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Long Island’s WLNY-TV goes digital with Jampro UHF slot antenna

On June 12 when most stations were switching from analog to digital, WLNY-TV, a Class A station broadcasting from Ridge, Long Island, cut over from its temporary digital channel 57 to a new digital channel 47 with a Jampro. The DTV antenna was installed to prepare for the transition. Low-power TV and Class A stations are not required to go digital until a future date, but the station has been operating on a temporary digital channel since 2006.

WLNY-TV is an independent station owned by WLNY Limited Partnership. It covers all of Long Island and reaches into Connecticut, Westchester County, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Three years ago the station moved to a temporary digital channel 57 with its new Jampro antenna and ceased analog operation. On June 12 it had to move from 57 to 47, but had to wait until WNJU, a Spanish station out of Newark, NJ, went off the air because they were on 47 analog. So WNJU went off, WLNY went on channel 47 as its final digital resting channel. WLNY is now broadcasting at a full megawatt of power.

Richard Mulliner, director of engineering at WLNY, said the transition went very smoothly.

To prepare for this switch, WLNY replaced an aging antenna with a DTV-ready 16-bay Jampro UHF slot antenna for channel 57. “We did not want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for something we would have to scrap in a few years,” Mulliner said. “Therefore, we put up a Jampro and saved tens of thousand of dollars. We were so impressed with the way it performed and the workmanship, that we selected Jampro for the new DTV antenna that should be up for over 20-years.”

To get ready for the switchover, WLNY used a Sikorsky heavy-lift helicopter to remove the transitional antenna from its 600ft tower and install the new 16-bay Jampro JSM DTV-ready medium power UHF slot. Prior to ordering the DTV antenna, Mulliner visited Jampro’s 7000ft field test range in Sacramento, CA, and together they optimized the circularly polarized pattern.

Mulliner performed theoretical tests with instruments to make sure the line and antenna are good by running power from the 1mW transmitter to the antenna into a dummy load. Jampro engineers visited the station prior to the switchover to fine-tune any transmitter to antenna anomalies.

The Jampro JSM is the medium power version in Jampro’s Prostar Series of UHF slot antennas and is compatible with DTV, NTSC and PAL broadcasting. Made from high-quality marine brass, copper and virgin Teflon, it has excellent windload characteristics. Feed lines are pressurized for added power capacity and the slots are radome sealed. Jampro offers 50 standard patterns and custom designed azimuth patterns for specific situations. Free space azimuth patterns can be optimized for top, leg, or face mounting on the tower.