AM1260 "The Rock" fundraising

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  • Posted In: Cleveland


  • Participant
    #187653

    “Cleveland Catholic Radio”, AM1260 “The Rock” finished one of their fundraising weeks.  They would simply cut into EWTN radio network shows a few times an hour for lengthy breaks asking for donations.  Based on their commentary, the morning drive show, “Morning Glory” (7:00-8:00am) and the afternoon drive show “Kresta In The Afternoon” (4:00 – 6:00pm) are popular.  Al Kresta is a good talk show host.

    The local hosts mentioned that the station runs on a shoe-string budget.  That was not positive to hear as their signal is not what it was.  In the Southwest portion of Cuyahoga County the signal is weak, including during daylight hours.  The station promotes itself at various Churches, but what good does that do if, even while driving in the car, the sound is often not very good.  I would hope that they would put a lot of the money they get into technical upgrades of their signal, probably beginning with their antenna system.

     


    Participant
    #187654

    It’s a shame that many Cleveland AM stations struggle to cover Cuyahoga County.  1260 is supposed to be 10kW during the day, but their pattern is highly directional, apparently protecting a station to the west, maybe Indianapolis.  Perhaps technical upgrades might help.


    Participant
    #187656

    It’s a shame that many Cleveland AM stations struggle to cover Cuyahoga County. 1260 is supposed to be 10kW during the day, but their pattern is highly directional, apparently protecting a station to the west, maybe Indianapolis. Perhaps technical upgrades might help.

    They not only have to protect 1260s in Indianapolis and Erie PA, but 1270s in Detroit, Marysville and Cambridge OH… and the 1250 in Pittsburgh. Just to name a few. When then-WRDZ upgraded to 10kW, they moved south from Independence to Brecksville.

    I don’t think they can do any more to work on the signal outside of 1) buying every adjacent signal and shutting them off for good or 2) move to FM on a full-power signal. Ironically they’d be better off lessening the power and dropping a tower or two.

    Recorded in Ultra Stereo, the ultimately superior cousin to Normal Stereo!


    Participant
    #187657

    It looks like they are covering a lot of Lake Erie.  Unfortunately,  the fish don’t have radios.  If they can’t move to another frequency, they would probably be better off going back to 5kW day and night.


    Participant
    #187659

    I looked at their daytime and nighttime coverage maps on the radio locator site and see that their primary signal (within the red area) should be strong in Southwest Cuyahoga County both day and night.  Unless radio locator has it wrong, it seems to me that the problem is a need for technical upgrades, including regular maintenance on the transmitter and antenna system.


    Participant
    #187661

    I’m a volunteer for The Rock, I answered the phones during the Spirit drive. Also I worked at WRDZ starting in 1988 the first day they went on the air. While I’m not an engineer I do have some insight on 1260’s signal.

    That tight pattern affects the east-west coverage along SR-82. I hear phase distortion as close as Strongsville to the west and Twinsburg to the east. At night in Twinsburg I hear the Cambridge station and not WCCR. That’s 5 kw @ ~12 miles from the transmitter!

    In the WRDZ days there were many time when we would run 1000w non directional so that tower work could be done. When we were NDA we could be heard in Aurora. I agree power is not everything if most of it gets dumped into Lake Erie. The station gets QSL reports from Lapland, above the Arctic Circle! One time during the WRDZ days a cassette was sent to the station that was recorded during my shift. The tape never made it here it was cut out of the envelope 🙁

    I tried to convince them to get a couple of FM translators along that east-west null.

    I wonder what it would take to get a power cut with a subsequent pattern modification to actually keep the signal over land. Translators or transmitter mods both cost $$$. Something they just don’t have. What do you folks think would be the most cost effective way to deal with the coverage issue?

    I was At WRDZ before and after the daytime pattern move from Seven Hills to the nighttime site in Brecksville. Before the move, one of the kids they hired from the broadcast school turned on the nighttime transmitter without shutting down the daytime transmitter. Dueling 5k transmitters 10 miles apart made the signal in Euclid (where I was at the time) sound like shortwave fading! Needless to say I was on the phone ASAP to explain to the kid what was happening and why.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by  michael p.
    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by  michael p.

