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AM Revitalization - WFED 1500 AM Transmitter
Guest Speaker: David Layer
November 5, 2014
Our November meeting, which was held at the WFED 1500 AM transmitter site in Wheaton, Maryland, focused on AM broadcasting. Our meeting will started with dinner at 6:00 pm sponsored by Broadcasters General Store. Our guest speaker was David Layer, Senior Director, Advanced Engineering in the National Association of Broadcasters Technology Department.
David discussed NAB Labs' all-digital AM radio field test project, focusing on the recently completed, all-digital, AM IBOC testing at stations KKXA and KRKO in the Seattle, Washington region. Following David's presentation, engineers from Hubbard Radio gave a tour of the legendary WFED transmitter site along with the ongoing facility improvements that have been made.
NAB Labs is engaged in an all-digital AM IBOC test project with the goal of fully developing a performance record of operation in this mode. Deployment of all-digital IBOC services would require a change to the FCC rules, but to-date very little technical information on all-digital operation has been entered into the public record which is an impediment to FCC action in this regard.
Since November 2012, NAB Labs has been working with a number of broadcasters and transmission equipment manufacturers to conduct field tests of all-digital AM. Tests have been conducted at nine facilities throughout the United States, including a Hubbard Radio hosted facility in Frederick, Maryland. The last round of testing was just completed in October, 2014.
David has been with NAB since 1995, and has been very active in the radio technology and standards setting area. He is the primary NAB staff person on NAB’s Radio Technology Committee and the National Radio Systems Committee (NRSC), a technical standards setting body co-sponsored by NAB and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).
David’s duties within NAB are varied and broad. His current principal responsibilities include serving as a project manager for technology projects being conducted by NAB Labs, and as principal administrator of the NAB Labs Radio Technology Committee, a group of technical executives from NAB member companies that advises NAB on technology development and technical regulatory matters. Additionally, David provides technical expertise to NAB’s Government Relations and Legal departments on regulatory and legislative matters which pertain to the broadcasting industry.
WFED (formerly WTOP) is Washington, DC's only full-time 50 kW, Class A radio station. FEMA recently established WFED as the new, and first-ever primary entry point ("PEP") station for the Washington, DC area. A number of infrastructure and site improvements were required to make this possible. Additionally, Hubbard Radio recently installed a new Kintronics phasor and is working on a backup studio and newsroom for WTOP.