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KPFT's new transmitter

Geeking out over KPFT’s new solid state transmitter

Oh man the geek in me is loving these pictures of Pacifica signal KPFT-FM in Houston’s new transmitter, posted on the station’s Facebook page. It is a beautiful thing.

KPFT's new transmitter

KPFT’s new transmitter (standing on the left).


Basically a little over three years ago KPFT discovered that the station’s old vacuum-tube clunker radiated more heat than its transmitter site could safely handle. So they powered it down, to the huge detriment of the station’s reach, as well as its license status with the Federal Communications Commission. A subsequent lightning storm did not help matters. Finally after years of finagling and borrowing and an Indiegogo campaign, ‘T raised the cash for a new solid state transmitter, which is now up and broadcasting.

The new machine is a Nautel GV series model. And yes, that is a touch screen monitor/console on the front left end of the gadget.

A KPFT transmitter closeup. On the right: KPFT General Manager Duane Bradley.

A KPFT transmitter closeup. On the middle/right: KPFT General Manager Duane Bradley.


I would not want to be one of the brave people actually moving that precious object into its new home. Careful! Eeek!


Delivering the prize. Careful . . . !


The Houston Chronicle has a nice photo story on the transmitter, which has immediately greatly improved KPFT’s reach. Congratulations!


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5 Responses to Geeking out over KPFT’s new solid state transmitter

  1. LocalRadioListener September 9, 2015 at 5:34 am #

    Beautiful isn’t it? Glad it all worked out!

  2. Bill DeFelice September 9, 2015 at 9:10 am #

    The Nautel is a very reliable transmitter which should provide them with service for many years. I have one of their transmitters at a site I occasionally tend to and I’ve never had to touch it.

  3. Ernesto Aguilar September 10, 2015 at 8:23 am #

    Thanks Matt for posting this. Some great stories… we actually had quite a squeeze because it didn’t fit through some of the space. We made it work though! There are a bunch more photos on KPFT’s Facebook page. Take and post them if you want.

    Also, LOVE the new design. Thanks for everything!

  4. Cathy Rec September 11, 2015 at 4:59 am #

    I have worked on a Nautel 1000 watt AM transmitter that is a billion years old. Two summers ago, we gave it two new giant capacitors in the modulator module and it was sooo happy. Then I built a new computer to run the programming and all was beautiful. But we did not have any sponsors, so the owner took the station off the air. The tower was a mess and we had to use a static IP to get the signal from the studio to the transmitter. I am now very sad. I loved that old transmitter.

  5. Cathy Rec September 11, 2015 at 5:00 am #

    PS – KPFT inspired me to be a radio engineer. Went out and got my 1st class ticket in 1975!

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