100,000 watts of quality,
diverse programming

WREK is the entirely student managed, operated and engineered radio station at Georgia Tech. We broadcast 24/7 from the GT Student Center on 91.1 FM with 100,000 watts throughout Atlanta in addition to streaming online with a 14-day archive. WREK has been broadcasting since March 25th, 1968. Since then, names, faces, and clothing fashions may have changed, but the station-wide philosophy of providing diverse, quality programming to the Atlanta area and the world at large has remained unwavering.

Staff and School

WREK provides a goal-oriented extra curricular activity for students which provides valuable learning, social, and cultural experience. In working together to maintain a 100,000 watt FM station, students gain insight into organizational functions, the beauty of a wide range of music and ideas, exposure to an even wider range of Tech students with varying interests and backgrounds, and an understanding of the value of community service. WREK’s license is held by the Radio Communications Board of Georgia Tech and WREK is funded primarily through the Student Government Association.

The Sound

WREK’s programming consists of dozens of specialty shows produced in-house, syndicated programming, public affairs broadcasting, and broadly defined ‘formats.’ Almost fifty WREK-hours per week feature WREK specialty shows. Around five hours come from syndicated sources. The other hundred or so hours each week are formats including “The Classics” in the early morning; “Just Jazz” in the late morning; “Blue Plate Special” in the early afternoon, featuring a wide assortment of music from all over the planet; “Rock, Rhythm, & Roll” during the rest of the afternoon; “Atmospherics” for late night ambience; the wildly diverse “Overnight Alternatives;” and the musical globetrotting of “Weekend Cornucopia.” WREK broadcasts 24 hours a day, every day and maintains a diverse format including atmospherics, rock, ska, bluegrass, pop, new wave, grunge, classic rock, reggae, dub, classical, Tech Sports, symphonic, jazz, hip-hop, blues, folk, world musics, experimental, electronic, synthesized, industrial, spoken word, zydeco, radio drama, soul, funk, public affairs, Joltin Jackets Baseball, ambient, TechNews, punk, Georgia Tech Women’s Basketball, and a whole universe more…

The Signal

WREK’s signal covers the entire metropolitan Atlanta area. At 100,000 watts, it dwarfs other similar non-commercial stations around the country, which are typically running at powers on the order of 100 to 1500 watts. Pictured below is a coverage map of 91.1 FM. The blue contour represents our 60 dBu contour interference-free coverage area according to the Federal Communications Commission. Our primary service area includes the communities of Atlanta, Decatur, Smyrna, Marietta, East Point, College Park, Lilburn, Kennesaw, Douglasville, Duluth, Woodstock, Dallas, Snellville, Lawrenceville, Roswell, Alpharetta, Lithia Springs, Conyers, Stockbridge, Union City, Fayetteville, Riverdale, Forest Park, McDonough, Villa Rica, and Peachtree City. We can be received in all or part of Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb, Gwinnett, Douglas, Clayton, Rockdale, Bartow, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding, Carroll, Fayette, Henry, Newton, Walton, and Coweta counties, which have a combined population of over 4.3 million (2003 Census estimate).

Since 1993, WREK has also been transmitting worldwide on the Internet, first using home-grown software, then moving to the then popular (but proprietary) RealAudio format, and finally moving to the better MP3 format in early 2001. We offer both low and high bitrate MP3 streams, and a weeklong archive of our programming is available. Since fall 2003, WREK has been available on campus televisions as the audio of the TV guide channel on the Georgia Tech Cable Network.

Engineering

WREK Atlanta has its roots in engineering. Georgia Tech is an engineering school, after all, and WREK was born in the Van Leer building, the home of the electrical engineering department. From the very beginning, engineering students have built equipment and speakers, tinkered with transmitters, and helped build a great college radio station in the heart of Atlanta. Today, WREK engineers continue the tradition of our student run station. Although we get plenty of help from our alumni, engineering students fix equipment in our station, install professional-grade broadcast equipment, and maintain our FM transmitters. These days, we do a lot of software engineering to manage our station as well. Many of the systems at WREK were written by students maintain everything from our staff database, live streaming system, online playlist, transmitter monitoring scripts, and many many more. Outside the WREK transmitter shack Outside the WREK transmitter shack WREK’s transmitter is located on the west side of the Georgia Tech campus, near the Woodruff and ULC dormitories. This makes it easy for engineers to maintain the transmitter equipment. Our main transmitter is a Harris HT-HD+ (named “Janice”). We currently run at 20 kW TPO (transmitter power out) into our antenna and end up with 100,000 Watts ERP (effective radiated power). This is the maximum power allowed for an FM station by the FCC. Additionally, we also broadcast in HD Radio, a digital IBOC (in-band on-carrier) signal that has better audio quality and allows for a digital HD-2 “sub-channel”. WREK takes pride in being one of very few college stations to engineer a station this powerful and technologically advanced. Inside the transmitter shack Inside the transmitter shack If you’re a student at Georgia Tech and you’re interested in broadcast engineering, or writing software to solve real world problems, join us! We’re always looking for new people to get excited about the engineering challenges involved in running an FM radio station.