W212AF, Nashua, NH
Mon Sep 15 15:27:29 EDT 2008
A few weeks ago, I noticed that Boston College FM station WZBC 90.3 was
off-the-air most of the time. Most college-owned and operated FM's with more
than 10 watts seem to be able to operate about 18 hours a day every day
during the summer. But the absence of their signal made it possible to pick
up what I thought was WAMC-FM, Albany, NY transmitting from atop Mt Greylock
in fah northwestern Massachusetts. But, except for periods of special
atmospherics, the NPR station I picked up if I oriented my receiving antenna
to get signals from that direction was NOT WAMC, but NHPR! How can this be?
NHPR was supposed to have abandoned its translator at 90.3 when WEVS-88.3 FM
went on the air! And NHPR's hourly station IDs go on and on with rebroadcasters
and translators from south to north, but not the one at 90.3. A check of the
FCC website reveals that indeed a station on that frequency exists: W212AF,
in Nashua. How can this be? It shares the same transmitter site, St. Joseph's
Hospital west of downtown (although the FCC's contour map shows the tower
site as just due EAST of downtown) with 15 watts (WEVS is 5,000 watts directional),
so operation at 90.3 doesn't add anything the NHPR's coverage in the Gateway City.
If NHPR isn't giving a station ID for W212AF, aren't they breaking the rules then?
Wouldn't a translator on that frequency do them more good a few miles way in Milford?
Radio sure is a strange business.
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