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New FM Transmitter Project

I want to share a very important equipment need with you. Our KJLT FM station upgraded to its present transmitter site in 1994. At that time a new transmitter was purchased. The transmitter is a very important piece of equipment in that it broadcasts the 100,000 watt 94.9 FM station that you hear on your radio. It is the transmitter that keeps us “on the air”. I can still remember the thrill of installing and firing up that transmitter for the first time! It has served very well through the years.New FM Transmitter

The KJLT-FM transmitter has over 200,000 hours of operation. It is important that we plan now for its replacement. Pictured is the new transmitter or one similar to it.

That leads me to the next part of this project which I will call phase two. The time is also coming where KJLT will need to purchase a new antenna. The antenna is what radiates the signal that you hear on your radio. So while the transmitter is what keeps us “on the air” the antenna is what radiates the signal “over the air”. Both are needed. The antenna for KJLT is nearly one hundred feet long and has been rebuilt twice.

The most exciting part of this project is phase three. It offers the biggest and potentially most exciting change in broadcasting known as HD radio. HD is digital or CD quality radio! It is also a more recent technology that allows you to broadcast more than one format of programming from the same transmitter. The new transmitter will have that capability. Imagine being able to hear KJLT-FM and perhaps KJTF or KJLT AM with essentially the same coverage area as our 94.9 FM signal with digital quality!

HD radios will become more common in the consumer market allowing you to receive KJLT-FM in a digital format! I visited several local car dealerships and found that more and more vehicles include HD radios. Portable HD radios are also available for use at home. This does not mean you will not be able to hear the station as you do now with your present radio or receiver….you will. Listeners with HD receivers will be able to hear what our three stations have to offer and with a better quality digital signal. I also want to point out that it is subscription free!

Now for the cost. Phase one of this project would be to purchase a new transmitter for KJLT-FM. The transmitter itself broadcasting just like we do now is nearly $115,000. I know it’s not cheap, but it does need to be replaced. Replacing it will also allow us to be on the cutting edge of technology and be HD ready! This is a potentially exciting new platform and opportunity for the KJLT/KJTF Radio ministry!

To summarize:

  • Phase one is replacement of the current transmitter. Our present transmitter will soon be 25 years old. It has over 200,000 hours of service. Replacement is necessary and will also allow us to transmit HD radio at a future date.
  • Phase two of the project will be to replace the existing FM antenna. In nearly twenty five years of service it has seen many lightning hits, has much wear and tear, and has been rebuilt twice. The antenna radiates the signal you hear on your radio.
  • Phase three involves the rest of the needed equipment and will allow the full advantage of HD radio. That could include broadcasting KJLT-FM, KJTF, and potentially KJLT AM with the 94.9 FM signal. It would be HD1, HD2, and HD3 all found on 94.9FM. Listeners with HD receivers would be able to hear HD radio and all it has to offer subscription free! However you would still be able to enjoy all of what is being offered now with your present radio.

Many of you support the KJLT/KJTF ministry with gifts to cover the daily operating expenses. I hope that will continue. It needs to. Those gifts are very important. The expenses are always ongoing. Donors are needed to make additional gifts aside from their regular giving for this new transmitter. I want to emphasize the need for additional gifts rather than re-designating gifts from our general fund to transmitter equipment fund. Would you help with this project! Your gift is so very important in helping to make this happen! Thank you for any help you provide. You are appreciated!

 Gary Hofer

General Manager




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