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WDAV Signal Project

What's Going On?How Can I Help?What If I Have Signal Loss? | Coverage Area Maps


What's Going On?

UPDATE June 11th, 2013 - We're delighted to report that as of 12:42 p.m. today WDAV is once again broadcasting at 100% power from its NEW antenna on our 815’ main tower!

We are thrilled to again be able to serve ALL the far-ranging listeners in our signal coverage area, and to bring them this valued classical music service of Davidson College.

We appreciate all of your patience, encouragement and support. Now please tune in and enjoy!

UPDATE June 5th, 2013 - The new antenna is up and working well. We're transmitting at 50% power until we have approval from the FCC that we're allowed to begin testing. Once the FCC formally approves our application to "test" the antenna, we can begin transmitting at 100% power. The FCC approval should come within one week.

Restored antenna on WDAV tower.

UPDATE May 30th, 2013 - The newly constructed antenna is beginning to take shape at the top of the tower.



UPDATE May 29th, 2013 The tower crew has begun to remove the old Jampro antenna from the tower and has also started assembly of the new ERI antenna on the ground.



UPDATE May 23rd, 2013 - Yesterday engineers unpacked and organized the components of the new antenna in preparation for installation. During the next few days, crew members will work to reinforce the tower so that it is better equipped to support the new antenna, and to construct a “safety climb” that will facilitate the workers going up and down the tower to install the antenna components.



UPDATE May 1st, 2013 – Engineer Larry Schropp reports that last week's inspection was satisfactory and manufacturer Electronics Research, Inc. (ERI) is quickly moving forward with the completion of the antenna.

ERI is scheduled to have a tower crew on site the week of May 13. The crew will handle all aspects of the installation -- from antenna delivery to site cleanup. Installation will take approximately one week with fair weather conditions. If things go as planned, we will start testing by broadcasting from the new atenna by June 1st. We will continue to keep you posted on the progress.

UPDATE April 18th, 2013 – It was determined several weeks ago that the design of the new antenna made it desirable for us to reinforce our 815 foot tower to bring it up to current code. Though it is not required because the tower predates the code, it was strongly recommended by the manufacturers and our engineers to assure the reliability of the new antenna.

As a result, the manufacturer is waiting for a tower inspection to finalize its plans for delivery and installation of the antenna. The inspection has been scheduled for Wednesday, April 24th. Because it involves tower climbing, it is subject to change due to weather conditions.

Pending a favorable inspection, the manufacturer plans to have the new antenna completed and shipped by May 6th. Barring any delays in this timeline, the antenna should arrive by May 8th, a week later than our original anticipated arrival date of May 1st.

Installation of the antenna could take as many as 15 days, and again is subject to weather delays. Only after it is installed can we apply to the FCC for permission to test the antenna. Fortunately, approval usually takes less than a week.

The earliest we can test the antenna is in early June. Fortunately, “test” in this context means broadcasting the restored, improved signal and being back on our main atenna. It’s only considered a test because there is a period of time during which the FCC determines if the signal is interfering with any other signals and requires adjustment. If no such interference is found, the signal can be formally approved and the testing phase ends. The test phase can last from three to six months. Nonetheless, we will be broadcasting at our full signal and reach during that time.

UPDATE March 12th, 2013 – WDAV chief engineer Larry Schropp of Schropp Electronic Services is in Indiana this week to assist in conducting field tests of the design for the new antenna being manufactured there for WDAV. This is the final stage preparatory to beginning to actually build the antenna components. The manufacturer has guaranteed delivery of the new antenna no later than May 1st. Pending weather conditions and the availability of specialized installation crews, the new antenna should be installed and in operation shortly thereafter, and our former full broadcast signal will be restored to areas currently affected.

Three panes showing different angles of the WDAV broadcast tower being tested in Indiana.

UPDATE January 21, 2013 - WDAV has received approval from the FCC for a slightly improved signal which will return WDAV to areas it has been unable to reach in recent months, as well as provide for some modest expansion of the signal pattern. This approval clears the way for manufacturer ERI to begin design, testing and manufacture of a new antenna to replace the one on the main tower damaged by lightning in August, 2012. Plans remain on track for installation to be completed by late April, 2013.


UPDATE January 10, 2013 - Pending FCC approval, WDAV anticipates having its new antenna installed at the main tower site by late April 2013. This will restore the signal to its former pattern and also provide some slight additional coverage. We will continue to bring you important news about our progress as it becomes available in the coming weeks.

UPDATE December 11, 2012 - After working with various engineers, antenna manufacturers and appropriate insurance company representatives WDAV has decided to fully replace the main antenna component that was damaged by lightning in August. This route makes the most sense because it will better provide for the long-term viability and continued growth of the station. Additionally, it means a restored signal more quickly, and it even promises some modest improvement to the signal. Installation is expected to be completed early in 2013.

As we move ahead with the new installation with as much speed as manufacturers timelines and weather conditions allow, we welcome your consideration of support.  100% of all gifts received for the “WDAV Signal Project” will be designated to this effort.  For more information, please visit www.wdav.org/antenna-gift or call 1.877.333.8990. We know we can't restore our signal soon enough for the listeners in Winston-Salem and South Carolina who miss us. But please know that we do not take you for granted, and that we are committed to restoring our full signal pattern as quickly as possible. We will strive to bring you important news about our progress as it becomes available in the coming weeks.

