The Golden West Radio network comprises 40 FM and AM radio stations serving small and medium-sized communities across the Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta provinces in central and western Canada. The broadcaster is launching new radio stations in the Estevan and Weyburn markets, and has been approved for power increases at two existing stations (CFEQ in Winnipeg and CFIT in Airdrie). All four sites will install HPX20 (20kW) models with Harris DigitCD™ exciters.
A fifth station, CKUV in Okotoks, will install a Harris HPX30 (30kW) model with a DigitCD to replace an aging non-Harris transmitter. The first three sites will go live by the end of May, with the remaining two (Airdrie and Weyburn) to follow in the spring of 2013.
Golden West Radio chose the HPX mainly for its modern design and compact footprint, which will allow the broadcaster to install the transmitters within existing tight spaces.
“In several cases we are squeezing these into small buildings, and every few inches make a difference,” said Laverne Siemens, director of engineering, Golden West Radio. “We also like the IP interface for diagnostics, which stood out from the older designs of other tube models we evaluated. We went with tube models for transmitter power levels of 20kW and above due to initial cost savings and robustness.”
Siemens notes that the HPX model’s tolerance to temperature fluctuations and the Golden West Radio technical team’s familiarity with older Harris tube models like the HT25 solidified his choice. He added that the power efficiency of the HPX is another positive point, although it was not a prime consideration.
“We’re fortunate enough to still have very reasonable power rates at our sites, so, while we took note of the efficiency, it’s not the factor that it might be for stations in other locales,” he said.