Monday, November 25, 2013

WCBN upgrading from 200 to 3000 watts

Great news gentle readers, WCBN is in the process of upgrading their transmitter from 200 watts to 3000 watts. It looks like that means there will be better signal reception in Saline and Dexter. I don't know a ton about how radio works, but it looks like there is not a linear relationship between signal power and broadcast distance. Over on his blog, Tom Bray has a cool post about installing the new transmitter and antenna.


  1. Signal power does create more broadcast distance, but the antenna can be positioned to point in certain directions, especially useful if trying to avoid conflicting with an existing station. But this is great news for WCBN!!

  2. @Sarah, thanks for the inside scoop on how radio works.

  3. Being a long time member, happy to see this posted. Tom Bray's post does some good coverage on the hardware details. Regarding the relation between power and distance, it's more commonly known as the inverse square law. Loosely, the broadcast power has to be divided up over the surface of a sphere emanating from the transmitter and the surface area of a square goes as 1/(distance^2). Regarding Sarah's comment, we do have to shape the transmitter pattern (that's why the NW doesn't see much of an increase). This is in order to protect the student-station, WSDP, out in Plymouth.

    1. Correction, the NE doesn't see any increase. I'm bad at cardinal directions.

  4. That's cool to know about shaping the transmission.