KRPI From the Residents' Point of View

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KRPI From the Residents' Point of View

Postby jon » Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:08 pm

The following e-mail was received here at RadioWest.ca early yesterday morning.

Hello,

I live in Point Roberts, WA, future home of KRPI 1550 radio transmission towers if the station's owners, BBC Broadcasting Inc. succeed to obtaining all necessary county approvals.

We have been following some RadioWest dot com discussions by your members about KRPI's past attempt to boost night time output (denied due to Canadian objections) and their current plans to relocate from Ferndale to Point Roberts and to increase output from 10kW to 50kW at night. Apparently FCC's construction permit, approving the relocation, also serves as a mechanism for approving the change in output.

We wonder how your very knowledgeable members seem to have known all about KRPI's plans before we here in Point Roberts knew anything about it. We saw that FCC guidelines require public comment on relocations to new sites, but as far as we know this was not done in this case. Perhaps FCC did serve public notice, but in a place or medium not seen by ordinary people.

For one thing, it seems odd that in 2011, apparently (from reading your bulletin board) Industry Canada blocked the night time increase to 50kW; but one year later, FCC approved it as part of a construction permit and there was no objection from Canada. Or did they, possibly, forget to ask Canada?

Any information or insights into how these things work would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: KRPI From the Residents' Point of View

Postby jon » Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:12 pm

To answer one point: after first objecting to KRPI's power increase and new location, Industry Canada later reviewed the situation and then withdrew their objection. Which was based on how much interference on 1570 there would be in Nanaimo, just in case someone wanted to use the frequency there, as two stations in the past have.
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Re: KRPI From the Residents' Point of View

Postby hagopian » Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:41 pm

I just looked at the call signs and said "Radio KRAPPPPPPYYYYYY". Too many lattes, I guess.
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Re: KRPI From the Residents' Point of View

Postby Toomas Losin » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:07 pm

I heard about it here, likely because of the good people that monitor FCC and CRTC announcements.

I imagine that notification for public comments followed the same procedure so nicely described by Douglas Adams in The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
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Re: KRPI From the Residents' Point of View

Postby J Kendrick » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:24 pm

Toomas Losin wrote:I heard about it here, likely because of the good people that monitor FCC and CRTC announcements.

I imagine that notification for public comments followed the same procedure so nicely described by Douglas Adams in The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.


"There’s no point acting all surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display in your local planning
department in Alpha Centauri for fifty of your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it’s far too late to start
making a fuss about it now."

Douglas Adams, BBC Radio, 1978...
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Re: KRPI From the Residents' Point of View

Postby radiofan » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:58 pm

Tsawwassen residents rally against crossborder radio tower

By Adrian MacNair - South Delta Leader
Published: September 18, 2013 3:00 PM


Residents in Tsawwassen are raising a ruckus to show solidarity with people in Point Roberts opposing a 150-foot tall five-tower AM radio array that will broadcast Punjabi programming to Lower Mainland residents.

Whatcom county accepted an application month from KRPI radio for a conditional use permit to install the powerful 50,000-watt signal just 330 metres from the Canadian border.

An online petition currently calling on the FCC to reject the “Pirate Border Blaster” has received close to 350 signatures since Aug. 14.

Jim Ronback of Beach Grove says that the application process does not take into account the residents living on the Canadian side of the border. He said technical engineering studies from the application ignore Tsawwassen altogether, identifying the closest population centre as being Ladner.

“I treat this as what they call a border blaster,” he said, referring to the Mexican radio stations that proliferated across the US border between the 1940s and 1970s, which often interfered with domestic radio stations.

Tsawwassen resident Greg Edwards said he’s canvassed most of the neighbourhoods immediately south of the border to get petition signatures and urge people to write to local politicians. He is currently trying to get more residents to help with going door-to-door.

