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Thread: 50,000 Watt Stations on North American Clear Channel Frequencies

  1. #1

    50,000 Watt Stations on North American Clear Channel Frequencies




    These are the full-time 50,000 watt radio stations of North America. With new information, I've updated the list since the last time I posted it. And we've had a couple of Canadian stations switch to FM. Many of these stations date from the earliest years of broadcasting: KDKA, WBZ, CJBC, XEW. A few, KTRB San Francisco, WXKS Medford-Boston, WYGM Orlando and WYLL Chicago, only recently got full-time 50 kw authorization.

    I omit the Cuban stations since they don't follow the international rules or report their current power outputs. And I omit 50 kw stations on regional channels. I include the old I-A and I-B classifications, although the FCC now groups all these stations into Class A. I used a 1977 Broadcasting Yearbook, Radio-Locator.com, Wikipedia, RadioStationWorld.com and Fred Cantu's Mexican radio website, although some of these sources conflict.

    The 1941 North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement (NARBA) set-up 37 Class I-A frequencies. Nearly all U.S. and Canadian I-As operate at 50,000 watts non-directional. Mexico permits its Class I-A stations to run up to 250,000 watts non-directional. Except for 540, all the Class I-A frequencies have only one station with that designation. Originally Class I-A stations did not have to share their frequencies at night within 1000 miles or more. Some Class I-A stations, such as 650 WSM Nashville and 750 WSB Atlanta, only had one or two stations on their frequencies, maybe in Alaska, Hawaii or the far West. As of 1977, WOAI San Antonio had no other U.S. or Canadian station on 1200, day or night. WLW Cincinnati (which operated with 500,000 watts from 1934 to 1941) only had one station in Alaska on its frequency. A few stations in Mexico and the Carribean opeated on these frequencies but all were low-powered. The governments of the U.S., Canada and other nations in North America originally worked to keep the clear channel frequencies free of interference.

    There are 23 Class I-B freqencies. In most cases, two or more I-B stations share these dial positions. I-B stations usually operate after sunset with directional signals to protect the other I-B stations that shared their channel. Most Class I-Bs operate with 50,000 watts around the clock although a few run with less power. In Mexico, a few I-Bs operate at 100,000 watts by day but power down to 50,000 watts or less by night. Lesser class stations on I-B frequencies could run up to 50,000 watts but they had to use directional antennas to protect the I-Bs. However, by the 1980s, the FCC reduced protections for I-As and I-Bs.

    The following stations operate with 50,000 watts fulltime unless otherwise noted.

