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December 13, 2020 12:51 am  #1


Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

I don't know what caused it or how long it will last, but if you're up and around Saturday night around 11:45 PM, you'll find that CFTR is on their backup at extremely low power and there are a number of stations behind it on 680. So far, I haven't been able to verify any of them, but it's a rare opportunity to try.

They could be back to full power at any minute so if you're up and reading this, don't wait!

If you're seeing this later Sunday, it's too late.

 

December 13, 2020 1:59 am  #2


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

Jesus Christ, Rogers, you morons are worse than I thought. Can't even run at your full 50 kW 24/7/365.  Sick and tired of Rogers. And Bell. And Corus. And Stingray.  Sick and tired of this whole bloody industry, and the dumbass D'Angelo references every time you turn around. Just stop, please.

 

December 13, 2020 8:03 am  #3


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

RA: Were you able to identify anything behind CFTR? Your first best bet is WPTF in Raleigh, NC and possibly KNBR in San Francisco. I was able to receive both back in 1977 while residing in Hamilton. Back then, TR was off the air for a good four overnight hours.

 

December 13, 2020 9:10 am  #4


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

No, didn't manage to hear anything that would I.D. a station. I, too, have gotten both of those other 680s in the past.

But not this time. Hopefully one day when conditions are better we'll all get another chance.

     Thread Starter
 

December 13, 2020 10:30 am  #5


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

All this talk about the 680's but no word of a 690 or a 670 one might have missed? 
Sometimes they come in when 680 AM Toronto is down for repair or whatever.


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.
 
 

December 13, 2020 10:36 am  #6


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

Tried them both. Neither one revealed anything new or interesting, unfortunately. Not even WSCR at 670 in Chicago came in well, which was surprising. Must be those solar flares!

     Thread Starter
 

December 13, 2020 11:56 am  #7


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

I checked the channel after a Grimsby DXer reported CJOB Winnipeg mixing with CFTR. Goven that the sticks are in the Grimsby area, I figured it was up to something. Turns out, Rogers was doing transmitter maintenance. It's pretty safe to presume that Rogers turned off the main transmitter and moved to its auxiliary backup. For anyone here (see above) who might see blame here for Rogers, imagine the blame that might be assigned to them if any of their engineers were to sparklify the night sky for miles around! Anyhow, up in North Kawartha, we didn't hear CFTR at all. But we did hear CJOB Winnipeg, WNZK Dearborn Heights MI, WCBM Baltimore MD, WPTF Raleigh NC, WDBC Escanaba MI. All previously heard here, and most of those heard with CFTR on. I nodded off just after 1am and left an MP3 recorder doing the dirty work on my WSW-facing antenna, so when I feel like listening to several hours (hopefully) of audio I'll see what else might be in the mix. I think it was WCBM doing the Sam Spade drama. There's three stations with ESPN sports that I have never heard here, but I didn't hear a whiff of sports before I left active play. 690 and 670 are in the clear so didn't bother checking. 670 at night is almost always Chicago and Cuba mixing; sometimes Miami. 690 is usually Montreal mixing with Mexico and WELD from Fisher, West Virginia that is a regular here but shouldn't be heard this far away so regularly if it is actually operating on its assigned 14 watts night power. Maybe that's what happens if you don't maintain your transmitter.

 

December 13, 2020 12:10 pm  #8


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

I always laugh whenever I think about CFTR's Grimsby transmitter. There used to be an engineer at 680 in its rock days (I won't use his name) who almost everyday would show up for work at around 9 AM, then disappear for hours at a time. When asked where he was, he'd always respond, "I'm going to the transmitter."

In other words, he was heading out to Grimsby and thus was gone all day, never to be seen again until the next morning, when he would mysteriously go back to "the transmitter." The guy was just never around the station for more than an hour or so. 

When I heard this story, I came up with a theory that somewhere in Toronto, there was a secret speakeasy-type place called "The Transmitter Bar & Grill" that only engineers knew about, and that might explain where he went every single day! No way to know, of course, but why he made a daily commute to Grimsby every day after first showing up downtown was something nobody ever figured out.  For all I know, he may still be out there! 

     Thread Starter
 

December 13, 2020 12:35 pm  #9


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

RadioActive wrote:

...why he made a daily commute to Grimsby every day after first showing up downtown was something nobody ever figured out.  For all I know, he may still be out there! 

A nice daily mileage claim?
 

