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A Visit to Mt. San Bruno

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  • Nick Sayer
    The wife and I took a drive to the summit of Mt. San Bruno yesterday. It was actually quite easy, compared to the trip to the summit of Mt. Diablo we made a
    Message 1 of 9 , Sep 1, 2008
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      The wife and I took a drive to the summit of Mt. San Bruno yesterday. It was actually quite
      easy, compared to the trip to the summit of Mt. Diablo we made a few weeks ago (KTNC
      transmits from up there, and KTFK from a nearby peak to the North until 2/17, though
      the Mt. Diablo visitor center is much more interesting).

      It reminds me a lot of Mt. Soledad, except that there is a lot more human habitation
      nearby on that mountain. Mt. San Bruno is a county park except for the patch of ground at
      the summit.

      Alas, though the buildings are labeled with FCC site IDs, those IDs ore not correlated (on
      the sign) to the actual transmitters. I tried to google the numbers from up there, but the
      cell coverage was sub-par. It might have something to do with the hundreds of thousands
      of watts of UHF coursing through the air. :)

      But from the look of the antennas and a glance at the FoolTV maps, my guess is that the
      building at the end of the summit road is probably KNTV. Somewhat back from that is
      probably either KKPX or KTSF. Off to the East is a little tiny cinderblock building that I'm
      going to guess is either KMMC or KFTL.

      Of course, there's probably lots of non-TV stuff up there too, so it's probable that I am
      entirely wrong.

      From the summit you could, of course, clearly see Sutro Tower to the North. It appeared
      that the summit was very close in elevation to the set of cross-arms at the top of the
      tower proper (not including the actual antennae that rise up from those crossarms).

      Looking ENE from the summit, there was a mountain poking up out of the haze that just
      HAD to be Mt. Diablo - nothing else really makes sense.

      Having visited, it's quite surprising to me that Mt. San Bruno was the site of choice for
      broadcasters until the construction of Sutro Tower. I'd have guessed that it would have
      been more desirable to locate somewhere along Skyline Blvd on the ridge that runs up the
      peninsula, as it looked to me like those ridges were higher. I guess Mt. San Bruno would
      have shaded significant populations from those sites, just as that ridge shades Half Moon
      Bay. It's also possible that the increased altitude on that ridge would have made it too
      difficult to find a clear frequency, as there would be more exposure to the Central Valley.

      Mt. San Bruno isn't hard to visit. If you use Google Maps, it will route you all the way
      through to the summit. The one wrinkle is that Google will attempt to route you through a
      closed gate. The actual way in is through the San Bruno county park enterance directly
      across the street from that locked gate. That is, turn the opposite direction from how
      Google says. You'll go past an unstaffed ranger shack where you're supposed to pay the $5
      vehicle entry fee (waived for those with a disabled placard). Follow the sign to the summit
      road and you'll go under the road you just left and around and join up with a spur leading
      from that locked gate. That road goes directly to the summit. Unlike Mt. Diablo, the road
      is steep and doesn't take half an hour to go up.

      Visiting Sutro Tower would be another field trip, but since the tower just sort of rises out
      of the middle of a neighborhood, it's not quite as interesting like the more isolated sites
      are.

      The other major site for this market is Mt. Alison (KDTV & KSTS) / Monument Peak (KICU /
      KTEH). Unfortunately, so far as I can tell, the roads that go up to those sites are not open
      to the public. You can, however, easily see the towers as you drive up towards Fremont on
      I-880.
    • Richard Swank
      You are correct about the towers. The Bruno site like many in this area is owned by American Tower Corporation and the tower registration numbers are issued
      Message 2 of 9 , Sep 1, 2008
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        You are correct about the towers.  The Bruno site like many in this area is owned by American Tower Corporation and the tower registration numbers are issued to them as they own the towers and buildings.  The road is called Radio Road and is probably in Daley City if you are using GPS to locate the site.  The park is open 8:00am to 8:00pm in the summer.

         

        There are a number of FMs and many, many two-way repeaters up there as well.  There is a lot of RF there but it is all below the FCC limits in the public areas.  If you try to lock or unlock your car parked in the lot you have to be real close to the car as the RF interferes with those as well. 

         

        Bruno was probably picked originally by the TV as it covers SF pretty well and that was the major city population at the time, has microwave paths to the studios, and it was an established tower site without too many environmental issues.  You will note that the old KGO satellite antenna area on the right as you drive up the hill has them painted GREEN to match the brush however.


        From: HDTV-in-SFbay@yahoogroups.com [mailto: HDTV-in-SFbay@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Nick Sayer
        Sent: Monday, September 01, 2008 12:02 AM
        To: HDTV-in-SFbay@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [HDTV-in-SFbay] A Visit to Mt. San Bruno

         

        The wife and I took a drive to the summit of Mt. San Bruno yesterday. It was actually quite
        easy, compared to the trip to the summit of Mt. Diablo we made a few weeks ago (KTNC
        transmits from up there, and KTFK from a nearby peak to the North until 2/17, though
        the Mt. Diablo visitor center is much more interesting) .

        It reminds me a lot of Mt. Soledad , except that there is a lot more human habitation
        nearby on that mountain. Mt. San Bruno is a county park except for the patch of ground at
        the summit.

        Alas, though the buildings are labeled with FCC site IDs, those IDs ore not correlated (on
        the sign) to the actual transmitters. I tried to google the numbers from up there, but the
        cell coverage was sub-par. It might have something to do with the hundreds of thousands
        of watts of UHF coursing through the air. :)

        But from the look of the antennas and a glance at the FoolTV maps, my guess is that the
        building at the end of the summit road is probably KNTV. Somewhat back from that is
        probably either KKPX or KTSF. Off to the East is a little tiny cinderblock building that I'm
        going to guess is either KMMC or KFTL.