    540 CBK(1) Watrous-Regina I-A
    XEWA(1) San Luis Potosi I-A (150 kw)
    WFLF Pine Hills-Orlando (50 kw D/46 kw N)
    640 KFI Los Angeles I-A
    CFMJ Richmond Hill-Toronto
    650 WSM Nashville I-A
    KENI Anchorage
    660 WFAN New York I-A
    KTNN Window Rock, AZ
    CFFR Calgary
    670 WSCR Chicago I-A
    KBOI Boise
    680 KNBR(2) San Francisco I-B
    WRKO Boston
    WPTF Raleigh
    CJOB Winnipeg
    690 CINF(3) Montreal I-A
    CBU Vancouver
    XEWW Rosarito-Tijuana (77 kw D/50 kw N)
    700 WLW Cincinnati I-A
    710 WOR New York I-B
    KIRO Seattle I-B
    WAQI Miami
    720 WGN Chicago I-A
    KDWN Las Vegas
    730 XEX Mexico City I-A (100 kw)
    CKAC Montreal
    CHMJ North Vancouver
    740 CFZM Toronto I-A
    KCBS San Francisco
    KTRH Houston
    WYGM Orlando
    CBX Edmonton
    750 WSB Atlanta I-A
    KFQD Anchorage
    760 WJR Detroit I-A
    KFMB(4) San Diego (5 kw D/50 kw N)
    770 WABC New York I-A
    KOA Albuquerque
    CHQR Calgary
    780 WBBM Chicago I-A
    KKOH Reno
    800 XEROK Ciudad Juarez I-A
    CKLW Windsor
    CHRC Quebec City
    810 WGY(2) Schenectady I-B
    KGO San Francisco I-B
    WKVM San Juan, PR
    CHQR Calgary
    XEFW Tampico
    820 WBAP Fort Worth I-A
    830 WCCO Minneapolis I-A
    WCRN Worcester-Boston
    840 WHAS Louisville I-A
    850 KOA(2) Denver I-B
    WEEI Boston
    KICY Nome, AK
    XEAC Ixhuatlancillo, Veracruz
    860 CJBC Toronto I-A
    KTRB San Francisco
    HILR Santo Domingo, Dom. Rep.
    870 WWL(5) New Orleans I-A
    880 WCBS New York I-A
    KRVN Lexington, NE
    CHQT Edmonton
    890 WLS Chicago I-A
    900 XEW Mexico City I-A (250 kw)
    CHML Hamilton, Ont.
    940 CINF(3) Montreal I-B
    XEQ Mexico City I-B
    KYNO Fresno
    990 CBW(6) Winnipeg I-A (50 kw D/46 kw N)
    CKGM(3) Montreal
    XET Monterrey
    1000 WMVP Chicago I-B
    KOMO Seattle I-B
    XEOY Mexico City I-B (50 kw D/20 kw N)
    1010 CFRB Toronto I-B
    CBR Calgary I-B
    WINS New York
    1020 KDKA Pittsburgh I-A
    KTNQ Los Angeles
    KCKN Roswell, NM
    1030 WBZ(5) Boston I-A
    KTWO Casper, WY
    1040 WHO Des Moines I-A
    CKST Burnaby-Vancouver
    1050 XEG Monterrey I-A (100 kw)
    WEPN New York
    CHUM Toronto
    1060 KYW Phildelphia I-B
    XEEP Mexico City I-B (100 kw D/20 kw N)
    CKMX Calgary
    1070 KNX(2) Los Angeles I-B
    CBA(2)(3) Moncton I-B
    1080 WTIC Hartford I-B
    KRLD Dallas I-B
    1090 WBAL Baltimore I-B
    KAAY Little Rock I-B
    XEPRS Rancho del Mar-Tijuana I-B
    KPTK Seattle
    1100 WTAM Cleveland I-A
    KFAX San Francisco
    1110 WBT Charlotte I-B
    KFAB Omaha I-B
    XERED Mexico City (100 kw D/50 kw N)
    1120 KMOX St. Louis I-A
    KPNW Eugene
    1130 WBBR New York I-B
    KWKH Shreveport I-B
    CKWX Vancouver I-B
    1140 WRVA Richmond I-B
    XEMR Monterrey I-B
    KHTK Sacramento
    1160 KSL Salt Lake City I-A
    WYLL Chicago
    1170 WWVA Wheeling I-B
    KFAQ Tulsa I-B
    XEQV Arciela
    1180 WHAM Rochester I-A
    Radio Marti(7) Marathon-Miami (100 kw)
    1190 KEX Portland I-B
    WOWO(8) Fort Wayne I-B (50 kw D/9.8 kw N)
    XEWK Guadalajara I-B
    1200 WOAI San Antonio I-A
    WXKS Newton-Boston
    CFGO Ottawa
    1210 WPHT Philadelphia I-A
    1220 XEB Mexico City I-A (100 kw)
    WHKW Cleveland
    1500 WFED Washington I-B
    KSTP St. Paul I-B
    1510 WLAC Nashville I-B
    KGA(8) Spokane I-B
    WWZN Boston
    1520 WWKB Buffalo I-B
    KOKC Oklahoma City I-B
    1530 WCKY Cincinnatti I-B
    KFRK Sacramento I-B
    1540 ZNS-1 Nassau I-B
    KXEL Waterloo, Iowa I-B
    WDCD Albany
    1550 CBE(3)(6) Windsor I-B (10 kw)
    XERUV Xalapa I-B
    1560 WQEW New York I-B
    KNZR(6) Bakersfield I-B (25 kw D/10 kw N)
    1570 XERF Ciudad Acuna I-A (100 kw)
    1580 CKDO(3)(6) Oshawa, Ont. I-A (10 kw)
    KBLA Santa Monica-Los Angeles
    KMIK Tempe-Phoenix
    XEDM Hermosillo


