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August 6, 2019 12:28 am  #1


CN Tower FMs

Not off as of 0120 (am) Tuesday 6 August. There was mention of possibly painting the radome overnight this week.  I'm presuming the work isn't tonight so off to sleep and recording for Perseid meteor signal bursts on other channels...

 

 

August 6, 2019 9:17 am  #2


Re: CN Tower FMs

Should be soon.  The radome has been polished up except the FM area visually looking at it. 

 

August 6, 2019 9:18 am  #3


Re: CN Tower FMs

As I understand it, CFPT is currently using Corus' backup antenna on FCP while their swap with CIND is being worked on. Once that's done over the next few days, Corus' backup becomes available overnights to facilitate the CN tower work.


 
 

August 6, 2019 11:47 am  #4


Re: CN Tower FMs

Interesting link to a project that was done on the radome years ago for re-sealing.  Funny to read that in June at the time they note it was 23c at the base of the tower and snowing at the top.

https://www.emseal.com/project/cn-towner-toronto/

 

August 6, 2019 12:12 pm  #5


Re: CN Tower FMs

I noticed elmnt fm has substantially reduced its power output these few days, and the country station WYRK from Buffalo has overridden the FCP signal everywhere in the GTA. Turns out they’re using the backup antenna temporarily for the CIND & CFPT power increasing approval.

 

August 6, 2019 1:07 pm  #6


Re: CN Tower FMs

RadioAaron wrote:

As I understand it, CFPT is currently using Corus' backup antenna on FCP while their swap with CIND is being worked on. Once that's done over the next few days, Corus' backup becomes available overnights to facilitate the CN tower work.

Can you clarify what you mean by "CN Tower work"? Is it strictly the radome, or are they starting work on a new combiner/antenna system to support HD Radio? Both? Are they also doing pre-repack work (new combiners/antennas)?

 

August 6, 2019 1:16 pm  #7


Re: CN Tower FMs

Sorry, just meant the radome. 


 
 

August 11, 2019 7:36 pm  #8


Re: CN Tower FMs

RadioAaron wrote:

As I understand it, CFPT is currently using Corus' backup antenna on FCP while their swap with CIND is being worked on. Once that's done over the next few days, Corus' backup becomes available overnights to facilitate the CN tower work.

Thanks. I'll keep an ear on things overnights this week as it's the peak for the Perseid meteor shower.
 

     Thread Starter
 

August 12, 2019 8:50 am  #9


Re: CN Tower FMs

Up at Burnt River I sicced MP3 recorders on 91.1, 97.3, 102.1, 104.5 and 107.1. The first three seemed off, though 97.3 may have been on low auxiliary power. 102.1 had WLEW Bad Axe MI in pretty strong, and 104.5 had what I presume is Saginaw MI though CHUM was also on auxiliary power and that antenna had to be positioned carefully to wipe the signal out as much as possible. Same with Q107. I set my alarm for 1am to check, so recordings run from then until 4:45 when signals came back on (CJRT was the last to come back).

CKFM seemed too strong to do much with especially with Sarnia (The Fox) and Sudbury (CBC Radio) and Rogers City MI in the mix. CHFI was dominated by North Bay (CBC French) and another station which may have been CHFI auxiliary so I didn't record there. CHIN 100.7 used to go off fully but strong signal last night so presume they recently invested in an auxiliary set-up.

Not sure if anybody else is on CN Tower. I vaguely recall 90.3 but it seemed on fully. Insiders here will know better than me.

I slept thru the night of course. Those all-nighter DX sessions are mostly done like dinner. I have other recordings dating back to July 21 but I'll probably take a sneak peak today anticipating more of this again possible tonight and wanting to know if my antennas are optimally pointed.

One really close-in tropo station I really want to see if I can get is 107.1 CJCS Stratford, which replaced 1240. I have *NOT* been able to hear that one yet (except when I was in Stratford last summer). I did hear 101.1 the Grand when Barrie 101.1 went off one morning a few weeks ago.

Thank you to those who posted about the radome painting...
 

     Thread Starter
 

August 12, 2019 10:30 am  #10


Re: CN Tower FMs

Saul, CJBC-FM moved to First Canadian Place quite a few years ago. And at the risk of putting some people off, the likelihood that they were actually using paint on the CN Tower radome is very, very low.

 

August 12, 2019 1:29 pm  #11


Re: CN Tower FMs

I have no idea why a radome would need to be painted in the first place. Not because it maybe should or shouldn't be but because I have absolutely no knowledge of technical matters pertaining to transmitter maintenance and operation. I understand vaguely that it protects the equipment. I would guess the paint serves to block radiation and is therefore some kind of special liquid coating? Or, if it's mauve, Martha Stewart might have some insight here...

