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Interactive Beam Footprint Library


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#201 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 17 March 2016 - 11:06 AM

Ok, but I didn't mean to imply that the listings of OTA guide data info. posted on James' site was broken down by intra-DMA zip code. But merely to point out that apparently he can capture the OTA data to begin with.


That would be the big question. DISH has decided to link OTA to EPG using channels in the guide. The main channel on each OTA channel is linked to DISH's via satellite feed of the channel. Additional subchannels of OTA channels are linked to high numbered virtual channels (channels that do not exist other than in tables). DISH does not use zip codes to match channels to EPG. DISH uses the transport stream ID transmitted by the local station. The transport stream ID (TSID) is how DISH knows what channel is being received regardless of display channel or RF carrier frequency.

It would be interesting to see how DIRECTV does their OTA EPG and matching channels to guide content.
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#202 OFFLINE   tomspeer46

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Posted 17 March 2016 - 08:15 PM

 

One thing I would LOVE to see added, though it might be a lot of work would be a chart (similar to the Network Decoder chart on the last page of the spreadsheet) for 99(s) and 103(s) that lists exactly which markets are covered on each transponder. Yes, I realize the spreadsheet lists this information but a nice chart that simply lists 99(s) transponder 1 carrying these markets, transponder 2 carries these markets, etc would be a great addition. It shouldn't require a great deal of revision once it is created, as those rarely move around.

The chart would be WAY more complex than the Network Decoder chart.  You can get what you are asking for from Gary's LIL tab on theTPN map. Click on the upper right corner, at the junction of the row labels and column labels, to select the whole sheet.  Then at the top Click on the Data tab, then SORT select "My data has headers'" then sort on NETWORK,TPN,TID, & LIL_MARKET.   Then click on "Remove duplicates" at the top, unselect all, then check the same four fields.  If you delete all the lines that are not in Network 11 or 14, you will have a list of all markets on each transponder, on 99s and 103s.  Note that there are maybe on the order of 20 DMA's on each TPN number,  1 to 3 DMAs on each TID, more if there are virtual channels in neighboring DMAs.


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#203 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 09:27 AM

Directv has finally applied for a license to uplink reverse band from LABC. They've had it at CRBC for some time, but this indicates they are moving closer to actually using it as they'll have geographic diversity via a new 13.2 meter dish in LABC. I don't count NWUF as diversity as that was probably used for RB-1A and RB-2A testing, and not intended for CONUS uplinks since that's only a remotely operated uplink facility. See http://licensing.fcc...ing_key=-283916

 

In Sept. 2014 I dug through their Earth station applications to produce a list of what sites could uplink where and produced the below list. I checked to see if anything else had changed, and SWUF added a Ku antenna able to uplink to Directv's Ku satellite fleet which has also been added to the list.

 

Pretty sure the site in Brooklyn is defunct, and having three sites in the LA area doesn't make much sense so they will probably get rid of one of them if they haven't already. I would look for CRDUF and LADUF (assuming they keep it and dump Canoga Park) to add reverse band, so they have full site diversity to add to the geographic diversity they now possess. Likewise Littleton is probably gone or on the way out. I'm assuming the missing 119 for LADUF was a clerical error in the application as it seems odd to uplink to only two of their three Ku satellite locations and leave one out.

NAME          LOCATION             Ku uplink     Ka uplink     RDBS uplink

n/a           Brooklyn, NY         101
CANOGA PARK   Los Angeles, CA                    99/101/103[*]
CRBC          Castle Rock, CO      101/110/119   99/101/103    99/103
CRDUF         Englewood, CO        101/110/119   99/101/103
ECUF          Winchester, VA       101/110/119
LABC          Los Angeles, CA      101/110/119   99/101/103    99/103
LADUF         Long Beach, CA       101/110       99/101/103
LITTLETON     Littleton, CO                      99/101/103
MWDF          Big Lake, MN                       99/101/103
MWUF          Oakdale, MN          101/110/119   99/101/103
NEDF          Littleton, NH                      99/101/103
NEUF          New Hampton, NH                    99/101/103
NWDF          Ellensburg, WA                     99/101/103
NWUF          Moxee, WA                          99/101/103    99/103
SWDF          Benson, AZ                         99/101/103
SWUF          Tucson, AZ           101/110/119   99/101/103

[*] Ka hi only

Edited by slice1900, 05 April 2016 - 09:28 AM.

