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April 11, 2016 1:49 pm  #1


GTA's Reception Congestion: 7 FMs Crowded Into One Area Of The Dial

It's not often that an FM station switches frequency in the GTA. It's even less often it's forced to hop over to an adjacent channel. But that's the fate of CIWS, a longtime low power community station in Whitchurch-Stouffville.

A new ethnic entity, CJRK-FM, is scheduled to start testing shortly on 102.7, which is where CIWS currently sits. But under the rules, low power outlets have to vacate if another station gets licenced for the same spot on the dial. And CJRK - which is based in Scarborough and should be able to be heard in some other parts of the GTA - got that spot. 

The CRTC encouraged the new owner to work with CIWS to figure out how both could exist at the same place without interference but the newcomer refused. And so, WhiStle Radio, as it's known locally, will be forced to hop over to 102.9 FM. Both entities seem aware that even with their low power they'll likely interfere with each other in some areas, but the CRTC claims both are prepared to accept that.   

CIWS To Change Frequency

All that's great for those two outlets. But what a mess that part of the dial already is. You've got a super-powered 102.5 from Buffalo, a new station at 102.7 set to come on, another making the switch to 102.9, Moses Znaimer's Classical rebroadcaster from Cobourg at 103.1, WEDG at 103.3, also from Buffalo, CIDC, the supposed Orangeville station at 103.5 and Pride FM sitting at 103.9. That's a lot of stations in a very small space. As if the reception issues in some parts of the city weren't bad enough, low power or not. Should be interesting to see who interferes with who once all the signals settle.   

Last edited by RadioActive (April 11, 2016 1:53 pm)

 

April 11, 2016 2:11 pm  #2


Re: GTA's Reception Congestion: 7 FMs Crowded Into One Area Of The Dial

CJRK-FM isn't licensed as a "low power" station. It's licensed for 1,200 watts ERP (max).  Low power is 50 Watts ERP or lower - and thereby unprotected.

According to CRTC files: CJRK-FM will operate at 102.7 MHz (channel 274A) with an average effective radiated power (ERP) of 472 watts (maximum ERP of 1,200 watts with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 72.6 metres).

 

April 11, 2016 3:34 pm  #3


Re: GTA's Reception Congestion: 7 FMs Crowded Into One Area Of The Dial

Correct. I might not have expressed as clearly as I should, but it's CIWS that's the low power station and thus forced to vacate the frequency. CJRK's power, while not overwhelming, will only cause more noise on that part of the dial given how crowded it's about to get. I'm a bit surprised Industry Canada has found a way to shoehorn everything in given what's already there. But despite the endless hand wringing about how radio has had its day, what it also shows is how valued an over-the-air licence still is.

     Thread Starter
 

April 11, 2016 4:41 pm  #4


Re: GTA's Reception Congestion: 7 FMs Crowded Into One Area Of The Dial

Actually, it seems very few FM stations have moved their dial positions that I can think of in the last 40 years. That's not the case with AMs in this area. In the early days of radio, stations hopped all over the place. CFRB, for example, was once at 1030 and then 960, followed by 690, and then 860, until finally swapping with CJBC for 1010. But that was before the more modern era.

While the FM dial here is relatively stable, since the 1960's AMs in Toronto have moved all over the place. Consider the following:

-CHFI-AM (later CFTR) went from 1540 to 680, to make room for CHIN  

-CFGM left 1320 for 640. It's now CFMJ.

-CHWO 1250 managed to wrangle the 50K signal at 740, abandoned by the CBC for FM, before Moses Znaimer took it over and carved his initials into it. 

-CJMR Mississauga started life at 1190 as a commercial music daytimer and is now a full time ethnic broadcaster at 1320. 

-CKEY disappeared into Toronto radio history, but CJCL left its into-the-lake signal at 1430 for greener pastures at 590.

-The late CJRN 710 began life under different call letters and at a different dial spot - 1600.

-And CKDO Oshawa, the former CJLB and CKAR, moved from 1350 to a far better signal at 1580, before getting an FM repeater.

Those are just the ones off the top of my head - which admittedly rarely has much in it these days! There may have been others. But I can't recall so much movement on the other band locally. 

     Thread Starter
 

April 11, 2016 4:51 pm  #5


Re: GTA's Reception Congestion: 7 FMs Crowded Into One Area Of The Dial

"-And CKDO Oshawa, the former CJLB and CKAR, moved from 1350 to a far better signal at 1580, before getting an FM repeater."

One minor correction. The station started out as CKDO (1240) in 1946 and became CKLB (not CJLB) when it was sold to Lakeland Broadcasting (Gord Garrison) in 1950 (still at 1240) and moved to 1350 in 1956.
 

