Multicultural Radio Broadcasting, Inc. (MRBI) radio station KBLA-AM in Los Angeles has upgraded its transmission system, with plans to light up a new Harris 3DX-50 solid-state AM transmitter by the end of January.
KBLA is a Spanish-language station transmitting mainly religious programming at 50,000 watts. The new transmitter implements Modulation Dependent Carrier Level (MDCL) technology using Harris Adaptive Carrier Control Plus (ACC+) systems to help the station reduce average power consumption and operating costs.
“The power bill is of primary consideration when running a 50,000 watt radio station,” said Jim Glogowski, senior vice president and chief technical officer for MRBI. “We burn a lot of power while transmitting at this level, so the Harris system helps our bottom line while offering a big environmental upside from a green standpoint.”
The exact MDCL algorithm for the KBLA system is AMC, short for Amplitude Modulation Companding. Harris ACC+ systems support AMC as well as DCC (Dynamic Carrier Control), another MDCL algorithm. Both offer high-power AM stations a way to sharply reduce power. WOR-AM in New York City is one recent example, proving a power consumption savings of 37 percent using Harris ACC+ systems.
“We expect the transmitter will pay for itself in a very short period of time,” said Glogowski.
MRBI has several high-power Harris transmitter installations, including a 3DX-50 at KVRI-AM in Blaine, Washington. Glogowski pointed to reliability and signal quality as other reasons for choosing the 3DX-50 for KBLA.
The new 3DX-50 includes a Harris Dexstar AM exciter, which Glogowski said establishes a technology roadmap for a future HD Radio upgrade — though he expects the station to continue operate in analog-only mode for the foreseeable future. Other changes include basic modeling upgrades to the station antenna system for maximum efficiency. KBLA also has a Harris Intraplex T1 STL system to provide high quality, robust delivery of content to the transmitter site.