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#204 OFFLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 10:13 AM

Thanks, good find and license summary;

However, as I posted previously you may want to consider that DIRECTV might be changing it's diversity site for the LABC to the new Bakersfield facility they're constructing there.

Remember the construction plan documents I found online for the Bakersfield facility not too long ago titled it many times as the "LA Diverse Facility" (or LADF) And the first dish being built there, "LADKA1," is the same General Dynamics 13.2m dish model with both Ka and Reverse Band capability. The "D" in there for "Diversity" perhaps?

Interstingly enough, I remember VOS, thinking I was wrong at the time, once objected to a post I made claiming the CBC was the Ka diversity facility for the LABC since it's location in nearby Long Beach was really too close for good uplink diversity.

This may have been the precise reason why it was moved up to Bakersfield.

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#205 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 10:22 AM

Yes, I remember you posting that now. If it comes online in time they may never need to add reverse band capability to the current LADUF, only to CRDUF. I wonder what the distance requirement is for diversity, and whether it is intended only for weather or for other factors? And if the CRBC and CRDUF are far enough apart or if that might eventually be replaced as well?


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#206 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 01:30 PM

I had another thought about this. They may not consider it necessary to have reverse band uplink capability in both LA sites and both Colorado sites since that's used for CONUS only. The way I see it, the uplink site / diversity site distinction is used for uplinking spot beams, since that's the only diversity provided. They can't switch over to LABC to uplink spot beams that CRBC is supposed to uplink if there's very heavy rain fading their uplink, because LABC already has spot beams it is uplinking on the same frequencies.

 

The diversity for CONUS is provided by the two main broadcast centers, so if normally LABC and CRBC are splitting the CONUS uplink load to some extent, and CRBC has problems, rather than moving that load to CRDUF they'd move it to LABC. I doubt CRDUF and LADUF (or the new one being built in Bakersfield) have all the infrastructure and staffing necessary for handling CONUS so that's probably LABC and CRBC only.

 

I'd imagine they switch programming over before a big storm arrives, rather than waiting until their uplink is actually faded (unless they have the ability to cut over almost instantly) The diversity between these sites is probably intended for longer term outages, like if something breaks or they need to do scheduled maintenance, or if a huge blizzard crippled Colorado and CRBC staff couldn't get to work, that sort of thing.


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#207 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 04:00 PM

How much interference will the DBS uplink sites cause to customers near the unlink attempting to receive RDBS? Including DIRECTV itself attempting to monitor the return RDBS signal at the uplink site?

Perhaps customer RDBS reception would not be overwhelmed by the DBS uplink ... but would a co-located uplink have trouble monitoring their own signals? Or would they have separate receive sites for monitoring RDBS?
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#208 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 04:48 PM

Directv used the test payloads RB-1A on D11 and RB-2A on D12 to investigate this. They found that depending on where you fell in the line of sight to between the uplink dish and satellite, you could be affected up to a mile away. But they didn't give any figures on what they meant - was "affected" meaning they could measure a db drop in SNR, or meaning that reception was impossible.

 

Suffice to say if you are within a few blocks of an earth station doing Ku uplinks you might have problems. As for Directv's ability to monitor it, maybe with the huge dishes they use it isn't as much of a problem as with the comparatively tiny Slimline.


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#209 OFFLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 05:00 PM

I had another thought about this. They may not consider it necessary to have reverse band uplink capability in both LA sites and both Colorado sites since that's used for CONUS only. The way I see it, the uplink site / diversity site distinction is used for uplinking spot beams, since that's the only diversity provided. They can't switch over to LABC to uplink spot beams that CRBC is supposed to uplink if there's very heavy rain fading their uplink, because LABC already has spot beams it is uplinking on the same frequencies.

The diversity for CONUS is provided by the two main broadcast centers, so if normally LABC and CRBC are splitting the CONUS uplink load to some extent, and CRBC has problems, rather than moving that load to CRDUF they'd move it to LABC. I doubt CRDUF and LADUF (or the new one being built in Bakersfield) have all the infrastructure and staffing necessary for handling CONUS so that's probably LABC and CRBC only.

I'd imagine they switch programming over before a big storm arrives, rather than waiting until their uplink is actually faded (unless they have the ability to cut over almost instantly) The diversity between these sites is probably intended for longer term outages, like if something breaks or they need to do scheduled maintenance, or if a huge blizzard crippled Colorado and CRBC staff couldn't get to work, that sort of thing.

AFAIK, the satellite diversity transmission can switch spotbeams and/or CONUS xpndr uplink channels almost instantaneously and seemlessly between the primary and secondary (diversity) sites.

