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No, I dont think mine is like that. I've stopped using the VU-160 antenna pointed to BC. Currently I'm using it to point south to get my local Seattle channels and because it has VHF elements to pick up the three VHF channels down there as well (RF 9, 11, and 13).

To pick up BC channels, I'm using my poorly made M8, along with some generic balun. In that last few days with good tropo, I can occasionally pick up RF 20, 26, and 17, and sometimes RF 43. Rarely can I get RF 32. Just put my order in for 91XG and hoping that that is more directional to reject newly RF22 (KCPQ) south of me so I can get RF 22 CHAN again at 140km away.

Do baluns make that much of a difference? I thought all baluns were "equivalent" to any other?
 

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be236,

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.
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Well, again, not sure if I have any hope of getting RF 49 (around NM -37 dBm)?

If my newly ordered 91XG can't pick up RF 22 CHAN, I would consider getting a 2nd one.

And to stack them, they just need to point at the same direction, have same length phase lines and be 1 metre apart?
 

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Discussion Starter #23
RE: Any Dx Activity?

Anyone picking up any channels that don't normally come in?
It used to be just about this time when I'd pick up distant analogue stations, before the switch to digital. But I'm not finding anything digital.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
RE: Picking up VHF channel 4

At about 12:15 am, Wed June 25, 2014 I was picking up, in a snowy black and white, a distant analogue VHF channel 4 station broadcasting the Conan late night talk show. It broke up before I could spot a station call sign.
 

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On the Canadian side I think the only VHF-LO Channel 4 station anywhere near us is an analogue peashooter over on Cortes Island but even Tropo would not likely deliver it to us. Maybe the RabbitEars site might be of use in tracking your station down since it could also be a U.S. low power analogue translator that will have to convert to digital soon.

Update: there are only 2 VHF-LO Channel 4 translators in the northern end of Washington State (in the Leavenworth and Chelan areas) but they are on opposite sides of mountains from us. After that, the nearest are in Oregon, so that's a dead end.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Picking Up VHF Channel 4

Thanks for the info. I was thinking it might be coming from a high power analogue transmitter in northern Mexico. Quite a few years back I picked up- quite clearly in the early summer- however briefly, KEYT-3 in Santa Barbara at over 1000 miles away. It might help that I'm not too far from the Pacific Ocean.
I'll check again tonight. The VHF tropo for me at my location had been VHF 2, 3, 4, and 5.
 

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Did you see any commercials on that station last night?

Another thing about seeing analogue broadcast activity on channels 3 or 4 is possible signal leakage from a badly cabled VCR or set top box configured to use either of those channels - it might be re-radiating some OTA or CATV programming from somewhere nearby you.
 

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Is Conan available in Mexico (there was no mention of Mexico on the wiki page)? I also don't think it's available OTA in the US, but is available OTA in Canada on CTV.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Picking up VHF Channel 4

I've heard about signal leakage from cable companies, sometimes causing issues with OTA reception. Whatever it was, it was not a channel that I normally get because I looked through my regular channels and that was something else.
I don't know if Conan is broadcast in Mexico, or if there is an ABC affiliate there that could carry it. My TV has a feature- when the channel doesn't come in well- it mutes the sound, so I couldn't hear if it was English.
 

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The NTSC analogue system has separate modulations/carriers for video and audio on the same TV channel. With long distance signals it was quite common to get the crackly sound while the picture was almost all snow, and sometimes it would work the other way around with a resolvable but snowy picture but no sound. Also there are no U.S. network affiliates in Mexico such as ABC. You'd have to have a satellite dish to watch Conan in Mexico unless you were very close to a U.S. border city with OTA stations. I'm still thinking it might be signal leakage from somebody's home gear.
 

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Yep, we've been recommending that site for years, and Mr. Hepburn is a member here at our site too. :) We can observe the Southern Quebecois and Southern Ontarians get all those wild tropo blasts through the hot summer but we just don't get them much here on the west coast.
 

