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Technical discussion of Improvements to our system

History of KFLA - the station went on the air from Mt. Wilson October 17, 2007. The station transmitted at 300 watts, the then allowed maximum power for a VHF community station. Most people received our signal quite well.

In March on 2009 KFMB San Diego changed it's digital broadcasts to ch 8 causing interference to some of our viewers. Southern Orange County and South Beach areas were effected the most.

In mid 2009 KFLA asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for permission to change to a new transmit frequency of ch 22. This application has not acted on.

In late 2010 we applied for and were granted temporary authority to change our transmit frequency to ch 52. A new transmitter and antenna were installed. The interference problem was completely gone and our signal was much improved in most areas.

However, viewers living close to the mountains in the San Fernando, the San Gabriel Valleys and areas East into San Bernardino County were unable to receive the new signal. UHF signals do not "refract" (bend) as well as our old signal did on VHF ch 8. The fix was to move the antenna higher up on the tower to get above the obstructions.

On July 15th, in a surprise move the FCC ordered all TV stations in the Country to stop transmitting on any channel above ch 51 by the end of 2011. This effected KFLA and two other community TV stations in Southern California.

The first thing we did was pick ourselves up off the floor, dusted ourselves off and began work on a plan to keep KFLA on the air. It became apparent that the FCC was not going to grant our request to use ch 22. Our only option was to go back to our ch 8 transmit frequency. The good news is the FCC raised the maximum power limit for VHF community stations to 3,000 watts - a ten fold increase. We expect this power increase to resolve most or all of the interference problems people in the South Bay and Southern Orange County areas had.

We applied for and were granted authority to go back to ch 8. A new antenna system has been installed at the 350 level of our tower - more than double our original height. The installation of a new 3,000 watt transmitter system was completed last week and we are currently conducting equipment tests of the new system.

This greatly improves our signal in most areas. However, we are required to "protect" KFMB in San Diego. To do this we must greatly reduce our signal towards San Diego. This effects the very eastern and southern areas of Orange County and all of the Inland Empire. This map shows the coverage of the new, higher power, ch 8 transmitter. The areas with no color overlay will require a very large antenna system if they are able to receive KFLA at all.

We do have a fix for these areas. We have agreed to purchase a second community station which we will operate as a fill in translator to serve those areas. Permission to transfer the license to us is pending before the FCC. We expect (hope for) a grant soon. This transmitter will be placed at Box Springs, the current transmit site for KVCR television and numerous FM Radio stations that serve the Inland Empire.

Here are the specifics of our new system:

  • RF Channel is ch 8
  • Virtual channel is ch 8
  • Effective Radiated Power is 3,000 watts
  • Transmit antenna is mounted at the 350' level of the "CBS tower" at Mt. Wilson. This is the western most and tallest tower at Mt. Wilson. It is the only tower that is painted red and white and the only tower with red lights.

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