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June 24, 2018 3:38 pm  #31


Re: CKNT is on the air!

cGrant wrote:

Don wrote:

I suspect they didn't think twice about those call letters as they're not a bunch of 14 year old boys.

Interestingly, I haven't heard any "14 year old boys" mention the calls; only people on here. Is the assumption, then, that the posters here are pubescent males?
 

They certainly act like it.

 

June 24, 2018 5:59 pm  #32


Re: CKNT is on the air!

Chuck99 wrote:

navaidstech wrote:

Chuck99 wrote:

I received a surprisingly good signal on my car radio in Niagara Falls this afternoon.  Obviously, the range has been enhanced due to Lake Ontario.  But, I was still surprised to receive it because of possible interference from 970 in Buffalo.  I also thought it might broadcast on a northerly pattern similar to CJOY in Guelph. 

At just 280 watts, I doubt I will be able to hear it at night.  The test programming has been switched from classical music to an internet voice stream from the United States.

 

Don't knock it. 280 watts for nightime transmission is plenty. I wouldn't be surprised one bit if you did have a solid copy. If you have an LF capable radio, have a listen on 391 kHz and see if you can copy a Non Directional Beacon from Oshawa (one of many I maintain)... it runs a whopping 7 watts but gets out quite nicely, especially an night.

True.  280 watts will cover the Mississauga area just fine at night.  But any time power is reduced by more than 50 per cent, nighttime coverage will be reduced.  In Niagara Falls, the signal is decent during the day, but basically non-existent at night.  (Although I hardly think the station owners care if the signal is heard outside of the GTA).

You are also correct to suggest that there is no pattern change at night, just a power reduction.  Since the signal is non-directional both day at night, the pattern remains the same.  Pattern changes require additional towers, often as many as six or eight.  With the lack of available land in Mississauga, the non-directional signal with a single antenna was the only viable option for CKNT.  

 

Based on the positioning of the ground plane, I'm not surprised the reception is weak in NF. The antenna will favour propagation to the east than anything else, and I have observed it a couple of days ago while driving to Trenton. Oshawa is slightly further than NF and reception was rock solid there. Be it as it may, I think the target audience is in Mississauga and immediate surrounding areas so I'd say the signal is more than adequate.
Couple of weeks ago we fired up the CKNT transmitter full power for an hour at 1 AM for some testing (Industry Canada OK'd it). Prior to doing that, I sent a quick note to a fellow ham radio friend in Nova Scotia to see if he can copy it. I was just being curious and it turned out he was able to pick up the signal, albeit very weak.
Power reduction from 2k during the day down to 300w at night doesn't necessarily mean reduced coverage (well, it does if it's done during the day). We're taking 8.5dB reduction, which is ALMOST 2 S-units, if your radio has an S meter. You have to remember the AM BCB band does wonders at night, especially in the Winter. With the Sun being out of the way (static noise) and ionosphere dropping down in altitude, the signal can propagate out quite nicely. Prime example of this is WBZ-1030 (Boston) or WPHT-1210 out of Philly. Not a peep during the day but there are nights where they're just booming into Southern Ontario and quite often sounding louder than the locals. Mind you, they're full time 50 kilowatters but it illustrates the difference in propagation between day and night.

 

June 24, 2018 6:13 pm  #33


Re: CKNT is on the air!

I wonder what will happen in a year or two when they discover they have no listeners (regardless of their calls).

Do they switch formats to something that might draw more listeners in Peel Region?   Gujarati news-talk?  All-sports in Mayalam?  Adult Bollywood Alternative?

 

June 24, 2018 7:11 pm  #34


Re: CKNT is on the air!

I'd be very surprised if the 960 newcomer would be allowed to change formats in the near future if the talk tanks.

If memory serves, Radio Humsafar, the yet-to-debut Brampton station at 1350, has already put in a warning about such a move to the CRTC, indicating they would not be happy if CKNT ever decided to go after what they see as their ethnic audience. 

IIRC, the same complaint/warning was made in an intervention about Grapevine Radio, the one-day-it-will-sign-on station granted a licence in the old CHSC position at 1220 AM in St. Catharines. They've pledged to stick to an oldies format. And at the beginning, at least, that's what they're supposed to do. But so far, I've seen no evidence whatsoever that they're ever going to actually sign on, leading me to wonder if we have another CKNT-years-long delay in the making.

