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Fri Aug 3 12:37 pm  #1


CRTC Turns Down Request For Power Hike Due To Buffalo HD Interference

I doubt this is a first in Canada but it certainly is an interesting scenario. The CRTC has denied Bell's CKKW-FM in Kitchener a requested power boost (from 1,700 watts to a far more substantial 11,800) because of HD Radio.
 
The oldies station, branded as K-Fun at 99.5, had complained that the HD offering of co-located WDCX Buffalo was interfering with its signal in K-W. It claimed that some listeners who owned HD radios were finding the local signal overwhelmed by the digital output of the super-powered religious outlet across the border. (WDCX is a grandfathered station that is allowed to transmit at a whopping 110,000 watts and is so strong, it comes in just about everywhere, including your electric toothbrush. It broadcasts religious music on its digital channel.)
 
As a result, Bell wanted the boost to overcome the interference, caused by something called “thermal ducting.” (I’m sure there are a lot more qualified people on the board who can explain what that means.) But the CRTC turned them down, and the reasons are pretty interesting.
 
First, the Commission found that Bell had been given permission to start its own HD sub-channel in October 2017, a development that might have fixed the problem. But so far, they’ve failed to launch it. Then it noted that the owners were complaining about interference in places that were actually outside their area of licence.
 
And finally, in a bizarre twist, the CRTC admitted that it doesn’t actually have a model to take “thermal ducting” into account and that the studies the Commissioners have been relying on are from the English Channel and the geography and conditions in Canada are totally different here! (Nice to know they’re using the latest data.)
 
Still, you have to wonder if all of this is partly a ploy by Bell to simply increase the range of CKKW. I say that because Rogers intervened in the request, not to get it denied but to unofficially support it.
 
Why would a rival do that? Ted’s Big Red Machine says it, too, is experiencing HD bleed from Buffalo on its CKIS-FM, and if the CRTC were to grant a signal boost to Bell in Kitchener, then in fairness they’d have to give the same permission to any other station that’s having similar issues. And that would mean a power boost for KISS 92.5.
 
Nice try, but no cigar. In the end, the CRTC admitted it didn’t have enough information on the problem and denied the plea for more wattage. But as HD Radio spreads and if this continues to be an issue, saying “we don’t know enough” won’t be an acceptable answer for long.

CRTC Decision

 

Fri Aug 3 1:11 pm  #2


Re: CRTC Turns Down Request For Power Hike Due To Buffalo HD Interference

Kiss FM's interference is likely from WBEE Rochester on the same frequency. Pretty high powered to.

 

Fri Aug 3 2:16 pm  #3


Re: CRTC Turns Down Request For Power Hike Due To Buffalo HD Interference

They really got hammered at night though by WBAL.

 

Fri Aug 3 2:28 pm  #4


Re: CRTC Turns Down Request For Power Hike Due To Buffalo HD Interference

They picked a frequency they knew was problematic and now they're crying fowl.  Tough!

Maybe they can have virgin radio go HD and Kfun can ride on that frequency as well?
 

 

Fri Aug 3 3:37 pm  #5


Re: CRTC Turns Down Request For Power Hike Due To Buffalo HD Interference

With respect RA, your comment needs clarification...

"And finally, in a bizarre twist, the CRTC admitted that it doesn’t actually have a model to take “thermal ducting” into account and that the studies the Commissioners have been relying on are from the English Channel and the geography and conditions in Canada are totally different here! (Nice to know they’re using the latest data.)"

It is industry canada ("The Department") that lacks a policy on thermal ducting ... the CRTC defers technical questions to ised.

Also, it was Bell who provided the north sea report ("the submitted report") as part of their application. again, the commission is not using said report as a tool, which is why the report's findings were rejected.

Last edited by splunge (Fri Aug 3 3:38 pm)

 

Fri Aug 3 3:56 pm  #6


Re: CRTC Turns Down Request For Power Hike Due To Buffalo HD Interference

I stand corrected. (Or sit, in this case.) And I appreciate the update. 

But you have to admit it's weird that the powers-that-be seem to have so little data on the problems that HD Radio might pose, especially as this becomes more commonplace. And how strange that Bell expected anyone to accept completely irrelevant data from overseas to try and prove their case here. 

I suspect we haven't heard the last of this kind of thing.  

     Thread Starter
 

Fri Aug 3 8:47 pm  #7


Re: CRTC Turns Down Request For Power Hike Due To Buffalo HD Interference

RadioActive wrote:

I stand corrected. (Or sit, in this case.) And I appreciate the update. 

