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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

US Ground Conductivity Map v2 2018

It came to my attention some time ago that the map sets are not working correctly. It turned out it was a Google Maps problem. Non-casual Google Map creators are now required to register and obtain a pass key to allow map use. I have done that.

The first change and correction is to the US Ground Conductivity Map. The download link is at the upper right. The new version is v2, 2018.

The US and Canadian Pattern Reference Maps (current 2016 version) are effected as well. They will be updated soon.

Bill

Friday, October 12, 2018

Mediumwave Web Tricks

I use a number of tricks to quickly locate information on mediumwave stations. You might call them shortcuts, or easy ways to get to certain station web site data we might be interested in - and without having to re-navigate each site again looking for what we want. Why not just go directly there? Follow along and I'll show you how.

Here's some one-click examples of what we can get, simply by copying and pasting a link into your browser:

     1. Station broadcast format. Data provided by Arbitron.
     2. General station data. Data provided by fcc.gov
     3. Station's application list. Data provided by fcc.gov
     4. Station's contour map. Data provided by fcc.gov
     5. General station profile information. Data provided by fcc.gov
     6. General station data. Data provided by radio-locator.com
     7. Contour maps. Data provided by radio-locator.com
     8. Satellite .JPG image of transmitter site. Data provided by google.com

Let's go through them, one by one.

1. Get Station Broadcast Format From Arbitron

US and Canadian mediumwave stations file station information, including format, web stream location and other details with Arbitron quarterly. You just have to know where it is.

Here's the link for KLAA for summer 2018. Change the call sign to one of your liking and copy and paste the URL in your browser. We will do this throughout this post.

https://www1.arbitron.com/sip/displaySip.do?surveyID=SU18&band=am&callLetter=KLAA

Substitute call letters of your choice, including Canadian stations. For the surveyID= field, use the current season we are in. i.e., use WI18 for winter 2018, SP18 for spring 2018, SU18 for summer 2018, FA18 for fall 2018. Next year, in 2019, use "19".

Only one season will work, the current season. You can't get historical data. Note, however, that in nearly all cases, Arbitron will show that the station's data is not current for the current season. They are drawing the data off of the previous season's submission. It is indeed current, as the station has not submitted changes.


2. Get General Station Data From The FCC

Here's the link, again for KLAA.

https://transition.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/amq?list=0&call=KLAA

Substitute call letters of your choice, including Canadian, Mexican, or any foreign station that has filed with the FCC.



3. Get A Station's Application List From The FCC

http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/app_list.pl?Callsign=KLAA

Again, for KLAA. Substitute call letters of your choice, including Canadian, Mexican, or any foreign station that has filed with the FCC.



4. Get Public Profile For Station From The FCC

https://publicfiles.fcc.gov/am-profile/KBMB

Substitute call letters of your choice. It appears to be U.S. stations only. Station KBMB used here.



5. Get Daytime Contour Map For A Station From The FCC

https://publicfiles.fcc.gov/am-profile/KBMB/contour-maps/

Substitute call letters of your choice. It appears to be U.S. stations only. Station KBMB used here.



6. Get General Station Data From Radio-Locator

https://radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/finder?freq_exact=Yes&format=&owner_search=starts&count=1&is_lic=Y&is_cp=Y&is_unl=Y&is_ful=Y&is_lp=Y&sort=Call&sr=1&band=AM&call=KLAA&freq=830

Substitute call letters of your choice, including Canadian. Here we must also enter the frequency in KHz. KLAA, 830 example used.



7. Get Contour Map For A Station From Radio-Locator

Here's the link for the daytime contour map for KLAA. Change to h=D.

https://radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/pat?call=KLAA&service=AM&h=D

Substitute call letters of your choice, including Canadian. Use the letter "D" at the end.

Here's the link for the nighttime contour map for KLAA. Change to h=N.

https://radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/pat?call=KLAA&service=AM&h=N

Substitute call letters of your choice, including Canadian. Use the letter "N" at the end.

Some stations are in the Unlimited category, like KOA-850 in Denver, for example. Here's the link for the unlimited contour map for KOA. Change to h=U.

https://radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/pat?call=KOA&service=AM&h=U

Substitute call letters of your choice, including Canadian. Use the letter "U" at the end.