        Of course, there's probably lots of non-TV stuff up there too, so it's probable that I am
        entirely wrong.

        From the summit you could, of course, clearly see Sutro Tower to the North. It appeared
        that the summit was very close in elevation to the set of cross-arms at the top of the
        tower proper (not including the actual antennae that rise up from those crossarms).

        Looking ENE from the summit, there was a mountain poking up out of the haze that just
        HAD to be Mt. Diablo - nothing else really makes sense.

        Having visited, it's quite surprising to me that Mt. San Bruno was the site of choice for
        broadcasters until the construction of Sutro Tower . I'd have guessed that it would have
        been more desirable to locate somewhere along Skyline Blvd on the ridge that runs up the
        peninsula, as it looked to me like those ridges were higher. I guess Mt. San Bruno would
        have shaded significant populations from those sites, just as that ridge shades Half Moon
        Bay. It's also possible that the increased altitude on that ridge would have made it too
        difficult to find a clear frequency, as there would be more exposure to the Central Valley .

        Mt. San Bruno isn't hard to visit. If you use Google Maps, it will route you all the way
        through to the summit. The one wrinkle is that Google will attempt to route you through a
        closed gate. The actual way in is through the San Bruno county park enterance directly
        across the street from that locked gate. That is, turn the opposite direction from how
        Google says. You'll go past an unstaffed ranger shack where you're supposed to pay the $5
        vehicle entry fee (waived for those with a disabled placard). Follow the sign to the summit
        road and you'll go under the road you just left and around and join up with a spur leading
        from that locked gate. That road goes directly to the summit. Unlike Mt. Diablo , the road
        is steep and doesn't take half an hour to go up.

        Visiting Sutro Tower would be another field trip, but since the tower just sort of rises out
        of the middle of a neighborhood, it's not quite as interesting like the more isolated sites
        are.

        The other major site for this market is Mt. Alison (KDTV & KSTS) / Monument Peak (KICU /
        KTEH). Unfortunately, so far as I can tell, the roads that go up to those sites are not open
        to the public. You can, however, easily see the towers as you drive up towards Fremont on
        I-880.

      • Larry Kenney
        How about a little history? To follow up on Nick s and Richard s comments, the building and tower used by KNTV, analog and digital, at the end of Radio Road
        Message 3 of 9 , Sep 1, 2008
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          How about a little history? To follow up on Nick's and Richard's
          comments, the building and tower used by KNTV, analog and digital, at
          the end of Radio Road on Mt. San Bruno has been previously used by
          two other TV stations. It was originally the transmitter site for
          KDTV on channel 60. KCSM was on channel 14 transmitting from the
          College of San Mateo Campus. For some reason unknown to me, the two
          stations swapped channels in 1979. KDTV moved to their present site
          on Mt. Alison on channel 14 and KCSM moved from the college campus to
          channel 60 on Mt. San Bruno. I can't remember if the channel change
          and the transmitter move happened at the same time or not. (Don
          Hackler might be able to fill us in on that.)

          The two buildings to the north of KNTV house KTSF analog and digital
          and KKPX digital only. (KKPX channel 65 analog transmits from Loma
          Prieta Mountain where KNTV used to transmit from.) From what I've
          been able to determine, KTSF is on the tower on the east side of the
          road, KKPX is on the tower above the building. I'm not certain on
          that though. KTSF used to have their control room and studio in that
          building.

          There used to be another TV station up there, too. Remember Gene
          Scott's station on channel 38? That used to transmit from the same
          location. When he was forced to close the station and the channel
          became KCNS, the new channel 38 transmitter was installed at Sutro
          Tower.

          I think KFTL channel 28 and KMMC channel 40 are also in the same
          building complex. By the way, KFTL has been issued a construction
          permit for a low power digital transmitter on channel 24, the channel
          that will be vacated by KGO-DT in February.

          The buildings to the west are all of the FM stations, commercial
          transmitters, repeaters and so on that Richard mentioned. Several FM
          stations transmit from atop Mt. San Bruno: KQED 88.5, KMVQ 99.7, KIOI
          101.3, KSAN 107.7 and maybe another one or two. (KOIT 96.5, KSOL
          98.9, KKSF 103.7 and KFOG 104.5 transmit from Sutro Tower.)

          Speaking of Sutro Tower, you can get up close and personal to it.
          There's a trail where you can hike right around the base of the tower
          just outside of the high chain link fence that surrounds the tower
          and transmitter building, and you can look straight up the tower.
          You'll find lots of people walking their dogs there. The parking lot
          for Sutro is inside the fence, so if you drive up there, find parking
          on Palo Alto Avenue. To get there take Mountain Spring Avenue off of
          Twin Peaks Boulevard then Glenbrooke Avenue to Palo Alto Avenue.
          It's a beautiful area to take a hike in and the views are great if
          it's not foggy.

          It's too bad that the transmitter building isn't open to the public,
          because lots of the beautiful stained glass windows from the old
          Sutro Mansion that used to be at the site, including one of a giant
          spider, hang in the lobby.

          Larry
          SF
        • Don Hackler
          I ve spent many ugly nights on Mt. San Bruno. (Some nice ones, too...) My theory is that the only reason the Bay Area has such nice weather is that Mt. San
          Message 4 of 9 , Sep 1, 2008
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            I've spent many ugly nights on Mt. San Bruno. (Some nice ones, too...)
            My theory is that the only reason the Bay Area has such nice weather
            is that Mt. San Bruno, Loma Prieta, Mt. Diablo, and a few of the other
            mountain (Monument, Allison, Fremont, Tam) act as lightning rods to
            absorb all the bad weather for the entire area. Snow, ice, wind,
            rain, fog...
            The other transmitter engineers know what I'm talking about.
            The wind and rain on San Bruno mountain is often extreme and is
            usually quite salty. Metal corrosion is a major problem there.

