WBCQ builds 500 kW transmitting station

Here at the Winter SWL Fest, there has been much chatter about the new Ampegon rotatable antenna and transmitter system at WBCQ.

WBCQ made the following press releasee yesterday:

(Source: WBCQ)

For Immediate Release: March 2, 2018

WBCQ The Planet Announces New Showcase Radio Facility

Plymouth Meeting, PA:

WBCQ The Planet announced today that it is building one of the most powerful and versatile radio stations in the world. WBCQ’s new shortwave radio station, now under construction in Monticello, Maine, features a new 500-kilowatt transmitter from Continental Electronics and a state-of-the-art antenna system from Ampegon Antenna of Switzerland.

The new station, funded by private investors, will be able to direct a powerful shortwave signal to any country on Earth. Our new facility is planned to be a showcase for the radio world and is dedicated to our free speech mission.

The new station is planned to commence operations in fall 2018.

Obviously, the investor has deep pockets and I understand is affiliated with a religious organization. The new antenna and transmitter building is being built on land adjacent to the existing transmitter site.  WBCQ actually broke ground last summer and the massive antenna’s foundation is already in place. The antenna is on site now, but has not been assembled. Most of the construction is on hold during the winter, but WBCQ plans to have this 500 kW station on the air by Fall 2018.

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7 thoughts on “WBCQ builds 500 kW transmitting station

  1. Mark

    This is great, 500 Kw, that should provide fantastic reception into Europe even if we’re not the targeted location.

    Great to see such a new powerful transmitter nearly ready. Most U.S stations I listen to here in Ireland are 100 Kw transmitters but this one should really be a belter.

    It would be nice to see them operate on several frequencies at once, perhaps more funding will see more transmitters !

    DRM is interesting but unlikely to provide decent signal for decoding across the Atlantic ?

    I’m really looking forward to hearing this station !

    1. Tom Reitzel


      DRM can provide a reliable digital signal via shortwave IF the broadcaster uses 16 QAM modulation instead 64 QAM, especially in fringe areas. I’ve tested BOTH 16 QAM and 64 QAM modulation at extremely weak levels similar to those signals found in fringe areas on the shortwave bands. Even in targeted areas and with higher-powered DRM transmitters, 64 QAM just won’t reliably deliver a digital signal which is capable of being decoded under adverse atmospheric conditions. Even 16 QAM modulation can fail occasionally in targeted areas when atmospheric conditions are severe, but reliability is significantly higher than 64 QAM and 16 QAM modulation is still capable of delivering a parametric stereo with the xHE-AAC codec.

      Since the inclusion of the xHE-AAC codec in the DRM standard a few years ago, the time is NOW for DRM on the shortwave bands. We’ll get there eventually. Gospell’s GR-216 will be arriving within a month or so.

  2. Tom Reitzel

    I wonder if Rick Wiles has changed his mind about building a SW transmitter at St. Kitts after hurricane Irma… 😉 No, I’m NOT poking fun at hurricane Irma and its tragic effects, but rather Rick for leaving SW for the Spynet.

    I don’t know who is behind this initiative, but a new SW transmitter IN the USA and capable of broadcasting DRM is alright to me … 🙂

  3. Eddie Walden

    I am thrilled to see WBCQ thrive and grow but I am afraid of what a “big investor” will do to free speech radio.


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