Two views on Prog. Talk

Dan Strassberg
Sat Apr 2 15:52:55 EST 2005

WKOX's pattern is a cardioid centered on 35 degrees. That's a little bit
north of northeast. (Northeast would be 45 degrees.) I think the NIF contour
covers Framingham, Natick, Marlborough, Lincoln, Sudbury, Wayland, Weston,
Sherborn, Southboro, and probably Hudson. The signal is decent in Waltham,
Wellesley, and in the western parts of Newton. Since I live very close to
the eastern edge of Lexington, I'd say that the signal was more-or-less OK
on most nights in Lexington (except right near WTTT, which nowadays is quite
good about staying within its channel).

On a decent car radio, you should be able to get WKOX quite well at night in
the towns I named. The towers are very tall and are top loaded to an
electrical height of 215 degrees. If the NIF were lower, you might hear some
phasing where the station's own skywave and groundwave duke it out, because
towers well in excess of 180 degrees, as these are, pay for their high
efficieny with fairly generous high-angle radiation. But WKOX's relatively
high NIF (about 14 mV/m) makes the station inaudible amid the clutter on the
channel in places where you might otherwise hear phasing. I've never noticed
it in Arlington Heights, which is about 16 miles from WKOX's transmitter
site (at 100 Mt Wayte Ave in Framingham), even though the night signal
here--about 1.4 mV.m--is well below the NIF.

WKOX's pattern RMS is more than 420 mV/m, which is huge for 1 kW--almost the
equivalent of 2 kW from quarter-wave towers and about the equivalent of 2.25
kW from towers of minimum efficiency for Class B AMs. In the direction of
the signal maximum, the effect of the pattern is to more than double the
effective power, so you can quite correctly say that, to the
north-northeast, over an arc of at least 120 degrees, WKOX is putting out a
signal equivalent to 5 kW ND at night. Of course, the day signal is a lot

The AM sections of car radios in general are much more sensitive than the AM
sections of table and portable radios. You need a
much-better-than-average-quality AM radio for listening to signals of less
than about 5 mV/m inside the house. A GE Super Radio III is such a radio,
but you have to rotate the radio for best reception. (First rotate the radio
to null the desired signal; then rotate the radio 90 degrees, which should
maximize the desired signal.) I also have good luck with a Tivoli Audio
Kloss Model I table radio enahnced with a Select-A-Tenna tunable passive
loop. The Model I is nowhere near sensitive enough without the loop, but
with the loop, the sensitivity is quite comparable to that of the Super
Radio, which has such a huge internal ferrit-loop antenna that it does not
seem to benefit from the external tunable loop.

According to a technical person from WKOX who posted at, the
station has a new transmitter on order. This may allow slightly greater
average modulation levels, but I can't say that I think WKOX isn't
modulating enough. In true CCU fashion, the modulation seems quite high, yet
the audio sounds pretty clean to my ear.

Dan Strassberg,
eFax 707-215-6367

----- Original Message -----
From: "Donna Halper" <>
To: "Dan Strassberg" <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Saturday, April 02, 2005 12:13 PM
Subject: Re: Two views on Prog. Talk

> At 06:52 AM 4/2/2005 -0500, you wrote:
> >But if you saw it on a Taxi Top in Coolidge Corner, the cab was most
> >a BROOKLINE cab, although it could have been a Boston cab. The likelihood
> >a cab from Medford, Malden or Everett, where WXKS is audible at night
> >(albeit not so well in most of Medford) being seen in Coolidge Corner is
> >quite small. As is the likelihood of a MetroWest cab or even a cab from
> >Waltham, where WKOX is audible at night, being seen outside the
> >in which the cab is licensed to pick up fares.
> But I am still mystified by where WKOX's signal goes at night.  I can't
> it in Worcester, I can't get it in Westboro, and in fact, it isn't even
> clear in some parts of Framingham!  And as we know, forget about the south
> shore.  So, allegedly, where is its night pattern supposed to be heard?

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