            The mountain tops can be nice places to get above
            the smog layer, though...

            The story on the KDTV and KCSM swap, as far as I know, is that KDTV
            gave KCSM the channel 60 transmitter on San Bruno and some critical
            studio gear required to start broadcasting in color in exchange for the
            channel swap.


            On Sep 1, 2008, at 12:15 PM, Larry Kenney wrote:

            > How about a little history? To follow up on Nick's and Richard's
            > comments, the building and tower used by KNTV, analog and digital, at
            > the end of Radio Road on Mt. San Bruno has been previously used by
            > two other TV stations. It was originally the transmitter site for
            > KDTV on channel 60. KCSM was on channel 14 transmitting from the
            > College of San Mateo Campus. For some reason unknown to me, the two
            > stations swapped channels in 1979. KDTV moved to their present site
            > on Mt. Alison on channel 14 and KCSM moved from the college campus to
            > channel 60 on Mt. San Bruno. I can't remember if the channel change
            > and the transmitter move happened at the same time or not. (Don
            > Hackler might be able to fill us in on that.)
            >
          • Nick Sayer
            ... That would make some sense. Channel 14 s frequency is 60% or so of channel 60s. The right to change to reduce frequency by such a percentage would be a
            Message 5 of 9 , Sep 1, 2008
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              --- In HDTV-in-SFbay@yahoogroups.com, Don Hackler <donh@...> wrote:
              >
              > The story on the KDTV and KCSM swap, as far as I know, is that KDTV
              > gave KCSM the channel 60 transmitter on San Bruno and some critical
              > studio gear required to start broadcasting in color in exchange for the
              > channel swap.
              >

              That would make some sense. Channel 14's frequency is 60% or so of channel 60s. The
              right to change to reduce frequency by such a percentage would be a very valuable thing
              in general - almost as good as going from channel 14 to channel 13 (UHF -> VHF). Lower
              frequencies propagate much better and amplifiers in general are more efficient. In
              addition, I'm sure the bean counters could have finessed some or all of the cost as a
              donation to a public broadcaster, which would mean a substantial tax write-off.

              I found the timing of KCSM's sudden rate increase just before the analog shutdown and
              KNTV's move to their old facility immediately after they abandoned it..... interesting. My
              guess is that KNTV's management made an offer to the landlord, the landlord asked KCSM
              to match it, and KCSM simply could not. Either KCSM had already planned PT digital
              operation from Sutro Tower or they made a deal to move there (probably the former), so
              the path of least resistance was to shut down analog service early, with the workaround LP
              operation from the college to satisfy the FCC.

              I would guess that KNTV isn't using the *actual* KCSM transmitter, are they? Surely they'd
              have set up their own, since the frequency was so different. Certainly at least they'd want
              to use a different antenna - never mind having to supply a second one for the digital
              transmitter (which they'd also have to supply since KCSM didn't have one up there).

              So what did KCSM *do* with their gear? Did they reuse it for the LP operation at the
              college? eBay? What? And what is going to become of all of the analog transmitter gear PT?
              I can't imagine there's going to be much market for it. Sure, some of it will be amplifiers
              that could be reused for digital (but will still be redundant since most broadcasters will
              have operated 2 transmitters for a few years now), but the NTSC exciters certainly aren't
              going to be in demand. Mexico's ATSC transition plans stretch out to 2022... Maybe a lot
              of their stations will get some fancy upgrades...?
            • Don Hackler
              ... At the time, UHF receivers were better at the lower end of the band, as well. KCSM had no significant budgets for equipment at that time, so both stations
              Message 6 of 9 , Sep 1, 2008
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                On Sep 1, 2008, at 4:52 PM, Nick Sayer wrote:

                > --- In HDTV-in-SFbay@yahoogroups.com, Don Hackler <donh@...> wrote:
                >>
                >> The story on the KDTV and KCSM swap, as far as I know, is that KDTV
                >> gave KCSM the channel 60 transmitter on San Bruno and some critical
                >> studio gear required to start broadcasting in color in exchange for
                >> the
                >> channel swap.
                >>
                >
                > That would make some sense. Channel 14's frequency is 60% or so of
                > channel 60s. The
                > right to change to reduce frequency by such a percentage would be a
                > very valuable thing
                > in general - almost as good as going from channel 14 to channel 13
                > (UHF -> VHF). Lower
                > frequencies propagate much better and amplifiers in general are more
                > efficient. In
                > addition, I'm sure the bean counters could have finessed some or all
                > of the cost as a
                > donation to a public broadcaster, which would mean a substantial tax
                > write-off.


                At the time, UHF receivers were better at the lower end of the band,
                as well.
                KCSM had no significant budgets for equipment at that time, so both
                stations were better off.


                > I found the timing of KCSM's sudden rate increase just before the
                > analog shutdown and
                > KNTV's move to their old facility immediately after they abandoned
                > it..... interesting. My
                > guess is that KNTV's management made an offer to the landlord, the
                > landlord asked KCSM
                > to match it, and KCSM simply could not. Either KCSM had already
                > planned PT digital
                > operation from Sutro Tower or they made a deal to move there
                > (probably the former), so
                > the path of least resistance was to shut down analog service early,
                > with the workaround LP
                > operation from the college to satisfy the FCC.
                >

                KCSM was able to get the channel 43 allocation to replace the original
                channel 59 digital
                allocation. This kept KCSM from having to change RF channels twice
                during the digital
                transition. The only place that a channel 43 can go in the Bay Area
                is Sutro, as it needs
                to be co-located with channel 44. Sutro Tower was able to accommodate
                KCSM with minimal
                modifications to the existing DTV combiner and antenna system, and was
                able to negotiate
                a reasonable lease, as well. Once these arrangements were made, the
                plan to install the
                digital transmitter at Sutro was locked in. This happened a couple of
                years before the lease
                at San Bruno was due to expire.

