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post #1 of 39 Old 07-21-2019, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
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RabbitEars Search Map Enters Public Beta

I'm pleased to announce the release of the RabbitEars Search Map as a public beta.

https://www.rabbitears.info/searchmap.php

This tool is designed to replace TVFool which, although I love it, has gone very out of date to the point that it's not really useful anymore to people trying to help with antenna issues.

Please read more about it on the RabbitEars Blog.

https://www.rabbitears.info/blog/ind...rs-Public-Beta

Feel free to provide comments, opinions, feedback, and bug reports.

- Trip

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post #2 of 39 Old 07-22-2019, 02:31 AM
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post #3 of 39 Old 07-22-2019, 04:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr1394 View Post
I'd thought about this, but I'm using the Leaflet API and that's how it returns coordinates in the drag-and-drop context and the address search context. I didn't want to go rooting around in the underlying code for anything like this as that would have added a lot of time (especially since I'm bad at JavaScript) for essentially no benefit.

- Trip
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post #4 of 39 Old 07-22-2019, 06:08 AM
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I'm finding the results very questionable, at least in my individual case.

Admissions up front:
1) My old-style CM4228 is in-attic, yes i know i would do better outdoors, but my question is on accuracy.
2) My topography is "interesting" in that I get LOS from great distance to my actual DMA (NYC), but am closer to another (Hartford/New Haven), but topography-challenged...

Keeping in mind that i can almost always get strong signals from any of the NY major stations, no matter the transmitter site (1WTC, ESB, etc), the TVFool results match my reality quite well.
I also can barely, if ever, get a sniff from anything in Hartford/New Haven, with the exception of WTNH/WCTX, but their transmitters are much closer:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...903888d0559823

The new listings seem to WAY downplay my NY results, and WAY overplay my Hartford ones:
https://www.rabbitears.info/searchma...lt&study_id=73

WABC is the biggest outlier - I can get this with relative ease, but the new results seems to make it a borderline case?
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post #5 of 39 Old 07-22-2019, 06:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hancox View Post
WABC is the biggest outlier - I can get this with relative ease, but the new results seems to make it a borderline case?
If you change the units to dBm, you'll see that WABC's signal power number is less than 3 dB different from TVFool's number. (TVFool: -52.8 dBm; RE: -50.45 dBm)

As for WVIT, as an example, coming up so much stronger (TVFool: -65.6 dBm; RE: -45.72 dBm), it looks like TVFool's terrain database is showing them as being just barely 1-Edge, while the TVStudy database says it's just barely LOS. I dropped the height from 23 feet to 20 feet and the numbers for the Connecticut stations look a lot more like TVFool and the terrain plot indicates the signal is now 1-Edge. (TVFool: -65.6 dBm; RE: -62.20 dBm)

https://www.rabbitears.info/searchma...=m&study_id=75

I'm not sure what change I could really make there. Seems like you're teetering right on the edge.

- Trip

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post #6 of 39 Old 07-22-2019, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post
If you change the units to dBm, you'll see that WABC's signal power number is less than 3 dB different from TVFool's number. (TVFool: -52.8 dBm; RE: -50.45 dBm)

As for WVIT, as an example, coming up so much stronger (TVFool: -65.6 dBm; RE: -45.72 dBm), it looks like TVFool's terrain database is showing them as being just barely 1-Edge, while the TVStudy database says it's just barely LOS. I dropped the height from 23 feet to 20 feet and the numbers for the Connecticut stations look a lot more like TVFool and the terrain plot indicates the signal is now 1-Edge. (TVFool: -65.6 dBm; RE: -62.20 dBm)

https://www.rabbitears.info/searchma...=m&study_id=75

I'm not sure what change I could really make there. Seems like you're teetering right on the edge.

- Trip
Yeah, on WABC, the numbers look closer, but TVFool gives me a better interpretation. Receiving this VHF on a 4228 in the attic (yes, i know the 4228 is good with high-VHF, but still!) gives an indication...

