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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I’ve got a Winegard 9032 Antenna up on the roof of my home in Mississauga with a Channel Master 7776 amp and I can rotate it with a Channel master motor. Having the motor is a great thing because I can point it towards other locations then just Buffalo and Toronto. Here is my list of other Digital Stations I’ve picked up. Most surprising was to see Syracuse the other morning… it lasted for about 2 hours and faded out at about 8am. Best time to catch stations from far away is from 5am to 8 am I’ve found.

Erie PA.

22 WFXP-DT FOX66
50 WQLN-DT PBS54
52 WICU-DT NBC12
58 WJET-DT ABC24


Rochester NY.

16 WXXI-DT PBS21
28 WUHF-DT FOX31
45 WROC-DT CBS8
58 WHEC-DT NBC10
59 WHAM-DT ABC13


Syracuse NY.

54 WSTM-DT NBC3
 

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DXing and Tropospheric Skip Technical Discussions

I live in an apartment building near bathurst and eglinton in toronto on the 5th floor but I have a giant tree outside my windows and a large building across the street blocking most tv signals from buffalo. and yet one night between 2 am and 7am I was able to receive WXXI in rochester even though i have trouble receiving most buffalo stations. I am using the antenna that came with my ati dtv tuner. it is extremely directional so I have had a lot of problems aiming it especially since it is in another room far away from my computer. what i find so odd about this is that im only able to receive nbc, cbs (39) and fox in the evening and the signal suffers from breakups and yet when i was receiving wxxi i was receiving a 95% signal with no problems. also, im completely unable to receive abc, pbs, upn, and wb (is there anyone who can??) from buffalo. but why am i capable of receiving this with a small indoor antenna and really crappy conditions and yet everyone else in this forum with a big ass antenna on their roof and nothing blocking them hasnt mentioned anything about receiving channels other than toronto and buffalo. so is anyone able to receive stations from rochester, syracuse, or maybe even erie, pa from toronto?

thanks
-apu
 

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Sounds like tropospheric skip(?)

Apu said:
one night between 2 am and 7am I was able to receive WXXI in rochester even though i have trouble receiving most buffalo stations
What were the weather conditions like? If there was heavy atmospheric activity you might have experienced tropospheric skip. Here's a couple of posts about that phenomena from DHCer and veteran DXer 4DTV_HD who lives in Aldergrove, BC:

http://www.digitalhomecanada.com/forum/showpost.php?p=208112&postcount=52
http://www.digitalhomecanada.com/forum/showpost.php?p=208149&postcount=55

But if its not that it might be that you just hit a particular sweet spot since there are a few reports in the GTA thread about Syracuse and Rochester station reception.
 

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Great Overview of Tropospheric Skips

Here's a great overview of tropospheric skip:

http://home.cogeco.ca/~vem3ont22/propagation/tr-modes.htm

and if you check the Eastern North America predictions, June 10 looks like conditions will be good or maybe strong for skip in Southern Ontario:

http://home.cogeco.ca/~dxinfo/tropo.html

Bear in mind that the times on his site are UTC, so subtract 6(?) hours to get Eastern daylight time. Am I correct about 6 hours being the difference? I'd like to hear if anyone in S. Ontario gives some UHF and VHF DXing a try to see what happens.
 

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Tropo will generally affect UHF and high-VHF channels. For low-VHF channels, there is e-skip, a phenomena that allows reception of stations 1500-2000km away!

I witnessed such an event about three weeks ago when I received low-VHF stations from South Dakota and Minnesota in Montreal!

For DTV, you are much more likely to rely on tropo, since DTV channels are usually UHF or high-VHF.
 

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So, that's what its called! Man, I thought I was going crazy! Back in the '90s I was able to receive distant FM stations, and even TV. Thanks! :D

Time for me to do some more DXing...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
In 1982 I was down in Jamaica visiting friends. I helped put up a TV antenna on the villa. It was just a very basic VHF type of antenna since there was only one local station to receive. That night we turned the channel knob on the TV and there was something on every channel. What was most shocking was to see Irv Weinstein reading the channel 7 Buffalo news and I was in Jamaica!!!! WKBW was one of the channels we were picking up by skip and it lasted hours. We watched some NFL games that night too... this was not satellite... this was VHF OTA going 1000's of miles!. We picked up channels from all over the USA… some would last hours while some would last only a few minutes… fade out and then a different station would show up on that same channel. I guess being in a place in the world where there was only one local broadcast channel left us open to receive these stations for afar.
 

