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Which VCR, Which TV for DX?

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  • Which VCR, Which TV for DX?

    I am looking to purchase the following for tv dx:

    1) a vcr (either a current model or an older model, especially interested in a current model) that does not have a blue screen when recording static off a tv set. Any suggestions (brand & model no. would be appreciated)?

    2) a tv (only a current model) which will not shut-off after a certain period of time when receiving static, if any exist. Once again, any suggestions would be appreciated (brand & model no. please). I am not interested in a manual tune, current model tv, though they probably don't exist, as I will not be present to manually tune the tv anyway when the tv is being utilized.

    or, best yet, 3) a combo tv/vcr unit (current or older model) which will record static and which won't shut-off (brand & model no. please).

    Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any replies.

    Regards, Scott, Okla. City area

  • #2
    Hi Scott.....

    For my TV DX I use a 1990-model Sharp VC-A5240. It has a Blue Screen ON/OFF switch....obviously I choose OFF! May be tough, but there is always eBay. My Sharp has been in the shop a few times......

    That is not to say that there are not comparable VCR's out there.....

    If you set your VCR to record DX, it really should not matter if the TV itself shuts off, but when you are monitoring live, I understand the frustration.

    Keep in mind, the VCR in itself is a TV tuner....so.....you could even have it hooked up to one of those 5" B&W TVs that use a 1/8" EXT ANT jack.....whenever u wanna hook it up to a color set later, it *could* play back in color if picture is sharp enough....Oh 3 weeks ago I got TVN Panama on ch 3 (fairly common here), reviewing it over the B&W set. .....Now I have the WIN TV HVR 950 (should be available @ CompUSA or similar store) to put up my video grabs....(I used to use a "Snappy", but it gave up the ghost a while back.) When I connected the WIN TV from the VCR to the PC (which becomes a TV), it was indeed in color. (BTW this model WIN TV is likely for laptops only...maybe a cheaper version will work 4 u.)

    For my DX trips (which are many this time of year), I have a 9" AC/DC TV/VCR combo by Funai, which also goes by Sylvania or Symphonic. (Unfortunately, this one DOES shut off if Es are "too wild"----don't think I am not upset when it happens!) Cheap brand, I know, but you can see in my recent photos what it can grab! And, no blue screen.

    Suggestion.....whenever u are able to get a VCR like I mentioned above, learn how to set it to record, while you are away. Looks like ch 2 is good for you (so Tulsa is far enough away?).....set it for 2 hours, or 6 hours, and while u are away, the VCR will do the DXing for you! THE TV DOES NOT HAVE TO BE ON. On Danny's web pages, you will see one DX photo in particular, TGV 3 Guatemala from June 2000 (the "quiz show" photo)-----as sharp as it was, that was recorded while I was at my job!!! Came home after work to review, and voila....

    JUST BE SURE to disconnect the antenna for recording when thunderstorms are forecast....you sure do not want your equipment to get zapped.

    One mo' thing...if you have a chance to buy a separate "TV tuner" box with FINE TUNE feature (e.g. Radio Shack 15-1981), by all means, get one! (I believe that model has been discontinued.)

    OH......!! Remember, unless the FCC has cold feet about analog shut-off in Feb 2009, ALL THIS will be a moot point, UNLESS u are getting foreign TV! I myself say "Bring it on!!"

    cd

    Comment


    • #3
      Hello cd,

      Thanks so much for the informative reply. You know, since, like you've said, a vcr is a tuner in and of itself, does this mean that if I hook-up my antenna to any vcr, put it on a channel where there's only static, then hit the record button, that the thing will keep recording static until the end of the tape? If that's the case, then that makes me happy. I had always assumed that even a vcr would shut-off and stop recording, if ony static were present. Could you clear this up for me. Because, I've got a 13" tv/vcr combo at home that I could use for that. But, since it's a combo, does that mean that when I put in that 8 hour tape, and start the recording, that the tv tuner will shut-off due to the static, after so long? Even though the thing is still recording?

      What makes your DX trip "combo" unit shut-off? Is it the long period of static or is it something unexplainable that happens when signals are present?

      I am just far enough from Tulsa that ch.2 is usable for dx if my antenna is partially "nulling" it, i.e. pointing south so that Tulsa is off the side or pointing a little east of due north, for example.

