WTIC skywave (Was WBZ & WRKO signal in Springfield)

Dan.Strassberg dan.strassberg@att.net
Thu Jan 28 10:31:42 EST 2010

I'm pretty sure it was last year. Maybe only about six months ago.
There was no change in the night pattern or the daytime ND operation.
What changed was the time of the evening pattern change. It used to
occur at Dallas sunset; it now occurs at Hartford sunset, which I'm
guessing averages about 45 minutes before Dallas sunset. The morning
pattern change remains at Hartford sunrise.

The reason is that WOAP, a daytimer on 1080 in Owosso MI, holds a CP
to change its CoL to Waverly MI and increase from 1 kW ND-D to 50 kW
DA-D (six towers). WOAP's intent was also to add night service with
4.5 kW from the same six towers but with a slighly different pattern.
However, Waverly apparently either lies within WTIC's 50 kW ND 50%
skywave contour or is so close to it that, even with the six-tower DA,
WOAP could not operate at night without interfering with what was
believed to be WTIC's protected skywave contour during the time
between Hartford and Dallas sunsets. At one point, WOAP said that if
it was granted the improved facilities, it would sign off at Waverly
sunset and sign back on at Dallas sunset. Given Michgan's westerly
position in the Eastern time zone, I'm guessing that, at least in some
months, that would have resulted in a 15-minute-long "pattern
change";>) Anyhow, the FCC was apparently hanging back in granting
WOAP's application for night service and eventually concluded that,
under the terms of its license, during the period between Hartford and
Dallas sunsets, WTIC was entitled to no protection whatever of its ND
skywave service, and the only way that WTIC could avoid losing its
protection was to switch to its night facilities at Hartford sunset.
CBS had the option of objecting but it chose not do so and WTIC should
now be changing to DA-N operation at Hartford sunset.

Years ago, CBS would certainly have tied up WOAP's application for
night service with a protracted and costly legal challenge, but the
network's position on such matters has obviously changed. For example,
it doesn't seem to care that its own WBZ and KDKA destroy each other's
night signals with IBOC hash and it didn't object to WBIX's (now
granted) application to increase its day power to 50 kW by using its
night pattern by day from what had been its night site. During the
daytime, that operation will send an inverse-distance field of almost
7 V/m @ 1km toward WBZ. That application was predicated on some
findings about the soil conductivity in the region between Ashland and
Newton that I find amazing. At the very least, I would have expected
CBS to insist that the FCC require WBIX to further substantiate its
measurements. Apparently, however, CBS did not do that.

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

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Martin Waters" <martinjwaters@yahoo.com>
To: "Dan.Strassberg" <dan.strassberg@att.net>
Cc: <boston-radio-interest@bostonradio.org>
Sent: Thursday, January 28, 2010 1:50 AM
Subject: WTIC skywave (Was WBZ & WRKO signal in Springfield)

--- On Tue, 1/26/10, Dan.Strassberg <dan.strassberg@att.net> wrote:
> Remember that WTIC used to stay on ND day pattern until Dallas TX
> sunset (which must be typically 45 minutes after Hartford
> sunset). Now that WTIC switches to night pattern at Hartford
>  >sunset, my guess is that you would have trouble getting it in HD
> in
>  >Western NY at night, whereas until the after-dark pattern change,
>  >you probably used to get it in HD pretty regularly in Western NY.

IIRC, the change that occurred lately -- maybe in 08 or 09 ? -- did
not change WTIC's operation. Rather, it was a decision of some sort
from the FCC that said WTIC is not entitled to protection of its
skywave signal while operating non-directional after sunset beyond the
skywave contour it would have if it were already operating on its
night pattern. I think this involved the FCC approving an application
from a small station somewhere in the Midwest?

I don't know whether the FCC gave any reason for, in effect, a
decision that contradicts 70 years of its own precedent without a
full-scale procedure. Oh, but that's just me . . .

I suppose it was just being consistent, really, in following on its 40
years of trashing the original I-A and I-B channels in this small,
individual case. Because WTIC's license is unique (although KFAB,
1110, Omaha, switching back to non-directional at sunrise at WBT,
Charlotte, is a sort of mirror image), this narrow question just
probably never was raised until now.

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