CFSI 107.9 testing 1,2,3,4

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CFSI 107.9 testing 1,2,3,4

Postby skyvalleyradio » Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:48 pm

As of 9:20am CFSI 107.9 Salt Spring Island is in test mode. Instead of the 2-bay directional antenna spec'd in the original proposal, a 3-bay array was determined to be the best to achieve the directional pattern required. This array clocked in at 1200 lbs - too heavy for the wooden hydro pole according to a consulting engineer. Currently CFSI is using just one bay and hopefully the radiation pattern and protection to CILS Victoria required can be achieved

signal reports appreciated to:

info@cfsi-fm.com or phone (250)931-1079
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Re: CFSI 107.9 testing 1,2,3,4

Postby Mike Cleaver » Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:09 pm

1200 lbs?!
What the hell's it made of?
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Re: CFSI 107.9 testing 1,2,3,4

Postby cart_machine » Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:31 pm

Mike Cleaver wrote:1200 lbs?!
What the hell's it made of?


Two unconstipated consultants.

cArtie.
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Re: CFSI 107.9 testing 1,2,3,4

Postby Dan Sys » Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:42 pm

All I'm getting on 107.9 in Maple Ridge at the moment is CFML from B.C.I.T. in Burnaby. I'll go for a drive after dinner to see if CFSI is audible in the car anywhere in the area. What type of music are they testing with?
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Re: CFSI 107.9 testing 1,2,3,4

Postby Dan Sys » Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:49 pm

No sign of CFSI. I even took a spin up the hills north east of Maple Ridge thinking that might be more of a clear shot to Salt Spring, but little old CFML with their measily 12 watts entirely dominates the frequency out this way. I'll keep on trying Sky.
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Re: CFSI 107.9 testing 1,2,3,4

Postby skyvalleyradio » Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:51 pm

Mike - these are Kathrein antennas and weigh a lot...definitely one of the disadvantages of using these.

Dan - its a short loop with a variety of different genres...I'm surprised you're not hearing it. Perhaps the one bay is radiating a tighter directional pattern than thought possible. There's lots of tweaking to do - today was the first day of testing. I haven't talked with anybody at the station today to find out what's going on yet.
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Re: CFSI 107.9 testing 1,2,3,4

Postby VE7ROX » Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:24 am

Wow, talk about the clash of the radio stations. Haven't heard anything quite like this before. Had a trip to Horseshoe Bay yesterday (Monday June 15/09). In downtown "The Bay", or Horseshoe Bay Village. CFSI Salt Spring Island was full quieting throughout that whole area, especially below the Eagle Ridge exit (Exit 2). I heard all of their identifiers, such as "This is CFSI FM 107.9 on Salt Spring Island running a test transmission" and things of that nature. It sounded like they were playing Hillbilly music or older Country & Western, at least a lot stuff with fiddles and banjos. I heard them give an address on Ganges Road. Anyway, stayed in the Bay for a bit, and then headed back up the hill toward Vancouver. At Nelson Creek and a little to the east of there, heading toward Caulfield Village, things started to happen. Two radio stations started to occupy the frequency. For a few seconds, CFML Burnaby would be there with rock tunes, and then CFSI would be there with fiddle music. Quite something to hear. Sounded like they were fighting for a spot. I guess they were almost identical in signal strength, and it would depend on where your antennna was sitting at any exact moment. As I proceeded east toward Taylor Way and Park Royal, CFML started to dominate, and as I got to the Lonsdale exit, CFML seemed to win out. Down at the North Van waterfront, or Seabus terminal, it is difficult to say if the reception of CFML is any different than it was. Will have to do some more listening. They (CFML), are 100% solid here on Capitol Hill and throughout North Burnaby.

