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Wind turbines can hurt TV reception

Let’s focus on TV reception, as inspired by an email:

“As I have an outside antenna here in Rankin, I have plenty of wind turbines to the west and southwest. Right now, the antenna doesn’t work, but I believe it is due to the hail that damaged buildings, etc. I also have an inside antenna in the kitchen area, which used to work really good, but now gets only Channel 27 (most times weather permitting) and occasionally Channel 15 (Fithian weather permitting, too), and sometimes, it seems the cutout is in time with the running of the turbines. Does anyone else have this problem?”

Many people probably share this problem. Wind turbines pose a double-whammy to radio and TV reception. Their height, combined with moving blades, treat broadcast signals like a food processor, or they can reflect signals creating multipath.

While digital transmission provides a certain degree of correction for out-of-phase multipath, at some point the turbines degrade the picture into blocks and/or blank the picture and sound. Complicating this further, wind turbines never stand alone; dozens or scores of them populate acres.

There’s little to be done about this. Your choices include erecting a powerful antenna pointed away from the turbines in hopes of receiving stations from a different area or subscribing to cable, if it is available, or satellite TV. The satellite dish looks above the turbines, so the signal should not be blocked or corrupted.

Before my ecological friends stop speaking to me, wind power provides essential non-polluting energy. It would be helpful if the owners of wind farms provided neighbors who no longer receive good TV reception with advice and aid.

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