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WJR at 500 kW Transmitter Power with Directional Antenna (1950s proposal)

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WJR at 500 kW Transmitter Power with Directional Antenna (1950s proposal)

Post by Rich F. » Wed Feb 24, 2021 4:44 am

Below is a graphic comparing the current operation of WJR to their proposal for 500 kW transmitter power using a directional antenna to limit their radiation toward Toronto to their current, 50 kW licensed value — which the FCC did not grant. (The parameters of the 500 kW array below are not necessarily those defined by WJR, but they do limit radiation toward Toronto to the equivalent of using a 50 kW transmitter.)

This is all water under the bridge, but I was wondering what the improvement in WJR's groundwave would have been in Kalamazoo, MI if they had been authorized for their 500 kW DA back in the 1950s. Kalamazoo (ZIP 49001) is well into the region of 4 mS/m and 2 mS/m soil on the FCC M3 conductivity map, ~120 miles on a compass bearing of N275.1°E from the WJR transmitter site.
  • For 50 kW non-D operation, the field from WJR in ZIP 49001 is about 0.36 mV/m.
  • For the 500 kW DA pattern shown below, their field in ZIP 49001 would have risen to about 1.3 mV/m.
A field of 1.3 mV/m isn't a big winner even in a modest-sized urban area, but still it might have been quite "listenable" on a good home/car radio at most locations in/around Kalamazoo.

For perspective, WJR now has a GW field of about 1.3 mV/m near Bay City, MI, and that Tri-City area had plenty of listeners to WJR back when I grew up in Saginaw. I suppose WJR still might have plenty of listeners there, if their programing now matched what it was back then — with local talent including J.P. McCarthy, Karl Haas, Mike Whorf, Ted Strasser, Bud Guest, Jimmy Launce, Jay Roberts, Charlie Park, etc.

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Last edited by Rich F. on Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: WJR at 500 kW Transmitter Power with Directional Antenna (1950s proposal)

Post by k8jd » Fri Feb 26, 2021 6:18 pm

Can not open the image without joining another group. too bad it can't work here. :( :cry:



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Re: WJR at 500 kW Transmitter Power with Directional Antenna (1950s proposal)

Post by Rich F. » Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:26 pm

I changed the path to another source for the graphic, so maybe that will work. Thanks for the tip.



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Re: WJR at 500 kW Transmitter Power with Directional Antenna (1950s proposal)

Post by MWmetalhead » Sun Feb 28, 2021 7:23 am

A field of 1.3 mV/m isn't a big winner even in a modest-sized urban area, but still it might have been quite "listenable" on a good home/car radio at most locations in/around Kalamazoo.
Indeed, it would have been - especially in the pre-digital age!

Are you able to do a similar comparison for Grand Rapids? In the early 90's, I had a GE clock radio that could pick up WJR quite clearly. At my grandparents' house in the middle of the city, the station also came in fairly clearly (just a little fuzz) on a tabletop radio.

Today, reception of WJR in the Grand Rapids area is terrible unless one is out by Ada or the airport. That's been the case for a couple decades now. I seem to recall the station having a transmitter failure in the late 90's or 2000-ish and never fully restoring the super strong signal it once had.

I remember Art Vuolo and others remarking how good the signal (once) was in Columbus, OH, including inside the horsepile - err horseshoe. I had to travel to Columbus on business in 2016 via car. It was a mild day - but not a hot day - and by the time I was near the zoo on the far north side of town, reception was already quite noisy. In the heart of Columbus, reception was no better or barely better than in Grand Rapids.


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Re: WJR at 500 kW Transmitter Power with Directional Antenna (1950s proposal)

Post by Rich F. » Sun Feb 28, 2021 9:02 am

MWmetalhead wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 7:23 am
... Are you able to do a similar comparison for Grand Rapids? ... I remember Art Vuolo and others remarking how good the signal (once) was in Columbus, OH ... In the heart of Columbus, reception was no better or barely better than in Grand Rapids. Today, reception of WJR in the Grand Rapids area is terrible unless one is out by Ada or the airport. That's been the case for a couple decades now.
Local r-f noise levels in most locations are a lot higher now than they were decades ago. Most likely, the signal strengths of WJR in mV/m both in Grand Rapids and Columbus are essentially the same now as back then, however. It is the new signal-to-noise ratio (and the performance of some modern AM broadcast receivers) that account for the relatively poor reception of all distant AM stations these days.

The field of 50 kW WJR in Grand Rapids ZIP 49503 is about 0.7 mV/m, and in Columbus ZIP 43201 it is about 0.9 mV/m.

If WJR was using the 500 kW DA facilities shown in the graphic of the opening post here...
  • their field in Grand Rapids ZIP 49503 would rise to about 2.8 mV/m, and
  • their field in Columbus ZIP 43201 would rise to about 3.6 mV/m.