Last edited by Dial Twister (April 11, 2016 4:52 pm)

 

April 11, 2016 4:51 pm  #6


Re: GTA's Reception Congestion: 7 FMs Crowded Into One Area Of The Dial

Don't forget Vista's CJFB Bolton moving to the same frequency - 102.7 with 4kW's max:
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2015/2015-174.htm

Oh, CHOP Newmarket too. 102.7

Last edited by andysradio (April 11, 2016 4:59 pm)

 

April 11, 2016 5:51 pm  #7


Re: GTA's Reception Congestion: 7 FMs Crowded Into One Area Of The Dial

Another two I just remembered - CHIC 790 (and for a while CKMW) is now CIAO at 530 AM. Supposed to be serving Brampton. And how could I miss CHAM (aka CJJD) which occupied the well used 1280 frequency but is now doing comedy at 820.

     Thread Starter
 

April 11, 2016 5:55 pm  #8


Re: GTA's Reception Congestion: 7 FMs Crowded Into One Area Of The Dial

andysradio wrote:

Don't forget Vista's CJFB Bolton moving to the same frequency - 102.7 with 4kW's max:
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2015/2015-174.htm

Oh, CHOP Newmarket too. 102.7

How many stations can be on one frequency in roughly the same area before it becomes technically impossible to separate any of them? And while I know FM spectrum is scarce, what is it about 102.7 that everybody wants a piece of that pie?

     Thread Starter
 

April 11, 2016 10:37 pm  #9


Re: GTA's Reception Congestion: 7 FMs Crowded Into One Area Of The Dial

Also: CFGI moved from 102.7 to 92.3 FM.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CFGI-FM

Last edited by Radiowiz (April 11, 2016 10:38 pm)


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April 12, 2016 9:04 am  #10


Re: GTA's Reception Congestion: 7 FMs Crowded Into One Area Of The Dial

The two tiny stations I worked at went from AM to FM:

In Cambridge, CFTJ at 1320 KHz later became CIAM (AM 96) at 960 KHz.  In 1998, it switched to 92.9 MHz to become the The Zone@92.9.  They later moved to 107.5 MHz as CJDV.  To become Dave-FM, or Dave Rocks now, I suppose it is.

In Simcoe, CHNR at 1600 KHz, became CHCD at 106.7 MHz, known as CD-106.7.  They are part of the MBS group now known as My FM at 98.9 MHz.
 


Cheers,
Jody Thornton
 
 

April 12, 2016 9:09 am  #11


Re: GTA's Reception Congestion: 7 FMs Crowded Into One Area Of The Dial

For the record, Industry Canada - which is now called Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada doesn't "shoehorn" frequencies.  Nor does the CRTC.  Neither really have much of a role to play with respect to "finding" frequency solutions.  Consulting Engineers design the coverage of stations based on a series of Broadcasting Procedures (set by ISED) - which allow predetermined levels of adjacent channel, 2nd adjacent, co-channel interference etc.  Likewise the Broadcasting Procedures allow for "unprotected" low power station at low power levels (under 50 watts on FM).  There are of course exceptions,  your station could "consent" to some level of interference from an adjacent station.  Generally the CRTC only publishes the applications involving technical changes for public comment. It adjudicates only when members of the public or stations object to the proposed parameters.  Which is precisely the situation that sunk CJVF the station that currently occupies 102.7 in Scarborough.  Other stations objected to its choice of an alternative frequency and the interference that would result.  ISED (formerly IC) gets involved when it boils down to a dispute between engineers on "technical" interpretation of the rules.  There is also a Canada-US treaty which is applicable within a zone near the border.   So FCC must sign off when there are Canadian stations that might interfere (over U.S. territory) with US stations, or are short spaced to US stations - although they don't cause interference due to directional antennas. There are some other exceptions.  A group of Toronto stations have "ganged up" on Durham Radio - which has attempted a couple of times to increase the power of its synchronous repeater KX96 -95.9MHz located on First Canadian Place.  It's not a "technical" interference issue - they've objected to Durham's country station increasing its "reach" into Etobicoke and other parts of Toronto - where they claim Durham doesn't have a license to serve....
It's all a very complicated process.  What's happening now is the software and antenna design capability of consulting engineers has improved exponentially so in many cases they able to "design" solutions for clients that would not have been dreamt of 20 or 30 years ago.  Hence more "drop-in" frequency solutions - and more short-spaced stations occupying the same frequenicies.  

