Goto Section: 73.685 | 73.687 | Table of Contents

FCC 73.686
Revised as of November 19, 2020
Goto Year:2020 | 2022
  §  73.686   Field strength measurements.

   (a) Except as provided for in § 73.612, television broadcast stations
   shall not be protected from any type of interference or propagation
   effect. Persons desiring to submit testimony, evidence or data to the
   Commission for the purpose of showing that the technical standards
   contained in this subpart do not properly reflect the levels of any
   given type of interference or propagation effect may do so only in
   appropriate rulemaking proceedings concerning the amendment of such
   technical standards. Persons making field strength measurements for
   formal submission to the Commission in rulemaking proceedings, or
   making such measurements upon the request of the Commission, shall
   follow the procedure for making and reporting such measurements
   outlined in paragraph (b) of this section. In instances where a showing
   of the measured level of a signal prevailing over a specific community
   is appropriate, the procedure for making and reporting field strength
   measurements for this purpose is set forth in paragraph (c) of this
   section.

   (b) Collection of field strength data for propagation analysis—(1)
   Preparation for measurements. (i) On large scale topographic maps,
   eight or more radials are drawn from the transmitter location to the
   maximum distance at which measurements are to be made, with the angles
   included between adjacent radials of approximately equal size. Radials
   should be oriented so as to traverse representative types of terrain.
   The specific number of radials and their orientation should be such as
   to accomplish this objective.

   (ii) At a point exactly 16.1 kilometers (10 miles) from the
   transmitter, each radial is marked, and at greater distances at
   successive 3.2 kilometer (2 mile) intervals. Where measurements are to
   be conducted at UHF, or over extremely rugged terrain, shorter
   intervals may be employed, but all such intervals shall be of equal
   length. Accessible roads intersecting each radial as nearly as possible
   at each 3.2 kilometer (2 mile) marker are selected. These intersections
   are the points on the radial at which measurements are to be made, and
   are referred to subsequently as measuring locations. The elevation of
   each measuring location should approach the elevation at the
   corresponding 3.2 kilometer (2 mile) marker as nearly as possible.

   (2) Measurement procedure. The field strength of the visual carrier
   shall be measured with a voltmeter capable of indicating accurately the
   peak amplitude of the synchronizing signal. All measurements shall be
   made utilizing a receiving antenna designed for reception of the
   horizontally polarized signal component, elevated 9.1 meters (30 feet)
   above the roadbed. At each measuring location, the following procedure
   shall be employed.

   (i) The instrument calibration is checked.

   (ii) The antenna is elevated to a height of 30 feet.

   (iii) The receiving antenna is rotated to determine if the strongest
   signal is arriving from the direction of the transmitter.

   (iv) The antenna is oriented so that the sector of its response pattern
   over which maximum gain is realized is in the direction of the
   transmitter.

   (v) A mobile run of at least 30.5 meters (100 feet) is made, which is
   centered on the intersection of the radial and the road, and the
   measured field strength is continuously recorded on a chart recorder
   over the length of the run.

   (vi) The actual measuring location is marked exactly on the topographic
   map, and a written record, keyed to the specific location, is made of
   all factors which may affect the recorded field, such as topography,
   height and types of vegetation, buildings, obstacles, weather, and
   other local features.

   (vii) If, during the test conducted as described in paragraph
   (b)(2)(iii) of this section, the strongest signal is found to come from
   a direction other than from the transmitter, after the mobile run
   prescribed in paragraph (b)(2)(v) of this section is concluded,
   additional measurements shall be made in a “cluster” of at least five
   fixed points. At each such point, the field strengths with the antenna
   oriented toward the transmitter, and with the antenna oriented so as to
   receive the strongest field, are measured and recorded. Generally, all
   points should be within 61.0 meters (200 feet) of the center point of
   the mobile run.

   (viii) If overhead obstacles preclude a mobile run of at leat 30.5
   meters (100 feet), a “cluster” of five spot measurements may be made in
   lieu of this run. The first measurement in the cluster is identified.
   Generally, the locations for other measurements shall be within 61.0
   meters (200 feet) of the location of the first.

   (3) Method of reporting measurements. A report of measurements to the
   Commission shall be submitted in affidavit form, in triplicate, and
   should contain the following information:

   (i) Tables of field strength measurements, which, for each measuring
   location, set forth the following data:

   (A) Distance from the transmitting antenna.

