Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dubious Coverage

I was putzing around the I'net and came to this site, which offers radio station information. WVUD, the University of Delaware station, has a 1,000 Watt signal. Not very strong; we've been trying to get a stronger signal to allow the fine shows to at least make it down to the beach areas of Delaware. But approval has been slow, i.e., not forth-coming. As a point of comparison, UPenn's radio station WXPN (it's a funny private sort of thing that seems to be a for profit enterprise) broadcasts at 5,000 Watts and WHYY, the Mother of all Public Radio Stations in the Philly Metro area booms out at 13,500 Watts.
The picture here (a Tip of the Hat to Radio Locator) notes the coverage WVUD supposedly has. As I work in the outer southern reaches of that coverage, I can attest that WVUD never gets down there. Perhaps, if all of the other radio stations broadcasting in the are were to go dead, 'VUD might be heard on some super-receiver. But your regular car radio? Nada.
The reason I wanted to post this picture is to point out the coverage "rings". The red is for local coverage. The purple is for distant coverage while the blue is for fringe. This must be the theoretical coverage. Realistically, you can barely hear 'VUD past the red circle. Crackliness hits soon after. If you're in the "fringe", forget it. You'd need a boiling imagination and a copious amount of (prescribed, of course) drugs to "hear" anything from WVUD.

What interests me about the coverage "rings" is that they are not more circular. In fact, on the western and northern areas of the "rings", the circle caves in as if might radio forces are hitting those flanks, preventing the non-profit dj-run shows from "invading" the pre-programmed humungous stations' space. It's not as if there are huge mountains in that part of Delaware of Pennsylvania holding back the soundwaves form our dinky station. We are but a flea in the radio market around here


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