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Thread: ESPN 1050 "Bleedover": Natural or Excessive?

  1. #1

    ESPN 1050 "Bleedover": Natural or Excessive?

    I was listening to WCBS 880 on a recent trip into Jersey City from the northwest. Just before I got to the Meadowlands, the station was slammed with loud and distorted interference, and for a while completely wiped out. At first I thought it was some type of DX issue as I was approaching the Atlantic Ocean, and thus began to seek through the AM band. It stopped on nearly every channel in the 800s with this same loud, distorted audio on every channel. As I continued to drive past the stadium and on toward Jersey City, the issue intensified, with the same interference mixing into 1010 WINS, 1560 Radio Disney, and on other channels normally quiet in the metro area. At one point, I was able to hear enough in the interference to conclude it was audio from ESPN 1050. I later learned 1050 transmits from a tower in East Rutherford...

    My question is - is this type of interference simply natural because of the proximity to the tower, or does it exceed some type of FCC limit that would require the station to clean up the signal? Note this was not faint audio mixing in in the background - this was serious interference that completely wiped out WCBS...
    Former news anchor/reporter - WHCU 870 AM, Ithaca, NY
    Former Student GM/sportscaster/on-air - WSAJ 91.1 FM, Grove City, PA

  2. #2

    Re: ESPN 1050 "Bleedover": Natural or Excessive?

    Quote Originally Posted by collegeDJ86
    My question is - is this type of interference simply natural because of the proximity to the tower, or does it exceed some type of FCC limit that would require the station to clean up the signal? Note this was not faint audio mixing in in the background - this was serious interference that completely wiped out WCBS...
    WEPN's signal is a potent one, but not out of line with similar stations with a DA (Directional Antenna) WEPN has a field strength of 4,330 mV/m at 1 km. Compare this with WWL New Orleans with a field strength of 4,474 mV/m at 1 km. Both use what are called 'half-wave' towers, so the comparison is close, though WEPN uses 3 towers and WWL uses 2. However, WEPN is on a somewhat higher frequency, 1050, versus WWL's 870, so it's almost a fair though not direct comparison.

    Most likely it's your radio - except for perhaps a professional grade communications receiver (which you're not going to have in the dashboard of your vehicle), most receivers can not handle overload in very close proximity to the transmitter site. The interference should only last a few miles from the transmitter site. Be glad you don't live near the towers! (You probably would hear WEPN on a landline phone or on your stereo system)

  3. #3
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    Re: ESPN 1050 "Bleedover": Natural or Excessive?

    Quote Originally Posted by collegeDJ86

    My question is - is this type of interference simply natural because of the proximity to the tower, or does it exceed some type of FCC limit that would require the station to clean up the signal? Note this was not faint audio mixing in in the background - this was serious interference that completely wiped out WCBS...
    This is normal and natural, although some radios are more susceptible to the blanketing zone than others. Given the large amount of power in the near field of any station, even a 1000 watt station will blanket close to it's tower.

    www.americanradiohistory.com
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  4. #4

    Re: ESPN 1050 "Bleedover": Natural or Excessive?

    I've noticed WEPN blanketing on the West Side Hwy over 1010 WINS. This is on a Delco stock radio and a Mercury stock radio, both with above average performance with this issue. In my office, my old Sherwood tuner has been having a problem with WINS as well as my SuperRadio (original model).

    That's four radios that are above average performers with issues. I know for me, that would be cause to just get out the FIM to see what's going on.

  5. #5

    Re: ESPN 1050 "Bleedover": Natural or Excessive?

    Thanks for your responses thus far...

    I guess in response to the part of being "natural" overload - I have driven past or parked under a few other towers (a class B FM, a class A FM and a 5kW AM) with this same radio in the same car and not seen nearly as drastic a result...
    Former news anchor/reporter - WHCU 870 AM, Ithaca, NY
    Former Student GM/sportscaster/on-air - WSAJ 91.1 FM, Grove City, PA

  6. #6
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    Re: ESPN 1050 "Bleedover": Natural or Excessive?

    Quote Originally Posted by collegeDJ86
    Thanks for your responses thus far...

    I guess in response to the part of being "natural" overload - I have driven past or parked under a few other towers (a class B FM, a class A FM and a 5kW AM) with this same radio in the same car and not seen nearly as drastic a result...
    Due to OSHA rules, most FMs control or restrict the very near field strength. And a 5 kw AM compared to what appears to be the major lobe of a 50 kw AM with the non-directional equivalent of about 100 kw is not a good comparison.

    The AM blanketing zone is proportional to not just the power, but the amount of power on different radials for directional stations.
    www.americanradiohistory.com
    Broadcasting Magazine and Yearbooks, Billboard, Cash Box, R&R, Record World, Music & Media, Audio, Television/Radio Age, R&R, Duncan's American Radio, Popular Electronics, Studio Sound, Broadcast Engineering, db, and more.

  7. #7

    Re: ESPN 1050 "Bleedover": Natural or Excessive?

    Quote Originally Posted by wgliradio
    I've noticed WEPN blanketing on the West Side Hwy over 1010 WINS. This is on a Delco stock radio and a Mercury stock radio, both with above average performance with this issue. In my office, my old Sherwood tuner has been having a problem with WINS as well as my SuperRadio (original model).

    That's four radios that are above average performers with issues. I know for me, that would be cause to just get out the FIM to see what's going on.
    I've experienced this myself -- sitting in front of the 10-10 WINS antennas, using my car radio. I STILL was getting bleedover from 1050. This is not normal. An engineer at AM 91 in Rockland County also has mentioned a phenomenon where signals from 1050 and 1190 were mixing and causing interference on his station.

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