WMUW back on air

Evan Fox        


WMUW is back.

After being off the air for a-week-and-a-half, the station is up and running at 80 percent of its original power. Engineer Bill Fulgham has been helping Eric Harlan, a communication professor in charge of the student radio station, with the repairs.

After the first repairs were made, the station ran into another technical problem, and Harlan and Fulgham are working hard to get the station back to full power.

Here’s the technical explanation of what happened: The radio station amplifies the broadcast signal in three stages—the exciter, the primary and the finals. The exciter converts the audio to a 7-watt FM signal at 88.5 MHz. The primary then amplifies the signal to 100W. The finals boost the signal to 1000W.

According to Harlan, the technical issue was a part called the oscillator. The oscillator is part of the exciter and locks the signal in to a wavelength of 88.5. The oscillator failed, causing WMUW to broadcast on all frequencies for a split second. The resulting power discharge caused by trying to run on all frequencies overloaded and burned out the exciter. It also burned out the final amplifier tube.

A new exciter was put in, but WMUW has to order a new amplifier tube.

Harlan stated that the chances of the oscillator failing like this are about the same as a lightning strike. As soon as a new amplifier tube is located and installed, the station will be back to full broadcasting strength.

When asked if the station’s technical problems affected the shows, Charlie Benton, a communication major and radio show host, said it did not affect them. The radio still broadcasted its programs on the Web, so the regular show schedules continued.