Will this be the end of TV Dxing? (1 Viewer)

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sleepybear

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May 5, 2006
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I know there's not a lot of guys like me out there but I have always Dx'ed lower VHF TV signals since I was a kid. I'm a HAM operator (Radio only) so it kind of goes hand in hand. TV channels 2 through 6 come in great for long distance skip most every summer from where I live, also the lower end of the FM radio band from about 88 to 96 Mhz. I have a monster Winegard 8200HD on a 60 ft. stick with a rotor so I can point all overthe place trying to out-do what I received last year etc.

I am wondering this: With the dumping of analog broadcasting, what are the chances of us ever receiving long distance skip on TV again? I realize 2.1 is still 2, around 54Mhz etc. But will a digital signal skip without scrambling itself? And if so how well? So far I have not had any luck getting anything but the old analog far-aways this summer. I hope this is not another interest I have that's riding off into the sunset:(
 
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roashru

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Jul 28, 2005
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I dont think TV DXing will die off I like the challenge of it as a hobby. I just bought a Apex DT250 and am watching off and on WMOR-DT (More TV 32) in Lakeland, FL Im in Samsula, FL thats 110 miles!

Added another picture WTVT-DT (FOX 13) Tampa, FL to Samsula, FL (32168) thats 110 miles! this station is steady viewing.
 

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dlsnyder

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
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Moreno Valley, CA
And don't forget about the LPTV and repeater stations that do not have to go digital. There will still be analog TV around for a few more years. Most of it will be on channel 7 and above though, so the days of the classic sporadic-E skip season may be numbered.
 

voomvoom

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May 18, 2004
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Lizella, Georgia Republic
I do this a lot, it's been kind of limp or low key for a short while now. I have under what I call Ideal Atmospheric Conditions gotten channels from all over the Southeast. I'm at (or near) Macon Georgia. I've captured DT channels as far as Asheville and Charlotte to my North, Fayetteville N.C. and Myrtle Beach to my Northeast, Charleston to my East, Jacksonville Florida to my Southeast, Orlando Florida to my South, Tallahassee and Pensacola Florida to my Southwest, Montgomery and Birmingham Alabama to my West, Huntsville Alabama and Chattanooga Tennessee to the other side of my rotor's loop to the North.
Some of these stations are at Full Power already and some are not. It's my hope that reception will only get better after the transition occurs? I will say that I regularly watch Atlanta, that's 75-85 miles from the different stations from me, and the difference in the snowy picture from channel 17 WPCH (formerly WTBS) and WPCH DT which is crystal clear, is absolutely worth the change from analog to digital...!!!
sleepybear, I have the same Winegard 8200HD antenna, with a Winegard DA-1136 Distribution Amplifier, and it's about 30' above the ground, not to mention I'm on a hill, so I have no LOS issue's.... Good Luck on your DXing..!!!!!

Edit: and I just remembered, a lot of the stations have their antenna's at low spots on the towers at present, and will raise the height, to or near the top, after the cut-off date......
 

mastermesh

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 18, 2006
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Digital will make DX funner because it means you either have 100% of a picture or nothing... snow is tolerable, but with digital you don't have it... does make it more of a challenge though since you almost just have to aim and cross your fingers waiting for the scan...

Now, reviewing the two digital converter boxes I have, I have noticed that one keeps the channels previously scanned and the other wipes them out. My DTV itself also wipes em out.... The one that keeps the channels has me interested in some ideas. For instance, imagine taking a box like that with you out travelling along all over the place, and scan, scan, scan... on vacations, on business trips, whatever... til you get a huge number of channels in the box. Now, if the box in question has a signal meter on it, and you have a rotor on your antenna, TV DX could be very fun. You'd have signals all over the place and could detect faint signals, and just keep tweaking your setup til you get as much as possible. Meters on digital boxes seem like they will work for us like the snow on analog did... but the trick is getting those channels scanned in at least once so that the box has some info that you can see visually to aid in getting better reception. Would be awesome if converter boxes could be made to use editable bin files and stuff like fta boxes do....
 