KRPI radio is relocating from Ferndale, Washington, after apparently overstaying its welcome with residents there. Originally a Christian music station, the format was changed to Punjabi in 1994 and began broadcasting at 50 kilowatts in 2004.

The increase in signal strength upset Ferndale residents. Dozens of public comments made during a public meeting in Ferndale on Sept. 27, 2005 included complaints of daily interference through personal computers, telephones, and blanket interference through the entire AM frequency. Some said they couldn’t even get Bellingham radio stations and there was static on every station of their car radio. Others reported interference on walkie-talkies at work while one amateur radio operator said he received RF burns on both hands while trying to cut an antenna.

Andrew Skotdal, an engineering consultant for KRPI, said the radio station will have a qualified engineer dedicated to resolving interference issues for both U.S. and Canadian residents. He also pointed to other 50 kilowatt towers in places like Birch Bay and Richmond which operate without significant interference complaints.

An environmental review concluded the radio tower would have no negative effects to endangered or threatened species or pose a risk to birds. The design conforms to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommendations.

Skotdal said every radio station within the “border zone” defined by international treaty has to go through intergovernmental coordination before construction and the proposed towers were reviewed and approved by the CRTC.

Nor is KRPI leaving Ferndale because of local complaints, explained Skotdal.

“A large factor is that they cannot improve their coverage from that location due to their proximity to the U.S. government international monitoring station, which is protected,” he said.

Ham operators in Point Roberts have urged Whatcom County to reject the application on the grounds it could interfere with emergency communication services.

“If we have a bad earthquake the only way we’ll have communication is with ham radio,” said Kelly Kiniski, adding he can contact the Blaine Police or Whatcom County Auxiliary Communication Service.

“We’re sort of the lost stepchild up here. We’re not Canada and we’re sort of the United States but they forget about us.”

The towers are expected to primarily interfere with high frequency communications but Kiniski is concerned it could bleed into other frequencies as well.

Although the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted a construction permit last year for the radio station, a conditional use permit is still required from Whatcom County. A public hearing on the permit is not expected to happen until October.

Click here to sign the online “Pirate Border Blaster” petition.
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Re: KRPI From the Residents' Point of View

Postby albertaboy4life » Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:23 pm

Andrew Skotdal? Doesn't he own that mess at 1520 AM? That station has so much splatter in Calgary that it kills my reception of 1510 KGA Spokane and 1530 KFBK Sacramento. 1520 also has terrible analogue audio. What's with the low bit rate transmitter feed? Ain't nothing like the great sound that used to come from 1060 Calgary and 1090 Seattle in their "Classic Country" AM Stereo days.
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Re: KRPI From the Residents' Point of View

Postby radiofan » Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:51 pm

albertaboy4life wrote:Andrew Skotdal? Doesn't he own that mess at 1520 AM? That station has so much splatter in Calgary that it kills my reception of 1510 KGA Spokane and 1530 KFBK Sacramento. 1520 also has terrible analogue audio. What's with the low bit rate transmitter feed? Ain't nothing like the great sound that used to come from 1060 Calgary and 1090 Seattle in their "Classic Country" AM Stereo days.


Yes he is the owner. The splatter and crap from 1520 and it's idiotic IBOC has also totally killed any chance of listening to KFBK or KGA in Vancouver.

As for 1550, I drove through Ferndale the other day and was listening to CISL 650. I was withing about a half mile of the 1550 TX site and there they were making CISL totally unlistenable with interference.
I can now see why the folks in Ferndale want to see them gone. Maybe Whatcom Country will get wise and levy a huge yearly fee for towers. In the 1980's, the MD of Rockyview south of Calgary starting charging a yearly fee for radio and cell towers, I'm sure that cash grab continues today.
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Re: KRPI From the Residents' Point of View

Postby jon » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:31 pm

Interesting issue: 50KW AM transmitters close to residential housing.