8. Get A Satellite .JPG Image Of A Station's Transmitter Site

Google maps has a function that will create a small .JPG image for you of the satellite ground view of a latitude-longitude coordinate.

This one is a little more difficult. You must know the latitude and longitude of the station transmitter site, but you can get that from the FCC General Station Data link (section #2) above. Replace the latitude (33.92861111) and longitude (-117.61583333) with one of your choice. Remember to use a negative longitude if you are in the western hemisphere, and a negative latitude if you are in the southern hemisphere.

Maximum zoom is 17. Lower the zoom if you need to.

The maptype= parameter can be "hybrid" (terrain with some satellite ground annotation), "satellite", "roadmap" (a road map), or "terrain".

.JPG size is either 640x640 or 320x320. Using scale=2 will double the size. format= can be jpg, png, or gif.

Here's the link for KNMX-540, Las Vegas, New Mexico:

http://maps.google.com/maps/api/staticmap?center=35.57361111,-105.17138889&zoom=17&size=640x640&maptype=hybrid&scale=2&sensor=false&format=jpg

KNMX-540 Static Map from Google

One more handy bit of code to get V-Soft signal data.

Easy Way To V-Soft Signal Data

Now let's write a little HTML to get some V-Soft data.

Get a nice signal strength chart by zip code or station call sign from V-Soft. If you've ever wanted to know what the mediumwave signal strengths are in your zip code from various stations nearby, you can.

Copy the following code into any text editor (like Notepad), and save it as an .HTML file. No changes are necessary.

<html><head></head><body>
GET V-SOFT DATA FOR ZIP CODE OR CALL SIGN:
<form action="http://zipsignal.v-soft.com" id="findzips" method="post" name="findzips">
<input id="zip" name="zip" size="20" type="text" value="123456" /><input type="Submit" /> ZIP CODE</form>
<form action="http://zipsignal.v-soft.com" id="findstations" method="post" name="findstations">
<input id="call" name="call" size="20" type="text" value="KLAA" /><input type="Submit" /> CALL SIGN</form>
</body></html>

Then click the file. Enter either your zip code (or any zip code), or a station's call letters. Click the Submit button. You will be re-directed to the v-soft.com site and see a nice table of signal strengths.

Hope you enjoy these web tricks.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Radio Calculator Program v1.0015

In the process of developing the Radio Data MW program (the program that creates those neat HTML mediumwave pattern maps available at the upper right), I needed some way to convert values back and forth to check accuracy of calculations. Conversions like watts to dBw, mV/m to dBu, microvolts to dBm, etc. I came up with a little calculator "app" that satisfied the need, and called it Radio Calculator. I present it here for your download and use.

Questions about how dB relates to ratio of values (both watts and voltage), passive loop antenna output, wavelength, radio horizon, field strength, and even sine and cosine tables are all covered in a simple to use format.

The program is written in the old standby Visual Basic. It's been tested on Windows 7 through Windows 10.

Install is simple. Download the file from the link at the upper right of this page, unzip, and run the RadioCalculator.exe file. The file is small at 22 KB. There are no special requirements.

I hope you enjoy it and can make use of it.

Some screenshots:

Decibels and Ratio Conversions

Field Strength Conversions

Voltage and Power Conversions

Passive Loop and Antenna Factor Calculations

Wavelength Information

Various Tables, Including Sine and Cosine

Friday, September 7, 2018

Early Fall Conditions Improve

KMON-560 Great Falls, Montana Logged

Logged KMON-560 (5 KW) Great Falls, MT overnight at 01:00 AM local, 08:00 GMT. Also dancing around in there was KSFO-560 (5 KW), San Francisco, CA. I'm in the pattern null of both of these. Although KSFO is fairly routine, I'm surprised at hearing KMON. They're only delivering about 67 watts to me in that notch. Maybe on day power? Will try again tonight. Really hoping to hear Beaumont, TX KLVI-560 (5 KW) one of these days. I'm just a little off the main western lobe. Denver's KLZ-560 usually dominates all.