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I was amazed at the PQ of one VHF channel I picked up in the middle of '93. Just happened to be NBC 5 KOAA Pueblo Colorado. I watched it for a while, back then Phil Donahue was on and after that, it was The Wonder Years.

I have had the pleasure of picking up FM stations from California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, just to name a few. Lethbridge is great for KBBZ-FM 98.5 from Kalispell, Montana. There's a real nice skip there. You can pick it up clear depending on where you are in the city.

I'm curious what HDTV would get me if I had the money. Wonder what I'd pick up then?

Hmmmm....
 

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Hot weather in Vancouver = Great SeaTac Skip!

This afternoon its sunny and hot all the way up the coast from Oregon and I'm getting all sorts of analog TV from SeaTac and I would be getting channels 4 and 5 except that I'm using a Channel Master 4228 antenna which doesn't have much gain in the VHF Low band. I'm getting grainy/snowy but watchable KIRO 7, PBS 9, UPN 11, FOX 13, KONG 16, even a bit of WB 22, and also a bit of the shopping channel on 51 from Bellevue. Not much luck on DTV except for an occasional blip of signal/no lock from KIRO 39 and KING 48.
 

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stampeder said:
This afternoon its sunny and hot all the way up the coast from Oregon and I'm getting all sorts of analog TV from SeaTac and I would be getting channels 4 and 5 except that I'm using a Channel Master 4228 antenna which doesn't have much gain in the VHF Low band. I'm getting grainy/snowy but watchable KIRO 7, PBS 9, UPN 11, FOX 13, KONG 16, even a bit of WB 22, and also a bit of the shopping channel on 51 from Bellevue. Not much luck on DTV except for an occasional blip of signal/no lock from KIRO 39 and KING 48.
Skip is still around this morning. All the regular Seattle/Tacoma DT stations coming in. We can also add KONG-DT 16-1 and 16.2. Both are currently showing the same SD programming right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
When all the Rochester NY and Erie PA stations were booming in like they were next door on my OTA digital Monday morning I thought I'd look for something else. Using my rotor I was turning the antenna and scanning the Analog UHF dial and found a ABC station on channel 50 coming in very well. They went to station brake and said they were WWTI in Watertown New York !!! That's a long way away from Mississauga. This morning it was gone but I'm going to keep checking every morning for new signals from afar
 

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UHF TV signals from several hundred kms away can be picked up on your receiver. There is a dark side to these phenomena however. Lower power signals (e.g. WGRZ) beaming across large bodies of water like Lake Ontario are subject to this skip due to temperature inversions. Unfortunately they skip right over our heads and antennas and come down at some undisclosed location. It's all very X-Files in nature. With analog UHF signals the picture will fade, break up, get noisy. With digital it just goes away.
 

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johnnysmoke said:
It's all very X-Files in nature. With analog UHF signals the picture will fade, break up, get noisy. With digital it just goes away.
I moved johhnysmoke's post into this thread from another because it brings up some points that I hope he'll expand on since I'm finding that DTV also is affected by skip and I'm a huge X-FIles fan from way back... ;) Having said that, no OT stuff about the X-Files here please. :D
 

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johnnysmoke said:
UHF TV signals from several hundred kms away can be picked up on your receiver. There is a dark side to these phenomena however. Lower power signals (e.g. WGRZ) beaming across large bodies of water like Lake Ontario are subject to this skip due to temperature inversions. Unfortunately they skip right over our heads and antennas and come down at some undisclosed location. It's all very X-Files in nature. With analog UHF signals the picture will fade, break up, get noisy. With digital it just goes away.
That's the best 'splanation I've heard for my "issues" with WGRZ, as mentioned in the other thread: during the day, it's usually difficult to get a signal or a lock on a clean signal... Damn lake!! :p ;)
 
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