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.
DataWave LLC recently installed a Broadcast Electronics STX FM transmitter for Pamal Broadcasting station WSPK(FM) in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
A technical services company based in the Hudson Valley, DataWave provides engineering services for radio and television station across the United States. K104.7 is a 50,000-watt Class B CHR station serving the valley and New York City; it transmits from the top of Mount Beacon, the tallest point in the valley, with an elevation of 1,600 feet and clear line of site to Manhattan.
A crew from DataWave led by President David Groth managed the upgrade for Pamal Broadcasting. Groth said the previous solid-state transmitter, made by another manufacturer, suffered a failure that caused it to catch on fire.
“Winter was approaching, so we needed to act fast.” Pamal Broadcasting ordered a STX-10 10 kW transmitter, which BE was able to deliver in less than three weeks, something no one else was able to do, he said.
“WSPK operates with just under 5 kW for the required TPO. The STX-10 provides plenty of headroom for cool operation and expansion for HD Radio.”
Growth said the remote nature of the site, especially in winter when access is limited to Sno-Cats or a helicopter, demands that installed gear be reliable.
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“People like to talk about transmitter features like a web GUI and energy efficiency. The BE STX excels there too, but the most important efficiency to our clients and our company is time efficiency. I want to be completing projects on time and have dinner at home with my family instead of being stuck on a frozen mountaintop dealing with a failed transmitter.”
DataWave Principal Paul Thurst said the compact STX-10 fit easily into the existing Middle Atlantic rack.
“There was an immediately noticeable improvement in the audio quality when we turned the STX-10 on. WSPK directly competes with New York City stations for local listeners, so having great audio gives the station an edge,” he said. “In fact, many listeners, the program director and even another engineer contacted us to ask if we had changed our audio processing.”
Broadcast Electronics, based in Quincy, Ill., is part of the Elenos Group.