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CBLY Radio Station, Haliburton Goes on the Air

May 24, 2023

The Tommy Hunter Show was heard on CBLY Monday to Friday from 1:15 to 1:45 pm

From the Haliburton County Echo, May 25, 1961

Haliburton’s first radio station goes on the air May 30, when CBLY begins broadcasting at 1400 kilocycles on your radio dial. CBLY is a low power relay transmitter (LPRT) one of 22 such miniature broadcasting stations operated by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Ontario. It will pick up and re-transmit all programs carried by the CBC trans-Canada network.

CBLY was set up to provide the only reliable radio service to the Haliburton area. Many residents have been able to receive broadcasts from various sources in the past, of course, but not everyone could depend on clear reception. For instance, those living on high ground had a much better chance of picking up radio broadcasts than those living in valleys.

Haliburton is at the extreme range of CBC Toronto’s outlet, CBL, and those who can receive that station direct will be able to hear trans-Canada network programs on at least two different wavelengths: 740 kcs (BCL) and 1400 kcs (CBLY).

One thing that the new station won’t change is the phenomenon usually called ‘freak’ reception—picking up radio stations hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Freak reception is the result of ‘sky waves’ ordinary radio waves which, instead of travelling in a straight line bounce off the ionosphere and thus reach double their usual range.

Although official broadcast hours of CBLY are from 8 am to 12 midnight, local residents may hear parts of programs during the half hours before 8 am and after midnight. During these periods the LPRT will be warming up and cooling down.

Listeners will also be able to eavesdrop on another program that is not meant for broadcast and is heard only by CBC personnel and those with LPRTs. This is the daily program resume, an internal radio telephone service CBC uses to transmit messages from point to point along the network when facilities are not being used to carry regular programs.

Although Haliburton residents get these ‘bonus’ programs, they miss out on one small feature of most radio stations—the station call letters. The letters CBLY will never be heard, instead when other network outlets are identifying themselves, CBLY listeners will hear 30 seconds of silence.

CBC now operates about 90 low power relay transmitters across Canada. Some other countries have become interested in the system and have come to Canada for advice on how to set up their own stations. For instance, the West Indes island of Jamaica now runs a number of such stations.

Canadiain LPRTs are designed by CBC engineers, built by private industry and installed and serviced by CBC engineers. Although there is no permanent staff on duty, CBC engineers check and maintain the station on a regular basis.

One thing CBC cannot do regularly is to monitor the station—this is, listen regularly for flaws in performance. That’s where Haliburton residents come into the picture. CBC would appreciate hearing from any listeners who encounter problems in receiving programs over LPRT. This does not include, of course, troubles with your own radio set, only the transmitter. Letters, giving details of date, time and type of trouble experienced can be sent to CBC Engineering Dept., Box 500, Toronto. There are no prizes, only the continuing satisfaction of good, interference free radio reception.

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