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WMTE Increases Power

WMTE increased power from 250 watts to 1000 watts daytime (250 watts at night) in 1962. About the same time, the antenna was converted to a folded unipole by the addition of three wires parallel to the tower legs and fed at the base, with the tower grounded. This folded unipole configuration continues to be used to this day.

Rule changes by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1959 allowed most Class IV AM broadcast stations to increase their daytime power to 1000 watts. Bauer Electronics Corporation (today known as Bauer Transmitters, Inc. was formed in San Carlos, California that year in response to the ruling which created a market of over 1200 Class IV stations that could benefit from a transmitter at a price within reach. Over the next ten years, over 400 Model 707 transmitters were sold, most of them as kits.

Click for full-size picture. WMTE purchased a Bauer Model 707 transmitter kit, S/N 152, which was shipped on 1/31/62. (Sister station WKLA would later follow suit, with transmitter S/N 248 shipped on 8/14/64). WMTE/WKLA engineer Lee Shipman built the kit and consulting engineer Harold "Hal" Munn did the final checkout for Bauer.

Paul Gregg of Bauer recalls, "In the first few months we did these (checkouts) ourselves but that quickly grew beyond what we could handle. As a result, we hired the stations consultant to do it for us. Since the FCC required the station to submit a new antenna resistance measurement as a part of the CP, he had to be there anyway. They were amazed that anything the customer built could work so well that they (the consultants) became our best salesmen -- they passed on the word. In 1962 we were shipping as many as 12 per month."

By the end of the sixties, most Class IV stations were up to 1000 watts. For most, the power increase was beneficial. When a later FCC ruling also raised the nighttime power to 1000 watts, most stations also noticed an improvement in their local coverage at night. Obviously, interference did increase but it was out on the edge of the coverage area. Since most Class IV stations are in small towns at least their towns were covered -- most stations would benefit and few would suffer from the power increase.

WMTE operates today on 1340 kHz with 1000 watts day and night.

Thanks to Paul Gregg for historical information on the Bauer Model 707 Transmitter.

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