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New Aux antennas are up on Sutro Tower

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  • Larry Kenney
    The new UHF auxiliary antennas for digital operation have just been installed on Sutro Tower. I went up to Twin Peaks today and took some photos of the new
    Message 1 of 13 , Apr 12, 2009
      The new UHF auxiliary antennas for digital operation have just been
      installed on Sutro Tower. I went up to Twin Peaks today and took
      some photos of the new addition. To take a look at them, go to my
      Sutro Tower page: http://www.larrykenney.com/sutrotwr.html

      On that page you'll also find the tower diagrams showing the old and
      the new antenna arrangements. The auxiliary antennas are the first
      changes of many to come.

      Larry
      SF
    • Link Perry
      Thanks for the posting on the new Sutro antennas Larry. Do you have any feeling for how much disruption to digital reception we re likely to see post June 12,
      Message 2 of 13 , Apr 12, 2009
        Thanks for the posting on the new Sutro antennas Larry. Do you have any feeling for how much disruption to digital reception we're likely to see post June 12, when they start installing new digital antennas and moving others around? I'm getting excellent digital reception now in West San Jose, near Cupertino. The only reason I haven't ditched my Comcast subscription yet is the thought that there may be some intermittent reception problems until Sutro is at its final configuration, so I'm keeping it as a backup.

        Link

        On 4/12/09, Larry Kenney <Larry@...> wrote:
        The new UHF auxiliary antennas for digital operation have just been
        installed on Sutro Tower.  I went up to Twin Peaks today and took
        some photos of the new addition.  To take a look at them, go to my
        Sutro Tower page:  http://www.larrykenney.com/sutrotwr.html

        On that page you'll also find the tower diagrams showing the old and
        the new antenna arrangements.  The auxiliary antennas are the first
        changes of many to come.

        Larry
        SF



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      • Larry Kenney
        ... I don t think you re going to see that much disruption, Link. Stations will continue to use the present antennas until the new ones atop the tower are
        Message 3 of 13 , Apr 12, 2009
          On Apr 12, 2009, at 10:46 PM, Link Perry wrote:

          Thanks for the posting on the new Sutro antennas Larry. Do you have any feeling for how much disruption to digital reception we're likely to see post June 12, when they start installing new digital antennas and moving others around? I'm getting excellent digital reception now in West San Jose, near Cupertino. The only reason I haven't ditched my Comcast subscription yet is the thought that there may be some intermittent reception problems until Sutro is at its final configuration, so I'm keeping it as a backup.

          Link

          I don't think you're going to see that much disruption, Link.   Stations will continue to use the present antennas until the new ones atop the tower are ready.  During the daytime when they're working on removing the analog antennas and installing the new digital antennas, stations will use the new auxiliary antennas, but at night and on weekends they'll be back to the present antennas.  The only time you might not have the reception you've got now is during the daytime.  

          Stations will probably have to use lower power when on the auxiliary antennas, so there will be a decrease in coverage, but I have no idea how much signals will decrease down your way.  Coverage might still be okay.  Time will tell.

          Larry
          SF



        • Nick Sayer
          ... For what it s worth, the last time they did tower work that I distinctly remember, they actually shut off the digital transmitters for the day, except for
          Message 4 of 13 , Apr 14, 2009
            --- In HDTV-in-SFbay@yahoogroups.com, Larry Kenney <Larry@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > I don't think you're going to see that much disruption, Link.
            > Stations will continue to use the present antennas until the new ones
            > atop the tower are ready. During the daytime when they're working on
            > removing the analog antennas and installing the new digital antennas,
            > stations will use the new auxiliary antennas, but at night and on
            > weekends they'll be back to the present antennas. The only time you
            > might not have the reception you've got now is during the daytime.
            >
            > Stations will probably have to use lower power when on the auxiliary
            > antennas, so there will be a decrease in coverage, but I have no idea
            > how much signals will decrease down your way. Coverage might still
            > be okay. Time will tell.

            For what it's worth, the last time they did tower work that I distinctly remember, they actually shut off the digital transmitters for the day, except for KCSM-DT, which went to low power. Here in Santa Clara, their signal strength dropped slightly for me, but they stayed in rock solid. If anything, they might have actually been slightly easier to receive since the decrease in power would have proportionally reduced the strength of their reflections.

