Towers 'N' STUFF 2015 Edition!

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    As you were saying?


    The Jargon File:

    GLOSSARY OF TERMS frequently used in this thread: (in U.S. unless otherwise noted)

    A or Grade A (dBu) = television broadcast field strength contour of 68, 71, and 74 (dBu) for channels 2-6, 7-13 and 14-69 respectively.

    AC = (1) Alternating current, the form in which electric power is delivered to businesses and residences. In alternating current (AC, also ac), the flow of electric charge periodically reverses direction. (2) In radio programming, a format known as Adult Contemporary

    AGC = Automatic Gain Control, a technique in electronic circuits whereby the output is used to adjust the gain of an amplifier.

    AM = (1) amplitude modulation, the oldest form of modulation whereby the amplitude of the transmitted signal is varied in relation to the amplitude of the information being sent (2) the standard broadcast band (530 to 1700 kHz in the U.S.) (3) Ancient Modulation; broadcast band catering mainly to republicans and other people over 80

    AMSL = the height of a tower or antenna above mean sea level

    amp = (1) amplifier (2) the fundamental measure of electrical current

    ATSC = (1) ATSC standards are a set of standards developed by the Advanced Television Systems Committee for digital television transmission over terrestrial, cable, and satellite networks. (2) Acronym for “Another Technological Set of Complications”

    B or Grade B (dBu) = television broadcast field strength contour of 47, 56, and 64 (dBu) for channels 2-6, 7-13 and 14-69 respectively.

    BUD = a Big Ugly Dish; West Virginia’s state flower.

    C = (1) the speed of light in a vacuum (2) Capacitance (the ability to store charge) (3) microwave radio frequency band between 4 and 8 GHz; commonly used on communication satellites (do you still have your BUD?) for delivery of television programming by networks to TV stations and cable headends; also occasionally used by wireless computer networking equipment and better-quality cordless telephones (4) Series of programming languages introduced by Dennis Ritchie in the 1970s as a reminder to be thankful for things like assembly languages. C deliberately takes many (if not most) of the most irritating aspects of COBOL and (dare I say it?) INTERCAL and compresses them into one easy-to-use, hard-to-forget suite. Due to its inclusion in the original UNIX kernel as, in Ritchie’s words, “a sick joke”, C and its variants are now used in just about everything with and without a central processing unit today. (Will the insanity ever end?) Only Brainfuck is slightly less intuitive.

    Class = In radio and television broadcasting, how much power and coverage a licensee may implement is determined by Zone and Class. Zones (see below) are geographic. Zones determine what classes will be licensed within that zone.

    Classes for FM are:

    Classes for AM are:

    Classes for TV are:

    clear channel = a frequency on the AM band which provides the radio station with the highest protection from interference from other stations. A long story. It no longer means that only one transmitter operates on that channel

    Clear Channel = (note capitalisation) The company that ruined radio. See also “I Heart Radio”.

    contour = a series of points at which the signal of a radio or television broadcast is at a referenced field strength. On flat land a non directional (omnidirectional) antenna will exhibit near circular contours, ideally. Contours are either “protected” contours or “interference contours.” In FM, the actual numerical values of these contours depends on Zone and Class. Also, when you are within 320 km of either Canada or Mexico, different spacing distances and contour values must be observed. Stations in Zone II that are not within 320 km of the Canadian border have their 60 dBu protected contour and three interfering contours, 40 dBu for co-channel, 54 dBu for 1st adjacent and 100 dBu for 2nd adjacent. protection.

    CP = (1) construction permit (2) circular polarization

    CPS = Cycles Per Second; see “Hertz”

    CFR = Code of Federal Regulations Title 47: Telecommunications,

    the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation.

    (within title 47 the most discussed parts are normally Part 73 Radio Broadcast Services, but also may refer to Part 0, Part 1, Part 2, Part 15, Part 17, Part 74)

    CQAM = Compatible Quadrature Amplitude Modulation, a system developed by Motorola for stereophonic broadcasting on mediumwave (AM)

    DA = (1) directional antenna,an antenna which radiates greater power in one or more directions or exhibits greater receive sensitivity in one or more directions (2) distribution amplifier, an amplifier that provides multiple outputs from one input

    DA-N = directional antenna at night

    DA-2 = directional antenna 24 hours, different patterns day and night

    DAB = digital audio broadcasting, the method for audio broadcasting digitally in many countries, principally in Europe.

    dB = decibel, a logarithmic unit used to express the ratio between two values of a physical quantity, often used to express the gain of an amplifier or the loss of signal strength as a signal propagates away from the antenna.

