Friday, January 11, 2019

The KKOB-770 Synchronous Operation In Santa Fe

Returning back to Arizona from Denver after Thanksgiving, I decided to stay in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This was a perfect opportunity to check out the status of the KKOB-770 synchronous transmitter site in Santa Fe.

KKOB-770, as most of you know, is Albuquerque's 50 KW blowtorch outlet, "The Talk Monster". A single tower does duty during the daylight hours. At night, a second tower is switched on, the signal covering most of the western U.S. with a westerly-facing cardioid pattern. The nighttime notch at the base of the cardioid falls over Santa Fe.

KKOB maintains a 230 watt synchronized transmitter just one mile west-northwest of downtown Santa Fe, adjacent to the John Griego Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park. A single tower is visible just a couple of hundred yards or so from the parking lot of the park. The tower is a 231 ft. (70 meter) high affair, with an effective height of 65 electrical degrees.

The purpose of this operation is to fill in KKOB's nighttime pattern in the Santa Fe area. Santa Fe is 56 airline miles from Albuquerque.

Driving past the location at mid-afternoon about 2 PM, it was evident that the tower was transmitting during the daytime hours. Driving along the road past the park's parking lot, and closest to the tower at about 200 yards, I had the car radio tuned to 770 KHz. Weird signal fluttering occured for several hundred yards along the road as the Santa Fe and Albuquerque signals combined. For several seconds, the phasing of the two signals completely nulled, resulting in no signal at all.

It was a strange listening experience, as Albuquerque's KKOB-770, at 50KW, normally puts out a respectable signal to this area in the daytime.

The following synchronous operations are authorized through FCC license in the U.S. The FCC terms them as "Experimental":
Call          Frequency     Power     Location
---------     ---------     -----     -----------------
(D)WI2XAC      740.000       500      Ponce, PR
(N)WI2XAC      740.000       100      Ponce, PR
(U)KKOB        770.000       230      Santa Fe, NM
(D)KM2XVL     1220.000       170      Huntsville, TX
(N)KM2XVL     1220.000        11      Huntsville, TX
(U)WBZT       1230.000       800      Pompano Beach, FL
(U)KCOH       1230.000       410      Houston, TX
(U)KDTD       1340.000       200      Kansas City, KS

I've been wanting to check out this operation for awhile.

Click image for a larger version.

KKOB-770 Santa Fe. 230 watts synchronous operation.

KKOB-770 Santa Fe. 230 watts synchronous operation.

KKOB-770 Albuquerque. 50,000 watts. Single tower daytime, both towers at night.


Unknown said...

Technically in daytime, the other tx is on standby so if you're close enough you'll get a few milliwatts of power from it - enough to notice on your car radio. When the nighttime mode kicks in, you'd really notice when it turns on the finals.


Thank you for your comment. Sounds reasonable, as the signal faded a few blocks away.