When: September 15, 1999 8:00 AM
Maggie Daley of CMBE introduced us to a new level of RF coverage study which may be of great interest to those who are constantly being bombarded with questions and complaints about coverage issues.
Chip Morgan is the real workhorse behind this organization, and he developed a mobile package of equipment for measuring RF coverage. The original development of the technology was for cellular coverage. CMBE applied the technology to Broadcasting. Chip is able to drive a set course of a given market, and come up with a coverage map which accurately reflects the kind of signal coverage the general public have to deal with either on their car radios, or other consumer receivers. As his services have been in demand, he has outfitted additional vehicles, and hired people to drive the courses for him.
The equipment package includes a GPS receiver, a calibrated receiver, and a whip antenna for FM and AM (TV uses an Omni). A Pentium computer is used to bring the data from the receivers together, and the full band is scanned every thirty seconds.
Similar to other coverage studies, Chip found that several stations in a given market are interested in coverage maps, so when he does a study, he covers the entire band. His equipment can be set up to do studies for TV, AM, and FM. It takes three days to do each band. The pattern driven covers every county in the Arbitron metro area.
The ultimate goal of their efforts is to do the studies in an efficient manner so that the cost of obtaining the study is in a reasonable price range for anyone who needs it. The going price for a coverage map is $899.00, and there is some room for negotiation. Custom studies can also be commissioned.
The results available include an Adobe format map which can be printed, as well as hard copy reports of the actual data. Statistical printouts are also generated which show the average and variation from average, of the measured signals. The route driven can be discussed, and quite a bit of this information can even be checked on their web page.
In an effort to further improve his services, he has committed to updating his market studies on a regular basis, so that his data never gets more than a few months old. This way, before and after "pictures" can be developed when an antenna is installed, serviced, or changed.
For more information, call Chip Morgan at 800 801 2623, or visit the CMBE web site.