ABC Reduces Transponder Power on AMC-8

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Nov 29, 2006 - ABC Radio sent a letter to its affiliates stating that the transponder the company uses, transponder 23 on AMC-8, to deliver programming to ABC Starguide receivers will operate at a reduced power at various times until Jan. 3, 2007. After Jan.3, 2007, the power reduction will be permanent.

The power reduction may affect station's reception of signals from the satellite. According to the ABC memo, "These power reductions are necessary in order to configure ABC's satellite signal in preparation for a multiphase replacement of the Starguide system."

The memo adds, "If your satellite antenna and receiver are properly configured and maintained this Starguide Carrier power reduction should have no impact on your station. However, if your current Starguide III Eb/No readings are 13dB or less, you need to start now to make the repairs necessary to restore your downlink's performance.

The change in power is not related to the solar panel power problems that AMC-8 experienced in May 2006. The solar panel problem has stabilized for now. The ABC power reduction is part of ABC's effort to begin rollout of a new delivery system to replace the Starguide system. That rollout will likely take more than a year to complete.

To ensure reliable reception during the transition, ABC recommends that stations:

  • Adjust azimuth, elevation and polarization on the satellite antenna with a spectrum analyzer.
  • Access up-to-date center-of-the box information for optimum antenna alignment at
  • Observe dish for physical obstructions (trees, shrubs, buildings).
  • Check feed horn for any foreign objects (wasp/bee/hornet nest).
  • Check LNB and cabling for any poor connections, corrosion or water seepage.
  • If still using LNA/block downconverter, replace with a PLL LNB.
  • ABC recommends a 3.8 meter solid satellite antenna as a requirement for reliable reception.

Questions and technical assistance are available from ABC Radio Networks at 212-456-5000.

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