Tue Oct 18 14:10:54 EDT 2016
I would agree that WBZ's night signal is greatly degraded past Sturbridge
and picks up near the New York State line when what's left of the groundwave
signal has little potential to cancel the, on average, much stronger skywave
Not long after I bought my first transistor radio in 1961, here, about 10
miles east of Springfield, we lost WBZA. Jefferson Kaye had some kind of
contest going about Who was the world's biggest Ham, or something like that.
I never found out who it was because WBZA shutdown in the middle of the
contest, and at that time, I did not have a radio good enough to listen to
WBZ's daytime signal.
If you have a good radio or good car radio, WBZ is OK to Good here in the
eastern suburbs of Springfield, most of the day. At night, a medium strength
groundwave signal fights with the skywave that, by it's nature, varies from
poor to very strong, but is usually a little better than the groundwave. So,
for the average person, WBZ is mostly unlistenable here after dusk. I still
listen sometimes at night, usually to Bradley J, but the signal is often
As winter comes on, some days, skywave starts affecting AM Broadcast Band
reception even before dark. That accounts for occassionally receiving WBZ
fairly strong in places like New Jersey, PA or New York mornings well after
sunrise, and mid to late afternoon before sunset from November to February.
That's not to say that if you have a really good car radio you can't carry
WBZ to just past the New York City environs, or just past Albany on just
about any day in any season, during daylight hours.
WBZ's daytime signal has appeared to get slightly better out here over the
past 15 years or so. Maybe the maintenance of the site at Hull, or maybe
some updates in the transmitter chain are responsible. Over the years I
often compare WCBS's and WBZ's signals. In the 1960's, 70's, etc. WCBS was
much stronger. During the last 15 years or so, WCBS is usually just a little
bit stronger. Interestingly WBZ often seizes HD here daytime, while WCBS
About 30 years ago, the FCC made AM stations narrow their signals. While
lessening fidelity a tiny bit, it made listening to adjacent channels much
easier. But when AM HD came on, that often negated those improvements and
made listenability of adjacent channel stations much worse. So now, both WBZ
and KDKA on 1020 run HD radio 24 hours. That is sometimes, a problem, mostly
for skywave listeners.
WBZ's directional signal pattern toward the West, creates a slight null
directly to the east, just above Provincetown, affecting the southern coast
of Nova Scotia very little. Still, WBZ has a very good signal at
Provincetwon, but there are other Boston AM stations that are louder there.
At 50kw, most evening skywave signals start declining after 600-700 miles.
Even though there is no power calculation for this in the FCC rules, WBZ's
directionality gives it an effective power of more than 50kw toward the
west, so that accounts for it's skywave signal being heard strongly at 800
or more miles distant toward the west, on a regular basis.
Quite often, I travel from home, down the east coast to NC and Florida.
WBZ's night signal where I stop in Eastern NC is almost always very, very
good. Sometimes it seizes the HD signal for a while. But the night signal
goes down in SC and is usually poor by the time I get to the Florida line on
Listening to an actual radio is still a lot of fun for me. But, now, except
for the in-car listening, a lot of this is mute to many folks because nearly
everyone can get a nice clear signal from WBZ through a smartphone and/or
From: Kevin Vahey
My recollection is 1030 would become unlistenable at night near Sturbridge
but around Exit 2 in Lee it would lock in and it would be the strongest
signal on the dial all the way to Chicago. In the winter an hour before
sundown in Chicago, WBZ came in and was stronger than WGN, WMAQ, WLS and
In Chicago you could never hear the NYC clear channels as they were all
adjacent to the Chicago stations - (660, 670 - 710, 720 - 770, 780 - 880,
890 ) but WBZ roared in.
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