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WJR's ever-diminishing signal in West Michigan

The technical side of broadcasting. Think IBOC is a sham? Talk about it here! How about HDTV? Post DX reports here as well.
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WOHO
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Re: WJR's ever-diminishing signal in West Michigan

Post by WOHO » Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:45 pm

Back when the FCC asked about AM improvements, I told them despite MDCL saving the electric bill, that I thought that it would have a reduction in apparent signal level, but I was po-poed on that issue by the FCC. So it does appear that WJR is using MDCL, which is too bad for their infamous 13 states of coverage they used to claim. As others have pointed out, they could be using the AUX tower and/or transmitter? I would have expected to see a STA for 25KW the way things sound. WWL ramped down to 25KW during Katrina to make their generator fuel last twice as long. Since WJR is using the PPM, I'm surprised that can work with MDCL, is the PPM phase-modulated? Would that preclude the use of IBOC ever again, or their CQUAM stereo?

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rst599
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Re: WJR's ever-diminishing signal in West Michigan

Post by rst599 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:03 pm

WOHO wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:45 pm
Since WJR is using the PPM, I'm surprised that can work with MDCL, is the PPM phase-modulated? Would that preclude the use of IBOC ever again, or their CQUAM stereo?
In tests conducted by Harris at WOR before the FCC approved MDCL, Arbitron acknowledged no PPM errors during on-air testing of all different ACC and AMC modes. Additionally, AMC was found to be the most compatible with IBOC, resulting in no noticeable coverage loss.

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MWmetalhead
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Re: WJR's ever-diminishing signal in West Michigan

Post by MWmetalhead » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:38 pm

Look at the just released ratings for Detroit...

WJR is getting its butt kicked by 950 WWJ.

PPM encoding issues, perhaps?

Never thought I'd see WJR at a 3.4 share given all the controversy & talking head chatter that the Trump presidency is fueling. They're now closer to 91.7 WUOM in the ratings than 950 WWJ!

I think the just released ratings survey may be the worst - perhaps by a significant margin - in WJR's storied history.

Their signal is fading and so are the ratings.
C'mon iHeartRadio - do the RIGHT thing for once! Please cancel "Rover's Morning Glory" from WBFX in Grand Rapids.

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Big Signal
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Re: WJR's ever-diminishing signal in West Michigan

Post by Big Signal » Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:11 am

WJR is a dying giant.
It's all about the money!

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MWmetalhead
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Re: WJR's ever-diminishing signal in West Michigan

Post by MWmetalhead » Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:09 pm

I thought I would mention the numbers for 720 WGN in Chicago are also at or near all-time record low levels.
C'mon iHeartRadio - do the RIGHT thing for once! Please cancel "Rover's Morning Glory" from WBFX in Grand Rapids.

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Re: WJR's ever-diminishing signal in West Michigan

Post by ftballfan » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:09 am

MWmetalhead wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:38 pm
Look at the just released ratings for Detroit...

WJR is getting its butt kicked by 950 WWJ.

PPM encoding issues, perhaps?

Never thought I'd see WJR at a 3.4 share given all the controversy & talking head chatter that the Trump presidency is fueling. They're now closer to 91.7 WUOM in the ratings than 950 WWJ!

I think the just released ratings survey may be the worst - perhaps by a significant margin - in WJR's storied history.

Their signal is fading and so are the ratings.
Throw in that 91.7 is a rimshot to Detroit!

WJR should get a slight boost with the Lions, especially if they are decent to good this year.

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Re: WJR's ever-diminishing signal in West Michigan

Post by Rich » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:19 am

audiophile wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:33 am
... I took to FI meter out and compared it to CKLW and the signal was 1/2 the intensity, where they should be almost the same.
As for a signal comparison of CKLW and WJR in western Michigan:

CKLW radiates about 9 kW toward Grand Rapids over a path length of 149 miles to the ~center of Grand Rapids. Their groundwave field intensity there is about 119 µV/m.

WJR radiates about 86.3 kW toward Grand Rapids over a path length of 136 miles to the ~center of Grand Rapids. Their groundwave field intensity there is about 700 µV/m.

Also note that the RMS field at 1 km for the directional array of CKLW is about 1.887 V/m, whereas the RMS field from non-directional WJR at 1 km is about 2.845 V/m (toward all horizontal azimuths).

Image

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AM Broadcast Station Daytime Groundwave Field Intensities, SE Michigan

Post by Rich » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:18 pm

For perspective, below are the calculated daytime groundwave fields for the AM stations and receive locations noted.