Has anyone heard anything about Grapevine (or even heard it through the Grapevine?) I've been unable to find anything about it and last I heard they were given until April of this year to be up and running. I'm assuming they've filed for an extension, but there's no new airdate to my knowledge.

[Edit: I found this on an Airchecker site from 2017. It's the latest - and the last -I've located on the fledgling 1220:]

"The CRTC has granted an ownership change of the “yet to go on the air” 10,000 watt facility on 1220 AM in St. Catharines, Ontario which was approved in 2016. Sivanesarajah Kandiah and David J. Dancy will be relinquishing 100% control of the construction permit to Manu Datta and Ripudaman Singh Dhillon (Radio Dhun). Purchase price is $300,000.00. The new owners plan to stick with the original plans of launching the English language station with a Classic Hits." 

 

June 25, 2018 12:12 pm  #35


Re: CKNT is on the air!

Few on this board ever thought that CKNT would ever hit the airwaves a good seven year after being granted a license.  So although I am skeptical that 1220 AM will ever sign on in St. Catharines, I will never say never again.

 

June 25, 2018 12:23 pm  #36


Re: CKNT is on the air!

navaidstech wrote:

Chuck99 wrote:

navaidstech wrote:

Don't knock it. 280 watts for nightime transmission is plenty. I wouldn't be surprised one bit if you did have a solid copy. If you have an LF capable radio, have a listen on 391 kHz and see if you can copy a Non Directional Beacon from Oshawa (one of many I maintain)... it runs a whopping 7 watts but gets out quite nicely, especially an night.

True.  280 watts will cover the Mississauga area just fine at night.  But any time power is reduced by more than 50 per cent, nighttime coverage will be reduced.  In Niagara Falls, the signal is decent during the day, but basically non-existent at night.  (Although I hardly think the station owners care if the signal is heard outside of the GTA).

You are also correct to suggest that there is no pattern change at night, just a power reduction.  Since the signal is non-directional both day at night, the pattern remains the same.  Pattern changes require additional towers, often as many as six or eight.  With the lack of available land in Mississauga, the non-directional signal with a single antenna was the only viable option for CKNT.  

 

Based on the positioning of the ground plane, I'm not surprised the reception is weak in NF. The antenna will favour propagation to the east than anything else, and I have observed it a couple of days ago while driving to Trenton. Oshawa is slightly further than NF and reception was rock solid there. Be it as it may, I think the target audience is in Mississauga and immediate surrounding areas so I'd say the signal is more than adequate.
Couple of weeks ago we fired up the CKNT transmitter full power for an hour at 1 AM for some testing (Industry Canada OK'd it). Prior to doing that, I sent a quick note to a fellow ham radio friend in Nova Scotia to see if he can copy it. I was just being curious and it turned out he was able to pick up the signal, albeit very weak.
Power reduction from 2k during the day down to 300w at night doesn't necessarily mean reduced coverage (well, it does if it's done during the day). We're taking 8.5dB reduction, which is ALMOST 2 S-units, if your radio has an S meter. You have to remember the AM BCB band does wonders at night, especially in the Winter. With the Sun being out of the way (static noise) and ionosphere dropping down in altitude, the signal can propagate out quite nicely. Prime example of this is WBZ-1030 (Boston) or WPHT-1210 out of Philly. Not a peep during the day but there are nights where they're just booming into Southern Ontario and quite often sounding louder than the locals. Mind you, they're full time 50 kilowatters but it illustrates the difference in propagation between day and night.

The night time coverage issue is just a personal observation.  I have noticed that when power is reduced by 50 percent, which is very common for AM radio stations, there is generally little difference between day and night coverage.  If it is greater than 50 percent, night coverage is reduced.  A good example is CFRA 580 in Ottawa which used to reduce power from 50,000 watts day to 10,000 watts at night.  The CRTC eventually granted the station an increase in power to 30,000 watts because too many listeners in the Ottawa valley could not hear the station at night.
 

 

June 25, 2018 1:08 pm  #37


Re: CKNT is on the air!

How are these "night" power outputs setup anyways in summer/winter and in general?  Time setup on transmitter for it to reduce?  i.e 8pm daily 

 

June 25, 2018 1:14 pm  #38


Re: CKNT is on the air!

navaidstech wrote:

markow202 wrote:

RadioActive wrote:

According to Canadian Radio News, that's not the location either.

