WJEF-FM ... Stereo with Half-Million-Watts

WJEF-FM...Stereo Half-Million-Watts, page 1
This announcement of WJEF-FM's new 500 kW signal was published by RCA in Broadcast News, Vol. No. 112, December, 1961.

I first received WJEF-FM's 500 kW signal on July 26, 1961 in Wisconsin, over 200 miles West of Grand Rapids, the August 1962 Broadcast News article below confirms that WJEF-FM was broadcasting with its 500 kW signal on that date.

WJEF-FM's original air date is shrouded in mystery, there is some evidence that they first signed on the air in 1954 with a 115 kW signal from the WKZO-TV tower in Kalamazoo, using a 10 kW federal 193A transmitter feeding a Collins 37-M 12 bay antenna at a HAAT of 420 ft.

In 1961 WJEF-FM moved to Gun Lake, along with WKZO-TV, and increased their power to 500 kW using an RCA BTF-50B transmitter feeding an RCA BFA-12A 12 bay antenna at a HAAT of 800 ft.

In July 1963 WJEF-FM changed its call letters to WJFM.

In 1970 the RCA BFA-12A antenna was replaced by an RCA BFAC-10/6 16 bay antenna which incorporated beam tilt and provided a vertically polarized component to the signal with a horizontal power of 470 kW (500 kW in main lobe) and vertical power of 64 kW at a HAAT of 780 ft.

In 1980 the RCA BTF-50B transmitter and BFAC-10/6 antenna were replaced with a Harris 53 kW transmitter and a 12 bay circularly polarized ERI antenna providing a horizontal power of 320 kW and vertical power of 320 kW.

Today the old WJEF-FM is known as WBCT and still operates with a power of 320 kW.

These web pages provide further information about the transmitting equipment referred to in the two articles that follow.

  • RCA TT-25AL, 25 kW Television Linear Amplifier

  • Practical FM Stereo, RCA BTS-1A

    This article was published by RCA in Broadcast News, Vol. No. 114, August, 1962.

    WJEF-FM Transmitter Site, page 1

    WJEF-FM Transmitter Site, page 2

    This article was published by RCA in Broadcast News, Vol. No. 115, November, 1962.

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