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EMF Deploys MaxxCasting in Chicago

WAWE uses synchronized booster system to improve coverage

WAWE coverage map with GBS booster system
Coverage map provided by GeoBroadcast Solutions.

From our Who’s Buying What page: FM station WAWE in the Chicago market is using a GeoBroadcast Solutions MaxxCasting System.

The station, based in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., is owned by Educational Media Foundation and is part of its Air1 Radio Network. GBS said management wanted to improve WAWE’s signal quality and audience.

The equipment for this synchronized-node booster system was purchased through Doug Tharp at SCMS, U.S. distributor of GatesAir/PR&E systems.

“The recently deployed enhancement improves the reach into the lower west side of Chicago in an area quite problematic for its broadcast signal troubles at the convergence of the city’s three major expressways,” GBS said in its announcement.

“The signal improvement … was strategically implemented through a four-node network using the MaxxCasting system. The coverage now reaches the University of Chicago, Rush Medical Center and the historic Pilsen community.”

It quoted EMF Senior Broadcast Engineer Shane Toven saying the station had been coverage-challenged, especially “between the Loop and O’Hare.” He said GBS designed the system for the Chicago market and that EMF worked with GBS to launch a similar one in Boston at WKVB, including HD Radio subcarriers.

“After licensing that system, GBS helped us finish up the WAWE nodes to significantly improve our coverage in the Chicago market and reach deeper into the community,” Toven said.

GBS also said that with these MaxxCasting nodes in place, the same infrastructure could be used to diplex similarly located stations that want to improve coverage. Its Director of Infrastructure Deployment Vern Egli was quoted: “The convergence at the expressway interchange notoriously has had poor reception, due to the concentration of broadcast signals emanating from Chicago’s large towers and the amount of daily automotive traffic.”

MaxxCasting uses nodes to reduce interference between main and booster FM transmissions. It deploys a cluster of high-power, directionalized and synchronized node sites.

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