While the main support infrastructure stays with the broadcast or primary regional uplink center, the last link in the broadcast chain so to speak, the transmission and receive dishes, are quickly switchable between the sites.

Transfers of CONUS programming between the LABC and CRBC I think would be done on a more permanent basis for whatever reasons. Emergency backup and the like should one broadcast center suffer an outage involving more than just the uplink dishes, but the infrastructure inside the center.

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#210 OFFLINE   Gary Toma

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 04:56 PM

The D11D (that is D11-Derived) Beam footprints are all uploaded today.  These updated footprints represent a multitude of changes and improvements engineered by Tom Speer and now feature file naming that should make life easier for all of us.

 

Thank you Tom for your initiative, insight and the hours, and hours and hours you have invested to provide us a truly professional product.  Well Done !!!




#211 OFFLINE   Gary Toma

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 09:48 PM

A new set of D12 Beam Footprints are all uploaded today.  These updated footprints represent a multitude of changes and improvements engineered by Tom Speer and now feature file naming that should make life easier for all of us.




#212 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 10:08 AM

I like the new look for the D11/D12 beams, great work! One suggestion, it might be handy to add "(unused)" for those beams that are currently not broadcasting any channels, such as the D11 A3B8 beam I mentioned as the one they'd use if they were going to add service to the Glendive, MT DMA. That will make it a bit easier to sort out what is what.


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#213 OFFLINE   tomspeer46

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 12:41 PM

I like the new look for the D11/D12 beams, great work! One suggestion, it might be handy to add "(unused)" for those beams that are currently not broadcasting any channels, such as the D11 A3B8 beam I mentioned as the one they'd use if they were going to add service to the Glendive, MT DMA. That will make it a bit easier to sort out what is what.

The only unused spot beams on D11 is A3B8  On D12,  A1B9 and A4BA  were in use, but not now. 

 

On D14, The notes on the right hand side of my transponder maps give the status.  The current list of unused beams is: A13R, A19R, A22L, B03L  B16L, B17L, B21L, B22R,   I somehow missed when B17L went from active to inactive.

 

That is not the whole story,  There are vacant transponders on many beams, which are carrying one or more live TIDs. I have tried to keep my Band Plan up to date with this by Graying out TIDs that are defined, but have no programming on them.  I think there is one or two errors in the current version.  I have been neglecting it, working on the Beam Names and footprints.


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#214 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 04:01 PM

The only unused spot beams on D11 is A3B8  On D12,  A1B9 and A4BA  were in use, but not now. 

 

On D14, The notes on the right hand side of my transponder maps give the status.  The current list of unused beams is: A13R, A19R, A22L, B03L  B16L, B17L, B21L, B22R,   I somehow missed when B17L went from active to inactive.

 

That is not the whole story,  There are vacant transponders on many beams, which are carrying one or more live TIDs. I have tried to keep my Band Plan up to date with this by Graying out TIDs that are defined, but have no programming on them.  I think there is one or two errors in the current version.  I have been neglecting it, working on the Beam Names and footprints.

 

I guess I was confused about the last part for vacant transponders carrying live TIDs that have no programming. For instance, TID 175 is greyed out for both 99W and 103W in your Domestic Band Plans spreadsheet. I can confirm with the TPN map spreadsheet there are no locals shown for TID 175. I see it listed in your Domestic Satellite Transponders spreadsheet for D11 and D12 on beam A3B8, showed as "E-MT E-WY" on D11 and Billings on D12. Billings is also listed as TID 174, and that is what is used for its local channels. I gather from that that if Directv wanted to add service for Glendive they could use D11, since D12's A3B8 beam is offset about 100 miles SW and doesn't provide good coverage for that location. So far, so good.

 

I'm trying to find the best way to look at the available beams and figure out if/how uncovered markets could be covered. I guess I can annotate your Domestic Satellite Transponders sheet to note available beams, based on the unused TIDs, to have all the information in one place. As I previously found, Glendive turns out be easy to do, but when I checked Alpena I couldn't find a beam to cover it. The only option there would appear to be SW1. I guess there's still the open question of what happens to the markets that were moved to D14 and then moved back to SW1. Unless they were able to crank up the power a bit to increase the footprint they may continue using SW1 for those, leaving the beams they vacated potentially free if there was a small adjacent DMA they could cover.

 

I wonder if it's possible to input all the beam footprints in Google Earth and have it show the nearest beams to a given location? Might have to look up exactly what sort of programming/scripting is possible with it...


