Answer Man: Hospital cranes are interfering with TV signal
March 16, 2013
Oh, Wise One: What is the problem with KTTC losing their feed? I was watching the morning news and they lost their feed for more than 30 minutes. They never mention as to why, when they come back on the air, almost as if they don't know it happened. — David D., Rochester
I wasn't aware of this, and I certainly hope it hasn't interfered with my boss' cameo every morning on KTTC's morning show. Ordinarily I wouldn't deal with a technical glitch of this kind, but KTTC's general manager, Jerry Watson, had this fascinating explanation, and it's a problem that remains unresolved:
"This problem first popped up about six months ago," he said by email. "Our over-the-air broadcast signals would just dissolve and go away, then just as mysteriously would come back. We noticed the interference for several minutes, which is the first time the interruption lasted more than a few seconds.
"It took a long time for us to figure out what was happening. Our engineering team eventually tracked it to direct interference from two construction cranes high above Saint Marys Hospital. Whenever the cranes swing around in a certain way, they move right into the path of KTTC and KXLT television signals being beamed from our Signal Hill studios to our microwave relay tower at Simpson, blocking them."
Watson said they informed the hospital and the contractor about the problem, apparently without success. "We have recently, and at significant expense, purchased and installed additional transmission equipment, attempting to re-route the TV microwave paths, only to find the cranes still block those paths. So now we are back to square one, trying to figure out how long the cranes will be between us and our transmitter, and what other options we have, if any."
Sounds like a very hairy problem. I'm checking with Mayo communications to see what they know about it.