Japan JOUB-774 Makes The Trip This Morning

Japan JOUB-774 was in there at the local 06:00 hour, 13:00 GMT. Weak audio and time pips at the top of the hour. Just before sunrise in SW Arizona.

Heard on my new Sangean ATS-909X barefoot. I find the sensitivity on the Sangean to be excellent as opposed to some of the reviews. The AGC is a bit overly sensitive, but if you ride the RF gain down a bit it settles down. Old tech, the Sangean, I know, but I'm a happy late purchaser. Superb audio too.

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Good Old Days Of Mediumwave DXing

The blog has been lying low for quite awhile. Time allowing, I'd like to present some new ideas.

I occasionally hear talk of the "good old days" of mediumwave DXing, usually referring to back in the 1960s and earlier. The talk is of nightly cross-country DX, of hearing Los Angeles on the east coast, of foreign stations as a regular occurrence. Usually it gets around to a discussion of how fewer stations were on the mediumwave band in those days. I always wondered what a comparison would look like.

Recently, I came across a 1941 Stephenson's Radio Bulletin on a great site called American Radio History:

https://www.americanradiohistory.com/index.htm

They have scanned many articles and magazines from all eras of radio history, back to the 1920s.

I decided to tabulate the 1941 list of mediumwave stations against today's 2108 list and see what it looks like. This has been a project idea I've been thinking about for a long time. I just haven't been able to get a station list with the data readably usable, so I decided to write some code to extract it.

Presented below is the mediumwave radio world of 1941 compared to today's 2018. The 2018 US station counts are all nighttime stations only, at current nighttime power levels. The 1941 station data includes all stations from that year (tabulated in January, 1941). Less than 10% are restricted in their nighttime use of power , a few are daytimers only. That just means there would be even less interference than what can be extrapolated from the table.

So, were these the good old days? I would say so. In 1941 we only had about 31% of the RF wattage flying around at night. There were a total of 833 stations transmitting at night, as opposed to the approximately 4058 transmitting at night tonight. What the table doesn't show is that the stations transmitting at night in 1941 generally transmitted at a higher power than those of today, Fewer stations at higher powers = better DX.

 -----1941-2018 DIFFERENCES ON THE MEDIUM WAVES-----

 530  (2018) #Stations =   0    TotalWatts =       0
      (1941) #Stations =   0    TotalWatts =       0

 540  (2018) #Stations =  20    TotalWatts =  49,620
      (1941) #Stations =   0    TotalWatts =       0

 550  (2018) #Stations =  24    TotalWatts =  77,923
      (1941) #Stations =   9    TotalWatts =  33,000

 560  (2018) #Stations =  23    TotalWatts =  60,320
      (1941) #Stations =   9    TotalWatts =  33,000

 570  (2018) #Stations =  19    TotalWatts =  53,379
      (1941) #Stations =   9    TotalWatts =  24,250

 580  (2018) #Stations =  24    TotalWatts =  97,298
      (1941) #Stations =   7    TotalWatts =  31,000

 590  (2018) #Stations =  27    TotalWatts =  61,390
      (1941) #Stations =   5    TotalWatts =  17,000

 600  (2018) #Stations =  23    TotalWatts =  55,021
      (1941) #Stations =   5    TotalWatts =  17,000

 610  (2018) #Stations =  27    TotalWatts =  67,795
      (1941) #Stations =   7    TotalWatts =  26,500

 620  (2018) #Stations =  23    TotalWatts =  68,577
      (1941) #Stations =  11    TotalWatts =  38,250

 630  (2018) #Stations =  25    TotalWatts =  55,374
      (1941) #Stations =   6    TotalWatts =  17,200

 640  (2018) #Stations =  15    TotalWatts =  71,660
      (1941) #Stations =   3    TotalWatts =  55,500

 650  (2018) #Stations =   8    TotalWatts = 113,420
      (1941) #Stations =   1    TotalWatts =  50,000

 660  (2018) #Stations =  12    TotalWatts = 125,179
      (1941) #Stations =   2    TotalWatts =  50,500

 670  (2018) #Stations =   9    TotalWatts = 121,003
      (1941) #Stations =   1    TotalWatts =  50,000

 680  (2018) #Stations =  20    TotalWatts = 226,216
      (1941) #Stations =   3    TotalWatts = 102,500

