Breathing new Life into broadcast
Fans of Life FM can rejoice in the crystal clear sound of the Christian radio station’s new frequency, thanks to a Wanganui man.
Electech Design LTD founder Grant Doney had his dream come true last week when the Rhema Broadcasting Group contacted him with a problem: A commercial frequency, but nowhere to broadcast it from.
Mr Doney had the perfect solution. He would host it from his house.
As an electrical engineer and long time Christian, Mr Doney decided setting up his own radio transmitter was the perfect way to combine his passions and “get the Christian message out there.”
He bought his own low power transmitter, and began broadcasting seven years ago from his home on Bastia Hill, and later found even better reception at his current home on Durie Hill.
He used to pick up the frequency of Life FM from Palmerston North and rebroadcast it to Wanganui, but it wasn’t an ideal situation.
“Anyone can transmit on a low-power frequency as long as it is less than one watt, but you get interference off each other and all over the place, so it was never a good set up,” said Mr Doney.
He had tried to get his own commercial frequency a few years ago, but found it was too expensive for a backyard transmitter like himself.
When the Rhema Broadcasting group approached him about hosting the newly boosted signal from his house, it was a complete surprise.
“It was quite out of the blue that Rhema broadcasting actually managed to get a commercial frequency to broadcast out of Wanganui.”
“It was a dream to have it, we’ve worked on it over the years and slowly improved it,” said Mr Doney.
With new frequency, 100.8FM, gone are the days of scratchy sound and uneven distribution; Mr Doney can pull clear sound straight off the satellite, 24 hours a day.
Asher Bastion, voice of Life FM afternoons, was in town this weekend to help launch the new frequency and broadcast from the annual Youth of the Nation conference at the Central Baptist church – of which Mr Doney is a member.
With up to 80 per cent of the Rhema Radio group funded by donations, it’s people like Mr Doney who keep their station alive, said Mr Bastion.
“We wouldn’t be able to do a lot of what we do in the local regions if we didn’t have people supporting us. Back at the office we call them the “local heroes”; those are the guys who really get us out there.”
© Wanganui Chronicle July 13th, 2009.
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