[Illinois] hd radio question (1 Viewer)

Iceberg

The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
282
35
None Your Business
OMG! Minneapolis added a HD Radio station

Hubbard Broadcasting's KTMY/107.1 (Coon Rapids-Minneapolis) has added a simulcast of Oldies-formatted WDGY/740 (Hudson, WI-St. Paul) on its HD2 channel. WDGY, which runs a locally-originated format and a morning show hosted by market veteran Paul Geiger, is owned by Greg Borgen's WRPX, Inc. It transmits in HD with 5kW daytime from a site east of Hudson. KTMY-HD2 had been off the air recently; it previously carried a simulcast of "1500 ESPN" (KSTP St. Paul), which moved to the HD2 signal of KSTP-FM/94.5.

Oh wait....its just a simulcast of a current HD AM station...so really no HD was added ;)
When I was in Mpls the AM HD cut in and out so bad it sucked.
 

Jimbo

SatelliteGuys Master
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Jul 14, 2005
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NW Ohio - Buckeye Country
I use to listen to WJR AM 760 when I was a kid, The Tigers and Red Wings were on that station and I listened to J.P. McCarthy in the morning before work, so I listened to that station for a long time growing up.
Now, I can go thru the AM channels and find maybe 1 or 2 that you can actually hear anymore.
Not sure why that is ...
WJR in Detroit, I use to pick it up in Columbus, Ohio and listen to the Red Wings when I was working down there.
Now, back on the Ohio / Mich boarder, I cannot pick up WJR, or most other AM radio stations.

1470 in Toledo use to have the Sports in town, the signal got bad, would fade in and out thru town, they went to the FM side of things and it worked for awhile ... in the last several years, you can't hear the AM or the FM side (FM you can, but not very well) anymore.

Not sure why, but both of those stations have went to hell, could be on Low Power as far as I know ... they are run by the same company, so maybe that has something to do with it ... I know they use to have the ESPN shows on thruout the day, till late afternoon then the local guys .
Now it's CBS Sports programing, don't know if that has anything to do with the quality of the signal or not, but it's bad enough that I gave up on it.

Back in '08 I got a car with XM in it and now Sirius and that is the primary reason I have/had Sirius XM to this day.

That said, listening to a lot more FM (different station) now and using my SiriusXm less.
 

RONZ

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 30, 2010
685
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Luzerne
I use to listen to WJR AM 760 when I was a kid, The Tigers and Red Wings were on that station and I listened to J.P. McCarthy in the morning before work, so I listened to that station for a long time growing up.
Now, I can go thru the AM channels and find maybe 1 or 2 that you can actually hear anymore.
Not sure why that is ...
WJR in Detroit, I use to pick it up in Columbus, Ohio and listen to the Red Wings when I was working down there.
Now, back on the Ohio / Mich boarder, I cannot pick up WJR, or most other AM radio stations.

1470 in Toledo use to have the Sports in town, the signal got bad, would fade in and out thru town, they went to the FM side of things and it worked for awhile ... in the last several years, you can't hear the AM or the FM side (FM you can, but not very well) anymore.

Not sure why, but both of those stations have went to hell, could be on Low Power as far as I know ... they are run by the same company, so maybe that has something to do with it ... I know they use to have the ESPN shows on thruout the day, till late afternoon then the local guys .
Now it's CBS Sports programing, don't know if that has anything to do with the quality of the signal or not, but it's bad enough that I gave up on it.

Back in '08 I got a car with XM in it and now Sirius and that is the primary reason I have/had Sirius XM to this day.

That said, listening to a lot more FM (different station) now and using my SiriusXm less.

WJR just changed their transmitter to all solid state They have dropped their HD as well. Signal should be better now
 

Jimbo

SatelliteGuys Master
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Jul 14, 2005
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NW Ohio - Buckeye Country
WJR just changed their transmitter to all solid state They have dropped their HD as well. Signal should be better now
Thanks for the info ...
I will be heading out shortly, I will check it out !

This move must have been in the works for awhile now, a few weeks back I heard the Tigers and Red WQings were once again discussing radio rights and WJR was in the scenario, yet those a few miles away (50) couldn't hear the station anymore .... I thought, they couldn't possibly go that route the way it was.
 

radio

"On the Air" in MI
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Oct 13, 2007
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West Central Michigan
Properly maintained, tube vs. Solid State won't make any difference in coverage, only in electric bill and maintenance bills for the owner, however, on the "outside" as listeners, we never know to what degree the maintaining is taking place

WJR lost a BOAT LOAD of good engineers through their multiple owners over the past few years, at one time it was reported that they had a walkout of most of the engineering staff, so who knows how well they've kept up the plant. In the days of less than a decade ago, they had dedicated engineers for RF, remotes, I-T, etc...but, like in MANY large companies, consolidation cost jobs to save the bottom line, and the ONE place you DON'T want to cut....is engineering.

Some time ago they also replaced their ground system which helped some, but as noted in this thread, nowhere near the range of it's signal of the 1970's era.

