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  • 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!!!remote cont. units.jpgremote screen.jpgRemote DX lifting tower.jpgRemote DX tower test.jpg

  • #2
    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

    Comment


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

      Comment


      • #4
        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)

        Comment


        • #5
          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.

          Comment


          • #6
            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.

            Comment


            • #7
              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.

              Antennas Milford July 2015.jpg

              Comment


              • #8
                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

                Comment


                • #9
                  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, 09:08 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)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    "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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Steve, I've been keeping an eye on the RabbitEars map of stations that this logs, and the distances are incredible. The APRS map isn't even showing any good tropo, and yet you're still picking up the long-haul signals. It just goes to show that rural unobstructed areas are far superior for DXing... just like the time I did some FM Dxing in the Bahamas. It's amazing what you can hear when you're away from all the sources of interference and nothing is in the way.

                      I just ordered my receiver so I can get my DXing autologger.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        And all that with a 30ft tower. Danville proper sits in a broad basin, 30ft would probably only get me out of the basin and about 10 ft up.
                        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)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kc9hzn View Post
                          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.
                          I have received WBXC-CA 46 but I couldn't tell what was on the air. With the remote setup, I can visually monitor almost everything but what it sends out in audio and video. I've attached a screenshot of what I can see while DXing. This is a shot of KMOV, St. Louis, just over 200 miles, which has been in and out almost 24/7 (at least this week). It shows the RF channel, virtual channel number and subchannels, if any, along with signal strength and signal quality. I did notice earlier today that WBXC-CA has two subchannels in addition to its main channel, but none of them were labeled with channel info.KMOV july 24 2015.png

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by NN2E View Post
                            "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
                            Sorry......You are correct Ed. I received both WPSD and WDKA. I typed WPSD and added the channel info from WDKA. I hate typo errors.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Andrew, the DX location makes a HUGE difference. In just over four days since the autoscan setup was connected to Rabbitears, where all stations received by tuner 0 are logged (tuner 1 is the one operated manually so those do not get added to the scanned list), the setup has logged 131 stations. I manually logged two additional stations this morning, so the total I'm aware of is now at 133. I believe this new setup is working quite well.

                              The tropo just kept coming in this morning until early afternoon from as far away as Omaha, NE (443 miles), Kansas City, MO (386 miles) and Des Moines, IA (322 miles). I was using the remote setup for over 6 hours as the stations kept rolling in. The scanned channels are here http://www.rabbitears.info/tvdx/one_...019DEC0/tuner0

                              Comment

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