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Thread: Remote DTV DX Site

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Indianapolis, IN
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    Default Remote DTV DX Site

    A few months ago, Mike G. engineered a remote DTV setup to be completely controlled via the internet. It operates through a computer program using a SiliconDust HDHR-US tuner and a Yaesu G-450A rotor. A connection through Team Viewer allows control of seeing/changing channels, seeing call letters, signal strength and seeing/changing rotor azimuth. Thanks to one of Mike's generous family relatives, he is allowing us to install a 30 ft. tower on a family farm near Milford, IL, 35 miles north of Danville. The tower was already on the property so he allowed us to use it for this project.....how convenient! Mike installed the base a few weeks ago and he and I returned yesterday to install the tower.

    A pic shows Mike using a drill on a winch to crank the tower up for the first test. Another pic shows the tower up with an old RS U100 @ 40 ft. AGL to test reception. In mid afternoon, we were able to log 35 DTV stations up to around 200 miles. The mostly flat, open, country location should be great for DX. There are only two DTVs within 45 miles. We plan to use two Antennas Direct 91XG UHF antennas horizontally stacked and two Funke 1922 VHF-high antennas horizontally stacked, and connected to a CM 7778 (old style with separate inputs) preamp. Hopefully it will be up and running within a few weeks. A big thanks to Mike for his engineering abilities and installation skills!!!Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    Looks like you and Mike will have a really nice setup, Steve. Keep us informed on this project and the the DX results. I wish you
    the best.
    Danny
    Shreveport, LA
    Mexico/Latin America TV DX ID Tips http://www.tvdxtips.com
    Submit and read DTV Stats http://www.tvdxexpo.com/dtvdxrecords.html
    TV and DTV DX Photographs http://www.tvdxexpo.com
    My Photographs of 100 Mexico TV DX Local IDs http://www.tvdxexpo.com/100mexicotvids.html
    More than 1,100 TV logs since 1994

  3. #3
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    Jul 2005
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    Indianapolis, IN
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    Thanks, Danny. It should be an interesting project to finalize and hoping to have some very good DX results.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2015
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    Danville, IL
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    Which DTV stations (within 45 miles) would that be? I'm thinking WICD and WCCU, but if the site is in Milford, you've likely got W31BX within 45 miles.
    Daniel KC9HZN
    Danville, IL
    EN60

    Grundig G3 (stock antenna)
    GigaWare HD Radio dongle
    Sony CRT TV, DigitalStream Converter Box, Terk HDTVa antenna
    Car radio (stock, no HD, no RDS)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kc9hzn View Post
    Which DTV stations (within 45 miles) would that be? I'm thinking WICD and WCCU, but if the site is in Milford, you've likely got W31BX within 45 miles.
    Yes, I should have stated full-power stations within 45 miles. W31BX, Danville, with 3.08 kW @ 194 ft. (HAAT) is 35 miles. While using the RS U100 UHF ant. @ 40 ft. with the Research Com. 9261 (UHF-only) preamp between 2:30 and 3:15 p.m. CDT to check reception, the dominate DTV on ch. 31 was WFLD 31/32, Chicago at 85 miles. We logged a total of 8 DTVs from Chicago during that time and 6 DTVs from Milwaukee @ 170 miles. As for the best distances, KTVI and KSDK, St. Louis @ 195 miles and WTJR, Quincy, IL @ 202 miles were at the top. Other stations over 100 miles received included WQAD, KWQC and KLJB, Quad Cities @ 152 miles, WSEC, Jacksonville, IL @ 148 miles, and WMBD, Peoria, IL @ 102 miles.

    The UHF Yagi stack will be more directional than the U100 which should help to null some of the closer and stronger signals.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Akron Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by indysteve View Post
    Yes, I should have stated full-power stations within 45 miles. W31BX, Danville, with 3.08 kW @ 194 ft. (HAAT) is 35 miles. While using the RS U100 UHF ant. @ 40 ft. with the Research Com. 9261 (UHF-only) preamp between 2:30 and 3:15 p.m. CDT to check reception, the dominate DTV on ch. 31 was WFLD 31/32, Chicago at 85 miles. We logged a total of 8 DTVs from Chicago during that time and 6 DTVs from Milwaukee @ 170 miles. As for the best distances, KTVI and KSDK, St. Louis @ 195 miles and WTJR, Quincy, IL @ 202 miles were at the top. Other stations over 100 miles received included WQAD, KWQC and KLJB, Quad Cities @ 152 miles, WSEC, Jacksonville, IL @ 148 miles, and WMBD, Peoria, IL @ 102 miles.