P.S.: I have a few antennas on my balcony, but I'm sure glad that 1200 lb antenna is not one of them. I wonder if professional piano movers would want to touch it. - ROX . . .
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Re: CFSI 107.9 testing 1,2,3,4

Postby Mike Cleaver » Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:55 am

No luck picking up CFSI here in Kits Point.
With both my trusty Sony SRF-A100 and ICF-6000W, all I'm getting is a noisy signal from CFML but that's understandable because we're definitely in a shadow of the transmitter down here at sea level.
I may drive out to UBC later today and see what I can get from there.
By way of a question, who recommended that particular antenna system and how much did it cost?
I'm a consultant and do studio work, not transmitters and antennas but for a community station, this sounds as if it's overkill to me.
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Re: CFSI 107.9 testing 1,2,3,4

Postby VE7ROX » Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:56 pm

Well, I hope CFML doesn't have an antenna like that. If it came crashing down, there would go half of BCIT . . .
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Re: CFSI 107.9 testing 1,2,3,4

Postby Mike Cleaver » Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:23 pm

Actually, the BCIT transmitter and tower are on the Rogers Building at Metrotown.
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Re: CFSI 107.9 testing 1,2,3,4

Postby skyvalleyradio » Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:44 pm

Mike - the Kathrein antenna was the basis for the original CRTC engineering study done by DEM Allen of Winnipeg. I'm not really sure who actually reccomended installing one of these as I wasn't involved in that decision - possibly the project manager in charge of the installation but I'm not sure. Before they hired a project manager, I DO remember telling the owner and manager that these antennas weighed a ton would be top-heavy regardless of what they mounted on.
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Re: CFSI 107.9 testing 1,2,3,4

Postby radiofan » Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:21 pm

I heard a portion of an announcement for a few seconds on top of CFML while I drove through uptown New Westminster this morning. As I made my way out toRichmond, CFML was pretty much dominant with occasional bursts of interference. When I was pulling out of a parking lot near #5 & Steveston, I heard a bit of Tiptoe Thru The Tulips by Tiny Tim and then CFML overtook the frequency again when I turned in another direction.

In the next couple of days, I'll hook the tuner up to the seldom used FM antenna with rotor. This may give me the CFML null I need.
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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Re: CFSI 107.9 testing 1,2,3,4

Postby skyvalleyradio » Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:48 pm

Mike Cleaver, radiofan, Dan Sys & VE7ROX - thank a ton for the signal reports guys (or lack of them!) This is news I can use & pass on. The fact the signal was audible in Horseshoe Bay but not many points east of there suggests a strong directional pattern which should favour that direction. The antenna is pointed 10 degrees west of True North. Locally, the entire north end of Salt spring gets a nice clean signal. Some of the south end of Salt Spring also gets a nice signal. It is the mid-portion of the island where there are some serious signal problems. I live in that area and the only way I can get a clean multi-path free signal on my Magnum Dynalab FT101 FM monitor is to point my 10 element FM yagi antenna to a mountain south of me to catch a "bounce" Pointing my yagi right at the CFSI antenna yields bad multi-path hiss and no usable signal. Selecting mono or a narrower IF filter (180 kHz & 150 kHz) doesn't help either. The terrain between there and here is blocked by elevation, while not high, is mostly composed of rock. Salt Spring Island is a VERY difficult location for ANY VHF or UHF signal path and there are numerous areas where cell phones WILL NOT work! Mid-island is particularly bad. I'm lucky to live on a high ridgetop with excellent south, west & north facing elevation - my home & property were deliberately chosen for the excellent potential for very weak signal VHF & UHF DX in the 6 meters (50 mHz) & 2 meters (144 mHz) amateur bands. I have been rewarded over the years with some very rare ham contacts of considerable distance on these frequencies. The TV & FM DX here is nothing to slouch about either!

The test has a short loop of music with an ID and contact info which is required for these tests. Some of the tracks are by Salt Spring musicians & artists and many of the quieter ballads and passages of music help to assess the signal strength. The music loop is just a taste of the freewheelin' eclectic programming to be expected from CFSI. Tentatively, CFSI hopes to sign on July 6 or 7 but that's V E R Y unofficial. You can view the CFSI antenna pattern following this link:

http://www.recnet.com/cdbs/fmq.php?canfm=CFSI-FM(1)&jaws=0
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Re: CFSI 107.9 testing 1,2,3,4

Postby Mike Cleaver » Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:32 pm

Didn't make it to the UBC south cliffs today but will try later this week.
I still think it will be a tough catch from there because of the BCIT station.
But I'll try and dig out my hand-held yagi and see if I can null out that signal and pick up CFSI.
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Re: CFSI 107.9 testing 1,2,3,4

