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More From The WWJ History Card

Discussion pertaining to Detroit, Ann Arbor, Port Huron, and SW Ontario
CK-722
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More From The WWJ History Card

Post by CK-722 » Tue May 26, 2020 7:32 pm

It appears that the nulls toward WPEN and KPRC were such a problem after 1941, that after being allowed 5 kW nondirectional at Night on special authorization between 1935 and 1941, renewed monthly, the signal was weak enough to the South with the new DA that they applied to move to River Rouge, near Coolidge Hwy. and Goodell St. From the standpoint of a Night site, it would have been good at the time. I don't know when the FCC started allowing two site operations, but the Day site with 5 kW nondirectional and a 186 degree tower was unbeatable by 1950, when population began migrating toward further out areas of Oakland and Macomb Counties. From River Rouge, the nulls toward WPEN and KPRC at Night wouldn't have mattered nearly as much. And the population in Oakland and Macomb Counties was close in until then.

WWJ History Card

http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/prod/c ... r_id=68876


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innate-in-you
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Re: More From The WWJ History Card

Post by innate-in-you » Tue May 26, 2020 8:21 pm

I went through many of those history cards on the FCC.gov about five years ago.

560 was always pestering the FCC for fulltime operation, with no success (I don't consider the weak PSSA a success). The FCC rule cited in the cards didn't match the same regulations code as today.

1440 (then WCHB) was also trying for fulltime and a lot more power. The petition was complicated. One application seemed to request a seventeen-tower array(!)

When WJBK first applied to upgrade from Class C to Class II-B, they wanted their array near the mouth of the Huron River. They would eventually built on drier land about ten miles further north (in operation today).

The Lincoln Park site gave them a booming signal from its array, through southeast Oakland County, strong even in western St. Clair county - but suffered weak signals into the Grosse Pointes and in many western suburbs. If they could have transmitted from the mouth of the Huron, they would have had good coverage of the more populated places.



CK-722
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Re: More From The WWJ History Card

Post by CK-722 » Wed May 27, 2020 11:14 am

I see 7 or 8 additional towers for WCHB/WMKM mentioned a couple places. It looks like it would have been 17 towers total, 6 in one pattern, 12 in the other pattern, one tower in common to Day and Night pattern.

This does go along with the story that Harold Munn had plans for a 21 tower array in his desk where the interfering contours don't even get outside the lot that it's built on.


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CK-722
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Re: More From The WWJ History Card

Post by CK-722 » Wed May 27, 2020 12:58 pm

From the Golden Age of AM DAs from after World War II, right up until they were mostly economically unfeasible, and the land was worth more than the stations, the way I heard it, the Consuting Engineers had a friendly competition as to how a DA could be designed with the fewest numbers of towers and smallest amount of land. There were always so few good AM DA experts that they were like bears in cold climates with an overabundance of fish. That shortage continues today, with the AM DA pioneers mostly having passed away, although there is now little demand. The Engineers are also too busy with applications and implementation of TV channel repacking. This has been like surgeons competing as to who could do a procedure with the smallest incision, and the fewest stitches.
Last edited by CK-722 on Wed May 27, 2020 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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tvbobn
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Re: More From The WWJ History Card

Post by tvbobn » Wed May 27, 2020 1:01 pm

CK-722 wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 11:14 am
I see 7 or 8 additional towers for WCHB/WMKM mentioned a couple places. It looks like it would have been 17 towers total, 6 in one pattern, 12 in the other pattern, one tower in common to Day and Night pattern.

This does go along with the story that Harold Munn had plans for a 21 tower array in his desk where the interfering contours don't even get outside the lot that it's built on.
I remember Harold talking about that tower site just north of Metro Airport.

He loved a challenge fitting in a new AM were he could make it work. In the mid 80's, we got the first new AM in the Detroit market since I think he said the 50's.

We also got a 50kW Day and night AM on 840 in North Las Vegas during the mid 80's. It was great fun working with Harold Munn Jr.!


