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WIUM Embraces HD Radio

WIUM Embraces HD Radio

Small-market pubcaster WIUM(FM) of Macomb, Ill., is converting to HD Radio with equipment from Broadcast Electronics.
Using grant funding from CPB, the Western Illinois University FM issued
a purchase order in October for two Broadcast Electronics HD Radio transmitters and a new BE Big Pipe wideband STL that will prepare it for secondary audio and datacasting, among other advanced applications.
“With this order, we’re completely digital from the control room to our exciter,” states WIUM (FM) Chief Engineer Greg Manfroi.
BE is providing WIUM(FM) and its repeater station, WIUW(FM), with linear transmitters at the towers, upgraded datacasting capabilities for an existing BE AudioVault digital audio system in the studio, plus a new broadband link that will bridge the two and carry the advanced data applications of HD Radio.
The transmitters were ordered through RF Specialties of Missouri.
WIUM(FM), along with its repeater station in nearby Warsaw, serves a market of 159,000 people when university is in session.
The station will implement HD Radio in a high-level combined configuration at its main transmitter site in Macomb. A BE FMi 402 HD Radio solid-state transmitter package with BE FXi exciter and signal generator will share the station’s antenna with an existing 20kW transmitter. The configuration will allow for on-the-fly backup operation due to the FXi exciter, according to BE.
The station’s repeater site, used to rebroadcast programming from Warsaw, Ill., will use a single transmitter, BE’s FMi 301 solid-state transmitter, to transmit both the analog and the digital signal.
Equipment delivery is expected in 30 days.