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AM Broadcast band booming

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nexus

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I was listening around the AM band in the car tonight and picked up WLW 700kHz in Cincinnati OH and I'm in Biloxi MS. That was station was 800 miles from me. I also heard WSB 750kHz from Atlanta GA as well...
 

gcgrotz

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Probably not too unusual in winter but summer would require a quiet period of t-storm static. Of course in your area there are always storms in the tropics.

P.S. on a personal note would you have any way of tracking someone down who was known to live in Gulfport pre-Katrina? PM me if you can or are willing to help.
 

shaft

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I dont know the power output of WSB, but WLW used to (dunno if it has increased) x-mit at 10,000 watts. I used to be able to pick them up at night when I lived in Atlanta.
 

timmer

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Both are 50,000 watt stations. AM has been coming in here in central Illinois pretty good as well.
 

kb2vxa

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Hi guys,

Those stations pretty much blanket North America at night any time of year so frankly it's no big deal. What you might want to try is daytime DX because at the low of the sunspot cycle the D layer doesn't ionize so heavily and absorb MW singnals. I'll agree with the summer static problem though, in winter when the noise floor drops dramatically you can go after foreign stations if your receiver has proper selectivity and you're not trying to pull in something a few KHz from a flamethrower. I'm particularly fond of Rebelde from Cuba, I just like listening to the music and they're strong enough to hear on a portable.

Yup, with that signal WLW gets Diesel Daddies calling in from ALL over! That Harris 3DX50 Destiny is flea power compared to the Crosley 500KW monster they used in 1934 but the 1/2 wave Blaw-Knox tower still spits one helluva signal.
 
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jeffy

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Wlw

While at the Gulfport Seabee base in the 70's I would listen to WLW some. It's been a fav of mine for years. I live in southeastern Ohio and WLW's signal here is so so at night.
 

gcgrotz

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kb2vxa said:
Hi guys,

(edited for space)

Yup, with that signal WLW gets Diesel Daddies calling in from ALL over! That Harris 3DX50 Destiny is flea power compared to the Crosley 500KW monster they used in 1934 but the 1/2 wave Blaw-Knox tower still spits one helluva signal.
Hey Warren, I've read that the 500kw was easily heard all over Europe prior to WW2 and that was one reason they were given that power level.

I was able to hear the Saudi 2 megawatters recently from a cruise ship near Greece. I think that rating might be ERP however.

I was in Dallas a few years ago and I went out to the KRLD tx site in Garland. They have 2 of those Blaw-Knox towers in a field with the classic old art-deco transmitter building. I guess it used to be way out in the country when it was built but now there is a high voltage transmission line running next to the highway that has de-tuning skirts on every tower for a couple of miles. Can you imagine trying to stabilize THAT?

Later,
george
 

gcgrotz

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daleduke17 said:
WLW has a very interesting history. When they originally signed on, it was reported that electricity in the area dimmed. :p

http://members.aol.com/jeff1070/wlw.html

http://www.ominous-valve.com/wlw.html

Those are some links to WLW history. VERY interesting to read, like I said.
Thanks for the great links, I wasted a lot of time I shouldn't have! Love that old stuff. It would be great if that old 500kw could be turned into a museum too like they are doing with Bethany. I visited the old VOA site back in 1978 when I went to the dayton hamfest. They still had some of the old 50kw Crosleys in service. The guy showed us how he had to climb under it to change the vacuum caps to change frequency. Quite different from the 250/500 kw Continentals they had there also.
 

kb2vxa

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Hi again guys,

"Hey Warren, I've read that the 500kw was easily heard all over Europe prior to WW2 and that was one reason they were given that power level."

I don't know about Europe but that hefty signal across North America played a big part in WW2. Notice the "goon tower" which should date the picture nicely for you, why it was there is a no-brainer.

"I was able to hear the Saudi 2 megawatters recently from a cruise ship near Greece. I think that rating might be ERP however."
That depends on the band, antenna gain and so on and so forth. The VOA site at Greenville NC uses 250KW Collins exciters into 2MW external finals and the log periodic's forward gain spits out 12MW ERP.

" ...KRLD tx site in Garland (TX)...now there is a high voltage transmission line running next to the highway that has de-tuning skirts on every tower for a couple of miles. Can you imagine trying to stabilize THAT?"

Easily. I have seen detuning skirts on water towers and all sorts of large steel structures in the near field to combat pattern distortion. When you have to keep a directional array to such tight FCC requirements they're essential. Now I just wonder what they do about standing waves on the transmission lines, I have seen that effect causing the signal to rise and fall while traveling along them.

"It would be great if that old 500kw could be turned into a museum too like they are doing with Bethany."

That was done long ago, most of it is still intact but horribly corroded (it was water cooled) and you can visit the transmitter site any time. If you want a photo tour there are several related web sites, I don't remember quite where I got all the pictures from but I'm sure a search will turn up plenty. BTW, the 50KW exciter is still air worthy and is used as one of the backup transmitters. Being so old and parts unavailable it has been highly modified but th' dang thing still works, a few years ago it was used for a commemorative broadcast.
 
