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KSPC Plans for Reception Improvement With New Antenna Location

The KSPC antenna is heading for the hills in an effort to improve the station’s broadcast signal. Last month, the FCC approved the move of the antenna from its current location near Seaver Theatre to a tower located in the Claremont hills near Padua.

Plans for this improvement date back to the 1980s, says Erica Tyron, director of college radio and television. Her predecessor, Julie Frick, had researched and tested the idea of moving the antenna, but “apparently it wasn’t feasible at the time for a number of reasons," says Tyron. Last summer, it was learned that the FCC was opening up the opportunity for new FM station applications in California. “If we didn’t apply to change KSPC’s existing transmission location prior to October," says Tyron, "we might have lost the opportunity to ever move—new stations would have boxed KSPC’s signal in to limited locations.”

The move, which involves the $40,000 replacement of the antenna, transformer and transmission system, will clear up reception for listeners in the current 35-mile transmission radius, but won’t extend the radius. “It will improve KSPC’s overall broadcast penetration, rather than expanding it very much,” says Tyron. “Also, just the replacement of the transmitting equipment and antenna will improve reception, as the new equipment will work far more efficiently and effectively.”

Other costs associated with the move include a monthly rental fee for tower space from American Tower Corporation and electricity expenses. “These items were requested as part of the equipment and alternations budgeting process last December for FY 2008-09,” says Tyron. “We have received unofficial confirmation that the E&A requests were approved.”

A specific date for the move hasn’t been set yet. The FCC did grant a construction permit in early March, but the station is still in the process of filing for a new broadcast license from the new location and negotiating terms for the tower rental.

KSPC broadcasts 24/7 at 88.7 FM and online at www.kspc.org. In 2006, the station celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Articles on KSPC’s 50th anniversary and history:
"Radio Days," "Radio on the Left of the Dial" and "Radio Archeology"