    1 - There are two Class I-A stations on 540: CBK Watrous-Regina and XEWA San Luis Potosi. CBK originally was the only Class I-A occupant of 540, running 50,000 watts non-directional around the clock. But Mexico protested that it had been shortchanged when clear channel assignments were being decided. So 540 was re-designated as a Canadian-Mexican clear channel frequency, giving Class I-A status to XEWA. And that allows XEWA to run 150,000 watts non-directional fulltime, something it couldn't do as a Class I-B. All other Class I-A frequencies have only one station with that designation, even if they have to share that frequency with lesser-class 50,000 watt directional stations that must protect them.
    2 - 680 KNBR San Francisco, 810 WGY Schenectady, 850 KOA Denver, 1070 KNX Los Angeles and 1070 CBA Moncton were designated Class I-B stations, even though they operate(d) with non-directional 50,000 watt signals, like a I-A. KNBR and KOA have no other Class A stations on their frequencies but they do have to share their channels with other stations, including several 50,000 watt directional stations that must protect them. WGY operates with a non-directional antenna, although it has another Class I-B on its frequency, KGO San Francisco, which nulls to the east to protect WGY. KNX and CBA operate(d) with 50,000 watts non-directional on the same channel. Apparently L.A. and New Brunswick are far enough from each other than neither station had to null their nighttime patterns. All other I-B stations use directional signals at night to protect other I-B stations on their frequencies.
    3 - Several Canadian clear channel stations have left the air: 690 CINF (formerly CBF) and 940 CINW (formerly CBM) Montreal signed off due to financial reasons. Sports-formated 990 CKGM Montreal was recently authorized to move to 690 and a new French station may operate on 940 in 2012. 1070 CBA Moncton and 1550 CBE Windsor are now on the FM band. And CBJ Chicoutimi, Quebec, also switched to the FM dial, but CKDO Oshawa, Ontario, took the 1580 frequency and inherited its protections.
    4 - 760 KFMB San Diego operates by day with 5000 watts non-directional due to its proximity to KBRT Avalon, a daytime station on 740, 70 miles away. When KBRT signs off at sunset, KFMB goes to 50,000 watts but with a directional pattern to protect WJR Detroit.
    5 - 870 WWL New Orleans and 1030 WBZ Boston are the only Class I-A stations that operate with directional patterns, not to protect other stations, but to put a stronger signal over the largest population centers in their markets. These patterns are now grandfathered so it's unlikely they could return to non-directional operation. All other I-A stations are non-directional.
    6 - 990 CBW Winnipeg, 1550 CBE Windsor, 1560 KNZR Bakersfield and 1580 CKDO Oshawa are the only Class A stations in the U.S. and Canada that operate(d) with less than 50,000 watts full-time. Several Mexican stations Class A stations broadcast with less than 50,000 watts and a few run with more.
    7 - 1180 Radio Marti, owned and operated by the U.S. State Department, has no call letters and is outside the jurisdiction of the FCC. It reportedly runs 100,000 watts full-time, in a very directional pattern toward Cuba, from its transmitter in Marathon in the Florida Keys. Its signal can barely be heard in the Miami area, where its studios are. WAVS in Davie, just north of Miami, broadcasts day and night, one channel away on 1170, because Radio Marti's signal is so highly directional.
    8 - WOWO gave up its status as a Class A station, reducing power to 9,800 watts at night to allow 1190 WLIB New York to operate full-time. And KGA has plans to reduce its nighttime power to 15,000 watts and give up its Class A status, allowing 1510 KSPN Piedmont CA to operate with increased power at night to better cover the Bay Area.


    Gregg
    [email protected]

  2. #2
    cd637299
    Guest

    Re: 50,000 Watt Stations on North American Clear Channel Frequencies

    Thank you.

    For the life of me, WFLF 540 & WYGM 740 just don't seem to crank out 50 k. From south FL, it's work to hear 740 for sure; I can catch CFZM if I try hard enough.

    Are those night patterns so "tight" that south Florida is ignored?? (BTW there's still the 740 in Boca Raton.) Could they be heard easily in Bermuda at night? (or maybe they are not using all 50.)

    cd

  3. #3

    Re: 50,000 Watt Stations on North American Clear Channel Frequencies

    That's not really a complete list these days, of course...the rules changes in the 80s and 90s that broke down the old distinction between class I/II and class III stations allowed fulltime 50s to operate on channels that were once reserved for "regional" class III facilities. So a truly comprehensive list would also include stations like KMJ and WWJ and WXYT that went from regional 5000 watt fulltimers with fairly broad directional patterns to "class B" 50,000-watt fulltimers with very directional blowtorch signals.

    WWJ is great in Detroit and loud and clear hundreds of miles away in Sault Ste. Marie, but nearly unlistenable in Toledo or Lansing, just an hour or two from Detroit. (740 Orlando is the same way - it ALL goes east.)

    50 kW isn't what it used to be. Just putting 50 kW into a short tower on a regional frequency, even if you can do it, probably gives you no more advantage over a rising noise floor and crappy modern radios than the same station would have had with 5 kW in the fifties and sixties...and won't do anything close to what a WNAX or KFYR can do with 5 kW at the bottom of the dial over great ground conductivity.
    All kinds of good stuff over at http://www.fybush.com

  4. #4

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    Re: 50,000 Watt Stations on North American Clear Channel Frequencies

