KDDS(FM) Deploys Maxxcasting to Mitigate Interference Along Interstate 5

The Bustos Media station increased its coverage-to-contour ratio along the region’s main north-south route
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CHICAGO — A Bustos Media FM station in Washington state is being highlighted by GeoBroadcast Solutions as an example of how its MaxxCasting system can eliminate multipath and improve coverage.

According to GBS, KDDS(FM) in Elma, Wash., has eliminated much of the multipath interference it experienced in 70% of the Seattle market and improved its ability to reach Nielsen Portable People Meters across the region.

In late June, the station deployed a MaxxCasting system to increase its coverage-to-contour ratio along the main corridor that runs north and south through the Seattle region, GeoBroadcast Solutions said this week.

According to the company, “the synchronized, single-frequency network approach of MaxxCasting solves the coverage challenges of broadcasting” near Interstate 5 for the station.

“Like several other Seattle FM stations that broadcast from across the Puget Sound, KDDS was challenged by a ridge that almost completely shadowed Interstate 5 and the heavily populated neighborhoods just to the east,” GeoBroadcast Solutions Chief Technology Officer Bill Hieatt said in the press release.

However, “the area east of Interstate 5 quickly gives way to miles of rolling hills before reaching the larger Cougar Mountain,” according to the release.

Contract engineer Bert Goldman (who was in charge of the KDDS installation) explained in the release, “When you’re 50 miles to the west and trying to broadcast over these ridges, a traditional configuration simply won’t be effective,” said. “The RF runs very close to the earth’s surface at that distance, which makes the line of sight nearly underground. MaxxCasting provides a system architecture with flexible parameters...”

GBS employs modeling software, drive testing and proprietary formulas to measure factors that affect coverage, including calculations related to height above average terrain, distance and power ratio between nodes, and antenna patterns versus interference areas.

According to the release, the SFN architecture includes five nodes positioned to maximize signal penetration, with seamless transitions from one transmitter to the next as listeners drive. The nodes are powered by GatesAir Flexiva FAX transmitters ranging from 99 Watts to 1 kW, and each node incorporates GatesAir Intraplex IP networking technology to simulcast and synchronize programming. In this system, “antenna pattern designs control the extent of each node’s coverage, including one site with a dual log antenna carefully positioned to maintain timing and delay in one particularly challenging area of the network.”

Also, GBS says its MaxxCasting technolgy “utilizes watermarking and monitoring to optimize PPM decoding” for licensees.

“MaxxCasting has made an enormous difference in the neighborhoods that are most important to our business, as well as other areas that are deeply shadowed,” said Bustos Media Holdings President/CEO and owner Amador Bustos. He added, “We simply could not reach a majority of these businesses before. In addition to raising our profile with advertisers with this system, listeners around the region have been remarking about how much of a difference they are hearing.”