    DC = (1) direct current, the unidirectional flow of electricity (2) publisher of Batman, Superman and Justice League comic books

    DSSC = double sideband suppressed carrier, a form of modulation used in analog FM broadcasting

    DTV = Direct TV, American pay DBS service

    EMI = (1) electromagnetic interference. (2) major record label and media coinglomerate based in England.

    ERP = Effective Radiated Power, in FM radio and television broadcasting, the amount of power you are licensed to transmit, it is equal to transmitter power output (TPO) minus transmission line loss times the antenna gain.

    FM = (1) frequency modulation, the encoding of information in a carrier wave by varying the instantaneous frequency of the wave. (Compare with amplitude modulation, in which the amplitude of the carrier wave varies, while the frequency remains constant.) (2) the FM broadcast band (87.5 to 108.1 MHz throughout most of the world, in either 100 or 200 kHz increments.)

    free to air = A broadcast transmitted without encryption/scrambling and (usually) not requiring a subscription be paid to use it; for example, public-access channels on cable TV. Compare “in the clear”.

    frequency = the number of occurrences of an electromagnetic field, usually referring to audio or radio signals, per unit time. Also see period and wavelength.

    Gm = transconductance, the ratio of the current change at the output port to the voltage change at the input port, usually in reference to a vacuum tube.

    HAAT = Height above average terrain, used in the prediction of coverage by television stations, FM radio stations and some wireless radio services, HAAT value is determined by taking 50 evenly spaced elevation points (above mean sea level [AMSL]) along at least 8 evenly spaced radials from the transmitter site (starting at 0 degrees [True North]). The 50 evenly spaced points are sampled in the segment between 3 to 16 km (formerly 2 to 10 miles) along each radial. The elevation points along each radial are averaged, then the radial averages are averaged to provide the final HAAT value. Terrain variations within 3 km (2 miles) of the transmitter site usually do not have a great impact on station coverage.

    For a full explanation click here and scroll down

    HAGL = height above ground level

    Hz = Hertz, the standard for measuring sinusoidal electricity. Previously known as CPS or cycles per second

    I = electrical current , the flow of charge (measured in amperes or amps)

    IF = intermediate frequency,

    IBAC = in-band adjacent channel; what Ibiquity really mean when they say “IBOC”.

    IBOC = in band on channel, the current method for broadcasting audio digitally on the AM and FM bands

    I Heart Radio = Lipstick on a proverbial pig. A polished turd. “I Fart Radio”.

    IMD = intermodulation distortion

    In the clear = transmitted without any encryption or scrambling; can be received on ordinary equipment. The main difference between “free-to-air” and “in-the-clear” is whether or not a subscription or permission is required to use the signal in certain applications. For example, before Echostar’s conversion to Nagravision III, Muzak Company transmitted music on the Echostar 7 satellite in-the-clear that could be (and often was) intercepted by people in their homes with third-party satellite receivers. It wasn’t free-to-air because it still required a subscription be paid to use it in businesses. Thus free-to-air transmissions are often (usually) in the clear, but transmissions in the clear may not necessarily be free to air.

    K = (1) Kilo; SI prefix for thousand (2) Series of three microwave radio frequency bands between 12 and 40 GHz; the Ku-band (12-18 GHz) in particular is commonly used for foreign satellite television broadcasting, backhauls and commercial direct-broadcast satellite TV services (including pay packages like Echostar and Direct TV, and in-the-clear ethnic and religious TV/audio broadcasting.) The K-bands don’t require as large an antenna as C-band to reliably receive, making them practical for fixed-dish, direct-to-home television broadcasting and computer networking uses.

    Longley-Rice: An alternate method to the FCC method of predicting coverage that addresses the difficulty of determining exactly where a contour line falls when in fact the signal from a given transmitter may rise and fall above and below a given signal level numerous times along the path.

    LPFM = Low Power FM, a class of service in FM broadcasting

    LPTV = Low Power TV, a class of service in TV broadcasting

    NDA = non directional antenna

    NTSC = analog television engineering standards and video transmission system. Acronym for “Never Twice the Same Color”.

    NFG = what happens to all vacuum tubes after a while

    P = Electrical Power, measured in watts, the product of current and voltage at the same point.

    PA = (1) power amplifier (2) public address

    PAL = (1) Phase Alternating Line, an analog color video system developed in Germany that became common in many countries that formerly used monochrome systems with a 50 Hz refresh rate. (2) Perfection At Last; common reaction to the system’s technical merits after having previously dealt with NTSC and SECAM.

