Sunday morning: News1130 off the air.

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Sunday morning: News1130 off the air.

Postby kal » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:43 am

Anyone know why News1130 is off the air this morning?

At one time I remember stations would have an our or two of down time, usually after midnight, for transmitter work. It's a long time since I've heard dead air on a Vancouver station frequency.
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Re: Sunday morning: News1130 off the air.

Postby J Kendrick » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:34 am

Listening at that same time this morning, the station was on the air... but the signal was very weak...
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Re: Sunday morning: News1130 off the air.

Postby kal » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:04 pm

Station has been issuing tweets referencing "technical difficulties" and offering alternative listening strategies.
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Re: Sunday morning: News1130 off the air.

Postby Mike Cleaver » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:37 pm

This should never happen to a 50K station in a major market.
There are too few engineers any more who know much about AM Transmitters with multi-stick and pattern sites.
And there should be backups.
They still have the rubber duck on top of the Ash Street Studios which should at least be able to cover downtown, albeit poorly.
I can understand if you lose a tower but alternate sites are a necessity if you're going to live up to your claim that you'll be there in an emergency.
It was impossible to listen downtown this morning, the signal was phasing and hollow sounding and totally disappearing at times.
Most of the 50k stations no longer can provide an adequate signal downtown.
There's just too much interference with trolley wires being the main offenders but RFI levels from all sources have risen to incredible levels in recent years.
And moving an AM signal to HD on your FM stick may seem like a solution but there still are very few HD radios and many people who have HD in their vehicles seem unaware of it.
But there should be a reasonable backup from an alternate site, equipped with a generator and multiple means of getting the audio from the studios to that site.
I smell corpse cheapdom again.
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Re: Sunday morning: News1130 off the air.

Postby the-real-deal » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:27 pm

There IS a reasonable backup ! Everyone listens to "radio" on their smartphones. Only the old and stubborn still listen to AM radio through an actual stereo or radio. Car radio is still feasible for now, unless a newer technology takes it over (maybe HD, maybe not). With all of the bullshit involving terrestrial radio (CRTC intervention, Industry Canada regs., licence approval, licence monitoring, public scrutiny, etc.) is it any wonder. then. that nobody amongst the new generation wants a career in radio engineering.

Regarding the news1130 situation, thanks to an agreement once signed by Lyin' Brian Mulroney and Ronald Reagan, the United States has been top dog, when it comes to OUR AM radio dominancy. We have had to cut our Canadian radio signals to bow to theirs, for years, but with FM Radio, nobody cares anymore. CKWX and other border stations have had to kow tow to the Americans for years, and thus, that is why you cannot hear them in downtown Vancouver, some days.

But rest assured, the Yanks can scream their signals into Canada, no problem, because, according to Manifest Destiny, they have the "god-given right" to expand their borders. :yahoo:

Already, they have or soon will have, U.S. customs agents with guns, stationed at our Canadian airports. What's next, cops from the U.S. pursuing suspects north of the border and a 30 foot wall at the Blaine crossing.

Canadian radio stations require not just 50,000 watts, but try 100,000 or maybe even 150,000 watts, which cannot happen, since Mulroney sold our radio souls to the devil, long ago.
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Re: Sunday morning: News1130 off the air.

Postby jon » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:30 pm

As a DX'er for nearly 10 years in the 1960s to early 1970s, I never once "heard" CKWX off the air.

Not that they didn't take a few hours on the occasional Sunday night after midnight for some kind of transmitter maintenance that was not possible in that era of technology with a signal on 1130. But I certainly never caught them.
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Re: Sunday morning: News1130 off the air.

Postby kal » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:17 pm

I too was a DXer in those days, perhaps five years or so later. I too don't recall any of the big boys going off the air like this. I couldn't completely follow "the-real-deal"'s rant. I do know that listening to radio on smartphone isn't common among young people. The few who have a built-in FM decoder may do so that way but that technology isn't widely available.
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Re: Sunday morning: News1130 off the air.

