WMEX 50 KW DA days

Dan Strassberg
Sun May 7 20:29:51 EDT 2006

I don't question that Garbedian had a first phone. And I'm sure that he knew
a hell of a lot more about technical stuff than the average DJ with a first
phone--even more than some guys who worked as station engineers. I'm told
that he did most of the design for WGTR, which, even as a 1 kW daytimer, was
not a trivial design job. The spacing issues to KYW complicated the project.
WGTR's original application (and I think its CP as originally granted)
specified a Tx site at the foot of Oak St in Natick. Oak St is on the east
side of Natick; it crosses Route 9. However, another applicant whose
application had been tossed by the FCC because it was not timely filed
challenged the grant and was successful in getting a comparative hearing.
Eventually, Garbedian's Home Service Corp bought out the other applicant and
the buyout included the property on Kendall Ave near the Framingham and
Sherborn lines. This was the property where WGTR's original transmitter site
was located. Since the goal was to serve the MetroWest market, the Kendall
Ave site was much superior to Oak St because of Kendall Ave's location right
in the middle of the market. However, Kendall Ave is five miles or so closer
to KYW and the result was prohibited overlap. Today, such a situation would
be handled by simply reducing the station's power by a few percent, but
those were the days of fixed powers on AM and if Garabedian couldn't make 1
kW work, he would have had to reduce the station's power to 500W. He did
make 1 kW work, though, by using a 140' tower (56 degrees at 1060), which
was the tallest tower that would not cause prohibited overlap with KYW and
also the shortest tower that would produce the required Class II efficiency
of 175 mV/m @ 1 mile (now known as 281.7 mV/m @ 1 km).

Note that when 1060 returned to the air in 1997 as WJLT from the WKOX towers
on Mt Wayte Ave in Framingham, the power had been reduced to 500W because
WKOX's top-loaded  towers are electrically taller than half wave even at
1060 and the efficiency was such that 500W from the tall towers was
equivalent to 1 kW from the Kendall Ave tower.

This has to be close to the ultimate in AM techno-geek trvia tales ;>)

Dan Strassberg,
eFax 707-215-6367

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rick Kelly" <>
To: "Dan Strassberg" <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Sunday, May 07, 2006 6:08 PM
Subject: Re: WMEX 50 KW DA days

> On 5/7/06, Dan Strassberg <> wrote:
> > I don't think Garabedian was ever CE of WMEX. In fact, I don't think
> > Garbedian is an engineer at all,
> Although John H. must have had a 1st Class License.  Prior to WMEX he
> did overnights at WPTR, and in those days, it was required to have a
> 1st to do all nights there.
> --
> -Rick Kelly

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