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WJMJ Adds HD Radio With Sub-channels in Mind

Catholic station deploys a Nautel GV5 with HD MultiCast+ Importer/Exporter

Radio World Buyer’s Guide articles are intended to help readers understand why their colleagues chose particular products to solve various technical situations. This month’s articles focus on transmitters.

Several years ago WJMJ(FM) in Hartford, Conn., approached contract engineer and consultant Tom Ray about taking the station HD for improved outreach to the Hispanic community. 

“At the station’s existing site, HD operation would’ve been problematic,” Ray said.

“We applied for a location change and were able to move the transmitter site from Burlington to Farmington. With an antenna 950 feet up the ‘Channel 61 television tower,’ we were able to upgrade from a Class B1 to a full Class B and, the best part, the HD signal could be operated at –10 dBc. Win-win!”

Ray said tower management had an available 4-1/16-inch transmission line that was pressurized and spec’d out. “So we needed a transmitter that would produce the required 2.14 kW transmitter power output while allowing us to produce an HD signal at –10 dBc. We chose a Nautel GV5, which had plenty of headroom and the latest Gen 4 HD MultiCast+ Importer/Exporter.”

Ray has installed many AM/FM transmitters over the years. While this job was complex, he said, it also was one of the easiest. 

In addition to running Hispanic Catholic programming on the HD2 signal, WJMJ runs EWTN Catholic programming on the HD3. 

“Setting up and partitioning the HD signal on the MultiCast+ Importer/Exporter was relatively easy, and both HD sub-channels sound outstanding.” The station also runs programming for the visually impaired using the GV transmitter’s built-in 67 kHz subcarrier generation and built-in RDS generator.

Ray said the GV5’s compact size and weight gave no concern to the building’s mechanical engineers. The electrical demand, and load on emergency generator, was considerably less than the five full-power HD television stations and other Class B FM located in the building.

“I am impressed with both Nautel’s transmitter quality and staff I had the pleasure of interacting with. But what impresses me most is that I can get someone on the phone to help service a 25-year-old Nautel Ampfet transmitter, plus still get parts for it. That’s customer service for you.”

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