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Author Topic: How far do your local radio stations go?  (Read 7930 times)

CapeCodder

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How far do your local radio stations go?
« on: September 09, 2017, 09:40:14 AM »

How far can you receive your local radio stations before they fade out? Here on Cape Cod we can get some Boston signals like WGBH and WBUR. Most Cape FM's travel about as far as Duxbury and Pembroke before dying out.

When I lived in Saint Louis, everything that was on the "master antenna" which is located in Shrewsbury in Resurrection Cemetery traveled a good 60-80 miles from the tower. The other stations that are on nearby towers traveled about the same distance.
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Re: How far do your local radio stations go?
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2017, 10:33:04 AM »

WROR (105.7) seems to get up to about Manchester NH, while WCRB (99.5) seems to have a longer range, getting up to at least Concord, NH. Both are based in Boston.
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Re: How far do your local radio stations go?
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2017, 10:39:12 AM »

Jackson, Mississippi no longer has an AM powerhouse radio station, but until the 1980s WOKJ was a 10k-watt nighttime mini-powerhouse whose signal regularly reached as far away as Colorado and Nevada with its Urban format. It was never the best-known radio station in town, but because of its nighttime reach I believe it was the most profitable station by far.
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Re: How far do your local radio stations go?
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2017, 10:41:46 AM »

FM is line of sight, so it depends on antenna placement. You can get 50-60 miles with really tall tower - more than 1000 feet. Most masts are lower, and range goes down as square root of antenna height... Terrain in between may block signal, open water helps with the range.
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Re: How far do your local radio stations go?
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2017, 10:49:02 AM »

My granddad likes AM 740 based out of Toronto, and apparently it has a very large range.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/CFZM

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CFZM is perhaps the only remaining adult standards-formatted station in North America that broadcasts a 50,000-watt clear channel signal. The station's nighttime signal blankets most of the eastern half of North America—including three-fourths of Canada and just over half of the United States. It can reach as far west as Minneapolis and Winnipeg, and as far south as New Orleans.

CFZM's daytime signal can be heard as far north as Georgian Bay; as far south as Youngstown, Ohio; as far east as eastern Massachusetts and New Hampshire including Nashua, Lawrence and Portsmouth; and as far west as the Michigan Thumb.
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Re: How far do your local radio stations go?
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2017, 11:03:45 AM »

AM is all talk or Hispanic here in Florida, but only goes regional.  FM, however, here in Florida goes further than the AM does as some Orlando stations can be heard in Tampa and vice versa.

I have found Magic 107 in Orlando can be heard as far away as St. Augustine to the north and all the way to the Gulf to the west and don't know how far east cause I never went out in a boat over the Atlantic to see where the signal fades as Orlando is 50 miles from the Atlantic coast. 

I also found now defunct Thunder 103.5 FM in Tampa to be heard in Panama City some 200 miles away as the crow flies, but that may be to the signal traversing over open water to accomplish that scenario.
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Re: How far do your local radio stations go?
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2017, 12:24:02 PM »

Around the turn of the century, when my now-wife went to college in Hamden CT, we used to listen to WAAF out of Boston/Worcester all the way down there. I think their transmitter at the time was on a large hill in Paxton MA, which is just west of Worcester.

The big Boston FM stations come in as far north as Concord NH, while some of the AM ones (without power lines interfering) can be heard well in the high elevations much further north. Those same stations range well to Portsmouth NH, Plymouth MA, Worcester MA, and Providence RI.
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jp the roadgeek

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Re: How far do your local radio stations go?
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2017, 01:19:03 PM »

FM: Hartford/New Haven stations typically reach up north of Springfield (usually pretty good reception in Northampton, MA), northwest west to near Becket, MA, west to Brewster, NY; southwest to near Bridgeport, southeast to New London area, east to about I-395, and northeast to the Sturbridge, MA area (where WZMX 93.7 transfers to WEEI 93.7).  I've picked up Hartford stations in Riverhead, NY, which to me is almost an "Alice Through the Looking Glass" effect because you're only about 60 miles from Hartford as the crow flies, but almost 200 miles as the car drives thanks to Long Island Sound being in the way.

AM: Most AM stations have about a 20 mile range.  WELI is a little stronger, reaching about a 40 mile range.  WTIC, a 50k Clear Channel station, boasts that it can be received in 23 states and eastern Canada (I've picked it up at night near DC and in western MD, as well as near Quebec City).
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Re: How far do your local radio stations go?
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2017, 06:12:57 PM »

For my system of presets across I-90:
-I can get WFLY from Fonda through Blandford; it also appears, briefly, in Canajoharie/Fort Plain, and I've received it nearly as far as Richfield Springs on US 20.  On I-87, I can receive it from Saugerties/Catskill to somewhere between Lake George and Pottersville, depending on the weather (and my tolerance for static).
-WOUR works between Syracuse and Fonda.  I've also picked it up along I-88 near Oneonta.  No idea how far north/south it goes along NY 12.
-WMVN works from Montezuma/Port Byron to somewhere east of Utica/Herkimer; no idea of the north/south range along I-81.  I may replace this one; I don't like the station as much since they rebranded themselves, but there are very few Syracuse market stations with stuff I'm interested in listening to that don't switch to Christmas music in November and December.
-WRMM works from Pembroke to Port Byron/Weedsport.  I think it cuts out somewhere near Sonyea/Dansville along I-390, but I don't quite remember.

