WRUC’s technical evolution

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By Jacob Larocca

This article is the writer’s own and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Concordiensis or its staff.

 

 

WRUC began its legacy broadcasting as 2ADD, located in a small shack behind the buildings that are now known as Steinmetz and Science and Engineering, near the idol’s current location.  The antennae was strung between two trees, broadcasting a signal that could be heard all the way to Connecticut.

Today, WRUC operates at a power of 100 watts, with a small range of a little over ten miles.  This is due to FCC regulations, and the fact that commercial stations in the area have purchased the majority of neighboring bandwith, limiting our growth.

Despite WRUC’s long history on campus, few people have an idea of what radio broadcasting involves, so this article will break it down for you, starting from the studio going to the transmitter.

In the studio, broadcast consoles can handle eight inputs including microphones, CD players and computers. Once a DJ turns on any of those eight channels, the board routes that audio to a broadcast delay device.

Delay devices are required by law, enabling anyone broadcasting to basically “undo” any mistake that they might make, whether it be a swear, cough, or a slight interruption to the broadcast.  WRUC’s delay is seven seconds long. This means that if you are watching a DJ broadcast from either studio, and listening to 89.7 FM at the same time, you would not hear what they are saying until seven seconds later.

When the audio leaves the broadcast delay, it is sent to the transmitter room located behind of WRUC office on the fourth floor of Reamer. Both broadcast studios are connected to a switching device which detects which studio is broadcasting and sends the audio to the Emergency Alert System (EAS).

The EAS overrides the broadcast with important information, like weather or campus alerts. From the EAS, the audio is fed to directly to the transmitter rack, where after some necessary filtering and equalization, WRUC’s ‘70s-era FM transmitter broadcasts using a large antenna on the roof of Reamer.

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