On WVIT, that's the only Hartford-area transmitter i ever get a sniff of, but it's not a usable signal for very long, if at all. Good to know i'm that close, though - food for the "let's put up a mast, hon" fodder I've never really considered doing it, though, because the only Hartford station that would make me do it would be WFSB, which seems topographically impossible, plus the FCC's stupid channel decisions make it potentially problematic for me pulling in WCBS.

On layout feedback - the search_terrain screen needs to size to the browser window (i.e. with scrollbars, if needed), and not the screen resolution. That screen is awesome, though.

Also, a "return to search" would be helpful. for making changes like antenna height.
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post #7 of 39 Old 07-22-2019, 07:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hancox View Post
Yeah, on WABC, the numbers look closer, but TVFool gives me a better interpretation. Receiving this VHF on a 4228 in the attic (yes, i know the 4228 is good with high-VHF, but still!) gives an indication...
I'm not sure what you mean by "better interpretation" unless you're just saying it lucked into being more accurate for your case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hancox View Post
On WVIT, that's the only Hartford-area transmitter i ever get a sniff of, but it's not a usable signal for very long, if at all. Good to know i'm that close, though - food for the "let's put up a mast, hon" fodder I've never really considered doing it, though, because the only Hartford station that would make me do it would be WFSB, which seems topographically impossible, plus the FCC's stupid channel decisions make it potentially problematic for me pulling in WCBS.
Well, it's very close according to the prediction. These predictions don't take into account things like tree cover, which could impact things.

As far as WFSB is concerned, it looks like you'd need a bit of height to get up high enough for even 1-Edge reception, but I assume it would be crushed under WCBS anyway, as you suspect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hancox View Post
On layout feedback - the search_terrain screen needs to size to the browser window (i.e. with scrollbars, if needed), and not the screen resolution. That screen is awesome, though.
As noted on the blog post, that's still a work in progress. The width is currently set by the window size (or, at least, what JavaScript is returning as the window size), but the height is not. But I'm definitely aware of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hancox View Post
Also, a "return to search" would be helpful. for making changes like antenna height.
I pondered something like this. The problem is that I'm concerned about the privacy and security aspects. I don't want to inadvertently leak out people's coordinates when they would prefer to keep them private, and that seems like opening a door to it.

- Trip

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post #8 of 39 Old 07-22-2019, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post
I'm pleased to announce the release of the RabbitEars Search Map as a public beta.
Works for me in 03055. Took a moment to make sense of the shared transmitters a result of the repack. Station modeling looks reasonable, compared to TVfool. Agree its sad TVfool has not been updated in a long time. With the repack lots of folks are going to need access to these type of sites the deal with OTA changes.

Probably be a good idea to add info to explain the: good, fair, poor, bad tags similar to what TVfool does to indicate what someone needs to do to receive the station.

I was a little surprised to see post repack WGBH RF 5 with a 11 dB margin listed as poor. But I know VHF-lo is not very digital friendly due to noise.

Kudos to you - rabbitears has become to go-to place for all things TV.

/tom
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post #9 of 39 Old 07-22-2019, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tschmidt View Post
Probably be a good idea to add info to explain the: good, fair, poor, bad tags similar to what TVfool does to indicate what someone needs to do to receive the station.

I was a little surprised to see post repack WGBH RF 5 with a 11 dB margin listed as poor. But I know VHF-lo is not very digital friendly due to noise.
Glad you're liking it. I check the VHF stations against the same 41 dBuV/m value that UHF stations use when setting up the colors, but the margin is against the FCC value. That amounts to a 13 dB correction.

I'll add some explanation in the instructions for the good/fair/poor/bad note some time tomorrow.

