New wind farm is wrecking my OTA reception - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 2007-05-11, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy New wind farm is wrecking my OTA reception

Just thought I'd post this if anyone is interested. If anyone is living close to a windfarm they might want to read this.

Most of the article relates to NTSC, so I've only included text that relates to DTV
from: EFFECTS OF WINDMILLS ON TELEVISION RECEPTION

Quote:
<edited to remove sections unrelated to DTV>
...
WILL HDTV BE AFFECTED?
So what happens when we switch from NTSC to HDTV over‐the‐air transmission? Will the potential for interference from wind turbines still exist?

To date, no signal quality tests have been conducted to determine the impact from wind turbines on HDTV signals because currently, there are no large‐scale wind farms in proximity to any of CBC’s existing HDTV transmitters. However, based on previous work with NTSC signals, it can be theorized that interference may occur.

HDTV receivers have built‐in ghost‐cancelling circuits not found in NTSC receivers. These circuits should greatly reduce or even eliminate the static interference created by larges structures such as wind turbines. Therefore, it is expected that HDTV will be more immune to the static effects from the wind turbines.

Dynamic interference, however, is a different story. As noted earlier, dynamic interference results when the receiver sees not only the main signal but also one or more additional signals reflected off the rotating blades of the wind turbines. As the signal is only reflected when the blades are at a particular point in their rotation, the reflected signal causes a sudden increase or
decrease in the amplitude of the received signal, in sync with the rotation of the blades. HDTV, like NTSC, uses amplitude modulation and so it is possible that HDTV signals may experience dynamic interference. Unlike NTSC, though, this interference may show up as pixelisation, blocking, frozen frames or the complete failure to decode.

It is likely that the degree of impact caused by any dynamic interference to HDTV signals will be related to the quality of the ghost‐cancelling and Automatic Gain Control (AGC) circuits in the receiver. These may vary from one receiver to the next as the performance of the ghostcancellation
circuits is a Consumer Electronics manufacturer proprietary issue. However, the actual degree of interference to our HDTV signals will not be truly known until field measurements are completed. Although the CBC fully expects to undertake these measurements when an HDTV transmitter is installed near a wind farm, this will likely not occur for a few years yet, and it is acknowledged that advances in receiver technology and design may overcome these issues before any measurements are taken.
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 2010-09-13, 06:52 PM
 
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Exclamation New wind farm is wrecking my OTA reception (Essex County, ON)

Nothing really on the forum here regarding this type of signal interference yet. Here's what is happening now here..

A new wind farm consisting of up to a couple dozen turbines was built near here over the summer. It's looks nearly complete now in south central Essex county. The nearest turbines are about 3 miles away from me in the direction of Detroit (West and North west). Almost constant reception problems have developed nearly overnight within the last 3-4 weeks in the form of repetitive digital dropouts. Before this, Detroit UHF OTA reception was never ever this bad, even in strong winds.

Here is what I am seeing so far:

Channels most affected are UHF 60(/A\),44(CBS),43(PBS),45(NBC). More on this below. The cause is dead clear and unmistakable on analog CHWI-TV60 /A\ television repeater station broadcasting from downtown Windsor. There is a constant process of pulsing reception where the picture goes from good with colour to the loss of nearly all colour and more snowy then back again in exact intervals depending on the moving speed of the turbine blades. Looks as if someone is waving some steel mesh back and forth in front of my antenna. Also tested and replicated the same thing on two other temporary outdoor antenna setups and tuners I have tried in different areas in past days/weeks.

WWJ CBS is the most damaged of all the digital stations. It's signal is now very erratic/not reliable when there is any speed of wind even if it is light. Investigating on RF44 in NTSC mode, WWJ's amount of digital snow radically changes back and forth in it's "thickness". In digital this is causing my TV's (LN32A550 LCD) signal strength bars to go from 10/10 to 0/10 and back and all points in between. WWJ was always a good reliable station (when pointing at it) since I started watching OTA digital channels, until now.

