Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Current "Clear-channel" Radio Stations

No, we're not talking about Clear Channel Corp.; keeping within the scope of Richard Robinson's and my post in this area, I'd found a reference to "time-proven 'clear channel' AM superstations operating 24/7", as per a fellow Ham radio operator, Dave Ingram, K4TWJ. Mr. Ingram writes a monthly column for CQ Magazine (http://www.cq-amateur-radio.com/index.html), called, "World of Ideas" and the particular column I'm referring to was in the February 2007 issue, where he mentioned emergency preparedness. This is all relevent, especially this time of year, to me personally, since we're fully into the hurricane season (and Mr. Ingram also lives in the South, where we've had our share of these storms!). His reasoning was that if one experiences a survival situation where local stations are off the air, one may tune certain frequencies on the AM band, as one avenue, to hear possibly helpful news.

I thought it was a quirky coincidence, Richard and I posting about these particular stations; and since I still like to twiddle the dial at times, I thought I'd share the list printed in CQ:

-WSM, Nashville, TN, 650 kHz

-WLW, Cincinnati, OH, 700 kHz

-WGN, Chicago, IL, 720 kHz

-KCBS, San Francisco, CA, 740 kHz

-WSB, Atlanta, GA, 750 kHz

-WABC, New York, NY, 770 kHz

-WCBS, New York, NY, 880 kHz

-WLS, Chicago, IL, 890 kHz

-KMOX, St. Louis, MO, 1120 kHz

-KOMA, Oklahoma City, OK, 1520 kHz

I've heard several of these stations over the years, and still tune across them from time to time. I'd heard one station, WLW, on their 11 meter STL (studio-transmitter link) years ago, when I was a kid. I got permission from my mother to call them and the deejay was amazed that I could hear them during the day, outside their coverage area! When I explained to them that their 25 MHz STL signal was what I was hearing, he then understood. He asked if I had a musical request, while I was on the phone and I told him, "Tears Of A Clown". Well, lo and behold, fifteen minutes later, he came on after one song and said "this one is for my friend Bud down in Alabama", and played it! I was so thrilled!

One other station I heard almost daily was KABC in California, via their STL; this was back during the last big sunspot cycle we had in the '70's, when I heard these stations. Even though the FCC still lists the upper end of 25 MHZ and lower end of 26 MHz for STLs, I doubt they're still in use.

Because of their unique nature, I wish I'd have been as smart as Ron Henselman about recording these things; when you're a kid, sometimes you just don't think how important they can be in the future...you just think they'll always be there, always stay the same. Thanks to the many people who DID record air checks, and who do share them with us today. Many thanks also to Richard for his great research and resources!

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

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