I'm debating whether to add a Buffalo station to the mix.  That would extend the system along most of I-90 in New York.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: How far do your local radio stations go?
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2017, 07:24:33 PM »

I can get ESPN 940 out of Fresno almost all the way over the Sierras provided I don't have a ton of high peaks.  Usually reception is pretty good westward out in the Diablo Range given it kind of plateaus. 

Roadgeekteen

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Re: How far do your local radio stations go?
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2017, 12:58:11 AM »

Most of southern nh and the inner cape can get Boston radio. A Mount Washington radio station can be heard in Lawrence.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 11:48:33 PM by Roadgeekteen »
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Re: How far do your local radio stations go?
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2017, 11:33:46 AM »

I've gotten 100.7 The Bay, Baltimore with transmitters in Westminster, down in Easton, Maryland on the Eastern Shore. I can get 103.1 WRNR, Annapolis with transmitters in Grasonville, up here in Harford County. 102.7 Jack FM in Baltimore goes almost up to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. 96.1 WSOX in Pennsylvania's Susquehanna Valley makes it down to around the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford County.
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Re: How far do your local radio stations go?
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2017, 11:36:11 AM »

I hardly ever listen to local radio these days except for the news (mainly for traffic reports), but I do recall when I was in college in Charlottesville I was able to pick up 104.1-FM out of the DC area in my car down there, though the signal was quite weak there some 120 miles away.

Here in Fairfax County I can pick up 97.9-FM out of Baltimore, sometimes 97.5-FM out of Martinsburg, and usually 92.5-FM out of Winchester.
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michravera

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Re: How far do your local radio stations go?
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2017, 12:49:21 PM »

How far can you receive your local radio stations before they fade out? Here on Cape Cod we can get some Boston signals like WGBH and WBUR. Most Cape FM's travel about as far as Duxbury and Pembroke before dying out.

When I lived in Saint Louis, everything that was on the "master antenna" which is located in Shrewsbury in Resurrection Cemetery traveled a good 60-80 miles from the tower. The other stations that are on nearby towers traveled about the same distance.

In the daytime, San Francisco's KGO (AM810) tends to start having trouble on most car radios at the Cuesta Grade on US-101, but has no trouble being heard in most of the Central Valley. In most cases, you can get it in eastern LA county. KFI from LA can likewise often be heard in the Bay area (especially out east) and almost always in Sacramento.

For a long time there was an FM station in Sacramento and one in San Francisco and they both broadcast on 98.5. You would  get a fight for a short distance at the Altamont Pass and then the closest one would win.

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Re: How far do your local radio stations go?
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2017, 01:00:58 PM »

I actually thought of creating this very same thread when I got 98.5 FM out of La Almunia de Doña Godina, Spain (one of many Los40 frequencies) at the Aragon/Navarre border... near Yesa. But then it's not that far compared with others, only 80 miles or so. About the same are those stations out of Huesca picked up just Northeast of Calatayud, such as 96.9 FM (Los40) and 102.0* (SER). But my personal record came somewhere in Central Aragon with 95.3 FM. I expected to get Los40 out of Zaragoza, but instead got Onda Cero out of Tarragona, 110 miles away! (And 85 miles further away)

* In Spain the FM spectrum goes from 87.5 to 108.0 in increases of 0.1 MhZ.

For a long time there was an FM station in Sacramento and one in San Francisco and they both broadcast on 98.5. You would  get a fight for a short distance at the Altamont Pass and then the closest one would win.

How about along I-80? It used to happen the same way or just switched from one to the other?
« Last Edit: September 10, 2017, 01:03:11 PM by CNGL-Leudimin »
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Re: How far do your local radio stations go?
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2017, 01:03:51 PM »

On a normal day in my experiences, the most powerful Duluth and Twin Cities stations start to fade into each other about Hinckley. There was one afternoon years ago where I got 92.5 KQRS from the Twin Cities all the way to Two Harbors, about 30 minutes NE of Duluth.
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MikeTheActuary

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Re: How far do your local radio stations go?
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2017, 03:35:16 PM »

Keep in mind that different power levels are authorized in different parts of the US on FM broadcast stations: https://www.fcc.gov/media/radio/fm-station-classes
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Re: How far do your local radio stations go?
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2017, 04:15:11 PM »

Seems like the main FM stations in Cincinnati reached about to Sadieville KY on a car radio. But that was years ago. The dial is so cluttered now that they probably don't make it nearly that far now.
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Re: How far do your local radio stations go?
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2017, 06:34:07 PM »

CBS-owned stations from L.A.: KCBS 93.1 and KRTH "K-earth" 101.1 (93.1-2), and KOLA 99.1 and KFRG 95.1 (99.9-2) folk, country or western from Riverside-San Bernardino have repeaters for the Palm Springs area on 93.1 and 99.9. (HD Radio frequencies .2). Public radio repeaters from L.A. metro area and Riverside county on the public 87.5-92.1 Mhz dial.