    The UHF Yagi stack will be more directional than the U100 which should help to null some of the closer and stronger signals.
    Interesting results. It didn't take very long for you to break my personal all-time DTV distance record for tropo at my home. It goes to show once again that not all areas are created equal when it comes to DXing. I enjoy DXing on top of Pilot Mountain in North Carolina. Up there, the DTV dial is very messy, with every channel occupied with something. Co-channel interference is an issue up there, whereas at the bottom, 1000' lower, DTV reception is terrible.

    I wonder if tropo can ever produce conditions like that in the lower elevations. I know it's pretty rare. All it would take would be a consistent tropo duct over a few hundred miles to keep the signal going. But for some reason, it's hard to spot much over 150 miles around here.
    Andrew

    My TV and FM DX Photos from Akron, Ohio...
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/133179000@N04/albums

  7. #7
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    Jul 2005
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    The remote site near Milford, IL is now up and running, and as of late yesterday morning is available to view via Trip's site at http://www.rabbitears.info/tvdx/one_...019DEC0/tuner0 Prior to being connected to Rabbitears late yesterday morning, the best distance so far was KOZK 23/21, Springfield, MO @ 373 miles and KMOS 15/6, Sedalia, MO @ 312 miles. It seems to be working quite well.

    We ended up using two horizontally stacked XG91s @ 36 ft. for UHF and the AntennaCraft CS-1100 for VHF @ 32 ft.

    I am currently in Michigan and have been operating the setup via the internet connection. The HDHR-US contains two tuners, so one tuner is set to scan channels 24/7, which is the feed seen on Rabbitears, while Mike and I can manually tune channels through the other tuner. The rotor is controlled through the same site and web connection.

    This morning's best catch so far has been WPSD 49/32, Paducah, KY @ 249 miles.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
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    Steve, that is an interesting system.
    Danny
    Shreveport, LA
    Mexico/Latin America TV DX ID Tips http://www.tvdxtips.com
    Submit and read DTV Stats http://www.tvdxexpo.com/dtvdxrecords.html
    TV and DTV DX Photographs http://www.tvdxexpo.com
    My Photographs of 100 Mexico TV DX Local IDs http://www.tvdxexpo.com/100mexicotvids.html
    More than 1,100 TV logs since 1994

  9. #9
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    Jun 2015
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    Danville, IL
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    I see that WBXC-CD has turned on its digital signal. (It's been a tropo target of mine for a few years, the difficulty of receiving it is amplified by its history of going dark.) I had a dental appointment over in Champaign back in January, and I took a portable TV to see which of the Champaign LPTVs were still transmitting on analog. I found W34DL, which had been a TBN station at the time of the digital transition but was HSN as of last January. According to Wikipedia, WBXC-CA had been an America One affiliate, can you tell what it's running now?

    Edit: Apparently, I misremembered what frequency it was on, it seems the HSN station is W39BH.
    Last edited by kc9hzn; 07-23-2015 at 08:08 PM. Reason: Wrong callsign and channel
    Daniel KC9HZN
    Danville, IL
    EN60

    Grundig G3 (stock antenna)
    GigaWare HD Radio dongle
    Sony CRT TV, DigitalStream Converter Box, Terk HDTVa antenna
    Car radio (stock, no HD, no RDS)

  10. #10
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    Thunderstorm, KY
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    "This morning's best catch so far has been WPSD 49/32, Paducah, KY @ 249 miles."

    Steve... I'm guessing you either mean WPSD 32/6 with it's tx located at Monkey's Eyebrow, KY or WDKA 49 with it's tx near Vienna, IL. Maybe, you saw them both and just combined the info.

    73, Ed NN2E
    Owner / Operator - Murphy's Law Test Site & Thunderstorm Proving Grounds
    "You Might Be a Redneck If...
    Your TV is on 24/7.
    Your TV has been permanently on for over a decade.
    The only time your TV is off is during a power outage.
    Your TV gets 512 channels, but you go outside to use the bathroom.
    Your new TV is sitting on top of your old TV.
    Your TV costs more than all of your other furniture.
    Your deer-stand has a TV antenna on it.
    Your cable provider has no idea that you exist."
    Jeff Foxworthy

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