- Trip
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post #10 of 39 Old 07-22-2019, 09:05 PM
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The order of signal strengths for my stations mostly look pretty good. I can receive all the stations down to KUDF (excluding Mexican interference.) TV Fool listed Mexican stations. Are you going to add those? That's kind of a must here.

Last edited by Calaveras; 07-22-2019 at 09:25 PM.
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post #11 of 39 Old 07-23-2019, 02:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post
The order of signal strengths for my stations mostly look pretty good. I can receive all the stations down to KUDF (excluding Mexican interference.) TV Fool listed Mexican stations. Are you going to add those? That's kind of a must here.
From the instructions:

Q. Why are Canadian and Mexican stations missing from the results?
RabbitEars was originally built on top of a copy of the FCC's CDBS database. The FCC has since replaced CDBS with LMS. RabbitEars has code that translates the ISED Canada database into CDBS format, but code to translate it into the LMS format has yet to be written. Similarly, a Mexican spreadsheet was converted into CDBS format but such a conversion has yet to be made to LMS format. When that conversion happens, the data will automatically appear in the search results, but for now, it is absent.

- Trip
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post #12 of 39 Old 07-24-2019, 02:53 AM - Thread Starter
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I've made a slight change to the calculation code. If a station is mechanically tilted and has a distorted pattern filed in LMS, and I happen to have the untilted pattern noted on RabbitEars, I'm now using the untilted antenna to calculate the signal strength rather than the tilted antenna. This change should make some of the Los Angeles area stations, as an example, more realistic. KPXN in particular gets a big boost out of it, more closely reflecting their actual signal level.

- Trip

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post #13 of 39 Old 07-26-2019, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr1394 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post
I'd thought about this...

Trip, what is the resolution of the ground coordinates? patch size?

---------------------------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post
... I'm now using the untilted antenna to calculate the signal strength rather than the tilted antenna...

...This change should make some of the Los Angeles area stations, as an example, more realistic. KPXN in particular gets a big boost out of it, more closely reflecting their actual signal level....

Curious how a calculation (prediction) can be more accurate when the model that the calculation is based on is made less accurate?

Thanks.

.
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post #14 of 39 Old 07-26-2019, 06:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripelo View Post
Trip, what is the resolution of the ground coordinates? patch size?

---------------------------

Curious how a calculation (prediction) can be more accurate when the model that the calculation is based on is made less accurate?

Thanks.

.
I'm not quite sure I understand what you mean in either question.

For the former, the coordinates are whatever the Leaflet API returns. Those get plugged into TVStudy which uses its internal 1-second terrain database to interpolate the terrain at that location between existing data points.

For the latter, I don't understand what you mean. In these specific cases, a 3D-model of an antenna is chopped down to a horizontal slice and then submitted to the FCC. It results in antenna patterns at horizontal, but of course, that doesn't reflect what you will see on the ground, which is generally much closer to the untilted pattern.

- Trip

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post #15 of 39 Old 07-26-2019, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post
...For the former, the coordinates are whatever the Leaflet API returns. Those get plugged into TVStudy which uses its internal 1-second terrain database to interpolate the terrain at that location between existing data points.
Thanks


...At 38 degrees North latitude, … one-second equals 101 ft;

longitude … one second equals 80 ft.


-------------------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post
...In these specific cases, a 3D-model of an antenna is chopped down to a horizontal slice and then submitted to the FCC. It results in antenna patterns at horizontal, but of course, that doesn't reflect what you will see on the ground, which is generally much closer to the untilted pattern...

Generally, as you know, mechanical tilt is used to provide better coverage to specific areas, usually downward and close in to transmitter in the direction of the tilt. This results at reduced coverage in the opposite direction (because the main beam is directed more upward and usually away from ground receivers).

Seems you are indicating that the horizontal slice that is submitted to the FCC does not represent the actual tilted pattern at the elevation angles-of-interest. That seems reasonable, since antenna patterns significant variation vs elevation degrees.

