sowny.net | The Southern Ontario/WNY Radio-TV Forum


You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

September 18, 2022 8:44 am  #1


DX-er Delight: When 2 Stns. Signed Off So Listeners Could Hear Others

It's hard to imagine what radio was like 100 years ago when the medium was a newborn. This brief article from a Spokane, Washington newspaper indicates that the two radio stations operating in that city in 1922 would not only share time on air, but would deliberately sign-off twice a week so listeners could hear distant stations. And the paper would then publish those out-of-town call letters. 

And I'm guessing in those days, there was far less interference!

100 years ago in Spokane: For the love of radio, local stations agreed to go off the air twice a week

Imagine if we had this today. What two stations would you most like to hear go off for a while so you could see what that signal underneath is? My two choices on AM would be CJBC 860, the only frequency in all these years of DX-ing where I've never been able to get anything. And maybe 680, since I think there are several stations from the U.S. that might make their way into Toronto if not for CFTR. 

 

September 18, 2022 9:59 am  #2


Re: DX-er Delight: When 2 Stns. Signed Off So Listeners Could Hear Others

From The History of Canadian Broadcasting - CHML - 1930s:

>> CHML and Buffalo's WBEN operated too close for comfort on the dial. Around "Amos 'n' Andy" time, CHML would receive complaints because avid fans of the program were getting CHML's signal over top of WBEN's. These listeners used to listen to the program over WBEN. The problem was eventually solved by a sponsor. At Amos ‘n' Andy broadcast time, this announcement would air over CHML: Through the courtesy of the Norwood Lumber Co., station CHML now leaves the air for 15 minutes to enable you to hear this evening's episode of Amos 'n' Andy without interruption <<

 

September 18, 2022 10:19 am  #3


Re: DX-er Delight: When 2 Stns. Signed Off So Listeners Could Hear Others

Incredible. Thanks for that. I'd never heard that before.

Although such a show would never stand for one second today, I've heard "Amos & Andy" was so popular, some movie theatres would shut down on the night it was on because no one would come and it wasn't worthwhile keeping them open. 

     Thread Starter
 

September 18, 2022 10:57 am  #4


Re: DX-er Delight: When 2 Stns. Signed Off So Listeners Could Hear Others

Stations still sign off for special DX tests and to allow other stations to be heard on their frequency. Saul Chernos would be a better person to explain. I do remember back in the early 2000's when WTIC 1080 went off the air for the overnight so that listeners would have a chance (hopefully) to hear sister station (both owned by CBS then) KRLD in Dallas. Of course when I first got into DXing, tons of AM stations signed off the air, either nightly or just once a week - usually Mondy mornings.

 

September 18, 2022 11:09 am  #5


Re: DX-er Delight: When 2 Stns. Signed Off So Listeners Could Hear Others

The chances of CJBC 860 signing off are negligible.  Not only does it have standby transmitters and a standby generator, there is a shorter standby tower and combiner for both it and CFZM 740.

 

September 18, 2022 11:45 am  #6


Re: DX-er Delight: When 2 Stns. Signed Off So Listeners Could Hear Others

Bill Dulmage wrote:

Stations still sign off for special DX tests and to allow other stations to be heard on their frequency. Saul Chernos would be a better person to explain. I do remember back in the early 2000's when WTIC 1080 went off the air for the overnight so that listeners would have a chance (hopefully) to hear sister station (both owned by CBS then) KRLD in Dallas. Of course when I first got into DXing, tons of AM stations signed off the air, either nightly or just once a week - usually Mondy mornings.

CKLW used to reduce power at least once a month at midnight Saturday nights, so the tech staff could
perform its maintenance in both Master and at the transmitter in Harrow. Believe we went down to 10,000
watts for 3 to 4 hours. My first year, on the all night show, we’d move to Production next door and do our
best to keep it on the rails. I could always count on a call from the op at sister station WRKO in Boston,
saying we were coming in stronger than we did at full power. In those instances, I never did hear from the
young guy who would normally call and tell me we were louder than anything else in Oklahoma City.

Edit: - 1968

Last edited by mike marshall (September 18, 2022 12:56 pm)

 

September 18, 2022 12:23 pm  #7


Re: DX-er Delight: When 2 Stns. Signed Off So Listeners Could Hear Others

Of course, there was a time when 740 (CBL at the time) and CJBC 860 both signed off every night around midnight, and didn't return to the air until 6 AM. That would have been in the 70s. As it turns out, I checked some very old records I kept in one of the Vane Jones Station Guide books and discovered I did solve the 860 problem after all. 

Not sure what year, but I have a record of receiving XEUN from Mexico City on that frequency at least once, and it must have happened at the time CJBC powered down for the night. I have no memory of that catch, but I was pretty scrupulous in those days about keeping records, so I have no doubt that it was verified. 

Now it's way too late to ever expect either of those Canadian clears to ever go off the air, so if you're a DX-er and you missed out the chance back then, it's a pretty good bet getting anything under either one of them will be almost impossible today. 

     Thread Starter
 

September 19, 2022 8:54 am  #8


Re: DX-er Delight: When 2 Stns. Signed Off So Listeners Could Hear Others

860 would be my choice for a silent overnight. I was never able to ID anything on 740 from the time CBL vacated the frequency and CHWO took over. In 1977, CFTR had some issues and was off the air for many hours. I was able to catch WPTR in Raleigh and around 4am KNBR in San Francisco. I have sometimes wondered if WABC shut down, would we catch CHQR in Calgary or if WBZ was silent, might we hear KTWO Casper, Wyoming?

 

September 19, 2022 9:32 am  #9


Re: DX-er Delight: When 2 Stns. Signed Off So Listeners Could Hear Others

My two catches on 740 came a long time ago, again when CBL used to sign off at night. One was KRMG in Tulsa, Oklahoma and the other was a very rare one-time only reception of KCBS in San Francisco. Maybe one of the farthest U.S. stations I've ever received in Toronto - although I did once get KFI on 640, long before Corus moved their station to that frequency. 

I don't always count the Mexican ones in the same way, because many of them were or still are super powered stations, some broadcasting at 100,000 or 250,000 watts or more. So getting them here, while a terrific prize, isn't quite as difficult.

     Thread Starter