What's up WOWK when it rains heavily?

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RADIOHEAD 1
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What's up WOWK when it rains heavily?

Post by RADIOHEAD 1 » Mon May 03, 2010 2:56 pm

Last night on several ocassions WOWK became unwatchably due to digital breakup on what I assume was the microwave to the transmitter..I remember that same thing happened at the beginning of the NCAA Final Four game
coverage last month...I can't believe that the microwave would be subject to that much rain fade..

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Re: What's up WOWK when it rains heavily?

Post by engineer » Mon May 03, 2010 5:16 pm

If the microwave is digital, which I assume it is, there should be some interleaving and data correction adjustment. Of course, there is nothing free, so the expense is more added delay when more interleaving is introduced. Interleaving does not make up for poor signals, it only compensates when brief interruptions occur, i.e. nearby lightning strikes, bird flies by, you name it. It sounds like they have a weak signal, and the rain pushes it over the edge.

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Re: What's up WOWK when it rains heavily?

Post by genlock » Mon May 03, 2010 6:02 pm

WOWK is using the same microwave path that they used in analog days.
From the studio to the top of the WV Life building then to the transmitter.
This is a 7 ghz link. The contraption on the WB bldg is a beam bender.
That is two dishes connected back to back, without any amplification
of the signal. This is the weakest part of the system. Our 7ghz link
would sometimes fade and it was direct line of sight so we corrected the
problem with a higher powered 2ghz link. I am sure that they are using
new digital radios. It is just that the bit-error-rate is exceeded and
everything goes to hell. Imagine answering the control room bat-fone
when this happens. Try explaining anything to a drunk salesman.
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Re: What's up WOWK when it rains heavily?

Post by genlock » Mon May 03, 2010 6:07 pm

That section of town is no a good shot to Barker ridge because of tall buildings.
WSAZ uses a tower to get over the obstacle.
For some reason WOWK has not done this.
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Re: What's up WOWK when it rains heavily?

Post by oldtvman2 » Tue May 04, 2010 11:05 am

WOWK went to the beam bender when the hotel across that is now gone recended promession to use a dish on top of it's building because we did to many stories about the bar and house of ill repuite. when the station moved to the new building on 5th ave on the morning of the switch rain knocked the signal to the transmitter and the microwave was moved back to 4 th ave. there was coax from the new building to the old to cary sat signals. the dome of the court house was reflecting the signal back and canceling its self out. you could see the dish on the WV buiding but couldn't get a 7 watt signal through to it. WOWK has a fibre line to the transmitter. i would believe that they are using this line. It was being used to sent signals to the other stations. i didn't look but in the past when they were having trouble , all the local stations were having the same trouble. i don't know where they are uplinking to Dish and Direc View but i think it is on the Coal Exchange Building.
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Re: What's up WOWK when it rains heavily?

Post by Cameron » Wed May 05, 2010 9:17 pm

oldtvman2 wrote: i don't know where they are uplinking to Dish and Direc View but i think it is on the Coal Exchange Building.
Antennas on the Coal Ex were removed and 98.5/94.1 were installed on that tower. Dish/DirecTV share a POP in the old WVAH building in Scott Depot. (The only animal hospital in the nation with $90,000 worth of fiber-gear and demods).
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Re: What's up WOWK when it rains heavily?

Post by genlock » Thu May 06, 2010 8:43 am

Ok, I will admit that I do not know how a fiber link could be affected by rain causing a fade.
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Re: What's up WOWK when it rains heavily?

Post by oldtvman2 » Thu May 06, 2010 3:08 pm

microwave and sat up links are effected by rain or fog and snow.. WOWK (WHTN) lost signal several times during bad snow storms and heavy fog when they had a direct path from 4th ave. the beam bender was installed when the radison hotel was built blocking original path. could be fades on the sat inputs or on their up link. since it happens on all local stations from both Huntington and Charleston I would believe it was on their sat uplink. some where i read about the original call letters that the stations used and they were wrong. WHTN was the designation on airline maps as HTN for Huntington and CHS was for charleston and both still are. WOWK was for Ohio West Virginia and Kentucky.
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Re: What's up WOWK when it rains heavily?

Post by Big Media » Fri May 07, 2010 12:27 pm

genlock wrote:Ok, I will admit that I do not know how a fiber link could be affected by rain causing a fade.
Not really. I would think any rain issue might be between the satellite dishes and the receivers.

Also, some station control rooms are bypassed when they are passing network HD (since most don't have the capability to route HD through their control rooms). If WOWK has a dish and receiver at the TX site, they may be bypassing the STL as well, while in network HD. The problem could be on the hill.

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Re: What's up WOWK when it rains heavily?

Post by oldtvman2 » Fri May 07, 2010 1:53 pm

Wowk used fibre to feed the original digital transmitter and to feed the other stations on their network. the 7gig transmitters were very good with about two microwave fades a year and these were during bad weather snow, heavy rain and some fog. these fades were usually for just a few seconds. had trouble with snow buildup in the microwave dishes the receiver dish at the transmitter was mounted about 12 feet off the ground facing up to a reflector at 300 feet on the tower. Ed Gurney had one of the dishes taken to a paint shop where they installed a heat tape. At the first sign of snow I had to take a ladder out and plug it to AC. when new people came in they put a cover over the dish but we still had some problems with snow building up on top of it. not often, and I would have to climb up and sweep it with a broom. the receivers would switch if they had a signal fade or any problem also there were two transmitters at the studio. I believe they would switch if one had a problem. I know we could cause the recevers at the transmitter to switch if we just changed the transmitters at the studio, loss of signal would switch the receivers.
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