WITS/Red Sox

Dan Strassberg dan.strassberg@att.net
Thu Oct 5 15:45:50 EDT 2006

Well. When 1510 operated from Squantum, it was DA-1. So the inverse-distance
field to the north at 1 km was probably greater than WMKI's field by day
because WMKI is ND days, but maybe a bit less than WMKI's field to the north
at night. The 1260 night pattern (three towers), while producing a
relatively broad main lobe, produces a somewhat narrower lobe than did the
old 1510 two-tower DA-1 pattern (a modified cardioid with a fairly
substantial minor lobe to the south). Assuming equal antenna efficiencies
(probable), the pattern differences suggest a lower maximum for 1510 than
for 1260. Add to that the greater attenuation vs distance at 1510 compared
with 1260 (1510 is an ~20% higher frequency), and WMEX might easily have put
a signal 30% less than WMKI's into Arlington Heights. For your comparison,
though, you should use 02476, not 02474. From my understanding of the
location of your boyhood home, it is now in 02476, which is on the south
side of the bikeway (the old Boston and Albany RR right-of-way, north of
Mass Ave). 02474 is north of the bikeway. The population centroid of 02474
is probably a mile north of the centroid of 02476.

My first home in Boston (June '56) was the MIT Graduate House (now Ashdown
House) at 300 Memorial Drive, Cambridge (corner of Mass Ave). On my Zenith
AM/FM table radio, a great set--eight tubes, IIRC--there were many nights
when WKBW and WTOP made WMEX unlistenable (except to a DXer) on that radio.
I'm sure that the signal at that QTH was substantially greater than 5 mV/m.
However, I think you would have had to proceed down Mass Ave across Harvard
Bridge, through Back Bay, and well into the South End, before the signal
cleaned up enough to make for reliably good listening at night.

In those days, NIF calculations included only co-channel signals. For 1510
in the northeast, that method of calculation was ludicrously inaccurate.
Historically, the situation with Boston vs Nashville on 1510 had only one or
two counterparts in the entire US--the Class A station protects a Class B
because the station of lower class (Boston) predates the Class A
(Nashville). (Another example: KIRO protects KSPN; that MIGHT be the only
other historical example.) Because of that protection, WMEX had, on paper, a
very low NIF--perhaps 2.5 mV/m or something close--probably lower than
WHDH's, which was likely in the 3s. Today's recalculated number, which
accounts for first-adjacent skywave, must be quite high. I could believe
north of 15 mV/m.

Dan Strassberg, dan.strassberg@att.net
eFax 707-215-6367

----- Original Message -----
From: <markwa1ion@aol.com>
To: <boston-radio-interest@bostonradio.org>
Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2006 1:20 PM
Subject: Re: WITS/Red Sox

> When I lived in Arlington (Menotomy Rocks Park area) and listened to
> Arnie Ginsberg on old WMEX-1510 back in the early to mid '60s, I was
> listening to a WMEX signal that was approximately equal to that of then
> WEZE-1260 (now WMKI).
> WMEX was 5 kW from the old West Squantum St. / North Quincy
> transmitting site about a mile from the 1260 site that is still in use
> with all the same parameters as 40+ years ago.
> V-Soft says WMKI-1260 runs 5.55 mV/m into Arlington (zip 02474).  I
> point this out because my recollection is that, especially during talk
> on WMEX, "scuffing" or slop from WKBW-1520 Buffalo was often evident on
> winter nights.  Indeed if I was listening to Joey Reynolds on "KB", it
> was taking less grief from WMEX than the other way round.
> Now I'm living in the Pinehurst section (01866) of Billerica and the
> present day 50 kW Waltham WWZN-1510 signal is rated as 4.97 mV/m: not
> too different from what I must have had from WMEX/Quincy in Arlington
> circa 1965.  And when now-WWKB-1520 had an oldies format about a year
> or two back, WWZN took about the same amount of slopping that it did as
> WMEX when I listened during jr. high / high school years.  Most of the
> time listening is OK, but fussy listeners would tune somewhere else.
> The point of all of this is that 5 mV/m is not an adequate signal for
> comfortable listening by the general public when the first adjacents
> are within 500 miles and running 50 kW into patterns sending maximum
> juice this way.
> If WTWP-1500, WWZN-1510 (and let's throw WLAC in too), and WWKB-1520
> all ran IBOC a.k.a. HD at night, what a pig-pen that would be !
> Mark Connelly - Billerica, MA
> <<
> Subject: Re: WITS/Red Sox (was: And from Cape Cod.....)
> The story I heard is that a top Sox exec lived in Westwood and the night
> signal there didn't please him. According to V-Soft, WWZN's night
> signal in
> the 02090 ZIP code is 4.2 mV/m, which sounds high to me. I had thought
> that
> 1510 was inaudible there at night for anyone other than DXers. However,
> I
> suppose that between WTWP and WWKB (literally), a 4.2 mV/m signal could
> be
> essentially unlistenable. The strongest AM signal in Westwood is WEEI
> (170
> mV/m at night; that's 10 times WBZ's signal and 40 times 1510's). WAMG
> does
> very well there too; 45 mV/m days/21 mV/m nights. (WAMG's NIF--nighttime
> interference-free--value is 12.5 mV/m, so a substantial part, and maybe
> all
> of Westwood gets an NIF signal from 890). WRKO's numbers are 12 days/13
> nights. Back in 1981, the contribution of first adjacents was not
> included
> in the NIF-coverage calculation, so back then, 1510's night signal,
> which
> doesn't get a lot of co-channel interference, might have looked a lot
> better
> on paper in Westwood than it sounded.
> --
> Dan Strassberg, dan.strassberg@att.net
> eFax 707-215-6367
> >>
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