    POL = polarization (also polarisation), in antenna theory the polarization is the orientation of the electric field, and is always 90º from the magnetic field

    Q = (1) in electrical and electronic circuits, the Q or quality factor is a dimensionless parameter that describes how under damped an oscillator is, characterizing its bandwidth relative to its center frequency, a high Q indicates a lower rate of energy loss (2) the head of R&D in the British Secret Service in the James Bond series (3) Captains Picard/Sisko/Janeway’s nemesis

    RF = radio frequency energy, signals that have a frequency greater than 20,000 Hz (20 kHz). Signals below that frequency are AF or audio frequency signals.

    RF Spectrum Ranges include:

    Very Low Frequency VLF 3 – 30 kHz

    Low Frequency LF 30 – 300 kHz

    Medium Frequency MF 300kHz – 3 MHz

    High Frequency HF 3 – 30 MHz

    Very High Frequency VHF 30 – 300 MHz

    Ultra High Frequency UHF 300 MHz – 3 GHz

    Super High Frequency SHF 3 GHz – 30 GHz

    Extremely High Frequency EHF 30 GHz – 300 GHz

    RFI = radio frequency interference

    RFR = radio frequency radiation,

    S/N = Signal to noise ratio of either the RF, visual or audio signal with reference to the associated noise floor.

    SECAM = Séquentiel couleur à mémoire (Sequential Colour And Memory), an analog color video system developed in France. SECAM transmits each color line sequentially and stores each in delay lines until they can be writen to the screen raster. The other systems use the phase difference between two subcarriers relative the baseband monochrome picture to obtain full color. Also “System Entirely Contrary to the American Method” since chronologically it follows NTSC yet predates PAL.

    SOL = the prevailing attitude of employees when they learn Clear Channel has automated their station (see above)

    SSB = single side band, a form of modulation

    STL = studio-transmitter link, a system to deliver the program audio chain to the transmitter site from the studio

    T = Period, the inverse of frequency or the time for the electric wave to go through one full cycle.

    TPO = transmitter power output

    THD = total harmonic distortion

    THX = how’d that get in here?

    translator = a low power class of service in FM broadcasting intended to repeat programming from an originating full power class station

    V = voltage, the electrical potential (difference) between two points

    VSB = vestigial sideband, a form of modulation (see NTSC)

    wavelength = in a sinusoidal wave, the distance over which the wave’s shape repeats





    XTAL = Crystal

    XMTR = Transmitter

    XFORMER = Transformer

    Z = impedance = the measure of the opposition that a circuit presents to a current when a voltage is applied (DC resistance plus AC resistance)

    Zones = In FM and TV broadcasting, for the purpose of allotments and assignments, the United States is divided into three zones

    ? = wavelength

    ? = Resistance in Ohms

    ? = pi, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, and is approximately equal to 3.14159

    Ø = (1) the null set, (2) undefined (3) the sum and total of your enemy’s knowledge . . . depending on which side of this board it appears.

    60 dBu = 1 mv/M In FM broadcasting, the distance from the antenna where the propagated signal has attenuated to this value is considered in FM broadcasting as the limits of your Primary coverage or Protected contour. dBu references dB above 1 microvolt per meter (uV), that is to say 60dBu is 1,000 times the voltage at 0dBu ( 1 microvolt). In Zone I and I-A, Class B1’s primary protected contour is 57 dBu and for Class B’s it is 54 dBu. For all other stations in FM broadcasting, 60 dBu is the primary protected contour.

    Deliberately plagiarized and ripped off from Andy Brown’s post from last year with various additions made and liberties taken by me. (Live with it. Laugh a little.)


    Apparently Phreakazoid had Feiled for protection under Chapter 12:


    AM = Antique Modulation
    ATSC = Another Technical Set of Complications

    CB = Crazy Band
    CP = Complicated Paperwork

    DAB = Done And Broke

    EBS = Excruciating Buzzing Sound

    FM = For Music
    FRS = Freaky Radio Service

    GPS = Governments Practising Surveillance

    HAM = Hopeless Arrogant Morons

    IBOC = It Bothers Other Channels
    ISDN = Integration Subscribers Don’t Need, I Still Don’t kNow
    ITFS = Internet Transmitters For Sprint

    MURS = Mostly Unused Radio Service

    NTSC = Never Twice the Same Colour

    PAL = Pay A Lot, Pay Another Licence, Perfection At Last

    QAM = Quirky And Mysterious

    SECAM = Something Entirely Contrary to the American Method

    The opinions and views expressed in this post (especially the latter section) do not necessarily represent those of gouge, BWBMX or New East Vancouver Choppers. . . oh wait, yeah maybe the latter case.



