markwa1ion@aol.com markwa1ion@aol.com
Thu May 31 07:42:43 EDT 2007

Joseph Pappalardo wrote:
The old days had WLKW 990AM receiving DX reports from

If you look at the direction of Bermuda from RI, and
imagine the Southeast signal, you can see how that
just might be possible!

A few points:

Towards the south-southeast from Providence, V-Soft has WALE-990 at 
78.3 dBu (8.20 mV/m).  WHJJ-920 is 85.3 dBu (18.44 mV/m).  Three other 
Providence stations (WPRO-630, WSKO-790, and WPMZ-1110) are also 
stronger than WALE.  Somewhat farther east, on Martha's Vineyard 
(Chilmark, MA 02535), V-Soft has WALE (66.7 dBu) behind WPRO (68.4 dBu) 
and ahead of WHJJ (61.3 dBu).  My recollection from listening there is 
that WALE was only about equal to WHJJ and definitely weaker than 
WINS-1010 NYC (which is 63.8 dBu per V-Soft).

Daytime reception from Bermuda (700 miles) might seem like big thing, 
but an all-water route has surprisingly low loss.  Bermuda's 1 kW on 
1160 used to be readily copyable at West Dennis Beach before WSKW-ME, 
WOBM-NJ, and WVNJ-NJ all piled onto the channel sometime in the '80s.  
In the '70s National Radio Club member Charlie Taylor, using good 
equipment at a US military facility in Bermuda, had no trouble picking 
up the similar-distance Atlantic City, NJ and Norfolk, VA "graveyard" 
stations on frequencies such as 1400 and 1490.  As most of you know, 
these things run 1 kW and, being high on the dial, are less effective 
for groundwave than similarly-powered stations on lower frequencies.  I 
think that Charlie managed to hear just about ALL the Providence 
stations at midday, not just 990.  From the Cape I can hear Turks & 
Caicos (530) at 1400 miles ... twice as far as Bermuda ... and WOKV-FL 
(690) at about 1200 miles.  That just shows how far a daytime 
groundwave will travel over seawater.  The ironic thing is that AM 
stations that come in fine on a boat 300 miles offshore can still be 
difficult to hear in a steel-frame building in the station's own city 
of license.

As far as Doug Drown's notes from the Fitchburg area, WCMX-1000 
Leominster was not on yet in 1966.  WLKW-990 was already on air from 
some time earlier.  On 1000 I used to get WHWB-VT and CKBW-NS duking it 
out in the daytime where I lived in Arlington, MA.  Both of those 
stations have since gone silent.  Other than possible WFGL-960 slop, 
you shouldn't have had much to bother 990.  I'm a lot closer to 
WCAP-980 but can still get 990 (on my Drake R8A).  WALE is there, 
weakish, but Montreal - from many more miles - is not much behind it.

Mark Connelly, WA1ION - Billerica, MA
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