                The lease for the KCSM San Bruno site expired about three years before
                the analog shutdown.
                American Tower offered to renew the lease to KCSM for about 3 times
                the existing rate and
                they required a minimum lease term (ten years, I think) that would
                extend several years past
                the analog shutdown.
                This caused two significant problems for KCSM:
                One, the monthly rate would have been an impossible burden for KCSM to
                deal with long
                term, and two, the state education code does not allow a community
                college to enter a
                property lease for more than a few years (three or five, I forget
                which...)

                Starting a year before the lease expiration, KCSM tried to negotiate a
                reasonable short term
                lease with American Tower to last until the analog shutdown. No
                progress was made for
                several months and at one point, American Tower quit returning our
                phone calls and email.

                We found out shortly afterwards that KNTV had filed with the FCC to
                move to the tower that
                KCSM was on. A couple of informal inquiries determined that KNTV had
                leased the site for
                their exclusive use.

                At this point, the early shutdown of the analog transmitter appeared
                to be the only reasonable
                option for KCSM... and that's another long story.


                > I would guess that KNTV isn't using the *actual* KCSM transmitter,
                > are they? Surely they'd
                > have set up their own, since the frequency was so different.
                > Certainly at least they'd want
                > to use a different antenna - never mind having to supply a second
                > one for the digital
                > transmitter (which they'd also have to supply since KCSM didn't have
                > one up there).
                >

                As part of the lease termination, KCSM was require to empty out the
                transmitter site.
                The existing antennas on the tower (14 and 60) were not appropriate
                for KNTV, and
                even feedline was too weathered to be re-used.

                A forty yard dumpster full of copper pipe (our feedline and antenna)
                was sold as scrap.
                The salvage crew made some good money on that.

                > So what did KCSM *do* with their gear? Did they reuse it for the LP
                > operation at the
                > college? eBay? What? And what is going to become of all of the
                > analog transmitter gear PT?
                > I can't imagine there's going to be much market for it. Sure, some
                > of it will be amplifiers
                > that could be reused for digital (but will still be redundant since
                > most broadcasters will
                > have operated 2 transmitters for a few years now), but the NTSC
                > exciters certainly aren't
                > going to be in demand. Mexico's ATSC transition plans stretch out to
                > 2022... Maybe a lot
                > of their stations will get some fancy upgrades..

                KCSM found an transmitter equipment broker who offered to pay for the
                transmitter
                and sent an engineer to dismantle the transmitter and haul it away.
                Two flatbed trailers
                were required to haul the transmitter cabinets, power supplies,
                cooling systems, combiner
                systems, and other related gear. I think the transmitter is now on
                the air in Ohio somewhere.
                We are glad the transmitter found a good home.

                These days, it would have all just ended up in a dumpster.
                There will certainly be a glut of used analog transmitters on the
                market next year.

                The building on San Bruno had been in a poor state of repair for the
                last years KCSM
                was occupying it, so I worked with KNTV to make sure they knew where
                the problems like roof
                and wall leaks, doors with serious rust problems, electrical gear
                problems, broken plumbing,
                etc. were with the building so they could get them fixed before moving
                in.
                (In a place where the rain blows sideways and upwards wall leaks are
                almost as bad as
                roof leaks...)
              • Swank, Richard (NBC Universal, KNTV)
                KNTV did remodel the entire building. We stripped it to nothing but bare walls. An entirely new electrical system was installed. The walls were repaired,
                Message 7 of 9 , Sep 4, 2008
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                  KNTV did remodel the entire building.  We stripped it to nothing but bare walls.  An entirely new electrical system was installed.  The walls were repaired, new doors, roof, floor, emergency power generation system, grounding system, security system and HVAC were then added to the building prior to our two new transmitter systems and antenna systems being installed on the site.  Lots of $$ were spent but it is now a very nice facility that we intend to spend a long time occupying.
                   
                  Richard Swank
                  Rf Systems Engineer
                  KNTV, KNTV-DT
                  San Jose - Oakland - San Francisco

                  From: HDTV-in-SFbay@yahoogroups.com [mailto:HDTV-in-SFbay@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Don Hackler
                  Sent: Monday, September 01, 2008 6:14 PM
                  To: HDTV-in-SFbay@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [HDTV-in-SFbay] Re: A Visit to Mt. San Bruno


                  On Sep 1, 2008, at 4:52 PM, Nick Sayer wrote:

                  > --- In HDTV-in-SFbay@ yahoogroups. com, Don Hackler <donh@...> wrote:
                  >>
                  >> The story on the KDTV and KCSM swap, as far as I know, is that KDTV
                  >> gave KCSM the channel 60 transmitter on San Bruno and some critical
                  >> studio gear required to start broadcasting in color in exchange for
                  >> the
                  >> channel swap.
                  >>
                  >
                  > That would make some sense. Channel 14's frequency is 60% or so of
                  > channel 60s. The
                  > right to change to reduce frequency by such a percentage would be a
                  > very valuable thing
                  > in general - almost as good as going from channel 14 to channel 13
                  > (UHF -> VHF). Lower
                  > frequencies propagate much better and amplifiers in general are more
                  > efficient. In
                  > addition, I'm sure the bean counters could have finessed some or all
                  > of the cost as a
                  > donation to a public broadcaster, which would mean a substantial tax
                  > write-off.

