I want to get into TV DX. Where do I start? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 14 Old 02-02-2019, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Question I want to get into TV DX. Where do I start?

MOD NOTE: this topic is closed and the discussion moved to the Detroit thread starting here.
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First post!
Here's my TVFool info:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...90380a24aba508

So I want to get into TV DX, and I'm not sure where to start. Most of the guides I have read online use wording that I do not know yet, so can anyone offer a simple explanation of how to do it, some techniques, and what equipment is good for DXing?
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Last edited by DrDon; 02-22-2019 at 02:11 PM. Reason: Fixed link
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post #2 of 14 Old 02-02-2019, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Fantin View Post
First post!
Here's my TVFool info: tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d90380a24aba50 8

So I want to get into TV DX, and I'm not sure where to start. Most of the guides I have read online use wording that I do not know yet, so can anyone offer a simple explanation of how to do it, some techniques, and what equipment is good for DXing?
Be sure to try http://www.wtfda.org/

It's a good place to start and one of the oldest and best of the DX-ing hobby clubs. Most of their advice seems to be straightforward and in plain English.

Don't fear the Reaper. Fear the Repack!
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post #3 of 14 Old 02-02-2019, 09:39 PM
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Working Link: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...90380a24aba508
Which is in general agreement with fol. RabbitEars Report:
https://www.rabbitears.info/search.p...pe=dBm&height=

HOWEVER, BE ADVISED: Ch37 and above will soon be vacated, reshuffling numerous Channels, as indicated in fol. List, at which point all of the fol. discussion will no longer apply...and you should use a Filter(s) to Attenuate Ch20-32, which is much more difficult and counter-productive:
https://www.rabbitears.info/market.p...gn=455#station
https://www.rabbitears.info/search.p...pe=dBm&height=

Currently, you have Extremely Strong Ch39 and Very Strong Ch41-45 which will severely limit the "Spurious Free Dynamic Range", whether using Preamp....or NOT. You should use a PreAmp with a Very High "SFDR", such as Antennas Direct Clearstream JUICE or CM341x Series Distribution Amplifier, see Calaveras Measurement Summary:
http://photos.imageevent.com/holl_an...028Nov2015.jpg

More Info re "SFDR":
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/25-hd...l#post33071345
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/25-hd...l#post34825137

In ADDITION, you should insert a Special Order Filter Attenuating Ch39-45 by 20 to 40 dB (whichever is available & affordable) from either Tin Lee or Jan Jenca:
http://www.tinlee.com/MATV_headend.p...ILTERSANDTRAPS
http://www.antenne-komponenty.eu/eng...zlucovace.html

And of course a BIG Ch7-69 Antenna, such as Winegard HD-7698 [or A-D UHF DB-8e plus Stellar Labs Hi-VHF 12-El Yagi], on a Rotator. [Very Weak Ch5 & Ch6 would be very rare....if ever....and would require the HUGE HD-8200 Antenna instead.]

Last edited by holl_ands; 02-02-2019 at 10:15 PM.
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post #4 of 14 Old 02-03-2019, 07:25 AM
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It's possible under the right conditions to receive low VHF stations via Sporadic-E propagation in the range of about 500 to 1500 miles. Mid May through July is the best time of the year. This is more difficult than it used to be in the analog days because the signal has to be very good across the entire 6 MHz bandwidth at the same time to decode the signal.

A few years ago I received two stations via Sporadic-E in Northern California; KOTA channel 2 Rapid City, SD and KNOP channel 2 North Platte, NB.
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post #5 of 14 Old 02-03-2019, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Fantin View Post
So I want to get into TV DX, and I'm not sure where to start. Most of the guides I have read online use wording that I do not know yet, so can anyone offer a simple explanation of how to do it, some techniques, and what equipment is good for DXing?
Hello, Frank Fantin; welcome to the forum. This is the Repack Plan for Detroit:

https://www.rabbitears.info/repackch...h=&lss=&status=

The changes will be during Phase 3 and Phase 8:

https://www.fcc.gov/about-fcc/fcc-initiatives/incentive-auctions/transition-schedule

https://www.commlawcenter.com/2017/04/fcc-announces-auction-results-and-sets-tv-repack-deadlines.html

As mentioned above, the very strong WADL will make it difficult to receive weak DX channels. A preamp would help with the weak channels, but it would be overloaded by WADL. You will need to depend upon just the gain of your antenna and the ability to rotate it away from WADL until you have a custom bandstop filter to make WADL weaker. The filter will be designed for one specific channel, which will change when WADL moves.

