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 Publisher:  Information Station Specialists
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WNKI Sign - Idyllwild, CA
 
Idyllwild, CA, WNKI Workstation
The WNKI Studio in Idyllwild, CA
Idyllwild, CA, Radio Station Antenna Site
The Station’s 1610 AM Antenna
Idyllwild, California March 2014
The WNKI Story by Station Operator Bill Tell
The radio station has seen a few incarnations since its inception back in 1988. Original station announcements were provided using continuous-loop tape reels, when Station Founder George Covington first broadcast from WNKI.

Then in the summer of 1991, Mr. Carroll Lindholm programmed and paid for a new computer system, just as local residents donated time and money to set WNKI up in the first place. A newer version of this software that Mr. Lindholm also wrote is still running the station to this day. A true testament to the WNKI’s founders for their perseverance, intelligence and overall community spirit.

During the 1996 Bee Canyon Fire, everyone (firefighters) had an AM radio, everywhere. They were getting their information from “WNKI.” WNKI broadcast the size of the fire, numbers of equipment and personnel, where it was located, how it involved it and what it was threatening. With supervisors using the regular frequencies, the firefighters guarding homes only had WNKI to rely on, as George Covington broadcast the information that came from the agencies’ dispatch offices.

With advances in today’s technology, WNKI is looking forward to the next round of upgrades, improved broadcast performance and ease of operation putting it on track to operate well into the future.
Related Links

""WINKY" Gets a Thumbs-UpPlans to Expand Its Emergency Service; "across the Hill," The Source Information Radio Newsletter, May 2018.

See 2018 press release regarding the Cranston Fire.

"'WNKI' Eyes Expansion," The Source Information Radio Newsletter, March 2014

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Information Radio Stations is a generic term synonymous with Travelers Information Stations (TIS), Highway Advisory Radio Stations (HAR) / Highway Information Systems & Low Power Radio Stations (LPR). Operation of the stations is governed by FCC Part 90.242 Rules. A FCC license is required. Information Radio Stations may be fixed or portable. Subcomponents may include transmitter, antenna and ground system, digital voice player, wattmeter, cabinet with conventional or Corbin locks, lightning arrestors for RF, power and telephone lines, coaxial cable. Most stations employ black maximized antennas to discourage ice accumulation and security measures to prevent unauthorized program access. Options include synchronization, battery backup, solar power, remote programming by local, network or telco, multi-station audio distribution via RF or LAN / WAN or wireless network.