I am quite upset about this! The moment i learned turbines can and do screw up your TV reception, I was against them from that point on. Still... they were approved and were built quickly. Sure have been dreading the effects over the last month or so as they neared completion leading to an eventual uncorrectable,unavoidable multipath disaster. A damn shame that they are sitting directly in line with our only 24/7 reliable U.S TV market to boot. Bet someone with a good TV signal analyzer would have better proof of the damage these things are causing here. I can't be alone in seeing these new issues...anybody else in and around this specific area in southeastern Essex county area suddenly experiencing anything like what I have described over the last two weeks+?

I took a photo a last Wednesday afternoon from a high location up in a tree 50-55ft above ground on our small property here. The photo was taken looking towards the WNW-NW. Doesn't look like much, but the turbines pictured are the *the* ones in line with Detroit causing major problems.

http://s730.photobucket.com/albums/w...indfarmdmg.jpg


Further reception details

NTSC channels
-CHWI-TV60: Horrible reception started around the second week of Aug. Affected essentially 24 hrs a day now. Constant pulsing pattern is obvious of turbine blades slicing it up.
-CBEFT-TV54 (SRC): Slight noticable pattern visible especially in any red coloured content.
-W33BY(aka WHPR-TV33): Pulsing pattern visible in the already very poor b/w reception.

ATSC channels
-WWJ-dt44 (62-1): Very unstable with extreme swings in signal readings leading to frequent to even constant dropouts. Slightly better near ground level but radical swings still exist.
-WTVS-dt43 (56-1): Second worse. Close behind WWJ for "dropout city".
-WDWO-dt18 (18-1): Third worse. Was already very weak before, now it's totalled.
-WDIV-dt45 (4-1): Can be bad at times, but far better than previous two.
-WMYD-dt21 (20-1): Not real bad, but station very hard to get now off axis.
-WKBD-dt14 (50-1): Very slight effects. There are a couple audio only dropouts noted from time to time though.
-WADL-dt39 (38-1): Worse when pointing NW. Facing nearly due north produces best result.
-WXYZ-dt41 (7-1): Was and still is Detroit's most reliable. Highest signal of all almost always.
-WJBK-dt07 (2-1): Continued great reception. No real changes noticed.

These problems ease off almost completely with times of dead calm wind, but don't necessarily stop 100%. Most times wind isn't as calm ~450ft up in turbine land.

This evening (Sep 13) in the moderate wind, the top 4 digitals listed are absolutely destroyed and unwatchable.. it's that bad.

More info about thise on the project developer's site: http://www.gosfieldcomberwind.com/

^^In the Gosfield site http://www.gosfieldcomberwind.com/ab..._location.html PDF file there is a compass box in the lower right corner. I am on the roadway that nearly touches the top of the compass box near the 'N' for North

NOTE: My main antenna is a Winegard hd7084p combo antenna mounted at 26 feet with a CM7777 preamp (since 2008) + near the coordinates of 42.097 -82.61. Up to date TVFOOL infromation/azimuth's are available in the album in my user profile.
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 2010-09-13, 07:34 PM
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Phil, that stinks...
Wind Turbines causing interference was also discussed
in this paper a while back...

The Marcoux Paper: Measured DTV Signal Levels & Common Losses

I wonder if there is a way ya can get some diversity reception
to combat the new / constant multipath source, maybe
spacing two identical antennas horizontally?
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 2010-09-13, 07:58 PM
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Wow, that sucks! I'm sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, this will likely be a growing issue for many OTA'ers, as wind farms are going up or planned for just about everywhere. For example, there are turbines planned for construction in Lake Ontario, just off the shore from the Scarborough bluffs.

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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 2010-09-13, 08:02 PM
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I've heard of the same type of plans for Lake Erie.
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 2010-09-13, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil81 View Post
Nothing really on the forum here regarding this type of signal interference yet. Here's what is happening now here..

A new wind farm consisting of up to a couple dozen turbines was built near here over the summer. It's looks nearly complete now in south central Essex county. The nearest turbines are about 3 miles away from me in the direction of Detroit (West and North west). Almost constant reception problems have developed nearly overnight within the last 3-4 weeks in the form of repetitive digital dropouts. Before this, Detroit UHF OTA reception was never ever this bad, even in strong winds.