   (B) Ground elevation at measuring location.

   (C) Date, time of day, and weather.

   (D) Median field in dBu for 0 dBk, for mobile run or for cluster, as
   well as maximum and minimum measured field strengths.

   (E) Notes describing each measuring location.

   (ii) U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps, on which is shown the
   exact location at which each measurement was made. The original plots
   shall be made on maps of the largest available scale. Copies may be
   reduced in size for convenient submission to the Commission, but not to
   the extent that important detail is lost. The original maps shall be
   made available, if requested. If a large number of maps is involved, an
   index map should be submitted.

   (iii) All information necessary to determine the pertinent
   characteristics of the transmitting installation, including frequency,
   geographical coordinates of antenna site, rated and actual power output
   of transmitter, measured transmission line loss, antenna power gain,
   height of antenna above ground, above mean sea level, and above average
   terrain. The effective radiated power should be computed, and
   horizontal and vertical plane patterns of the transmitting antenna
   should be submitted.

   (iv) A list of calibrated equipment used in the field strength survey,
   which, for each instrument, specifies its manufacturer, type, serial
   number and rated accuracy, and the date of its most recent calibration
   by the manufacturer, or by a laboratory. Complete details of any
   instrument not of standard manufacture shall be submitted.

   (v) A detailed description of the calibration of the measuring
   equipment, including field strength meters, measuring antenna, and
   connecting cable.

   (vi) Terrain profiles in each direction in which measurements were
   made, drawn on curved earth paper for equivalent 4/3 earth radius, of
   the largest available scale.

   (c) Collection of field strength data to determine television service
   in specific communities—(1) Preparation for measurement. (i) The
   population (P) of the community, and its suburbs, if any, is determined
   by reference to an appropriate source, e.g., the 1970 U.S. Census
   tables of population of cities and urbanized areas.

   (ii) The number of locations at which measurements are to be made shall
   be at least 15, and shall be approximately equal to 0.1 (P) 1⁄2 , if
   this product is a number greater than 15.

   (iii) A rectangular grid, of such size and shape as to encompass the
   boundaries of the community is drawn on an accurate map of the
   community. The number of line intersections on the grid included within
   the boundaries of the community shall be at least equal to the required
   number of measuring locations. The position of each intersection on the
   community map determines the location at which a measurement shall be
   made.

   (2) Measurement procedure. The field strength of the visual carrier
   shall be measured, with a voltmeter capable of indicating accurately
   the peak amplitude of the synchronizing signal. All measurements shall
   be made utilizing a receiving antenna designed for reception of the
   horizontally polarized signal component, elevated 9.1 meter (30 feet)
   above street level.

   (i) Each measuring location shall be chosen as close as feasible to a
   point indicated on the map, as previously prepared, and at as nearly
   the same elevation as that point as possible.

   (ii) At each measuring location, after equipment calibration and
   elevation of the antenna, a check is made to determine whether the
   strongest signal arrives from a direction other than from the
   transmitter.

   (iii) At 20 percent or more of the measuring locations, mobile runs, as
   described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section shall be made, with no
   less than three such mobile runs in any case. The points at which
   mobile measurements are made shall be well separated. Spot measurements
   may be made at other measuring points.

   (iv) Each actual measuring location is marked exactly on the map of the
   community, and suitably keyed. A written record shall be maintained,
   describing, for each location, factors which may affect the recorded
   field, such as the approximate time of measurement, weather,
   topography, overhead wiring, heights and types of vegetation, buildings
   and other structures. The orientation, with respect to the measuring
   location shall be indicated of objects of such shape and size as to be
   capable of causing shadows or reflections. If the strongest signal
   received was found to arrive from a direction other than that of the
   transmitter, this fact shall be recorded.

   (3) Method of reporting measurements. A report of measurements to the
   Commission shall be submitted in affidavit form, in triplicate, and
   should contain the following information:

   (i) A map of the community showing each actual measuring location,
   specifically identifying the points at which mobile runs were made.

   (ii) A table keyed to the above map, showing the field strength at each
   measuring point, reduced to dBu for the actual effective radiated power
   of the station. Weather, date, and time of each measurement shall be
   indicated.

