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Surfin’: Hunting Broadcast Radio Transmitters

02/24/2012

By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin’ wonders where the transmitter went -- and finds it on the Internet.

It was easy when there were only three AM radio stations in town. The antenna towers of WATR were only two blocks away and dominated my neighborhood. WWCO's tower was clearly visible up the valley about three miles away, and WBRY's towers were a little further north -- not visible from my home -- but an easy spot when traveling around the north end of town.

But things got complicated.

WATR added a TV station to the mix, call signs changed, WATR TV moved from the AM radio site, FM stations came on the air, FM stations changed hands and changed call signs, new towers went up here, there and everywhere. You couldn’t tell a radio site without a scorecard.

Need a scorecard?

Radio-Locator fills the bill. It claims to be “the most comprehensive radio station search engine on the internet” with “links to over 10,000 radio station web pages and over 2500 audio streams from radio stations in the US and around the world.”

You can search by location or call sign. When Radio-Locator finds a station, it displays its technical information including the coordinates of the station’s transmitter. Click on the coordinates and a new browser window opens a Google Map, displaying the transmitter’s location. How cool is that?

Thank you, Bob Mudra, AK9RM, for reminding about Radio-Locator.

Until next time, keep on surfin’

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, seeks the unusual in radio. To contact Stan, send e-mail or add comments to the WA1LOU blog.



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