Transition to digital boosts signal strength, improves efficiency
Big changes and improvements are on the horizon for Anaconda’s only community radio station.
The Mighty KANA 580 AM, a community radio station offering Copperhead Sports programming, a classic hits genre of music and political talk show host Sean Hannity, has just taken another huge step toward a bigger, better and broader product for its listeners.
Recently, KANA engineer Ron Huckeby removed the original transmitter installed in the 1960s by Western Broadcasting and integrated a newer, more efficient model that is optimized specifically for AM radio broadcasting.
The biggest difference between both transistors is efficiency. While the old model was a bulky and stationary model measuring 3’x3’x6’, weighing nearly 700 pounds and requiring the use of nine vacuum tubes to generate the power needed for broadcasting the 1000-watt signal, the new Nautel J1000 model is as green as you can get.
At just about two feet tall and weighing less than 100 pounds, the J1000 employs a computer control system and uses high efficiency field effect transistors to produce the same transmitter power as the one it replaces.
“With no vacuum tubes and modern circuitry, the Nautel transmitter will use 30-50 percent less electricity than the existing transmitter, and (it) does not require semiannual replacement of expensive vacuum tubes to maintain optimum performance,” Huckeby said.
Huckeby added that the new transmitter will dramatically increase the quality of the signal broadcast throughout the listening area.
“It will provide audio with less distortion than the tube transmitter,” he said. “Additionally, the station is installing a new audio processor, which should improve the on-air sound substantially.”
When operating at its peak, KANA has been heard loud and clear from Whitehall to Philipsburg and Helena to the Big Hole Valley. Expect that to become an even better listening experience from now on.
“Fringe listening areas that have marginal signals should notice an improvement in their listening experience,” Huckeby said.
KANA 580 AM is owned and operated by AWARE Business Network, and is located at 105 Main St. in Anaconda. For more information on the station, contact Blake or Pat at 406.563.7119.
About AWARE Inc.
Founded in 1976 as a non-profit corporation, AWARE delivers services for persons with challenging mental health, emotional, and in some instances, physical disabilities, who otherwise would be served in a more restricted setting or perhaps not served at all.
With more than 900 employees in 26 communities across Montana, AWARE has been providing homes and training for adults with developmental disabilities and services for adults and children with mental illness for more than 30 years. Among AWARE’s services are group home living, supported independent living, supported employment and center-based employment.