A non-commercial Class A FM station serving Grand Rapids recently suffered severe damage to its transmitter site as powerful storms battered western Michigan.

    “One of the 1 kW transmitters we use for our station in downtown Grand Rapids has failed,” said Klay Woodworth, broadcasting manager for Blue Lake Public Radio. Help them get back into the air: Broadcast electronics.

    Group transmitter manufacturer Elenos received a call from Woodworth after WBLU-FM was faced with a difficult decision. “Our choices were to bundle the old unit and send it in for repair, or buy a new unit,” Woodworth said.

    BLPR opted to buy a new unit and then have the old one overhauled to use as a backup.

    Broadcast Electronics Sales Manager Ben Marth acted quickly after speaking with Woodworth, compelling the BE team to move forward with building, testing and delivering a new STX-1kW transmitter in the 48 hours following the announcement of the problem of the station.

    BE’s STX series of transmitters are known for their high power efficiency, audio performance, built-in RDS, HTML web interface and ability to be upgraded to HD Radio when the time is right.

    Woodworth noted, “We only ran at reduced power for a few days. Once we got the new transmitter up and running, BE were also helpful in getting our old unit overhauled and promptly returned to us to provide a much needed backup.

    At 650 watts, WBLU is Grand Rapids’ primary signal for Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp’s licensed non-commercial classic service. It is designed to provide better coverage of the metropolitan area, accompanying 100kw WBLV-FM 90.3 to Twin Lake, which serves Muskegon, and areas north of Cadillac.

    With reports from RBR + TVBR in Northville, Michigan.

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