I gave a sneak peek to 102.1 recordings - nothing but Bad Axe MI by tropo; and to 91.1 - lots of meteor bursts with classical music, and also some with a BBC-like voice (NPR stations in North Dakota and Minnesota - and some other states - run BBC at night) and one that gave me a partial station ID in French (Quatre Vingt Onze FM) - really helpful, huh, but saved the clip because there are few options and I might be able to parallel the voice to what I strongly believe the station is - CKXL St. Boniface Manitoba (the voice didn't sound like a Radio Canada one and there's very few options for French on 91.1). 

 

Last edited by Saul (August 12, 2019 1:29 pm)

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August 12, 2019 2:12 pm  #12


Re: CN Tower FMs

You're on the right track, and the Martha Stewart reference is a nice coincidence.

Radome is a finish that has the unique property of discouraging ice adhesion. This reduces the risk of RF power being reflected back into the transmitter (what we call a bad VSWR - Voltage Standing Wave Ratio). It also helps to protect people and property within falling distance of the ice.

I do think of radome as behaving a bit like cooking oil on a hot Teflon coated frying pan - thus the Martha Stewart reference.

I would imagine the current work on the radome is to apply a solvent to remove the 40ish years of accumulated dirt. They may be doing a further step to "polish" the radome so that it regains some of that slippery property.

Thanks for sharing some of your tropo and meteor scatter catches here.

 

August 13, 2019 1:07 am  #13


Re: CN Tower FMs

No outages Tuesday morning. Presuming work is done... 

     Thread Starter
 

August 13, 2019 8:02 am  #14


Re: CN Tower FMs

The FCP work took a couple extra days, and the CIND/CFPT swap should be done today, freeing up the backup facilities there.


 
 

August 13, 2019 2:20 pm  #15


Re: CN Tower FMs

https://ibb.co/T0zt0WJ

The FM lower part of the radome is the only part not “polished” up just above the skypod

 

August 13, 2019 6:56 pm  #16


Re: CN Tower FMs

Anyone knows if CFPT has finished its master antenna work on First Canadian Place? I’m still receiving heavy interference from WYRK Buffalo throughout the Toronto area in my car tuner.

 

August 13, 2019 8:11 pm  #17


Re: CN Tower FMs

No, Should be done tonight.


 
 

August 14, 2019 7:42 pm  #18


Re: CN Tower FMs

Indeed, the transmitters were mostly on low power if not off outright last night. Actually I pulled a rare all-nighter and had multiple radios going, working one live. I noted exceedingly weak signals from CJRT, CHBM, CILQ, moderate signals from CHUM, CHIN, CKFM, don't think I noted CFNY at all, and can't remember if I noted CHFI (my notes are on audio recorders and I'll get to them shortly). 

I spent my DX time facing Michigan.

91.1 was mostly Flint's NPR station. Also had a Mont Laurier Quebec station that is on the same network as CJBC FM 90.3. There were multiple unidentified stations, one meteor burst with non-CBC-sounding French (Winnipeg likely) and a radio was dedicated to this channel. Had to work hard to even hear CJRT.

97.3 was all meteor scatter but nothing noted live (I had a radio dedicated to this channel I didn't pay attention too live). CHBM was not easy to hear.

98.1 - French CBC North Bay too dominant to do much. One item of note was a station relaying Fox Sports Radio via meteor scatter. I can't find any such station listed as carrying that but will do some checking to see if I can figure it out.

99.9 was too taken up by Sudbury and CKFM's auxiliary to do much. I'm sure if I spent time there I'd unearth stations in Sarnia and Rogers City MI.

100.7 - The station in Manitoulin ON was in, so was Thunder Rock out of eastern Michigan. CHIN had a weak signal.

102.1 - CFNY was very weak, Bad Axe Michigan packs a whopper of a signal on the channel and is often heard here even with CFNY on full power. Had a radio on this unattended, as well, some of the time.

104.5 - I was able to erase the auxiliary channel and had another Canadian station in fairly steady but weak. Expect it's Kirkland Lake. Recorded this one full-time as well.

107.1 - Had stations in Port Huron MI (country) and Saginaw (RnB) trading places much of the time. Tried for CJCS Stratford but no luck unless it fades up on my unattended recording. Not easy to hear Q107 at all.

Am all ready to record if the stations go off again tonight. Though I don't see pulling another all-nighter. Thank heavens for MP3 recorders. 

When I get through my August recordings I'll provide a concise list of what was heard. I'm a bit backlogged at July 22...

Last edited by Saul (August 14, 2019 7:42 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

August 15, 2019 12:02 am  #19


Re: CN Tower FMs

CJRT just announced at 00:55 am that station is going to low power shortly so I'll set up for another night of recording.