 690  (2018) #Stations =  19    TotalWatts =  53,274
      (1941) #Stations =   0    TotalWatts =       0

 700  (2018) #Stations =   8    TotalWatts =  73,690
      (1941) #Stations =   1    TotalWatts =  50,000

 710  (2018) #Stations =  15    TotalWatts = 201,560
      (1941) #Stations =   3    TotalWatts =  65,000

 720  (2018) #Stations =   6    TotalWatts = 111,286
      (1941) #Stations =   1    TotalWatts =  50,000

 730  (2018) #Stations =  29    TotalWatts =   4,714
      (1941) #Stations =   0    TotalWatts =       0

 740  (2018) #Stations =  28    TotalWatts = 196,021
      (1941) #Stations =   4    TotalWatts =  52,250

 750  (2018) #Stations =   8    TotalWatts = 139,630
      (1941) #Stations =   2    TotalWatts =  52,500

 760  (2018) #Stations =  11    TotalWatts = 119,771
      (1941) #Stations =   4    TotalWatts =  57,000

 770  (2018) #Stations =  10    TotalWatts = 122,180
      (1941) #Stations =   2    TotalWatts =  60,000

 780  (2018) #Stations =   8    TotalWatts = 115,049
      (1941) #Stations =   9    TotalWatts =  29,750

 790  (2018) #Stations =  41    TotalWatts =  60,498
      (1941) #Stations =   3    TotalWatts =  58,500

 800  (2018) #Stations =  29    TotalWatts =  16,513
      (1941) #Stations =   2    TotalWatts = 100,000

 810  (2018) #Stations =  16    TotalWatts = 207,678
      (1941) #Stations =   2    TotalWatts =  51,000

 820  (2018) #Stations =  12    TotalWatts =  73,335
      (1941) #Stations =   1    TotalWatts =  50,000

 830  (2018) #Stations =  11    TotalWatts = 154,750
      (1941) #Stations =   4    TotalWatts =  57,000

 840  (2018) #Stations =  10    TotalWatts =  83,105
      (1941) #Stations =   0    TotalWatts =       0

 850  (2018) #Stations =  17    TotalWatts = 229,930
      (1941) #Stations =   4    TotalWatts =  56,250

 860  (2018) #Stations =  27    TotalWatts =  81,799
      (1941) #Stations =   2    TotalWatts =  51,000

 870  (2018) #Stations =   9    TotalWatts =  63,500
      (1941) #Stations =   2    TotalWatts = 100,000

 880  (2018) #Stations =  16    TotalWatts = 132,022
      (1941) #Stations =  12    TotalWatts =  15,250

 890  (2018) #Stations =  11    TotalWatts =  83,810
      (1941) #Stations =   8    TotalWatts =  27,500

 900  (2018) #Stations =  42    TotalWatts =  16,948
      (1941) #Stations =  11    TotalWatts =  30,000

 910  (2018) #Stations =  48    TotalWatts = 103,992
      (1941) #Stations =   0    TotalWatts =       0

 920  (2018) #Stations =  43    TotalWatts =  51,396
      (1941) #Stations =   8    TotalWatts =  19,500

 930  (2018) #Stations =  48    TotalWatts =  61,745
      (1941) #Stations =   5    TotalWatts =  16,500

 940  (2018) #Stations =  31    TotalWatts = 102,952
      (1941) #Stations =   7    TotalWatts =  27,000

 950  (2018) #Stations =  42    TotalWatts = 175,799
      (1941) #Stations =   4    TotalWatts =  15,500

 960  (2018) #Stations =  43    TotalWatts =  65,320
      (1941) #Stations =   0    TotalWatts =       0

 970  (2018) #Stations =  50    TotalWatts =  84,713
      (1941) #Stations =   3    TotalWatts =  11,000

 980  (2018) #Stations =  43    TotalWatts =  77,055
      (1941) #Stations =   1    TotalWatts =  50,000

 990  (2018) #Stations =  37    TotalWatts =  57,793
      (1941) #Stations =   2    TotalWatts =  51,000

1000  (2018) #Stations =   8    TotalWatts = 107,940
      (1941) #Stations =   2    TotalWatts =  51,000

