Worldcast selected for RF control and monitoring for Sutro Tower
As part of the TV repack operation in the US, two Worldcast Group companies, Worldcast Systems and Connect, have been selected to develop and supply an Antenna Switch Controller System along with a unified monitoring platform for the RF operations (DTV and FM) of Sutro Tower.
Sutro Tower: Responsible for TV and radio in San Francisco
Overlooking San Francisco from its 977ft steel tower, Sutro Tower is a major broadcast site delivering clear signals for television and radio stations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
The TV repack, ongoing for the next few years, is impacting TV stations and sites across the US with many broadcasters changing frequencies and acquiring new hardware.
Sutro Tower is replacing several antennas, adding additional RF feeds on the tower and replacing its existing antenna control system.
Following a tender launched in 2017, Worldcast Systems was selected for its solution which will incorporate hardware and software from both the Ecreso (RF) division and Connect, Worldcast Systems’ sister-company focused on management and monitoring software.
The system is based on the new Ecreso Switch Controller (ESC), under development specifically for the needs of Sutro Tower, which will be responsible for moving the RF switches as commanded by the customers. The ESC brings flexibility in addition to maintaining safety in all operations and monitoring/recording data for real time display and detailed analysis.
Each Ecreso Switch Controller is capable of managing five motorised RF switches, with all the necessary capabilities (interlock management, measuring RF levels to ensure safe operation, etc).
Built on FPGA hardware, the controllers will link to form a network that can manage which connections are possible, based on safety requirements and the needs of Sutro and their tenants.
One controller unit will be installed in the ‘suite’ for each broadcast customer at Sutro Tower. The initial order of Ecreso Switch Controllers is 10 for TV, five for FM, controlling approximately 35 motorised RF switches.