Here is what I am seeing so far:

Channels most affected are UHF 60(/A\),44(CBS),43(PBS),45(NBC). More on this below. The cause is dead clear and unmistakable on analog CHWI-TV60 /A\ television repeater station broadcasting from downtown Windsor. There is a constant process of pulsing reception where the picture goes from good with colour to the loss of nearly all colour and more snowy then back again in exact intervals depending on the moving speed of the turbine blades. Looks as if someone is waving some steel mesh back and forth in front of my antenna. Also tested and replicated the same thing on two other temporary outdoor antenna setups and tuners I have tried in different areas in past days/weeks.

...
If you are within any of the Canadian stations protected contours, you may be able to make a complaint to Industry Canada's Spectrum Management branch.

Unfortunately, broadcast TV stations are only protected within their protected contours in their own country, so you have no grounds to complain about reception problems from U stations, or for Canadian stations outside their protected contours.
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 2010-09-13, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majortom View Post
I've heard of the same type of plans for Lake Erie.
Yes,.. we have the same problems here, since these turbines are popping up all along the Erie shoreline like it's a marathon build. Everyday for the past year I've seen 3 or 4 big rigs hauling these massive cylinders across highway #3 destined for various windfarm locations along the Erie shores. Under the auspice of 'green energy' a quick abitrary deal with Samsung was made to get these ugly things up as fast as possible before anyone had a chance to intervene. From discussions that I have had with our government authority locally, there were never any impact studies done to determine the effects on electro-magnetic impact for this area. So far along with some areas having OTA reception issues, we have fewer birds and fewer bees. I find it hard to believe that IC was not involved in the approval of these wind sucking monsters.

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Last edited by stampeder; 2010-09-14 at 02:56 AM. Reason: Political comments snipped as per rules of the forum
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 2010-09-13, 10:08 PM
 
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I visited Wolfe Island south of Kingston, Ontario this past March. CKWS-TV has its transmitter on that island, and that island is covered in wind turbines, with some of them very close to the CKWS tower. Has anyone in the Kingston area seen deterioration of the Channel 11 signal since those wind turbines were erected?
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 2010-09-13, 10:45 PM
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The broadcast tower/windmill effect will likely have little effect on the signal at ground zero. It's when the tower is nearby the receiving end after travelling a distance from the tower that the air flutter and electro-magnetic field becomes corrupt by the windmill's turbine. It's not just the movement of the air through those big blades, it's the scattered electro-magnetic fields generated by these turbines[ unregulated radio frequencies if you will ] that are the issue with reception and health. The Niagara Falls generating station and nuclear generating stations are well shielded to prevent emmitting unregulated radio waves, but windmills have no emmision standards or such shielding. One windmill would not generate many spuratic emmissions, therefore there were no regulations imposed on a windmill turbine, but a farm of these turbines emmitting an array of many stray emmissions is going to become a disaster.

Believe it or not, farming issues are a warning of the ill effects of windmill farms:
Local farming issues: Some crops depend on birds, bees and varoius other insects large and small in order to yield a good crop each season. Farmers have noticed a decline in crop yield since these farms have fired up along the Erie shoreline. The ground vibrations are also suspect of effecting the health and yield of livestock breeding.

The point I'm making of the farming issues is that if these windmill farms have this much effect upon insects, birds, bees, plants and livestock,[ and possibly humans] .... Image what it's doing to the airwaves.

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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 2010-09-14, 12:53 AM
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Yes, it certainly doesn't appear that proper long term research has been done on the effects (on human, animal, insect, radio signals, etc) these wind farms present.

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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old 2010-09-14, 02:27 AM
 
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Thanks for the replies everyone.
Indeed the best area in all of Canada? for OTA and now this.

This especially hits hard for me as I have been 100% over the air since i was born. Had no reason to ever consider getting pay tv either as most of the lesser stations and sub channels I have come to enjoy in this area aren't available with Satellite TV. Those persons affected are the minority right now, but i expect this will change more soon. Work has already started on the next very large wind farm about 8 miles north of here. OTA could very well be crippled for some around the Lakeshore/Comber area by this time next year.

There are right now two turbine farms in Essex county. One is just northwest of Harrow and now the Gosfield one near here. There are many times especially at night where the two current farms can be seen on U.S. NWS Doppler radar out of Detroit/Pontiac and Cleveland even.