1010  (2018) #Stations =  33    TotalWatts =  97,098
      (1941) #Stations =   5    TotalWatts =  17,000

1020  (2018) #Stations =  11    TotalWatts = 164,600
      (1941) #Stations =   2    TotalWatts =  51,000

1030  (2018) #Stations =  16    TotalWatts = 123,103
      (1941) #Stations =   0    TotalWatts =       0

1040  (2018) #Stations =  10    TotalWatts =  68,113
      (1941) #Stations =   4    TotalWatts = 100,750

1050  (2018) #Stations =  45    TotalWatts =  67,845
      (1941) #Stations =   4    TotalWatts =  61,000

1060  (2018) #Stations =  20    TotalWatts =  70,437
      (1941) #Stations =   3    TotalWatts =  61,000

1070  (2018) #Stations =  21    TotalWatts = 110,877
      (1941) #Stations =   3    TotalWatts =  50,600

1080  (2018) #Stations =  16    TotalWatts = 145,216
      (1941) #Stations =   3    TotalWatts =  60,000

1090  (2018) #Stations =  10    TotalWatts = 157,238
      (1941) #Stations =   1    TotalWatts =  50,000

1100  (2018) #Stations =   8    TotalWatts = 115,240
      (1941) #Stations =   5    TotalWatts =  72,000

1110  (2018) #Stations =  10    TotalWatts = 141,012
      (1941) #Stations =   2    TotalWatts =  55,000

1120  (2018) #Stations =   9    TotalWatts = 103,705
      (1941) #Stations =  13    TotalWatts =  13,350

1130  (2018) #Stations =  18    TotalWatts = 164,484
      (1941) #Stations =   2    TotalWatts =  70,000

1140  (2018) #Stations =  14    TotalWatts = 150,746
      (1941) #Stations =   2    TotalWatts =  30,000

1150  (2018) #Stations =  48    TotalWatts = 113,462
      (1941) #Stations =   1    TotalWatts =  50,000

1160  (2018) #Stations =  25    TotalWatts = 126,221
      (1941) #Stations =   2    TotalWatts =  15,000

1170  (2018) #Stations =  13    TotalWatts = 139,368
      (1941) #Stations =   1    TotalWatts =  50,000

1180  (2018) #Stations =  14    TotalWatts =  80,935
      (1941) #Stations =   3    TotalWatts =  56,000

1190  (2018) #Stations =  20    TotalWatts = 103,867
      (1941) #Stations =   1    TotalWatts =  50,000

1200  (2018) #Stations =  14    TotalWatts = 148,070
      (1941) #Stations =  72    TotalWatts =  16,350

1210  (2018) #Stations =  19    TotalWatts =  98,977
      (1941) #Stations =  68    TotalWatts =  14,750

1220  (2018) #Stations =  43    TotalWatts =  55,519
      (1941) #Stations =  10    TotalWatts =  28,250

1230  (2018) #Stations = 164    TotalWatts = 156,357
      (1941) #Stations =   7    TotalWatts =  23,000

1240  (2018) #Stations = 154    TotalWatts = 148,812
      (1941) #Stations =   5    TotalWatts =  11,750

1250  (2018) #Stations =  52    TotalWatts =  65,657
      (1941) #Stations =   9    TotalWatts =  21,000

1260  (2018) #Stations =  51    TotalWatts =  90,041
      (1941) #Stations =  10    TotalWatts =  25,250

1270  (2018) #Stations =  53    TotalWatts = 114,009
      (1941) #Stations =   9    TotalWatts =  17,700

1280  (2018) #Stations =  52    TotalWatts =  53,333
      (1941) #Stations =   8    TotalWatts =  17,250

1290  (2018) #Stations =  48    TotalWatts =  83,100
      (1941) #Stations =   9    TotalWatts =  25,700

1300  (2018) #Stations =  59    TotalWatts = 130,076
      (1941) #Stations =   9    TotalWatts =  21,000

1310  (2018) #Stations =  55    TotalWatts =  66,965
      (1941) #Stations =  69    TotalWatts =  15,550