                  At the time, UHF receivers were better at the lower end of the band,
                  as well.
                  KCSM had no significant budgets for equipment at that time, so both
                  stations were better off.

                  > I found the timing of KCSM's sudden rate increase just before the
                  > analog shutdown and
                  > KNTV's move to their old facility immediately after they abandoned
                  > it..... interesting. My
                  > guess is that KNTV's management made an offer to the landlord, the
                  > landlord asked KCSM
                  > to match it, and KCSM simply could not. Either KCSM had already
                  > planned PT digital
                  > operation from Sutro Tower or they made a deal to move there
                  > (probably the former), so
                  > the path of least resistance was to shut down analog service early,
                  > with the workaround LP
                  > operation from the college to satisfy the FCC.
                  >

                  KCSM was able to get the channel 43 allocation to replace the original
                  channel 59 digital
                  allocation. This kept KCSM from having to change RF channels twice
                  during the digital
                  transition. The only place that a channel 43 can go in the Bay Area
                  is Sutro, as it needs
                  to be co-located with channel 44. Sutro Tower was able to accommodate
                  KCSM with minimal
                  modifications to the existing DTV combiner and antenna system, and was
                  able to negotiate
                  a reasonable lease, as well. Once these arrangements were made, the
                  plan to install the
                  digital transmitter at Sutro was locked in. This happened a couple of
                  years before the lease
                  at San Bruno was due to expire.

                  The lease for the KCSM San Bruno site expired about three years before
                  the analog shutdown.
                  American Tower offered to renew the lease to KCSM for about 3 times
                  the existing rate and
                  they required a minimum lease term (ten years, I think) that would
                  extend several years past
                  the analog shutdown.
                  This caused two significant problems for KCSM:
                  One, the monthly rate would have been an impossible burden for KCSM to
                  deal with long
                  term, and two, the state education code does not allow a community
                  college to enter a
                  property lease for more than a few years (three or five, I forget
                  which...)

                  Starting a year before the lease expiration, KCSM tried to negotiate a
                  reasonable short term
                  lease with American Tower to last until the analog shutdown. No
                  progress was made for
                  several months and at one point, American Tower quit returning our
                  phone calls and email.

                  We found out shortly afterwards that KNTV had filed with the FCC to
                  move to the tower that
                  KCSM was on. A couple of informal inquiries determined that KNTV had
                  leased the site for
                  their exclusive use.

                  At this point, the early shutdown of the analog transmitter appeared
                  to be the only reasonable
                  option for KCSM... and that's another long story.

                  > I would guess that KNTV isn't using the *actual* KCSM transmitter,
                  > are they? Surely they'd
                  > have set up their own, since the frequency was so different.
                  > Certainly at least they'd want
                  > to use a different antenna - never mind having to supply a second
                  > one for the digital
                  > transmitter (which they'd also have to supply since KCSM didn't have
                  > one up there).
                  >

                  As part of the lease termination, KCSM was require to empty out the
                  transmitter site.
                  The existing antennas on the tower (14 and 60) were not appropriate
                  for KNTV, and
                  even feedline was too weathered to be re-used.

                  A forty yard dumpster full of copper pipe (our feedline and antenna)
                  was sold as scrap.
                  The salvage crew made some good money on that.

                  > So what did KCSM *do* with their gear? Did they reuse it for the LP
                  > operation at the
                  > college? eBay? What? And what is going to become of all of the
                  > analog transmitter gear PT?
                  > I can't imagine there's going to be much market for it. Sure, some
                  > of it will be amplifiers
                  > that could be reused for digital (but will still be redundant since
                  > most broadcasters will
                  > have operated 2 transmitters for a few years now), but the NTSC
                  > exciters certainly aren't
                  > going to be in demand. Mexico's ATSC transition plans stretch out to
                  > 2022... Maybe a lot
                  > of their stations will get some fancy upgrades..

                  KCSM found an transmitter equipment broker who offered to pay for the
                  transmitter
                  and sent an engineer to dismantle the transmitter and haul it away.
                  Two flatbed trailers
                  were required to haul the transmitter cabinets, power supplies,
                  cooling systems, combiner
                  systems, and other related gear. I think the transmitter is now on
                  the air in Ohio somewhere.
                  We are glad the transmitter found a good home.

                  These days, it would have all just ended up in a dumpster.
                  There will certainly be a glut of used analog transmitters on the
                  market next year.

                  The building on San Bruno had been in a poor state of repair for the
                  last years KCSM
                  was occupying it, so I worked with KNTV to make sure they knew where
                  the problems like roof
                  and wall leaks, doors with serious rust problems, electrical gear
                  problems, broken plumbing,
                  etc. were with the building so they could get them fixed before moving
                  in.
                  (In a place where the rain blows sideways and upwards wall leaks are
                  almost as bad as
                  roof leaks...)