.
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post #16 of 39 Old 07-26-2019, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripelo View Post
Generally, as you know, mechanical tilt is used to provide better coverage to specific areas, usually downward and close in to transmitter in the direction of the tilt. This results at reduced coverage in the opposite direction (because the main beam is directed more upward and usually away from ground receivers).

Seems you are indicating that the horizontal slice that is submitted to the FCC does not represent the actual tilted pattern at the elevation angles-of-interest. That seems reasonable, since antenna patterns significant variation vs elevation degrees.
Just look at the KPXN listing on RabbitEars and compare the antenna pattern on file with the FCC (the pattern on the left) with the main beam pattern I scrounged up (the pattern on the right). You can see how the one on file with the FCC would severely understate service closer-in if used.

- Trip

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post #17 of 39 Old 07-26-2019, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post
Just look at the KPXN listing on RabbitEars and compare the antenna pattern on file with the FCC (the pattern on the left) with the main beam pattern I scrounged up (the pattern on the right). You can see how the one on file with the FCC would severely understate service closer-in if used.




Interesting.

Yes, can these on file at FCC for KPXN, however the 2nd one was rotated CCW by ~ 90 degrees, like this:





Have seen a few antenna patterns.

If presented with the first image above, and with no other information, would have guessed that they were from two different antennas.

Thanks.

.
Attached Thumbnails
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Name:	Rabbit Ears KPXN-TV.jpg
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Name:	FCC KPXN-TV.jpg
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post #18 of 39 Old 07-27-2019, 07:28 AM
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The beta search map appears to be a excellent substitute for TVfool.
And the topo map has excellent resolution and allows me to see exactly what obstructions are in my path.

Well done
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post #19 of 39 Old 07-27-2019, 10:06 AM
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Magnetic north - TVfool shows my Michigan magnetic north 6 degrees GREATER than true - but rabbitears shows 5 degrees LESS. ???
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post #20 of 39 Old 07-27-2019, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by budh9534 View Post
Magnetic north - TVfool shows my Michigan magnetic north 6 degrees GREATER than true - but rabbitears shows 5 degrees LESS. ???
Whoops! I did it backwards. The magnetic declination was a last minute addition and I was just glad to have gotten the conversion code working at all. Didn't even check if it was supposed to be added or subtracted. Should be better now.

- Trip
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post #21 of 39 Old 07-28-2019, 04:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Alright, with a few exceptions where I'm still working out wrinkles in the data, the Canadian stations are now present in the Search Map, the TV Query, and are now coming from the LMS tables, not the CDBS tables, in the main listings.

As far as said wrinkles go, I am aware of the absence of CHWI-60 on its new channel and CJPC entirely, and the bad contours on CKWS and CBUT. All are on my to-do list today. If you spot anything else missing or in error for the Canadian data, let me know, but know that I've not touched every record yet.

- Trip
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post #22 of 39 Old 07-29-2019, 05:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay, a few things.

1) Canadian stations should be mostly sorted out at this point. CJPC is still missing, but CHWI-60 is now in place. Some of the rural translators still need to be touched and don't appear yet, and I need to clean up a few of the full powers still in certain places.

2) I've attempted a fix for the channel sharing stations. The code is now much neater and the channel sharing stations should appear correctly. Aesthetically... I don't really like it, but I'm not sure what else I would do with it, exactly. Opinions GREATLY appreciated.

- Trip

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post #23 of 39 Old 07-29-2019, 06:43 AM
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Thanks for adding the channel sharing feature. I'm aesthetically challenged so it looks fine to me. The only thing that is a little confusing is the column "Community of License" since it shows the same transmitter at multiple locations. All in all a nice plus as most TVs try to hide RF channel.

True azimuth looks good, had not noticed the sign inversion before it was mentioned here. I forgot a bunch of the Boston stations were not only moving RF channels but physical transmitter location as well so was not paying attention. It will be interesting to rescan over the weekend as much of Boston is phase 4.