1320  (2018) #Stations =  56    TotalWatts =  72,802
      (1941) #Stations =   6    TotalWatts =  21,500

1330  (2018) #Stations =  53    TotalWatts =  84,399
      (1941) #Stations =   8    TotalWatts =  23,500

1340  (2018) #Stations = 163    TotalWatts = 154,407
      (1941) #Stations =   9    TotalWatts =  16,250

1350  (2018) #Stations =  56    TotalWatts =  48,789
      (1941) #Stations =   6    TotalWatts =  19,000

1360  (2018) #Stations =  58    TotalWatts =  58,040
      (1941) #Stations =   8    TotalWatts =  10,750

1370  (2018) #Stations =  53    TotalWatts =  87,796
      (1941) #Stations =  81    TotalWatts =  18,350

1380  (2018) #Stations =  58    TotalWatts = 129,410
      (1941) #Stations =   5    TotalWatts =   9,000

1390  (2018) #Stations =  54    TotalWatts =  78,856
      (1941) #Stations =   6    TotalWatts =  18,000

1400  (2018) #Stations = 175    TotalWatts = 170,415
      (1941) #Stations =   6    TotalWatts =  16,500

1410  (2018) #Stations =  56    TotalWatts =  53,636
      (1941) #Stations =   8    TotalWatts =   9,500

1420  (2018) #Stations =  61    TotalWatts =  53,262
      (1941) #Stations =  61    TotalWatts =  13,450

1430  (2018) #Stations =  57    TotalWatts =  97,857
      (1941) #Stations =   8    TotalWatts =  20,000

1440  (2018) #Stations =  56    TotalWatts =  44,551
      (1941) #Stations =   7    TotalWatts =  13,500

1450  (2018) #Stations = 175    TotalWatts = 167,406
      (1941) #Stations =   7    TotalWatts =  15,000

1460  (2018) #Stations =  65    TotalWatts =  77,316
      (1941) #Stations =   2    TotalWatts = 100,000

1470  (2018) #Stations =  47    TotalWatts =  62,378
      (1941) #Stations =   3    TotalWatts =  15,000

1480  (2018) #Stations =  63    TotalWatts =  72,040
      (1941) #Stations =   3    TotalWatts =  15,000

1490  (2018) #Stations = 182    TotalWatts = 174,560
      (1941) #Stations =   2    TotalWatts =  60,000

1500  (2018) #Stations =  13    TotalWatts = 121,038
      (1941) #Stations =  62    TotalWatts =  14,450

1510  (2018) #Stations =  12    TotalWatts = 144,770
      (1941) #Stations =   0    TotalWatts =       0

1520  (2018) #Stations =  18    TotalWatts = 196,492
      (1941) #Stations =   0    TotalWatts =       0

1530  (2018) #Stations =  11    TotalWatts = 110,763
      (1941) #Stations =   3    TotalWatts =   3,000

1540  (2018) #Stations =  23    TotalWatts = 149,357
      (1941) #Stations =   0    TotalWatts =       0

1550  (2018) #Stations =  50    TotalWatts =  41,851
      (1941) #Stations =   2    TotalWatts =   6,000

1560  (2018) #Stations =  19    TotalWatts =  90,638
      (1941) #Stations =   0    TotalWatts =       0

1570  (2018) #Stations =  55    TotalWatts =  28,476
      (1941) #Stations =   0    TotalWatts =       0

1580  (2018) #Stations =  43    TotalWatts = 109,951
      (1941) #Stations =   0    TotalWatts =       0

1590  (2018) #Stations =  59    TotalWatts =  63,336
      (1941) #Stations =   0    TotalWatts =       0

1600  (2018) #Stations =  58    TotalWatts =  96,127
      (1941) #Stations =   0    TotalWatts =       0

Total watts 2018 = 10,829,145
Total watts 1941 =  3,389,200

If you want a good example of present-day nighttime confusion, one only has to look at a single channel, perhaps one of the worst. 1490 KHz, one of our US graveyard channels has 182 stations transmitting all at once. The results are shown below. Reception contours are set to the 0.1 mV/m level, a level which should generate signal in even the most marginal receiver, within range.

Good days must be ahead.

The Graveyard (and only part of it). 1490 KHZ