   (iii) Notes describing each measuring location.

   (iv) A topographic map of the largest available scale on which are
   marked the community and the transmitter site of the station whose
   signals have been measured, which includes all areas on or near the
   direct path of signal propagation.

   (v) Computations of the mean and standard deviation of all measured
   field strengths, or a graph on which the distribution of measured field
   strength values is plotted.

   (vi) A list of calibrated equipment used for the measurements, which
   for each instrument, specifies its manufacturer, type, serial number
   and rated accuracy, and the date of its most recent calibration by the
   manufacturer, or by a laboratory. Complete details of any instrument
   not of standard manufacture shall be submitted.

   (vii) A detailed description of the procedure employed in the
   calibration of the measuring equipment, including field strength meters
   measuring antenna, and connecting cable.

   (d) NTSC—Collection of field strength data to determine NTSC television
   signal intensity at an individual location—cluster measurements—(1)
   Preparation for measurements—(i) Testing antenna. The test antenna
   shall be either a standard half-wave dipole tuned to the visual carrier
   frequency of the channel being measured or a gain antenna, provided its
   antenna factor for the channel(s) under test has been determined. Use
   the antenna factor supplied by the antenna manufacturer as determined
   on an antenna range.

   (ii) Testing locations. At the location, choose a minimum of five
   locations as close as possible to the specific site where the site's
   receiving antenna is located. If there is no receiving antenna at the
   site, choose the minimum of five locations as close as possible to a
   reasonable and likely spot for the antenna. The locations shall be at
   least three meters apart, enough so that the testing is practical. If
   possible, the first testing point should be chosen as the center point
   of a square whose corners are the four other locations. Calculate the
   median of the five measurements (in units of dBu) and report it as the
   measurement result.

   (iii) Multiple signals. If more than one signal is being measured
   (i.e., signals from different transmitters), use the same locations to
   measure each signal.

   (2) Measurement procedure. Measurements shall be made in accordance
   with good engineering practice and in accordance with this section of
   the Rules. At each measuring location, the following procedure shall be
   employed:

   (i) Testing equipment. Measure the field strength of the visual carrier
   with a calibrated instrument with an i.f. bandwidth of at least 200
   kHz, but no greater than one megahertz (1,000 kHz). Perform an on-site
   calibration of the instrument in accordance with the manufacturer's
   specifications. The instrument must accurately indicate the peak
   amplitude of the synchronizing signal. Take all measurements with a
   horizontally polarized antenna. Use a shielded transmission line
   between the testing antenna and the field strength meter. Match the
   antenna impedance to the transmission line at all frequencies measured,
   and, if using an unbalanced line, employ a suitable balun. Take account
   of the transmission line loss for each frequency being measured.

   (ii) Weather. Do not take measurements in inclement weather or when
   major weather fronts are moving through the measurement area.

   (iii) Antenna elevation. When field strength is being measured for a
   one-story building, elevate the testing antenna to 6.1 meters (20 feet)
   above the ground. In situations where the field strength is being
   measured for a building taller than one-story, elevate the testing
   antenna 9.1 meters (30 feet) above the ground.

   (iv) Antenna orientation. Orient the testing antenna in the direction
   which maximizes the value of field strength for the signal being
   measured. If more than one station's signal is being measured, orient
   the testing antenna separately for each station.

   (3) Written record shall be made and shall include at least the
   following:

   (i) A list of calibrated equipment used in the field strength survey,
   which for each instrument, specifies the manufacturer, type, serial
   number and rated accuracy, and the date of the most recent calibration
   by the manufacturer or by a laboratory. Include complete details of any
   instrument not of standard manufacture.

   (ii) A detailed description of the calibration of the measuring
   equipment, including field strength meters, measuring antenna, and
   connecting cable.

   (iii) For each spot at the measuring site, all factors which may affect
   the recorded field, such as topography, height and types of vegetation,
   buildings, obstacles, weather, and other local features.

   (iv) A description of where the cluster measurements were made.

   (v) Time and date of the measurements and signature of the person
   making the measurements.

   (vi) For each channel being measured, a list of the measured value of
   field strength (in units of dBu and after adjustment for line loss and
   antenna factor) of the five readings made during the cluster
   measurement process, with the median value highlighted.

