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WLLZ Monroe-Detroit

On Sunday's LTAR, Bob mentioned that the tallest AM 
tower in the US belongs to WLLZ-560, a 500W daytimer 
licensed to Monroe MI, which is roughly midway between 
Toledo and Detroit. I knew that WLLZ (once WQTE) was 
directional--during the daytime anyhow--and I doubted 
that any small AM (even one that purports to serve a 
major market) would spend the bucks for four 1000' 
towers. WLLZ has not done so. The 992' tower is used 
only for the station's 14W ND night operation. Since 
WLLZ is a Class D, the night signal need not reach the 
COL. There's no chance of that, but the 14W signal 
probably covers a lot of the Detroit metro decently. 
Clearly, the tower must be a TV or FM tower and WLLZ 
must use a skirt-fed antenna mounted on the tower.

WLLZ has had a curious technical history, and as you 
might expect, based on the Detroit location and the low 
dial position, a lot of it has to do with Canada. When 
the station first went on the air, it was able to use 
its full 500W beginning at 4:00 AM local standard time, 
but those rules soon changed. Because of a co-channel 
Canadian station (in Kirkland Lake ON, I believe) WLLZ 
(then WQTE) was limited to some very small pre-sunrise 
power (5.7W if memory serves), which eliminated coverage 
of Detroit during AM drive (local sunrise out there 
comes at 8:00 or 8:15 in January). The station has been 
struggling ever since.

For a while, WLLZ had an "experimental" synchronous Tx 
closer to Detroit. That Tx may have operated only at 
night. Anyhow, given the short spacing to the co-channel 
Canadian, which was pretty much due north of Monroe and 
hence right in line with the strongest signal from the 
WLLZ DA, 14W ND from a 203.4-degree (992') tower 
probably covers the Detroit area as well as possible. 
The ND signal and the low level of high-angle radiation 
from the tall tower probably protect the Canadian pretty 
well. (Most likely, the Canadian station has gone dark 
by now anyhow.) Both the absence of the DA and the use 
of the tall tower must explain why WLLZ was allowed 
higher night power than the 5.7W it was permitted for 
its pre-sunrise operation from the Monroe DA site.

Meanwhile, the Canadians busied themselves assigning 540 
and 580 stations to Windsor ON (which is actually just 
_south_ of Detroit--one of the few places where Canada 
is south of the US). So WLLZ's 500W day signal, which is 
quite good in Detroit considering the low power and the 
distance, must run into the sidebands from its Canadian 
neighbors in significant areas of the market.
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