We had a few minutes last week–unfortunately during afternoon drive time–when 90.7 blipped off the air. Big FM signals likes ours are high-voltage affairs. Momentary dips in commercial power, or weather conditions such as high wind or storms can cause the transmitter to blink off. Luckily all this heavy-duty equipment is designed with smart circuits, so under most circumstances the transmitters restart themselves within a few seconds.
In last week’s glitch, the analog signal went off the air, but the digital signal continued on just fine.
What’s that about? Well, our digital and analog signals are two really independent operations. They both use the same piece of spectral “real estate” in Charlotte, at 90.7, but the signals are generated by two different transmitters. They travel up the 1200-foot tower in two different conduits. Our antenna–really a set of wire cages that is almost 100 feet high–radiates both signals at the same time.
Which brings us to the content of HD, or digital. WFAE actually is TWO stations right now (with some more surprises to come). We have a full-time “singer/songwriter” music service, along with our news service. To hear either service in true digital you need to purchase a new receiver. No worries–we’re making that simple, too. We have information on our home page that takes you to Amazon.com, where you can price HD radios and purchase one if you wish. A portion of your purchase comes back to WFAE, and helps us provide you with more programming! So we hope you’ll give it a try. If you’re the show-me-first type, then you can sample the WFAE-2 singer/songwriter service through web streaming, and those directions are also available on this home page.
I hope you’ll sample the advantages of HD radio. Then be sure to write this blog with your experiences. What did you like? What can we improve?