                • epicurusradium
                  Richard, can you let us in on what is going to be on the 11.3 channel? My second discovery this morning was that NBC 11 now has started another subchannel
                  Message 8 of 9 , Sep 4, 2008
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Richard, can you let us in on what is going to be on the 11.3 channel?
                    My second discovery this morning was that NBC 11 now has started
                    another subchannel apparantly called Uni Spot (uni spt is all that is
                    showing on the screen so far)

                    --- In HDTV-in-SFbay@yahoogroups.com, "Swank, Richard (NBC Universal,
                    KNTV)" <Richard.Swank@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > KNTV did remodel the entire building. We stripped it to nothing but
                    > bare walls. An entirely new electrical system was installed. The walls
                    > were repaired, new doors, roof, floor, emergency power generation
                    > system, grounding system, security system and HVAC were then added to
                    > the building prior to our two new transmitter systems and antenna
                    > systems being installed on the site. Lots of $$ were spent but it is
                    > now a very nice facility that we intend to spend a long time occupying.
                    >
                    > Richard Swank
                    > Rf Systems Engineer
                    > KNTV, KNTV-DT
                    > San Jose - Oakland - San Francisco
                    > ________________________________
                    >
                    > From: HDTV-in-SFbay@yahoogroups.com
                    > [mailto:HDTV-in-SFbay@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Don Hackler
                    > Sent: Monday, September 01, 2008 6:14 PM
                    > To: HDTV-in-SFbay@yahoogroups.com
                    > Subject: Re: [HDTV-in-SFbay] Re: A Visit to Mt. San Bruno
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > On Sep 1, 2008, at 4:52 PM, Nick Sayer wrote:
                    >
                    > > --- In HDTV-in-SFbay@yahoogroups.com
                    > <mailto:HDTV-in-SFbay%40yahoogroups.com> , Don Hackler <donh@> wrote:
                    > >>
                    > >> The story on the KDTV and KCSM swap, as far as I know, is that KDTV
                    > >> gave KCSM the channel 60 transmitter on San Bruno and some critical
                    > >> studio gear required to start broadcasting in color in exchange for
                    > >> the
                    > >> channel swap.
                    > >>
                    > >
                    > > That would make some sense. Channel 14's frequency is 60% or so of
                    > > channel 60s. The
                    > > right to change to reduce frequency by such a percentage would be a
                    > > very valuable thing
                    > > in general - almost as good as going from channel 14 to channel 13
                    > > (UHF -> VHF). Lower
                    > > frequencies propagate much better and amplifiers in general are more
                    > > efficient. In
                    > > addition, I'm sure the bean counters could have finessed some or all
                    > > of the cost as a
                    > > donation to a public broadcaster, which would mean a substantial tax
                    > > write-off.
                    >
                    > At the time, UHF receivers were better at the lower end of the band,
                    > as well.
                    > KCSM had no significant budgets for equipment at that time, so both
                    > stations were better off.
                    >
                    > > I found the timing of KCSM's sudden rate increase just before the
                    > > analog shutdown and
                    > > KNTV's move to their old facility immediately after they abandoned
                    > > it..... interesting. My
                    > > guess is that KNTV's management made an offer to the landlord, the
                    > > landlord asked KCSM
                    > > to match it, and KCSM simply could not. Either KCSM had already
                    > > planned PT digital
                    > > operation from Sutro Tower or they made a deal to move there
                    > > (probably the former), so
                    > > the path of least resistance was to shut down analog service early,
                    > > with the workaround LP
                    > > operation from the college to satisfy the FCC.
                    > >
                    >
                    > KCSM was able to get the channel 43 allocation to replace the original
                    > channel 59 digital
                    > allocation. This kept KCSM from having to change RF channels twice
                    > during the digital
                    > transition. The only place that a channel 43 can go in the Bay Area
                    > is Sutro, as it needs
                    > to be co-located with channel 44. Sutro Tower was able to accommodate
                    > KCSM with minimal
                    > modifications to the existing DTV combiner and antenna system, and was
                    > able to negotiate
                    > a reasonable lease, as well. Once these arrangements were made, the
                    > plan to install the
                    > digital transmitter at Sutro was locked in. This happened a couple of
                    > years before the lease
                    > at San Bruno was due to expire.
                    >
                    > The lease for the KCSM San Bruno site expired about three years before
                    > the analog shutdown.
                    > American Tower offered to renew the lease to KCSM for about 3 times
                    > the existing rate and
                    > they required a minimum lease term (ten years, I think) that would
                    > extend several years past
                    > the analog shutdown.
                    > This caused two significant problems for KCSM:
                    > One, the monthly rate would have been an impossible burden for KCSM to
                    > deal with long
                    > term, and two, the state education code does not allow a community
                    > college to enter a
                    > property lease for more than a few years (three or five, I forget
                    > which...)
                    >
                    > Starting a year before the lease expiration, KCSM tried to negotiate a
                    > reasonable short term
                    > lease with American Tower to last until the analog shutdown. No
                    > progress was made for
                    > several months and at one point, American Tower quit returning our
                    > phone calls and email.
                    >
                    > We found out shortly afterwards that KNTV had filed with the FCC to
                    > move to the tower that
                    > KCSM was on. A couple of informal inquiries determined that KNTV had
                    > leased the site for
                    > their exclusive use.
                    >
                    > At this point, the early shutdown of the analog transmitter appeared
                    > to be the only reasonable
                    > option for KCSM... and that's another long story.
                    >
                    > > I would guess that KNTV isn't using the *actual* KCSM transmitter,
                    > > are they? Surely they'd
                    > > have set up their own, since the frequency was so different.
                    > > Certainly at least they'd want
                    > > to use a different antenna - never mind having to supply a second
                    > > one for the digital
                    > > transmitter (which they'd also have to supply since KCSM didn't have
                    > > one up there).
                    > >
                    >
                    > As part of the lease termination, KCSM was require to empty out the
                    > transmitter site.
                    > The existing antennas on the tower (14 and 60) were not appropriate
                    > for KNTV, and
                    > even feedline was too weathered to be re-used.
                    >
                    > A forty yard dumpster full of copper pipe (our feedline and antenna)
                    > was sold as scrap.
                    > The salvage crew made some good money on that.
                    >
                    > > So what did KCSM *do* with their gear? Did they reuse it for the LP
                    > > operation at the
                    > > college? eBay? What? And what is going to become of all of the
                    > > analog transmitter gear PT?
                    > > I can't imagine there's going to be much market for it. Sure, some
                    > > of it will be amplifiers
                    > > that could be reused for digital (but will still be redundant since
                    > > most broadcasters will
                    > > have operated 2 transmitters for a few years now), but the NTSC
                    > > exciters certainly aren't
                    > > going to be in demand. Mexico's ATSC transition plans stretch out to
                    > > 2022... Maybe a lot
                    > > of their stations will get some fancy upgrades..
                    >
                    > KCSM found an transmitter equipment broker who offered to pay for the
                    > transmitter
                    > and sent an engineer to dismantle the transmitter and haul it away.
                    > Two flatbed trailers
                    > were required to haul the transmitter cabinets, power supplies,
                    > cooling systems, combiner
                    > systems, and other related gear. I think the transmitter is now on
                    > the air in Ohio somewhere.
                    > We are glad the transmitter found a good home.
                    >
                    > These days, it would have all just ended up in a dumpster.
                    > There will certainly be a glut of used analog transmitters on the
                    > market next year.
                    >
                    > The building on San Bruno had been in a poor state of repair for the
                    > last years KCSM
                    > was occupying it, so I worked with KNTV to make sure they knew where
                    > the problems like roof
                    > and wall leaks, doors with serious rust problems, electrical gear
                    > problems, broken plumbing,
                    > etc. were with the building so they could get them fixed before moving
                    > in.
                    > (In a place where the rain blows sideways and upwards wall leaks are
                    > almost as bad as
                    > roof leaks...)
                    >
                  • Swank, Richard (NBC Universal, KNTV)
                    Yes, there will be an additional channel coming. It is 24/7(?) SD sports programming called Universal Sports. There will be a reduction in the WX+ allowed
                    Message 9 of 9 , Sep 4, 2008
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Yes, there will be an additional channel coming.  It is 24/7(?) SD sports programming called Universal Sports.  There will be a reduction in the WX+ allowed bandwidth and a limit on this channels bandwidth.  With our current (new) model of encoder and stat mux it should not impact the HDTV any noticeable amount or so we've been told by the DTV experts in NY.
                       