    I recently sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Lisbon, Portugal to Ft. Lauderdale, FL. I can tell you that BOTH 540 and 740 from Orlando are very strong 600 miles EAST of Bermuda at night. I too, have noticed that 740, in particular, seems rather anemic north and south of Orlando day and night. Even at night, in the area around Sea World and the Orange County Convention Center, 740 is not that strong.
    Alum of:
    WKTR-TV Kettering/Dayton, OH 1968
    WVUD-FM Kettering/Dayton, OH 1968-70
    WILO AM/FM Frankfort, IN 1970
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    WCGW AM Nicholasville/Lexington, KY 1994-2001
    ARRL Member Since 1975---Medium Wave DXer Since 1955---NRC Member

  5. #5

    Re: 50,000 Watt Stations on North American Clear Channel Frequencies

    A few more to add:

    950 KJR Seattle
    980 CKNW Vancouver, BC
    1300 KKOL Seattle (50 kW-D / 47 kW-N)
    1380 KRKO Everett, WA
    1410 CFTE Vancouver, BC

    Perhaps they didn't get listed because they are not on the traditional "Clear Channel" frequencies but they are 50 kW stations now.

  6. #6
    Moderator/Co-Administrator
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    Re: 50,000 Watt Stations on North American Clear Channel Frequencies

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg
    I used a 1977 Broadcasting Yearbook, Radio-Locator.com, Wikipedia, RadioStationWorld.com and Fred Cantu's Mexican radio website, although some of these sources conflict.
    There are about 70 Broadcasting Yearbook issues online at
    http://www.americanradiohistory.com/...mmary_Page.htm and they are also searchable. You can follow the history of the clears via searches in the Broadcasting Magazine issues from about '35 onwards, too.
    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

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    Re: 50,000 Watt Stations on North American Clear Channel Frequencies

    Quote Originally Posted by KR4BD
    I recently sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Lisbon, Portugal to Ft. Lauderdale, FL. I can tell you that BOTH 540 and 740 from Orlando are very strong 600 miles EAST of Bermuda at night. I too, have noticed that 740, in particular, seems rather anemic north and south of Orlando day and night. Even at night, in the area around Sea World and the Orange County Convention Center, 740 is not that strong.
    Did you take the southern route?

    Sounds like a LW/MW/SW DX'er's dream trip. Were you able to do much DX'ing? Would love to hear about it if you don't mind sharing...in a new thread perhaps?

  8. #8

    Re: 50,000 Watt Stations on North American Clear Channel Frequencies

    Oddly enough, some of the new former Class III Class B stations with 50 kW and even less have signals in their major lobes which are better than the former Class I-As and I-Bs now lumped together as Class As. Although skywaves are not protected for Class Bs, many have skywaves that many times exceed what the NIF would be at a particular location, and are crystal clear at night and during critical hours on even the least expensive radios. In Michigan, that includes WFDF with 25 kW night and WOOD with 20 kW night, who both exceed Class A 50 kW nondiectional inverse fields in their major lobes. So even the obsession with 50 kW may be misplaced. Even several 5 kW Class Bs like WLQV 1500 (formerly 5 kW night) and WGRB 1390 are classified as DX "pests" in Scandinavia. A few 5 kW stations have major lobes which exceed 1237 mV/m inverse field at 1 mile, the minimum for 50 kW Class B efficiency. Usually they have five or more towers above 1/2 wavelength.

  9. #9

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    Re: 50,000 Watt Stations on North American Clear Channel Frequencies

    Quote Originally Posted by Icangelp
    Quote Originally Posted by KR4BD
    I recently sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Lisbon, Portugal to Ft. Lauderdale, FL. I can tell you that BOTH 540 and 740 from Orlando are very strong 600 miles EAST of Bermuda at night. I too, have noticed that 740, in particular, seems rather anemic north and south of Orlando day and night. Even at night, in the area around Sea World and the Orange County Convention Center, 740 is not that strong.
    Did you take the southern route?

    Sounds like a LW/MW/SW DX'er's dream trip. Were you able to do much DX'ing? Would love to hear about it if you don't mind sharing...in a new thread perhaps?
    This WAS an interesting DX experience for me. I did a post on my loggings about a month ago. If I did this correctly, you can see it here:

    http://boards.radio-info.com/smf/ind...topic=201822.0

    Alum of:
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    WVUD-FM Kettering/Dayton, OH 1968-70
    WILO AM/FM Frankfort, IN 1970
    WGEE AM/FM Indianapolis, IN 1970-71
    WCGW AM Nicholasville/Lexington, KY 1994-2001
    ARRL Member Since 1975---Medium Wave DXer Since 1955---NRC Member

  10. #10
    cd637299
    Guest

    Re: 50,000 Watt Stations on North American Clear Channel Frequencies

    Thank you KR4BD on the Bermuda info re 540/740. I remember the thread, but did not see that part. Getting *any* Canadian was good work (CHML 900).

    cd

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