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Mon Jan 22 11:33 am  #1


Bell Wants Power Hike For Kitchener FM Due To ‘Super’ Buffalo Stn.

When Bell Media applied to take the old CKKW-AM off of 1090 for an FM swap at 99.5, the powers-that-be must have thought it was a no-brainer. Exchange a less than glistening mono signal for a full throated FM stereo outlet.
 
But be careful what you wish for. They’re now complaining to the CRTC that they need to boost their power from 4,300 watts to a much larger 37,500 watts. Why? It’s all because of WDCX-FM, the religious outlet in Buffalo, that’s known as a “super-parameter FM Class B station", broadcasting at an amazing 110,000 watts.
 
Apparently, WDCX just turned on an HD feed, and it’s so strong it’s locking in on radios in Kitchener instead of the local signal. Bell’s solution? Up the power to block it out.
 
“The existing frequency is well known to be subject to severe thermal ducting interference from co-channel station WDCX Buffalo,” its application states. “This is now exacerbated by the HD signal of WDCX overriding receivers tuned to CKKW-FM. The only solution is to increase the effective radiated power so as to override the extremely strong WDCX signals.”
 
But that’s not the only issue. Thanks to a very crowded dial, especially around that frequency, there are about a zillion other stations that could be affected by the move – including CKFM aka Virgin 99.9. Bell’s answer to that? Screw the people who live on the fringes. As Bell Media Radio owns CKFM-FM, it explicitly accepts the overlap,” its report states.
 
My problem with this is that Bell knew that WDCX was there and that it was always going to be a problem. But now it thinks it should get an almost 10X power increase to fight it. Given the CRTC’s endless battles against all those evil American signals leaking into Canada, I’m guessing they’ll probably get it.

But should they?

 

Mon Jan 22 11:47 am  #2


Re: Bell Wants Power Hike For Kitchener FM Due To ‘Super’ Buffalo Stn.

It's not a 10x increase; more like 2x.

If it doesn't interfere with another station within its home market, I can't see a reason to deny it.

 

Mon Jan 22 1:00 pm  #3


Re: Bell Wants Power Hike For Kitchener FM Due To ‘Super’ Buffalo Stn.

Don wrote:

If it doesn't interfere with another station within its home market, I can't see a reason to deny it.

I have a more cynical perspective: "If it's Bell, I can't see any reason why the Commission would deny it".

Last edited by Tim Brown 2016 (Mon Jan 22 1:00 pm)

 

Mon Jan 22 6:23 pm  #4


Re: Bell Wants Power Hike For Kitchener FM Due To ‘Super’ Buffalo Stn.

99.5 is a difficult frequency in Kitchener. That's why KIX or whatever is called these days jumped off it several years ago in favour of 107.xx

The powers that be knew this freq. was not ideal, but CKKW wanted off the AM band despite having a relatively modern AM transmitter facility. I believe the AM towers came down within days of the AM signal going dark. There used to be a Ytube video of the towers going down, but it no longer shows up when I search.

At least they want to invest in the station and since it will be a second adjacent to CKFM it will probably be directional. But that's a lot of RF energy.

I bet they get the increase too.
 

Last edited by darcyh (Mon Jan 22 6:25 pm)

 

Mon Jan 22 8:03 pm  #5


Re: Bell Wants Power Hike For Kitchener FM Due To ‘Super’ Buffalo Stn.

Tim Brown 2016 wrote:

Don wrote:

If it doesn't interfere with another station within its home market, I can't see a reason to deny it.

I have a more cynical perspective: "If it's Bell, I can't see any reason why the Commission would deny it".

Good point! But I think the reason they always do is they have huge legal and technical teams that make their applications undeniable due to their diligence in dotting I's and crossing T's. (Unlike, say, Evanov, who seem to think it's a good idea to lecture the CRTC in their applications.)