                      Time will tell and startup is soon.  Already being tested in NY and other O&O markets.  Hopefully we will benefit from what is found out by them.
                       
                       From: HDTV-in-SFbay@yahoogroups.com [mailto:HDTV-in-SFbay@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of epicurusradium
                      Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2008 10:50 AM
                      To: HDTV-in-SFbay@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [HDTV-in-SFbay] Re: A Visit to Mt. San Bruno

                      Richard, can you let us in on what is going to be on the 11.3 channel?
                      My second discovery this morning was that NBC 11 now has started
                      another subchannel apparantly called Uni Spot (uni spt is all that is
                      showing on the screen so far)

                      --- In HDTV-in-SFbay@ yahoogroups. com, "Swank, Richard (NBC Universal,
                      KNTV)" <Richard.Swank@ ...> wrote:

                      >
                      > KNTV did remodel the entire building. We stripped it to
                      nothing but
                      > bare walls. An entirely new electrical system was installed.
                      The walls
                      > were repaired, new doors, roof, floor, emergency power
                      generation
                      > system, grounding system, security system and HVAC were then
                      added to
                      > the building prior to our two new transmitter systems and
                      antenna
                      > systems being installed on the site. Lots of $$ were spent but
                      it is
                      > now a very nice facility that we intend to spend a long time
                      occupying.
                      >
                      > Richard Swank
                      > Rf Systems Engineer
                      >
                      KNTV, KNTV-DT
                      > San Jose - Oakland - San Francisco
                      >
                      ____________ _________ _________ __
                      >
                      > From:
                      href="mailto:HDTV-in-SFbay%40yahoogroups.com">HDTV-in-SFbay@ yahoogroups. com
                      >
                      [mailto:HDTV-in-SFbay@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Don Hackler
                      > Sent: Monday, September 01, 2008 6:14
                      PM
                      > To:
                      href="mailto:HDTV-in-SFbay%40yahoogroups.com">HDTV-in-SFbay@ yahoogroups. com
                      >
                      Subject: Re: [HDTV-in-SFbay] Re: A Visit to Mt. San Bruno
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > On Sep 1, 2008, at 4:52 PM, Nick Sayer wrote:
                      >
                      > > --- In
                      href="mailto:HDTV-in-SFbay%40yahoogroups.com">HDTV-in-SFbay@ yahoogroups. com
                      >
                      <mailto:HDTV- in-SFbay% 40yahoogroups. com> , Don Hackler <donh@> wrote:
                      > >>
                      > >> The story on the KDTV and
                      KCSM swap, as far as I know, is that KDTV
                      > >> gave KCSM the channel
                      60 transmitter on San Bruno and some critical
                      > >> studio gear
                      required to start broadcasting in color in exchange for
                      > >>
                      the
                      > >> channel swap.
                      > >>
                      > >
                      > >
                      That would make some sense. Channel 14's frequency is 60% or so of
                      > >
                      channel 60s. The
                      > > right to change to reduce frequency by such a
                      percentage would be a
                      > > very valuable thing
                      > > in general
                      - almost as good as going from channel 14 to channel 13
                      > > (UHF ->
                      VHF). Lower
                      > > frequencies propagate much better and amplifiers in
                      general are more
                      > > efficient. In
                      > > addition, I'm sure the
                      bean counters could have finessed some or all
                      > > of the cost as
                      a
                      > > donation to a public broadcaster, which would mean a substantial
                      tax
                      > > write-off.
                      >
                      > At the time, UHF receivers were
                      better at the lower end of the band,
                      > as well.
                      > KCSM had no
                      significant budgets for equipment at that time, so both
                      > stations were
                      better off.
                      >
                      > > I found the timing of KCSM's sudden rate
                      increase just before the
                      > > analog shutdown and
                      > > KNTV's
                      move to their old facility immediately after they abandoned
                      > >
                      it..... interesting. My
                      > > guess is that KNTV's management made an
                      offer to the landlord, the
                      > > landlord asked KCSM
                      > > to
                      match it, and KCSM simply could not. Either KCSM had already
                      > >
                      planned PT digital
                      > > operation from Sutro Tower or they made a deal
                      to move there
                      > > (probably the former), so
                      > > the path of
                      least resistance was to shut down analog service early,
                      > > with the
                      workaround LP
                      > > operation from the college to satisfy the
                      FCC.
                      > >
                      >
                      > KCSM was able to get the channel 43
                      allocation to replace the original
                      > channel 59 digital
                      >
                      allocation. This kept KCSM from having to change RF channels twice
                      >
                      during the digital
                      > transition. The only place that a channel 43 can go
                      in the Bay Area
                      > is Sutro, as it needs
                      > to be co-located with
                      channel 44. Sutro Tower was able to accommodate
                      > KCSM with
                      minimal
                      > modifications to the existing DTV combiner and antenna system,
                      and was
                      > able to negotiate
                      > a reasonable lease, as well. Once
                      these arrangements were made, the