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CK-722
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Re: More From The WWJ History Card

Post by CK-722 » Wed May 27, 2020 6:25 pm

I did see one more place in the WCHB/WMKM Card where they were adding 11 towers. The most complicated array would be for the highest power, which was for 5 kW Day, 1 kW Night, DA-2 (Personally I wish the concise WRTH code had caught on and been used by the FCC, in this case 5/1 U4).

The biggest problem for WQTE/WHND/WRDT using the existing array in Monroe with significant power is that CFOS Owen Sound, ON is in the major lobe. They got 27 watts PSSA authorization from there.

I remember that there were plans for an 850 kHz station near Flint, and a 550 kHz station near Lansing, before rules first adjacent channel rules changed and WJW/WRMR/WKNR went to 50 kW Daytime. I never heard the facility details, power, number of towers, etc.


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CK-722
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Re: More From The WWJ History Card

Post by CK-722 » Wed May 27, 2020 11:12 pm

One of the things that would have been possible for WWJ from River Rouge would have been a dogleg three tower array with a deeper null toward WPEN and a shallower null toward KPRC, since it is further away. The null from River Rouge toward WPEN would have fallen mainly over Canada. The three towers would also have given an opportunity to send more equivalent power to the North. Taller towers would also have been beneficial in maximizing the horizontal radiation, given the 5 kW power limit for Regional Channels like 950, in place until fairly recently.


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Mike Oxlong
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Re: More From The WWJ History Card

Post by Mike Oxlong » Wed May 27, 2020 11:33 pm

innate-in-you wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 8:21 pm
The Lincoln Park site gave them a booming signal from its array, through southeast Oakland County, strong even in western St. Clair county - but suffered weak signals into the Grosse Pointes and in many western suburbs. If they could have transmitted from the mouth of the Huron, they would have had good coverage of the more populated places.
I grew up right by there. I can understand when you say it was weak anywhere not due north.
I believe their signal before they took half the towers down was too narrow.
At a half mile due north, it would swamp any AM station I had on my radio for just a moment as I was traveling east or west.



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Re: More From The WWJ History Card

Post by innate-in-you » Wed Jun 03, 2020 11:25 am

tvbobn wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 1:01 pm
CK-722 wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 11:14 am
I see 7 or 8 additional towers for WCHB/WMKM mentioned a couple places. It looks like it would have been 17 towers total, 6 in one pattern, 12 in the other pattern, one tower in common to Day and Night pattern.

This does go along with the story that Harold Munn had plans for a 21 tower array in his desk where the interfering contours don't even get outside the lot that it's built on.
I remember Harold talking about that tower site just north of Metro Airport.

He loved a challenge fitting in a new AM were he could make it work. In the mid 80's, we got the first new AM in the Detroit market since I think he said the 50's.
Would that be WNZK?

I remember when they went on the air. Heard test tones and such. It was 1985, the year I met my wife.

CHYR was on 710 with 10,000 watts daytime into a five tower array that was truly a work of art (an extremely broad pattern that went from an extremely strong beam with amazingly sharp drops protecting anything south, east or west of it and had very many square miles in its 5mV/M contour on American soil, so siting a 690 into the crowd was no easy task. They started with 500W into a three-tower array (daytime only), and was quite weak near Cadieux and Harper. At Metro Beach, it was probably .2mV/m.

CHYR-7, at 730 KHz, used the same array for nighttime service. It was weaker and received co-channel interference from Canadian and Mexican stations.

There was one AM in the Detroit area built in the sixties - WERB 1090 Garden City, which signed on in 1963. It was built for Malrite as a companion for WBRB which opened about five years earlier. Their idea was to serve suburban audiences. Within a few years, it would be ethnic format, with WBRB getting by with an awful coverage area - but had WBRB-FM to keep itself breathing. WBRB (AM) went silent in early 1984, returning in late 1985, only to falter through the late eighties, and, in an act of desperation, add self-motivation talk tapes to the playlist and going off for good in early 1990.

One wonders if WBRB could have been a viable suburban station if it could have had an AM to FM translator back then.
Last edited by innate-in-you on Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.



