WCVT (101.7 Stowe, VT)

Scott Fybush scott@fybush.com
Sun Dec 11 11:21:47 EST 2011

On 12/11/2011 9:36 AM, Bill O'Neill wrote:
> The ERP will be 50 kW according to what the AM host, Brian Harwood, said
> recently.

Well no, not exactly.

WCVT on Mansfield will be (is?) a class C2 station, which is the 
equivalent of 50 kW at 152 meters above average terrain. But the actual 
WCVT facilities are just one kilowatt ERP at 811 meters above average 
terrain. That combination of lower power and much higher antenna height 
results, *in theory*, in the same distance to the 60 dBu protected contour.

But theory and practice aren't exactly the same thing, especially up 
there in the mountains. With that little power coming out of the 
antenna, it lacks what the experts call "grunt" - you might be in 
Burlington or Bolton or Shoreham and have clear line-of-sight to the 
WCVT antenna, and you might be able to hear the signal just fine in your 
car or with a rooftop antenna, but if you're in a steel building or down 
in the cellar or what have you, even the slightest bit of signal 
attenuation or interference will probably kill it, whereas a "gruntier" 
signal like WEZF or WVPS, which really ARE putting out 50 kW or 
thereabouts from way up high, will push through just fine.

And there's one more factor at play: the new WCVT is quite directional, 
so if you're not in its main lobes (southeast and, to some extent, 
southwest), the signal won't really be there at all.

Don't get me wrong - this is still a good move, the best that could be 
done with WCVT...but it's by no means going to make WCVT the equivalent 
of WEZF.


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