Originally posted by justalurker
The problem with placing the antenna high is that the lower power can have trouble penetrating buildings and tree cover even close to the antenna. Stations make a choice of having a large coverage area (high antenna) or better penetration (higher power).
Or they choose to do both! WANE TV's analog signal is running at a 2.5 Megawatt ERP. WFWA Analog is right at 1 Megawatt and the rest of us are in the neighborhood of 550 Kilowatts ERP. What is also typically done is that the antennas are designed with downward beam tilt to make sure the power does not go shooting off over the horizon. They use what is termed null fill on antennas that are located close to the desired service area. The Ft. Wayne stations are all located directly in the major population area and should have heavy null fill so those located close to the towers get good signal levels.
The FCC originally licensed DTV stations power levels to replicate the footprint of the analog signals.
In our case they said that we only needed to have an ERP of 50 Kilowatts.
Now being UHF broadcasters where we were used to using higher powers for penetration of buildings to hit the secondary sets with no outdoor antennas most of us paid for independent engineering studies that could allow for increased ERP's. The values that are being throw around here are the results of those studies. Our licensed updated ERP value is 350 KW
WANE DT Original Grant 90Kw Applied for 1000Kw (waiting for approval)
WPTA DT Original Grant ?Kw Applied for 335Kw (Approved)
WISE DT Original Grant 50Kw Applied for 350Kw (Approved)
WFWA DT Original Grant 90Kw
WFFT DT Original Grant ?Kw Applied for 1000Kw (Approved)
The FCC database must have been purged of the original power level
grants? They do not show up for WPTA, WFFT or WISE.
WFWA is running at the original licensed power.
What is interesting and reading these forums seems to prove it out is that the lower power levels do actually work quite well. The higher powers will do wonders for indoor reception or poor antennas.
For review here are the local signals as I know them to be currently transmitting.
WPTA Channel 24DT 335Kw 224.4 Meters
WFWA Channel 40DT 90Kw 221 Meters
WANE Channel 31DT 40Kw 88 Meters
WISE Channel 19DT 9.9Kw 234.9 Meters
WFFT Channel 36DT 0.97Kw 64.4 Meters