Memory is kind of fuzzy as to exact distances. But I do remember a few times going to transmitter sites in Richmond in the last half of the 1960s, back when both CFUN and CJOR were still 10,000 watts. On the car radio, I'm sure we were more than half a mile away from their transmitter towers when it was nothing but the station across the entire band. At the time, that was how I figured out which station owned the towers.

And that was only 10,000 watts.

As I mentioned in another thread, CFRN-1260 is 50,000 watts non-directional in the day, but they still could be heard all the time behind telephone conversations at my previous location that was at least four miles away from their tower. And, yes, I actually had a TELUS repair guy out one time who proved to me it was in the house wiring, not from the TELUS phone line coming into my house. He actually disconnected my house wiring from the incoming line and let me listen to CFRN on my house wiring with his little test phone hand set.

I'm going on the theory that CFUN, CJOR and CFRN are/were all properly engineered transmitter sites. Which tells me that the KRPI issues in Point Roberts cannot be fixed once the towers are up and running. Anyone within 5 miles is likely in for trouble.
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Re: KRPI From the Residents' Point of View

Postby Eldon-Mr.CFAY » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:38 pm

Greetings Everyone,
Thanks Jon and Radiofan for interesting comments about this. Also thanks very much Jon for your previous post on CFRN 1260 interference from your old Edmonton location. Yes I guess it can be a big pain in the butt when you are living within 5 Miles of a 50,000 watt AM transmitter. I have never had the problems you encountered with CFRN 1260 anywhere I have lived or dxed in Canada Jon. The only problem I had when all those years I lived and dxed in North Surrey (Whalley area) was with CKNW 980 (50 KW.) from its East Surrey or North of Frys Corner in Surrey transmitter location. It was located over 5 miles from the Whalley area (perhaps 7 or 8 miles as the bird flies. However there was some challenges getting stations on 970 or 960 at times on my radios. I managed to null out splashover from NW 980 to get 970 Portland KOIN at the time and got them verified with a dx report sent for one night. I found it varied a bit and some nights CKNW 980 was splashing over worse than other nights in the Whalley area. Daytime they were quite strong and as I recall very hard to null out on 960 or 970. I could get KJR 950 most of the time in the day with no problem though. Using my air-core loop antennas at the time and later Ferrite Rod Loops I built it was easier to null out at night.

On another point when we had CFAY on air at 100 milliwatts or so no overloading radios beyond 10 feet of the transmitter or antenna. However when we operated at 5 to 8 watts you did notice the difference on a average radio. You had to be at least 30 feet away from the transmitter when on otherwise you would get a lot of slopover etc. from the crystal controlled tube transmitter we were using at the time. Interesting our carrier current operation back in 1967 which was JW Miller Coil controlled Oscillator got out about a mile on the power lines. Carrier current uses the power lines for your antenna and has been used by many colleges , high schools and universities across North America over the years. I believe UBC Radio CYVR used one on 650 khz. years ago. Anyway you had to be near the power line within about 10 to 20 feet to pick up the signal on a transistor radio or car radio. I was shocked when some Burnaby radio friends drove out and we went on range check in 1967 to find our 100 milliwatt carrier current transmitter get out close to 1 mile on the car radio. The Electronics Illustrated magazine 1965 construction article I built it from clearly stated your range would be restricted by your local Power Transformer on your power line. However it really does vary and in some circumstances the power transformers do not, yes do not block the signal at all or completely. This was the case in the Whalley and North Surrey area where we were (down near the Whalley Ball Park on 135th St. which is now the B>C Lions Park etc..) We did not notice any interference whatsoever on any other frequencies when you were over 10 feet away from the transmitter.