    Thank you for keeping this thread going. I started it many years ago and am beginning to think it’s going to outlive me! 🙂

    Andy Brown

    Good job, gouge. I did notice your embellishments and I did laugh. The addendum is a good laugh, too.

    Ohm’s law first appeared in the famous book Die galvanische Kette, mathematisch bearbeitet (tr., The Galvanic Circuit Investigated Mathematically) (1827) in which he gave his complete theory of electricity. In this work, he stated his law for electromotive force acting between the extremities of any part of a circuit is the product of the strength of the current, and the resistance of that part of the circuit.

    When Georg Simon Ohm’s theory of electricity was published in 1827 The German Minister of Education said that
    “…a physicist who professed such heresies was unworthy to teach science.”

    George Simon Ohm
    Georg Simon Ohm
    (16 Mar 1789 – 6 Jul 1854)


    Okay when will kwlz 96.3 sign on? Also, when will kyte 102.7 move into the willamette valley?

    Andy Brown

    “when will kwlz 96.3 sign on?”

    Sometime between now and 08/31/2015, the date their CP expires. In addition,


    “when will kyte 102.7 move into the willamette valley?”

    Sometime between now and 04/10/2017, the date their CP expires.

    When Pigs Fly



    OR BALDTL-20141223ABA KPXG-LD 69792 ION MEDIA LICENSE COMPANY, LLC Voluntary Assignment of License
    Form 345


    Now drone footage of tower demo’s…
    pretty cool stuff…


    “Now drone footage of tower demo’s”

    Makes my R/C control fingers itch with anticipation! I am fairly certain that once the FAA/Legal situation involving the commercial use of drones is settled, they could be used for a quick inspection, without the need to climb the tower/antenna, in many cases. High RF fields *could* present a problem however, to radio controlled aircraft and possibly mess up the video being recorded or transmitted to the ground for FPV (first person view) flying. Seems *not* to be a problem here at a cell tower:



    You gave me a reason to finally re-create my user on this new board! Being a web developer, I can help with that. Here’s a much cleaner, searchable interface for that same exact data:

    Dan: if this in any way violates the TOS of this board, please feel free to remove this message and let me know – thanks!

    Andy Brown

    From Broadway:

    “The 100.7 translator is on in Salem from Corvallis re-re-rebroadcasting EMF’s Klov now 6 listenable signals coming to the mid-valley from their networks. Guess the freg. that KMUZ really needed fell thru cause of money?
    KBOO deal’n with the saints.”

    KBOO’s 100.7 xlator K264AA, did not provide KMUZ the quality of service in Salem they were hoping for, in spite of the height, line of sight and directional antenna changes made to the original service serving Corvallis. Since it was no longer a fill in service, it could not be moved or file for more power than it already had. The above is certain.

    In order to correct this, KBOO has (my guess is temporarily) changed to rebroadcasting KLVU and thereby made the xlator status “fill in.” After this was granted and licensed, they have now filed to move it closer to Salem where even the 34 watts they are filing for will cover Salem nicely. As a fill in, this is allowed. I anticipate once this accepted application is licensed, they (KBOO) will return it to rebroadcasting KMUZ. This is the only way you can “walk” translators towards an adjacent location anymore. I didn’t check the power request in 74.1208, but because it is so low I’m guessing that the 34 watts is what would be authorized for a non fill-in status translator, so changing back to KMUZ won’t require any additional filings or reduction in ERP.

    Andy Brown

    >>This is the only way you can “walk” translators towards an adjacent location anymore
    Wow, this is an interesting chain of events that need to happen to get the facility that KMUZ needs to cover Salem.
    This will truly help them a lot as 100.7 covers Salem pretty well in the auto.


    I was in Salem today and tuned in KMUZ. They announced that a stronger signal is coming to Salem on 100.7 FM at or about 10 PM next Friday (Jan. 23).
    Today, in the hills of West Salem, I received a great signal from KPPT Newport. In Salem itself,there was no signal on 100.7 at this time.


    This means that I will no longer be able to receive KMUZ from Hillsboro until KQRZ-LP moves to 95.1. I anticipate that once KQRZ-LP moves, reception of KMUZ should be much better here, since it won’t be adjacent to any local stations.

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