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Re: WJR at 500 kW Transmitter Power with Directional Antenna (1950s proposal)

Post by WOHO » Mon Mar 01, 2021 12:41 am

Wasn't WJR one of a half dozen clear channel stations that asked the FCC for 750kW in 1962 (if you look them up on the FCC 'history cards')?



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Re: WJR at 500 kW Transmitter Power with Directional Antenna (1950s proposal)

Post by k8jd » Mon Mar 01, 2021 5:29 pm

WOHO wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 12:41 am
Wasn't WJR one of a half dozen clear channel stations that asked the FCC for 750kW in 1962 (if you look them up on the FCC 'history cards')?
Pretty sure WLW in Cinci actualy cranked up well over 50 Kw for some tests. I think they had the entire state and a few others cvovered in daylight hours. Probably KY and southern IN too.



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Re: WJR at 500 kW Transmitter Power with Directional Antenna (1950s proposal)

Post by MWmetalhead » Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:20 am

If WJR was using the 500 kW DA facilities shown in the graphic of the opening post here...
their field in Grand Rapids ZIP 49503 would rise to about 2.8 mV/m, and
their field in Columbus ZIP 43201 would rise to about 3.6 mV/m.
Wow - so reception in G.R. would have been as good or perhaps better than it currently is in Lansing! Thanks for the info.


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Re: WJR at 500 kW Transmitter Power with Directional Antenna (1950s proposal)

Post by Rich F. » Thu Mar 04, 2021 1:32 am

Below is a comparison of the nighttime fields of WJR using their existing transmit facilities vs. if the FCC allowed them to use 500 kW with a directional antenna, as WJR proposed in the 1950s.

The 1 mV/m contours in this comparison are a fairly strong field. Even when using 50 kW non-D, WJR usefully can be received with fields much lower than 1 mV/m — where their co-channel interference is low enough.

Image



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Re: WJR at 500 kW Transmitter Power with Directional Antenna (1950s proposal)

Post by WOHO » Thu Mar 04, 2021 8:16 am

Wow, would need good selectivity on your receiver as Atlanta would be in the mix on the first adjacent, but imagine WJR being able to add the MSP, KC Atlanta, and possibly even the Philly-DC-NYC area?
And yes, WLW had Westinghouse/RCA transmitter #1 that fed the 50KW signal into the 500KW water cooled transmitter in the late 1930's. Supposedly, you could even hear superstation WLW in Germany at that time! Imagine if the FCC had allowed the half dozen clears to go to 750KW in the early 60's as they asked and approve analog stereo then to be on par, even exceeding FM's expectations?



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Re: WJR at 500 kW Transmitter Power with Directional Antenna (1950s proposal)

Post by Rich F. » Tue Mar 09, 2021 5:46 am

Below is a coverage map showing the 5, 2, 0.5 and 0.1 mV/m daytime groundwave contours of WJR using a 500 kW transmitter and the directional antenna pattern posted earlier in this thread.

It includes the "modernized" effects of varying Earth conductivity in the irregular shapes of those contours.

Image



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Re: WJR at 500 kW Transmitter Power with Directional Antenna (1950s proposal)

Post by WOHO » Tue Mar 09, 2021 9:00 am

Damn near a local in Chicago during the day if it wasn't for WGN? Hell, you could pick it up on a clock radio in Cleveland.
I'd like to see the same thing for WSM - and really use a 500KW-750KW fireball thrower!



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Re: WJR at 500 kW Transmitter Power with Directional Antenna (1950s proposal)

Post by Ben Zonia » Tue Mar 09, 2021 9:27 am

WOHO wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 9:00 am
I'd like to see the same thing for WSM - and really use a 500KW-750KW fireball thrower!
I bet retired WSM CE WATT Hairston would have loved it!

I seem to remember that WLW and some of the border blasters had their own fire departments at the TL.


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Re: WJR at 500 kW Transmitter Power with Directional Antenna (1950s proposal)

Post by innate-in-you » Wed Mar 17, 2021 1:36 pm

WOHO wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 9:00 am
Damn near a local in Chicago during the day if it wasn't for WGN? Hell, you could pick it up on a clock radio in Cleveland.
I'd like to see the same thing for WSM - and really use a 500KW-750KW fireball thrower!
After WRMR changed their array from three towers with 10kW to four towers with 50kW, the signal was pretty good in Detroit, and I listened to it more than any other station at the time.

Sadly, it flipped to sports talk about a year or two later.



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Re: WJR at 500 kW Transmitter Power with Directional Antenna (1950s proposal)

Post by k8jd » Wed Mar 17, 2021 7:30 pm

Before Clveland went to 50 KW I could hear KOA in Denver on 850 most nights.



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