Check out this post from October 19, 2017:

New transmitter site approved for CKNT 960 Mississauga

http://i64.tinypic.com/r107b4.jpg

Oh ok.  Being AM I wonder if its a new single tower or something else.  I remember the airport 1280AM CFYZ back in the day used a "umbrella" type antenna atop a maintenance building of theirs.  
 

It's a fibreglass whip with a Valcosphere on top. It is located in a trucking yard, on the east side of the Husky gas station (Courtney/Kennedy). You really can't miss it as you're driving on Courtneypark.
In the picture above, you have to go past the gate on the right (good luck, it is motorized with security staff on site), then make a left and go all the way to the end. The transmitter shack and the antenna are located about 100 feet behind a safety fence. The fence is there to protect people from getting too close to the antenna. It is also an area where they buried the ground plane to increase antenna's efficiency so obviously they don't want anyone driving on top of it.

Very cool! I'll have a look again when in the area. Upon a google search of this info it appears to be a proprietary system made by a company called Valcom for AM antennas.   Do you work for them? 

Last edited by markow202 (June 25, 2018 2:16 pm)

 

June 25, 2018 3:38 pm  #39


Re: CKNT is on the air!

markow202 wrote:

navaidstech wrote:

markow202 wrote:


Oh ok.  Being AM I wonder if its a new single tower or something else.  I remember the airport 1280AM CFYZ back in the day used a "umbrella" type antenna atop a maintenance building of theirs.  
 

It's a fibreglass whip with a Valcosphere on top. It is located in a trucking yard, on the east side of the Husky gas station (Courtney/Kennedy). You really can't miss it as you're driving on Courtneypark.
In the picture above, you have to go past the gate on the right (good luck, it is motorized with security staff on site), then make a left and go all the way to the end. The transmitter shack and the antenna are located about 100 feet behind a safety fence. The fence is there to protect people from getting too close to the antenna. It is also an area where they buried the ground plane to increase antenna's efficiency so obviously they don't want anyone driving on top of it.

Very cool! I'll have a look again when in the area. Upon a google search of this info it appears to be a proprietary system made by a company called Valcom for AM antennas.   Do you work for them? 

You are correct! The antenna is made by Valcom out of Guelph and the transmitter is made by Nautel which is a very well known maker of LF and BCB transmitters. They're located in Nova Scotia and Maine.
I don't work for either of the two companies but know their products very well since they have been extensively used in my line of work (ground based air navigation beacons, amongst many others).
 

 

June 25, 2018 3:39 pm  #40


Re: CKNT is on the air!

markow202 wrote:

How are these "night" power outputs setup anyways in summer/winter and in general?  Time setup on transmitter for it to reduce?  i.e 8pm daily 

Yup... the transmitter has a built in scheduler which then controls the switching between two powers at a preset time of the morning or evening.

 

June 25, 2018 4:08 pm  #41


Re: CKNT is on the air!

http://i64.tinypic.com/21b5ds6.jpg


Here is the CKNT antenna as seen from Courtneypark. Took this pic on the way from work this afternoon.

 

June 25, 2018 4:33 pm  #42


Re: CKNT is on the air!

navaidstech wrote:

http://i64.tinypic.com/21b5ds6.jpg


Here is the CKNT antenna as seen from Courtneypark. Took this pic on the way from work this afternoon.

Cool looks like a flagpole! 

 

June 25, 2018 4:40 pm  #43


Re: CKNT is on the air!

markow202 wrote:

navaidstech wrote:

Here is the CKNT antenna as seen from Courtneypark. Took this pic on the way from work this afternoon.

Cool looks like a flagpole! 

Pretty inconspicuous, eh?

 

June 25, 2018 4:45 pm  #44


Re: CKNT is on the air!

navaidstech wrote:

markow202 wrote:

navaidstech wrote:

Here is the CKNT antenna as seen from Courtneypark. Took this pic on the way from work this afternoon.

Cool looks like a flagpole! 

Pretty inconspicuous, eh?

You'd never know.  Thats pretty neat.  

 

June 25, 2018 6:31 pm  #45


Re: CKNT is on the air!

navaidstech wrote:

Here is the CKNT antenna as seen from Courtneypark. Took this pic on the way from work this afternoon.

