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SOWNY » HD Radio In Toronto » Today 3:28 pm

tvguy
Replies: 34

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A couple of things about FCP.  First, the Master FM at CN Tower was designed for omni-directional stations. Most of the stations at the CN Tower were relatively grandfathered, in terms of their coverage - case in point CKFM, CHFI and CHUM FM.   CKFM, if memory serves me correctly was over 210 kw at the old CIBC building - and omni directional.  It's last "home" was on the "new" CIBC building at a relatively high power and omni-directional.   CHFI was at an even higher power from the CFTO tower in Agincourt.  So when they moved to CN Tower the "C" grandfathered stations were around 40 KW on Master FM.  CHIN FM was at a lower power because it is "B" class.   

 Most of the stations at FCP have highly directional antennas to protect U.S. and other Canadian stations on the same or adjacent frequencies.  Several were "drop in" frequencies - like 88,9 CIRV which originally operated at 88.7 (WBFO's frequency) and the arboriginal radio station on 106.5 (WYRK Buffalo).  96.3 "relocated" from an office tower in Mississauga and is directional to protect 96.1 Buffalo.   Other stations have literally been shoe-horned into the site, with specially designed antennas - i.e. 96.7 CFZM-FM-1. There have already been major changes to FM antennas at FCP due to Safety Code 6 problems.  These included high levels of radiation over cooling towers on the roof. Several stations were required to re-design their antennas, to throw less RF onto the rooftop.  This work occurred in May 2009 and included CFMZ, CBLA-FM and CJBC-FM.  There were some other Safety Code 6 issues when the outside (granite) cladding started falling from the face of the building.  There was a multi-year project whereby sidecars of workers were slung over the side of the building.  RF levels had to be reduced for some stations (that over and above the antenna design changes).  I believe that RF levels were reduced on "working" nights to accommodate the crews on the rooftop.  Every addition of HD notches

SOWNY » Frank Bonner, aka Herb Tarlek, RIP » Today 2:40 pm

pinto
Replies: 3

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I did not know Williams had that disease...

SOWNY » Should Disc Jockeys Be Heard & Not Seen? » Today 1:38 pm

RadioActive
Replies: 2

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Great answer! I'm not sure why, but I've worked with many jocks and news people over the years and heard them on air before I did. Only a few matched my mental image of them.

Of course, I knew what you and the CKFH and CHUM jocks looked like because of the charts both stations put out. I believe that's you in the middle, with Duff Roman and Mike Williams on the left and Mal Faris and Tom Fulton on the right.

https://i.ibb.co/vLq6T9h/CKFH-Toronto-Top-70-Of-1970-4.jpg

SOWNY » Alan Cross Salutes - And Laments - The Lowly Cassette Tape » Today 1:31 pm

RadioActive
Replies: 16

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No, it's actually an aging Mazda 3 and I had to pay extra for them to put it in before it was delivered. I actually did use it for a while, too, but then the use dropped off over the years. 

SOWNY » Alan Cross Salutes - And Laments - The Lowly Cassette Tape » Today 1:09 pm

RadioActive wrote:

My rapidly aging car (and yes, I'm still vowing to get a new one) from 2006 has a cassette player in it. Certainly, the last of a vanishing breed. 

I would love to have a cassette machine in my car.  I have decent Rotel and Technics decks I could have used to make tapes for the car.

EDIT:  RA - I'm guessing you have a Ford Taurus.  I know those had a combo CD and cassette machine in the mid-2000s
 

SOWNY » Frank Bonner, aka Herb Tarlek, RIP » Today 12:51 pm

RadioActive
Replies: 3

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An article from the Daily Mail - the only one I've seen online at the time of this posting - suggests the end of Bonner's life was anything but easy. He was suffering from Lewy body dementia, a horrible form of the Alzheimer-like disease, in which the person not only develops cognitive issues but sees sometimes terrifying but very convincing hallucinations. It could not have been an easy life for him or his family and it often requires hospitalization or a stay in a nursing home. Sad way for such a talented man to go. 

This form of the disease is the same one Robin Williams was diagnosed with before he committed suicide in August of 2014. He chose not to let it go where he knew it would. 

Frank Bonner dies at 79: Star of TV sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati passes away 'due to complications from Lewy body dementia'

SOWNY » Best music app? » Today 12:46 pm

mojo55
Replies: 6

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I use Stingray which is included with Rogers cable, Amazon  (as I have Amazon Prime). and Sirius XM ( as I have this in my car).. My preferred app is Stingray.

SOWNY » Alan Cross Salutes - And Laments - The Lowly Cassette Tape » Today 12:46 pm

RadioActive
Replies: 16

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I used the term "lowly" in the subject line because that's how Alan Cross expressed his view and the story was based on his commentary. But I had great luck with cassettes over the years and some of the work I did in radio has been preserved on them for decades (since digitized.)

