South Park gets an FM signal

Brief by Central Staff

Media – November 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

Except when the ground blizzards are howling, a drive in South Park is scenic. But it has also been a silent place if you want to listen to FM radio while you’re on the road.

Now that’s changed. KRCC, the public-radio station at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, installed a new translator on Oct. 4 to serve South Park.

It’s at 91.3 mHz on Badger Mountain near Wilkerson Pass, and station manager Mario Valdes said his signal should reach Fairplay, Alma, Hartsel, Lake George, and Florrisant — and perhaps even Cripple Creek and Victor.

So, if you’re in that area and the station is coming in, he’d like to know. You can email him at, or call toll-free to 800-748-2727.

And if you’re wondering what mHz stands for, it’s megahertz. Heinrich Hertz, a 19th-century German scientist, was the first person to transmit information with radio waves. The hertz is the scientific unit of frequency and it honors his career; 1 hertz is 1 cycle per second. Our household current alternates 60 times each second, so its frequency is 60 hertz.

Kilo is the scientific prefix for 1,000, so an AM radio signal at 850 kHz changes polarity 850,000 times every second. Mega means a million, so a signal at 91.3 mHz changes polarity 91,300,000 times every second. The prefix for 1 billion is giga, and some of the newer computer processors run at 2 gigahertz. (The fastest machine in our shop runs at a mere 600 mHz, though.)

And you don’t need to know any of this to listen to the radio in South Park.