Postby Eldon-Mr.CFAY » Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:05 am

Hi again everyone. If I pause a bit in this post, it's because I've been listening to Curtis Sliwa's talk show, found nightly on WABC AM 770 NYC. The nearest other station carrying this is KXL AM 750 Portland, OR. This talk show airs on weekday nights and gets real slaphappy at times. He just has a real unique way of humorously handling serious topics. Tonight he was talking about being shot by the mob in the NYC area in l992, and put real humor into it. If you don*t already know, Curtis is founder of the Guardian Angels, a transit group to help transit riders in trouble at various cities across the USA. Yes, I was listening to it on the WiFi radios including my latest portable Grace Traveller Radio which uses 6 double A batteries, nothing exotic like the one my laptop uses. It also gives me 12 hours of continuous battery life.

Anyway, after this long-winded intro, here is a WiFi question about this topic. Is CFSI Saltspring Island going to stream audio on the internet??? I will be the first one to listen if they do. Now on to my reception in Langley City the last couple of days. Yesterday or the night before, quite late, and on 107.9, I was getting an open carrier turning on and off, and it was strong. It was not CFML because I can get them with a fair to average signal by adjusting the antenna on my digital Grundig radio which is quite sensitive across the FM Band. I also have been hearing clicks and pops in the last 2 nights on the frequency which did not occur previously. By the way, thanks to everyone for all the signal reports of what you heard on 107.9.

Also, many thanks to Sky Valley Radio for all the info, and alerting us about CFSI's testing. I hope everything goes well and the station comes on full-time soon. Tonight, after we got back (about midnight), I tried again for CFSI 107.9 and got a stronger signal with country-rock, then soft rock, then harder rock but no station ID. It seemed fairly strong and wasn't coming from the normal direction that the telescopic whip antenna picks up CFML Burnaby. However, I wanted to post this before it got too late, so I had to come in from the balcony outside the apt. to get to the computer. I'll continue to listen later and in the next few days to see if I can get CFSI in Langley City. As I mentioned in other postings, CFML 107.9 Burnaby is not that strong in Langley city, especially at this location. The reason is, we are facing south on the apt. balcony, and all of Langley City is in a dip or valley surrounded by the hills of Langley Township and Surrey to the west. CFML does indeed come in stronger on the hilltops of Murrayville, Willoughby Hill-Walnut Grove, Brookswood etc. in the township. Thanks Mike Cleaver for describing the CFML transmitter-antenna location. That high Burnaby Metro-Town location explains why the 12 watts gets out so well. Yes, even to Dan*s old location of Aldergrove in the east end of Langley Township. That's a fairly high spot in the township for FM radio reception.

I was thinking of going out to Aldergrove Lake Park to the south, in an attempt to receive low power fm station KAVZ FM 102.5 in Deming, WA (Whatcom County East). It would also be interesting to try for CFSI at that location. Two places that I would really like to try for CFSI are White Rock (the hillside, Semiahmoo Park, and the beach area), and the Coquitlam-Burke Mountain area facing south. We (Jim ROX) and I were going to try DXing on Burke Mountain this past Sunday but did not have the time. VE7ROX (Jim), thanks for your detailed signal reports at Horseshoe Bay and West Vancouver/North Vancouver! Oh yes, and Sky Valley Radio, I too am glad that we never used any super heavy FM antennas at CFAY-FM. That CFSI one sounds like it could make a real impact on something other than transmitting a good signal!!! About the only thing that we did with CFAY 1360 North Surrey, back in 1969 and 1970, was use HEAVY Two-By-Four WOODEN Supports at each end for the quarter-wave longwire antenna we used for transmitting. One came down a couple of times in a windstorm but we got it back up okay. One of our neighbors was worried it might crash into her vegetable garden but it never did. So hopefully CFSI can get all the antenna stuff worked out! Anyway I'm really looking forward to hearing CFSI's programming!!! Please keep us posted on future developments Sky Valley. You do a great job of describing radio projects etc.. Take care and good listening!!!
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