The tower crew did not work today due to rainy, windy weather. It's not looking good for the rest of the week, due to more rain and falling temperatures. The heavy equipment has been secured and the area around the tower is a muddy mess morning. Aside from the weather delays, things are working out.
In the past week the crew was able to remove most the old wave guide and install about a third of the replacement.
02/20/2020 Tower Update:
The tower crew will be climbing and working on the tower today and as a result, for safety reasons the WTVP transmitter will be operating at low power beginning at approximately at 9am.
The crew is currently removing the remaining wave guide located the top of the tower. With the current weather conditions of cold and wind the crew will not remain on the tower for long. The transmitter will return to full power once the crew is done at the top of the tower.
The weather has finally cleared enough that the tower crew is able to climb and work on the WTVP tower today. As a result, the WTVP transmitter will be operating at low power for most of the day (2/19) for safety reasons. The transmitter will return to full power once the crew is done for the day.
02/12/2020 @ 1:00pm:
The tower crew has started some prep some work on the tower today before the weather becomes an issue. As a result we needed to power down our transmitter for safety reasons. We expect for this to last approximately an hour.
The new broadcast antenna arrived at the WTVP tower site this morning. The antenna replacement phase of this project will take approximately 2 to 3 weeks to complete, weather permitting. With a winter storm forecasted to reach Central Illinois today, the start of the work could be delayed.
We just received word that the tower crew has arrived and have begun to prep the site. The semi with the new antenna and other hardware will arrive tomorrow. With a winter storm forecasted to reach Central Illinois tomorrow, the start of the work could be delayed.
We just received word that the tower crew is scheduled to arrive on Tuesday, February 11th. It will take about 2 to 3 weeks to finish the work once they arrive.
Here is the process: 1. Prep the tower and the area under the tower (a wet muddy field), 2. Remove the Transmission wave guide (large silver pipe that runs the length of the tower from the transmitter to the antenna), 3. Run new feed lines, 4. Remove the original antenna from atop our 700 foot tower, then, 5. Install the new antenna and test.
In order to get to the top of tower the crew will need to climb past our temporary side mount antenna and the transmitter may need to be turned off or its power reduced for safety reasons. The work may also affect WCBU and the Peoria NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts as their antennas are also located on our tower.
Keep in mind that winter weather could still delay the arrival and the work, but we are going to keep our fingers crossed.
WTVP changed it's frequency last Friday which was the date federally mandated by the FCC. Unfortunately we are currently broadcasting using a temporary antenna until the old antenna can be removed from our tower and the new one installed in it’s place and as a result many viewers are unable to locate WTVP after their re-scan.
The antenna replacement has been delayed due to the availability of tower crews which climb the towers and perform the work. Originally our antenna was scheduled to be replaced in mid-December, but the crew was delayed due to issues at other job sites and the weather. With each winter storm that hits the Midwest it causes greater delays. The most recent schedule update has the crew at our tower sometime in early to mid-February, again all depending on not having issues at their current tower site and the weather.
WTVP has officially switched to our new broadcast transmitter. If you watch us "over -the-air" it is now time to re-scan your TV or digital converter in order to continue watching WTVP. More information on how to rescan: http://bit.ly/rescan47 or you may call one of our volunteers who will be offering assistance at 1-800-837-4747.
If you watch WTVP with a satellite or cable service your provider will take care of the re-scan. Comcast & I3 Broadband costumers will not be affected.
January 17th is the FCC mandated deadline for WTVP to make the switch. We will be using a temporary side mount antenna until our new antenna is delivered and installed with we expect to happen in the beginning to mid February this is dependent on weather conditions. Until the new antenna is installed we will be operating at a reduced power which may affect your ability to receive our signal.
Mark your calendar for January 17, 2020. WTVP will switch to our new transmitter, so if you watch WTVP "Over the Air" you will need to re-scan your TV or Digital Converter in order to keep watching. This change is scheduled to happen at approximately 10am, if you watch WTVP over cable or Satellite you will not need to do anything.