Postby jon » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:33 pm

kal wrote:I do know that listening to radio on smartphone isn't common among young people. The few who have a built-in FM decoder may do so that way but that technology isn't widely available.

Haven't really delved very deeply into the subject, but what I have read and the testing I did with my previous smartphone indicates that, at a minimum, most Radio apps default to not using the built-in FM receiver. Instead, they stream your local stations.

I gave up looking for an app that did use the FM receiver after reading in the manual that the FM receiver only worked on my (previous) smartphone if the earbuds were plugged in, as it used the cable to the earbuds as an antenna!
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Re: Sunday morning: News1130 off the air.

Postby jon » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:52 pm

ImageImage
As for CKWX, Downtown Vancouver is getting more than its share of the station's 50,000 watts on both Day and Night pattern. North is the top of each chart, and the Richmond CKWX transmitter site would hit Downtown at one line to the left of the bottom to top line, as it is South and slightly East.

Reinforced concrete and overhead electric bus ("trolley") lines might it pretty tough to get a CKWX signal into an office building or a car passing by the North side of the building.
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Re: Sunday morning: News1130 off the air.

Postby Mike Cleaver » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:46 am

I would never have a so called smart phone that doesn't have an FM receiver built in.
Using your phone to listen to radio eats up your minutes unless you're able to get a free wi-fi connection.
My 99 dollar phone does everything any other phone can do plus it has two sim card slots and uses a micro SD card for extra storage.
And The Real Deal obviously isn't an engineer and has no real concept of international agreements about broadcasting.
With fewer and fewer AMs on the air, the interference between stations on the same frequency or adjacents is declining, not increasing.
Back to point one, there is no excuse for a 50K metropolitan station to be off the air or on reduced power for an extended period of time.
Regular site maintenance and inspections have gone by the boards as the corpse cut experienced engineers, replacing them with IT people.
That's why the few veterans left who have extensive AM knowledge can charge large for their services either on contract or emergency call outs.
Transmitters these days usually can be fixed by exchanging failed power output modules or other modules that have stopped working.
But if you're serious about "always being on the air," you need full redundancy which includes an alternate transmitter site, fully equipped to take over when your main site goes down.
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Re: Sunday morning: News1130 off the air.

Postby SKradiophile » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:19 pm

CBC FM in Saskatoon has such a weak and spotty signal at 94,1 it's not really available all over the city. Car radios pick it up but homes/apartment receivers are a crapshoot. But if anyone in the province has their TV cable through the SaskTel Max system, all of the provincial radio stations can be found there. Still CBC Saskatoon FM was created about five years with the only local programming being the morning show during the weekdays. The fact that this particular FM signal is so week (the scary fundamentalist Christian station at 100,3 can be heard throughout the city always) tells you all you need to know about CBC management view of the Saskatoon.
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Re: Sunday morning: News1130 off the air.

Postby jon » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:50 pm

That CBC Saskatoon FM transmitter was designed to be a Nested Repeater, just serving the Downtown area, in areas where CBK-540, with its very large wavelength, had trouble getting into (and past) tall buildings that used reinforced concrete, with its metal rebars spaced so frequently that the AM waves of CBK were effectively blocked. At 4100 watts from a tower less than 70 metres above average terrain, it was never intended to cover the entire City, since CBK-540 "should" cover the rest.

http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2013/2013-507.htm

Broadcasting unique programming (from CBK) makes no sense in this situation. In that sense, CBC management should have been upfront with the CRTC on the issue and ensured that they provided a City-grade signal to the entire City. Rather than this seemingly backdoor approach.

I've heard complaints from people here in Edmonton about the spotty reception of the FM Nested Repeater of CBX-740. Especially those that drive around all parts of the City. They essentially have forgotten that CBX is also on 740.

Digging deeper, it appears as if the transmitter is just East of the Saskatoon Golf & Country Club, rather than Downtown as was originally intended when Nested Repeaters were first proposed.
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