Installation, testing of new antenna completed - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

UPDATE

Installation, testing of new antenna completed

SPOKANE, Wash. -

(4/2/2010) Work was completed Thursday evening on KHQ's efforts to install a new, taller antenna and increase its power to reach more viewers around the Inland Northwest.

Viewers who lost KHQ's signal should re-scan their converter boxes to seek out the new, higher-powered signal. Those who couldn't receive KHQ immediately after federally mandated switch to digital television may also find they are now able to receive the signal.

KHQ now transmits 1000 kWatts of power instead of the lower 424 kWatts that was allowed by the Federal Communications Commission before the upgrade this spring.


Previous updates:

Thursday (3/18/10): Workers on Thursday installed the final eight sections of transmission line leading to the new antenna. With the transmission line in place, engineers will get to work on Friday to begin the test phase of the new installation.  Testing is expected to take about a week, after which the new antenna will be put into normal operating mode at full power.

Wednesday (3/17/10): With the new antenna mounted on top of the tower atop Browne's Mountain, work began on Wednesday to attach the new transmission line.  20-foot sections of line were loaded into a hoist basket so they could be lifted into position. 

Meanwhile, the process of installing the line from the tower base to the building housing the rest of the transmitting equipment is nearly complete.

Testing of the new antenna can begin after the new transmission line is installed.

Monday (3/15/10): On Monday a crew used a crane to lift the new 58-foot antenna into position on top of the KHQ tower on Browne's Mountain. Putting up the new antenna is a big step in the process, but there's still a lot of work to be done.

Forty sections of 6-inch diameter transmission line will need to be run up the tower before testing can begin. Each section of line is 20-feet long (see slideshow above).

After the transmission line is installed testing can begin.  It will take several days after final installation to make sure everything is working the way it should. The transition to the new antenna is expected to be wrapped up by the end of March.

Friday  (3/12/10): Workers on Friday removed the old KHQ antenna from the tower atop Browne's Mountain.  The flashing red light at the top was installed on the new antenna, which will be hoisted into place on top of the tower on Saturday.

Along with the heightened tower, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted the station permission increase its power output from 424kWatts to 1000kWatts. The construction permit to do the work was granted in October 2009, but work had to postponed until winter to pass.

 


 

More about the new antenna:

The modification to the antenna and transmitter on Browne's Mountain is expected to increase viewers' ability to receive KHQ's over-the-air digital signal, which currently extends to about 65 miles from Spokane (depending on geography). The upgrade will also affect KHQ's digital channels: SWX-TV on 6.2 and Universal Sports on 6.3.

Viewers can expect their over-the-air signal to come and go during the daytime hours until the work is completed in a few days. Anyone not receiving KHQ's signals during the nighttime hours should re-scan their receiver or enter 15.1 to regain the signal, although engineers said the signal should return automatically.

The new antenna is about 18-inches in diameter, 58-feet long and weighs 10,600 pounds. It took two cranes and six people to get it off the truck. It's being installed atop a tower that's 829-feet tall with the aid of a 140-foot truss.

Viewers can follow the progress of the upgrade by viewing the slideshow above.

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