Located in downtown Minneapolis the communication towers on top of the IDS Center, 910-feet (277-meters), are the highest point in the State of Minnesota. ERI provided a 12-Bay AXIOM Master FM Antenna which serves as a combiner auxiliary FM antenna system for a number of major FM radio stations who formerly broadcast from this as their main transmitter site. They now use the IDS as a backup in case their primary location in Shoreview, Minnesota were to fail or when shut down for maintenance. The AXIOM Master FM Antenna is a broadband side mounted antenna that can be configured to handle a combined power levels up to 240 kilowatts. The communication spires on top of the building tower to 910 feet (277.3 m), making them the highest point in Minneapolis. The top of the IDS is also used for microwave transmission and reception by WCCO-TV, KSTP-TV, KMSP-TV, and KARE news trucks, in order to relay video to their stations.
ABC affiliate KTUL in Tulsa, Oklahoma faced a problem with their post-digital-transition coverage significant enough to affect the station’s ratings. Their side mounted channel 8 antenna was not performing as well as their pre-transition antenna. KTUL needed to act quickly before their revenues began to suffer
To resolve this problem, KTUL decided to purchase a new, top-mounted antenna installed at a higher elevation to provide a better pattern. To further improve coverage, KTUL would add vertical polarization to achieve circular polarization. Purchasing and installing a top-mount VHF antenna is no trivial endeavor. Few broadcast equipment companies had the capabilities required to design and manufacture a 70 foot long antenna to be installed atop an 1800 ft tower.
KTUL selected Electronics Research, Inc., headquartered in Chandler, Indiana. ERI would provide a complete turn-key solution on a very tight timeline. The delivery of the 70 foot long, 19,000 lb TRASAR® VHF television antenna was set for April 20, 2010, giving ERI only fifteen weeks to design, manufacture, and ship an antenna that would normally take more than twenty weeks.
ERI shipped the antenna on time, meeting the strict deadline laid out in the agreement with KTUL. Now that the antenna was on site, the final obstacle to overcome was installing the antenna on top of the tower. With the antenna weighing over nine and a half tons and measuring almost two school busses end to end, installation on a tower over a third of a mile high presented many challenges. After eight days of rigging, the installation crew had hoisted and mounted the antenna, making it ready for broadcast.
On April 27, 2010 at 3:09 PM (CDT), KTUL began broadcasting from its new ERI TRASAR® topmounted VHF TV Antenna. Since then, KTUL’s ratings have improved and returning Channel 8 in Tulsa, Oklahoma to normal operations.