Interesting observation with local 89.3 WPFW on low power

wpfwnewEarlier this week, I wrote about how local 89.3 WPFW Washington, DC is on low power due to an “essential maintenance project.”  I’ve been running unattended recordings on 89.3 FM for the past few days nonstop, and I’ve come to find some interesting observations.

With my antenna aimed to the south, away from WPFW, I still get the occasional fade-in from the station (it comes in staticy but listenable when aimed NW toward its backup transmitter).  However, I’ve been getting very weak, but reliable reception from relog 89.3 WTEB New Bern, NC, 100kw @ 246 miles away continuously throughout the past few days.  For the most part, there has been no tropo enhancement of merit toward North Carolina (or anywhere, for the matter), this past week.  Typically during deadband conditions, I can only pick up stations within 135 miles on the very few empty frequencies I still have.  WTEB, on the other hand, is coming in like a semi-local in terms of reliability, however very quiet and just above the noise level.

WPFW, which is 21 miles away from me and operates at 50kw under normal conditions, was off-air in early June 2008.  I’m not sure why.  However, during the station’s absence in 2008, I first logged WTEB and 89.3 WVTU Charlottesville, VA, 195 watts at 93 miles away.  So far, WVTU has not popped in, based on unattended recordings.  If only more stations would go off-air or on low power so I can log other regional stations on its frequency!