Dan Strassberg dan.strassberg@att.net
Wed May 30 18:15:42 EDT 2007

Well, it is and always has been highly directional (six towers since day
one, although one tower was moved when they went to 5 kW nights). The
six-tower patterns are teardrops aimed, IIRC, south-southeast. I am not
surprised that you could pick up nothing in Fitchburg--I suspect that the
day signal in that drection is equivalent to no more than a few tens of
watts ND. Also, if 1000 in Leominster was already on the air, 990 would have
been lost in the hash. Even 960 might have caused some reception problems.
For that matter, so might WCAP--even if it was still running 1 kW ND.

The question is, where does WALE have a good signal? I thought Fall River
looked like a likely candidate, but 790 and 920 were a good deal louder than
990 in the informal listening test I ran one summer about 20 years ago. Now,
990 is quite a distance north of Providence (Burrillville), but I thought
that 300 or more kW ERP would trump 20 or so miles, but no way.

A good promotion for them might be Find the signal (and tell us where it
is--because we seem to have lost it).

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

----- Original Message -----
From: "Doug Drown" <revdoug1@verizon.net>
To: <markwa1ion@aol.com>; <boston-radio-interest@rolinin.bostonradio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 5:47 PM
Subject: Re: 990

> When 990 first went on the air back in the '60s as WLKW, I lived in the
Gardner-Fitchburg area and tried like the dickens to get the signal on my
homongous old circa-1939 Zenith floor console radio. That baby would pick up
ANYTHING --- I could get WABC, WNBC, WOR, WCBS, and WNEW all day long, as
clearly as though their towers were almost next door.  But, try as I did, I
never could pick up WLKW at all, despite its being only about 65 miles
away --- 50,000 watts or no 50,000 watts.  Seems I recall it being touted as
Providence's most powerful station.  All things are relative. . .
> From: markwa1ion@aol.com
> Date: 2007/05/30 Wed PM 03:22:13 CDT
> To: boston-radio-interest@rolinin.bostonradio.org
> Subject: 990
> I think that WALE being listed as 50 kW days but putting out a signal
> inferior to all the Providence 5 kW's qualifies as "using inexplicably
> large amounts of power".
> 990 is weaker than 630, 790, & 920 in observations I have made from
> just about any conceivable bearing from Providence: Newport to the
> south, Montauk (NY) to southwest, Putnam (CT) to west, Worcester (MA)
> to northwest, Billerica (MA) to north, Rockport (MA) to northeast, West
> Yarmouth (MA) to east, and Horseneck Beach (MA) to southeast.  The only
> bearings where it even gets close to the strength of the others
> (running a tenth the power!) would be east and southeast.
> A total shambles of a signal for 50 kW.  In Newport I think WINS-1010
> is actually stronger at something like 150 miles.
> They could be shooting the signal straight up.  Skip around sunset
> before power-down can be hefty on outer Cape Cod at about 75 miles to
> the east.  Quite a bit stronger than the groundwave.  I can believe, as
> Dan says, that their transmitter site is a real mess.
> Mark Connelly, WA1ION - Billerica, MA
> <<
> Is 990 in Providence still dark? Didn't it go dark a few months back,
> after
> Davidson "discovered" that the transmitter was using inexplicably large
> amounts of power? One of the strangest explanations ever for taking a
> station dark! I've heard that the transmitter site is a real mess, but
> with
> six towers, it must occupy a fairly large parcel of real estate. That
> suggests that if anyone is stealing ac power, they must have devised a
> fairly sophisiticated (and expensive) scheme for doing it. The ac lines
> through which the power would have to be removed would need to be
> buried to
> keep them from attracting attention from, say, the station owner.
> Unless the
> transmitter building is at an edge of the property that abuts a public
> road,
> the underground cable runs would have to be fairly long. Constructing
> them
> would presumably have represented an engineering project of rather
> significant scope. Does anyone have any info on this mystery?
> --
> Dan Strassberg, dan.strassberg@att.net
> eFax 707-215-6367
> >>
> ________________________________________________________________________
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