I feel bad TVfool is no longer being kept current, Rabbitears is picking up the slack in the post repack world. Appreciate all your effort, Rabbitears is a fantastic resource for the OTA community.
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post #24 of 39 Old 07-29-2019, 07:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tschmidt View Post
Thanks for adding the channel sharing feature. I'm aesthetically challenged so it looks fine to me. The only thing that is a little confusing is the column "Community of License" since it shows the same transmitter at multiple locations. All in all a nice plus as most TVs try to hide RF channel.

True azimuth looks good, had not noticed the sign inversion before it was mentioned here. I forgot a bunch of the Boston stations were not only moving RF channels but physical transmitter location as well so was not paying attention. It will be interesting to rescan over the weekend as much of Boston is phase 4.

I feel bad TVfool is no longer being kept current, Rabbitears is picking up the slack in the post repack world. Appreciate all your effort, Rabbitears is a fantastic resource for the OTA community.

The community of license isn't the transmitter location, though for DTS stations, I do replace the community of license with the transmitter location to clarify which transmitter people are seeing. I've been debating removing the community of license fields entirely, or making it a hover-over type thing. Opinions?

Yeah, I'd spent years referring people to TVFool, but Andy no longer seems to be paying it any mind, so I had to do something. Glad to be able to provide it.


- Trip
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post #25 of 39 Old 07-29-2019, 04:44 PM
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TV Fool Google map

I realize that it is far way too early to make this request, but transferring the ZIP Code from TVFool to:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=90

If the first thing I do upon seeing a TVFool report.

Then clicking on "Show lines pointing to each transmitter" gives me most often the needed information.

I am a mapping person!

SHF
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post #26 of 39 Old 07-29-2019, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFischer1 View Post
I realize that it is far way too early to make this request, but transferring the ZIP Code from TVFool to:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=90

If the first thing I do upon seeing a TVFool report.

Then clicking on "Show lines pointing to each transmitter" gives me most often the needed information.

I am a mapping person!

SHF
I'm not sure what you're asking for. The Search Map itself lets you find the signal by searching or drag and drop, then when you generate results, you can view a map with lines to the transmitters. What am I missing?

- Trip

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Comments are my own and not that of the FCC (my employer) or anyone else.

RabbitEars

"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand..." - Rush "Witch Hunt"

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post #27 of 39 Old 07-29-2019, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post
I'm not sure what you're asking for. The Search Map itself lets you find the signal by searching or drag and drop, then when you generate results, you can view a map with lines to the transmitters. What am I missing?

- Trip
That I am a fool having not tried all the options or read the instructions.

I was not prepared for the two different TVFool pages to be combined into one.

Thanks for a great TVFool replacement.

SHF
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post #28 of 39 Old 07-29-2019, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SFischer1 View Post
That I am a fool having not tried all the options or read the instructions.

I was not prepared for the two different TVFool pages to be combined into one.

Thanks for a great TVFool replacement.

SHF
No sweat. Glad you like it.

- Trip

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Comments are my own and not that of the FCC (my employer) or anyone else.

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post #29 of 39 Old 07-29-2019, 09:28 PM
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I don't like the transmitter tag on the maps.

I think that something like this would be more compelling.




I think that a higher resolution bitmap is available in a file I have that is a collection of pushpins.

SHF
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post #30 of 39 Old 07-30-2019, 03:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFischer1 View Post
I don't like the transmitter tag on the maps.

I think that something like this would be more compelling.




I think that a higher resolution bitmap is available in a file I have that is a collection of pushpins.

SHF
The current map icons are color-coded to show the strength of the signals and, frankly, look a lot better than that does. It would also be inconsistent with the style of the icons used everywhere else on RabbitEars, and I don't know what copyright issues might surround other icons.

- Trip

N4MJC

Comments are my own and not that of the FCC (my employer) or anyone else.

RabbitEars

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