The two tetraplexed Dielectric systems are shown installed.
SANTIAGO, Chile Located high above Santiago on San Cristobal Hill, the Sanctuary of the Immaculate Conception is a spot revered by locals and a popular tourist destination. Also, as the second-highest point in the city, the hill plays host to numerous broadcasting and telecommunications antennas and towers.
As Chile’s largest and most influential radio broadcaster, IberoAmericana Radio Chile recently was able to do its part to improve the aesthetics of the hill — and the quality of our FM radio signals in the bargain. A key element in the project was a new high-power broadband FM DCRM antenna system supplied by Dielectric Communications, a designer and manufacturer of systems for FM radio as well as television and mobile media broadcasting.
A division of Spanish media conglomerate Union Radio, IberoAmericana Radio Chile operates more than 1,200 translators and more than 140 stations.
In 2008, we responded to a request by the Catholic Diocese of Santiago, proprietor of the grounds on which the Sanctuary of the Immaculate Conception is located, for broadcasters to work together to consolidate antennas.
We participated with other broadcasters in a design scheme and launched a project to replace our previous multiple transmission sites with a single new facility, housing all of our broadcasting equipment together with a consolidated 330-foot braced tower.
The room was designed for the Dielectric manifold combiner system, shown. In searching for an antenna technology vendor, we identified a number of requirements. The new tower would need to provide maximum transmission power with minimum height and offer bulletproof reliability. Plus, it would have to provide a sufficient power rating to enable multicasting of eight stations, and an omnidirectional azimuth pattern sufficient to cover the entire listening area of Santiago, Chile’s capital city and the country’s most important commercial mass media market.
Of the numerous European and American suppliers we considered, Dielectric Communications offered the best technical and economic solution. We were sold on its reputation for quality RF technologies and customer support. Its technical expertise in the FM radio realm is well known.
IberoAmericana Radio Chile’s new transmission building atop San Cristobal Hill is designed to consolidate all broadcasting equipment for the transmission of 12 FM stations as well one analog and one digital television channel. Unique in South America, the new transmission tower houses two tetraplexed Dielectric antenna systems for broadcasting seven 10 kW stations and one 1 kW station, enabled by a sophisticated manifold combiner system custom designed by Dielectric. The transmission building itself occupies a much smaller footprint than our previous setup, thanks to Dielectric’s patented manifold combiner that combines multiple radio frequencies into a single output.
The company designed the new tower to keep space, weight and wind load at a minimum and provide optimum radiation patterns. The system’s design for both antenna and combiners ensures that transmitters can operate at total power with reliability and confidence. The variation of circular polarizations (left on one set and right on the other) increases substantially the isolation between radiating systems, to protect the signals of stations that are very close in frequency, as close as 400 kHz.
Thanks to this new transmission system, IberoAmericana Radio Chile has reduced its footprint on San Cristobal Hill from four towers carrying dedicated antennas for each station, to a single tower with two antennas that multicast all signals.
Our flagship radio stations — including Radio Imagina (88.1 FM), Radio Concierto (88.5 FM), Radio ADN (91.7 FM), Radioactiva (92.5 FM), Radio Rock & Pop (94.1 FM), Radio Uno (97.1 FM), Radio Corazón (101.3 FM) and Radio 40 Principales (101.7 FM) — have been able to maintain their market leadership by maximizing their coverage within Chile’s largest and most cosmopolitan city. Just as important, our company is doing its part to preserve the beauty of one of Santiago’s most treasured and frequently visited sites.
Juan Carlos Kretschmer is a technical manager with IberoAmericana Radio Chile S.A.
For information, contact Dielectric in Maine at (207) 655-8105 or visitwww.dielectric.com.