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Re: WBZ reception is worsening

WABC has a backup site at the new WINS digs. Because WABC is ND-U, this
_could_ be a full-power site, though I don't know whether it is. Even with
50 kW, it would not have the same RMS field as that from WABC's own
half-wave tower in Lodi because the new WINS towers are only 400' (somewhat
more than 1/4 wave at 770). However, because the WINS site is closer to New
York City than WABC's main site in Lodi, a 50-kW signal from the WINS site
could be just as good within the five boroughs as the signal from WABC's
main TX.

WABC used to have a 10-kW backup and what looked like a 1/4-wave auxiliary
antenna at the Lodi site. I saw the WABC site only once. It was more than 50
years ago and from quite a distance, but I recall that the auxilliary
antenna _looked_ as if it consisted of wires hanging from a guy-supported
wooden tower. My guess is that that tower is gone now. It may have been gone
long before the auxiliary at the WINS site was commissioned, I believe that
while WINS was replacing its old array, it ran 10 kW-ND-U from the WABC
site. I don't know whether that signal was diplexed into WABC's main tower
or came from a different tower (the wooden one???).

Anyhow, I assume that WINS is maintaning its auxiliary facilities at the
WABC site, although now that WINS, WFAN, and WCBS are commonly owned, I'm
sure that Mel would move WINS's auxilliary to City Island if it could save
him enough $$$. I can imagine that paying rent to Disney would stick in
Karmazin's craw. But rent may not be involved; there may be a reciprocal
arrangment between WABC and WINS in which no rent payments change hands.
WFAN and WCBS maintain 10 kW auxiliaries with a separate shared tower at the
City Island site. That tower was added after a plane taking off from or
intending to land at nearby LaGuardia Airport felled the original main tower
(during the weekend preceding what was to be the debut of WCBS's Newsadio 88

Dan Strassberg, dan.strassberg@att.net
617-558-4205, eFax 707-215-6367

----- Original Message -----
From: Martin J. Waters <mwaters@mail.wesleyan.edu>
To: <boston-radio-interest@bostonradio.org>
Sent: Friday, August 10, 2001 10:14 PM
Subject: RE: WBZ reception is worsening

> --- Joseph Pappalardo <joepappalardo2001@yahoo.com>
> wrote:
> <snip>
> > 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
> sites.
> 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 :)