WJIB-AM 740 translator on 101.3 FM

WJIB targets listeners with a one-of-a-kind playlist and commentary from Bob Bittner, who runs companion AM/FM stations in coastal Maine. WJIB-AM 740 is also on FM translator W267CE 101.3 FM from the same tower as WJIB. Much like the Bloomberg FM translator, WJIB displaced pirate broadcasters after repeated FCC citations.

FM Translator co-channel interference: WMRC 101.3 FM translator in Milford, MA is only 34 km away and drastically limits WJIB 101.3 FM coverage to the western Boston suburbs. This is the nature of modern FM broadcast, and the FCC AM Revitalization effort to squeeze in more stations. Modern FM receivers digitally narrow their bandwidth to accommodate strong adjacent signals, and the low capture ratio of wideband FM ensures a relatively pleasant transition between stations at the edge of the coverage area. Roughly 10 dB of desired/undesired (D/U) signal ratio is required on WBFM (broadcast FM 88-108 MHz) for a listenable > 40 dB audio SNR output.

The WMRC 101.3 W267CD translator has mild directivity to the north, but spills signal excessively into the Boston area. This hurts WMRC as well since they are wasting power toward areas where WJIB interferes heavily. WMRC should consider reaiming the W267CD antenna to improve WMRC and WJIB coverage.\

FM translator interference map with interference in red and coverage in green.

WMRC interferes with WJIB on 101.3 FM. Area of significant (< 10 dB D/U) interference in red and coverage (> 10 D/U and > -100 dBm to automotive FM antenna) in green.

A pirate broadcaster was previously using 101.3 as well. They destroyed nearly 70% of the WJIB coverage area. Below is an illustration of affected regions–all the southern suburbs and even regions to the east and north of Boston are impacted severely by this pirate. The Fenway area and the regions east of Fenway were highly negatively impacted by the pirate.

The more powerful WJIB cut pirate coverage to 1/2 - 1 mile radius from the pirate transmitter. The pirate in effect covered about 5 sq. miles, yet interfered with over 350 sq. miles of WJIB coverage. This is why we have an FCC and long distances between co-channel stations, even when one or both are very low power (< 250 watts).


The pirate transmissions are clipped/overmodulated, causing interference to other Boston area FM stations from splatter. Additionally, intermodulation from the three closely-spaced antennas occurs in the poorly-filtered transmitters. Combinations of multiples of the transmitter frequencies makes out-of-band interference products that bother services such as Logan Airport radio frequencies. Various intermodulation spreadsheet calculators exist. Pascal intermodulation calculator with source code modernized to work with current Pascal compilers.

Why AM stations need FM translators, especially for low power (or no power) nighttime Class D AM stations like WJIB 740 AM, distant AM stations drastically reduce nighttime coverage. WJIB 740 AM single-tower omni-directional coverage uses 250 watts by day, but only 5 watts by night. This means you need to almost see the WJIB tower at night to receive it on 740 AM as illustrated below.

Northeastern US night-time AM skywave overlap 740 kHz

WJIB 740 AM is crushed at night by a Canadian station. Plot courtesy https://www.nf8m.com/patternmaps_night.html.