Denver Area Translators - Ugh!
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Thread: Denver Area Translators - Ugh!

  1. #1

    Denver Area Translators - Ugh!

    Hi. New to the forum, but an avid Denver area FM listener (with nice tuners and outside antennas at home - not just the car like most). I like to push the distance listening also and can cleanly get several Colorado Springs and Ft. Collins stations. I prefer the high quality sound of FM compared to the horrible compression of on-line and satellite. And I like a variety of formats.

    Anyway, this proliferation of FM translators is making me nervous. Recently KGNU turned up one on 99.1 completely wiping out KUAD from Ft. Collins, which I had perfectly clear. I read that there was another application filing window for AM stations to apply for new FM translators last month and I also looked on the FCC site that shows "open" frequencies and I would not call them open at all. One of them is 105.5 (The Colorado Sound), which comes in great all over Denver in a car. It seems like the way the FCC does it is they have way more concern for 2nd adjacent channels over co-channel. I don't get it.

    I was wondering if anyone has any insight into more that might be coming to Denver with this AM revival junk (sorry, my opinion). And can a person do anything to "protest" an application if they know it will kill their listening to another station? Not that the FCC would probably care what one person thinks, but it seems like the frequency planning is really lacking any common sense. A really good example is 104.7 having two Denver area LP stations on it. What the heck?

    Does a person just have to file a consumer interference complaint with the FCC after a translator comes on air? I thought about it with KGNU, but I'm guessing it would just enter a black hole.


  2. #2
    Class A, and Class C stations are protected to their 60 dBu contour. On flat terrain (obviously not Denver) that's about 45 miles from a 100 KW @ 1000 ft FM broadcaster.

    Reliable reception is possible, especially with a quality receiver, out to 48 dBu, or lower, but that is not protected coverage and therefore translators (and any other signal that can fit within FCC parameters) can be placed.

    Edited to add: You're definitely not listening to the "right" web streams. There are plenty of good web streamers out there with better-than-FM quality. However, I have noticed some broadcasters simply connecting an FM receiver to the input of their streaming service - digitally compressing audio processed for FM is a no-no!
    "Its music what makes a radio station, and at Live FM, we play the last music around."
    After receiving that copy, I quit the VO industry.

  3. #3
    It's hard for me to believe that the two stations on 104.7 meet that criteria since you can drive around and flip flop between the two (depending on the capture ratio of the tuner of course), but mostly they interfere with each other if you're anywhere with overlap. One is on Lookout Mountain and the other downtown. That's very little physical separation, especially with the elevation of Lookout.

    What I find really strange about the rules is how concerned they are about adjacent channel interference, even 2 channels away. There are plenty of (what I would call) open frequencies in Denver (based on lack of co-channel use), but they can't be used because of adjacent channel issues. I understand the need for that protection (especially 1 channel away), but in practice they seem to be making that a higher priority unnecessarily, and causing co-channel issues instead.

  4. #4
    Looking at the FCC records, it's unclear which two stations are interfering. I'm guessing one of them is KOMF-LP, transmitting from near the Forney Museum of Transportation. And the other is presumably KMKZ from Loveland. LPFMs are treated like the old FM Class D, with only 15 miles required between co-channel stations: the intended servie area for an LPFM is only 4 miles around its transmitter. Loveland to Denver is far in excess of 15 miles.

    The rules for adjacencies were set up decades ago, when tuners were less precise.
    "Its music what makes a radio station, and at Live FM, we play the last music around."
    After receiving that copy, I quit the VO industry.

  5. #5
    Yes on KOMF-LP. The other is translator K284CI (KDCO-AM), which I see from FCC records is on Lookout, with a pattern to the south. But it's obviously very high in elevation.

    Sorry I said two LP stations. One is a translator. The 2 are only 13.7 miles apart from each other.

  6. #6
    Interestingly KGNU's translator on 99.1 is off right now and KUAD is listenable from my location again.

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