Dielectric Crafts VHF Antenna for Sutro Tower Repack

RAYMOND, Maine—As San Francisco DTV broadcasters KGO-TV and KRON-TV prepare for their repack, they will be getting an update to their antenna courtesy of a newly designed THV series directional pylon antenna from Dielectric. The stacked antenna array will be installed atop Sutro Tower in San Francisco later this year.

As Dielectric customizes its THV series of antennas for its customers, the company cited specific challenges with this latest model due to the strict earthquake code antennas must comply with in the San Francisco Bay area, as well as other environmental considerations and the ability to support antennas for both stations.

“These design considerations called for a grade of steel that is much thicker and stronger than that which is customary for antenna construction,” said Keith Pelletier, vice president and general manager at Dielectric. “By design, the stack will be cable of handling the extra weight, and compliant with all earthquake restrictions.”

Pelletier says that a third-party structural engineering firm is currently reviewing the design to ensure it meets the earthquake code. If approved, the antenna array will be constructed during the second quarter of 2019.

For the installation, the stacked antenna array will be affixed to one of Sutro Tower’s three “candelabra” arms, reinforced with guy wires in accordance with the earthquake code, a unique feature for the Sutro Tower. The antennas feature slotted coaxial designs to avoid possible interference between antennas. It also features a low windload and an auxiliary antenna (TLSV series) to ensure no off-air time during the repack process.

“Since KGO is already operating in the VHF band, we will install an auxiliary antenna lower down on the tower that allows them to operate on channel 7,” Pelletier said. “That frees up the tower top and allows us to install KRON and KGO new antennas on top of the tower and allows KGO to remain on air. Once that’s completed, KGO can move to its permanent antenna on top and Sutro Tower will remain outfitted with an auxiliary VHF antenna.”

Sutro Tower is scheduled to be repacked during phase nine. KGO-TV will be repacked from channel 7 to channel 12, while KRON-TV will go from UHF channel 38 to the vacated channel 7.

Dielectric will showcase its VHF antennas, including the THV series, at the 2019 NAB Show.

For all the latest news and insight on the repack, visit our repack silo.