Now getting back to 50,000 watts or 50,000 watts Directional (even worse) if you are within 5 miles of the transmitter site I can see that been a real headache for dxing or as RadioFan stated at closer distances even getting a station not even in close in frequency like 650 verus 1550 AM... THERE IS A VERY BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A 500 WATT am STATION OR 1000 WATT AM STATION AND A 50,000 WATT STATION ON am CAUSING INTEREFERENCE TO RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOODS WITHIN 5 MILES!!! Just ask J.P. Ferraro (Pirate Joe) owner and chief engineer at WHVW 950 Hyde Park, New York!!! He would have plenty to say about that one. That is why I like lower powered AM stations a lot and promote very high tech. receiver solutions to extending the range of AM radio stations rather than boosting to high power with the radio station transmitters. Superconductor Radio Technology in New York State shows a lot of promise in this area among other things. High Tech. Superconductor Loop Antennas which are portable are another major improvement as is the C.Crane Twin Coil Ferrite Loop Antenna which C.Crane developed. Also dxer Gary DeBock in Oregon and Washington State has developed an FSL (Ferrite Sleeve Loop) Antenna which is amazing and portable which he uses with ultra-light portable radios for amazing dx results. THE Ferrite Sleeve Loop Antenna uses at least 20 Ferrite Rods actually its more than that arranged in a circle around a form with a coil wound around them. Giving high gain, reducing noise and its portable although the Ferrite Rods do add some weight to it. I would rather see a lot of lower powered AM stations up to say 5 or 10 KW. (10,000 Watts) Maximum and major improvements in receiver and antenna receiver technology than high power on the AM Band!!! The HYPRES Digital Superconductor Company in Elmsford, New York goes into a lot of detail about superconductor technology and after I was waiting since 1989 I finally discovered them recently that this company has developed the first Superconductor Communications Radio. They have a great website, Facebook page and a link to them is on the CFAY website below all the radio station links plus a photo of the communications receiver Hypres has developed.

It also might be possible somehow to reduce intereference at closer ranges from high power AM transmitters with a better design in the transmitter or antenna towers but I am not sure what might be involved here. It might be much more costly to do this over what has been done to this point. Anyway a few more comments about this topic.

73s Everyone and glad to hear your new location in Edmonton is better for reception on AM Jon!


Eldon
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Re: KRPI From the Residents' Point of View

Postby Eldon-Mr.CFAY » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:58 pm

Hi Everyone,
Oh I was going to comment on KKXA 1520 Everett, Wash. too. First off I hate IBOC on AM and believe it is not helping AM listening but doing a lot of damage to AM listening by causing more intereference etc. as Radiofan has pointed out. Having said that when 1520 first came on the air up to perhaps Feb. or March 2012 I cannot recall having any problem with them causing me not to listen to KFBK 1530 or KGA 1510 at all in Langley City. I wonder if their IBOC was not operating up to say March 2012 or so.

However here in the Cobourg area of Ontario I have noticed what I think is IBOC splashover and hash quite strongly in the daytime hours on 1170 and 1190 from WHAM 1180 Rochester, New York (which is 50,000 watts fulltime). Rochester, New York is about 50 miles right across Lake Ontario from Cobourg, Ontario. At night though WWVA 1170 Wheeling , West Virginia just blasts in here most nights, no WHAM IBOC noticed most nights here, only in the daytime!!! Kind of strange. Also I can get stations at night on 1190 including WOWO (Love the ole WO-WO jingles still fro the rock top 40 days, perhaps you can post some on Radio West radiofan) Fort Wayne , Indiana. Even though WO-WO is now all News Talk they still have a lot of the Wo-Wo station jingles and Ids.... One thing I have noticed in Eastern North America is a lot more stations use call letters and jingles still on AM especially in the eastern USA but even in Ontario too.

Most of the stations using IBOC are high power large market stations so kind of surprised that KKXA 1520 is using it. I know of several independent all local lower powered USA Am stations using AM stereo and promoting it. One been a daytimer WKTE 1090 King, North Carolina with AM stereo and fulltimer WION 1430 AM Stereo in Ionia, Michigan which is all local and independently owned with a radio museum at the station as well. WION heavily promotes their AM Stereo use!!!!

