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Japan Communications News Technology

World's Tallest Free-Standing Broadcast Tower Completed 65

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-can-see-my-house-from-here dept.
dtmos writes "The world's tallest free-standing broadcast tower has been completed, in Tokyo (video). Rising to 634.0 metres (2,080 ft), it is the second-tallest structure in the world, after the Burj Khalifa. Completion was delayed two months due to the effects of the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami."
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World's Tallest Free-Standing Broadcast Tower Completed

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  • So ugly (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I know it needs to be strong enough for earthquakes but the design looks a bit dated.

    • by Chrisq (894406)

      I know it needs to be strong enough for earthquakes but the design looks a bit dated.

      haven't you heard, retro is the new modern.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by rykin (836525)
      If they made it more modern, people would say "They don't build'em like they used to!".
    • Re:So ugly (Score:5, Informative)

      by errandum (2014454) on Saturday March 03, 2012 @03:13PM (#39232895)

      From wikipedia:

      Earthquake resistance
      The tower has state-of-the-art seismic proofing, including a central shaft made of reinforced concrete. The main internal pillar is attached to the outer tower structure 125 meters (410 ft) above ground. From there until 375 meters (1,230 ft) the pillar is attached to the tower frame with oil dampers, which act as cushions during an earthquake. According to the designers, the dampers can absorb 50 percent of the energy from an earthquake.

      So no, it's not dated. Ugly, true, but not dated.

      • Re:So ugly (Score:4, Insightful)

        by zill (1690130) on Saturday March 03, 2012 @03:16PM (#39232929)
        He meant "design" as in "aesthetic appearance". You interpreted "design" as in "engineering design". Just a minor miscommunication, that's all.
        • by AmiMoJo (196126)

          Personally I don't think it looks dated, but keep in mind that there are some fairly big constraints on any structure that large. The lattice work is necessary for strength and really all they could have done is clad it, making it look like just another skyscraper. The top part has to be round for balance, especially considering that there will be lateral movement during an earthquake and wind for a variety of directions. It has to be tapered for balance and strength. It couldn't be wider at the base becaus

    • by AmigaMMC (1103025)
      Sure but it's still cool. I stayed in Asakusa last October and I ran around the tower as part of my 3 mile jog. Pretty impressive.
  • Very impressive, though I can't help thinking its a vanity project and broadcasting from a number of smaller towers would be cheaper. I suppose that probably goes for all the world's ultra tall buildings though
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Might be more expensive, but you can believe they'll make that money back by charging admission to the observation deck.

    • by pegasustonans (589396) on Saturday March 03, 2012 @03:04PM (#39232837)

      Very impressive, though I can't help thinking its a vanity project and broadcasting from a number of smaller towers would be cheaper. I suppose that probably goes for all the world's ultra tall buildings though

      It replaced the Tokyo Tower (a smaller tower), specifically because the surrounding buildings were getting quite tall and causing problems.

      You say a bunch of smaller towers would be cheaper, but I hear the real estate in Tokyo is just a tad expensive.

    • by MacGyver2210 (1053110) on Saturday March 03, 2012 @03:22PM (#39232975)

      You need to understand how the broadcast television system works in Japan. There are ~8-10 total networks with terrestrial broadcast stations throughout the entire country, several run by the NHK (government-run television system). In Tokyo, you can get about 7 of them. Most other stations are only available via cable or satellite, and the number of local channels even via cable in Japan is extremely low compared to the US.

      That said, in Japan space on the ground is often at more of a premium than materials to build with. If they can create one large broadcast tower to service all of Tokyo, they will - in the overall scheme - probably save billions and billions of yen. This was the idea behind the Tokyo Tower (the big red Eiffel tower looking thing) but that was created so long ago that it is now outdated and needs an upgrade to reach everyone.

      I find the architecture to be pretty cool in this Sky Tree, though it really sticks out. I think the guys over at Tokyo Yakei (Tokyo Night Windows) got the best shots of it so far(even though it's earlier on in the construction): Tokyo Sky Tree at Night [tokyoyakei.jp]

      • Indeed, land prices in Tokyo are murderous. If I'm understanding the Japanese wikipedia article right, the base area is roughly 38,000 square meters.
        http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%9D%B1%E4%BA%AC%E3%82%B9%E3%82%AB%E3%82%A4%E3%83%84%E3%83%AA%E3%83%BC [wikipedia.org]

        At Sumida official land prices (for tax purposes) are about $3600/square meter. So that would put the land value of the total building site at about ~130m dollars. If you were to duplicate the effect with a bunch of smaller towers, you could easily go over the ~

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        That said, in Japan space on the ground is often at more of a premium than materials to build with.

        Not disagreeing with you, but I wanted to point out to people who don't live in Japan that space in *Tokyo* (and other large cities) is at a premium. I live out in the boonies and land is actually quite cheap (compared to Europe, for instance). In addition to a reducing population, people are moving in droves to the big cities (especially Tokyo) looking for work.

        There are a lot of people who have the idea that Japan is crammed wall to wall with people, but it actually has a lower population density than E

      • by MtViewGuy (197597)

        The Tokyo government needed to build a new TV transmitting tower because Tokyo Tower in the Minato-ku ward was just too low for "line of sight" digital TV broadcasting--there were too many tall buildings near the Tokyo Tower site.

