TECHNOTE: TV and FM broadcast reception

45 minutes ago

Please check this page daily for updates. | About this project

UPDATE 5/20/18, 7:25am: TV and 105.1 FM are off the air for crew safety as work continues on the broadcast tower. 90.5 FM is operating at reduced power.  ANTENNA TV VIEWERS SHOULD NOT RESCAN at this time. Follow here for updates on when to rescan.

Today's task is to lower the channel 40 antenna 1000 feet from the top of the tower to the ground. If rain moves in, work will stop and stations will return to the air at reduced power.

UPDATE 5/19/18, 8:00am: Weather conditions prohibit work on the broadcast tower. Antenna TV and FM signals are on the air at reduced power.

After a full day of good weather Thursday and a few hours Friday before winds made further work impossible, mounting bolts holding the antenna atop the tower have been prepped for removal. The antenna is ready to be brought to the ground with the next full work shift.

Ahead: The team requires one to three days of clear weather to being the channel 40 antenna to the ground and raise the new channel 33 antenna atop the tower. Once the antenna is in place, there will be a day to make the transmission line connections, remove rigging, and test.  At this point, Wednesday is seen as the earliest possible day that WKAR can return to full power broadcasting, on the new channel. Unexpected technical complications and additional weather delays could move that date.

UPDATE 5/18/18, 1:00pm: TV and 105.1 FM may be off the air for portions of the day as work proceeds on the broadcast tower. 90.5 FM is operating at reduced power. ANTENNA TV VIEWERS SHOULD NOT RESCAN at this time. Follow here for updates on when to rescan.

Work continues today to remove the channel 40 antenna from the top of the tower.

UPDATE 5/17/18, 5:45pm: Antenna TV and FM are on the air at reduced power for the evening. Friday morning, stations will go off the air again when work proceeds, likely about 7:15am.

UPDATE 5/17/18, 7:55am: TV and 105.1 FM are off the air for crew safety as work continues on the broadcast tower. 90.5 FM is operating at reduced power.  ANTENNA TV VIEWERS SHOULD NOT RESCAN at this time. Follow here for updates on when to rescan.

Today the crew works to remove the channel 40 antenna from atop the 1000' tower. The work begins with setting the gin pole at its working position, then lashing the channel 40 antenna to cabling, and unbolting the base of that antenna for its removal.  Then, the antenna will be lifted by the gin pole cables, rotated clear of the tower and lowered to the ground.  Work will end for the day with stowing the gin pole 50 feet below lifting position. If there are no complications or weather delays, Friday will see the start of the raising the new channel 33 antenna, which could be a two-day process.

UPDATE 5/16/18: As of 5:45pm, Antenna TV and FM are on the air at reduced power for the evening. Thursday morning, stations will go off the air again when work proceeds.

UPDATE 5/16/18, 7:35am: TV and 105.1 FM are off the air for crew safety as work continues on the broadcast tower. 90.5 FM is operating at reduced power.  ANTENNA TV VIEWERS SHOULD NOT RESCAN at this time. Follow here for updates on when to rescan.

Today the crew works to complete raising and mounting the gin pole atop the 1000' tower. The gin pole provides the additional height needed to lift the old antenna away, and set the new antenna in place.

UPDATE 5/15/18, 11:45am: Weather conditions continue to delay work on the broadcast tower. Antenna TV and FM signals are on the air at reduced power.

Clear weather allowing 6-8 hears of uninterrupted work is required for the next task. CREW SAFETY is the number one concern. Forecasts for Wednesday and beyond are looking favorable.

UPDATE 5/15/18: As of 8:45am, Antenna TV and FM are on the air at reduced power. Stations may go off the air if weather conditions clear up and allow work on the tower today.

UPDATE 5/14/18, 8:30am: Weather conditions continue to delay work on the broadcast tower. Antenna TV and FM signals are on the air at reduced power.

Clear weather allowing 6-8 hears of uninterrupted work is required for the next task. CREW SAFETY is the number one concern.  Judging from current forecasts, it may be Wednesday before work can proceed.

