Radio Station Heard on UHF Frequency

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W3AWF

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Admin: Please move to a different forum if this is in the wrong place.

I stumbled across something odd while scanning the 450-470 band today. My radio stopped on a frequency and I could of sworn that I heard music coming from the radio. I looked up at my radio to find that a local radio station is being rebroadcasted on a UHF frequency!

At first I thought that it was a business or municipality that possibly had an open mic in a truck on a repeater frequency. This went on for a half hour consistently until we got a fire call. Upon getting back from the call the music was still heard.

The audio is from 93.7 FM WSTW out of Wilmington, Delaware which is about 45 miles south of me by the way the crow fly's.

Where could this possibly be coming from and what is causing it? I will post a video to You Tube and post a link here when I get a chance.
 

n5ims

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These are quite common and are generally a form of IFB (Interruptible foldback - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interruptible_foldback), which is a way radio stations doing remote broadcasts to allow the remote operator to hear the live broadcast without any delay. This is much more important nowdays since the digital signals from the "HD Radio" broadcasts take time to digitize and process the signal for broadcast and the analog signal is delayed the same amount so listeners do not hear any time jumping of the audio when they go in and out of digital range. Since the IFB is not designed for public consumption, it may have directions to the remote staff that are not broadcast (e.g. "Bob, you go live in 2 mins").

While some stations only broadcast the IFB signal when a remote is active (or will soon be active), other stations keep it active at all times to prevent the staff from having to remember to turn it on and off for remotes. Remember that a remote is not always what folks may think of a remote broadcast is - the station set up at a public location doing their thing in full view of the public. Often it may be something that may not appear to be remote, like a news broadcast or traffic report that may appear to be done by the station staff, but instead is done by an outside party contracted to do the reports for that station.

The signal could be the feed from that remote site back to the studio instead. This may be only a part of what is broadcast (only the announcer with the music and/or commercials added at the studio) or may be the fully packaged broadcast.

These types of signals could also be a studio to transmitter radio link that will have the full station broadcast as heard by the listener. Although most often the STL is on higher frequencies, there are some allocations in the typical UHF band that could be used.

Perhaps it's using this license, KPI996 --> http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/license.jsp?licKey=1120516 <-- If so, this would make it a remote broadcast transmission. This could be either IFB (station to remote) or remote to studio feed (remote to station) signal. That station also has frequencies in the 160 range and uses a 900 MHz signal for the STL.
 
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n9mxq

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I agree with n5ims, remote work. I used to listen to the local high school football games that way.. less commercials ;-)
 

marksmith

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Pretty common stuff actually. I decide what evening newscast I am going to watch based on the IFB activity leading into the newscast, telegraphing what they are going to cover live from the field on each station.

536/436/ws1095/996p2/996xt/325p2/396xt/psr800/396t/HP-1/HP-2 & others
 

nd5y

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Just a reminder that part 74 broadcast auxiliary service frequencies are among the services listed in 18 USC 2510 and 2511 that are not considered "readily accessible to the general public" and not legal to listen to.
 

KB7MIB

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A couple of years back, I found a Phoenix area TV station using a 25MHz frequency during a remote.
There's also a 160 MHz allocation that was mostly only used by 1 or 2 of the helo's here.

John
Peoria, AZ
 

mmckenna

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Some up at 900MHz, also. I've got a few broadcast radio stations in my area I can listen in on their STL's.
 

marksmith

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N5IMS called it an "Interruptible foldback. I spent many years as a DJ and we simplified it. We called it an "air monitor."
Same here, and I never heard of it being illegal to monitor. I think it's the revealing what you heard to others part that falls into that category.

536/436/ws1095/996p2/996xt/325p2/396xt/psr800/396t/HP-1/HP-2 & others
 
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