KUAF began broadcasting in 1973 using a small transmitter which sent a signal that reached most of the U of A campus and parts of surrounding Fayetteville. Many listeners referred to the station as "the 10-watt wonder". It joined NPR in 1985, bringing NPR to western Arkansas for the first time. Prior to joining NPR, KUAF was a student run and programmed radio station. Students studying Radio, Television, and Film were given the opportunity to volunteer for various time slots available throughout the week. Aside from a few mandatory promos and songs, students were free to play whatever music was of interest to them. During this period, the station was broadcast on frequency 89.3. In 2006, KUAF became the first station in its market to sign-on with an HD Radio signal. While KUAF HD1 repeats the station's regular FM signal, KUAF HD2 broadcasts around-the-clock classical music from Classical 24, and KUAF HD3 broadcasts news and information programming from NPR, overnight world news from the BBC World Service, and programming from independent producers.