WKOX on the air from Newton?

Dan.Strassberg dan.strassberg@att.net
Fri Aug 1 16:05:44 EDT 2008

Best I can tell, Garrett and the others who said they didn't believe
that WKOX was transmitting from Newton are correct (and I was
wrong)--assuming that nothing changed from last evening until a few
minutes ago. The signal strength minima on the CC Radio are not really
pronounced (perhaps attributable to good AGC), but the visual
indicator is a help--enough of a help that I didn't have to take the
radio outside to get readings that I'm willing to believe. First I
compared WBIX and WKOX. The minima were at about the same orientation
of the radio. Then I tried WRCA. The minimum was indeed about 45
degrees away from the WBIX/WKOX minima. I did not try WUNR because it
produces so few bars on the display.

The CC Radio may be somewhat more sensitive than the Super Radio
III--at least from the high 800s to maybe 1400. And the first-adjacent
selectivity is better than that of the SR as is the freedom from
front-end overload. The third-adjacent selctivity in the presence of a
very strong undesired signal is not as good as that of the SR. I live
only a mile more or less from WTTT (and WAZN). When I tune in WBNW on
the CC, WTTT is clearly audible and splatters into WBNW. That didn't
happen with the SR. Perhaps I can minimize the effect by rotating the
radio. So far, rotating the radio has not helped much, though.

Some stations that I've received on the CC Radio that I could not
receive on the SR under comparable conditions are WCBS by day, WGHM
(both blocked by WAMG on the SR during daylight hours) and WOON (which
is just barely listenable on the CC but was never heard by me on the
SR). I can get WLLH on the CC but I could also get it on the SR,
although I think reception on the CC is a little better. The graphical
signal strength display shows twice as many bars on 600W 1230 as it
does on 30 kW 1570, even though the two are quite close to each other.
Shows how good WESX's (about to be former) site is and how awful
WNSH's site is.

I think the SR was just a bit more sensitive on FM than the CC is.
With WZBC off, WICN was no problem for the SR. It is a problem for the
CC. Of course, WSMA makes reception of WICN more difficult and it
wasn't there yet when I experimented with WICN on the SR.

Dan Strassberg (dan.strassberg@att.net)
eFax 1-707-215-6367

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <markwa1ion@aol.com>
To: <dan.strassberg@att.net>;
Sent: Friday, August 01, 2008 1:35 PM
Subject: Re: WKOX on the air from Newton?

Robbins Farm Park would be a good spot.  It's about a mile from you.
Park on Eastern Ave. by the Brackett School and walk into the park a
couple of hundred feet from the street.  You will also enjoy the
splendid view of Boston while you're doing your DF'ing.

I should know.  I played up there all the time as a kid.  See the
park's web site "http://www.robbinsfarmpark.org".

This would be a bang-up location for FM DX.

I'll take my own DF cuts on 1200 later today and report back the
results.  The little Sony SRF-59 is surprisingly good for direction
finding.  The Framingham versus Newton bearing spread isn't quite as
great here just north of the 3A / 62 junction as it is for you in
Arlington, but I should still be able to note the difference.

Some radios that also have a telescoping whip antenna aren't too
for nulls because the FM whip distorts the pick-up pattern of the AM
ferrite rod.

Mark Connelly, WA1ION - Billerica, MA

-----Original Message-----
From: Dan.Strassberg <dan.strassberg@att.net>
To: boston-radio-interest@rolinin.bostonradio.org; markwa1ion@aol.com
Sent: Fri, 1 Aug 2008 1:12 pm
Subject: Re: WKOX on the air from Newton?

Certainly correct in theory. And it often works, too. But sometimes it
doesn't--and now seems to be one of those times. My Super Radio III,
which was maybe 18 years old, died a week or so ago and its
replacement, a CC Radio Plus,=2
0arrived this morning while I was out
getting breakfast and a newspaper. To its credit, the CC Radio has, in
its fashion, a signal-strength indicator on its LCD--the indicator
resembles cell-phone bars. I believe that, like the Super Radio, the
CC Radio owes its relatively good AM sensitivity at least partly to an
extra-large ferrite loop antenna. And I believe that the ferrite loops
in both radios are located at the top of the case with their long axes
parallel to the case's long dimension.

With the Super Radio, I found that orienting the antenna perpendiclar
to the front of the house gave the best reception of stations to the
west. Orienting the antenna parallel to the font of the house gave the
best reception of WMKI. That made a lot of sense. But before the
reconstruction of the WUNR site, the best orientation for WUNR was
pretty much the best orientation for WKOX and WBIX, which makes less

With the CC Radio, I haven't found reliable nulls for any of these
stations. I suspect the problem is reradiation of the signals by the
house wiring, which is Romex, not BX, and hence is not shielded. If
I'm motivated, I may try taking the CC Radio into the playground
behind the house. Around second base in the baseball diamond, I should
be far enough from the overhead AC power lines and any house wiring to
get a reliable fix on the20directions from which the signals are
coming, but the problem is complicated by the fact that the streets in
my neighborhhod are not even close to "square with the compass," and I
can never remember which way is north. (BTW, I have not found moss to
be not a reliable indicator.)

Dan Strassberg (dan.strassberg@att.net)
eFax 1-707-215-6367

----- Original Message ----- From: <markwa1ion@aol.com>
To: <boston-radio-interest@rolinin.bostonradio.org>
Sent: Friday, August 01, 2008 8:32 AM
Subject: WKOX on the air from Newton?

> This would seem to be a very easy matter to resolve if one has
> access to a typical transistor AM radio containing a ferrite rod
> (loopstick) antenna.
> You place the radio on a clear table away from wiring and metallic
> objects and turn it until a null or obviously-diminished signal
> results. For very strong stations, you may have to tune a bit off
> frequency and detect the splatter instead of regular audio.
> WBIX-1060 and Framingham 1200 would null at about the same radio
> position. WRCA-1330 / WUNR-1600 / Newton 1200 would null at a
> different position for many of us. The angular spread between Newton
> and Framingham transmitter site bearings from the Arlington Heights
> / Lexington area should be significant, over 45 degrees.

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