 

 

Mon Jan 22 8:06 pm  #6


Re: Bell Wants Power Hike For Kitchener FM Due To ‘Super’ Buffalo Stn.

darcyh wrote:

At least they want to invest in the station and since it will be a second adjacent to CKFM it will probably be directional. But that's a lot of RF energy.
 

And any interference with 99.9 will be where 105.3 is their priority anyway. Those stations may have a thing or two in common  
 

 

Tue Jan 23 3:41 am  #7


Re: Bell Wants Power Hike For Kitchener FM Due To ‘Super’ Buffalo Stn.

Don wrote:

darcyh wrote:

At least they want to invest in the station and since it will be a second adjacent to CKFM it will probably be directional. But that's a lot of RF energy.
 

And any interference with 99.9 will be where 105.3 is their priority anyway. Those stations may have a thing or two in common  
 

Hey, I never considered that. Well played!

I recall CFCA's glory days with Fred Merrit, Phil Mehign (SP), and several others. That station had / has great coverage and played pretty good music (some would disagree) with minimal processing. It was my number one preset!  And their Christmas music was second to none in terms of variety.

 

 

Tue Jan 23 6:07 pm  #8


Re: Bell Wants Power Hike For Kitchener FM Due To ‘Super’ Buffalo Stn.

I recall CFCA's glory days with Fred Merrit, Phil Mehign (SP), and several others.

Phil Meighan, also known as Phil Me In.
 

 

Wed Jan 24 9:51 am  #9


Re: Bell Wants Power Hike For Kitchener FM Due To ‘Super’ Buffalo Stn.

How far would their reach be if approved? Would it enter into nearby cities like Hamilton or London? Their format would certainly fill a hole in both those markets.

 

Wed Jan 24 10:34 am  #10


Re: Bell Wants Power Hike For Kitchener FM Due To ‘Super’ Buffalo Stn.

kman wrote:

How far would their reach be if approved? Would it enter into nearby cities like Hamilton or London?

The red contour(s) depict where the energy is being directed under the proposed parameters. Blue lines are the current. These plots aren't that accurate in terms of actual, real-life coverage - especially with a co-channel powerhouse from Buffalo to contend with.

I think Hamiltonians will experience what in FM is known as the "capture effect" - meaning Buffalo will be listenable, but move a certain distance and Kitchener will be listenable. This is different from AM where if there are two stations of roughly equal strength on the same frequency, you'll hear them both simultaneously.

As for London, it's doubtful it will be a listenable signal throughout the whole city.

http://i65.tinypic.com/34hwfib.jpg

 

Wed Jan 24 1:10 pm  #11


Re: Bell Wants Power Hike For Kitchener FM Due To ‘Super’ Buffalo Stn.

Ms. C. said:

mike marshall wrote:

<I recall CFCA's glory days>


No, darcy h said that. I can recall a time when there were 2 stations in K-W -- CKKW and CKCR.
It was so long ago that 'KW's Dunker Building address (1960s) wasn't included in the forthcoming April Reunion
Invite. How soon they forget. ;-)

I can, however, still remember the pastrami on rye/shoestring potatoes at Tubby's Mayfair Hotel just down
the street.

Last edited by mike marshall (Wed Jan 24 7:26 pm)

 

Wed Jan 24 10:52 pm  #12


Re: Bell Wants Power Hike For Kitchener FM Due To ‘Super’ Buffalo Stn.

Mike, it's good someone from those 1959-64 years survives! You are few and far between. But I assure you that we haven't forgotten the history of those days. We used 864 as the central tag to avoid a cumbersome title. As I am sure you recall, the Dunker Building's address was 251 King E. and the frequency was 1320. We might also have mentioned the earlier Kitchener CFCA-FM from the late 40s located at 47 King West.
​We hope to see you at the reunion, Mike...there may be 2 or 3 people from that first rendition of CKKW on hand. Be sure to alert any of the folks you are still in touch with.
​Background:
What Mike brought up is an informal get together on Saturday April 28 for any-and-all people who worked for CKCO, CKKW, CFCA at any address, at any time......and of course current employees working for whatever modern-day names have been assigned to those traditional calls.
There is more info at    http://evite.me/4p9w8VGRpn     We request that people register at this site so we have an idea of numbers coming......and since there is a limit to what the venue can legally hold we have to request pre-registry.
​Those planning to come to the event are listed at the site and we hope to see lots of familiar faces ... and (as with Mike's face for 95% of those people attending) un-familiar faces.
​Thanks for bringing the reunion up Mike. Please spread the word.
​-rych
 