CK-722
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Re: More From The WWJ History Card

Post by CK-722 » Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:27 pm

The WNZK array is South of DTW. Eight towers, Six Day and Six Night, to steer the maximum azimuth and pattern.

https://www.fccdata.org/?facid=&call=WN ... d=&lang=en


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CK-722
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Re: More From The WWJ History Card

Post by CK-722 » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:04 pm

The original three WBRB towers were located at 44450 Hayes Rd., South of Hall Rd., just South of where Lowe's access road is today, and just North of the Professional Center. I wish I could have talked to Bob Liggett to ask if he remembered that. He lived nearby near 21 Mile and Van Dyke, and graduated from Utica High School in 1960. No one, including Bill Hennes, seems to remember that, but it is well documented (QSL Card and FCC History Card).

Since I found this out a few years ago, I have made a point to visit the old site, which has a row of scrubby trees in the same orientation as the towers, probably growing into a drain that ran parallel to the towers. The lot is definitely a wetland, and there is standing water on the lot every time there is a substantial rain, and it stays there for days. The soil is clay, which is good for AM sites, but it doesn't soak in. It is usually wettest just North of the assumed Northern extent of the towers and drain. The drain is effective in keeping the old tower line much drier, and the scrubby vegetation loves the water.


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innate-in-you
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Re: More From The WWJ History Card

Post by innate-in-you » Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:57 am

CK-722 wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:27 pm
The WNZK array is South of DTW. Eight towers, Six Day and Six Night, to steer the maximum azimuth and pattern.

https://www.fccdata.org/?facid=&call=WN ... d=&lang=en
Since sometime in 1990.

About the first five years, it was a 500-watt daytimer with a three-tower array, east of I-275 and north of I-94.

I think the current eight-tower array (Will Carleton Rd) was built in 1989 or 1990.



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Re: More From The WWJ History Card

Post by CK-722 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:59 am

I did remember that it was just 500 watts when it began, but I didn't realize that WNZK had changed TL early on like WBRB did. I remember that WMZK 97.9 had just become WJLB shortly before that, but WCCW-FM 92.1 Traverse City had taken the call letters WMZK, so the 690 became WNZK instead of playing games to get the call letters back, which has become common. Remember when 1220 in Cleveland became WHK for a while, and then had to go through a very involved series of call letter changes to get WHK back on 1420? I imagine that Ted Alexander figured out how to do that. But all in all, call letter rules, especially back then, were kind of silly. They had to change the rules due to the "call letter shortage" created by all the new stations.


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Re: More From The WWJ History Card

Post by WOHO » Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:18 pm

If I'm not mistaken, once you gave up your 3 letter Callsign, you couldn't get it back and only 4-letter callsigns were issued. Is that still correct?
WNZK is the only two frequency AM in use as well?
And CHYR, 710 days, 730 nights had a station in Bowling Green Ohio on 730 as well with low power, but not an issue as CHYR on AM is no more?



CK-722
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Re: More From The WWJ History Card

Post by CK-722 » Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:49 pm

WOHO wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:18 pm
If I'm not mistaken, once you gave up your 3 letter Callsign, you couldn't get it back and only 4-letter callsigns were issued. Is that still correct?
WNZK is the only two frequency AM in use as well?
And CHYR, 710 days, 730 nights had a station in Bowling Green Ohio on 730 as well with low power, but not an issue as CHYR on AM is no more?
If there is a clear historical connection to the three letter callsign, you can go back to it. The WGAR/WKNR and WHK callsign change was very complex. You need to ask Ted Alexander about how that happened. There was some type of leapfrog arrangement, like changing translator locations and channels were doing a few years ago.

A few years ago, Art Vuolo tried to convince ESPN/ABC to change the WEVD call letters back to WHN, which would have been perfectly OK, as it had been WHN, and had been changed to WMGM for a while. Instead, they "weaponized" the callsign to WEPN (which should have been called "The Weapon").
Last edited by CK-722 on Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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