     Thread Starter
 

August 15, 2019 12:35 am  #20


Re: CN Tower FMs

Still on at 0135 so maybe a false alarm by CJRT? Wonder how many listen in the overnight hours and wondered...
 

     Thread Starter
 

August 15, 2019 7:58 am  #21


Re: CN Tower FMs

Hello "Saul"...reading the detail of your DXing endeavours I am astounded by what it is you must have at your disposal to accomplish all that you do.

If you can take any time out of your schedule to describe your setup I, for one, would greatly appreciate it.

Cheers

https://i.etsystatic.com/8771224/r/il/3f12c5/1458628445/il_1588xN.1458628445_3i0q.jpg

 

August 15, 2019 9:12 am  #22


Re: CN Tower FMs

Where are you located Saul?  

 

August 15, 2019 12:27 pm  #23


Re: CN Tower FMs

DX site is in the north Kawarthas. Nothing sophisticated by any means, certainly not compared with what some other DXers have in the way of expensive tuners and high towers and such. 

Two Sangean portable 909s with RDS readout. They're very senstitive, cost $200 a number of years ago, and I've had good DX using just the whip antenna. They'd be useless in or near a city like Toronto - too much overload.

Three Pioneer supertuner car radios a friend built into portable box-like wood cabinets. Equipped with dipoles that connect into the back using the connectors that would plug a car antenna into the back of that radio. They're very good at working on channels that are co-channel to stronger almost-local signals. So Barrie 93.1 doesn't interfere too much if at all on 92.9; CKLY 91.9 doesn't bother 92.1. These radios cost 2-300 or so back a decade or so ago. 

My main advantage is rural location. My main disadvantage is a lack of height. But that's also sometimes my main advantage. Lack of height also reduces clutter from stations within 100 miles or so. We used to have a tower here for TV watching. That's how I started with this nonsense ... discovered one day I could watch Florida and such.

     Thread Starter
 

August 15, 2019 12:30 pm  #24


Re: CN Tower FMs

I also sometimes DX near Snowball, northwest of Toronto, between Aurora-Newmarket and Barrie. Have a few good hills there. Really go there when I am in Toronto and can't go north and get wind of a good tropo duct. I've had tropo (not to be confused with e-skip) from nebraska and Arkansas from those hills.  Don't go here as often anymore becausde, as I get older, the all night tropo sessions are just too much.

Last edited by Saul (August 15, 2019 12:31 pm)

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August 15, 2019 12:33 pm  #25


Re: CN Tower FMs

As far as equipment goes, I also have an ELAD SDR software defined radio. It can record one quarter of the FM band at a single time, works in tandem with a PC. But having trouble with the interface and have been too busy to bother with more than initial troubleshooting. I think I have the problem solved and will be testing the new rig when I have time - and patience - this fall.

     Thread Starter
 

August 15, 2019 2:39 pm  #26


Re: CN Tower FMs

Saul wrote:

I also sometimes DX near Snowball, northwest of Toronto, between Aurora-Newmarket and Barrie. Have a few good hills there. Really go there when I am in Toronto and can't go north and get wind of a good tropo duct. I've had tropo (not to be confused with e-skip) from nebraska and Arkansas from those hills.  Don't go here as often anymore becausde, as I get older, the all night tropo sessions are just too much.

Snowball is also the tower site for Jewel 88.5....they are on the lonely Bell phone tower atop King township.

 

August 15, 2019 3:32 pm  #27


Re: CN Tower FMs

That's one obstacle to DX up there. I used to park right next to where the tower is now but it diminishes signals on the receiving end especially near 88.5 on the dial. I have various places 1km or so away to the northwest that are relatively unaffected. Had York Nebraska on 104.9 at that spot along with 92.3 Omaha one night. This is tropo ducting... at over 900 miles is exceedingly rare even for DXers. Usually the farthest I'd get is Michigan or maybe Wisconsin and Illinois.
 

     Thread Starter
 

August 16, 2019 1:12 pm  #28


Re: CN Tower FMs

Just a follow up regarding the 106.5 CFPT FM antenna work, the power has been increased as of today. However I think it hasn’t still been upgraded to the fullest power, as there are still much interference from WYRK on the car tuner.

 

August 16, 2019 1:22 pm  #29


Re: CN Tower FMs

I know the stations were on auxiliaries last night. I recorded a few channels. Does this mean the radome painting is still yet to come?

     Thread Starter
 

August 16, 2019 1:40 pm  #30


Re: CN Tower FMs

Adrian106072 wrote:

Just a follow up regarding the 106.5 CFPT FM antenna work, the power has been increased as of today. However I think it hasn’t still been upgraded to the fullest power, as there are still much interference from WYRK on the car tuner.

CFPT is only getting a marginal increase to reflect its new position on the tower. Their signal should be identical to before the work started.