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Canadian RF Planning


This page is used to distribute information about Canadian "over-the-air" digital television in the UHF range between 470 and 698MHz for the purposes of event RF planning prior to location spectrum scans.

The core information is collected from the TV Fool.com website which in turn gets its data from the FCC and uses Google mapping technology to provide more accurate results.  This approach for RF event planning does not replace spectrum scans at the actual locale but is an additional tool used in preparation of any RF project.

There are four parts to this resource:

  1. The Canadian DTV Chart
  2. How to use TVFool.com
  3. How to use RGB's in WSM
  4. Canadian City RGB files

 This resource should not be the sole approach for an RF assessment of RF strategy - especially for large events.  It's a starting point to determine usable frequency ranges in major Canadian cities and some tools to streamline coordination activities in WSM.

Refer to the other tabs on this page to access the various parts and download files.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this resource - or would like to alert me to any possible changes - feel free to contact me at:

porettirATsennheiserDOTca

The Canadian DTV Chart is an Excel spreadsheet that has links to various on-line resources.  This is a macro-enabled worksheet (.xlsm) that uses VBA code - Macintosh users can open the sheet but due to lack of VBA support, links will not work  Microsoft Excel has various limitations for both OS compatibility and browser compatibility.  For this reason, a PDF version is also available, but the PDF does not have working links.

What the chart looks like:

To download the PDF, click here:  DTV Canadian Cities 9.2 FINAL LOCK.pdf

To download the Excel Spreadsheet - as a zip file, click here:  Canadian DTV Chart.xslx

The chart has a list of Canadian cities on the left side and the usable UHF range in Canada on the right.  (UHF Channels 14-69.  Note:  UHF 52-69 are not available for use in Canada any longer.)  Simply refer to a city and you will see if there is over-the-air DTV in that locale.  The specific city location is defined by geographic coordinates listed on the chart and this can be accessed via Google Maps by clicking on the Google Map icon.

The chart provides an extensive legend that you can refer to.  Indicators for high power or low power DTV have been identified using an on-line tool at www.TVFool.com.  This on-line repository collects FCC data once a week, and then using topology data and with Google Map's API, presents a power-level map of any location.  You can search locations from addresses or from latitude/longitude coordinates.

Please keep in mind that the data in the chart is a "snapshot" in time, and so by it's nature, it is OUT-DATED.  If you cannot be on the event-site to perform a spectrum scan, then at the very least, I recommended that you re-query the TVFool.com site to get the most current data you can.  While doing this, also consider re-defining the location coordinates for the exact event location - rather then the "city-centre coordinates used by the chart.  This will produce the most accurate results using this resource.  Having said that, the most accurate data is a recent spectrum scan collected at the event site - always strive to get a scan.  If you can't get to the event location easily, then TV Fool will certainly be very useful for coordination activities. 

The TV Fool icon will load a web-page with the location coordinates in the chart, to confirm that the on-line data has not changed since the chart was created.  The next tab describes how to use the TV Fool web page.

Finally, the WSM Icon is a link the a Regional Grid Bar XML file for each of the cities in the chart.  This file can be used in WSM to automatically create blocked regions so that carriers are not created over DTV channels.  These RGB files are created using the chart - so keep in mind that it the real situation will change over time.  There is a tab describing how to save files in the correct WSM directory and load them in the Professional Setup Chart so they can be used to define blocked or prioritized areas for a coordination.

The web-site used to create the chart data is here: TV Fool.com: On-Line TV Maps

This page allows you to enter either an address or a geographic coordinate to search the TV Fool database.  When entering an address, you can simply name a city or put in a postal code - a complete address is not necessary.  You are presented with a map of that location with most of the Google Map features: zoom, pan, satellite/map modes, etc. 