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cnmsales

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Were abouts in Biloxi? Im originally from Gulfport and all my family still lives in the area. Orange Grove to be exact.
 

gcgrotz

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Warren and All:

Maybe it is time to take a trip to Cincinnati. I think the commerative broadcast you're referring to was when they used the original 1927 50kw transmitter to bring in the new millenium. I read somewhere else someone referred to the HiFi transmitter WLW had. It turned out to be very inefficient and was converted back to conventional plate modulation. Have you seen Jim Hawkins' WLW web page? http://www.hawkins.pair.com/wlw.shtml
It is one of the better pages I've seen on WLW.

On the KRLD de-tuning, I was just imagining the interaction between all of those closely spaced power towers. Seems like when you got to the end of the line you would have to start back at the beginning. I just recently helped a guy tuning a 1450KHz AM on an FM, 540ft grounded tower. The top part had to be de-tuned with a skirt and the tower was loded with another skirt at the bottom. Due to all the cellular shelters, the feed to the skirt was about 15'agl. He had to end up putting an elevated radial system over top of the buildings out to the fence line and bring the wires down to the actual ground radial system. That also helped the interference the AM was causing to several of the cellular systems. RF was getting on the telco T1 lines and the sites wouldn't stay up. They turned the AM off until it was resolved. The CE and the cell techs spent a few long nights fooling with bonding and stuff.

Oh yeah, the station in Saudi was on 1521 khz. It is regularly heard on the east coast by those properly equipped AM dx-ers. I think I read they have a rhombic. There are several 1 to 2 megawatt stations in the middle east and europe. Just found this log on the BCB DX logger web page:
Sep10 03:38 1521 BSKSA Saudi Arabia, Arabic vocals, good sig peaks, de KD5DSQ Austin, Texas

Work is calling, see ya later...
 

kb2vxa

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Hi Grotz and readers,

NOW I remember, it was the Hawkins page I got the photos from! Yup, he's got it together and I thought I was a broadcast engineer's number one PITA. (;->)

I can just imagine, detuning ends up detuning the detuning. I have had some experience in the other direction tuning multiband antennas. I'd get one set of elements tuned and detuned the others, back and forth until it all finally resonated, then a week later something goes out of whack, here we go AGAIN! GRRR!

I can't get Saudi anything here, WWKB covers them and back when it was WKBW it was one of my favorite rock stations. Ah, AM was king and each major market had it's own sound, I didn't have to see the dial to know what I was listening to. Perhaps the one most made fun of was "Dubya dubya dubya dubya in Wheelie West Verginny" but to me 1170 will always be dubya dubya vee yay. Now why did all the announcers sound like Walter Brennan? "Pepina, PEPINA! Git that gol dang mule back in th' BAAAHN!" (;->)

Fall is coming, 40M is going long and the lightning crashes aren't quite so bad. I'm looking forward to better band conditions so when it gets cold enough to discourage going out at least I'll have something to do, play radio.
 

nexus

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cnmsales said:
Were abouts in Biloxi? Im originally from Gulfport and all my family still lives in the area. Orange Grove to be exact.
Well I'm living in Gautier, but I work in Biloxi and I was on I-10 in biloxi when I heard the signal.
 

red8

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I did some reading up on WLW, and learned that at one time they increased their output power to 1million watts that was when they
were on the air back in the 1930's. WSM and WLW transmitter antennas both looked alike. The antennas were diamond shape supported by guy wires. After all of these years WSM still has their
antenna beaming out 50,000 watts being the 50,000 watt blow torch
of the South. The antenna can be seen from I-65 just south of Nashville. WLW no longer has their tower and has a more conventional type tower at the transmitter site.
 

icom1020

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I lived in Knoxville TN back in the 70's. WWL and the Charlie Douglas Show was a major blowtorch at night, as was WLS and WOWO in Ft Wayne (the world famous WOWO fire escape where the thermometer was located) WGY in Schnectady NY and WCBS came in too. KMOX in St Louis had a great signal and a great overnight host. Too many others to mention right now.

They're all talk now and haven't improved with age...
 

kc4jgc

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Anyone ever log Radio Cayman on 1555? I no longer have a radio with 1 khz resolution. When I had a RS DX-302 I could pick it up between WBSC Bennetsville SC and the Classical station (can't remember the call) in NYC on 1560 from my location in Virginia Beach. Radio Cayman only runs 10 KW. Would always sign off about 0030 Eastern Time with a children's chorus singing what I guessed as the Cayman anthem followed by an instrumental "God Save the Queen".

Hearing the clear channel powerhouses in the U.S. and Canada is easy; the 100+kw cuban stations even easier. Pulling out that 10 KW signal I thought was pretty good!

BTW the antenna was a multi-band trap dipole only 11 ft off the ground.
 

sacscan

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Back in 1980 when I was in junior high and living in Portland, OR I used to DX AM BCB with my old clock radio at night. Here are the stations furthest from me that I remember picking up:

WLW 700 kHz in Cincinnati OH
WLS 890 kHz in Chicago IL
840 kHz in Louisville, KY (is WHAS now, don't remember what call letters were used in 1980)
WSM 650 kHz in Nashville, TN
WWL 870 kHz in New Orleans, LA
..and one more that I can't remember out of either Minnesota or Michigan.

Of course I always heard XETRA 690 kHz in Tijuana, Mexico.

Now I have a Grundig G5 and I hear stations on every frequency at night.
 
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If any of you would like to try for some realitively easy DX at night in NE US, try for ZIZ on 555 KHz from SAINT KITTS in the West Indies. Its been coming in fair to good here in PA on some nights. It usually carries BBC programming during the overnight.
 
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