Interactive Beam Footprint Library

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Tips and Resources' started by Gary Toma, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. Apr 5, 2016 #181 of 194
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  2. Apr 5, 2016 #182 of 194
    HoTat2

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    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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  3. Gary Toma

    Gary Toma UNIX

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    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 !!!
     
  4. Gary Toma

    Gary Toma UNIX

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    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.
     
  5. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  6. tomspeer46

    tomspeer46 Legend

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    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.
     
  7. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    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...
     
  8. tomspeer46

    tomspeer46 Legend

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    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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  9. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    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?
     
  10. May 3, 2016 #190 of 194
    tomspeer46

    tomspeer46 Legend

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    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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  11. May 3, 2016 #191 of 194
    HoTat2

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    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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  12. May 3, 2016 #192 of 194
    tomspeer46

    tomspeer46 Legend

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    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.
     
  13. Gary Toma

    Gary Toma UNIX

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    The Beam Footprints for Intelsat IS-21 @58W have been added to the Master Index. IS-21 provides predominantly SD programming for Directv SKY-Mexico service.

    Thanks to Tom Speer for his time and expertise in creating Interactive Google Earth Beam Footprint Displays for us.
     
  14. Gary Toma

    Gary Toma UNIX

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    Beam Footprints for the Directv T16 satellite have been added to the Beam Library as of 3/6/2019. See Post #1 of this thread for the library link.
     

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