PSA: Recently there have been concerns with the local channels in Caribou County having interference or missing. We reached out to the TV Translator Technician for our district to inquire what is happening. This is what he has to share with everyone:
Since October 2017 we [TV Translators District] were required by the FCC to move and compress all our channels to 21 through 35, from 31 through 51. The main stations we rebroadcast signals from are Salt Lake City Utah, Pocatello, and Idaho Falls. These areas also had to move their channels to the required spacing. Because of this, all the surrounding TV translators have worked very hard together to be able to keep the current stations on air.
This limits us to a very small window of channel spacing which creates a lot of interference and noise. An example of an issue we are currently having on Soda Point is we receive PBS (10-1) on channel 17 out of Idaho Falls and receive KBYU (11-1) on channel 17 out of Utah. Up on the mountain the receive antennas see frequencies from all over. The wave lengths at these channels (frequency’s) can travel great distances and to receive two separate broadcast stations on the same channel is very difficult but we are currently troubleshooting this and trying to resolve it.
We use to receive these channels direct from the stations but due to the compression we now have to get our channels through other TV translators districts. Some of these channels are 5 KSL, and channel 13 Fox, along with several others. We have had issues with these channels due to the other district taking interference. They have also had failures with their equipment and antennas causing our channels to be down. At this time this is not due to the equipment on Soda point being bad, old, or lack of technician abilities.
We also have test equipment on Soda Point that insures that we are transmitting the correct power out of each translator and the correct bandwidth of each one. We also have equipment to measure VSWR so that we know the translator isn’t getting reflected power, and sweep gear to sweep the transmit antennas. We could go in depth on all areas of a TV Translator but having a channel down does not always reflect on just Caribou County. There are a lot of translators down the pipe that we get our channels from. We understand the importance of these channels and work hard to keep them all up and broadcasting.
Caribou County TV Technician