Usually, Palm Springs radio stations can reach Beaumont-Banning, some of em in Hemet-San Jacinto and Yucca Valley-29 Palms (repeaters), and relatively a few down in Imperial valley if they're based in Coachella-Indio. A few Mexicali-Imperial valley radio stations on FM and AM can reach as far away as Indio. And Palm Springs AM can reach 29 Palms.
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Re: How far do your local radio stations go?
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2017, 07:06:31 PM »

Local AM station range here (Coos Bay OR) is much shorter than FM, especially at night.  You're doing good to get a signal received when more than 5 miles away at that time!  Dusk to dawn power limits for these AM'ers is 250 watts.

Heading east of Bend on US 20 showed I could receive a local FM rocker for 90 miles.  You gotta love that flat eastern Oregon land!

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Re: How far do your local radio stations go?
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2017, 07:17:26 PM »

Seems like the main FM stations in Cincinnati reached about to Sadieville KY on a car radio. But that was years ago. The dial is so cluttered now that they probably don't make it nearly that far now.
There are alot more LP sfm stations now. WSKY 97.3 out of Gainesville, FL used to be clear in central Clay County. There is a low power modern rock station in Jacksonville ( i dont know call letters) that interferes now

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KeithE4Phx

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Re: How far do your local radio stations go?
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2017, 08:24:25 PM »

AM in metro Phoenix is next-to-useless.  Only KFYI 550 and KTAR 620 cover most of the metro at night, and they're iffy out where I live in NE Mesa.  Most of the others are lower power and/or highly directional at night, and many don't even cover the city, let alone the suburbs.  We have 4 sports stations (620, 910, 1060, 1580), while the rest are either right-wing talk, religion, or Spanish-language, plus one moldy-oldies outlet.  Two AMs (KCKY 1150 & KPHX 1480, both of whom had been around since the 1950s) shut down this year and may or may not return.  Both are currently off the air.

The FMs that transmit from South Mountain in south Phoenix have about 80-90 mile coverage easily, or from just north of Tucson to Wickenburg.  But there are more than too many smaller suburban and outlying (in the mountains north of the valley, closer to Prescott and Payson than Phoenix) sticks that target the entire metro but can't make it, plus the rest of the dial is now filled up with translators and LPFMs.
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Sctvhound

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Re: How far do your local radio stations go?
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2017, 09:22:17 PM »

Charleston's stations have varying ranges. The local AM stations (AM has less than 5% of the market, and all but two stations have FM translators) generally have a range of 25-50 miles. A few of the stronger ones (WTMA on 1250, the Catholic station on 730) have great water paths. I've heard them well down into Florida daytime, as far as Fort Pierce. You can even hear them in the Bahamas (specifically Freeport) with a good radio.

At night 1250 and 1390 WSPO can be heard in much of the southeast depending on where you are.

The strongest FMs (101.7, 92.5, 96.9, and a couple others) can be easily heard 75-100 miles at any time. You can hear them from the GA line almost to the NC line with a good radio. Most of the other viable FMs can be heard about 50 miles out.
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Re: How far do your local radio stations go?
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2017, 01:15:18 AM »

Apparently, KSL 1160 AM can be heard from as far away as Washington State at night. It transmits from a tower just SE of the Great Salt Lake.
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Re: How far do your local radio stations go?
« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2017, 08:31:05 AM »

AM in metro Phoenix is next-to-useless.  Only KFYI 550 and KTAR 620 cover most of the metro at night, and they're iffy out where I live in NE Mesa.  Most of the others are lower power and/or highly directional at night, and many don't even cover the city, let alone the suburbs.  We have 4 sports stations (620, 910, 1060, 1580), while the rest are either right-wing talk, religion, or Spanish-language, plus one moldy-oldies outlet.  Two AMs (KCKY 1150 & KPHX 1480, both of whom had been around since the 1950s) shut down this year and may or may not return.  Both are currently off the air.

The FMs that transmit from South Mountain in south Phoenix have about 80-90 mile coverage easily, or from just north of Tucson to Wickenburg.  But there are more than too many smaller suburban and outlying (in the mountains north of the valley, closer to Prescott and Payson than Phoenix) sticks that target the entire metro but can't make it, plus the rest of the dial is now filled up with translators and LPFMs.

Palm Springs either gets Radio Disney on public 530 AM from Phoenix (94.5 KOOL-FM) or nowadays, 1110 KDSN from L.A. and I have memories of now gone Radio Disney's Tijuana 1500 AM (the Mexican national anthem at midnight required by Mexican law). KYDS 1140 AM from Las Vegas was audible in L.A. at night, but this children's radio station disbanded (or moved to FM). Tucson has 1600 KXEW heard all over the American southwest, one of a few Tejano-only genre stations - similar to KXTN 107 FM San Antonio.
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