Yesterday, Motorola, ERS and Blumerich Communications installed a new, directional, VHF paging antenna at the Almont water tower. This was done as part of the FCC license appeal for more power. With the directional antenna, it will focus more signal inwards to Lapeer County, avoiding potential interference with users in Canada.
Additionally, after the new antenna was installed, the transmitter power was boosted to 100% of its capability. Due to original license restrictions, this site was pushing 13 watts at the base station or 22 watts of ERP (effective radiated power) at the antenna. Now, at 100%, the site is pushing 100 watts at the base station and 209 watts ERP.
Users in Almont and Dryden should see a significant improvement in paging quality.
On a related note, preparation of the new VHF paging site in Clifford is underway. The Construction Code Authority has issued the site an address as of yesterday. We are waiting on one last environmental study to conclude before we can proceed any further. As soon as that is secured, DTE Energy can be scheduled to bring electricity to the site and Motorola & its contractors can begin ground work and building the site.