After 43 Years of Service, WKHS studios are ready for a “Facelift”
(Photo courtesy of Steve Atkinson -- Click link above for full story)
A brief history of the WKHS station facility improvements
Over the years, WKHS has been fortunate to have undergone many technical upgrades in an effort to maintain technology standards within the Broadcasting industry.1974- Original Station facility constructed including 1 Air Studio and 2 Production facilities, with Gates Statesman Stereo consoles, Gates Cart Decks and Gates Turntables. The 195 ft. "Utility" tower was built at the old farm site (across the field from KCHS). Original Gates 3H3 FM transmitter housed in old milkhouse block building. Antenna: 6-bay Gates (made by ERI) horizontally polarized array. Private Telco lines (twisted pair) delivered the stereo audio to the transmitter site.1980(ish)- Orban Optimod 8000 Stereo processor installed at transmitter site. (Not sure of exact year).1988- Air Studio remodeled including new studio furniture, Gates console replaced with Radio Systems RS-12 console and Gates cart machines replaced with Fidelipac Dynamax cart decks. Studio to Transmitter Remote Control link is upgraded from original Gates extension metering to a Moseley MRC-1600 digital Remote Control (utlizing the Telco comm cards via twisted pair).1989- Gates TE-1 FM Exciter (3H3 transmitter) replaced with new BE FX-50 exciter.1990- Installed new Telco lines (twisted pair) between studio and transmitter site. Original pairs had been damaged and repaired several times over the previous years.1992- WXPN translator equipment installed. Tuner and twin yagi receive antenna system installed for reception of WXPN (88.5MHz) for re-broadcast during the previous down-time hours. WKHS is now a 24 hour radio station.1993- Denon CD decks installed in On-Air and Production studios. Entire music library migrated from Cart to CD.1995- Remodeled Main Production studio: Installed new furniture (countertop) and Audio Arts R-60 (12 channel) console. Added third Production studio in what was the AP news printer room. AP News now delivered via AP News Desk software on computer. 1999- Hurricane Floyd flooding causes water damage to Gates 3H3 transmitter HV power supply- station off the air for repair. Plate transformer and several HV capacitors are replaced and transmitter is back in service.2001- Transmitter building remodel: Tin roof is replaced with plywood and shingled roof. Exhaust vents are installed and electrical power is rewired throughout building. Gates 3H3 transmitter is upgraded to a used (1993 vintage) Harris HT-7 FM transmitter. Moseley MRC-1600 transmitter remote control replaced with Sine Systems dial-up remote control system. Installation of Delta RF transfer switch to accomodate Main and Aux transmitter selection to antenna or 8kW Dummy antenna (for testing). Orban Optimod 8000 replaced with used CRL Amigo FM stereo processor.2002- Radio Systems RS-12 console in Air studio replaced with new Audio Arts R-60 (18 channel) console.2003- Backup generator (propane) system installed at transmitter site courtesy of Kent County EMA and FEMA. New sound-proofing installed on the studio walls.2004- Eventide Harmonizer installed in Production 1 Studio for special effects voice recording.2005- DigiLink computer automation system for Live assist and voice-tracking options installed in On-Air Studio. Music Library migrated onto computer Hard drive.2006- KCHS HVAC project (Summer '06)... Studios needed to be cleared out to allow for ceiling contractors to replace ductwork, ceiling tiles and lighting fixtures. WXPN audio equipment was temporarily re-located outside of the station to maintain a program feed to the transmitter. Station was on air during the entire process. At the end of the project, the Main Production studio was rebuilt around new studio furniture.2009- Transmitter Site: Original Gates 6-bay antenna upgrade to Shively 6813 6-bay antenna. Original antenna was horizontally polarized only... the new antenna system is circular polarized (both horizontal and vertical). This is especially important for reaching our mobile listeners (car antenna reception) and have been very pleased with the results of our improved coverage area!!2010- Air Studio: Replaced WXPN translator tuner with Comrex Bric-Link equipment and installed a dedicated Internet network connection for the WXPN program audio feed. Transmitter Site Work: Replaced guy wires and repaired (reinforced) guy anchors on tower. Repainted tower. 2012- Air Studio: Digilink Automation system replaced with Rivendell Automation software running on Linux workstation and touchscreen monitor. Music library migrated from Digilink computer.2013-Gates 3H3 Aux transmitter (original Main) retired from service and scrapped. 2017-Rivendell Automation (audio playout software) replaced with Wide Orbit Radio Automation.2018-Pending Studio Upgrade renovation project (Summer 2018).
An example of the current condition of the studio walls in one of the WKHS Production Studios. The acoustic treatment is disintegrating from age.