A new GatesAir Flexiva 7.5 kW FM transmitter is on the air at WKHS, the voice of Kent County High School in Worton, Md.
Station Manager Chris Singleton switched over from the station’s old Harris HT7 in mid-August. The transmitter was sold by distributor SCMS and fired up with an assist from Brian Szewczyk from GatesAir. Singleton said the Flexiva sits on the same spot on the floor where the station’s original Gates FM-3H3 once stood, installed in 1973.
An FM Class B1 station broadcasting at 90.5 MHz, WKHS describes itself as one of the most powerful high school stations in the country.
“At 17,500 watts with flat terrain all around, our signal can be heard for up to 60 miles in any direction,” it states on its website. “In a time when many educational stations are being scuttled to divert funding elsewhere, we are proud to continue to inform and entertain our listening audience, while training the broadcasters of tomorrow.”
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Its STL system is a Barix Exstreamer 500 over a fiber connection across campus. Audio processing is an Orban 5500i. The remote control is a Burk Arc Solo, which is also connected to an MCI Series 61000 coaxial transfer switch, using the Harris HT7 as an aux transmitter.
The antenna system was upgraded in 2009 with a Shively 6810 six-bay that replaced the original Gates horizontally polarized system that had been installed in 1973. The 198-foot tower is the original Utility Tower constructed in 1973 and reguyed in 2011.
The station plays a diverse music format for all ages of listeners. It positions itself as “Public Radio: Music for Everyone” and “Maryland’s only high school student public radio station on the FM dial.”
WKHS renovated its studios in 2018 and will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2024.