Last edited by berlin rych (Wed Jan 24 10:55 pm)

 

Thu Jan 25 3:26 pm  #13


Re: Bell Wants Power Hike For Kitchener FM Due To ‘Super’ Buffalo Stn.

The upgraded CKKW won't be usable at all in London because of the CJBC Radio-Canada transmitter on 99.3 there. They already have pretty much all the signal they can ever have going west/southwest from K-W.

 

Fri Jan 26 12:57 am  #14


Re: Bell Wants Power Hike For Kitchener FM Due To ‘Super’ Buffalo Stn.

berlin rych wrote:

Mike, it's good someone from those 1959-64 years survives! You are few and far between. But I assure you that we haven't forgotten the history of those days. We used 864 as the central tag to avoid a cumbersome title. As I am sure you recall, the Dunker Building's address was 251 King E. and the frequency was 1320. We might also have mentioned the earlier Kitchener CFCA-FM from the late 40s located at 47 King West.

Thanks, rych. Wasn't aware of CFCA-FM's history when I was at CKKW in 1960, because CFCA had been off the air for about a decade. However, thanks to a note from Rae Roe, there was another FM broadcasting in K-W at the time.-- CKCR-FM. Guess I wasn't paying much attention to the competition, at the time.
Pretty impressive, looking back: two FMs debuted in the market in 1949. CFCA-FM left the air in 1952, returning in 1967. CKCR-FM started with 350 watts, simulcasting the AM. It stayed on.
 

 

Fri Jan 26 9:03 pm  #15


Re: Bell Wants Power Hike For Kitchener FM Due To ‘Super’ Buffalo Stn.

regarding the two early FMs in K-W.
Although the CKCR FM station took the air a bit before CFCA FM #1, it was simply a repeater for the CKCR AM and remained so for many years...... (CKCR became CHYM in the early 60s).....
CFCA FM #1 went on air with no AM sidekick and although only broadcasting a few hours a day, did all original programming at 106.1 beginning April 26 1949. The studios were in what was called the Medical Arts Building and the 3,000 watt transmitter was on a large hill west of Kitchener near Baden...among staff names were Fred Russell, John Becker, Gordon Jackson, Bob Munn, Norma Armitage and announcers Alan Watts, Hal Wardell, Len Starmer and Ken Summerville.....on the first broadcast, CBC heavyweights John Fisher and Lorne Green were guest presenters........
Programming was heavy on local music talent of course. But it was a chicken and egg thing: CFCA had been started by Electrohome and the Pollock family in order to help sell FM-capable radio receivers which Electrohome was manufacturing. With very few FM broadcasters in the late 1940s, there was little market for their sets. So when CFCA FM#1 goes on you have few people able to hear it. In an attempt to help sell the station's programming it was arranged to install receivers in some of city's trolley buses. Riders would hear the programming, hopefully enjoy it and line up to buy FM receivers.....after a bit over 2 years it was evident that FM was a stillborn baby in those days and they pulled the plug. The call letters were reflective of Carl A. Pollock's first two initials, his father had started Electrohome but Carl was now in charge. 
​Of course those are very famous calls in radio history. In Toronto an extremely early AM station (run by Toronto Star) used them. On CFCA AM in 1923 Norm Albert did the first-ever hockey play-by-play, a few days before some fellow named Hewitt started becoming famous. That CFCA ended around 1933.
​So even though it wasn't always in Kitchener that set of call letters runs back to Canadian radio history's caveman days.

