47 CFR § 73.685 - Transmitter location and antenna system.

§ 73.685 Transmitter location and antenna system.

(a) The transmitter location shall be chosen so that, on the basis of the effective radiated power and antenna height above average terrain employed, the following minimum field strength in dB above one uV/m will be provided over the entire principal community to be served:

Channels 2-6 Channels 7-13 Channels 14-69
74 dBu 77 dBu 80 dBu

(b) Location of the antenna at a point of high elevation is necessary to reduce to a minimum the shadow effect on propagation due to hills and buildings which may reduce materially the strength of the station's signals. In general, the transmitting antenna of a station should be located at the most central point at the highest elevation available. To provide the best degree of service to an area, it is usually preferable to use a high antenna rather than a low antenna with increased transmitter power. The location should be so chosen that line-of-sight can be obtained from the antenna over the principal community to be served; in no event should there be a major obstruction in this path. The antenna must be constructed so that it is as clear as possible of surrounding buildings or objects that would cause shadow problems. It is recognized that topography, shape of the desired service area, and population distribution may make the choice of a transmitter location difficult. In such cases, consideration may be given to the use of a directional antenna system, although it is generally preferable to choose a site where a nondirectional antenna may be employed.

(c) In cases of questionable antenna locations it is desirable to conduct propagation tests to indicate the field strength expected in the principal community to be served and in other areas, particularly where severe shadow problems may be expected. In considering applications proposing the use of such locations, the Commission may require site tests to be made. Such tests should be made in accordance with the measurement procedure in § 73.686, and full data thereon must be supplied to the Commission. Test transmitters should employ an antenna having a height as close as possible to the proposed antenna height, using a balloon or other support if necessary and feasible. Information concerning the authorization of site tests may be obtained from the Commission upon request.

(d) Present information is not sufficiently complete to establish “blanket areas” of television broadcast stations. A “blanket area” is that area adjacent to a transmitter in which the reception of other stations is subject to interference due to the strong signal from this station. The authorization of station construction in areas where blanketing is found to be excessive will be on the basis that the applicant will assume full responsibility for the adjustment of reasonable complaints arising from excessively strong signals of the applicant's station or take other corrective action.

(e) An antenna designed or altered to produce a noncircular radiation pattern in the horizontal plane is considered to be a directional antenna. Antennas purposely installed in such a manner as to result in the mechanical beam tilting of the major vertical radiation lobe are included in this category. Directional antennas may be employed for the purpose of improving service upon an appropriate showing of need. Stations operating on Channels 2-13 will not be permitted to employ a directional antenna having a ratio of maximum to minimum radiation in the horizontal plane in excess of 10 dB. Stations operating on Channels 14-69 with transmitters delivering a peak visual power output of more than 1 kW may employ directive transmitting antennas with a maximum to minimum radiation in the horizontal plane of not more than 15 dB. Stations operating on Channels 14-69 and employing transmitters delivering a peak visual power output of 1 kW or less are not limited as to the ratio of maximum to minimum radiation.

(f) Applications proposing the use of directional antenna systems must be accompanied by the following:

(1) Complete description of the proposed antenna system, including the manufacturer and model number of the proposed directional antenna.

(2) Relative field horizontal plane pattern (horizontal polarization only) of the proposed directional antenna. A value of 1.0 should be used for the maximum radiation. The plot of the pattern should be oriented so that 0° corresponds to true North. Where mechanical beam tilt is intended, the amount of tilt in degrees of the antenna vertical axis and the orientation of the downward tilt with respect to true North must be specified, and the horizontal plane pattern must reflect the use of mechanical beam tilt.

(3) A tabulation of the relative field pattern required in paragraph (b)(2), of this section. The tabulation should use the same zero degree reference as the plotted pattern, and be tabulated at least every 10°. In addition, tabulated values of all maxima and minima, with their corresponding azimuths, should be submitted.

(4) Horizontal and vertical plane radiation patterns showing the effective radiated power, in dBk, for each direction. Sufficient vertical plane patterns must be included to indicate clearly the radiation characteristics of the antenna above and below the horizontal plane. In cases where the angles at which the maximum vertical radiation varies with azimuth, a separate vertical radiation pattern must be provided for each pertinent radial direction.

(5) All horizontal plane patterns must be plotted to the largest scale possible on unglazed letter-size polar coordinate paper (main engraving approximately 18 cm × 25 cm (7 inches × 10 inches)) using only scale divisions and subdivisions of 1, 2, 2.5 or 5 times 10-nth. All vertical plane patterns must be plotted on unglazed letter-size rectangular coordinate paper. Values of field strength on any pattern less than 10% of the maximum field strength plotted on that pattern must be shown on an enlarged scale.

(6) The horizontal and vertical plane patterns that are required are the patterns for the complete directional antenna system. In the case of a composite antenna composed of two or more individual antennas, this means that the patterns for the composite antenna, not the patterns for each of the individual antennas, must be submitted.

(g) Applications proposing the use of television broadcast antennas within 61.0 meters (200 feet) of other television broadcast antennas operating on a channel within 20 percent in frequency of the proposed channel, or proposing the use of television broadcast antennas on Channels 5 or 6 within 61.0 meters (200 feet) of FM broadcast antennas, must include a showing as to the expected effect, if any, of such proximate operation.

(h) Where the TV licensee or permittee proposes to mount its antenna on or near an AM tower, as defined in § 1.30002, the TV licensee or permittee must comply with § 1.30003 or § 1.30002.

(Secs. 4, 5, 303, 48 Stat., as amended, 1066, 1068, 1082 (47 U.S.C. 154, 155, 303))
[28 FR 13660, Dec. 14, 1963, as amended at 35 FR 5693, Apr. 8, 1970; 40 FR 25461, June 16, 1975; 43 FR 53740, Nov. 17, 1978; 44 FR 22740, Apr. 17, 1979; 45 FR 26065, Apr. 17, 1980; 47 FR 35990, Aug. 18, 1982; 48 FR 21486, May 12, 1983; 50 FR 23701, June 5, 1985; 58 FR 44951, Aug. 25, 1993; 62 FR 51059, Sept. 30, 1997; 78 FR 66298, Nov. 5, 2013]