TECHNOTE: TV and FM broadcast reception - 4/20/18 to 5/26/18

May 26, 2018

For updates later than 5/26/18, visit: TECHNOTE: Rescan TVs May 29

UPDATE SAT. 5/26/18, 10:30am:
90.5 and 105.1 FM

90.5 FM has returned to full power operation across its normal coverage area. 105.1 FM has also returned to full service for its usual coverage area. There will still be some brief periods on and after May 29 when the FM stations may be off the air or at reduced power during final tower work.

TV - Rescan for channels beginning Tuesday, May 29, 7am.
At 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 29, TV begins broadcasting at new frequency 33 and frequency 40 broadcasting ends.  Antenna TV viewers must rescan for channels to continue watching WKAR after that time. After a rescan, WKAR will display as channel 23 in the channel line-up.

TV reception will continue to be limited to the reduced coverage area (see the coverage map below), since WKAR will be broadcasting from the new emergency antenna at that time.

Testing on Friday revealed moisture in the transmission line. Work to remove the moisture involves a pressurizing, de-pressurizing and re-pressurizing process that spans several days. When the moisture issue is resolved and the transmission line approved for use, full service across the WKAR TV normal coverage area will return.

Antenna viewers in outlying areas must rescan for channels at that date and time to be announced.

Service will return for some pay-tv customers on May 29; and for the remaining pay-tv customers when main antenna broadcasting resumes at that date and time to be announced

As always, please follow this post for updates.

MAP: TV Coverage - Normal and Reduced Power Areas

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.

UPDATE 5/25/18, 8:45am: TV and FM will be off the air for periods today. When on-air, FM will be at full power, TV will be at reduced power.

Today's work includes testing and tuning of the new transmission line and channel 33 antenna. Also, additional work to finalize installation of standby antennas.

UPDATE: 5/24/18 3:10pm: 90.5 FM returned to full power at 3:05pm today. TV will go back on the air at reduced power when tower work finishes for the day.

UPDATE 5/24/18, 7:35am: TV and 105.1 FM will be off the air for portions of the day today. The projected date to rescan TVs is Tue. 5/29.

Winds permitting, today's work includes removing the gin pole from the tower, lowering the rigging to a position below the FM antenna, and installing the new TV standby antenna.

UPDATE 5/23/18, 8:55am: TV and 105.1 FM will be off the air for portions of the day today. The new projected date to rescan TVs is Tue. 5/29.

Today's work includes testing and installing TV and FM back-up antennas, and preparing the gin-pole for removal.

UPDATE 5/23/18, 7:30am: TV and FM are on the air at reduced power through most of the day today. The new projected date to rescan TVs is Tue. 5/29.

Today's work includes testing and installing TV and FM back-up antennas.

UPDATE 5/22/18, 9:00am: TV and 105.1 FM are off the air for crew safety as tower work continues. 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 work includes installing the custom cut pieces that make the final connection between the new 6” transmission  line and the new main antenna. That work happens at the top of the tower, and will proceed as soon as weather permits today.

UPDATE 5/21/18, 7:50am: TV and 105.1 FM are off the air for crew safety as tower work continues. 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 work includes installing transmission line elbows, fine tuning line sections and measuring for the final piece to connect the 6” line to the new main antenna. That piece will be cut to precise specs at the factory today and shipped overnight for install tomorrow or as soon as weather permits.

Rain is forecast for the afternoon. When necessary, work will stop and stations will return to the air at reduced power.

UPDATE 5/20/18, 7:00pm: The new antenna is mounted atop the tower! As of 3:50pm, TV and FM went back on the air at reduced power for the evening. Work continues Monday as weather allows.

The crew was amazing today! The gin pole was elevated above the antenna, the 5150-lb. channel 40 antenna was lowered to the ground; the 4800-lb. channel 33 antenna was elevated and mounted to the top of the tower; and the gin pole was lowered below the antenna for safety overnight.

Work still ahead: connect the transmission line to the antenna; complete installation of a new TV standby antenna; test the operation of the new antenna; disassemble and lower the gin pole. The work continues to be weather-dependent.

UPDATE 5/20/18, 11:00am: Thanks to clear weather, a major step was completed this morning: the channel 40 antenna was removed and is now on the ground (see photo below). Next step is to prep the channel 33 antenna for lifting. If weather holds, it could be raised today.

TV and 105.1 FM remain off the air for crew safety as work continues. 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. If rain moves in, work will stop and stations will return to the air at reduced power.

The channel 40 antenna being lowered to the ground from atop the 1000 foot WKAR broadcast tower. Sunday, 5/20/18.
Credit Rick Thomas / WKAR-MSU

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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