Quote:
Originally Posted by majortom
I've heard of the same type of plans for Lake Erie.
A local company here is trying to go crazy with Lake turbines. here IMO this would absolutely drown the area and its tourism and water attractions. A ban is currently holding this company from pushing forward until a environmental study is done first. The lake bed could have quite a bit pollution like PCB's etc. that could be disturbed upon construction and pulled into the local water supply pipeline. Migratory birds have been the other big reason for public opposition. Point Pelee National park has tremendous amounts of rare bird species that pass through all throughout the year. If these projects go through, the Toledo stations could be next on the list to be no longer reliable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvlurker
If you are within any of the Canadian stations protected contours, you may be able to make a complaint to Industry Canada's Spectrum Management branch.
Don't know if right now I can justify a complaint here as CH60 contour ends a few miles NW of here even though the reception is fair. No doubt that IC doesn't have to lift a finger to remedy American ota signal trouble caused by interference originating in this country. This could very well be a different story for those on the opposite side of the wind farm though. Local Global and /A\ main towers on RF22 and RF16 to my southeast and east could very well be affected already.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ota_canuck
Under the auspice of 'green energy' McGuinty made a quick abitrary deal with Samsung to get these ugly things up as fast as possible before anyone had a chance to intervene. From discussions that I have had with our government authority locally, there were never any impact studies done to determine the effects on electro-magnetic impact for this area. So far along with some areas having OTA reception issues, we have fewer birds and fewer bees. I find it hard to believe that IC was not involved in the approval of these wind sucking monsters.
I wouldn't be surprised if they don't even care. This area is quite unique and I despise the fact that we are being sold out and turned into the 'guinea pig of huge wind projects'. I too am keeping a eye out for any changes that I may see around here. Farming is huge down here, unfortunately its those farmers that are being almost bribed by wind energy companies. Promises of big continual energy payouts to plant the turbines on their land.

okay back OT...
No way am I giving up here...tests will continue here for at least a partial solution. Right now, 26 feet up on the roof isn't working anymore at least for UHF. VHF so far appears to be only barely affected. The longer wavelengths are making it through/around much better?

I have also found that the big boy Detroit locals are slightly less corrupted closer to ground level as they are LOS and strong enough to get there, but the weaker directional/LP stuff along with all the 2edge Toledo stations aren't possible closer to the ground. I like to DX as well, and the current antenna with rotor has bagged a ton of great DX stuff over the past 2 years I don't really want to change it.
Before winter I am going to experiment with different heights and areas even other antennas possibly. I'm gonna get my hands on a 91XG soon and see if that could help these horrible UHF troubles but not holding out for anything to change radically... This small region here could now be a damaged signal area.

Until then just hoping for many calm wind nights.
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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old 2010-09-14, 03:00 AM
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They've been used in parts of Scandinavia for a long time, so the effects of wind turbines are indeed well known. They don't cause problems for migrating birds (urban myth) but in regards to TV and radio reception they do cause RF interference if the blade structures include metal.

Phil81, the authorities are just tired of you winning the "tropo king" crown here all the time!
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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old 2010-09-14, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil81 View Post
Nothing really on the forum here regarding this type of signal interference yet. Here's what is happening now here..
Almost everything has been discussed here at some point in time. It's just hard to find.

Last edited by stampeder; 2010-09-14 at 11:55 AM. Reason: linked post has been moved here to this thread - see Post #1 :)
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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old 2010-09-14, 10:39 AM
 
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I know of a few places where the turbines effect Radio reception while driving. One area is around Highway 10 close to Shelburne and the other is on Highway 6 just before Ferndale.

In both instances Semi-Local stations get completely wrecked. I can only imagine what they do for TV in those areas, not to mention the amount of electrical interference that is created on the AM band.
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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old 2010-12-03, 04:27 AM
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Phil81, I am wondering how far you got since 3 months ago.

Here is an article of interest from the UK:

http://www.heraldscotland.com/windfa...-dish-1.826603

Perhaps you could club together with other affected residents and press for the electricity company to provide you with complimentary satellite installations? (I know this doesn't solve the problem with DXing or receiving smaller channels, but it's something).

-rapido
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