Well a few more comments on intereference etc.. on the AM Band. Get rid of IBOC on the AM band , it is crap!!!


73s Eldon
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Re: KRPI From the Residents' Point of View

Postby Toomas Losin » Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:38 pm

Eldon-Mr.CFAY wrote:Having said that when 1520 first came on the air up to perhaps Feb. or March 2012 I cannot recall having any problem with them causing me not to listen to KFBK 1530 or KGA 1510 at all in Langley City. I wonder if their IBOC was not operating up to say March 2012 or so.

Didn't KKXA start at 20 kW and then ramp up to 50 kW some time later? That may be the explanation. I don't know the timeframe but I remember it the same way: I don't remember it being a problem to listen on 1503 kHz when KKXA started up but in recent months one has to do tricks and hope that 1503 has more than just a faint signal in order to be able to hear something. I was able to hear Japan recently this way, but just barely.

An IBOC AM spectrum usage diagram shows that this is to be expected! The digital carriers extend to ±15 kHz from the analog carrier, stomping the first adjacents and bothering the second adjacents. This wide bandwidth is why the upper sideband of 1503 is just hash for me.

Imagine the mess if KRPI were to use IBOC! What are the odds of that happening? That would blow out 1540 and 1560, and cause grief to 1530 and 1570. Its day and night patterns are to be directional, coincidently protecting those first adjacent stations in Washington from the IBOC noise for everyone south of Point Roberts (but likely not the Point itself!).

Better try for KXEL 1540 Iowa now if you need it! HLAZ 1566 from Korea is strong on good mornings so it should still be heard through the noise but the frequency would certainly not be clear any more. Who knows what 1575 would be like; if 1550's modulation were to be slightly illegal then 1575 could be hit by the splatter.

Eldon-Mr.CFAY wrote:no WHAM IBOC noticed most nights here, only in the daytime!!!

Perhaps WHAM only runs IBOC in the daytime? At first IBOC was limited only to daytime operation because of the potential for nighttime interference (yes, really!) but was then allowed at night, albeit with reduced power to the digital carriers (money talks?).
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Re: KRPI From the Residents' Point of View

Postby Spike the Cat » Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:09 am

As another of those "residents" in Point Roberts, I'm curious about the FCC monitoring station that is/was in Ferndale, near the existing KRPI towers. One reason given for BBC's request to relocate to Point Roberts is that they need to get further away from the station so as not to cause interference with its functions.

But in 1995, the FCC announced that the nine existing monitoring stations would be closed by 1996, including the one in Ferndale. Was it actually closed? If so, how have the monitoring functions been handled since then? Are those stations still operating but remotely? Are the guidelines for protecting monitoring stations from proximate broadcasting signals are still in effect?

Anyone know?
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Re: KRPI From the Residents' Point of View

Postby Eldon-Mr.CFAY » Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:36 am

Greetings,
You bring up some interesting questions Spike the Cat, welcome to Radio West. Nice to hear from a Point Roberts resident!!! Also thanks Toomas for your information regarding IBOC implementation and the day versus night thing. Also it appears that KKXA 1520 was doing IBOC later like you and I seemed to have noticed. Yes I would be interested in knowing if the Ferndale FCC monitoring station has an active staff at all or is it just automated????? Its a good question and also the closing of FCC monitoring stations is also interesting!!!

Take care everyone,

73s Eldon
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Re: KRPI From the Residents' Point of View

Postby radiofan » Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:48 pm

Interesting question Spike. I've never physically seen the FCC monitoring site in Ferndale. First I ever heard of it was when KARI 550 wanted to raise power several years ago.

One of the reasons for the denial of the power increase to the south was that it would mess up the Ferndale FCC monitoring station.

If the site has vanished, that would make sense as to why KRPI is still on the air today. I'm sure if the FCC heard the slop they're putting out in Ferndale and the interference they're causing, they had been
forced to clean up their act years ago.
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