Translators

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ChuckG
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Translators

Post by ChuckG » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:30 pm

What are the rules regarding an unrelated party building an FM translator to rebroadcast an AM primary station outside of it's coverage area? The rules I can find all refer to rebroadcasting an FM primary, not an AM. Do they apply to either service?
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Chuck Gennaro
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W2XJ
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Re: Translators

Post by W2XJ » Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:41 am

Tricky question. First, a commercial translator operating outside the primary commercial station's contour must be received off air. A possible work around would be to translate a fill in translator. Then the restriction would be the financial and technical separation between the station and the translator. This is something a lawyer with good FCC connections should investigate.

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Re: Translators

Post by Deep Thought » Thu Oct 27, 2016 9:58 am

They cannot be used except for fill-in, and that means that the 60 dBu of the translator must be both inside the 2 mV/m daytime contour of the AM station and a 25 mile radius circle from the AM site. If the translator is not owned by the AM licensee it must have a retransmission agreement with the licensee. You cannot use an existing compliant fill-in translator for the primary to extend coverage beyond the limits defined above.
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Re: Translators

Post by w9wi » Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:21 pm

I'm not a lawyer but I don't see anything in the rules that says you can't have a fill-in translator relay an AM, and then have another translator relay the fill-in. The AM station isn't the primary for the second translator -- the first translator is.

It does say a translator must be *intended* for direct reception by the public - not for relaying signals to something else - I'd think as long as you could show there were people within the service area of the fill-in translator you'd be OK.

Or am I missing something?
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Re: Translators

Post by Deep Thought » Thu Oct 27, 2016 9:26 pm

w9wi wrote:The AM station isn't the primary for the second translator
The AM station is the primary and is listed as such on the form 349 application since it is originating the programming. The translator would be listed in the "via" slot on the 349.

I have asked Jim Bradshaw, deputy chief of the FCC Media Bureau Audio Division to get the definitive answer to this question. I'll post his answer here when I get it.
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Re: Translators

Post by Deep Thought » Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:19 am

And here is the answer. It appears you can indeed retransmit a fill-in.

Jim,

I was asked an FM translator question I can’t find an answer for: Can an independently-owned FM translator with no connection to the primary station retransmit the signal of an AM fill-in translator?

Thanks for any insight you can provide.

- Mark Mueller
Mueller Broadcast Design


Yes – as long as they have permission to rebroadcast the AM.
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Re: Translators

Post by W2XJ » Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:37 am

It has been done. The first one I knew about was in NJ over 20 years ago.

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Re: Translators

Post by TPT » Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:15 pm

But that is a different question than the example given of a third party translator rebroadcasting an AM station outside of the 2 mv/m contour.

Not sure that would fly.

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Re: Translators

Post by Deep Thought » Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:45 pm

W2XJ wrote:It has been done. The first one I knew about was in NJ over 20 years ago.
Considering that the current rules allowing FM translators to rebroadcast AM stations have only been in effect since 2009, I doubt it. Anything before that was via one-off STA.
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ChuckG
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Re: Translators

Post by ChuckG » Fri Oct 28, 2016 7:50 pm

TPT wrote:But that is a different question than the example given of a third party translator rebroadcasting an AM station outside of the 2 mv/m contour.
Not sure that would fly.
Got a reply back from the stations legal counsel, they state it is allowed with the primary's permission. The remaining unresolved question is whether they are restricted to off-air reception to feed the translator.
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Re: Translators

Post by NECRAT » Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:18 pm

Deep Thought wrote:
W2XJ wrote:It has been done. The first one I knew about was in NJ over 20 years ago.
Considering that the current rules allowing FM translators to rebroadcast AM stations have only been in effect since 2009, I doubt it. Anything before that was via one-off STA.
That would be W237DE in Harrisburg, PA, which applied for the STA in October 2009.
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Re: Translators

Post by W2XJ » Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:17 pm

Actually the translator I was thinking of was FM. The infamous Jukebox radio Ft. Lee, NJ. The principle is the same, tough. A translator outside a station's coverage area translating a translator.

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Re: Translators

Post by knoxbob » Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:29 pm

If an FM translator outside of the primary coverage area has to receive it's signal from an over the air source how are all the translators that are out in the middle of nowhere getting away with rebroadcasting stations thousands of miles away?

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Deep Thought
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Re: Translators

Post by Deep Thought » Sun Jan 29, 2017 10:03 pm

They are probably noncom in the reserved band.
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Shane
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Re: Translators

Post by Shane » Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:12 pm

And I think we would be talking about what's informally called a satelator. (i.e.: translator fed program via satellite downlink) These are permitted in the non-comm reserved band, obviously only for non-comms.
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