Skywave Attenuation (No Aurora Though)

Laurence Glavin
Thu Oct 30 17:57:17 EST 2003

Well, the Sun's hissy fit DID result in a fair amount of
skywave attenuation of the AM radio dial (but no aurora borealis
though, at least last night, Wednesday Oct 9th).
A careful survey of the AM dial from 550 to 1700 using my
AM receiver that displays relative signal strength showed 
quite a bit of radio silence, and diminished interference of
AM stations around here.  One observation:
WTTT (I guess I can use the call letters early) was as usual
these days running its endless loop in Spanish telling people
that RADIO M-E-G-A is moving to Ocho Noventa!
(While this loop is running, WCRB-FM is NOT the Boston 
area's most boring station, but will revert to same when 
the stunting ends).
What I thought was interesting was that WTTT's night pattern delivers
a signal NNE that's about the same level as WROL-AM 950's, 
which runs about 90 watts at night.  (WROL was behaving
and not running daytime power, although they could
have and not bothered Philly or Utica!)
that AM 1150 is a long-established outlet that I believe one
broadcast with about 500 watts non-directional before building
the Lexington facility, it's surprising how crappy its
signal is northward.  Were all the stations in eastern Canada on
1150 broadcasting before the then WCOP built its array
Two NH seacoast stations were fairly clear, WGIN-AM 930
and WTSN-AM 1270.  Nothing from the 1380 (I forget the
call letters).  In fact WTSN and WEIM-1280 in Fitchburg 
were clear, and the Celtics game  could be heard almost as well 
on these two as on WWZN!
I noticed a weak signal at 1570 that could have been WNSH, Beverly
but I didn't wait for station ID, and yes, WJIB-AM 740 
was also audible.  To a certain extent, solar-induced
radio silence can be more fun than long-distance reception
because it allows a multitude of stations that are usually 
swamped at night to be heard relatively clearly.
I think I'll keep checking the AM dial at night to
see how long the phenomenon lasts.

Laurence glavin
Methuen, MA

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