UPDATE 5/13/18, 8:45am: Weather conditions again prevent work on the broadcast tower today. CREW SAFETY is the number one concern. Antenna TV and FM signals continue on the air at reduced power.

When work proceeds the task will be to move the assembled gin pole to its working position atop the tower. That phase could take a full day of uninterrupted work.

UPDATE 5/12/18, 9:30am: Weather conditions are preventing work on the broadcast tower today. CREW SAFETY is the number one concern. Antenna TV and FM signals continue on the air at reduced power.

When work proceeds, hopefully on Sunday, the task will be to move the assembled gin pole to its working position atop the tower. That phase could take a full day of uninterrupted work.

UPDATE 5/11/18, 11:15am: Weather conditions have ended tower work for the day. Antenna TV and 105.1 FM went back on the air approximately 10:43am Friday, at reduced power.

During the morning's work, the crew successfully raised the third and final section of the gin pole (see the image for 5/11/18 in the slide show above), and completed assembly of all sections near the top of the tower.

UPDATE 5/11/18, 8:30am: TV and 105.1 FM are off the air for crew safety as work continues on the broadcast tower. 90.5 FM is operating at reduced power.  ANTENNA TV VIEWERS SHOULD NOT RESCAN at this time. Follow here for updates on when to rescan.

As long as the weather cooperates, today the crew works to complete raising and mounting the gin pole atop the 1000' tower. The gin pole provides the additional height needed to lift the old antenna away, and set the new antenna in place. Weather permitting, the final section will be raised today and the sections reassembled atop the tower.

Unfavorable weather is in the forecast for the afternoon. Work will stop before conditions become hazardous for the crew. Stations are expected to return to reduced-power broadcasting when work stops for the day.

UPDATE 5/10/18, 10:15am: Weather conditions are preventing work on the broadcast tower today. CREW SAFETY is the number one concern. Antenna TV and FM signals continue on the air at reduced power.

UPDATE 5/10/18, 9am: Weather conditions have tower work on hold for the morning. The crew is on standby in the event weather clears to allow some work today. CREW SAFETY is the number one concern. While work is on hold, Antenna TV and FM signals are on the air at reduced power.

UPDATE 5/9/18, 11:35am: Weather conditions have ended tower work for the day. Antenna TV and 105.1 FM went back on the air approximately 11:30am Wednesday, at reduced power.

UPDATE 5/9/18, 8:45am: TV and 105.1 FM are off the air for crew safety as work continues on the broadcast tower. 90.5 FM is operating at reduced power.  ANTENNA TV VIEWERS SHOULD NOT RESCAN at this time. Follow here for updates on when to rescan.

Today the crew continues raising and mounting the gin pole atop the 1000' tower. The gin pole provides the additional height needed to lift the old antenna away, and set the new antenna in place. Two sections of the gin pole were raised Tuesday. Weather permitting, the final section will be raised today and the sections reassembled atop the tower.

Unfavorable weather is in the forecast for the afternoon. Work will stop before conditions become hazardous for the crew. Stations are expected to return to reduced-power broadcasting when work stops for the day.

UPDATE 5/8/18, 6pm: Antenna TV and 105.1 FM went back on the air as of 5:37pm Tuesday (at reduced power).

TV viewers and FM listeners may experience poor or no reception while the stations operate at reduced power.

UPDATE 5/8/18, 8:15am: As of 7:40am, TV and 105.1 FM are off the air for crew safety as work proceeds on the broadcast tower. 90.5 FM is operating at reduced power.  ANTENNA TV VIEWERS SHOULD NOT RESCAN at this time. Follow here for updates on when to rescan.

Today the crew will be raising and mounting the gin pole atop the 1000' tower. The 120' gin pole provides the additional height needed to lift the old antenna away, and set the new antenna in place.

UPDATE 5/7/18, 8:15am: TV and 105.1 FM are off the air for crew safety as work proceeds on the broadcast tower. 90.5 FM is operating at reduced power. Today the crew will complete the transmission line sections being installed for new frequency 33. ANTENNA TV VIEWERS SHOULD NOT RESCAN at this time. Follow here for updates on when to rescan.

UPDATE 5/6/18, 1:00pm: Antenna TV back on the air as of 12:45p Sunday (at reduced power). TV viewers and FM listeners may experience poor or no reception while the stations operate at reduced power.

