Spectrum Repack: RF System
Depending on your station's future plans, you may want to revisit and update your RF system components, especially if you plan to switch bands, improve output, and/or take advantage of ATSC 3.0
Key RF System Considerations
Determine if You are Changing Frequency Bands from UHF to VHF
- If Yes → Entire RF system replacement required.
- If No → Still likely that a replacement system is needed.
- In either case - check with manufacturer, some components may be re-used, or re-tuned on a new channel depending on extent of frequency shift.
Mask Filter (in same band)
- Check if your mask filter is re-tunable (most are not).
- Compare cost to replace versus re-tune filter on site.
- Physical size and installation considerations.
- Availability and lead time – potential implementation issue.
System Power Limits
- Is a power level increase required?
- Check ratings of low pass filters, dummy loads, line sizes, test loads, etc.
Magic Tee RF Combining Systems
- Magic Tee will not be tunable to a new channel.
Question: Do I still need a Magic Tee combiner?
- A new solid state transmitter with multi-power blocks will have excellent redundancy.
- Replacement Magic Tee RF system can cost well over $100k.
- Recent changes in filter design may offer lower insertion loss which will improve system efficiency and lower operating costs.
Dielectric: Your Guide to the FCC TV Channel Repack
See also:Are You Ready for the Spectrum Repack?