My subscription to Life expired, but I still have a subscription to Mad.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Finding WFTU



In the previous installment of Surfin',  I wrote about adding WFTU to my AM radio log, but mentioned, "Oddly, I can not find a photo of the WFTU transmitter site. Radio-Locator points to 40° 54' 48" N,  72° 39' 16" W, but I don't see any antennas at that location on Google or Bing Maps. Go figure!"

Tom Dunbar, W6ESL, sent me an e-mail that he found the antennas.

"It took some messing around, and peering diligently at the photos provided by Mapper but I finally 'found' the 2 antenna array for this station.

"The two antennas are very difficult to pick out of the overhead photo - they are now\t in a neatly mowed field, but are in trees / scrub / brush where an old Drive In theater once was (according to the Topo map that Mapper allows you to look at).

"If you go to coordinates: N 40 54' 44" W 72 39' 12", and zoom in, you will eventually see two white dots.  The towers them selves are pretty invisible - they are essentially coming straight up into your eye.  However, if you look carefully, you will see the shadows of the two - straight lines coming out of thee two white dots.

"They are hard to see, but they are there."

After reading Tom's e-mail and revisiting the maps, I figured out why I did not find the WFTU towers. The coordinates that Tom provided differed from the coordinates provided by Radio-Locator. Using Tom's coordinates, I found the towers immediately (see the Bing Maps screen capture above), while the Radio-Locator coordinates were off just enough for me to miss the towers.

Now that I know that the documented coordinates are not necessarily dead-on, in the future I will make sure to look around the coordinates if the antennas don’t pop out at me as I did to find the CIWW transmitter site, whose coordinates were off by over a half-mile!

By the way, midday yesterday I added a needed Connecticut AM radio station to my log: the very weak S-0 to S-1 WSTC in Stamford transmitting 800 watts 49 miles southwest. Equipment used was the stock radio and antenna in my 2007 Subaru Outback Sport.

Until next time, keep on Surfin’!

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