            In any event, I suspect those of us in the South Bay with LOS to Sutro and San Bruno are less likely than not to notice any difference.
            >
            > Larry
            > SF
            >
          • epicurusradium
            ... Since there will be an even longer delay until the final antennas are ready at the top of the tower, one would think that the new aux. antennas, that are
            Message 5 of 13 , Apr 14, 2009
              --- In HDTV-in-SFbay@yahoogroups.com, Larry Kenney <Larry@...> wrote:
              >
              > The new UHF auxiliary antennas for digital operation have just been
              > installed on Sutro Tower. I went up to Twin Peaks today and took
              > some photos of the new addition. To take a look at them, go to my
              > Sutro Tower page: http://www.larrykenney.com/sutrotwr.html
              >
              > On that page you'll also find the tower diagrams showing the old and
              > the new antenna arrangements. The auxiliary antennas are the first
              > changes of many to come.
              >
              > Larry
              > SF

              Since there will be an even longer delay until the final antennas are ready at the top of the tower, one would think that the new aux. antennas, that are now further up than the original emergency antennas, will be used from June 12/13 until the rest of the work is done above. If that is the case we should be getting better reception than currently.

              My question is: are my conclusions here correct, and will I be able to get KBCW digital more of the time come 6/12/09 than now? (I have been having to watch their analog 44 signal to get any of their programing up to this point.) Also, will they go up to maximum currently allowed power in June, or will that also have to wait till Oct or later?
            • Bob
              ... distinctly remember, they actually shut off the digital transmitters for the day, except for KCSM-DT, which went to low power. That is true and it was
              Message 6 of 13 , Apr 14, 2009

                --- In HDTV-in-SFbay@yahoogroups.com, "Nick Sayer" <nsayer@...> wrote:

                >
                > For what it's worth, the last time they did tower work that I distinctly remember, they actually shut off the digital transmitters for the day, except for KCSM-DT, which went to low power.

                That is true and it was because there were no other Digital antennas to go to, now that there are Auxiliary Digital antennas stations can stay on the air, albeit at reduced power for the full-power stations and a bit lower in elevation on the tower than the existing (10 year old) Digital antenna.

              • Bob
                ... ready at the top of the tower, one would think that the new aux. antennas, that are now further up than the original emergency antennas, will be used from
                Message 7 of 13 , Apr 14, 2009

                  --- In HDTV-in-SFbay@yahoogroups.com, "epicurusradium" <vinced@...> wrote:

                  >
                  > Since there will be an even longer delay until the final antennas are ready at the top of the tower, one would think that the new aux. antennas, that are now further up than the original emergency antennas, will be used from June 12/13 until the rest of the work is done above. If that is the case we should be getting better reception than currently.

                  You likely won't get better reception from the Digital Aux antenna, although there are exceptions to every rule.  The new Digital Aux antennas are higher than the Analog Aux antennas, but they are lower than the existing (10 year old) Digital antenna, And unlike the existing Digital antenna the Aux antennas cannot handle more than 500 kW per station.  That does not equate to better reception when stations are on the Aux antennas during daylight hours.

                  >
                  > My question is: are my conclusions here correct, and will I be able to get KBCW digital more of the time come 6/12/09 than now? (I have been having to watch their analog 44 signal to get any of their programing up to this point.) Also, will they go up to maximum currently allowed power in June, or will that also have to wait till Oct or later?

                  See above re 500 kW max, KBCW cannot go to Max power on the Auxiliary Digital antenna, no one can.  There are two Aux antennas, 5 DTV Stations per antenna, if all the stations went to Max power pieces and parts would start to burn and melt.  You will have to wait until the new Main Digital antennas have been installed assuming KBCW has a full-power transmitter by then.  If you are receiving a strong signal on Analog channel 44 with no ghosting (multipath) it's a mystery why you would not be able to receive digital channel 45.  If Analog 44 is weak and /or you see some ghosts then that explains why Digital 45 isn't working.

                • Larry Kenney
                  ... You won t see any changes for KBCW until this Fall. The temporary digital antennas - the ones that are now being used and have been used for over 10 years
                  Message 8 of 13 , Apr 14, 2009
                    On Apr 14, 2009, at 12:09 PM, epicurusradium wrote:

                    Since there will be an even longer delay until the final antennas are ready at the top of the tower, one would think that the new aux. antennas, that are now further up than the original emergency antennas, will be used from June 12/13 until the rest of the work is done above. If that is the case we should be getting better reception than currently. 

                    My question is: are my conclusions here correct, and will I be able to get KBCW digital more of the time come 6/12/09 than now? (I have been having to watch their analog 44 signal to get any of their programing up to this point.) Also, will they go up to maximum currently allowed power in June, or will that also have to wait till Oct or later?


