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OTA channels MIA

Discussion pertaining to Detroit, Ann Arbor, Port Huron, and SW Ontario
innate-in-you
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Re: OTA channels MIA

Post by innate-in-you » Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:24 pm

RingtailedFox wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:44 pm
in the analog era, 2, 4, 7 all covered out to Lansing, Flint, Toledo, and even London (with severe transitory interference for 2 as far away as London, Ontario). 20 and 50 covered out to Ann Arbor, Port Huron, Toledo and the inner suburbs... 62 covered only the inner suburbs and downriver communities until CBS bought it and increased the power to a similar coverage area to the other UHFs. 38 covered Port Huron well from its Mount Clemens transmitter site, but never reached Toledo and just barely covered Monroe. Channel 9 covered similar areas to 2, 4, and 7.
From an engineering standing standpoint, there were three versions of WXON/WGPR/WWJ-TV.

The first version (Channel 62) was built on a budget, near 14 Mile and Beck, an area that was considered rural at the time. The theory was that they could use a shorter tower because the elevation was higher. On Detroit's East Side, it was weak, and, when it was windy, it would lose sync as if it were coming in by skip. Of course, if you lived in Oakland County, it was fine.

So, Mr. Johnson made a deal to change to Channel 20, increase power, and change their transmitter site.
(At this point, I'm not sure if it went directly to the 11/Inkster candelabra built for WKBD, or if they were briefly on another tower, on channel 20, then moving to the 11/Ink later.

For about three years (which seems like a lot of time when one is little), Channel 62 was vacant spectrum.. In what I believe was August, 1975, WGPR came on 62 from a new tower that also hosted WHFI (FM, which woiuld soon become "Magic" WMJC). Where I lived, the new 62 became the strongest UHF signal.

WGPR-TV had a day of fame when their agreement to carry a package of many out-of-town college football games just happened to include the Wolverines playing in the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl. People who havd never watch UHF in their lives went shoppping for UHF antennas just to see that game.

Later, of course, there was the Fox Surprise. CBS bought (some would say bought-off) WGPR to be the new portal for CBS. They applied for 5MW from a tower that would be far taller than any other in the area (with the antenna itself being 432m HAAT - okay with the FCC as the three zones do not apply on UHF).

Unfortunately, someone else (FAA?) disagreed, and they were condemned to a short tower.



SixPlusOne
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Re: OTA channels MIA

Post by SixPlusOne » Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:22 pm

innate-in-you wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:24 pm
The first version (Channel 62) was built on a budget, near 14 Mile and Beck, an area that was considered rural at the time. The theory was that they could use a shorter tower because the elevation was higher. On Detroit's East Side, it was weak, and, when it was windy, it would lose sync as if it were coming in by skip. Of course, if you lived in Oakland County, it was fine.

So, Mr. Johnson made a deal to change to Channel 20, increase power, and change their transmitter site.
(At this point, I'm not sure if it went directly to the 11/Inkster candelabra built for WKBD, or if they were briefly on another tower, on channel 20, then moving to the 11/Ink later.
OK, I'm going to make some corrections here. They are minor but I did work there prior to Channel 7.

The first version of Channel 62 was located on 14 Mile and Decker in Walled Lake. The signal issue as I understand it from others who worked there as well was primarily caused by broadcasting on that high channel. Remember this was 1968 and the UHF technology wasn't as good then unless you could "double your power" like Channel 50 did to improve their signal greatly. Today with much improved technology WWJ-TV transmitting on Channel 62 can produce a signal as good as anybody else.

WJMY-TV had performed some tests on Channel 20 but didn't go beyond that. They were testing from their antenna on WKBD's tower. WXON physically moved their RCA TTU30A transmitter to a small building behind the WKBD tower which had housed WJMY. Once the transmitter was reconfigured and retuned to Channel 20 and testing was complete programming originated from the Walled Lake studio and was microwaved to Southfield. Eventually all components from Walled Lake were moved into the Southfield transmitter building which was a tight squeeze but they did it. In 1975 the Walled Lake tower was taken apart and sold to a UHF station in Jackson, MI.

Channel 20 remained there behind the Channel 50 tower to transmit until the time they moved transmission to the 8 Mile & Myers site.

Needless to say when I think back over the decades Detroit television has evolved much more than I would have envisioned and is still evolving.