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#215 OFFLINE   tomspeer46

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 06:42 PM

One thing that you can do is open all four of the composite Antenna beam footprints for a satellite, then zoom in to the DMA in question. For Alpena, it is two counties.  Then, uncheck the beams on the list on the left, if they are close, but the Alpena DMA is outside their footprint, If you note the pushpin in the center of the remaining DMAs that cover Alpena, those are the candidates,  For Alpena, those beams would be D11 A3B5, and A1B4, and D12 A2B5.  For Alpena, their PBS station is a simulcast of WCMZ in Flint, so no new VPID is needed.  The only commercial station in Alpena  has one HD channel and two SD subchannels carrying network programming, they do feed two HD signals to the local cable company.  Now you need to find room for them.  D12 A2B5 lhas two fully packed TIDs for Flint and Detroit Using TIDs 230 and 235, but 238 has only two VPIDs used, so there is plenty of room for Alpena.  However, the economics aren't compelling.

 

You do not need a vacant TID or a vacant beam to pick up these tiny markets, just a few spare VPID on a TID on beam that can reach them.

 

I finished the D14 beam footprints today, and gave them to Gary, who has posted them., but there is nothing there for Alpena.

 

EDIT: D11_A1B4 is weaker in Alpena than the National beam, so DirecTV would avoid that. use, even if there was space available, but I didn't go further then D12 A2B5.


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#216 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 12:18 AM

Thanks for the tip, maybe I'll try to figure out what possible methods there are to cover the uncovered DMAs some rainy afternoon when I have nothing better to do.

 

I agree that the economics for adding the small DMAs aren't compelling, the main reason for Directv be advertising or making nice with the FCC (or anticipating a future requirement for this) But the Ottumwa DMA isn't exactly large, and they adding a beam on D14 specifically for it, I believe it has a couple other beams for these small unserved DMAs. So they are clearly planning (or planned when D14 was planned) to add some of the unserved DMAs. Once you get the number down to less than a half dozen, why not finish the job?


Edited by slice1900, 13 April 2016 - 12:19 AM.

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#217 OFFLINE   tomspeer46

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 07:15 AM

Over the past two months, I have created new names for all of the US Beam Footprint files  I used the first city name of each DMA that they serve, and included all primary DMAs of the stations on that beam.  We have hidden the unusably weak outer contours.  They look a lot neater that way.  You can still turn them on by checking them in contours folder of each beam in the left hand navigation pane of Google Earth.  We still show contours that may be of interest (generally 43dBw and up).  Usable signals will be above 50 dBw, (higher levels on the east coast)..  I have used the beam names used in the FCC filings for each satellite.  I have dropped use of DirecTV's  CONUS and CONUS+, as that has caused confusion in the past.  National beams are now designated as 48State, 49State, 50State and 50State+PR.  49State means the 48 contiguous US states plus Alaska,  50State includes HI.  When a national transponder feeds multiple beams, The Satellite Transponder Map shows the names of the beams it feeds, but each beam footprint is distinct.  For instance, because they were built by different vendors, RB1 on D14 has a single national 50states+PR beam.  RB2 uses three beams to accomplish the same mission.


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#218 OFFLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 11:37 AM



... For instance, because they were built by different vendors, RB1 on D14 has a single national 50states+PR beam. RB2 uses three beams to accomplish the same mission.


Yeah thanks Tom ...

I never really cared for the "CONUS" acronym, which actually comes from the military. But used it because it's the way the FCC docs. refer to them.

Though I still wonder if RB-1 is really comprised of 3 beams as well to match it's sibling RB-2, and it was just an oversight in the original FCC submissions for it.



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#219 OFFLINE   tomspeer46

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 06:46 PM

Without taking time to go back through all the FCC documents, I have read to give exact citations, I will tell you why I believe my previous statement to be true. My recollection of the filings is that D14 and RB-1 are totally different space stations, occupying the same physical platform.   When they added Puerto Rico to the planned coverage of RB-1, they changed the antenna pattern for the rest of National beam, reducing it's peak over the lower 48.  The build of the satellites were probably too far along for a major redesign.  The vendor for the D15 satellite made the decision to integrate the RB-2 payload into the D15 satellite, although the licensing continued to be separate.  In this redesign, they made separate RB antennas for HI and PR, although  they may actually be feeding the same reflectors used for KUHI or KAHI beams.


The curious otter is around, but hasn't been seen for a while.  

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