                    You won't see any changes for KBCW until this Fall.  The temporary digital antennas - the ones that are now being used and have been used for over 10 years - will continue to be used after June 12 by all stations, except for channel 7, until the new antennas are ready in the Fall.  When KGO changes their digital operation from channel 24 to channel 7 on June 12, they will use the antenna atop the tower that they're now using for analog.   The rest of the stations will continue to use what they're using now.

                    The new auxiliary antennas will only be used when a tower crew is working.   At night and on weekends the UHF stations will continue to use the antennas they're now using until the new antennas are installed and the stations move their operation to them. The aux. antennas are lower than the antennas now being used, as you can see in the photos I posted, so you might see some change in signal strength during the day time this Summer when they're in use.   

                    The new antennas will be more than 200 feet higher than the existing antennas, so it's when they start being used is when signals for all UHF stations on Sutro should improve.

                    After operation is moved to the new antennas, the temporary antennas that are now being used will be removed.

                    I hope that clarifies the situation for you.

                    Larry
                    SF



                  • epicurusradium
                    ... The analog signal is usually fairly strong but there is a bit of ghosting (not noticeable most of the time) and there is some graininess, but not a
                    Message 9 of 13 , Apr 14, 2009
                      --- In HDTV-in-SFbay@yahoogroups.com, "Bob" <Lopakabob@...> wrote:

                      > Digital antennas have been installed assuming KBCW has a full-power
                      > transmitter by then. If you are receiving a strong signal on Analog
                      > channel 44 with no ghosting (multipath) it's a mystery why you would not
                      > be able to receive digital channel 45. If Analog 44 is weak and /or you
                      > see some ghosts then that explains why Digital 45 isn't working.
                      >

                      The analog signal is usually fairly strong but there is a bit of ghosting (not noticeable most of the time) and there is some graininess, but not a blizzard by any means.

                      Several other stations with similar, less than perfect analog display are quite consistent in their digital display on the Sony, though not having a meter reading over about 65 - 70 or so. What is unfathomable to me is that for ~ 98% of the time I cannot get any picture at all on 44.1, just occasional flashes of it.

                      Maybe the extra height or placement (directional pattern?) of the analog antenna is just enough to make that much difference, though I can't see how. Any way, it and KNTV 11, are the only stations that I have to watch in analog to get more than 1% reception.

                      I fear that when KGO digital goes down to ch7 (at the low published power level) I will lose them too. Currently KGO digital comes in perfectly with a signal level of 80 - 84 on the meter!
                    • scottc6666
                      ... Analog and digital 44,11,and 7 are just fine with no noticeable difference down here in San Jose, even with all of this wind going on. Maybe something else
                      Message 10 of 13 , Apr 14, 2009
                        --- In HDTV-in-SFbay@yahoogroups.com, "epicurusradium" <vinced@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > --- In HDTV-in-SFbay@yahoogroups.com, "Bob" <Lopakabob@> wrote:
                        >
                        > > Digital antennas have been installed assuming KBCW has a full-power
                        > > transmitter by then. If you are receiving a strong signal on Analog
                        > > channel 44 with no ghosting (multipath) it's a mystery why you would not
                        > > be able to receive digital channel 45. If Analog 44 is weak and /or you
                        > > see some ghosts then that explains why Digital 45 isn't working.
                        > >
                        >
                        > The analog signal is usually fairly strong but there is a bit of ghosting (not noticeable most of the time) and there is some graininess, but not a blizzard by any means.
                        >
                        > Several other stations with similar, less than perfect analog display are quite consistent in their digital display on the Sony, though not having a meter reading over about 65 - 70 or so. What is unfathomable to me is that for ~ 98% of the time I cannot get any picture at all on 44.1, just occasional flashes of it.
                        >
                        > Maybe the extra height or placement (directional pattern?) of the analog antenna is just enough to make that much difference, though I can't see how. Any way, it and KNTV 11, are the only stations that I have to watch in analog to get more than 1% reception.
                        >
                        > I fear that when KGO digital goes down to ch7 (at the low published power level) I will lose them too. Currently KGO digital comes in perfectly with a signal level of 80 - 84 on the meter!
                        >

                        Analog and digital 44,11,and 7 are just fine with no noticeable difference down here in San Jose, even with all of this wind going on. Maybe something else is affecting your reception.
                      • epicurusradium
                        ... To clarify what I actually said -- Channel 7.x IS just fine here, NOW. (as is ch 9.x, 20.x, 32.x, etc. My concern about ch 7 is for when they go from UHF
                        Message 11 of 13 , Apr 15, 2009
                          --- In HDTV-in-SFbay@yahoogroups.com, "scottc6666" <scottc@...> wrote:
                          >


                          >
                          > Analog and digital 44,11,and 7 are just fine with no noticeable difference down here in San Jose, even with all of this wind going on. Maybe something else is affecting your reception.
                          >


                          To clarify what I actually said --
                          Channel 7.x IS just fine here, NOW. (as is ch 9.x, 20.x, 32.x, etc. My concern about ch 7 is for when they go from UHF physical channel 24 with current multi-hundred kw ERP to VHF ch 7 with a projected power of way less than 50kw.