   (e) DTV—Collection of field strength data to determine digital
   television signal intensity at an individual location—cluster
   measurements—(1) Preparation for measurements—(i) Testing antenna. The
   test antenna shall be either a standard half-wave dipole tuned to the
   center frequency of the channel being tested or a gain antenna provided
   its antenna factor for the channel(s) under test has been determined.
   Use the antenna factor supplied by the antenna manufacturer as
   determined on an antenna range.

   (ii) Testing locations—At the test site, choose a minimum of five
   locations as close as possible to the specific site where the site's
   receiving antenna is located. If there is no receiving antenna at the
   site, choose a minimum of five locations as close as possible to a
   reasonable and likely spot for the antenna. The locations shall be at
   least three meters apart, enough so that the testing is practical. If
   possible, the first testing point should be chosen as the center point
   of a square whose corners are the four other locations. Calculate the
   median of the five measurements (in units of dBµ) and report it as the
   measurement.

   (iii) Multiple signals—

   (A) If more than one signal is being measured (i.e., signals from
   different transmitters), use the same locations to measure each signal.

   (B) For establishing eligibility of a satellite subscriber to receive
   distant network signals, only stations affiliated with the network in
   question that are located in the same Nielsen Designated Market Area
   (DMA) as the test site may be considered and tested.

   (2) Measurement procedure. Measurements shall be made in accordance
   with good engineering practice and in accordance with this section of
   this chapter. At each measuring location, the following procedure shall
   be employed:

   (i) Testing equipment. Perform an on-site calibration of the test
   instrument in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications. Tune a
   calibrated instrument to the center of the channel being tested.
   Measure the integrated average power over the full 6 megahertz
   bandwidth of the television signal. The intermediate frequency of the
   instrument should be set to 100 kilohertz unless the instrument is
   specifically designed by the manufacturer to use an alternative i.f.
   setting. The instrument must be capable of integrating over the
   selected i.f. for the 6 megahertz channel bandwidth. Take all
   measurements with a horizontally polarized antenna. Use a shielded
   transmission line between the testing antenna and the field strength
   meter. Match the antenna impedance to the transmission line at all
   frequencies measured, and, if using an un-balanced line, employ a
   suitable balance. Take account of the transmission line loss for each
   frequency being measured.

   (ii) Weather. Do not take measurements during periods of inclement
   weather, including, but not limited to, periods of heavy rainfall,
   snowfall accumulation, high windspeed, or any combination thereof.

   (iii) Antenna elevation. When field strength is being measured for a
   one-story building, elevate the testing antenna to 6.1 meters (20 feet)
   above the ground. In situations where the field strength is being
   measured for a building taller than one-story, elevate the testing
   antenna 9.1 meters (30 feet) above the ground.

   (iv) Antenna orientation. Orient the testing antenna in the direction
   which maximizes the value of field strength for the signal being
   measured. If more than one station's signal is being measured, orient
   the testing antenna separately for each station.

   (3) Written record shall be made and shall include at least the
   following:

   (i) A list of calibrated equipment used in the field strength survey,
   which for each instrument specifies the manufacturer, type, serial
   number and rated accuracy, and the date of the most recent calibration
   by the manufacturer or by a laboratory. Include complete details of any
   instrument not of standard manufacture.

   (ii) A detailed description of the calibration of the measuring
   equipment, including field strength meters, measuring antenna, and
   connecting cable.

   (iii) For each spot at the measuring site, all factors which may affect
   the recorded field, such as topography, height and types of vegetation,
   buildings, obstacles, weather, and other local features.

   (iv) A description of where the cluster measurements were made.

   (v) Time and date of the measurements and signature of the person
   making the measurements.

   (vi) For each channel being measured, a list of the measured value of
   field strength (in units of dBµ after adjustment for line loss and
   antenna factor) of the five readings made during the cluster
   measurement process, with the median value highlighted.

   [ 40 FR 27683 , July 1, 1975, as amended at  50 FR 23701 , June 5, 1985;  64 FR 7127 , Feb. 12, 1999;  64 FR 73433 , Dec. 30, 1999;  75 FR 81498 , Dec.
   28, 2010]

   


Goto Section: 73.685 | 73.687

Goto Year: 2020 | 2022
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