Below the map is a list of all television that would affect that location from high power to very low power.  Beside each channel, is a radio button that when clicked, loads the transmitter tower location along with important data like: power, antenna height, lobe properties, etc., - and provides a colored over-lay, that illustrates the anticipated power at any location.  This is performed by modelling calculations using topology data.  These calculations do not take into account variables at your specific site - building isolation, receive antenna properties, etc.  Here is an example when CKVU-DT is clicked from the list for Vancouver, BC:

The the channel list below the map has two columns, and the Canadian DTV chart generally uses the list on the right - which is active DTV for the area.  However, the chart only uses data from high and medium power sources identified by green, yellow and red background using this legend:

You should only concern yourself with channels in the "Grey" area, if your event is at an exterior location and you are using high-power amplifiers for receiving antennae.  As mentioned elsewhere, always use local scans when you arrive at the location to be sure that these low-power - usually distant - TV stations, will have some effect.

One final comment:  DTV stations can turn on and off - during any 24-hour period.  They can also change their power levels without notice.  Always try to collect scans at the exact event location and during the time of the day that the performance is occurring. 

If you notice any significant changes of  the TV Fool data and the Canadian DTV Chart, feel free to send me an email.

 

The data collected in the chart is the source for defining the RGB files accessed through the WSM logo/icon on the chart.  This link will load an xml file located on this site, onto your web browser.  To use this file, simple "save" the XML file, using the File >Save menu of the browser, onto a location of your computer hard drive:

 

 

The directory location for RGB files is in the "Regions" folder.  The initial default location is the Regions folder in the installation path.  On a recent Windows machine (Win 7/8), that's: C:\Program Files (x86)\Sennheiser\Wireless Systems Manager\Regions.  When you save a project WSM will make a copy of a number of project directories including the "regions" folder.  In this way, different projects can have different RGB's associated with them.  I recommend keeping a separate RGB repository both for back-ups and as a central location to grab a localized RGB when you need it.

To load an RGB into the Professional Set-up char, right click on the chart's Regional Grid Bar and a menu will appear which will have an option to "Change regional grid..."

A dialogue box will open... simply navigate to your local RGB repository, select the file you want and click on the open button.

Once the RGB is loaded you can use it to automate the creation of Frequencies/Bands objects for the purposes of blocking any defined DTV in the area. This is done by going to the Frequencies/Bands tab and clicking on the "Analyze Frequency Spectrum" button.  This will use scan data and the RGB to automate the process of either creating blocked ranges or Medium priority ranges.  The criteria used to determine where something is blocked or not are settings in the RGB - and if scan data exists - noise thresholds in the RGB along with scan analysis.

For more information about the Regional Grid Bar and how to modify or create new bars, there are some tutorials on this site and the last section has links.

RGB files for these Canadian cities can be downloaded via the link on the Excel spreadsheet (PC Version only - sorry, the Mac OS does not support VBA code). 

Alternatively, you can download the RGB files for each city here:

 

BC Ontario Quebec New Brunswick
Victoria Windsor Montréal Moncton
Vancouver London Trois-Rivières Saint John
Alberta Kitchener Sherbrooke Fredericton
Edmonton Niagara Falls Québec Nova Scotia
Lethbridge Hamilton Saguenay Halifax
Calgary Oakville
Prince Edward Island
Saskatchewan Toronto
Charlottetown
Saskatoon Peterborough
NewFoundland
Regina Kingston
St.John's
Manitoba Ottawa

Winnipeg Cornwall

 

It is easy to create your own RGB files.  The simple approach is to take an existing one, copy/rename it and modify it in a text editor or even better and XML editor.  For more information on WSM and RGB files, the following articles are available:

  • Tutorial 1:  Defining the RF Environment Part 1: Creating Frequency/Band Objects
  • Tutorial 2:  Defining the RF Environment Part 2: Using the Regional Grid Bar
  • Tutorial 3:  Defining the RF Environment Part 3: Preparing for a Canada-Wide Tour
  • Tutorial 4:  Defining the RF Environment Part 4: Rolling Your Own RGB's

Look for the Tutorials link on the left hand side of the page, or click here...