So we got a new signal….

From the day we launched and every day since, the question we’ve heard most is: when are you going to expand your signal? Our society has come to expect huge full-power signals as the standard. But our signal was originally built to cover Reed College, not a whole city–it’s through ingenuity and sheer tenacity that our engineers have made our signal as wide as it is now.

So you’ll understand when we say we’ve got BIG NEWS.

XRAY is now on the air on 91.7 FM on the Oregon Coast in Nehalem, Manzanita, Rockaway Beach, and Wheeler [a rough broadcast range map is pictured below].

Why the Oregon Coast? In 2017, XRAY was able to jump on a rare opportunity to acquire an old translator license in Nehalem. We needed time to grow the resources and capacity to launch it, but this was only possible because we had funds at-the-ready for purchases like this then. Thank you to our friends at North Coast Pinball who made sure we had a space to broadcast in the knick of time!

Check out some photos of our Station Manager Chase Spross, Chief Engineer Dave Fulton, and Finance & Admin Manager Travis Cooper putting up that translator on the roof of North Coast Pinball. They drove down to Nehalem in a borrowed van, with a heap of radio equipment we had in storage and an extra helping hand in Travis who–in case you didn’t guess it from his title–isn’t typically doing radio engineering. No fancy installs happening here, it’s all the same folks putting in the work to make things happen.

But wait–we know what you’re thinking–

Why not a new signal in Portland??

Well, in Portland like many urban areas, those who own full-power Class A licenses either:

A) Got in the market several decades ago


B) Have millions to spend

The Portland market is now so full that the FCC doesn’t offer opportunities for new signal-building permits of that size, so larger signals are only made available thru very-rare private sales, usually done without notice and only rarely making it to the public square at auction. The last one that came up for auction sold in 2018 for $3.5 million. Not adjusted for inflation, that’s more money than the station’s raised in all 8+ years

If XRAY got the opportunity to buy a bigger signal right now, at our current level of funding, we’d have to let it pass by. Growing individual support has shown it pays off in the long haul–whether that means XRAY expanding to the coast, investing funds in a major move across town for our originating signal, or even the more existential things–like the founding members who pitched into a tiny radio station’s Kickstarter and gave us the credibility to secure the sought-after city-wide 107.1 signal only 6 months after we officially launched.

Invest in the future of XRAY.FM and a media landscape driven by the people of our community. Be a part of growing our base of support, whether you’re new to the station, upping your support, or chipping in what you can for the cause. Make more announcements like this happen by becoming a member at just $10 a month today–and show your support for community media far and wide.

Actual growth is a long game–but your support will mean we have the resources to play.