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WBPS cranks up the volume

Has anyone else noticed that, for about the last week, WBPS 890 seems to be 
fully modulating its signal?

When Scott Fybush met with us radio geeks at the 99 Restaurant at Fresh Pond 
Circle in Cambridge on Labor Day weekend, I wound up sitting across the table 
from a radio engineering guy from Mega in Philadelphia who was up here in 
Boston putting the finishing touches on the minor change to WBPS's day pattern. 
I asked him how come WBPS didn't sound louder and he said that the CE had a 
modem in the Tx building and whenever the positive modulation peaks exceeded 
about 70%, the modem stopped working, so the CE wouldn't allow anyone to turn 
up the audio. Maybe the CE got a broadband connection for his PC and maybe the 
broadband connection doesn't suffer from the same problem. Or maybe the right-
wing-talk folks who are LMAing 890 came to town, listened, and put pressure on 
Mega to fix the problem. Considering that the fix probably cost nothing, it 
couldn't have been a very tough sell.

Whatever the reason, WBPS comes in noticeably better than it used to now and is 
more easily able to overpower WLS at night. As far as I can tell, there has 
been no increase in signal strength but WBPS's signal in Arlington Heights is 
quite listenable at night now, although I'm sure that, under the right 
atmospheric conditions, WLS could still be quite bothersome.

I think that anyone shopping for an AM station in this market and who included 
driving around and listening to signals as part of his evaluation ought to be 
willing to offer more now for 890 than he would have offered a couple of weeks 

Mr Glavin: How about a reception report from Methuen?

BTW, when the network feed gets screwed up, WBPS still broadcasts dead air--
sometimes for hours at a stretch. Although the audio quality is unexceptional, 
I have to give WBPS this: with no modulation, there is no audible hum. How many 
other AMs around here can make that claim?
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