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RE: WBZ reception is worsening

--- Joseph Pappalardo <joepappalardo2001@yahoo.com>
> Not only do most stations have back-up
> transmitters...but most have a
> back-up SITE as well!
> If the primary site is inaccessible...with floods,
> fire, tosic waste,
> etc...it doesn't matter if there is a BU TX at that
> location.
> Many of the stations have four full-power
> transmitters.  (2 at the primary
> site...and two at some backup site.)  The non-syingy
> stations have
> full-power backups transmitters...both at the main
> site and at the back-up
> site.

My general impression is that, especially outside the
largest markets, not that many stations, AM or FM,
espcially AM, have backup sites, and that even fewer,
especially AM, have full-power backup sites. It's also
my impression that a significant number of stations,
especially smaller ones, lack sufficient emergency
electricity provisions at studios and/or transmitter

My curiosity is up now: What AM stations, and FM
stations, around Boston or elsewhere around the area
other than WBZ have an alternate transmitter site, and
how much of their regular signal can it produce? What
bacup facilities are around?

The case of WCCO a couple years ago suggested to me
that even some major Class A AMs could use better
backup facilities. WCCO had only one site, with a
short emergency antenna that could be erected if
necessary. It bought another site - I think it was the
existing site of a defunct or relocated-transmitter
small suburban AM -- and built, or is in the process
of building, an alternate main site for 50 kW from a
full-sized, half-wave or more antenna. And I thought
that was both unusual and impressive as an investment
on the tech side.

One potential solution for AMs, for which getting an
alternate site is a bigger problem, could be to use
another station's main site as your alternate.
Especially with the big companies, you have one owner
or renter of several sites in a metro area. There's
been talk of WRKO and WHDH using the same site as a
full-time dplx. But, for example, certainly, they
could set up at each other's site as alternate sites.
Just talking through my hat now -- WRKO could diplex
10 kW or something like that, non-DA, through one of
the WHDH towers, just to make it simpler and less
expensive. It would be able to maintain its "primary,"
(in economic terms, not technical) coverage area
pretty well.

In addition to direct economic loss, the news-info
oriented AMs, now, and this always has been true to an
extent, have a reputation of reliability, always
there, etc., to protect that mantains and enhances
their credibility and translates to long-term economic
benefit. When some naural disaster strikes is just the
time people will tune to that type of station, so you
want to be able to say, we were there, when, perhaps,
most of the other radio-TV was knocked out, on
low-power, etc. Not to mention that whatever other
radio was on was whistling in the dark with
40-in-a-row and probably providing nothing usueful
about the disaster. But I digress.

Another question I have is about the rules: Are there
distinctions, or maybe no distinctions, made now about
alternate main site vs. auxiliary site, etc.? For
example, is there a rule-related reason that WBZ runs
only 10 kW from its backup site, or is it a tech
related reason an a decision the station made?

My $0.02, with severe wholesale markup :)