Another problem might be the trees that I see in your area; trees block TV signals.
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/antennas/siting.html
scroll down to Trees and UHF

The ideal setup would be a tower with the antenna above the trees and a heavy duty ham rotator mounted inside the top tower section.
The Channel Master 9521A is popular, but it doesn't have long term reliability. You would need to upgrade to a ham (radio amateur) rotator like the Yaesu G-450.
https://www.eham.net/reviews/products/24

https://www.dxengineering.com/
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post #6 of 14 Old 02-03-2019, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Fantin View Post
First post!
Here's my TVFool info:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...90380a24aba508

So I want to get into TV DX, and I'm not sure where to start. Most of the guides I have read online use wording that I do not know yet, so can anyone offer a simple explanation of how to do it, some techniques, and what equipment is good for DXing?

Frank, please give us an approximate range of price you were thinking about of spending on this hobby for various equipment? It can get very pricey, very quickly, and there's no use for advice for huge towers and such if that's way beyond what you mean by your definition of "TV DX".

Thanks!
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post #7 of 14 Old 02-03-2019, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Primestar31 View Post
..... It can get very pricey, very quickly, and there's no use for advice for huge towers and such if that's way beyond what you mean by your definition of "TV DX".
Forum member MAX HD is a dedicated DXer. At one time, he had this 4-over-4 array of 8 UHF antennas up in the air. In the photo, his crank-up tower is in the down position.



Tower down and tilted to work on antennas:

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Last edited by rabbit73; 02-03-2019 at 06:45 PM.
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post #8 of 14 Old 02-03-2019, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Frank Fantin View Post
So I want to get into TV DX, and I'm not sure where to start........and what equipment is good for DXing?
You don't need a big array like in the above photo to do DXing, Frank. You can have a lot of fun with a Winegard HD7698P antenna and a rotator.
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post #9 of 14 Old 02-03-2019, 07:34 PM
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Hello Frank,
I’ll offer a couple further thoughts, although I’m a West Michigander—so haven’t ever been “hands on” with your local stations.

Rabbit73 linked to the page for most of the repack frequency changes around Detroit, but that list doesn’t include some more recent low power TV approvals. To me, the most significant one in the Detroit area is WHNE moving down to RF3 (“real frequency” 3). https://www.rabbitears.info/market.p...rting=physical

Thus, even for certain reception of WHNE, but as part of your DXing interest, I’d second the recommendation of a 8200 antenna. Yes, it has wide elements—but that’s what’s needed for Low-VHF (RF3-6).

Winegard offers it as the HD8200U. But Novi, MI-located seller Solid Signal offers their house brand as the HD8200XL: https://www.solidsignal.com/m/product.aspx?p=HD8200XL Oftentimes this will be listed on their site as one of the Deals of the Day.

Good Luck!
Cheers,
Statmanmi
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Kent County, MI
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post #10 of 14 Old 02-04-2019, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your advice. What I'm thinking of doing is getting a 50 foot tower, because the trees in my neighbor's yard are really tall, and I might just go to Solid Signal (didn't know they had a brick and mortar store) and browse.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
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post #11 of 14 Old 02-09-2019, 08:27 AM
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Be warned, living in a suburb, expect flack erecting a 50' tower. aka NIMBY's

The other factor is the 'cliff effect'. It's either there or it's not, no more 'snowy' images to look for which seems to make TV DX'ing less interesting.

.
.
Recording free OTA TV for 'time shifting' has been here since 1975. Will there be DVR's to do the same when ATSC3 obsoletes existing DVR's??
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post #12 of 14 Old 02-09-2019, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
...
no more 'snowy' images to look for which seems to make TV DX'ing less interesting.
No kidding. It was like ham radio. You could watch the weather and try to use that to pull in some really distant, although snowy signals. Lived on a hill in Missouri next to a water tower. Had some fun with that.

One of the reasons I kept my Samsung SIR-T151 is that the signal LED would blink if it saw something digital on the RF channel you'd input. Then, the game was to work with that until the light went solid. THEN you'd get something on the TV connected to it.

I know, I know.. I should invest in a spectrum analyzer, but I'm limited to the attic in Tampa, so my DX-ing won't go much beyond... Tampa.
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post #13 of 14 Old 02-09-2019, 04:04 PM
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I have seen the Tektronix (Tempo) RFM151 SLM go for well under $200 on e-bay. It's too bad the scan is so slow, but for the price it's a steal. There is always the Siglent SSA3021x.

.
.
Recording free OTA TV for 'time shifting' has been here since 1975. Will there be DVR's to do the same when ATSC3 obsoletes existing DVR's??
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post #14 of 14 Old 02-09-2019, 04:58 PM
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That's one of the things I miss about working at a station. I could just check out an SA for the weekend. And did. PLENTY of times.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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