                          This in view of the fact that ch 11.x with an ERP of 103kw does not come in for me here using the antenna I now have. Maybe the difference in height (or location) of Sutro tower compared with Mt. San Bruno will more than make up for that - I don't know, but I don't think so. KGO will probably be requesting more power when they start getting reception complaints after 6/12/09 (fingers crossed on that)

                          Based on my personal experience, the substantially higher gain and directivity of the UHF part of my receiving antenna more than makes up for the higher overall loss at uhf frequencies. Hence,(IMO) the official calculations for power requirements on high VHF frequencies is too low. When you have several UHF stations already running 1000kw and more requests for that power by others, it does not seem at all unreasonable for hi vhf stations have ERP's of at LEAST a couple of HUNDRED kw.

                          Time will tell......
                        • Swank, Richard (NBC Universal, KNTV)
                          Once again refer to this article regarding power comparisons UHF to VHF. You may want to forward him to my article on high VHF -
                          Message 12 of 13 , Apr 16, 2009
                            Once again refer to this article regarding power comparisons UHF to VHF.
                             

                            You may want to forward him to my article on high VHF -

                            http://www.tvtechnology.com/pages/s.0001/t.12659.html

                            where I do the math and show:

                            "In other words, all things being equal, a VHF station on Channel 8 with 28.8 kW ERP should be able to match the coverage of a 1,000 kW UHF DTV station on Channel 36, based on free space path loss and DTV planning factors alone. While this approach does not consider other losses, VHF losses due to foliage and obstructions are less than at UHF."


                             

                            --- In HDTV-in-SFbay@ yahoogroups. com, "scottc6666" <scottc@...> wrote:

                            >

                            >
                            > Analog and
                            digital 44,11,and 7 are just fine with no noticeable difference down here in San Jose, even with all of this wind going on. Maybe something else is affecting your reception.
                            >

                            To clarify what I actually said --
                            Channel 7.x IS just fine here, NOW. (as is ch 9.x, 20.x, 32.x, etc. My concern about ch 7 is for when they go from UHF physical channel 24 with current multi-hundred kw ERP to VHF ch 7 with a projected power of way less than 50kw.

                            This in view of the fact that ch 11.x with an ERP of 103kw does not come in for me here using the antenna I now have. Maybe the difference in height (or location) of Sutro tower compared with Mt. San Bruno will more than make up for that - I don't know, but I don't think so. KGO will probably be requesting more power when they start getting reception complaints after 6/12/09 (fingers crossed on that)

                            Based on my personal experience, the substantially higher gain and directivity of the UHF part of my receiving antenna more than makes up for the higher overall loss at uhf frequencies. Hence,(IMO) the official calculations for power requirements on high VHF frequencies is too low. When you have several UHF stations already running 1000kw and more requests for that power by others, it does not seem at all unreasonable for hi vhf stations have ERP's of at LEAST a couple of HUNDRED kw.

                            Time will tell......

                          • Bob
                            ... power level) I will lose them too. What is your reception of Analog channel 7 like? Snow, ghosting, or strong and clear? The answer to that will be an
                            Message 13 of 13 , Apr 17, 2009

                              --- In HDTV-in-SFbay@yahoogroups.com, "epicurusradium" <vinced@...> wrote:

                              >
                              > I fear that when KGO digital goes down to ch7 (at the low published power level) I will lose them too.

                              What is your reception of Analog channel 7 like?  Snow, ghosting, or strong and clear?  The answer to that will be an indicator as to how well Digital channel 7 will work for you after June 12.  A weak signal and / or multipath = the Digital Cliff Edge. 

                              Sounds like your antenna performs better at UHF frequencies, a lot of viewers have the opposite problem, they have antennas that perform well at VHF, because they have been watching 2,4,5,7,9 & 11 for decades, but in many cases their existing antennas don't perform well at UHF frequencies.

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