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Area Contact Regine Suling Manager Marketing Communications, Radio Frequency Systems +49 511 676 3552 peter.krause@rfsworld.com
Global contact Jörg Springer Vice President Global Marketing & Communications +49 511 676 2516 peter.krause@rfsworld.com
10-Jun-2007 Print page

West Pearl Tower ready for DTV

China’s West Pearl Tower, a 339-meter (1112-foot) landmark in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, has recently stepped up in its role as telecommunications services provider to the 10 million inhabitants of the city. The 17-level facility now boasts a plethora of new FM radio, and VHF and UHF television broadcast systems, supplied and installed by broadcast technology leader, Radio Frequency Systems (RFS). The intent of the installation was twofold: to rationalize and consolidate a disparate array of smaller broadcast facilities located outside the city, and also to furnish a broadcast facility that is ready for China’s next wave of digital technology--the migration to digital television (DTV). According to Norm Franke, RFS Area Sales Manager Broadcast, RFS was assigned to supply, install and commission the end-to-end RF system, which comprises a complex array of antennas, feeders, switch frames and combiners. In total, the new West Pearl Tower facility supports six separate 10kW FM radio services (with provision for expansion to ten), two 10kW VHF Band III TV services, and six 30kW UHF TV services. Two of the UHF channels have been earmarked for DTV. Franke said that RFS worked closely with engineers from the Sichuan TV Tower company to design and implement these services. “We brought together a team of broadcast engineers with access to innovative DTV products, and spent considerable time with Sichuan TV Tower during the planning phase,” he said. “It was vital to obtain a good understanding of the requirements so that we could tailor an appropriate design for the facility.” At the top of the tower, three separate eight-level, eight-sided broadband panel arrays, founded on RFS’s world-renowned PHP panel series, support the six UHF services. “This panel configuration provides the optimum combination of gain and beam width, so that the signal does not pass over the building rooftops,” explained Franke. “Each of the three DTV-ready UHF systems also incorporates an RFS two-channel directional waveguide combiner and RFS rapid release U-link switch frame.” The additional RFS VHF TV and FM radio systems respectively comprise an eight-level, four-sided VHF Band III broadband panel array supported by a two-channel coaxial combiner, and a VHF Band II array supported by a six-channel FM combiner--plus associated switch frames and transmission line. Franke added that an interesting logistical challenge surrounded installation of RFS’s HELIFLEX flexible air-dielectric coaxial transmission line. Multiple lengths of the five-inch diameter cable needed to be hauled up the tower to feed the signals to the antennas in each of the UHF, VHF Band III and VHF Band II systems. “The cable drums were over four meters (13 feet) in diameter, and each weighed approximately five tons,” said Franke. “They were so big they had to be lifted over the entrance gates. Hauling the cables internally through the confined spaces of the tower was equally demanding--the RFS installation crews had to negotiate a narrow stairwell, while ensuring the cables were installed in pristine condition.” According to Franke, RFS was awarded the West Pearl Tower project on the basis of the company’s extensive broadcast systems deployment experience--in both digital and analog systems--across the Asia Pacific region. As a result of the installation, the expanded broadcast facility now provides the residents of Chengdu with not only improved television and radio coverage, but also the promise of DTV. To learn more of RFS’s wide-ranging digital and analog broadcast solution set, visit RFS at BroadcastAsia 2007, stand 8H3-01, Singapore Expo Halls, 1 Expo Drive, Singapore, 19 to 22 June 2007.

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