Downtown Detroit (ZIP 48201)
WJR 75.8 mV/m
CKLW 46.5 "
WDFN 36.6 "
WWJ 30.4 "
WXYT 15.8 "
WFDF 3.34 "

Ann Arbor (ZIP 48104)
WJR 29.9 mV/m
WFDF 17.4 "
WWJ 11 "
WDFN 10.7 "
CKLW 4 "
WXYT 2.14 "

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audiophile
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Re: WJR's ever-diminishing signal in West Michigan

Post by audiophile » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:40 am

What was all that supposed to mean? I'm not in west Michigan.

I have a FI intensity meter, and have done partial proofs for Detroit area stations that were submitted to FCC.

I compared the patterns before I took my measurements and the zip-codes from v-soft.
Ask not what your country can do FOR you; ask what they are about to do TO YOU!!

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WOHO
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Re: WJR's ever-diminishing signal in West Michigan

Post by WOHO » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:26 pm

audiophile or Rich: daytime groundwave signal in downtown Toledo 43604?

Rich
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Re: WJR's ever-diminishing signal in West Michigan

Post by Rich » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:07 pm

WJR field in ZIP 43604 is 15.1 mV/m.

schmave
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Re: WJR's ever-diminishing signal in West Michigan

Post by schmave » Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:28 pm

It's been worse than usual down here around Columbus for some time. Never used to be a problem to hear WJR in this area, but it is noticeably weaker nowadays. Skywave around here usually isn't the powerhouse it is elsewhere just because of our distance from Detroit.

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MWmetalhead
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Re: WJR's ever-diminishing signal in West Michigan

Post by MWmetalhead » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:59 am

I tried tuning in near Delaware, OH in late March in 2016 on a 70 degree day. Radio was a 2015 or 2016 Ford Focus (rental car).

It was audible but very noisy. Definitely weaker than predicted contours would suggest.

If it is that bad a good 12 to 15 miles north of downtown Columbus, reception must be terrible in Columbus proper.
C'mon iHeartRadio - do the RIGHT thing for once! Please cancel "Rover's Morning Glory" from WBFX in Grand Rapids.

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craig11152
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Re: WJR's ever-diminishing signal in West Michigan

Post by craig11152 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:09 am

ftballfan wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:09 am
WJR should get a slight boost with the Lions, especially if they are decent to good this year.
I am not a student of, or pro in the industry so can anyone tell me what sort of boost they could get? What if MSU is good again? They are only once a week sports. How much does that impact overall numbers?
Finally, he switched to a bone saw to finish the job, and at 9:17 p.m., Mountain time, the head of the greatest hitter who ever lived had been sliced off.

Rich
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Re: WJR's ever-diminishing signal in West Michigan

Post by Rich » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:48 am

MWmetalhead wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:59 am
I tried tuning in near Delaware, OH in late March in 2016 on a 70 degree day. Radio was a 2015 or 2016 Ford Focus (rental car). It was audible but very noisy. Definitely weaker than predicted contours would suggest.
Such observations are heavily dependent on the receive system in use, as well as its geographic location.

For example, I have two cars: a 2008 KIA Optima and a 2016 Toyota Corolla. Checking today while parked in my driveway in my city of 40,000, the Toyota radio produces very listenable (but not noise-free) daytime groundwave reception of WBBM and the other Chicago Class As. The lengths of those propagation paths exceed 225 miles. It also listenably receives a 530 kHz TIS station transmitting from a state park more than 30 miles away from me.

The KIA radio does not detect any of those signals from my receive location.

schmave
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Re: WJR's ever-diminishing signal in West Michigan

Post by schmave » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:56 pm

Point taken Rich, but this isn't a new thing. WJR has been weaker around here for at least a few years. Heck, when I was in sixth grade in 1989-90, one of my teachers used to listen to WJR's newscasts between classes on a radio in the classrrom here in Columbus. Static, of course, but it was quite listenable even inside the building. Not even close to that now on radios I have.
Up around Lima, though, it still sounds pretty solid. Same with CKLW (daytime only); they basically are at equal strength in that area.

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Re: WJR's ever-diminishing signal in West Michigan

Post by Rich » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:03 pm

The most reliable way to determine whether or not a licensed non-D AM broadcast station is radiating the groundwave field shown for it in FCC records is to measure it just beyond the near-field radius of its antenna system (typically 1 km away from the tower base), using a calibrated field intensity meter.

Doing so removes the uncertainties of the varying losses over long, groundwave propagation paths, local noise levels, receive systems of unknown characteristics, and human perception/judgment.

In the case of WJR, a field intensity of about 2.8 volts/meter should be present at a horizontal distance of 1 km from the base of their active, main tower if the unmodulated power at the tower base is 50 kW.

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