UPDATE October 30, 2012 - The station is weighing its options for returning its signal to full strength, and a decision on next steps will be made within a few weeks.  Management continues to work closely with insurers and a team of engineers to determine whether the existing antenna should be refurbished or replaced with a new one.  These options carry expected completion dates of sometime in early 2013. We want to assure our listeners in affected areas that we are committed to restoring our service as soon as possible.  Thank you for your patience and support while we work to bring our primary tower back online.

Listeners in affected areas can still access WDAV by streaming it online or downloading the free WDAV app. Visit our listen live or mobile apps page to learn more about both of these services.


UPDATE September 21, 2012 - Tower Climbers have completed a thorough inspection and assessed the scope of damage our antenna suffered on August 24.

Our engineers have concluded that a lightning strike is what caused the damage that knocked us off our primary antenna. The severe melting we found inside the antenna was started by lightning, then sustained by power from the transmitter. Simultaneous damage to the strobe system on top of the tower confirms lightning as the cause. The damage we received on August 24 is distinct and not a recurrence of an earlier issue. While we have been working through several issues related to our signal for a number of months, the incident on the 24th is not related to the repairs to the transmitter or the parts we replaced on the antenna back in June.

We are working closely with a team of engineers to determine whether the existing antenna, which WDAV acquired in 1994, can be refurbished, or whether it is time to replace our antenna with a new one.

Even though the switch to our backup tower has meant a significant and temporary loss in our broadcast coverage area, you can still enjoy classical music on WDAV. For instructions on how to download our free WDAV app, click here, and you can always listen online at www.wdav.org.

Our goal is to maximize our service to the community by delivering a clear signal throughout our service area. Click here to help with WDAV's ongoing Signal Project. So far a number of donors have made special contributions to help WDAV pay for the repairs. We are grateful for their support.

Thank you for your patience and support while we make repairs necessary to bring classical music to you loud and clear. Please feel free to contact us at 1.877.333.8990 or electronically at wdav@wdav.org 

UPDATE August 31, 2012 - Engineers were on site to inspect the damage caused by the power spike, below is evidence of what they found:


The short piece with the white circular cap should have a long copper tube that extends as long as the tube next to it. Due to the heat, all that’s left is a few inches of copper.


August 27, 2012

On Friday night WDAV went off air due to a dramatic spike in reflective power that caused our main transmitter to shut down. A reflective spike occurs when too much of the 100,000 watts we're sending up the tower to the antenna reflects back down the tower to the transmitter – wrong way traffic, so to speak. We were able to switch to the backup antenna overnight Friday and get back on air quickly, albeit to a reduced service area.

Our engineers were on site over the weekend and determined that the problem is with the antennae, and not with the transmitter at ground level. We’re expecting a tower crew this morning and weather-permitting, they will climb our 815’ tower to inspect the antenna.  It is our goal to know what caused the spike by Monday evening.  At this time, we do not have a timetable for repairs but as you know, we'll do everything we can to resume broadcasting from our main tower.

In the meantime, we continue to broadcast on our backup antenna. We will provide updates on wdav.org, Facebook, and on air, as well as updates via email to members living in areas where our signal is weak or gone entirely.


What If I Have Signal Loss?

You can listen to WDAV round the clock via our Internet streams. Visit our Listen page to find links to all streams. You can also listen on your smartphone or iPad using our mobile apps. You can get details at our Apps page.


How Can I Help?

The costs of these antenna repairs are not in our budget, but they are essential to enable us to return to full strength and deliver the quality service you expect. You can make a special gift to help us pay for the repairs.

[+] Click to give using our online form
[+] Tell us about the signal reception in your area


UPDATE July 2, 2012 - WDAV has returned to full power, and most folks who have been without our signal should be able to hear it again. Things may not be perfect, however. Our engineers have a few minor adjustments to make, and we're still waiting on a different replacement part that won't arrive until August. But it's great to be back to full power!

[+] Tell us about the signal reception in your area

UPDATE June 29, 2012  - Replacement parts have arrived, and weather permitting, the tower crew will be able to make repairs soon.

May 2012 - WDAV has experienced issues with its broadcast signal in recent weeks. Initially, we believed our antenna was overheating and experiencing significant energy loss. Tower climbers have been up our broadcast tower and disassembled our antenna, and our engineers have conducted a thorough inspection of the antenna and transmission lines. We are surprised and fortunate to discover less evidence of heat loss than originally expected. However, our engineers have identified a number of repairs that we'll make before we can switch back to the main antenna. We won't know if these repairs improve or solve our signal issues until they are complete and we're back at full power.  

Depending on how long it takes parts to arrive, we hope to be back at full power in mid to late June. Until then, WDAV will continue broadcasting from our back-up antenna and tower. We regret any inconvenience or signal loss you experience.

Maps of WDAV's radio signal coverage

Map of signal coverage when our antenna is fully functional
WDAV standard radio signal coverage with new antenna

Map of the radio signal coverage employing our backup antenna
WDAV backup radio signal coverage

WDAV 89.9 • Davidson College • Box 8990 • Davidson, N.C. 28035-8990 • (877) 333-8990 • Fax: (704)-894-2004


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