 

Sat Jan 27 4:02 am  #16


Re: Bell Wants Power Hike For Kitchener FM Due To ‘Super’ Buffalo Stn.

Back to the original topic, I find it funny they are complaining of WDCX HD because that was turned off last summer. It was causing AC units to trip the main power breakers with the IBOC on. So the CE was going to request a power service upgrade. That will take some time and $$$. Anyway I find it funny that Toronto stations can reuse Buffalo frequencies but Buffalo area stations cannot use Canada frequencies. I live 40miles south of Buffalo and can listen to all the stations from CN tower in my basement with just rabbit ears.

 

Sat Jan 27 4:27 am  #17


Re: Bell Wants Power Hike For Kitchener FM Due To ‘Super’ Buffalo Stn.

WJPYFM wrote:

Anyway I find it funny that Toronto stations can reuse Buffalo frequencies but Buffalo area stations cannot use Canada frequencies. I live 40miles south of Buffalo and can listen to all the stations from CN tower in my basement with just rabbit ears.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean. 
Isn't 104.7 a repeater in Buffalo, repeating 107.7 FM?

Wouldn't this make Toronto's Chum FM invisible in Buffalo NY?
The same way that Move 93.5 makes it tough to pick up Buffalo's 93.7 WBLK  in Toronto
and like how G 98.7 makes it very difficult to pick up Buffalo's 98five WKSE? 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/alt-buffalo-107-7-104-7fm/id743864895?mt=8 )

 

Last edited by Radiowiz (Sat Jan 27 4:33 am)

 

Sat Jan 27 4:36 pm  #18


Re: Bell Wants Power Hike For Kitchener FM Due To ‘Super’ Buffalo Stn.

 

Sun Jan 28 12:53 am  #19


Re: Bell Wants Power Hike For Kitchener FM Due To ‘Super’ Buffalo Stn.

Radiowiz wrote:

WJPYFM wrote:

Anyway I find it funny that Toronto stations can reuse Buffalo frequencies but Buffalo area stations cannot use Canada frequencies. I live 40miles south of Buffalo and can listen to all the stations from CN tower in my basement with just rabbit ears.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean. 
Isn't 104.7 a repeater in Buffalo, repeating 107.7 FM?

Wouldn't this make Toronto's Chum FM invisible in Buffalo NY?
The same way that Move 93.5 makes it tough to pick up Buffalo's 93.7 WBLK  in Toronto
and like how G 98.7 makes it very difficult to pick up Buffalo's 98five WKSE? 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/alt-buffalo-107-7-104-7fm/id743864895?mt=8 )

 

 
No, 104.5 CHUM is very usable except right near Rand bldg due to all the extra intermod and too much RF at the input of the receiver. Everywhere else in the Buffalo area, CN tower and other GTA stuff is strong enough that no reuse can be done. Example is a local station in Buffalo wanted to use 100.7 for a translator but CHIN is too strong. But yet Toronto area can reuse 99.5 and 106.5 FM which are used in Buffalo. I guess my point is FCC is much tougher to get frequencies authorized.

 

Mon Jan 29 6:53 pm  #20


Re: Bell Wants Power Hike For Kitchener FM Due To ‘Super’ Buffalo Stn.

Industry Canada has been much more open to 3rd and even 2nd in-market adjacent than the FCC.

 

Mon Jan 29 8:42 pm  #21


Re: Bell Wants Power Hike For Kitchener FM Due To ‘Super’ Buffalo Stn.

The CRTC has made a few mistakes over the years by allowing Southern Ontario stations to use Buffalo based frequencies  Stations in Simcoe and Cambridge were granted 106.7 and 92.9 respectively during the transition from AM to FM, but were eventually forced to move to 98.9 and 107.5 due to interference from the Buffalo FMs.