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Troubles at WBLV

Discussion pertaining to Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Battle Creek, Big Rapids, and Michiana
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Troubles at WBLV

Post by phillyb » Wed May 20, 2015 9:48 am

Blue Lake Public Radio's WBLV-90.3 has been operating at a low power (it's licensed for 100,000 watts) for the past several weeks. It seems, according to announcements on the station, that some really bad luck has hit the station. First, about 3 or 4 weeks ago, their antenna failed. It has been jury-rigged temporarily, but it must be replaced with a new one, which, according to the station, must be made from scratch (it's a 10-bay antenna IIRC). Then, yesterday it was announced that, after an inspection, it has been determined that the station's tower needs to be replaced.

Can you say "major expense"? Wow.

None of the above affects the low-powered (650 watt) WBLU-FM Grand Rapids.

Edit: they used to have an announcement about all this on the web site, but now it's not there. But I did hear Foley Shuler make an on-air announcement yesterday that the tower needs to be replaced along with the antenna.

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Re: Troubles at WBLV

Post by MWmetalhead » Wed May 20, 2015 8:58 pm

Perhaps they can relocate to a different tower site. The site used by the former WCXT (now used by WWKR) might be a good fit.

They could also consider downgrading to a Class B and moving to one of the sites in or near Muskegon County. Whether they could do such a thing and still meet all spacing requirements, I don't know.


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Re: Troubles at WBLV

Post by Arthur Mometer » Thu May 21, 2015 6:04 pm

Noncommercial stations in the 88-92 MHz band use contour protection generally, not sharp distance separation requirements. South of Latitude 43.5 degrees, the maximum class would be Class B, and North of Latitude 43.5, the maximum class would be Class C. The maximum would be 50 kW/150 m HAAT or 100 kW/600 m HAAT depending on TL. Classes within those maxima would be determined by ERP, HAAT, and distance to service contour. All 88-92 MHz classes are protected to the 1 mV/m F(50,50) contour, now known as the 60 dBu contour.

What's confusing in Michigan is that WKAR-FM and WUOM are grandfathered at facilities that exceed the Class B 50 kW/150 m HAAT reference facility.

In the meantime, WBLV could apply for an STA at another site, while the expensive repairs are done.

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Re: Troubles at WBLV

Post by A1B1C1D1 » Fri May 22, 2015 1:55 am

Not an engineer, but wouldn't a temporary location require leasing a low power transmiter? I know WBLV has some options for leasing existing towers because of its rural coverage and easier zoning for higher transmission facilities. Moving a 100kw transmitter wouldn't be easy and would probably require a build out, no short lease available for that.

The old WCXT was 100kw so a long term lease there would seem most feasible and cheaper. Blue Lake has an affluent audience in Grand Rapids and the Tri-Cities, but with Grand Rapids less affected and Interlochen in the north half of their coverage, cheaper makes sense.

At least it happened in a better economy for them.

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