Last edited by tvguy (April 12, 2016 9:40 am)

 

October 27, 2020 12:00 am  #12


Re: GTA's Reception Congestion: 7 FMs Crowded Into One Area Of The Dial

There are tons of radio stations in and around the GTA and many other locations that had switched or swapped frequencies over the years. Hard to list all of them here but here's some I know!

*CHES-FM Erin, Ontario a community radio station that began broadcasting at 101.5 FM in 2006, moved to 88.1 FM in 2011 and once again to 91.7 FM in 2016, due to interference from CIND-FM 88.1 Toronto.

*CKPT Peterborough began broadcasting at 1420 on the AM band in the late 1950s, moved to 99.3 FM in 2007 for a short time until moving to 99.7 in 2008. Another station in Peterborough. Prior to CKPT's sign on at 99.3 in 2007, as CKKK-FM at the time was broadcasting at 99.5, later moved to 90.5 after CKPT signed on 99.3.

*CIKZ-FM began broadcasting in 2004 at 99.5 FM, later moving to 106.7 FM, due to interference from the powerful WDCX Buffalo, NY. Ironically, CKKW-FM a former AM station on 1090 now occupies 99.5 FM. I wonder how CKKW's signal is doing in the K-W area with WDCX!

*CICW-FM Fergus/Central Wellington signed on at 92.9 FM in 2011, later moving to 101.1 FM in 2016.

Frequency change failed attempts:

*CKMB-FM 107.5 Barrie was approved to move their signal up one to 107.7 FM but the change was never implemented due to potential interference to CKDO AM's FM rebroadcaster on 107.7 Oshawa.

*Evanov's CIDC-FM 103.5 attempted to swap frequencies with CIRR-FM 103.9 with another application to change CIDC-FM's frequency from 103.5 to 103.7 FM was turned down earlier this year.

Sources: CRTC, Canadian Communications Foundation and Wikipedia.

 

October 27, 2020 7:26 am  #13


Re: GTA's Reception Congestion: 7 FMs Crowded Into One Area Of The Dial

Scorpio42 wrote:

There are tons of radio stations in and around the GTA and many other locations that had switched or swapped frequencies over the years. Hard to list all of them here but here's some I know!

*CHES-FM Erin, Ontario a community radio station that began broadcasting at 101.5 FM in 2006, moved to 88.1 FM in 2011 and once again to 91.7 FM in 2016, due to interference from CIND-FM 88.1 Toronto.

*CKPT Peterborough began broadcasting at 1420 on the AM band in the late 1950s, moved to 99.3 FM in 2007 for a short time until moving to 99.7 in 2008. Another station in Peterborough. Prior to CKPT's sign on at 99.3 in 2007, as CKKK-FM at the time was broadcasting at 99.5, later moved to 90.5 after CKPT signed on 99.3.

*CIKZ-FM began broadcasting in 2004 at 99.5 FM, later moving to 106.7 FM, due to interference from the powerful WDCX Buffalo, NY. Ironically, CKKW-FM a former AM station on 1090 now occupies 99.5 FM. I wonder how CKKW's signal is doing in the K-W area with WDCX!

*CICW-FM Fergus/Central Wellington signed on at 92.9 FM in 2011, later moving to 101.1 FM in 2016.

Frequency change failed attempts:

*CKMB-FM 107.5 Barrie was approved to move their signal up one to 107.7 FM but the change was never implemented due to potential interference to CKDO AM's FM rebroadcaster on 107.7 Oshawa.

*Evanov's CIDC-FM 103.5 attempted to swap frequencies with CIRR-FM 103.9 with another application to change CIDC-FM's frequency from 103.5 to 103.7 FM was turned down earlier this year.

Sources: CRTC, Canadian Communications Foundation and Wikipedia.

There might even be room to bring up the religious group that tried to get an FM station for Scarborough. 
That's another recent one...


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October 27, 2020 10:31 am  #14


Re: GTA's Reception Congestion: 7 FMs Crowded Into One Area Of The Dial

To answer Scorpio42's question about 99.5 CKKW (KFUN) and if there is any interference from WDCX  in Buffalo.  There is none.  To be honest with you, I don't even remember hearing WDCX even prior to KFUN moving to 99.5.  Might have been there but I never listened to the station.  We did get a few Buffalo FM stations years ago but i never listened to them since their signals were not very strong and tended to fade out a lot in the car.

 

October 27, 2020 11:02 pm  #15


Re: GTA's Reception Congestion: 7 FMs Crowded Into One Area Of The Dial

To also answer Scorpio42's question, I live in Guelph and there are times, early in the morning, that some religious station from the US comes in at 99.5 like CKKW doesn't even exist. That may be WDCX. 

