WXKW Albany

Dave Doherty dave@skywaves.net
Fri Aug 14 00:03:59 EDT 2009


So I guess WHDH only got nighttime groundwave protection because KOA was 
already out there as a 1A.

What was the tower orientation? It must have been either NS or EW to get 
deep nulls east and west.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dan.Strassberg" <dan.strassberg@att.net>
To: "Dave Doherty" <dave@skywaves.net>; "A. Joseph Ross" 
<joe@attorneyross.com>; "John Mullaney" <john@minutemancomm.com>
Cc: <boston-radio-interest@bostonradio.org>
Sent: Thursday, August 13, 2009 9:26 PM
Subject: Re: WXKW Albany

> WXKW was on 850. It ran its daily tests at 8:00AM, 10AM, 12:30PM and,
> I think, 3:00PM with 15W ND from a little transmitter in the ATU
> building of one of the six 300' Blaw-Knox self-supporting towers.
> There were battery-powered calibrated receivers and Esterline-Angus
> strip-chart recorders at three null points, all to the west of the
> Selkirk site. They were mounted in little buildings that resembled the
> world's neatest, cleanest outhouses. The issues were with KOA, not
> with WHDH. General Electric, which then owned WGY, was not happy about
> having a 10 kW station on WGY's fourth-adjacent channel only 20 miles
> or so from the WGY transmitter, and since GE had once also owned KOA,
> the connections between WGY and KOA were good. It is alleged that GE
> resolved to hound WXKW off the air--and they succeeded.
> If you think about it, both 840 and 860 were impossible for a
> full-time station in Albany. In those days, Canadian IAs' skywave
> service was protected within the US as well as in Canada, So there was
> no hope of using 860 at night, with CJBC only a couple of hundred
> miles away. In addition what is now WSBS Great Barrington (2.2
> kW-ND-D) was then WNAW North Adams (250W ND-D). I don't think North
> Adams is quite 40 miles from Selkirk. WXKW's deep null to the east
> protected both WNAW and WHDH. As for 840, in those days, WHAS's 0.5
> mV/m 50% skywave contour extended well past Albany. Since then, the
> FCC has changed its formulas for locating those contours, so Albany is
> probably outside of the contour but not far enough for a station with
> any substantial night power.
> The Thruway construction had nothing to do with WXKW's demise. WXKW
> had long since bit the bullet by the time the Thruway was in
> land-taking mode--especially for thre Berkshire Extension, which runs
> right through what was the WXKW site. WROW bought the license and took
> the station dark in a move related to Capital District TV network
> affiliations in anticipation of the end of the early '50s
> TV-construction freeze.
> I believe the longest stint that the WXKW calls have had on any
> station was on 1470 in Allentown PA. My friend, the late Frank Toce,
> wanted WXKW for the FM he built in Bridgeport NY near Syracuse. The
> calls were in use, though, so he had to settle for WTKW. He named his
> dog TK after the FM station. I don't think that naming the dog XK
> would have worked very well.
> -----
> Dan Strassberg (dan.strassberg@att.net)
> eFax 1-707-215-6367
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Dave Doherty" <dave@skywaves.net>
> To: "Dan.Strassberg" <dan.strassberg@att.net>; "A. Joseph Ross"
> <joe@attorneyross.com>; "John Mullaney" <john@minutemancomm.com>
> Cc: <boston-radio-interest@bostonradio.org>
> Sent: Thursday, August 13, 2009 6:27 PM
> Subject: WXKW Albany
>> Hi Dan-
>> I heard some stories about WXKW when working with some of the old
>> timers in Albany early in my career.
>> The broad picture I got was that it was basically doomed from the
>> start because they could never make the pattern work, and the
>> Thruway made them an offer they couldn't refuse for their property
>> sometime around 1954.
>> One story I heard was that every hour they had to switch to 10W-ND
>> for a few seconds to record the signal level in the direction of
>> Boston at some remote logging site. That would have put them on 840
>> or 860, I guess, because they were somewhere in the 800's and they
>> certainly could not have been co-channel to WHDH.
>> There was another WXKW in Albany later on - the 1600 in
>> Mechanicville that now appears to be gone.
>> It's a pretty cool call sign, but very unlucky, it would seem...
>> -Dave Doherty
>> Skywaves Consulting LLC
>> PO Box 4
>> Millbury, MA 01527
>> 401-354-2400
>> 202-370-6357 (DC)

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