 

December 13, 2020 12:36 pm  #10


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

I didn't know the where or the why, but I certainly know the "watt."

     Thread Starter
 

December 13, 2020 1:33 pm  #11


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

CJOB was dominant in Cobourg. One or two faint stations in back. Was one CFTR? I couldn't tell. I have not heard WPTF here in years, nor WRKO. I did hear WINR a few years back. I had never heard CJOB at this location until earlier this month! WPTF always used to be behind CFTR. These days it seems to be CJOB.

 

December 14, 2020 1:39 am  #12


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

It's monday morning just past midnight, think CFTR is back on auxiliary, so will record again, try south antenna maybe.

 

December 14, 2020 11:31 am  #13


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

So this explains im guessing why driving around in Etobicoke which usually has no interruption on 680 I could barely receive it one evening this weekend.  it was being mashed with other stations trying to come in.  

 

December 14, 2020 12:00 pm  #14


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

Remember the good old days when many stations would shut down from midnight to 5am on a Monday morning, usually on a long weekend, for transmitter maintenance. I am no techie but I would imagine the AM transmitters today can be kept in tip top shape without shutting down. Or do stations shut down for a few hours once a year for major work. Just asking.

 

December 14, 2020 12:07 pm  #15


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

I remember when clear channels CBL on 740 and CJBC on 860 would sign off every night around midnight or 1 AM. I got several stations on 740 that way - one from Tulsa and the other from San Francisco if I recall - but to this day, 860 remains the only AM frequency where I've never been able to get anything else. Now that they never leave air, of course, it will probably stay that way.   

     Thread Starter
 

December 14, 2020 12:10 pm  #16


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

I remember the good old days when TV stations would sign off


Including closing to the 1941 movie "Sergeant York".


 

Last edited by grilled.cheese (December 14, 2020 12:11 pm)

 

December 15, 2020 6:03 pm  #17


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

RadioActive wrote:

I remember when clear channels CBL on 740 and CJBC on 860 would sign off every night around midnight or 1 AM. I got several stations on 740 that way - one from Tulsa and the other from San Francisco if I recall - but to this day, 860 remains the only AM frequency where I've never been able to get anything else. Now that they never leave air, of course, it will probably stay that way.   

Until if the CBC decides to either move CJBC 860 from AM to FM or add a nested FM frequency like CFZM 740 has on 96.7 FM. I'm pretty sure at some point CJBC tried apply to the CRTC to operate on an FM frequency to cover the poor AM reception areas in Toronto. It's impossible to find an open FM frequency in Toronto unless they could use 89.9 FM which was vacated by Radio Glendon's former CKRG-FM. I believe that 90.7 FM (if not used), 101.7 FM, 105.3 FM, etc. may be available for potential use in the Toronto area including short-term special events. 
 

 

December 15, 2020 6:17 pm  #18


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

Scorpio42 wrote:

RadioActive wrote:

I remember when clear channels CBL on 740 and CJBC on 860 would sign off every night around midnight or 1 AM. I got several stations on 740 that way - one from Tulsa and the other from San Francisco if I recall - but to this day, 860 remains the only AM frequency where I've never been able to get anything else. Now that they never leave air, of course, it will probably stay that way.   

Until if the CBC decides to either move CJBC 860 from AM to FM or add a nested FM frequency like CFZM 740 has on 96.7 FM. I'm pretty sure at some point CJBC tried apply to the CRTC to operate on an FM frequency to cover the poor AM reception areas in Toronto. It's impossible to find an open FM frequency in Toronto unless they could use 89.9 FM which was vacated by Radio Glendon's former CKRG-FM. I believe that 90.7 FM (if not used), 101.7 FM, 105.3 FM, etc. may be available for potential use in the Toronto area including short-term special events. 
 

They applied for 88.1 last go around. They're on 90.3 HD-2 now, at least. They're not even rated anymore. (And they weren't rated when they were). I can't imagine any "available" frequency is good enough for a full move...just a repeater. 


 
 

December 15, 2020 8:42 pm  #19


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

grilled.cheese wrote:

I remember the good old days when TV stations would sign off


Including closing to the 1941 movie "Sergeant York".


 

Brings back a lot of memories from a different time.
 