Splouge
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Re: OTA channels MIA

Post by Splouge » Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:52 pm

Actually, WJMY's transmitter was on Southfield Rd in AP


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fuzzpower
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Re: OTA channels MIA

Post by fuzzpower » Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:08 pm

Splouge wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:52 pm
Actually, WJMY's transmitter was on Southfield Rd in AP
Unless they moved it later in the 60s, that is correct. They had actual programming briefly in the early 60s. Few people were rushing out to get new sets or UHF converters to watch them. WKBD’s sign on in 1965 started to change all of that. My dad remembers getting the UHF converter for that reason.



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SolarMax
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Re: OTA channels MIA

Post by SolarMax » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:31 am

innate-in-you wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:24 pm
[...]Unfortunately, someone else (FAA?) disagreed, and they were condemned to a short tower.
"Condemned" is hardly the appropriate description. At 331.3M (1090') it is by no means a "short" tower. Shorter than they wanted, but comparable to others (actually very slightly taller) in the market. WKBD 321M, WJBK 323M, WDIV 324M, WXYZ 327M.



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MWmetalhead
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Re: OTA channels MIA

Post by MWmetalhead » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:41 am

When I lived on the south side of Ann Arbor twenty years ago, WWJ-TV channel 62 came in clear as a bell. The station also delivered a crisp picture to Sterling Heights and Auburn Hills. Every bit as good as channels 4, 7 and 20 and much better than Fox 2 when using an indoor antenna.

Yes, it took a staggering 5,000,000 watts to pull it off, but I'd say WWJ-TV as an analog signal was right on par with WDIV and WXYZ. If any reception issues existed, my guess is those occurred mostly on the outskirts of the Detroit DMA (places such as Chelsea, Port Huron, Monroe, Lapeer, etc.).


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innate-in-you
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Re: OTA channels MIA

Post by innate-in-you » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:38 pm

I wonder if WJMY ever actually got built out. Aerial views from 1961 and 1967 do not show any obvious sign of a tower (of course, they may have raised a tower in 1962, only to raze the tower in 1966).

WJMY would have been a peashooter. Its Grade A countour only reaching the Southwest corner of Warren.



innate-in-you
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Re: OTA channels MIA

Post by innate-in-you » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:57 pm

SolarMax wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:31 am
innate-in-you wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:24 pm
[...]Unfortunately, someone else (FAA?) disagreed, and they were condemned to a short tower.
"Condemned" is hardly the appropriate description. At 331.3M (1090') it is by no means a "short" tower. Shorter than they wanted, but comparable to others (actually very slightly taller) in the market. WKBD 321M, WJBK 323M, WDIV 324M, WXYZ 327M.
Compared to what the FCC would have allowed, 5014KW @ just under 600m (just under because the tower site was a few meters AAT), it was a significant loss. Of course, such a tower would obviously conflict with the 3/21 L&R 4/22 L&R runways at DTW.

On UHF, you really need to have height if you hope to cover a whole market with one transmitter.



fuzzpower
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Re: OTA channels MIA

Post by fuzzpower » Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:04 pm

innate-in-you wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:38 pm
I wonder if WJMY ever actually got built out. Aerial views from 1961 and 1967 do not show any obvious sign of a tower (of course, they may have raised a tower in 1962, only to raze the tower in 1966).

WJMY would have been a peashooter. Its Grade A countour only reaching the Southwest corner of Warren.
WJMY was on the air with programming, so they must have been built out. UHF channels had far lower power and coverage area back then.

Here’s a great article.
http://uhftelevision.com/articles/wjmy.html



tapeisrolling
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Re: OTA channels MIA

Post by tapeisrolling » Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:24 pm

Anyone know why channel 32 (ONT) has dropped off the dial?

Side note, when I was very young I took a tour of WPAG for fun and met Dave Pringle aka Prince. There was a large studio across the hall that was empty except for a very dusty piano. I asked the use of and the response was, "back when we had a TV channel". Years later I workrd with the son of the station manager and heard all kinds of stories about those days.



Splouge
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Re: OTA channels MIA

Post by Splouge » Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:34 pm

tapeisrolling wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:24 pm
Anyone know why channel 32 (ONT) has dropped off the dial?
Spectrum auction put them on the same frequency as WUDL, and WUDL hasn't moved yet


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windsor
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Re: OTA channels MIA

Post by windsor » Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:53 pm

As per TVO Facebook, Windsor is up and running on rf19 but at limited power.They say they are waiting on a new antenna, could be a month till its ready.

But Im sure the WUDL signal isnt helpng the situation.


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