used in the digital path.