For some years now you probably have heard that PPRCN is working towards a “simulcast” system. Basically, a simulcast system is one where the radio talks to (and listens to) multiple towers at the same time, or simultaneously, rather than working with individual towers. Part of the plan to get to simulcast is to upgrade the Airport site from the existing two sites split between the main terminal and the maintenance yard, to a single site located in the maintenance yard. This new site is nearing completion (CSU utility power turned on yesterday) and we’re scheduling the steps to simulcast cutover. Please note that the simulcast cell consists of sites in and surrounding the Colorado Springs metro area – Stanley Canyon, Cedar Heights, Ski Summit, Airport, Austin Bluffs and Templeton Gap. Calhan, Truckton, Pittsburg, Fountain, Black Forest, Woodland Park and Badger are not affected by this.
The new Airport had utility power installed yesterday, Monday 2/5. Next steps are simulcast testing (which will take several weeks) and then simulcast cut-over. During the testing phase, we will be reducing the channel counts on 2 of our existing multicast sites – Ski Summit and Austin Bluffs. Both Ski Summit and Austin Bluffs will loose 2 channels (from 14 to 12 at Ski Summit), and from 13 to 11 at Austin Bluffs). Under normal use, this should have no impact, but during a major event (such as a snowstorm) more frequent “busies” will be likely.
To configure Ski Summit and Austin Bluffs for simulcast testing, they will need to be taken down for reconfiguration. Current schedule is for Ski Summit to be offline on Feb 12th, and Austin Bluffs on Feb 13th from 0900 to 1900 each day.