Garrett Wollman wollman@bimajority.org
Thu Apr 22 00:38:20 EDT 2010

<<On Wed, 21 Apr 2010 14:30:14 -0400, lglavin@mail.com said:

[text reformatted]

> Recently, I've noticed that 99.5 all-Classical WCRB has occasionally
> added W242AA, Beacon Hill to its list of outlets at station ID time.
> It's usually just "WCRB, Lowell...WNCK, Nantucket and WGBH-HD2.
> I've been informed that the rules for translators don't require
> station ID every hour, so the only W242AA IDs occur several hours
> apart daily.  When the WGBH takeover of WCRB occurred, apparently
> the translator on 96.3 atop the same building with the WMBR
> transmitter in Cambridge continued to simulcast the parent WGBH-FM
> 89.7.  No more...I was in Boston Tuesday night, and my travels took
> me right into the path of W242AA's mighty signal (FIVE watts
> directional...aimed from ENE to ESE @ about 300 feet).  Sure enough,
> the programming WAS the same as WCRB 99.5, but about 30 seconds or
> more later!

W242AA, being in the commercial ("non-reserved") band and owned by the
primary station's licensee, must be within the 60 dBu contour of the
primary.  WCRB's 60 does not quite make it to Eastgate.  The reason
you hear a 30-second delay is that W242AA is relaying WGBH's HD2, not
WCRB.  (I'd be curious to hear if W242AA is actually running HD, and
if so, whether its HD2 is WGBH's HD1 -- I believe the Commission at
least tacitly allows this.)

When translator legal IDs are being done audibly, by the primary
station, the rules specify the times at which they are to occur:

(1) Between 7 and 9 AM,
(2) Between 12:55 and 1:05 PM, and
(3) Between 4 and 6 PM.

Stations which are not on the air before 9 AM must identify the
translators at sign-on.  In practice, stations satisfy these
requirements (or attempt to do so) by identifying translators the 8a,
1p, and 5p, assuming they don't do the ID every hour.  This allows the
relgious satellator networks to do a different set of translator ID at
8a (8 Eastern), 9a (8 Central), 10a (8 Mountain), 11a (8 Pacific), and
12n (8 Alaska), although there are possible issues with Arizona (MST
year-round), Hawaii (HST year-round, 8a overlaps with 1p EDT window),
and Guam (ChST year-round, 8a overlaps with 5p CDT window), not to
mention the usual confusion in Indiana.  But I've never heard of a
translator getting cited for identifying at 1p ET when it was in a
part of Indiana that should have identified at 1p CT.

See 47 CFR 74.1283.

It is interesting that you report WCRB is now identifying W242AA; I
had come to the conclusion that they were doing an FSK ID, since WGBH
had never identified it at the required times before.  I shall have to
grab a new one now for the Archives.


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