But you have to admit it's weird that the powers-that-be seem to have so little data on the problems that HD Radio might pose, especially as this becomes more commonplace. And how strange that Bell expected anyone to accept completely irrelevant data from overseas to try and prove their case here. 

I suspect we haven't heard the last of this kind of thing.  

@RA, thanks, and you're right.  there needs to be precedent set at some point, in lieu of policy.  I would also posit that bell;s use of the overseas data speaks to their hail mary application in the first place.

 

Fri Aug 3 10:37 pm  #8


Re: CRTC Turns Down Request For Power Hike Due To Buffalo HD Interference

Andy: You're right about WBEE and Kiss 92.5 ... At the Scarborough Bluffs, Rochester can knock a huge punch into Kiss. No other station on 92.5 is close enough or strong enough to do that kind of damage. Tough for Kiss ... WBEE was there eons earlier.

Re Thermal Ducting ... maybe a good term for underwear. The term DXers use, and a handful of weather forecasters who DX use, is tropospheric enhancement or ducting. The troposphere is the layer of the atmosphere involved. These are weather-induced impacts on FM (and TV) reception. A warm or cold front moving in is a prime motivator for tropospheric ducting. Ducting is serious fun for us DXers - I've had stations 400 to 1000+ miles out that way. During that crazy blackout a decade ago I had New Jersey from the Bluffs. Signals are usually weak - it's long-haul stuff and doesn't happen too often. The problem for broadcasters is tropospheric enhancement. I suspect the English Channel is probably not a bad model for understanding the impact around our Great Lakes. The science of it gets into lake temperatures and inversions. But as the big lakes warm up, it can impact signals, depending on air temperatures, lack of wind, etc. I am told that a mirage you see on the lake is somewhat of a result of the same effect. Long story short, FM and TV signals travel very well over water. It's for this reason I would have sought 106.3 rather than 106.5 had I been the original Aboriginal Voice applicant. Peterborough is far less meddlesome over land than Buffalo is over water. I might add that *NONE* of this tropospheric business (aka Tropo) is SKIP or E-SKIP. That's a whole other ballgame. E-skip is more solar and ionospheric-induced and a good opening can lay utter waste to an FM signal into its B contours, though the effects last usually no more than an hour or two and most often just a few minutes, and almost always restricted to May-August. I should add that I am a DX hobbyist not a meteorologist - if any true experts are on the board, by all means correct me.


 

 

Mon Aug 6 8:57 am  #9


Re: CRTC Turns Down Request For Power Hike Due To Buffalo HD Interference

Peter the K wrote:

They picked a frequency they knew was problematic and now they're crying fowl. 
 

Geese? Ducks? Domestic poultry?
 

 

Mon Aug 6 9:19 am  #10


Re: CRTC Turns Down Request For Power Hike Due To Buffalo HD Interference

verger wrote:

Peter the K wrote:

They picked a frequency they knew was problematic and now they're crying fowl. 
 

Geese? Ducks? Domestic poultry?
 

They picked a problem spot on the dial did they?  So what?  Since when does a substandard/woefully under powered signal in Canada take a back seat to whatever the heck is happening stateside?  As long as they transmit so as not to interfere with the American signal on American turf...****WE****must always take precedence...no exceptions.  Let them upgrade for the good of broadcasting in Canada.  People living here deserve to hear their possible listening options delivered in a qualitative way.

S'a no-brainer.

If you buy a run down building to operate a business you don't just carry on with the leaky roof and holes in the walls situated above your newly acquired cracked foundation...you fix those errors and you upgrade the deficiencies.   The transmitted signal should be no exception.  Duh!!!
 

 

Mon Aug 6 2:36 pm  #11


Re: CRTC Turns Down Request For Power Hike Due To Buffalo HD Interference

Old Codger, I had that same understanding. In scanning the decision, the justification for the denial seems inconsistent with what I understood fundamental regulatory policy to be.

Last edited by Tim Brown 2016 (Mon Aug 6 2:47 pm)

 

Mon Aug 6 2:44 pm  #12


Re: CRTC Turns Down Request For Power Hike Due To Buffalo HD Interference

Old Codger wrote:

verger wrote:

Peter the K wrote:

They picked a frequency they knew was problematic and now they're crying fowl. 
 

Geese? Ducks? Domestic poultry?
 

They picked a problem spot on the dial did they?  So what?  Since when does a substandard/woefully under powered signal in Canada take a back seat to whatever the heck is happening stateside?  As long as they transmit so as not to interfere with the American signal on American turf...****WE****must always take precedence...no exceptions.  Let them upgrade for the good of broadcasting in Canada.  People living here deserve to hear their possible listening options delivered in a qualitative way.

