June 8, 2020 at 10:05 am #46753
Because of Benson High School Modernization work, AM-1450 will be off the air June 8th through June 12th from 7:00am to 4:30pm. During this time we will continue to stream on the internet at kbps.am.
Might be a good week for some AM daytime DXing.June 9, 2020 at 7:09 pm #46771
The Benson modernization work around the KBPS tower wrapped up today. The modernization team may have more work to do in a couple of weeks.June 10, 2020 at 1:33 am #46777
Steve, does this have anything to do with 1150AM?June 10, 2020 at 5:57 am #46779
Semoochie, Benson Moderization team wanted to take metal samples from the KBPS tower for testing. So being off the air this week is part of the Benson redesign and not related to 1150.June 10, 2020 at 10:46 am #46780
Thank you for getting back to me.June 10, 2020 at 11:24 am #46782Alfredo_TParticipant
Thanks for the information. I would otherwise have guessed that this work had to do with diplexing or potentially moving the tower. However, I would have been wrong.June 10, 2020 at 5:10 pm #46785
The new Benson does have plans for a new and slightly larger KBPS Transmitter room for possible future expansion. See page 19 of this PDF (labeled “Radio Antenna Room”).
Construction on Benson is scheduled for 2021-2024 which I believe would preclude anyone from wanting to lease new space on the tower over the next 4 years.
Anytime you have questions, just ask.June 11, 2020 at 12:48 am #46799
I suspect that we aren’t too far from a time when few manufacturers continue to make and sell AM transmitters.June 11, 2020 at 3:10 pm #46802
KBPS is set. We have two BE transmitters (main and backup). One is about 10 years old and the other is less than one year old.June 12, 2020 at 12:00 pm #46805Alfredo_TParticipant
The issue of the availability of AM transmitters is an interesting one, and I wish that I had a better understanding of the market.
I do know that the market for AM transmitters (either mediumwave or longwave) in Western Europe has dwindled to almost zero. France signed off its AM radio networks a few years ago; only one privately owned local station broadcasts in that country. Germany no longer uses longwave or mediumwave. The BBC won’t replace its 198 kHz longwave transmitter when it fails or when there are no more spare tubes left. Ireland, Holland, and Austria stopped broadcasting on mediumwave years ago.
I am under the impression that stations in Latin America limp along with old or second-hand transmitters for as long as they can. They don’t buy brand-new ones. However, American and Canadian stations do because labor and electricity are considered expensive relative to the cost of transmitters (please correct me if I’m wrong).
I am wondering whether AM band transmitters will disappear altogether, or will they become products that can still be purchased new, but are no longer considered “off the shelf” equipment.June 12, 2020 at 1:47 pm #46806Andy BrownParticipant
They have never been considered off the shelf equipment. They always have been custom assembled and in the solid state eras are put together from stock modules.
When you stop and think how many combinations of powers due to class and frequencies in use, it would not make sense to stock already assembled and tested units.
Currently, all the major players in the U.S. and Canada will still bolt one together for you. Gates, BE, Nautel, Harris, Armstrong, Next and a company over in France named Electet.
It cost very little to keep enough frames and modules around so that any order could be filled in a timely fashion. I don’t think any of these companies will declare themselves out of the business of bolting one together for you any time soon, unless the FCC announces the death of the entire band. Even when that happens, whatever new service is destined to take its place will need transmission equipment in the same range of bandwidth, so the logical place to service that need would be in the technology already developed. Wider channels, different modulation requirements, etc. still has to deal with a lot of the design issues already conquered by the existing players.
Although dormant in some regions of the planet, I tend to think of the unused bandwidth as on hold until the right technology is developed that can utilize it.
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