Air America's night signal

Dan Strassberg
Tue Jan 4 07:24:09 EST 2005

If you had the number, you would not need anybody's permission to publish it
because it would be a matter of public record. Applications to improve AM
facilities' nighttime signals contain the NIF value and all of the
interfering-signal 10% skywave values in a table that shows the basis for
the NIF calculations. Those applications are in the public domain and they
appear in the FCC's on-line CDBS database at WXKS (AM) has no
application on file, however, so you can't find its number in CDBS.

Two NIF values for local stations that DO appear are WCRN: 10.55 mV/m and
WROL: 37 mV/m. I cite these because a) they are available on CDBS and that's
where I found them and b) to demonstrate that the numbers are at best
ideosyncratic. I know that if you look at 950, you see both WPEN and WIBX
sending strong nighttime signals in the direction of Boston, but the fact is
that I can get WROL's (currently 90W) night signal here in Arlington Heights
with very little interference on most nights. On paper, WROL delivers less
than 1 mV/m here when it operates with 90W. Until about a year ago, WCRN's
night signal (also about 1 mV/m) was also quite listenable here at night.
Then something happened and both day and night signals deteriorated. I
wonder whether WCRN started work on its ground system in preparation for its
night upgrade to 50 kW, because the interference to the groundwave signal
from the station's own skywave appeared to become considerably worse.

As far as WKOX goes, I think that if CCU were to give up its quest to make
WKOX into a Boston station, it could do a 50 kW upgrade from a site in
MetroWest--albeit NOT 100 Mt Wayte Ave, where the town of Framingham spoke
up just as loudly as did the City of Newton--albeit maybe a decade earlier.
CCU's fixation on the Boston signal is not serving the listeners or the
company well. Were WKOX to upgrade while remaining in MetroWest, it would
become the ONLY BIG nighttime AM signal licensed to MetroWest--an area with
many people and lots of disposable income.

BTW, my listening to 1200 at night seems to point to WTLA as the primary
interferer to WKOX--and if you look at the directional patterns on 1200,
that seems plausible. The mystery to me is why do I not also get WAGE. WAGE
is the station that originally was responsible for WKOX's high NIF. WKOX was
the VERY FIRST AM to have its application to move to what had been a Class
IA clear channel accepted for filing by the FCC. In fact, WKOX's application
was the ONLY ONE accepted for filing before the FCC imposed a freeze on
applications in prparation for the new rules. WKOX had applied for 50 kW
DA-N from the Mt Wayte site. When the FCC finally lifted the freeze, it
announced that new full-time stations would be limited to a maximum of 10
kW-D and 1 kW-N (those limitations were subsequntly lifted--ultimately
allowing 50 kW-U), and then accepted a SLEW of applications including WAGE's
and WKOX's modified proposal. Under WKOX's original proposal, the only
interfering skywave was WOAI's. However, WAGE would deliver a much stronger
signal, imposing a high NIF on WKOX. The two applications were put into a
consolidated hearing, which ended when WKOX agreed to accept interference
from WAGE. Indeed, when WKOX first went on the air at night, WAGE DID cause
quite severe interference to WKOX and IIRC was the only station that did so.


Dan Strassberg
Fax: 1-707-215-6367

----- Original Message -----
From: "Garrett Wollman" <>
To: "Jeff Lehmann" <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Monday, January 03, 2005 10:29 PM
Subject: RE: Air America's night signal

> 1430's NIF is really horrible -- I don't remember the number, nor do I
> have permission to publish it if I did

More information about the Boston-Radio-Interest mailing list