Wednesday, March 11, 2009

KIMT-DT increases ERP

We have known for some time that KIMT-DT (CBS. Mason City, IA) has been operating at 200KW and had paperwork approved by the FCC to increase that to 800KW.

As of later Tuesday (3/10/09), reports began to surface on the AVS Forum's Rochester, MN - HDTV thread of increased signal strength readings. This most likely means that they have increased their output power to 800kw. Hopefully, that will fill up most of KIMT's analog footprint.

In the Rochester market, all that's left is for KAAL their act together with digital channel 36 and for the analog channels 3, 6, 15 and 24 to shut off on June 12th. It would be nice if KTTC increased the output power, but don't hold your breath on that one.


RochesterMike said...

I am recently getting KIMT-DT at 60 % signal strength on Channel 42 in southeast Rochester on a indoor antenna.

I cannot receive KTTC-DT.

I was never able to get KIMT analog channel 3 so this is increased coverage for KIMT.

How long will KTTC be satisfied transmitting at 20 KW with reduced coverage? I used to get KTTC on my indoor antenna but no more since they switched to the low-power high-VHF signal.

I have read speculation that some of the converter boxes may have trouble tuning and locking the VHF signals. The advice I got from KTTC was change the the converter box and the antenna antenna but I would like to see some real test data. What converter boxes work and what boxes fail using the same indoor antenna from the same location in Rochester? For example, Best Buy in NW Rochester cannot get KTTC using an outdoor antenna and the apex converter box. It may be that outdoor antenna is a UHF-only or that it is pointed in the wrong direction. Or the apex converter box might have a problem. Who knows? But from the e-mail responses I have received from KTTC, the current KTTC position is that they are fine using 20 KW transmitter and the reception problems causes are elsewhere in faulty converter boxes and antennnas.

mattdp said...

For what it's worth, Best Buy North is using a Square Shooter as an antenna's this little plastic-encased piece of junk that feeds their TVs with enough signal to get KXLT-DT (FOX 47) and KSMQ reliably. If I remember right, the TVs could barely pull in KIMT-DT, and I tuned in some analogs that were horrible.

The thing is, if Best Buy knew what they were doing, they could put a real antenna up there and pump Twin Cities stations into their TVs.

Back to your situation: In terms of sensitivity, the Zenith DTT-901 is generally considered the best. However, the difference between it and say an Apex converter might not be enough to worry about.

The biggest difference is gonna be your antenna. I don't know what you have, but I'd recommend going to Radio Shack an getting a pair of oldschool back-of-the-set rabbit ears, then adjust them to the wavelength of channel 10 and aim in the direction of the transmitter (check Here is a site about using rabbit ears:

I was actually writing up a post about improving VHF-Hi reception. Watch for it soon.

Also... check out the Rochester, MN - HDTV thread ( hit last page). There are plenty of other people with similar problems.

Good luck!

~ mattdp

gjvrieze said...

As to KTTC-DT. They did increase power to the maxiumum of their current transmitter, 26kW. With a plan to be at 33.7kW by the end of summer, once they have a new transmitter installed.