Geller Labs

Geller Labs


2009 NPR FM Broadcast Utica New York Coverage

We recently completed an interesting project to measure the signal strength in part of the intended coverage area of the three NPR FM Broadcast stations in the Utica, NY area. The survey was done for WRUN (WAMC, Albany), WRVN (WRVO, Syracuse), and WUNY (WCNY, Syracuse).

Signal strength was measured using a car equipped with a fixed rigid vertical antenna, a spectrum analyzer with digitizer, and a GPS.

WRUN Remsen/Utica, a WAMC Albany NPR station.

WRVN Utica, a WRVO Syracuse NPR station.

WUNY Utica, a WCNY Syracuse classical music station.

All signal strength data is in dBuV (0 dB = 1 uV), a log (logarithm) scale. Red (no coverage) is below 30 dBuV; Yellow (poor to fair/good) from 30 dBuV to 55 dBuV; Green (fair/good to strong) above 55 dBuV. 16 dBuV was the noise floor for the scale used in this test with an 80 dBuV reference scale.

Heading error (the direction the car was traveling) is believed to be on the order of 5 dBuV or less. Overall system errors are believed to be on the order of 10 dBuV or less, data is not NIST traceble.

Spectrum Analyzer: Agilent 8594E, Frequency: station being surveyed; span: zero; resolution bandwidth: 100 kHz; video bandwidth: 100 Hz; sweep: 15 milliseconds; video average: 5 sweeps.

Digitizer: Agilent 34410A receiving the 8594E aux video output; 10 power line cycle averaging.

GPS: Garmin eTrex Vista HCx with GPSGate software or Garmin GPS 18x USB with Garmin's Spanner program.

Antenna: rigid base section cut from a fiberglass HF whip antenna, mounted on a magnet mount, about 31.1", no passive components, counterpoise about 3.5' by 4', center of radiation about 2 meters above ground level.

Data taking: A Dell Vostro laptop running a custom vi (the control and data acquisition "program") on National Instruments LabView 8.6 (now LabView 2010).

Conversion of data to Google EarthTM KML files:

AC power was provided by a Morningstar pure sinewave 300 Watt AC Inverter.

GELLER has no affiliation with NPR, NPR Labs, WRUN, WAMC, WRVN, WRVO, WCNY, or WUNY. These measurements were not requested by NPR or any of its affiliates.

QUESTIONS/COMMENTS? send email to joegeller @ gellerlabs dot com

COPYRIGHT © 2009 JOSEPH M. GELLER, All rights reserved, Data may not be used for any purpose without express permission.


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