Originally Posted by exdelguy
I heard WHBF announce that their Ch 47 translator is on the air. Since it is on very low power it would take a tropo event to receive it here in Galesburg. I can get 3ABN's analog Ch. 16 55 mi. away translator, WBQD-LP-analog 26, and TBN analog translator on Ch. 61, but no sign of Digital WHBF on RF-47. If it had more power it would be far superior to their VHF setup.
Here's what I would like to see happen regarding power increases and channel assignments, etc., in the Quad Cities market:
-WHBF should get off of VHF Channel 4 permanently and move to a UHF channel. I posted a listing of channels that might be available for use in the Quad Cities region about some four months ago, back in September, and the consensus was that UHF channels 14 and 17 appeared to be the best choices for full-power broadcasting in the Quad Cities; albeit not quite the only ones. Personally, I think WHBF should move to UHF Channel 14 and can the channel 47 translator as well. They can sell the low-power UHF transmitter (and possibly the channel allocation as well) to any party that is interested in starting up a new digital low-power station (community group, religious organization, etc.). WHBF's ERP should, if at all possible, be the maximum of 1 megawatt.
-WBQD-LD should put its digital signal on UHF Channel 16 instead of 14. Think about it, their branding for the past three and a half years has been "My TV 16" so why not broadcast on (both virtual and physical) channel 16? K16EL, the analog translator owned by 3ABN, is moving its digital signal to UHF Channel 20 so once that move is made, this clears the channel 16 frequency for low-power use in the Quad Cities.
-Two stations in a given area obviously cannot co-exist comfortably on adjacent channels as they would cause unacceptable interferrence to each other. If WHBF broadcast on channel 17, then this would make things difficult for WBQD on channel 16, and they (WBQD) would probably have to move to another channel to eliminate that interference. However, a full-power station and a low-power station two channels apart can comfortably co-exist in the same area as evidenced by the pre-transition existence of WQPT analog on channel 24 and WBQD analog on channel 26 locally, as well as numerous similar scenarios, particularly in larger markets, where the TV and FM dials have been overcrowded the past decade or so with low-power FM, TV, and DTV stations being only two or three channels away from a full-power FM, TV, or DTV station. So, WHBF should, in my opinion, go to UHF 14 while WBQD should go to UHF 16 (after K16EL vacates the frequency).
-Another issue locally is WQPT's digital signal. While WQPT is at least in the UHF band (thank God they didn't pick a VHF channel for post-transition!!), their antenna is lower than the other stations in the Quad Cities and their power is lower than the other UHF stations as well (only WHBF has lower power, but that's beacuse they're on VHF-LO). Initially, I thought that a power increase for WQPT would require a channel change beause I mistakenly believed that Freeport licensed WIFR (Rockford) was moving its digital signal to UHF 23 (WIFR's former analog channel and WQPT's digital channel) but I was wrong; WIFR stayed on UHF 41 (WIFR's pre-transition digital channel) after the transition. So, WQPT-DT very possibly could increase their power on their current channel 23 if they wanted to. I think it would be a good idea for them to do so as their current ERP of 80 kilowatts is very paltry compared to the 1 megawatt blowtorches of KWQC-36, WQAD-38, KWKB-25, and KLJB-49, and the 500 kilowatt flamethrower of KGCW-41. Also, the HAAT for WQPT's transmitting antenna is 269 meters, up 8 meters from their post-1997 analog antenna at 261 meters, but lower than the rest of QC stations which are at least 300 meters (WHBF's VHF channel 4 antenna is still at 409 meters in Bettendorf; the same antenna for post-transition digital as was used for pre-transition analog; WHBF-DT 58 pre-transition was 378 meters).
-So, given all that I have just mentioned above, WQPT should either increase their power and/or antenna height if possible or necessary or else apply for a fill-in translator as well, in order to cover those parts of the Quad City Metro area that are having difficulties receiving WQPT on channel 23 (mainly areas below the hill in the Mississippi Valley, e.g., the downtowns of the QC's and surrounding neighborhoods).
-Quick review: WHBF should move to UHF channel 14 at the maximum power and eliminate and/or sell the UHF 47 translator. WBQD should place its digital signal on UHF 16 once K16EL vacates the frequency and broadcasts digitally on UHF 20. WQPT should look into a power increase and/or antenna height increase if at all possible and, if for some reason it's not possible, set up a UHF fill-in translator themselves, possibly purchasing the transmitter, channel allocation, and tower space from WHBF (should they actually make the suggested move).