Friday, June 08, 2018

AM Stations in Major Canadian Markets


Numeris, which monitors Canada’s media landscape, recently published their spring ratings in major markets, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal. I took a look at the numbers, to see how the AM stations fared. Only commercial and CBC stations are listed, so a religious station like CJCA Edmonton 930 is not there.

Vancouver:
AM listening seems to be «alive and well», all things considered, with CBU-690 and CKNW-980 on the top two spots with 16.0 and 11.6 % share respectively. On the bottom though is 50-kW CFTE-1410 with 0.2 %. CKST-1050, CHMJ-1320 and CISL-650 don’t do too well either, 1.8, 1.0 and 1.2 %.

Calgary:
Not much difference from Vancouver. Two AM stations top the list, CHQR-770 with 9.4 % and CBR-1010 with 9 %.  CKMX-1060 is at the bottom of the AM list with 1.8 %.

Edmonton:
More FM dominance here. CBX-740 is no. 3 with 7.5 %, CHED-630 no. 4, 7.4 %. CHQT-880 seems to struggle with only 1.3 %.

Toronto:
It seems like the further east, the worse AM performance. CFRB-1010 is no. 5 in the Toronto market with a share of 6.6 %. The high-powered CHUM-1050 can’t make much money with a 0.4 % share.

Montreal:
AM is all but dead among the French-speaking listeners, as even the two English-speaking AM stations CJAD-800 and CKGM-690 have higher ratings than the French-speaking stations! CHRF-980 is the best French-speaking AM station in the French market with 0.3 %, CKAC is 0.1 %. Will they survive? In the English market, CJAD-800 has a stunning 30.6 % market share, while CKGM-690 has only 2.1 %.

The news stations mostly seem to do well in these markets. The sports stations however, is a sad story. But I suppose they may be cheaper to run.

Potential death list, ratings 2 % or lower:
Vancouver: CFTE-1410, CHMJ-1320, CISL-650, CKST-1040.
Calgary: CKMX-1060.
Edmonton: CHQT-880.
Toronto: CHUM-1050.
Montreal: CKAC-730, CHRF-980.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Will We See The RFSpace CloudSDR This Year?

The excellent 0-56 MHz Cloud-IQ has been out for quite some time, and will likely have HDSDR support in not too long, along with the NetSDR. Its "big brother", the CloudSDR, was expected to arrive not much later, but apparently has been delayed. Recent tweets from RFSpace may indicate that it may be on its way. Their web page state Q4-2018 for release.

The CloudSDR uses a 122.88 MHz ADC for the HF part up to 56 MHz, and a silicon tuner above, up to 1000 MHz or more. It may look like the HF is part is just another Cloud-IQ, but its spurious-free dynamic range is 7 dB better, and it has 3 dB better SNR. Sensitivity claims are identical.

The I/Q sampling on the tweet images is 2048000 Hz, a bit more than the Cloud-IQ which stops at 1807058 Hz (1536 kHz alias-free). I guess VHF DX-ers would love to be able to sample a lot more. but there is no indication of that so far.

There are separate antenna inputs for HF and VHF/UHF use. I  have been wondering if the CloudSDR would offer the same dual-antenna, software-selectable input as the Cloud-IQ has. The latest 3D model may suggest such a solution, as an "Aux RF" input has been added. It would be very cool to be able to change antennas via software

There are two other inputs as well, one for 10-MHz reference, and one trigger input, neither found on its smaller brother.

Input voltage will be 5VDC, and preliminary specs suggest that it needs 1.3mA, a little less than the NetSDR. The Cloud-IQ can be powered from a USB 3.0 port (even a good-quality USB 2.0 port), which makes it a perfect SDR for a mobile setup with a PC connected to a 12VDC battery. I hope that the CloudSDR's final design will require a little less current.

The MSRP is USD 999. We'll see if it ends up there.
All images from RFSpace.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

QSL: WLIK Newport TN 1270

"WLIK, The Smokies Oldies!"  This was the surprising announcement mixing with WXYT one morning in early January on Smøla island. A most friendly email response was received today, thanks OJ Sagdahl for v/s info.


Upcoming HDSDR Support For The RFSpace NetSDR

HDSDR has evolved into a flexible and powerful SDR interface, yet easy on your PC's CPU and memory. While I use Jaguar almost exclusively together with my four Perseus SDRs, I tend to want to use HDSDR for my other SDRs. However, the RFSpace range of SDRs have been unsupported. But that is about to change.

During the first days of May, German programmer Hayati Aygüen worked on the ExtIO dll, and I tested the dlls on my NetSDR. After a few versions, it was rated good enough for Hayati to publish the dll on Github. It's not finished yet, but it does work, with 21 different sample rates from 2 MHz to 12.5 kHz. It will likely be fully developed this summer.

Hopefully, it will be possible to make a dll for the Cloud-IQ as well. And maybe for the CloudSDR, when it enters the market.

The picture below shows the NetSDR sampling 1 MHz . The poor signal levels was propagation, not the radio...


Monday, May 07, 2018

QSL: WMCA New York NY 570

WMCA is heard from time to time at Smøla island. An early January log was sent off to the CE, who confirmed my reception this afternoon.

QSL: 2SM Sydney NSW, 1269

This 5-kW station had a great signal one April evening in 2017. It was a bit difficult to find someone who would find interest in my report, but I received a very friendly email response today.

Friday, April 27, 2018

QSL: WRMN Elgin IL 1410

There are some strange radio formats in the US. One is Beatles-only (KJME 890), and then there is the radio shopping format, found on KHSP 1400 (heard in 2013), and also on WRMN. Everything for revenue, I suppose.
WRMN was heard the last day in March, and a brief but friendly email  confirmed my reception today.

QSL: WONE Dayton OH 980

WONE was noted with excellent signal levels one night during our Mount Loran remote stunt last October. Quick and friendly response from their CE last night. #15 on 980.

Monday, April 23, 2018

QSL: WPGR Monroeville PA, 1510

WPGR was heard with "We Are One Body" Catholic programming one evening in early January, while still on daytime power. Friendly response from the Operations Manager this evening. Thanks OJS for info.


Saturday, April 14, 2018

MW DX Season Is Over - Time To Tidy Up!

Mid-April is rarely an exiting time for DX in my latitude. And with the current solar disturbance, there was really no point in doing another week. So, starting this weekend, gear will be packed away, and the beverages removed. What will remain is the 70-metre longwire and of course the KongSDR.
It's been an unusually snowy winter, and the first one where I simply didn't find the starting point of the 310-degrees beverage! Let's hope for a quick thaw.

Propagation has not been outstanding. Especially the first, often exciting part of the season got hammered with corona holes. Still, quite an amount of new stations. I'm especially satisfied with finally hearing a good ID on Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, 1035 kHz, and the new Radio Kiribati outlet on Christmas Islands, 846 kHz.

Where is it???

A few cables & stuff to put away...