 

December 15, 2020 10:43 pm  #20


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

RadioAaron wrote:

Scorpio42 wrote:

RadioActive wrote:

I remember when clear channels CBL on 740 and CJBC on 860 would sign off every night around midnight or 1 AM. I got several stations on 740 that way - one from Tulsa and the other from San Francisco if I recall - but to this day, 860 remains the only AM frequency where I've never been able to get anything else. Now that they never leave air, of course, it will probably stay that way.   

Until if the CBC decides to either move CJBC 860 from AM to FM or add a nested FM frequency like CFZM 740 has on 96.7 FM. I'm pretty sure at some point CJBC tried apply to the CRTC to operate on an FM frequency to cover the poor AM reception areas in Toronto. It's impossible to find an open FM frequency in Toronto unless they could use 89.9 FM which was vacated by Radio Glendon's former CKRG-FM. I believe that 90.7 FM (if not used), 101.7 FM, 105.3 FM, etc. may be available for potential use in the Toronto area including short-term special events. 
 

They applied for 88.1 last go around. They're on 90.3 HD-2 now, at least. They're not even rated anymore. (And they weren't rated when they were). I can't imagine any "available" frequency is good enough for a full move...just a repeater. 

Back in 1944, this wasn't a problem - CJBC was on 1010, while CFRB was on 860. They swapped frequencies four years later and both came with big power boosts that remain to this day.

1936:
https://i.ibb.co/qWw5tnF/CJBC-At-1010-1944.jpg
 
(Where is "Dixie, Ontario?", given as CJBC's TX site.)

1944:


https://i.ibb.co/NLsxPPh/CJBC-Ad-Oct-1944.jpg

1948:
https://i.ibb.co/sKD9n9j/CFRB-CJBC-Frequency-Switch-Sept-1948.jpg

     Thread Starter
 

December 16, 2020 12:15 am  #21


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

Does anyone remember when CBC-TV was on 87.7? Back then, I'd listen to late sports on CBLT. Later Global TV occupied that spot.


"Life without echo is really no life at all." - Dan Ingram
 

December 16, 2020 2:38 am  #22


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

Dale Patterson wrote:

Does anyone remember when CBC-TV was on 87.7? Back then, I'd listen to late sports on CBLT. Later Global TV occupied that spot.

That might be too far back for me to recall, but I do recall listening to my walkman on a Via train back in the late 90's and early 00's.
Somewhere between Toronto and Ottawa (closer to Kingston, maybe) It was indeed Global TV that I was able to listen to on 87.7.  
I have not been on a Via train for a while so I honestly do not know if it's still like that today. 

 


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.
 
 

December 16, 2020 8:04 am  #23


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

Dale Patterson wrote:

Does anyone remember when CBC-TV was on 87.7? Back then, I'd listen to late sports on CBLT. Later Global TV occupied that spot.

These are known in the U.S. as "Franken FMs," leftovers from a previous analog era. Both Global and CBC were on channel 6 before the HD conversion, the only VHF stations that showed up on the regular FM dial at 87.7. I remember being in the car on a Sunday and tuning in The Simpsons audio.

They disappeared here when HD came, but they're still a huge controversy for low power TV stations in the U.S., especially in Chicago. That's where the brains behind the MeTV network, decided to use their still analog channel 6 signal as a radio station called MeTV FM. In keeping with the TV subcarrier network's policy of showing reruns, it's an oldies format. 

And it's the only one that ever actually turned up in the ratings, becoming popular for its range of tunes. Needless to say, this irritated other real radio stations in the market, which complained to the FCC that an LPTV should not be a radio station and they wanted something done about it. 

The FCC is supposed to rule on this in 2021 and the last of the channel 6 signals on FM could disappear for good, depending on what the Commission decides.

You can hear MeTV FM here.

Franken FMs – The FCC Asks if It Should Continue to Allow Channel 6 LPTV Stations to Operate as FM Broadcasters 

     Thread Starter
 

December 16, 2020 8:43 am  #24


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

CBLT Toronto had to move off of RF TV 6 in September of 1972.  This was done to make way for the Global Television Network launch in January 1974. Global's main CKGN transmitter was at Paris (Ayr) was assigned to RF TV 6.  (Global had transmitter build / test occurring in the fall of 1973).

IIRC, at about the same time, Ottawa's CJOH was granted a licence to operate a repeater of CJOH on RF TV 6 located in Desoronto.

Global also had the licence for the Hull repeater assigned to operate on RF TV 6 from Hull (but at considerably lower power).

