Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Nestled in the burbs of Boston

WBRS 100.1
at only 25 watts very few people outside Waltham, Massachucetts know of their greatness.
My current current favorite show: "Jarring transitions"

They take the primary fault of college radio and make it into a tractable theme. Ignoring the traditional radio goal of having listeners, the DJ transforms their two hour time slot into a personal mixtape. The brave listener must stumble from song to song awkwardly tying to keep the thread. Its's brazen and arrogant. Obviously they are headed for the big time.

WBRS started originally in 1968 as a radio club as a carrier current signal available on campus-only. In the early 1970's WBRS obtained a "Class D FM" 31 watt license from the FCC on 91.7 FM. As was the case with all Class D stations, they were forced to change frequencies to 100.1 by the FCC in 1979.

Anecdotally I can also contributed to the actual definition of the class "class D" license: With the help of local Boston engineer Dana Puopolo, WBRS received a waiver from the FCC in 1995 to run at 25 watts TPO to maintain the 25 watts ERP. The differnce being that of the remaining four antenna bays, the top two are for the primary transmitter. The bottom two are for a backup transmitter. Minor for certain but an interesting historical footnote,. if it is true.