                      > plan to install the
                      > digital
                      transmitter at Sutro was locked in. This happened a couple of
                      > years
                      before the lease
                      > at San Bruno was due to expire.
                      >
                      > The
                      lease for the KCSM San Bruno site expired about three years before
                      > the
                      analog shutdown.
                      > American Tower offered to renew the lease to KCSM for
                      about 3 times
                      > the existing rate and
                      > they required a minimum
                      lease term (ten years, I think) that would
                      > extend several years
                      past
                      > the analog shutdown.
                      > This caused two significant problems
                      for KCSM:
                      > One, the monthly rate would have been an impossible burden for
                      KCSM to
                      > deal with long
                      > term, and two, the state education code
                      does not allow a community
                      > college to enter a
                      > property lease
                      for more than a few years (three or five, I forget
                      > which...)
                      >
                      > Starting a year before the lease expiration, KCSM tried to negotiate a
                      > reasonable short term
                      > lease with American Tower to last until
                      the analog shutdown. No
                      > progress was made for
                      > several months
                      and at one point, American Tower quit returning our
                      > phone calls and
                      email.
                      >
                      > We found out shortly afterwards that KNTV had filed with
                      the FCC to
                      > move to the tower that
                      > KCSM was on. A couple of
                      informal inquiries determined that KNTV had
                      > leased the site for
                      >
                      their exclusive use.
                      >
                      > At this point, the early shutdown of the
                      analog transmitter appeared
                      > to be the only reasonable
                      > option
                      for KCSM... and that's another long story.
                      >
                      > > I would guess
                      that KNTV isn't using the *actual* KCSM transmitter,
                      > > are they?
                      Surely they'd
                      > > have set up their own, since the frequency was so
                      different.
                      > > Certainly at least they'd want
                      > > to use a
                      different antenna - never mind having to supply a second
                      > > one for
                      the digital
                      > > transmitter (which they'd also have to supply since
                      KCSM didn't have
                      > > one up there).
                      > >
                      >
                      > As
                      part of the lease termination, KCSM was require to empty out the
                      >
                      transmitter site.
                      > The existing antennas on the tower (14 and 60) were
                      not appropriate
                      > for KNTV, and
                      > even feedline was too weathered
                      to be re-used.
                      >
                      > A forty yard dumpster full of copper pipe (our
                      feedline and antenna)
                      > was sold as scrap.
                      > The salvage crew made
                      some good money on that.
                      >
                      > > So what did KCSM *do* with their
                      gear? Did they reuse it for the LP
                      > > operation at the
                      > >
                      college? eBay? What? And what is going to become of all of the
                      > >
                      analog transmitter gear PT?
                      > > I can't imagine there's going to be
                      much market for it. Sure, some
                      > > of it will be amplifiers
                      > > that could be reused for digital (but will still be redundant since
                      > > most broadcasters will
                      > > have operated 2 transmitters
                      for a few years now), but the NTSC
                      > > exciters certainly
                      aren't
                      > > going to be in demand. Mexico's ATSC transition plans
                      stretch out to
                      > > 2022... Maybe a lot
                      > > of their stations
                      will get some fancy upgrades..
                      >
                      > KCSM found an transmitter
                      equipment broker who offered to pay for the
                      > transmitter
                      > and
                      sent an engineer to dismantle the transmitter and haul it away.
                      > Two
                      flatbed trailers
                      > were required to haul the transmitter cabinets, power
                      supplies,
                      > cooling systems, combiner
                      > systems, and other related
                      gear. I think the transmitter is now on
                      > the air in Ohio
                      somewhere.
                      > We are glad the transmitter found a good home.
                      >
                      > These days, it would have all just ended up in a dumpster.
                      >
                      There will certainly be a glut of used analog transmitters on the
                      >
                      market next year.
                      >
                      > The building on San Bruno had been in a poor
                      state of repair for the
                      > last years KCSM
                      > was occupying it, so I
                      worked with KNTV to make sure they knew where
                      > the problems like
                      roof
                      > and wall leaks, doors with serious rust problems, electrical gear
                      > problems, broken plumbing,
                      > etc. were with the building so they
                      could get them fixed before moving
                      > in.
                      > (In a place where the
                      rain blows sideways and upwards wall leaks are
                      > almost as bad as
                      >
                      roof leaks...)
                      >

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