changed metro-Boston transmitter facilities (1200, 1330, 1600)

Tue Sep 16 07:22:27 EDT 2008

Currently, under the terms of their STAs, all three stations are
running substantially less than full power except when they are
actually making proof-of-performance measurements. Until licenses to
cover are granted, for reasons known, I think, only to the FCC, all
three stations are limited to the powers they used to use before the
move (or, in the case of WUNR, which did not move, the "upgrade").
That means that WRCA and WUNR are supposed to be running 5 kW-U and
WKOX is running 10 kW-D/1 kW-N. Because all three stations previously
used very tall towers, which in two of three cases (WRCA, WKOX), were
also top loaded, the current temporary operations are clearly

Moreover, because of the "ratchet rule", which requires signal
reductions in the direction of existing co- and first-adjacent-channel
stations, both WUNR, which must increase daytime protection to WSMN,
and WRCA, which must increase daytime protection to WDER, have to
reduce their daytime signals to the north--the direction in which Mark
lives. WUNR has the additional handicap of being DA-1, which imposes
the daytime limitation on its night operation. When WUNR gets up to
its CP power of 20 kW-U, its inverse-distance field toward me (~355
degrees true and a little less than nine miles from the site) will
still be equivalent to what I would have gotten from the old array if
WUNR had CUT its power by a factor of ~2! In addition, I am skeptical
about whether WUNR had been running even 5 kW into the new array at
night until just within the past day or so.

If you look at WRCA's new day and night patterns, you will see that
the new 25 kW day pattern is mch narower than the new 17 kW night
pattern. Using the standard descriptors for pattern shape (cardioid,
teardrop, etc) for the WRCA and WUNR patterns is a bit misleading, but
WRCA's (five-tower) day pattern is closest to a teardrop and its
(four-tower) night pattern is closest to a cardioid. Where I live,
WRCA's inverse-distance field is supposed to be greater at night with
the lower power than it is by day with the higher power. I must say
that my listening tests fail to confirm this because WRCA's temporary
use of the same day and night powers should accentuate the difference,
and WRCA sounds somewhat weaker to me at night than by day.

Anyhow, the bottom lines to all of this are: 1) Don't draw conclusions
about any of the three signals until the licenses to cover have been
granted. 2) So far, I can find no evidence that the Sawmill Brook
Parkway site is a great one, even though Mark has been extolling its
virtues for years. 3) None of the three stations is going to have a
killer full-market signal, although their signals should be very
strong in the inner city where their target ethnic populations live.
As for WKOX, although I have a map that shows my house just barely
inside of WKOX's 13.<something> mV/m NIF contour, I think I will wind
up slightly outside of that contour. It'll be a decent signal and
completely listenable, however. By day, WKOX's signal where I live
should be closest in strength to WBZ's.

Dan Strassberg (
eFax 1-707-215-6367

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <>
To: <>; <>;
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2008 9:53 PM
Subject: changed metro-Boston transmitter facilities (1200, 1330,

> Three stations (WKOX-1200, WRCA-1330, and WUNR-1600) apparently are
> all transmitting from a new antenna set-up at WUNR's site in the
> southern part (Oak Park section) of Newton near the Charles River.
> I'm thinking that these stations are still running something less
> than their allotted power levels since all three have unimpressive
> signals here (roughly 16 miles north of them).

> Mark Connelly, WA1ION

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