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sleepybear

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May 5, 2006
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Digital will make DX funner because it means you either have 100% of a picture or nothing... snow is tolerable, but with digital you don't have it... does make it more of a challenge though since you almost just have to aim and cross your fingers waiting for the scan...

Now, reviewing the two digital converter boxes I have, I have noticed that one keeps the channels previously scanned and the other wipes them out. My DTV itself also wipes em out.... The one that keeps the channels has me interested in some ideas. For instance, imagine taking a box like that with you out travelling along all over the place, and scan, scan, scan... on vacations, on business trips, whatever... til you get a huge number of channels in the box. Now, if the box in question has a signal meter on it, and you have a rotor on your antenna, TV DX could be very fun. You'd have signals all over the place and could detect faint signals, and just keep tweaking your setup til you get as much as possible. Meters on digital boxes seem like they will work for us like the snow on analog did... but the trick is getting those channels scanned in at least once so that the box has some info that you can see visually to aid in getting better reception. Would be awesome if converter boxes could be made to use editable bin files and stuff like fta boxes do....

That's exactly what I was wondering. With the new digital receivers blacking out weak signals it is going to make it very tough to do anymore. It is already quite the time consuming hobby as it is and now imagine waiting to see if channel by channel something will appear while steering the antenna around to boot.:eek:
 

dodge

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Aug 1, 2004
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Plano, Illinois, United States
sleepybear
kb9ndb here , I do do thge tv dx as well, I also have the winegard hd8200p with the ap8275 preamp and rotor 30' up on my house. I have been doing digital tv dx now for 4 years and love the digital. I use a dish vip 622 as tuner and it works pretty good. I have a few digital convertor boxes I have yet to try.
I have received on digital
South Bend IN
Milwaukee WI
Madison Wi
Green Bay WI
QUad Cities IL Iowa
Champaign Urbana IL
Bloomington IL
Peoria IL
I am waiting to see what i can get when everything goes full power!!!
 

elder

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 17, 2007
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This from: Engineers dispute FCC estimates for DTV signal strength

The FCC and all their consultants calculated that a DTV transmitter would need only about a tenth of the power of an analog transmitter (all other things, such as channel number, being equal) to get comparable coverage. So of course that was the FCC's default assignment to stations for their DTV transmitters. Station managers are looking forward to big savings on their power bills! Chief engineers may be a little skeptical.

The actual assignment of power is a little more complicated, in the common case where the DTV is in a different band than the ATV. There are three bands in US television, with different maximum powers: 2-6 (100KW), 7-13 (316 KW), and 14-(now)50 (5 MW.) Maximum allowable power can be further restricted for stations in certain areas with exceptionally high transmitting locations or substandard spacing to other stations on the same or adjacent channels.
 

Jim5506

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Oct 19, 2004
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No mention that multi-path , not signal strength, might be the reason rabbit ears indoors do a poor job, even near the transmitters.
 

sleepybear

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May 5, 2006
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sleepybear
kb9ndb here , I do do thge tv dx as well, I also have the winegard hd8200p with the ap8275 preamp and rotor 30' up on my house. I have been doing digital tv dx now for 4 years and love the digital. I use a dish vip 622 as tuner and it works pretty good. I have a few digital convertor boxes I have yet to try.
I have received on digital
South Bend IN
Milwaukee WI
Madison Wi
Green Bay WI
QUad Cities IL Iowa
Champaign Urbana IL
Bloomington IL
Peoria IL
I am waiting to see what i can get when everything goes full power!!!

Very interesting Dodge! I can do about 235 miles analog late night, hot summer nights on flatland here with the 8200. I Would love to see your set up! Sounds like a dream station there! Hey, but what about true ionospheric skip, Any luck with that yet this summer?
 

goaliebob99

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Supporting Founder
Aug 5, 2004
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-.-. .... .. -.-. .- --. ---
sleepybear
kb9ndb here , I do do thge tv dx as well, I also have the winegard hd8200p with the ap8275 preamp and rotor 30' up on my house. I have been doing digital tv dx now for 4 years and love the digital. I use a dish vip 622 as tuner and it works pretty good. I have a few digital convertor boxes I have yet to try.
I have received on digital
South Bend IN
Milwaukee WI
Madison Wi
Green Bay WI
QUad Cities IL Iowa
Champaign Urbana IL
Bloomington IL
Peoria IL
I am waiting to see what i can get when everything goes full power!!!