A lot depended on the quality of the tape you originally used and I spent a small fortune getting the best brands there were. It also helped if the machine you were using to record/playback was a good one. I still have my Pioneer stereo cassette deck with two separate machines in one for high-speed dubbing purposes. Worked great then, works great now - although outside of the aforementioned digitization project which took me more than a month, I can't quite recall the last time I used it for anything other than playback.

(I also discovered an unopened package of TDK tapes in an upstairs bedroom. Not sure I'll ever use them, but I'm betting they would still be OK even all these years later!)

The quality of most of those tapes equals reel-to-reel in my opinion. There are a few drop-outs over the years but for the most part, you couldn't tell the difference - no hiss and no noise on the music. And they still play well today.

My rapidly aging car (and yes, I'm still vowing to get a new one) from 2006 has a cassette player in it. Certainly, the last of a vanishing breed. 

SOWNY » Alan Cross Salutes - And Laments - The Lowly Cassette Tape » Today 12:29 pm

I was going to say that cassettes have really been underrepresented here.  Sonically, the average cassette deck could yield 30-16,000 Hz response and fairly flat too.  With Dolby B-Type NR, the S/N was typically 65 dB.  Not bad at all.

Out of 100 cassettes, I may have had trouble with the odd one.  And by the mid 80s but especially the early 90s, pre-recorded cassettes were sounding pretty decent, especially WEA and CBS titles.  Even A&M had some good cassettes.

It's like when old jocks reminisce about the horrors of cart machines.  Towards the end, theere were some that rivaled half-tack open-reel at 7.5 IPS.  I think we want to remember things being worse than they were because it lets us tell the young-ins how "bad" we had it.
 

SOWNY » Frank Bonner, aka Herb Tarlek, RIP » Today 12:18 pm

Frank Bonner, who played oafish and obnoxious salesman Herb Tarlek on WKRP in Cincinnati, is reported to have passed away at the age of 79. It was first reported by his daughter, Desiree Boers-Kort, on Facebook about 10 hours ago.

Although none of the mainstream news organizations seemed to have reported it as of yet, it has also been confirmed by fellow WKRP cast member Gary Sandy on his official Facebook page. Sandy played program director Andy Travis on the series.

https://www.facebook.com/Gary-Sandy-1566272903616194/


PJ

SOWNY » Best music app? » Today 11:43 am

pinto
Replies: 6

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I had Google PlayMusic, loved it.. paid subscription... got converted to YouTube music when Google killed the old app.  Hate it.  Only reason I'm keeping it is because of my old grandfathered rate

SOWNY » Should Disc Jockeys Be Heard & Not Seen? » Today 11:34 am

John D
Replies: 2

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I don't know how many times in my career; when a listener would meet me, they would say, "So you sure don't look like you sound."  I eventually had a comeback line.  "Well you see, on the air, I'm much taller and thinner."

SOWNY » Best music app? » Today 11:23 am

Glen Warren
Replies: 6

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Has anyone tried YouTube Music?  I believe it is a paid or subscription level service...

just curious....

SOWNY » Will A Town Near Windsor Get A New Radio Station? We'll Know This Week » Today 11:03 am

Denied this morning. Blackburn opposed the app, and used COVID as their excuse.

SOWNY » Are You Ready For Yet Another Area Code In S. Ont? This Time, It's 742 » Today 10:55 am

MJ Vancouver
Replies: 20

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mace wrote:

385 has been reserved for Toronto when 416/647/437 run out of phone numbers around 2025. And to think back in 1947, when area codes were first introduced in North America, 416 and 613 were the only ones assigned to Ontario. The 519 was introduced in 1953, 705 in 1957 and 807 in 1962.

Back in those days I don’t think you or I would have needed to use area codes, as direct-dial long distance didn’t exist yet. I believe you needed to call the operator to conduct a non-local call. Area codes were more of an internal routing tool back then, at least until direct-dial long distance was introduced.

SOWNY » Best music app? » Today 10:50 am

markow202
Replies: 6

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I currently went with Apple Music, especially with their launch of lossless audio (cd quality).  Spotify has a better discovery of music however the sound quality apple always had when using their devices and their music app was always top notch and even better now. 

SOWNY » HD Radio In Toronto » Today 10:47 am

markow202
Replies: 34

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torontostan wrote:

Juggie1 wrote:

Biggest issue with FCP is Safety Code 6! With the current load of rf stations including tv, fm, and communications companies, the rf level is at or just below the level where power reductions would start happening. Adding stations up there would further reduce the current power levels of existing stations and may even mean that the top floors may not be useable.