How expensive would that antenna and mast be to install and operate over the year?  It must be able to effectively cover a small town, no?  If you had one in say Newmarket, then I'm sure Bradford, Oak Ridges and Aurora would be reachable, no?
 

Last edited by Jody Thornton (June 25, 2018 6:32 pm)


Cheers,
Jody Thornton
Q:  What did one 45 say to the other?
A:  Are you "single"?  http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/tongue.gif
 

June 25, 2018 6:42 pm  #46


Re: CKNT is on the air!

You can see why that site was used for the tower and transmitter installation.  It appears to be a Hydro One corridor, so enough land was available.

 

June 25, 2018 9:18 pm  #47


Re: CKNT is on the air!

Jody Thornton wrote:

navaidstech wrote:

Here is the CKNT antenna as seen from Courtneypark. Took this pic on the way from work this afternoon.

How expensive would that antenna and mast be to install and operate over the year?  It must be able to effectively cover a small town, no?  If you had one in say Newmarket, then I'm sure Bradford, Oak Ridges and Aurora would be reachable, no?
 

I'm just guessing here but the upfront cost of setting up the station could be somewhere in the area of 30-40ish grand. You're looking at the purchase price of the shack, antenna, antenna counterpoise kit, antenna tuning unit, concrete base for the antenna, land to lay down the counterpoise (could lease it), fence around the site, labour to get it all set up (manpower, crane, etc). Of course you'll also need a transmitter (which can be pretty pricey) and ancillary equipment with internet hookups. On top of it annual licencing costs, hydro, land lease, insurance, etc...
The area you're trying to cover is pretty small so you can get away with low powered transmitter but would have to invest more into making the antenna more efficient....or vice versa - make the antenna less efficient but pump more power into it. There is always a tradeoff.
You'd probably be better off with FM as it doesn't require a lot of land to erect an antenna.

Last edited by navaidstech (June 25, 2018 9:30 pm)

 

June 25, 2018 9:28 pm  #48


Re: CKNT is on the air!

Chuck99 wrote:

You can see why that site was used for the tower and transmitter installation.  It appears to be a Hydro One corridor, so enough land was available.

This would have been a perfect location for it. We used to have a Non Directional Beacon where that square property is. It has been decommissioned probably around 15 years ago and the property has been sitting vacant ever since. Fully serviced (hydro) and I'm willing to bet the old antenna counterpoise is still buried in the ground.

http://i64.tinypic.com/vgokep.jpg

Last edited by navaidstech (June 25, 2018 9:29 pm)

 

June 25, 2018 11:55 pm  #49


Re: CKNT is on the air!

The antenna commonly is known as the "Rubber Duck."  CKNW in Vancouver has one on top of the TD Centre downtown.  News 1130 has one on top of their building on Ash Street south of False Creek.  These are "third" backup transmitters, I think about 3k power output with dedicated generators and cover loosely most of the downtown area.   All of the majors here have main and backup transmitters at their primary sites along with backup power to run those transmitters at full rated power but if you lose an antenna or tuning system on AM, you need an alternate and that's what these rooftop installations are for.
 

 

July 1, 2018 8:37 pm  #50


Re: CKNT is on the air!

For a station that spent seven years before finally just making it to air with a signal, this doesn't comes as a surprise. Despite the fact that a rep told me their target date to start regular programming was July 1st, I've been tuning 960 in and out all day and they're still in testing mode. 

It never really made much sense for a news/talk outfit to begin on a Sunday, let alone Canada Day, when there's not a lot to talk about and few would be listening anyway. (Although if they wanted to be clever, they could have done "Birth of a nation, birth of a station." But they didn't.)

I have no idea when they're actually going to end their tests and start with whatever passes for regular programming. But after admitting to me they haven't even hired many staff members as of two weeks ago, it's not a surprise that the longest-to-get-to-air station in history didn't start when it planned to.

As to when the magic date actually is, I have to wonder if even they know.   

 

July 2, 2018 9:43 am  #51


Re: CKNT is on the air!

RadioActive wrote:

As to when the magic date actually is, I have to wonder if even they know.   

They really missed the boat. They could have broadcast live on location at one of the Canada day big events where large crowds of people were guaranteed to be. It costs money to be at these events, but so does advertising the station and getting the word out.
 