UPDATE 5/6/18, 8:10am: As of 7:22am, WKAR TV and 105.1 FM are off the air for crew safety as work proceeds on the broadcast tower. 90.5 FM is operating at low-power. The crew is installing transmission line today on the upper portion of the tower. Rain in the afternoon could shorten the work period today. ANTENNA TV VIEWERS SHOULD NOT RESCAN at this time. Follow here for updates on when to rescan.

UPDATE 5/5/18, 4:45pm: Antenna TV back on the air as of 4:30pm today (at reduced power). TV viewers and FM listeners may experience poor or no reception while the stations operate at reduced power.

UPDATE 5/5/18, 7:30am: TV is off the air as of 7am, for crew safety as work proceeds; FM is operating at low-power. The crew is taking advantage of the improved weather conditions to work  around the 500' level on transmission line installation. ANTENNA TV VIEWERS SHOULD NOT RESCAN at this time. Follow here for updates on when to rescan.

UPDATE 5/4/18, 9am: With high winds in the forecast, the crew will focus on ground-based work today. TV and FM continue broadcasting at low-power. No off-air periods are expected today.

UPDATE 5/3/18, 9am

WKAR TV and FM are on the air at reduced power for the full day today. Work on the tower is on hold due to weather conditions.

UPDATE 5/2/18, 8am

WKAR TV and FM are off the air this morning for safety as the tower crew is working near high-energy components. Work may be put on hold later today due to wind and rain.

UPDATE 5/1/18 10:25am

Work proceeds on the transmitter and antenna. Today's work includes assembly of the transmission line that carries the signal to the top of the 1000-foot tower. There will be periods when TV and FM are off the air for crew safety when working near high-energy components. As of 10:20am, TV is off the air, FM is at low power.

UPDATE 4/30/18 9:40am

WKAR TV was off the air for scheduled work  Monday, April 30, beginning around 12:00 a.m. The station returned to low power broadcasting at approximately 6:50 a.m.

UPDATE 4/28/18

Through approximately May 9, WKAR-TV and FM will broadcasting at substantially reduced power while work proceeds at the transmitter site. There will also be brief periods when the stations are off the air completely for crew safety. There is a scheduled period when TV will be off the air Monday, April 30, approximately 12 a.m. - 3 a.m.

We are keenly aware of how much our viewers and listeners value our unique programming, and are doing everything possible to return to the air at full power on schedule May 9.

ABOUT THIS PROJECT 4/20/18

Work has begun on the WKAR-TV project to move the station's television broadcast signal from RF channel 40 to RF channel 33, as required by the FCC.

Beginning approximately April 20 through completion of the project in May, WKAR TV and 90.5 FM and 105.1 FM will be broadcasting at substantially reduced power for periods of time as crews work on the transmitter and antenna. Project completion is currently set for May 9 (subject to change).

FM broadcasts are affected by the work, since the TV and FM broadcast antennas are on the same tower.

This may result in poor or no reception for some over-the-air TV viewers and radio listeners. See the estimated coverage areas below.

There will also be short periods when the stations are off the air entirely for crew safety when working on the antenna.

All WKAR original TV programming and much of the PBS content is available for on-demand viewing at video.wkar.org and in the PBS channel on streaming devices. Online listening services will not be affected.

Comcast and AT&T Uverse services will not be affected; however, other pay service providers receive the WKAR signal over the air, and they will be adversely impacted.

Project updates will be posted here and at WKAR Technotes.

More about the project:

ESTIMATED COVERAGE AREAS

WKAR-TV

WKAR-TV Coverage: The outer oval indicates the TV coverage area under normal conditions. The inner circle shows the coverage area when broadcasting at reduced power from an auxiliary antenna.

90.5 FM 

90.5 FM Coverage: The outer circle indicates the 90.5 FM coverage area under normal conditions, when broadcasting from the main antenna at 900 feet. The inner circle shows the coverage area when broadcasting at reduced power from an auxiliary antenna.

WKAR broadcast tower. April 2018
Credit w.r. richards / WKAR-MSU

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