Also, FCP is just under 1000 feet and the CN master fm antenna is just under 1600 feet up! That height difference means much better reach at a much lower power level and a big hydro savings! Also lower maintenance costs at CN tower as only one antenna system to maintain. FCP would have to either spend lots of money for a common antenna system or each station would have to put big filters in to prevent reradiation issues!

Very interesting! I assume no FCP broadcasters are currently inhibited by these regulations? As in, are any operating at a lower power to limit overall radiation? 

I'm shocked people are allowed to work on the upper floors full-time as it stands now.... I wouldn't be surprised if the levels of radiation result in higher cancer rates among those BMO staffers. 

I guess all I'm wondering is if it would be cheaper (and easier) to move the CN FMs to FCP (and possibly include even more FMs on an Onmi-Directional Master FM system there), rather than upgrading the almost 50 year old systems at CN in their limited space and inaccessible spire. 
 

Oh I get you now, in terms of the accessability in the tower.  Well, I still find it strange how when it was built, the white radome on the antenna was installed first, then the antennas were put into place.  So im guessing a reverse order could be in process.  Who knows.  Incredible its working full time for that long with literally no issues.

 

SOWNY » Are You Ready For Yet Another Area Code In S. Ont? This Time, It's 742 » Today 10:32 am

Lorne
Replies: 20

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RadioActive wrote:

It's not the "three extra digits," as you so trollfully put it. It's remembering who's 416, 905, 647, 289, 365, 742, LSMFT...For example my veterinarian is in North York. But his clinic's phone number starts with 647 not 416. With so many phone numbers in my already addled brain, I sometimes have trouble remembering which goes with which. 

Many years ago I read something about the average person being able to remember seven digits well enough, but that it became harder after that. And I have found that when I am calling an unfamiliar phone number, I generally need to look at it twice now as I enter it, whereas I was able to just look at numbers once back when the area code wasn't required. 
 

SOWNY » Alan Cross Salutes - And Laments - The Lowly Cassette Tape » Today 10:24 am

Peter the K
Replies: 16

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The "lowly" cassette isn't really that bad, especially if you open one up to see the amazing engineering that makes it all work.  As you've discovered, they withstand an amazing amount of mistreatment and still provide decent output.

When I moved, I found a couple of boxes of cassettes (only a few were pre-recorded) I had basically forgotten about that were stuffed away in a closet.  I was overall rather impressed with the quality of the recordings that had been sitting around for, in some cases, about 40 years. A couple cassettes exhibited a small bit of print-through that you could only hear at the beginning of the tape but nothing objectionable.  I did have a pre-recorded cassette that didn't do well.  It was still sealed and had sticky shed syndrome.  I tossed it since I already have the LP.

I guess the thing is, we've been spoiled with today's CDs and lossless digital media.  It's easy to dismiss yesterday's technology but when you put into perspective, it really is quite amazing.
 

SOWNY » Are You Ready For Yet Another Area Code In S. Ont? This Time, It's 742 » Today 10:21 am

Lorne
Replies: 20

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If Roger Ashby ever plays the Four Tops' Just Seven Numbers, he may feel the need to provide an explanation for his younger listeners. https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/smile.png

SOWNY » Should Disc Jockeys Be Heard & Not Seen? » Today 9:31 am

RadioActive
Replies: 2

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https://i.ibb.co/sWSTq3K/dj.jpg

The Internet has changed many things, including letting those who care to check what their favourite (or least favourite) on-air personality looks like on their station's website. But that wasn't always the case. The cartoon above had me thinking of two scenarios:

-If you're an on-air personality, you've almost certainly had a listener come up to you and say "you don't look like you sound on the radio."

-And if you're a listener, you've probably been surprised by how a person you've heard for years but never seen actually looks. 

It's happened to me on occasion, although my on-air time was short. But I've been in both places. This is not meant as an insult, but I was never able to reconcile how the now departed Mike Stafford actually looks with the voice I heard coming out of the speaker. Not that he's a bad looking guy. I just had an entirely different mental image of him. 

Alternately, I have a close friend who's a newscaster. If you saw this guy, he looks like the stereotypical nerd - about 5'7", thick glasses, a bit unkempt. But then he opens his mouth and out comes this voice that sounds like it's coming from the bottom of the earth, a simply magnificent radio presence. 

Not that anyone should be judged on their appearance. It's just tough when you have a mental image of someone based solely on their voice and then they look nothing like you thought. It's tough to get that out of your mind when you hear them again. 

But that's part of the magic of the medium - and maybe reality should never intrude on that image. 