I also used to be able to "pick-up" Global Paris audio on my Candle/Jutan "component stereo" (don't laugh...  Candle was pretty high tech sound for an eleven year old !!!  THD...  whats that?  2-way speakers with what seemed liked 28 gauge speaker wire...  a true quality build!!!).

RF  TV 6 is the highest TV channel in the VHF low band, before the FM radio band. RF TV 7 - 13 are after FM 108 for the VHF high band...

I think Bell/CTV shut down the analog CJOH repeater at Desoronto this past spring or summer....

 

 

December 16, 2020 9:08 am  #25


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

RadioActive wrote:

Dale Patterson wrote:

Does anyone remember when CBC-TV was on 87.7? Back then, I'd listen to late sports on CBLT. Later Global TV occupied that spot.

These are known in the U.S. as "Franken FMs," leftovers from a previous analog era. Both Global and CBC were on channel 6 before the HD conversion, the only VHF stations that showed up on the regular FM dial at 87.7. I remember being in the car on a Sunday and tuning in The Simpsons audio.

They disappeared here when HD came, but they're still a huge controversy for low power TV stations in the U.S., especially in Chicago. That's where the brains behind the MeTV network, decided to use their still analog channel 6 signal as a radio station called MeTV FM. In keeping with the TV subcarrier network's policy of showing reruns, it's an oldies format. 

And it's the only one that ever actually turned up in the ratings, becoming popular for its range of tunes. Needless to say, this irritated other real radio stations in the market, which complained to the FCC that an LPTV should not be a radio station and they wanted something done about it. 

The FCC is supposed to rule on this in 2021 and the last of the channel 6 signals on FM could disappear for good, depending on what the Commission decides.

You can hear MeTV FM here.

Franken FMs – The FCC Asks if It Should Continue to Allow Channel 6 LPTV Stations to Operate as FM Broadcasters 

The MeTV link above is different from the Chicago affiliate and It's from WXZO 96.7 FM in Willsboro , NY. Just listening now and have not been able to determine what unique content they may have. Sounds like it could be just  automated and I was not aware that there may be a MeTV radio network so to speak.

Last edited by Fitz (December 16, 2020 9:09 am)


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December 16, 2020 9:10 am  #26


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

I used to have a small Sangean pocket-sized radio that received not only terrific AM and pretty good FM reception, but also the entire VHF spectrum (Channels 2-13). It was tough to get anything from the Buffalo, but the locals and CHCH Hamilton came in perfectly. It was great walking my dog at the time, listening to a TV show instead of a radio station.  

Alas, with the coming of HD, all those signals are gone and there's nothing on the band anymore. But it sure was fun while it lasted!

Too bad there's noting similar that picks up HD audio.

     Thread Starter
 

December 16, 2020 9:21 am  #27


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

Fitz wrote:

The MeTV link above is different from the Chicago affiliate and It's from WXZO 96.7 FM in Willsboro , NY. Just listening now and have not been able to determine what unique content they may have. Sounds like it could be just  automated and I was not aware that there may be a MeTV radio network so to speak.

I believe you're correct. Unfortunately, there's no listen live link on the Chicago MeTV FM website or on the web that I could find. So this was as close as I could get. I'm guessing the format and the music is pretty much the same, for those who want to hear what it sounds like.

     Thread Starter
 

December 16, 2020 10:54 am  #28


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

Speaking of DXing, WGN Radio's Rollye Jams had Bob Crane (of C Crane Radio) on for an hour Tuesday night. Has anyone here ever bought a CCrane radio? The reception on AM is supposed to be superb but I've never bought one because they didn't have some of the features I wanted. I'd be curious to know what users who have their products think of them. (And where would Coast to Coast and other late night radio shows be without them as a sponsor?) 

If you're curious, you can hear the WGN Crane segment here.  

     Thread Starter
 

December 16, 2020 11:04 am  #29


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

I've always wanted a CCrane radio just so I can be like Art Bell.  I think they also have emergency weather band programmed in, if the feds don't kill that service its a useful feature to have. 

 

December 16, 2020 12:29 pm  #30


Re: Rare DX Opportunity Won't Last Long

Saul wrote:

It's monday morning just past midnight, think CFTR is back on auxiliary, so will record again, try south antenna maybe.

Reading this thread, it just occurred to me that when I was driving in K-W mid-Sunday morning, 680 seemed to be coming in really clear. I bet their auxiliary setting is Omnidirectional.