KRPI 1550 Ferndale denied power increase

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KRPI 1550 Ferndale denied power increase

Postby Dan Sys » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:49 pm

I found this story via today's Northwest Broadcasters "recent news" quite interesting.
http://members.shaw.ca/nwbroadcasters/recentnews.htm

The FCC has turned down a request by KRPI 1550 Ferndale to increase night power from 10,000 watts to 50,000 watts. The reasons given were that the Canadian government has objected to the KRPI proposal because the proposed contours overlap the CKEG 1570 contours inside Canada in violation of the U.S./Canadian agreement.

It will be exactly 10 years ago this September that CKEG 1570 Nanaimo flipped to 106.9 FM becomming CHWF (The Wolf). Does the Canadian government really care about AM allocations that will in all likelihood never be utilized again, or have they singled out KRPI because of the fact that 100% of their advertising revenue comes from the South Asian community in Greater Vancouver?
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Re: KRPI 1550 Ferndale denied power increase

Postby jon » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:10 pm

If I was Industry Canada, I too would be protecting every Canadian frequency allocation that ever existed since The Big Frequency Switch of 1941. Give them up and they just don't come back. It is tough enough to keep frequencies like 1130 usable.

For a number of reasons, the U.S. is still increasing the number of AM stations on the air. If Canada does not protect its frequency allocations, it won't get a second chance. Precedent is everything in the assignment of radio station frequencies, both within Canada and the U.S., and cross border.

"Who is there first" even trumps cross-border issues, where U.S. stations are not allowed to cause grief across the Canadian border. For example, 50KW CFCW Camrose is moving from 790 to 840 to escape interference from a 3800 watt station in Spokane on 790. How is that possible? Well, the Spokane station has a very tight 4 tower night-time directional pattern that points almost right at Camrose, making 3800 watts more like 15,000 watts. CFCW's market is far and wide, and much of it rural. But they can't complain to the FCC because Spokane was there first, before CFCW moved from 1230 to 790 in the early 1960s.


On a similar topic, I just checked and was surprised to see that KVRI-1600 has 50,000 watts day and 10,000 watts night. With different really ugly 6 tower patterns.

If all they care about is serving Canadians, you would think they could get 50KW full-time with a simple Null to the South using two towers. Surely they don't have to protect 1570 Nanaimo.

Of course, asking for a North pattern like that would blow their cover of being there to serve the local U.S. market.

No matter what, they will continue to require a very good Null to the South, both day and night. To protect 1590 Seattle, and a couple of stations in Oregon on 1600.
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Re: KRPI 1550 Ferndale denied power increase

Postby radiofan » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:01 pm

The main reason for KRPI not getting the 50kw grant was more likely the fact that there is a FCC monitoring station in rural Ferndale.

If KVRI is indeed 50 kw in the daytime, it is directional away from the south.

Several years ago KARI was granted 50kw, but they didn't do the upgrade because of the monitoring station issue.

As for all the 1600 towers, they share the site with KARI 550 .. I believe KARI already had 5 or 6 towers on that site before 1600 hit the air.

A few years ago when KTRB 860 made the move from Modesto to San Francisco, CA on of the biggest hurdles in the move was the expense of moving an FCC monitoring station that was located
near their proposed Bay Area TX site.

Maybe KRPI should just apply for 1570, it'll never come back on the air in Nanaimo or the lower mainland.
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Re: KRPI 1550 Ferndale denied power increase

Postby RationalKeith » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:02 pm

So maybe the wise thing to do would be to "have words" with the FCC over the interference to AM1130, instead of hogging an unused frequency?
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Re: KRPI 1550 Ferndale denied power increase

Postby skyvalleyradio » Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:37 pm

sorry jon - can't agree with you on this one. With Canadian broadcasters abandoning the AM band in favour of FM, the likelihood that these 'protected' frequencies will ever see licensed stations is pretty minimal. Recent conversations with Andy Skotdal, owner of KRKO 1380 and the now-testing KKXA 1520 reveal that these 'protected' Canadian frequencies require permission from IC. In the case of KKXA, they had to protect CKAY 1500 Duncan which has been off the AM band for at least 10 years now. KKXA also had to protect a theoretical 1520 allocation in Calgary. What a joke!! Canadian broadcasters that want these abandoned, protected frequencies should be given a set period of time (say 3 years) to apply and move to these channels. After that, the Canadian/US AM band plan of 1941 should be overhauled - if American broadcasters want more AM channels, let 'em have them!
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Re: KRPI 1550 Ferndale denied power increase

Postby jon » Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:27 pm

One important point that may have got lost in this (to me, very interesting) discussion of Canada giving up unused AM frequencies to the U.S.

I have developed the very strong impression over the last couple of years that the reason we have not seen very many AM frequencies abandoned in the U.S., like we have in Canada, is because the U.S. is not bound by the CRTC regulations that:
  1. prevent AM-FM simulcasting,
  2. limit the number of stations a single owner can have, especially in small markets
  3. limit the number of stations licensed in any market based on the CRTC's analysis as to whether the market can support that many stations running at a profit.
For example, a very small Eastern Washington market is probably in worse shape now than they were in the Great Depression of the 1930s but they have three stations on the air. They are all owned by the same company, and two are an AM-FM simulcast pair.
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Re: KRPI 1550 Ferndale denied power increase

Postby skyvalleyradio » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:27 pm

...and that is because the FCC, unlike the CRTC doesn't OVER-regulate programming, day-to-day operations or attempts at improving efficiencies, such as simulcasting or format changes without the necessity of seeking federal approval. Another reason there isn't mass flipping from AM to FM in the U.S. is the simple fact that the FM dial is getting saturated in many urban areas. Time for both countries to open up the 76-88 mHz portion of the FM band.
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Re: KRPI 1550 Ferndale denied power increase

Postby CKNF » Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:42 pm

skyvalleyradio wrote:...Time for both countries to open up the 76-88 mHz portion of the FM band.


I my opinion, all that would do is create an extended band that nobody would want to be on. It would be considered the 'ghetto' end of the FM band...much like 1610 kHz to 1710 kHz on the AM side.
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Re: KRPI 1550 Ferndale denied power increase

Postby beddows » Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:33 pm

76-88 would be a good place to locate translators. Like CBC Abbotsford for example. on the other hand with CHEK gone its a good frequency for my satellite radio to use. If it goes that low, I have check.
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Re: KRPI 1550 Ferndale denied power increase

Postby RationalKeith » Sun Nov 27, 2011 2:52 pm

Simulcasting is a good idea in variabe terrain (like Victoria BC for example) or for distance (such as NE BC before there was much population north of Ft. St. John), due to better propagation at AM frequencies.

Obviously a cost to keep the other TX powered and functioning.
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