Aside from everything else, we have been working at WSBS, Great Barrington, MA installing a new Audioarts Air-4 console. WSBS is a small AM station (860 KHz, 2,500 watts day, 4 watts night) serving the Great Barrington area. They also have a 35 watt FM translator (W231AK) on 94.1 MHz which is highly directional. During the day, the AM station has a much better signal than the translator. After dark, the translator covers the down town area fairly well. WSBS has been on the air since December 24th, 1957 (Happy 55th anniversary!), broadcasting from a non-directional tower just east of town on US Route 7.
The format could be termed full service, in the old tradition. Music, professional sports, local news, network news and weather with coverage of special events like election night and so on. The station does local very well, and as such, is profitable and has a great community presence.
The air studio console was this rather tired out Broadcast Audio unit from the early 1980′s. It had certainly served its station well, but change was in the air, so to speak. Actually, we were getting worried about continuing to service this unit, as parts had become scarce about ten years ago.
Thus, we moved the air studio to the production room temporarily and removed all the old equipment and furniture. We installed an Audioarts AIR-4, which is a pretty cool little console. The AIR-4 has four built in microphone preamps, a telco mix minus feed, two program busses selectable VU meters and so on. The control room rebuild project included a new counter top, adding extra microphones, headphone amplifiers, cleaning up wiring rat’s nests, installing new monitor antennas, rewiring a good bit of the rack room and so forth.
It was a little more involved than we first thought, however, it came out pretty well:
The carpenter will be back next week, after Christmas to install the sides on the studio furniture under the counter top. It is a small operation in a small market in Western Massachusetts, but they have a real, live station staff including two news reporters. Hey, what a concept! To be honest with you, it is a joy all its own to work at a real radio station, if only for a short while.