Dodge, pm me with what repeater your on so I can hit you up.. IM on the KARS repeater at 146.940 KC9NWU untill the morning when the fcc approves my call change to K9SAT. As far as Digital DXIng goes.. It is far from dead as my list is just as extensive as dodge's I have even picked up a few from indianapolis. :)
 

Jim5506

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Oct 19, 2004
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The radiation emitted by the station is the same, only the modulation on the carrier is now digital whereas it was analog - should behave in a very similar manner.
 

sleepybear

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May 5, 2006
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Dodge, pm me with what repeater your on so I can hit you up.. IM on the KARS repeater at 146.940 KC9NWU untill the morning when the fcc approves my call change to K9SAT. As far as Digital DXIng goes.. It is far from dead as my list is just as extensive as dodge's I have even picked up a few from indianapolis. :)


GoalieBob what about your luck with skip this year?
 

ziggy29

SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 13, 2007
79
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Austin DMA
Digital signals travel just like analog signal. The only way the transition would make DXing suffer is if the analog stations reduce their power and thus reduce signal strength. If a digital signal isn't weaker than the analog signal it replaced (at the same channel/frequency), if you got a halfway decent picture on analog DXing you should get an even better picture with digital DXing assuming a reasonably sensitive tuner.

In any event, I'm sure some people have been doing digital DXing for years already.
 

Scroll

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 7, 2008
434
0
I dont think TV DXing will die off I like the challenge of it as a hobby. I just bought a Apex DT250 and am watching off and on WMOR-DT (More TV 32) in Lakeland, FL Im in Samsula, FL thats 110 miles!

Added another picture WTVT-DT (FOX 13) Tampa, FL to Samsula, FL (32168) thats 110 miles! this station is steady viewing.

That's kinda funny in one way. I'm just across the pond in St. Pete and when the wind is blowing the trees Fox and NBC Tampa start to break up. LOL

I used to DX occasionally in the Chicago area with just a bow tie antenna in a 2nd floor bedroom. I didn't have much luck with VHF & rabbit ears but at times I got a pretty strong signal from about 70 miles away and occasionally even Cincinnati, OH on some weekends.

Still just by the way the digital signals are it won't be like in the old days where you strain to hear call letters with a grainy picture to try & make sense out of. Kinda reminded me of the early days of scrambled PPV ota & cable. :)
 

digiblur

SatelliteGuys Master
Jun 8, 2005
14,190
2
Louisiana
I was out of town this week at the parents house. Everyone was sleeping so I had the TV to myself. With no FTA system to play with or DVR to watch I decided to scan the OTA. I was picking up the lowest powered TV station from my market, 2 DMA's away! So I swung the CM4228 around to the west and from Southwest Louisiana I was picking up KEYE out of Austin, TX. So DX'ing will still be around... but I do agree you won't be able to see the digital ones like you used to see the analogs where you were barely picking up the signal, just enough to read the call letters. You'll just get the not locked or miss it totally during the scan.
 

jayn_j

Press On Regardless
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Sep 29, 2003
10,690
3,295
Sheboygan, WI
I was out of town this week at the parents house. Everyone was sleeping so I had the TV to myself. With no FTA system to play with or DVR to watch I decided to scan the OTA. I was picking up the lowest powered TV station from my market, 2 DMA's away! So I swung the CM4228 around to the west and from Southwest Louisiana I was picking up KEYE out of Austin, TX. So DX'ing will still be around... but I do agree you won't be able to see the digital ones like you used to see the analogs where you were barely picking up the signal, just enough to read the call letters. You'll just get the not locked or miss it totally during the scan.

Actually, this sounds like an opportunity to actually increase the hobby value. I can see people experimenting with antennas, low noise amps, etc. I can also see an opportunity to build computer software to try and extract id info out of weak signals that won't lock. There may also be opportunities to do software to reconstruct a lock from sparse datastreams. This actually seems exciting, as much fun as FTA.
 
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