Does FCC calculate AM night power on class D under 250 watts?

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Thread: Does FCC calculate AM night power on class D under 250 watts?

  1. #1

    Does FCC calculate AM night power on class D under 250 watts?

    Back in the day when the FCC was allowing daytime class D AMs to operate at night nondirectional below the minimum of 250 watts( PSSA ) they calculated the night time power for you. Do they still do that or when applying to go from directional night to nondirectional night at lower than 250 watts does the applicant submit the calculation?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry the radio guy View Post
    Back in the day when the FCC was allowing daytime class D AMs to operate at night nondirectional below the minimum of 250 watts( PSSA ) they calculated the night time power for you. Do they still do that or when applying to go from directional night to nondirectional night at lower than 250 watts does the applicant submit the calculation?
    The applicant (or the applicant's engineering consultant) does that calculation now.
    All kinds of good stuff over at http://www.fybush.com

  3. #3
    When WPGR-AM in Monroeville, PA was approved for ONE WATT of night power,
    who did THAT calculation?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by FreddyE1977 View Post
    When WPGR-AM in Monroeville, PA was approved for ONE WATT of night power,
    who did THAT calculation?
    Back in the 70s (then) WKXR (1540) in Exeter, NH was granted THREE watts nighttime power.....the owner AND engineer agreed this "flea-power" wouldn't get the signal to the downtown area
    on a good night with a tail-wind....so the station never acted on it, and continued sign-off at local sunset (1540 was (is?) a Bahamian clear channel -- and in the Northeast WPTR, Albany, NY was a powerhouse rocker..).

  5. #5
    We've got two of these in the Pittsburgh area.

    WPGR, night power one watt.
    WZUM, night power four watts.

    WZUM used to broadcast football games for Woodland Hills High School.
    Likely the signal did not make it to the stadium (which is not that far away).

    You do have to wonder why the station even bothers.

  6. #6
    Back in the early 1980s, the FCC calculated the power for the PSSAs. Generally, the power depended on the Non-DA or DA pattern, and the proximity of well protected stations, such as I-A, I-B, II-A, II-B, III-A, and III-B. Generally, if the DA-D protected the well protected III-A and III-B stations, they got more power, Non-DA less, and if the DA was directed toward the well protected stations, still less, such as WCLB 950 got only 11 watts to protect WWJ. WFLT 1420 got 142 watts since they already protected WHK quite well with the DA. The stations protecting I-As and I-Bs generally got powers in the 1-5 watt range. WPGR protects I-B WLAC 1510, and WZUM protects I-B CBE(F) 1550.

    Generally speaking, the older the station, the lower the NIF is, although there are exceptions. The WWJ and WHK call letters give you a clue about their NIF, without looking I'd say close to 3 mV/m.
    Last edited by Schroedingers Cat; 08-10-2018 at 02:31 PM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by FreddyE1977 View Post
    WZUM used to broadcast football games for Woodland Hills High School.
    Likely the signal did not make it to the stadium (which is not that far away).
    Many AM stations with "flea power" nighttime signals -- or even daytime-only stations -- have an unofficial "high school football PSSA" to allow them to stay on the air at full daytime power until the game is over. I'm sure the FCC knows about this practice, but has rarely, if ever fined a station for doing so.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by kevtronics View Post
    Many AM stations with "flea power" nighttime signals -- or even daytime-only stations -- have an unofficial "high school football PSSA" to allow them to stay on the air at full daytime power until the game is over. I'm sure the FCC knows about this practice, but has rarely, if ever fined a station for doing so.
    Stations that do that sort of thing, do so at their own risk. If a protected co-channel station complains, I'll guarantee you the Commission will have no other recourse but to send the station an NAL. Not sure the teeny revenue from a high school football season would pay for all the fines and lawyer fees if you got caught.

  9. #9
    I hate it when people bring this topic up, as if the rules are optional. What else would you do to endanger someone else's license and bank account?

    Years ago, I took on a client that had to manually switch a couple of old tube transmitters at sunrise/sunset. The owner had a tendency to switch to high power when he came in for the day (sometimes a couple of hours early), and that complacency led the night staff to pull that "assumed PSSA" crap.

    As soon as I caught on to what was happening, I put a new remote control in that managed the power changes automatically. I wouldn't have kept the station as a client otherwise, but it never came to that. They moved on as if it was never a big deal... which surprised me.

  10. #10
    Friday night broadcasts of high-school football used to be a HUGE thing here in Western Pennsylvania.

    You probably had thirty, forty games broadcast on any given weekend.
    I would not be shocked to learn that most were being beamed at illegal power.
    The FCC can't catch all of them now, can they? (and is some station in Texas that
    is doing the same thing really going to complain anyway?)

    In the past few years though these game broadcasts have really dwindled.
    AM radio not really that popular with the current crop of high-school kiddies, or even their parents.

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