        That's why they chose to build Tokyo Sky Tree in Sumida-ku ward, and build it at a height that has no interference from nearby tall buildings. Indeed, they built it at Sumida-ku ward as part of major urban redevelopment project in that part of Tokyo, which was once known as a worki

    • I presume when they say "broadcast tower" that it's going to be doing TV and radio, not "look at our fancy cell phone tower". If you think a number of small towers would work for TV or radio broadcasts then you need to read up on how such things work. At least in the US, if a station is is licensed by the FCC to broadcast on UHF 15 then there's only one transmitter in the coverage area that does so at the licensed power, frequency, and tower coordinates. You would never stick a whole bunch of TV transmitter

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by erikscott (1360245)

        It turns out you actually can use several smaller towers instead of one big one for broadcasting. In digital TV, it's trivially easy - several fully independent stations pump out their signal on various UHF frequencies, but they all use the same PSIP - the "virtual" channel number encoded into the stream so the blissfully ignorant can "keep on watching channel three like I always did, bohygawd." Consumer decoder boxes are clever enough to only offer the one with the lowest bit error rate (=best signal).

        • A TV station is on 476 - 482 MHz. How would someone else apply for a license on 476 - 482 MHz in the same place? (This is what I was aluding to when I said "you would never stick a whole bunch of TV transmitters across the same area broadcasting on the same frequency.")

          As far as duplicated PSIPs go, I can pick up three instances of "channel 11" with my Samsung DTB-H260F and several others. One is always the nearby full power transmitter while the others are translators it was able to pick up long enough to

    • by slick7 (1703596)

      Very impressive, though I can't help thinking its a vanity project and broadcasting from a number of smaller towers would be cheaper. I suppose that probably goes for all the world's ultra tall buildings though

      Now..if they outlaw tinfoil hats, then that would be significant.

    • by camperslo (704715)

      Very impressive, though I can't help thinking its a vanity project and broadcasting from a number of smaller towers would be cheaper. I suppose that probably goes for all the world's ultra tall buildings though

      Although it is no doubt made to accommodate many transmitters, the most important aspect of it is the height. When it comes to coverage of VHF and UHF signals, height matters more than output power.

  • by Geoffrey.landis (926948) on Saturday March 03, 2012 @03:00PM (#39232817) Homepage

    Yes! Exoatmospheric tower [nasa.gov] next! Let's do it!

    • Hi Geoffrey,

      Don't forget to put pivoting airfoils on the lower 20km of the struts. That reduces wind loads by about a factor of ten. Also check out the reference book I'm collecting if you have time: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Space_Transport_and_Engineering_Methods [wikibooks.org] (it's about 1/4 of the way to a first draft).

    • Yes! Exoatmospheric tower [nasa.gov] next! Let's do it!

      What do you think about the Launch loop concept [wikipedia.org]? While it is a huge undertaking, it seems to be way up from a space elevator on the feasibility scale. It would offer huge savings for putting things in orbit even compared to your tower, basically obviating the need for using (and lifting) chemical propellant for most of the delta-V needed. Any thoughts on that?

  • Should the radio tower in Poland [http://skyscraperpage.com/cities/?buildingID=46244] did not collapse in early 90s due to mishap of support crew it would be only 3rd of world's tallest structures.
  • What will be the amplitude and frequency at the top of the tower when the expected big earthquake will strike? (Calculators are accepted)
  • Seriously, how long until Jeb Corliss gets up there (after his ankles heal, ouch!)
  • BASEJUMP. And brass balls. Don't forget the brass balls because you'll never make it to the top without them. Good luck.
  • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Saturday March 03, 2012 @03:45PM (#39233153)
    ... considering another visit to Tokyo.
  • This tower is SO UGLY that it is invulnerable to earthquakes.

  • Somehow, building a giant broadcasting tower in a city seems a dated idea. Supposedly Tokyo Tower was being blocked by new tall buildings.

    • by theNetImp (190602)

      Most people in Japan don't have cable. They have satellite with an antenna for local broadcast channels. We only have an antenna because the only channels my father-in-law watches are available for free that way. I don't want TV often enough to warrant the cost of cable/satellite, so why pay the extra?

      • by MtViewGuy (197597)

        Actually, that may start to change now that many major metro areas in Japan now have direct optical fiber into the home. That may make it possible for cable TV over optical fiber in Japan like what Verizon does with its FIOS service.

    • by arth1 (260657)

      Why build it in the city?
      Conventional wisdom have you place these on nearby mountain tops (or surrounding hills should mountains be scarce), both because you get a free height boost, and because your audience won't have to add an attenuator to receive a way too strong signal.
      Impressive, sure, but dick waving nevertheless.

  • Here I was thinking internet would be killing TV.
    Or is the tower broadcasting UDP packets, perhaps?

  • when you look up at it, but lay it on its side and it doesn't look so big.

  • The CN Tower gets dwarfed yet again.

    Oh well, it had a nice, long run as tallest freestanding structure.

  • by Chemisor (97276) on Saturday March 03, 2012 @04:48PM (#39233605)

    I just saw this after having spent the last hour playing World of Goo, and I must say I find it hilarious.

  • Japan beats US in "ladder to heaven" race


    • by Virtucon (127420)

      "We are very simple people with small Penis" - Japanese Chinpokomon Executive "Japanese Charm"

  • The sky tree seems to have problems with ice build up on its steel beams during cold winter days (Mentioned in this article here: CNet [cnet.com]). Although after a quick google search this seems to be general problem of tall structures with open truss structures (for example here is video of a ice falling from a TV tower Youtube [youtube.com]).
    I guess usually that is not such a big problem as TV towers are build in parks or large open spaces but the Tokyo sky tree is build in the center of the city surrounded by a lot buildings.
  • Finally! A tower for my ham radio antennas that'll let my signal out of this valley I live in! :-)

According to the latest official figures, 43% of all statistics are totally worthless.