OK, time for one more dumb cartoon.
https://i.ibb.co/GMqN7c9/mic.jpg

SOWNY » Alan Cross Salutes - And Laments - The Lowly Cassette Tape » Today 6:11 am

Fitz
Replies: 16

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Peter the K wrote:

Thanks, Fitz.  That was fun.  Even if I blew it big time. I honestly thought the crackle I heard to be too easy and that it was in there to throw someone off.  If hadn't been such a cynic thinking I was maybe being tricked I could have had one right. 

I was amazed by the lack of surface noise/tape hiss on your transfers.  I'm suspecting it's just that these ageing ears of mine are starting to betray me.

What a drag it is getting old!
 

Glad you enjoyed and it sounds like the "lowly cassette" did not fair too badly. Maybe luck of the pre-recorded tape but I'm quite certain that tape sat in a car for a very long time. Also I played it back on a non audiophile tape player. A lowly boombox.
 

SOWNY » 90.5 CFCH North Bay on-air testing, oldies/classics » Today 6:06 am

Fitz
Replies: 17

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One of my best thrift shop finds was a set of tapes that included small, medium and major market Canadian radio content as well as some interesting music TV recordings .  I wrote about the tapes on the board about two years ago. Won the tapes in an auction for a very reasonable price.

The tapes include some CFCH and you can hear content from the station from 1970 and 1967 on the third and fourth clips at the link below. I have not uploaded all the content from these tapes yet and there is more of the station and others. I will probably upload anything else I find post 1966 as things were getting interesting by that time.

The 1970 portion is in excellent quality and the station was a full service rock station playing everything from Pepper Tree to Quicksilver Messenger Service. The 1967 content is not as good quality-wise but I enjoy the fuzz and love bead vibe of some of the music.

CFCH 1967 & 1970

SOWNY » 90.5 CFCH North Bay on-air testing, oldies/classics » Today 12:23 am

Radiowiz
Replies: 17

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RadioAaron wrote:

Reading their press release, the current owner of Visa Radio's grandfather started the original CFCH! What an amazing story, and no wonder this station got that branding! 

I guess you could say CFCH is...Grandfathered! https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/cool.png
 https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/laughing.png
 https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/wink.png

 

SOWNY » HD Radio In Toronto » Yesterday 11:43 pm

torontostan
Replies: 34

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Juggie1 wrote:

Biggest issue with FCP is Safety Code 6! With the current load of rf stations including tv, fm, and communications companies, the rf level is at or just below the level where power reductions would start happening. Adding stations up there would further reduce the current power levels of existing stations and may even mean that the top floors may not be useable.

Also, FCP is just under 1000 feet and the CN master fm antenna is just under 1600 feet up! That height difference means much better reach at a much lower power level and a big hydro savings! Also lower maintenance costs at CN tower as only one antenna system to maintain. FCP would have to either spend lots of money for a common antenna system or each station would have to put big filters in to prevent reradiation issues!

Very interesting! I assume no FCP broadcasters are currently inhibited by these regulations? As in, are any operating at a lower power to limit overall radiation? 

I'm shocked people are allowed to work on the upper floors full-time as it stands now.... I wouldn't be surprised if the levels of radiation result in higher cancer rates among those BMO staffers. 

I guess all I'm wondering is if it would be cheaper (and easier) to move the CN FMs to FCP (and possibly include even more FMs on an Onmi-Directional Master FM system there), rather than upgrading the almost 50 year old systems at CN in their limited space and inaccessible spire. 
 

SOWNY » HD Radio In Toronto » Yesterday 11:31 pm

torontostan
Replies: 34

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markow202 wrote:

FCP was never as good as CN but yes that could be due to power.  I think that roof would also be super jammed if this occured.  CN is still the tallest over the entire city. but, good analogy I thought about this once.

Why is the CN Tower a less desirable place?

"Less desirable" only for FM's in terms of the physical location of the tower, as well as the limited space and ease to replace the Master FM systems. 

SOWNY » Alan Cross Salutes - And Laments - The Lowly Cassette Tape » Yesterday 9:22 pm

Peter the K
Replies: 16

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Thanks, Fitz.  That was fun.  Even if I blew it big time. I honestly thought the crackle I heard to be too easy and that it was in there to throw someone off.  If hadn't been such a cynic thinking I was maybe being tricked I could have had one right. 

I was amazed by the lack of surface noise/tape hiss on your transfers.  I'm suspecting it's just that these ageing ears of mine are starting to betray me.

What a drag it is getting old!
 

SOWNY » 90.5 CFCH North Bay on-air testing, oldies/classics » Yesterday 8:17 pm

RadioAaron
Replies: 17

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Reading their press release, the current owner of Visa Radio's grandfather started the original CFCH! What an amazing story, and no wonder this station got that branding! 

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