: OTA: West Coast DXing Tropo, Atypical Reception
2012-07-13, 09:50 PM
Anyone having luck with E-skip this year? I seemed to have better luck with the strong analogue stations before the American transition in 2009. I did pick up KEYT-3 in Santa Barbara, California- on two successive Summers- over 1000 miles away and it was mostly very clear for about an hour. I also had a couple stations competing for a lock on channel four (analogue). - One was in Spanish. I was hoping now that I might get something from Mexico, as they still have analogue; but so far no luck.
2012-07-13, 11:33 PM
Nothing much happening here on the east coast of Galiano Island, with my XG91 pointed south. In fact, for whatever reason, I am having increasing reception problems with receiving the usual digital suspects from Mount Seymour these days, let alone analogue treasures from much further away...
2012-07-14, 02:42 AM
I am now picking up an analogue channel 3, location unknown.
Not quite clear enough to make out the picture, and it's 'black and white'.
I'm using a 22 year old AntennaCraft VU-160XR I bought at Radio Shack. It was always better for VHF; but for my newer UHF digital locals on Mt. Seymour, it's quite reliable.
2012-07-15, 01:18 AM
I received a VHF 3 analogue station today that I confirmed as a CBC station. My antenna was oriented east. It was showing the Calgary Stampede rodeo events, as was CBUT-DT 43. I wonder if it is CBUT-2, VHF 3 in Chilliwack?
2012-07-17, 02:56 AM
I don't know if TV Fool will "confirm" it. Looking up various areas and maps they have channels that shouldn't be there anymore and some that should that aren't. I know that the VHF 3 is CBC (CBUT) and I feel that it's coming from Chilliwack because my antenna is pointing east. There is a CBUT Channel 3, VHF analogue, on Vancouver Island but the ERP power is less than a hundredth of what Chilliwack (1.51kW at an HAAT of 214m) is putting out. It's not out of the realm of possibilities, because for some channels my antenna seems perfectly happy picking signals up from the rear of the antenna. And with some, it doesn't.
2012-08-16, 01:23 AM
I'm certain that it was the CBUT-2 repeater in Chilliwack on VHF 3 that I was picking up. There was a slight time delay in the programming of it and CBUT-DT 47, just like when I could receive both CBUT Analogue 2 and CBUT-DT UHF 58, before the Sept 1, 2011 analogue to digital transition. The Chilliwack analogue 3 looks to now have been turned off by CBC, as part of their cost savings plan, for I'm not picking it up anymore.
2012-08-16, 07:48 PM
Anyone else notice since the American and then the Canadian digital transition that it's much more difficult or very rare to get TV stations from any great distance on the west coast? Digital TV produces a great picture and sound, but the fun in finding far away stations is limited and not really happening too much here anymore.
2012-08-17, 08:47 PM
I was picking up CHAN-TV (Global TV) on analogue UHF 23 today at 4:30pm. I recognized a Global News commercial and then the same programming, "The Young and the Restless" was on there and CHAN-DT 22. It's not really Dx'ing, but with so many strong channels near me (and CHAN-DT on adjacent UHF 22) it doesn't happen that often. Plus, before I knew the location of the signal, it was being picked up through the BACK of my VHF/FM/UHF antenna. Next time, I'll turn it around and see if I can get it any better.
2012-08-17, 11:30 PM
i've only seen kiro and komo tv once..but the ugly thing is that it took away chan-tv...which is really weird because that usually is my strongest signal...re-scanned and went back to my usual line up
2012-09-11, 03:09 AM
What kind of antenna are you using, JesseBlue? Height? Amp or not? Whereabouts from Mt. Seymour are you? - I've never received any of the Seattle stations... yet.
2012-09-12, 03:07 AM
I wish I could receive your CHEK (RF49). When it was on analogue RF 6, I was able to pick it up (albeit snowy) using an old Radio Shack VU-160.
Well, I'm about 90 km away and just north of Seattle, I guess I'm in a shadow of some mountains in my path that UHF can't get past, but VHF did.
2012-09-14, 03:30 AM
I'm 39 miles (63 km) North of CHEK-DT 49 and I only get it around 35% signal strength. - I have to point almost directly at it. Not a side lobe for it. I also have an AntennaCraft VU-160XR. Mine has the blue plastic insulators, not the black ones on later Radio Shack versions. It might be a topography thing for me, or just that the antenna isn't particularly good on UHF 49.
2012-09-14, 12:35 PM
Yeah, RS VU antennas have a flat gain across UHF bands, I believe, but I think its gain is about 12dBs or so...
I'm looking to get a 91XG soon that is known to have very good high-UHF band gain.
Unfortunately even TVFool doesnt show RF 49 showing up at all in my location report. Nuts!
Looks like I'll have to move further north and on a hill/mountainside that can see up north to give to LOS to most of the BC stations. Heh.
BTW, KCPQ down here has turned on its repeater station at RF 22 which conflicts with CHAN at RF 22. This is bad news for me, as I was able to pick up CHAN most of the time with its NM at about -8dBm at my location, but now with KCPQ turned on its co-channel and I am blocked from getting either channel. Currently I have M8 (similar to CM 4228) but looks like I have to try 91XG to be more direction and hope it can block the back gain from the south. Darn KCPQ to use that RF channel and not some other free freq!
2012-09-15, 03:12 AM
How low a NM in dB can you go with your VU-160XR and still get a fairly reliable picture? From the Radio Shack Antenna Specs, the average gain for the VU-160XR is as follows: Low Band 5.4dBd, High Band 7.8dBd, UHF 9.3dBd, and FM 1.6dBd.
2012-09-15, 10:44 AM
I think I could pick up a channel on an NM of -2dBm or so, but it might have been on a tropo day.
2012-09-15, 12:45 PM
CHEK-DT RF49 is in your TV Fool report if you hit "Only Digital"
And you'll need at least two 91XG to get it solidly.
2012-09-15, 12:59 PM
Yeah, I just noticed it now in my report... but its NM is so low (> -20dBm) that I have almost but given up on picking it up.
Currently I have an poorly made M8 that dont even see a signal mark on RF 49.
But I have a new problem, per my last posts.
With this M8, I was able to pick up CHAN 22 about 80% of the time with its NM at -8 dBm (amazing, huh?). Also I can pick up OMNI 20, and sometimes CBUFT 26 on "good" days... and these are NMs in -15 dBm or so... for 140km away!
But since KCPQ LD RF 22 came online to the south of me, now I'm getting interference of course and can't get either channel.
I'm guessing M8 can't block the side lobe or back lobe signals?
I'm considering ordering ONE 91xg as I know it's more direction.
If you look at my report, do you think it can overcome the stronger KCPQ signal from the back/side?
2012-09-15, 02:15 PM
Hard to tell for CHAN RF22, maybe by increasing the corner reflector size of the 91XG, who knows ?
There's a thread about that antenna here: http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=111398
2012-09-15, 02:27 PM
Well, with my current M8, I can still (sometimes) get RF 17 (CTV2) which is co-channel with another local RF 17 located to the front-side lobe, so I guess there is hope that I can still pick up my target channel with another closer transmitter tower on the same channel.
2012-09-19, 02:45 PM
be236 are you still using the stock balun on the VU-160XR. Does it look like this one: http://images.channeladvisor.com/Sell/SSProfiles/53000501/Images/5/200-490.jpg
That's the one on my antenna, though I'm going to try putting on the Channel Master CM 94444 high efficiency balun and see if it is an improvement for distant stations, because very little info is available about the Steren.