S'a no-brainer.

If you buy a run down building to operate a business you don't just carry on with the leaky roof and holes in the walls situated above your newly acquired cracked foundation...you fix those errors and you upgrade the deficiencies.   The transmitted signal should be no exception.  Duh!!!
 

 I agree.  The CRTC has been too conservative with its signal requirements when allowing Canadian FM stations to use Buffalo frequencies.  Stations as far away as Simcoe and Cambridge have been forced to find different frequencies because they were broadcasting with a power of under 5000 watts and experiencing too much interference from stations in Buffalo.  The commission finally got it right with Grand FM in Caledonia.  The 50000 watt signal blankets the area on 92.9 and interference from WBUF in Buffalo is minimal until you reach St. Catharines.
 

 

Mon Aug 6 11:36 pm  #13


Re: CRTC Turns Down Request For Power Hike Due To Buffalo HD Interference

New US signal to impact long-standing Canadian one?

92.1 WZDV "Dove FM" in Amherst NY reported on. I saw this reported as heard in Grimsby at 42 miles. "Reported to be overriding semi-local CKPC. I'll check the channel in the morning...

 

Tue Aug 7 7:51 am  #14


Re: CRTC Turns Down Request For Power Hike Due To Buffalo HD Interference

Saul wrote:

New US signal to impact long-standing Canadian one?

92.1 WZDV "Dove FM" in Amherst NY reported on. I saw this reported as heard in Grimsby at 42 miles. "Reported to be overriding semi-local CKPC. I'll check the channel in the morning...

WZDV has been on the air for over two months now. It began testing at the start of June. It's designed to be extremely directional - on a normal propagation day, its signal starts to fade as you cross the south Grand Island bridge, gets choppy across the island and is gone by the time you go over the north bridge and hit Niagara Falls NY. As expected, it suffers a lot of incoming interference from CKPC-FM - at times, WZDV is hard to get in downtown Buffalo because there's so much Brantford coming in. 

None of which means that a determined DXer (such as our mutual friend in Grimsby, if it's who I think it is) can't occasionally pull in a log of WZDV with a directional antenna pointed the right way. But for the most part, WZDV hasn't seemed to cause CKPC-FM much real-world trouble on Canadian soil. 

 

Tue Aug 7 3:18 pm  #15


Re: CRTC Turns Down Request For Power Hike Due To Buffalo HD Interference

Scott, the Grimsby DXer is one and the same. I know propagation has been good the last few days but I am really surprised he hasn't reported it earlier given the June tests. Could it have been testing at somewhat lower power or with some other difference?

As I left Toronto this morning driving northwards, I didn't have anything other than CKPC before the few grey cells I have left got distracted by something newer and shinier. A trip to the Scarborough Bluffs has long been in order - bet I get solid Amherst there. I'm also wondering who airs religion on 90.7 well enough to have made it to downtown TO pretty solid this past Saturday morning. Conditions were wacky - An hour earlier I had Montreal at times equal to Toronto signals (like on 100.7) just n.e. of TO. That same Grimsby DXer said the same morning offered his best ever reception of Montreal FMs. As I was passing north of Bobcaygeon ON, I was on a hill facing south and heard a 250 watt translator of the 1460 Catholic station in Rochester on 92.9. I've heard it once before up there but quite a few years ago.

 

Tue Aug 7 3:42 pm  #16


Re: CRTC Turns Down Request For Power Hike Due To Buffalo HD Interference

Don't ever remember getting a Montreal signal but was was quite surprised to get Brockville On. a few weeks ago at 103. 7 ?  Don't remember the exact frequency but it was a classic/hits/rock type format and speaking of religious stations, there is one that comes in regularly in the car from Syracuse at 88.3


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
 

Thu Aug 9 7:07 am  #17


Re: CRTC Turns Down Request For Power Hike Due To Buffalo HD Interference

Saul, the religion on 90.7 is probably WLGU Lancaster. It's been on for a couple of years now but is also rather directional away from Canada. It belongs to the same Catholic group that runs 101.7 in Buffalo and 92.9/1460 in Rochester, but runs different programming. And as for 92.1, as far as I know, it's been on the air consistently from the very beginning of June. It just puts so little power toward Grimsby that it took a good trop opening for our DX friend to hear it. 

Fitz, if you're in the GTA and hearing religion on 88.3, it's probably WCOU from Warsaw (between Buffalo and Rochester) - it carries the Family Life Network programming that originates in Bath, south of Rochester.