Over the weekend, an article appeared on Quora, claiming that CBK has the largest daytime coverage area of any AM (530-1700) station in the world. And, specifically compared Hungary’s 2 million watt Transmitter Solt, which suffers from poor ground conductivity. Not only was CBK’s transmitter site at Watrous, Saskatchewan, specifically chosen for its high ground conductivity, but CBC Vancouver Engineers, interviewed 55 years ago, stated that ground conductivity was further enhanced by quarter mile long ground radials laid out in every direction from the tower. Recent research of contemporary newspaper articles confirms the purchase by the CBC of a Quarter Section of Land in Watrous before CBK first signed on in 1939. A Quarter Section measures half a mile by half a mile. With a tower in the center, radials could be a quarter mile long without going off the property. What is less clear is the mention of metal railway rails during that late 1960s CBC interview. Were railway rails used, or did the ground radials resemble railway rails? Whatever the case, CBK was the strongest non-local on the dial during the day in Edmonton on a visit there in July 1967 (coverage map from CBK’s verification on last page – pb).

540 SK Watrous CBK Reputedly has the largest daytime coverage of any AM station in the world. CBK was originally built to cover the entire Prairies: Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and the K in CBK stands for Henry Kelsey (1664-1724), the first European to see much of the Canadian Prairies.

870 BC Invermere CKIR Heard in Edmonton on the wee hours of December 3rd, with the usual “adult hits” format, again sounding like they were stuck on 1 KW day power, after more than a week of Auroral conditions that had left WWL dominant. No sign of anything else except during regular but short fades, when KFLD Pasco WA could be heard.

920 MB Portage la Prairie CFRY Heard in West Michigan with “It’s Real Country Radio, CFRY” ID on November 21st, likely just after switching to 25KW day power and pattern.

1610 ON Toronto CHHA Celebrated their 17th Anniversary on November 25th with the announcement that they are now running 10 KW day and night, with the same directional pattern, using a live guy wire on their single tower, to provide a deep Null towards Montreal and CHRN-1610.

100 years ago, on December 11 1921, Canadian Ted Rogers Sr was the only Canadian to complete the Trans-Atlantic Test, transmitting a signal from Toronto that was heard in Scotland by Paul F Godley, who was sent there by the ARRL specifically for this Test. Prior to this, Marconi was using frequencies around 600 for all transmissions across the Atlantic, but Rogers and others proved that 1500 was also viable for distant transmissions. Rogers was one of the few successful contestants to use Spark Gap, rather than CW, for his Morse Code transmissions during the Test. He was 21 years old at the time and would go on to invent AC-powered radio transmitters and consumer radio receivers, and do pioneering work in TV, FM and Radar before his premature death in 1939.
The Facebook page Canadian Radio News by Dan Sys provides much of the information for this column, with additional tips from Doc Searls, Bob Tarte, John Leonardelli, and Glenn Hauser.
(IRCA DX Monitor Dec 11, published Dec 6)

Glenn Hauser, WOR iog (2021-12-07)