 

July 2, 2018 1:30 pm  #52


Re: CKNT is on the air!

All they said is that they would "on the air" by July 1.  Not necessarily live.    Hell, they could be "testing" for years.

For what it's worth, I was driving home from Guelph at about 3 a.m. Sunday Morning and thought I'd check the signal out along the 401.  Could pick it up fine in Milton when the thought crossed my mind.  What really surprised me is what they were playing...

YouTube videos!  Brightside YouTube logic puzzle videos complete with the "click here to subscribe" at the end.   There was a blurb talking about CKNT testing between each one.  Now, they are in a testing phase and it would make sense to broadcast some spoken word content if they are primarily going to air spoken word content, but it just seemed odd.

And, I'm sorry.  Without their own domain or website and using a gmail address, it's hard to  think of this as a professional enterprise.
 

 

July 2, 2018 9:35 pm  #53


Re: CKNT is on the air!

Peter the K wrote:

And, I'm sorry.  Without their own domain or website and using a gmail address, it's hard to  think of this as a professional enterprise in 2018 
 

FIXED!! 30 or 40 years ago there was no such thing. 
I get why someone might think "We don't want people too far from our station coverage area listening because those people don't shop in our neck of the woods" but that is a foul way of thinking in 2018...what about the banner advertising, etc? What about the national advertisers?
If this station intends to be literally local, ads and all, then god help them...

 

July 3, 2018 1:40 pm  #54


Re: CKNT is on the air!

Peter the K wrote:

All they said is that they would "on the air" by July 1.  Not necessarily live.    Hell, they could be "testing" for years.

For what it's worth, I was driving home from Guelph at about 3 a.m. Sunday Morning and thought I'd check the signal out along the 401.  Could pick it up fine in Milton when the thought crossed my mind.  What really surprised me is what they were playing...

YouTube videos!  Brightside YouTube logic puzzle videos complete with the "click here to subscribe" at the end.   There was a blurb talking about CKNT testing between each one.  Now, they are in a testing phase and it would make sense to broadcast some spoken word content if they are primarily going to air spoken word content, but it just seemed odd.

And, I'm sorry.  Without their own domain or website and using a gmail address, it's hard to  think of this as a professional enterprise.
 

 You could be right.  The station may operate in test mode for a long time.  This will delay any attempts by the CRTC to revoke its license and also keep alive the dream of operating a news/talk station in Mississauga.  The lack of a web presence adds to the suspicion.
 

Last edited by Chuck99 (July 3, 2018 1:40 pm)

 

July 3, 2018 2:52 pm  #55


Re: CKNT is on the air!

First, I'll presume they need a certain amount of time to test the signal before they can honour their programming commitments. Say by Labour Day or early fall. That's entirely reasonable IMO.

But, just for the sake of asking the question - if the aforementioned testing should go on and on, say beyond mid-fall, would the CRTC haul them on the carpet for non-compliance? If so, at what point might the CRTC begin to get antsy?
 

 

July 3, 2018 4:07 pm  #56


Re: CKNT is on the air!

When I Google "cknt website", the first listing that pops up is "Welcome to LCBO". 
I like it! My kinda radio station! 

 

July 3, 2018 4:41 pm  #57


Re: CKNT is on the air!

Saul wrote:

...if the aforementioned testing should go on and on

Well this sort of thing has been happening in Montreal with TTP on 600 & 940. They say they are lauching soon but.....
 

     Thread Starter
 

July 3, 2018 9:26 pm  #58


Re: CKNT is on the air!

Right. Forgot about them.
Will the CRTC appreciate such tactics?

 

July 4, 2018 12:13 pm  #59


Re: CKNT is on the air!

Last night around 11pm in-car could barely receive their signal when I tried in Etobicoke (Eglinton/427 area) - other signals were mashing in - it was also a very good DX signal kind of night as my OTA tv was picking up CTV London and City-31 Woodstock medium signal quality in Etobicoke.

 

July 4, 2018 9:10 pm  #60


Re: CKNT is on the air!

Well....just found on-air testing expires on July 9th. 
After that date, we will be doing some testing with the station engineers to make sure it doesn't impact any of our stuff at the airport (kinda moot now). Expect tones, tunes and what not... will keep you posted.
 

Last edited by navaidstech (July 4, 2018 9:20 pm)