QX 104, Ignite 107 seek stronger signals in Winnipeg

Have you been having trouble getting clear reception of QX 104 or Ignite 107 on your alarm clock radio or in the office?

Apparently the owners of those two stations have heard your complaints, and are taking steps to improve reception in Winnipeg.

QX 104 has been battling the fuzzies since it signed on in 1981 as CFQX 92.9, a small-town community station from Selkirk with little more than a fringe signal in parts of Winnipeg. A new, higher-powered transmitter and a move to 104.1 in the late ’80s allowed the station to reach a larger audience and possibly save the station from going dark.

Their equipment still wasn’t able to push a fuzz-free signal in office buildings and high-density neighbourhoods, so the station is seeking broadcast regulator permission to move from its current transmitter site just west of Selkirk to a new site near Oakbank, about 15 kilometres closer to central Winnipeg.

If approved, this should guarantee a reliable signal on even the cheapest of the city’s radios, as well as providing the Steinbach area with better coverage.

A transmitter closer to Winnipeg will leave some listeners in Gimli, Winnipeg Beach and other Interlake communities with a weaker signal.

QX 104’s request comes on the heels of Ignite 107.1 getting regulatory approval last month to upgrade its flea-powered signal.

The plan approved by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will see Ignite 107.1 close down its 920-watt transmitter on top of Chateau 100 on Donald St. and switch on a new 100,000-watt system on Highway 2 between Oak Bluff and Starbuck.

This move will allow Ignite to offer a better signal on indoor radios in suburban areas, and expand its car radio coverage to Morden, Winkler, Portage, Stonewall and Steinbach. Indoor fuzziness might continue to be an issue in the downtown area and the eastern half of Winnipeg.

The station previously had a troubled history, once shutting down for a year due to financial difficulties, returning to air, and then continuing to bleed red ink  until it was sold to Golden West Broadcasting in 2008 for less than the cost of a Vancouver handyman-special bungalow.

Ignite’s move into the big leagues will reduce the city’s stock of low-powered microstations by one, leaving only 45-watt CJNU 107.9, 250-watt Kick FM 92.9 and  450-watt CKUW 95.9 continuing to operate at less than 1,000 watts.


About theviewfromseven
A lone wolf and a bit of a contrarian who sometimes has something to share.

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