    Participant
    #187664

    Thank you Michael P. for a very interesting post.  My Catholic Church in Berea occasionally gets information from and shares information about “The Rock”, but the signal is not so good.  I’ve listened to AM1260, on and off,  since it was the classic Top 40 powerhouse WIXY 1260.  My ability to pick up AM1260 was much better back then.  During its 1990s and early 21st century days as a “Radio Disney” affiliate, the signal was better then it is today.

    So Mr. P., is it your view that WCCR does not/may not need work done on their antenna system and transmitter?  The reason I brought this up is because I’ve heard a number of stories about AM stations seeing their technical/physical plants deteriorate.


    Participant
    #187666

    All I know is that the station was off the air for maintenance about a year ago. They made a statement about making improvements that will help for years to come.

    Do you know an engineer named Tracy? I don’t have his last name. He is the one currently maintaining WCCR’s transmitter. He was there back in the late 80’s when I was working for WRDZ. He could tell you more about the most recent improvements. I can only guess that the work may have been to the radials.


    Participant
    #187683

    The problem is that most of these directional AMs have patterns that were set up in the 1950s when the Cleveland population was hardly as spread out as it is today,  The big growth areas are west/southwest and there was almost nothing out there in the 1950s, so the directionals were set up to cover the city (more people lived in the city in those days) and the populated suburbs of the east side.  Go out to Avon at night and try to pick up any Cleveland AM except for WTAM.  Good luck.


    Participant
    #187685

    In the late 80’s early 90’s Gore-Overgard Broadcasting (the owners of 1260 as WRDZ) moved the daytime pattern site from Seven Hills to Brecksville near the Summit County line (where the nighttime pattern already was located). The sharp east-west null now hits squarely along SR-82 so Strongsville and Twinsburg gets little to no signal and what is receivable is highly distorted. They also upped the daytime power to 10KW.

    I wonder how the previous daytime pattern sounded when it was in Seven Hills? Where did the east-west nulls hit? It probably would have made driving along 480 similar to what SR-82 is today.


    Participant
    #187693

    I remember during the mid-late 60’s, when we had WIXY-1260, WHK 1420 and WKYC 1100 Top 40 stations, going east on 422 past Auburn, around La Due and the Cuyahoga River just past, WIXY was pretty much fringe on most transistor radios. WHK was better, but still a rimshot signal. WKYC lost some, but was the strongest of the 3. CKLW the Big 8 was stronger than WIXY and WHK, but not as strong as WKYC. IIRC WGAR 1220 was similar to WKYC, I don’t remember what WJW 850 and WERE 1300 were like as didn’t listen to them at the time. WJMO 1490 and WABQ 1540 was real fringe. The Youngstown and Warren AM’s came in better than WHK and WIXY. Of course the car radios at the time did a much better job, WHLO 640 has a pretty much local grade signal, even though was fringe in Garfield Hts. where I lived then.


    Participant
    #187696

    I remember during the mid-late 60’s, when we had WIXY-1260, WHK 1420 and WKYC 1100 Top 40 stations, going east on 422 past Auburn, around La Due and the Cuyahoga River just past, WIXY was pretty much fringe on most transistor radios. WHK was better, but still a rimshot signal. WKYC lost some, but was the strongest of the 3. CKLW the Big 8 was stronger than WIXY and WHK, but not as strong as WKYC. IIRC WGAR 1220 was similar to WKYC, I don’t remember what WJW 850 and WERE 1300 were like as didn’t listen to them at the time. WJMO 1490 and WABQ 1540 was real fringe. The Youngstown and Warren AM’s came in better than WHK and WIXY. Of course the car radios at the time did a much better job, WHLO 640 has a pretty much local grade signal, even though was fringe in Garfield Hts. where I lived then.

    Today if you are monitoring 1260 @ 422/LaDue the signal is gone! By the time you get to 82/5 outside Warren I could hear the 1260 from Washington DC!
    As for WHLO they have to protect a 630 in Canada so that is why it’s weak in Garfield. As a matter of fact what you hear on your radio in the Greater Cleveland area on 640 depends on the weather. Some days the 630 from Canada is stronger and beats up WHLO.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by  michael p.
    • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by  michael p.
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