Not all the blame can be on ANY AM station, however. MAN is creating more noise than we can overcome as chinese switching power supplies, CFLs, and other noise-producing devices are allowed in our country, our homes, and our businesses. This wouldn't be such a problem if Americans as a whole weren't a cheap society wanting to outsource everything to save a couple pennies per device that COULD install components to block interference.
 

john262

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 22, 2005
255
7
The FCC allows broadcasters to rebroadcast HD signals on analog translators and that is the main reason for the existence of some HD broadcasts. Very few people if any have HD capable receivers, but analog FM is ubiquitous so broadcasters can treat those translators that rebroadcast their HD signals as essentially an additional station. And if you listen to a station like that they are usually promoting that analog translator's frequency rather than the HD frequency. The maximum power for those translators is .25 kw, but that's sufficient to cover a lot of mid-sized to small communities. Here in Elko we have three analog translators rebroadcasting HD signals, plus one AM station rebroadcasts on an analog FM translator as well.
 

ejb1980

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 26, 2010
3,337
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Vermont
The FCC allows broadcasters to rebroadcast HD signals on analog translators and that is the main reason for the existence of some HD broadcasts. Very few people if any have HD capable receivers, but analog FM is ubiquitous so broadcasters can treat those translators that rebroadcast their HD signals as essentially an additional station. And if you listen to a station like that they are usually promoting that analog translator's frequency rather than the HD frequency. The maximum power for those translators is .25 kw, but that's sufficient to cover a lot of mid-sized to small communities. Here in Elko we have three analog translators rebroadcasting HD signals, plus one AM station rebroadcasts on an analog FM translator as well.

This is very clear in some areas. The only 3 HD stations where I live now (NW VT) are VPR, VPR Classical, and a local Christian station. VPR has VPR classical on its HD2, and vice versa. They also feed seemingly endless translators with their HD1 and 2 signals. Both have HD3 of BBC World News. The Christian station clearly only became HD on some of their network signals to be able to broadcast Air 1 on a couple of translators, fed from the HD2.

When I was in NC, there was A LOT of that, especically in the Raleigh area. I got a lot of HD stations, and the commercial-free HD2 on ClearChannel were kinda nice. Complaining to the engineers of several stations got their HD signals in perfect sync and sounding fairly decent. The 95.3 translator for WDCG 105.1-HD2 Durham, which was east of Raleigh, came in quite well for over 20 miles and both were called 95X.

Edit: Speaking of CT radio, does the 104.1 Hartford HD1 still sound absolutely horrible? I was like that both times I was in the area, but I haven't been there in a couple years.
 

spongella

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Pub Member / Supporter
May 12, 2012
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Central NJ
One way to find out if there are any HD AM stations is to use a SDR dongle with an upconverter and do a scan of the broadcast band. In the picture below you can see WOR 710 from NYC with it's HD sidebands on left an right. Note that even though the VFO says 125.709 it is actually tuned to 710 KHz. You would have to use the ZOOM function to get a better view of the sidebands.
 

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Iceberg

The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
282
35
None Your Business
So because I am in Minneapolis for a few days I decided to hook up my "HD" stereo to hear "all of these great new stations" that someone (bluegras) touts about as to why everyone should upgrade to "HD". Now Minneapolis is a pretty big media market so I should have a bunch of extra stations, right?

Lets go through them...shall we?
89.3 is MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) and they do have 1 subchannel (local MN content)
91.1 is MPR (their main news station)...2 subs
94.5 has an FM simulcast of their 50,000 watt sports (ESPN 1500)
97.1 has 2 subs. Air 1 and older rap/hip hop
98.5 has 3 subs and is all religious
99.5 is MPR Classical...1 sub (24/7 classical...which most of the time is the same as the main)
100.3 has 2 subs. FM simulcast of their 50,000 watt talker (1130) and K-Love
101.3 has dance music (their main is top 40)
102.1 has new country (main is regular country)

102.9 has FM simulcast of their 50,000 clear channel (as in 50kw all the time...not the company) talker 830 WCCO
104.1 has soft rock (that use to be on 102.9 until they dropped it for country)
106.1 has 3 subs but they are based about 40 miles away so the "HD" stations never hold for more than a few seconds in the south metro
107.1 has a FM simulcast of an AM station they don't own (AM 740 which ironically is in "HD" themselves)
107.9 has 2 subs. An Alt station and Pride Radio

The ones in BOLD are IHeartMedia stations and EVERY ONE of those subchannels is there to feed an analog translator in Minneapolis (which covers most of the metro). 3 stations apparently need to carry FM simulcasts of 50,000 watt stations...why????

so once you remove the subs used for translators, religious, FM simulcasts and MPR you get THREE unique channels. I dont listen to dance music and the new country sounds like the country that is on the main station. Boy no wonder I have the radio in the truck :rolleyes:
oh wait....I removed it yesterday ;)
 

Iceberg

The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
282
35
None Your Business
Do you seriously talk like that in real life? Seriously??
Use a word which after having to wiki it is some mythical person from a TV show I've never seen

The point I made was that someone gets their lady boner about hearing the word "HD" when in the example I gave (reality) its nothing more than a way for Clear Chanel errr I Heart Media to get around the FCC rules about how many stations they can own (because translators don't count) by putting subchannels on stations which are used to rebroadcast to translators.

Putting a 50,000 watt AM station as a subchannel on a FM stations (and not using that loop to get it on a translator) is like having a SD counterpart of a HD channel. Useless for most people :)
 

ejb1980

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 26, 2010
3,337
544
Vermont
For me, relaying AM on FM HD is perfect because the AM radio in my car does not work!

I only have 3 HD stations. 2 are identical with the -1 and -2 flipped (Vermont Public Radio and VPR Classical). The third sub on those is BBC World. The third HD station is Christian with Air 1 on HD2.
 

Trip

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Putting a 50,000 watt AM station as a subchannel on a FM stations (and not using that loop to get it on a translator) is like having a SD counterpart of a HD channel. Useless for most people :)

I have to disagree here. There are plenty of people, especially young people, who won't go to the AM band, but if the car they're in happens to have an IBOC radio receiver in it, they will hear those AM stations while surfing through the FM/IBOC band.

- Trip
 
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