Sunday, March 9, 2008

more about 90.5 FM

For more information about the weird
phenomenon I found at 90.5 FM, these
search patterns are handy:

"LPFM" (FCC's new licensing area, low-power FM)
"godcasters" (major orgs. who filed thousands of applications)

"radio assist ministry"
"edgewater broadcasting" (corps. holding large # of licenses)

One problem is that a lot of content from thousands
of miles away (megachurches) would be on bandwidth
that is supposed to have local community content
(local churches, hobby DJs, local news, meetings, games, etc)
via the thousands of repeater licenses granted.

There has been a MITRE study saying interference
(with normal FM reception) is not a problem. I am
pretty sure people who enjoy visiting different communities
via FMDX was not considered.

Visiting local flavor is doubly ruined by thousands of relay
stations and replayed contents. Once by drowning out
local hobby and school stations (heard via FMDX during
an advancing warm front, for example), and once again
by favoring big nationally syndicated contents over
know community organizations and churches.

But this elevator music is the prelude.
What actually happens remains to be seen.

To examine some local frequencies, here is the FCC

Right now is the easiest time to spot the LPFM permits.
They show as NEW where the call letters should be.

In NH, at 90.5 and 90.7, I see:

90.5: auburn, n.londonderry, derry, hillsboro

90.7: barrington, northwood ridge, dover,
northwood, plymouth

Mass has fewer (likely because spaces are occupied),
but I see the well-known
Calvary Chapel of Twin Falls Idaho with a license
at 90.5 (WSMA Scituate), and I see news
in the web about their exotic beaming antennas.
I also see a link at the WICN (Worcester Jazz NPR)
station for all the complaints about interference at 90.5 there.

From out west, here is an example of potential usage.
KFMW appears on these repeaters, with more to come:

K230AS 93.9 FM Fergus Falls, MN (250 watts)
K233BN 94.5 FM Aberdeen, SD (5 watts)
K237CV 95.3 FM Grafton, ND (165 watts)
K240CJ 95.9 FM Oakes, ND (250 watts)
K246AM 97.1 FM Jamestown, ND (170 watts)
K248AZ 97.5 FM Devils Lake, ND (160 watts)
K255BP 98.9 FM Milbank, SD (160 watts)
K257DW 99.3 FM Lisbon, ND (130 watts)
K269FI 101.7 FM Cavalier, ND (225 watts)
K274BH 102.7 FM Valley City, ND (165 watts)
K290BI 105.9 FM Wahpeton, ND (10 watts)
K296FW 107.1 FM Aberdeen, SD (250 watts)
K300BG 107.9 FM Grand Forks, ND (140 watts)

Local concent? LPFM? You can't be serious.

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