 

October 28, 2020 12:05 am  #16


Re: GTA's Reception Congestion: 7 FMs Crowded Into One Area Of The Dial

WDCX is a super power Class C at 120 Kw. They are running it last time I chatted with Doug. CKKW west of Kitchener is not heard most days without noise or mixing. In Cambridge severe interference from Buffalo makes them unlistenable. It is the Cambridge-Kitchener-Waterloo market for Numeris now. They are HD and this does hold well when analogue gets noisy also stops radios switching between Andy Kim and The gospel of Luke when atmospheric conditions are ripe.


Another change not mentioned is 99.5 to 106.7 by Paul Larche when he owned country in KW when Simcoe moved off the Frequency. 
1490 to 570 CHYM then CKGL when they Flipped Country to AM and Pop to FM.
CKKW was 1320, then 1090 then to the ill fated 99.5
CJTW was 94.3 moved to 93.7 same as WBLK in Buffalo a nightmare on most warm days.
Had CKMB moved to 107.7 CJDV could have increased power with the protection being gone towards Barrie. they tried a few times
CJOY 1490 tried to move to FM at 95.7 unsuccessful as well
CKMS 94.5 to 100.3 to 102.7
CKWR 98.7 to 98.5 
K 104 103.9 Woodstock from 102.3  K 104 gives you More!
1510 to 107.3 Country Tillsonburg
1240 CJCS to 107.1 

 

Last edited by tri-cities (October 28, 2020 8:50 am)

 

October 28, 2020 9:42 am  #17


Re: GTA's Reception Congestion: 7 FMs Crowded Into One Area Of The Dial

I can often get different stations on the same frequency with just a turn of the antenna. This morning there were very limited atmospherics and I was able to do this with three frequencies and have included the sample below. With further antenna manipulation I would have been able to get a decent signal for each station but I did the test in real time with just one change of the antenna in each case. My location is in Pickering very close to Scarborough.

At 103.9 will hear Proud FM from 0 - 6 and then then CBC Music from Peterborough  from 6-26.

At 107.9 from 26-54 You will hear Y108 Hamilton and then Classic Rock from Cobourg from 54-116

At 91.9 from 116- 150 it's Bob FM Kawartha Lakes and then CHIN FM from 150 to the end.

I often get the same thing at 107.7 with WLKK and CKDO and also at 96.7 with Zoomer, Classic Hits from Peterborough and CHYM FM, Kitchner. Plus a number of other frequencies where it's possible to pick up at least three stations.

Same Freq W Different Stations

Last edited by Fitz (October 28, 2020 9:50 am)


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October 28, 2020 9:20 pm  #18


Re: GTA's Reception Congestion: 7 FMs Crowded Into One Area Of The Dial

RadioActive wrote:

And how could I miss CHAM (aka CJJD) which occupied the well used 1280 frequency but is now doing comedy at 820.

Don’t forget CHIQ on 1280 pre-CHAM.

 

October 28, 2020 10:36 pm  #19


Re: GTA's Reception Congestion: 7 FMs Crowded Into One Area Of The Dial

Way back when: CKEY Toronto moved from 580 to 590 (about 1962 or 1963)
CJOY Guelph moved from 1450 to 1460 (power increase I think)
CING and CJXY Hamilton changed places. CING from 107.9 to 95.3 and CJXY from 95.3 to 107.9 

 

October 29, 2020 7:44 am  #20


Re: GTA's Reception Congestion: 7 FMs Crowded Into One Area Of The Dial

Storm wrote:

Way back when: CKEY Toronto moved from 580 to 590 (about 1962 or 1963)
CJOY Guelph moved from 1450 to 1460 (power increase I think)
CING and CJXY Hamilton changed places. CING from 107.9 to 95.3 and CJXY from 95.3 to 107.9 

I believe the CKEY change came in January 1964. I have a Silver Dollar Survey somewhere promoting the change.

 

October 29, 2020 12:22 pm  #21


Re: GTA's Reception Congestion: 7 FMs Crowded Into One Area Of The Dial

Jody Thornton wrote:

The two tiny stations I worked at went from AM to FM:

In Cambridge, CFTJ at 1320 KHz later became CIAM (AM 96) at 960 KHz.  In 1998, it switched to 92.9 MHz to become the The Zone@92.9.  They later moved to 107.5 MHz as CJDV.  To become Dave-FM, or Dave Rocks now, I suppose it is.

In Simcoe, CHNR at 1600 KHz, became CHCD at 106.7 MHz, known as CD-106.7.  They are part of the MBS group now known as My FM at 98.9 MHz.
 

Wasn't CKKW Kitchener on 1320 for many years up till the early 70's perhaps? I recall they moved to 1090 and somehow CFTJ was impacted by this. But I could be mistaken too.