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OTA: Ocean Tidal Effects Upon Reception

I have about 5% available time reception of KCPQ-DT (13) from near Dunbar using a 10 element yagi and a Research Communications 9267 preamp. The TV Fool profile here is 2 Edge. Watching this over a period of time on a spectrum analyzer one I see why. The signal has variable fading as the tide rises and falls - not surprising since about 150 km of this shot is over sea water. There is also fading variation related to layered air masses at different temperatures. This is usually destructive [except for those rare tropo ducting events (temperature inversions), the good times, when this station hits 10 bars]. During the over-the-earth fade there is a reduction of "clean" signal and all that remains is the troposcatter signal - always present at a fairly consistent low level. I have not yet been able to achieve HD reception from any troposcatter signal - so it acts like a noisy floor that you have to be 15 dB above with a clean signal to get HD reception. That is, for me, 5% of the time when the over-the-earth paths are in phase and the 2 Edge path is dominant. Good for Sea Hawks and Mariners games; excellent news and weather; but many of the syndicate programs (like Modern Family) can be found on other stations.
 

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That's an awesome analysis, westsider, good work! This may serve OTAers on Canada's West coast to understand certain variable-signal issues seen when DXing. :)

For our members, westsider is located in the City of Vancouver.
 

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As this is the summer there are tropo ducting openings from time to time. Sometimes the high signal strengths, and distances traveled, truly amaze. But all too soon the party is over. My interpretation of the TV fool term "tropo" is tropospheric scatter which is a mode once relied upon in the "good" old analog TV days for that deep fringe snowy picture that old timers fondly remember. I have not (yet) successfully received an ATSC of HD picture over troposcatter. However, those not too distant TV fool tropo listings do become good candidates for tropo ducting when a temperature inversion takes place.
 

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The best times for tropo for me in Coquitlam is late summer after a very warm day and the nights are a little muggy and start to cool. Usually around late August early September.
 

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Today was a great day for dxing in Coquitlam. I am in a high rise building on top of a hill in Coquitlam, and usually I can get about 18 stations (a couple not working properly right now such as 12.3). If I put my amplified Terk antenna (Silver Sensor Clone)on the balcony facing south, I can usually get 7.1,.2,.3 and less often but quite regularly 13.1,.2,.3. and much more rarely I can get Komo 4.1,.2. While I was setting up to watch the Super Bowl on Kiro 7.1 I did a scan and got 34 channels. A number of them were religious such as TBN 20.1,.2,.3,.4,.5, and this number is with very few of the locals as I was pointed straight south (locals being Seymour channels and Bellingham channels). I got Kong hd and sd, Kwok 42.1, Kuns 51.1,.2 (both in Spanish) and even KING which is very rare came in with 5.1,.2. There were several other channels which I was going to examine later, but they weren't there when the Super bowl was over. 34 is definitely my highest number of channels.
 

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Today was another day for good reception in Coquitlam. With my amplified Terk HDTVa antenna high up in my building (on my balcony) I got 35 US stations today. 4.1 KOMO,.2 Comet, .3 Charge; 5.1 KING, .2 Lockdown; 7.1 KIRO, .2 Get TV, .3 LAFF; 9.1 KCTS, .2 Kids, .3 Create; 11.1 KSTW, .2 Through the Decades; 12.1 KVOS, .2 Movies, .3 Heroes and Icons; 13.1 KCPQ, .2 This TV, .3 Escape; 24.1 SBN, .2 Jewelry; 28.1 KBTC, .2 NHK, .3 W, .4 TVW; 46.1 KUSE, .2 ONTV4u, .3 SBN, .4 Shop TV, .5 Shop LC, .6 QVC, .7 Beauty; 51.1 KUNS, .2 TBD; 56.1 KWDK. I didn't find where all these stations are from, some are regular but some I have not received before and some I usually get weren't there (like five religious ones I normally get during this kind of reception but won't watch). I also receive 9 Canadian channels when I turn my antenna around, but I didn't include the regular Canadian ones. Most of these were from either Seattle area or from the Bellingham area, but I am not sure of the rest.
 
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