KDLO-FM 96.9 Watertown SD Automated 1982

KDLO has one of the biggest FM signals in South Dakota.  With 100,000 watts at nearly 1,600 feet from a strategic location, they are able to cover Watertown, Aberdeen, Huron, and Brookings!  The site is shared with KDLO-TV which originally owned both the FM and TV stations.  This explains KDLO-FM’s tall tower placement and magnificent coverage.  Today, the FM station is owned by Alpha Media.

At the time this aircheck was recorded, KDLO-FM was fully automated.  From what I understand, both “satellite” TV/FM facilities (KPLO at Reliance was the other) were controlled from the KELO studios in Sioux Falls.  The KELO operator would press the necessary buttons and KDLO/KPLO, each approximately 100 miles away, would do their thing.

I recorded this from Apple Valley, Minnesota.  Despite a distance of around 200 miles, I was able to get regular reception of KDLO-FM using my Pioneer SX-3900 receiver, Winegard 10-element FM yagi antenna, Alliance rotor, and Belden low loss coaxial cable.  By rotating the antenna so the “side” was towards KTCR-FM 97.1’s transmitter, I was able to minimize their signal strength to where KDLO was audible. A Technics stereo cassette deck and Scotch Dynarange 90 tape was used to make the recording.