Clipped From The Ottawa Journal
oodl news foir New equipment should improve reception By David Evans JOURNAL REPORTER If your ear for music has the FM-amplifier-tuning FM-amplifier-tuning FM-amplifier-tuning FM-amplifier-tuning FM-amplifier-tuning blues, government and industry spokesman have good news and bad news for you. The happy tidings are' that transmission transmission by the CBC's French and. English stations and three independents, independents, CFMO, CKBY and CIMF, probably probably will be improved soon by a joint $500,000 equipment investment to be installed at the Camp Fortune antenna. antenna. . The bad news is a matter of simple physics no matter what technological technological improvements are made, FM and tall buildings just don't mix very well. In many cases you may be able to improve reception by improving your stereo equipment or the position of your aerial, and stations may be able to improve their product, but experts insist that big buildings are always going jto be between . someone's receiver' receiver' and the station transmitter. Department of communications regional regional manager Ron Powers explains the culprit is a phenomenon called' "multi-path "multi-path "multi-path distortion." By bouncing off a building wall or other large object, the short waves of FM broadcast broadcast may arrive at a stereo from two or more different directions and thus not all at exactly the same time. . Station officials agree with Powers that Ottawa residents on average are no worse off than those in other cities. . - In fact, the Ryan Tower at Camp Fortune gives radio and television outlets one of the best jumping off points in the country, Powers and other industry spokesmen said. With the 1,100-foot 1,100-foot 1,100-foot head start given by the hill, its top is 1,900 feet above sea level. Its owner, Kathleen Ryan,. . points out that's about the same as the . CN Tower in Toronto. "The Ryan Tower , is the envy of many broad-casters broad-casters broad-casters throughout the world," she said. - West African musicians performing in Quebec QUEBEC (CP) Batourou Sekou Kouyate an unusual name In this part of the world plays an even more unusual instrument, the kora. And in his part of the world. West Africa, he's considered a master . . . but a master of a dying art. He and his group, including a vocalist vocalist and a balafon player, have been . performing as part of the Festival d'ete here, giving shows aboard the Louls-Jolliet Louls-Jolliet Louls-Jolliet on short cruises in the St. Lawrence. The balafon is a sort of wooden xylophone. Kouyate comes from the Republic of Mali where the kora is part of cultural history. The' instrument Is also known hv t . F M Insteimeirs An official at CHEZ-FM CHEZ-FM CHEZ-FM says that Centre Town, Glebe and Ottawa South residents may be hardest hit, because the signals have to travel through the downtown core from the Camp Fortune Fortune aerial to reach them. CHEZ-FM CHEZ-FM CHEZ-FM technical manager Tom Young adds that this doesn't mean stations couldn't make improvements to their equipment and in fact many are. neighboring Guinea, Gambia and Senegal, Senegal, which at one time belonged to the old Mall Empire. " As an employee of the Mali government, government, Kouyate has made tours of Europe and America, spreading the sound of the kora and the traditional music to new audiences elsewhere. With its 21 strings, the kora sounds something like a harp or a harp, sichord. The sound box is made of the shell of a calabash, covered with buffalo skin. The neck is of wood. Almost all of it is made in the ancient manner, the only concession to modern times being nylon strings, once made of gut which was susceptible susceptible to humidity. But he says most complaints can be laid at the door of multi-path multi-path multi-path distortion. distortion. Even the smallest readjustment of the aerial or movement of the receiver may do a lot of good, Young recommends. recommends. The CBC agrees that the Ryan tower may be the envy of broadcasters in other centres, but admits the same can not be said of its 12-year-old 12-year-old 12-year-old 12-year-old 12-year-old combiner, which does not provide ser, vice as uninterrupted and interference-free interference-free interference-free interference-free as new technology would make possible. Terry Kielty, general manager and vice-president vice-president vice-president of CFRA and CFMO-FM, CFMO-FM, CFMO-FM, explains that his station and the two other independents using the combiner combiner at the Ryan Tower are currently negotiating with CBC to share out the costs for a replacement they think will cost about $500,000 to $550,000. Robert Zieman, technical supervisor supervisor of transmission in Ottawa for the CBC, said the current equipment occasionally occasionally bums out one of the station's station's signals for a short time, and does not produce as clean a product as is now possible. In the last two months, reception for FM listeners of CBC, CFMO, CKBY" and CIMF has been particularly bad, especially beyond the city, because the stations have been operating at one-third one-third one-third power to allow repairs. However, Zieman said that process is virtually complete, and that full power on all stations will be restored within days.