Strategic Technical Planning for Broadcasters


Skywaves formally objects to the new FCC FM translator interference rule
Over 850 applications were filed in the January window for AM stations to file applications for new FM translators.
Effective date April 10, 2017.
2016 window translators may be moved again.
LED tower lights can save money on power, but many are invisible to the Night Vision Goggles used by the Coast Guard, civilian operators like Medevac helicopters, and the military.
Save some birds, save a little money - but only if your tower is at least 450' tall.
In its Rural Radio proceeding (MB Docket 09-52), the FCC placed new limitations on community changes. A recent release clarifies some of this.
Want to change your station's community in order to do an upgrade? You must read this.
Many FM broadcasters may benefit from the ongoing downgrades of under-height Class C stations.
With the digital conversion of broadcast television, many stations in the NCE reserved band below 92 MHz may upgrade their facilities.
New power to visualize FM upgrade potential.
The FCC now allows two-step minor-change upgrades and relocations.

Principal Biography

Dave Doherty is the principal consultant and owner of Skywaves Consulting LLC.

Dave returns to Badlands National Park after 50 years

Dave's career in broadcasting started in 1967, during his senior year in high school. He was a transmitter engineer with a 5 kW AM station that was a ten minute bike ride down the road from his home. His first FM project was a college thesis aimed at getting a station for his college in 1972. The station went on the air in 1975 and is operating today.

Dave has been involved with a number of projects to create new FM stations and upgrade existing stations, and has been an owner of five stations.

In 1973, Dave proposed in a letter to the FCC that FM Class C should be broken up into C and C1, and that Class A stations should be allowed on all channels. Seven years later, that proposal was eventually adopted, along with further subdivisions of the C and B classes. This led to hundreds of new allotments and a huge industry in upgrades for FM stations.

In 1995, he kicked off a wave of FM station upgrades by proposing to change the frequencies of two key FM stations in the Northwest, allowing one to upgrade from Class C3 to C1 and opening the floodgates for dozens of other station improvements.

Dave's current projects include matching up FM Translators for AM stations, upgrading stations in markets as large as Boston, Portland, OR, and Minneapolis to mid-sized markets like Worcester and Duluth, and small markets far and wide.

Dave has developed highly advanced software simulation tools for FM stations and unique new software to provide analysis of FM Translator move-in capabilities and AM translation potential. In addition, Dave was the architect of one of the most advanced FM allocations applications publicly available, the FM Explorer, shown here.

Dave is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), an associate member of the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers (AFCCE) and an associate member of the Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA). He is active in FCC matters relating to engineering, deregulation, FCC database operations, and regulatory fees, and has served as a credentialed FCC Contractor.

As an entrepreneur and former station owner, Dave is acutely aware of the pressures, time constraints, and issues facing owners and managers.

Dave has been deeply involved in advanced technologies for decades. He and his team received an Emmy Award for developing solid-state CCD television cameras. He was involved in the development of HDTV in its early phases in the 1980s and 1990s.

More recently, Dave has been involved with a variety of clients in emergency preparedness planning, HD Radio deployment planning, tower failure analysis, centralized monitoring of multiple transmitter sites, and prepurchase inspections and regulatory compliance.

In addition to his broadcasting interests, Dave is a licensed pilot with instrument and multiengine ratings, and holds endorsements for complex and high-performance aircraft. He has crewed hot-air balloons and logged helicopter and sailplane time. He has written several published articles about flying and survival preparedness, with a particular emphasis on the US desert southwest. For many years, Dave was a pilot for Miracle Flights for Kids, a Las Vegas-based volunteer organization that provides free airborne medical transportation for children whose families cannot afford it.

Dave developed and flight tested cockpit warning and information systems in the mid 1990s of the type that are only now coming into general use and have saved many lives.

He works with tower owners, the FAA, and the FCC, to identify towers with incorrect location and/or height data, and has corrected many potentially dangerous situations in which aeronautical information provided to pilots was incorrect. He also works with tower owners to improve lighting and/or painting ("marking") to make towers more visible to pilots. 

Dave is shown above at the controls of a Falcon 20 jet simulator.

Skywaves Consulting LLC
PO Box 4
Millbury, MA 01527-0004
(401) 354-2400

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