WTVP will use a temporary side mount antenna which will be at a reduced power until our new main antenna is installed at the top of our broadcast tower later in month.
The tower crew is on site at the WTVP transmitter and has installed our temporary side mount antenna. Next they will be pulling the transmission line up the tower, the transmission line connects the transmitter output to the antenna. We hope that this phase of the project will finished by this Thursday. Expect interruptions in service
12:40pm: Work has been completed and WTVP now is back on the air.
12:13pm: WTVP will be performing work today that will require our transmitter to be shutdown for about an hour between noon and 1pm. This will not affect Comcast or I3 Broadband customers.
WTVP is amid another historic moment.
In the early 2000s, WTVP changed from analog channel 47 to digital channel 46. Now the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reconfigured frequencies above channel 39 to make room for cell phone providers. WTVP and many other stations (approximately 600) must move. WTVP in now in the process of installing a new transmitter and antenna, to be compliant. The good news is that our current transmitter is aging, and the Federal government will pay for approximately 90% of the cost of replacement.
These two photos were taken Wednesday, December 18. Look closely at the photo of the antenna, there are two men climbing the tower. The round dish on the tower is the microwave two-way dish that accepts the 7 gigahertz signal from the WTVP building at State Street and feeds it to the transmitter. It also sends transmitter readings back WTVP, so we can monitor whether we are FCC compliant. The antennas above the round dish are Sprint cellular transceivers. If you stacked two water heaters on top of each other, that's about the size of the side mount antenna, in the second photo. Both halves and the mounting brackets weigh about 1000 pounds.
Our tower is approximately 560 ft tall. The top mounted WTVP broadcast antenna is about 40 ft tall, so the WTVP tower is about 600 ft tall. WMBD and WEEK's towers are similar and located nearby. The FAA zones all the broadcast towers together to protect aircraft flight landing patterns.
The tower crew is going home for the holidays, but they will return Jan 2nd to install the side mount antenna. The side mount antenna will allow us to remain FCC compliant by broadcasting our signal on our new channel assignment of channel 35. Tower crews will come back after the Jan 17th FCC "Phase 7" deadline to install our permanent "top mount channel 35 antenna."
WTVP Viewers will have to "rescan" their TV's in order to find our channel when we switch. All the Peoria stations that are affected by the repack are switching, (if all goes well), on Friday, Jan 17th.
Stay tuned for more progress reports. Special thanks to Jim Jordan for his stellar leadership and transmitter expertise on this project. WTVP is lucky to have such a fine engineer on our team.
12/16/2019 UPDATE: The Tower Crew has arrived at the WTVP Broadcast tower. The work is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, December 18th, 2019, weather permitting. To do this work safely, we will have to lower our broadcast power which means some viewers may not be able to receive our signal. Comcast and I3 Broadband customers should be unaffected. We hope to have this work done quickly. Check our 'Repack' page for updated information.
12/12/2019 UPDATE: The Tower Crew scheduled to perform work on our Broadcast Tower has been delayed at their current job site. If all goes well they should arrive at the WTVP tower site on Monday 12/16. This is subject to change at the last minute. If the current weather forecast is correct, snow is in the forecast, there could be delays to the project on site. Check our 'Repack' page for updated information.
12/11/2019 UPDATE: WTVP is scheduled to have work done on our broadcast tower to prepare for our Transmitter & Antenna replacement. The work is scheduled to begin on Thursday, December 16th, 2019, weather permitting. To do this work safely, we will have to lower our broadcast power which means some viewers may not be able to receive our signal. Comcast and I3 Broadband customers should be unaffected. We hope to have this work done quickly. Check our 'Repack' page for updated information.
11/26/2019 UPDATE: We have been informed by our tower crew company that are new target date for our transmitter switch over will be January 17th, 2020. This dependent on weather conditions and tower crew availability. We will post updates as we are notified.