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.
This article was published by RCA in Broadcast News, Vol. No. 114, August, 1962.
This article was published by RCA in Broadcast News, Vol. No. 115, November, 1962.
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