      Mark it down...analog tv will not be shut-down in Febr, 2009. If, and when, it does happen, which I predict it never will..........I too, say,,,,BRING IT ON!

      Regards, Scott

      Comment


      • #4
        [QUOTE=Scott-OKC;2994]Hello cd,

        Thanks so much for the informative reply. You know, since, like you've said, a vcr is a tuner in and of itself, does this mean that if I hook-up my antenna to any vcr, put it on a channel where there's only static, then hit the record button, that the thing will keep recording static until the end of the tape? If that's the case, then that makes me happy. I had always assumed that even a vcr would shut-off and stop recording, if ony static were present. Could you clear this up for me. Because, I've got a 13" tv/vcr combo at home that I could use for that. But, since it's a combo, does that mean that when I put in that 8 hour tape, and start the recording, that the tv tuner will shut-off due to the static, after so long? Even though the thing is still recording?

        >>>>>>>>>>My Sharp has never shut off due to wild DX. We do have power outages occasionally, but I surely do not recall the Sharp doing that.......VCRs are cheap now! Maybe u can get a modern one....just be sure to check the manual or websites so u can contact the manufacturer.

        >>>>>>>>>>With you having a TV/VCR COMBO, I say there is a good chance it *may* shut off. U can always hook a VCR to THAT, and use the separate VCR.

        What makes your DX trip "combo" unit shut-off? Is it the long period of static or is it something unexplainable that happens when signals are present?

        >>>>>>>>>>Scott, I wish I knew!! I told Danny I was so upset last year....was getting ch 2 Nicaragua, complete with "Desde Managua, Nicaragua---" full ID, but the unit shut off! Once I was able to turn it on again, I heard the "Desde" etc., but when I turn it back on, the tape ejects too!! So I miss about 20 to 30 seconds in the session! I could report it, but I'd likely get the "u get what u pay for" line. These units, if one can find them, will be so inexpensive.

        >>>>>>>>>>AND! I would strongly suggest NOT using an 8 hour tape, as they are thinner, and could jam your unit. Once a co-worker gave me a blank one, and although I never told her, I had to throw it out.....Last thing I want is to be back in the shop again.

        I am just far enough from Tulsa that ch.2 is usable for dx if my antenna is partially "nulling" it, i.e. pointing south so that Tulsa is off the side or pointing a little east of due north, for example.

        Mark it down...analog tv will not be shut-down in Febr, 2009. If, and when, it does happen, which I predict it never will..........I too, say,,,,BRING IT ON!

        >>>>>>>>>>I tend to agree with you (doggone it), but remember 2 things: (1) FCC already delayed it form 06 to 09; (2) We are supposed to receive "vouchers" for set-top boxes that will convert the signal.....Will it look like HD? No way, but this has been in the planning stages for a long time. I saw my first HD image at a store in 1999.....if you are not a DXer, you will never go back. BTW my Win TV is DTV ready.................................

        >>>>>>>>>>It'll be nice to monitor ch 2 without having to *travel* to get away from WPBT. At age 48, I remember when this station was on air only 5 hours a day. My first taste of DX, althought I had no explanation for it, was around age 8 when my Mom & I saw the animated commercial "I Wish I Were an Oscar Mayer Wiener" dubbed in Spanish! Turned out to be WKAQ PR. Ah if only there were VCRs in 1967....

        .................................................. ...............................................

        cd

        Comment


        • #5
          cd,
          Okee dokee...thanks for all the information....still learning this tv dx stuff. I could really null-out Tulsa if I had a better antenna (sharper beam pattern)...but I prefer, for now, the one I've got..since it's not too sharp...this allows me to see openings from directions I may miss had I been using a sharper beam and not burning out my rotator.

          Regards, Scott and thanks again.

          Comment


          • #6
            I have thought about taping channel 2 while at work, but wondered how long it would take to fast forward thru 6-8 hours of tape. How do the "tapers" do this?

            Comment


            • #7
              You really don't want to know how long it takes to ff thru 8 hours worth of tape do you? I did it last nite. It took more than 2 hours w/breaks that I took. Here's the problem I had, I was feeding a composite video feed, from my tv, into my vcr. Unfortunately, I did not always have something to look at while fast forwarding, i.e. the screen was black when the feed coming from the tv, was weak (no strong signal on tv = black on vcr tape). This made it difficult to scan at a rapid rate as it was always dropping in or out, sharply, at times it was blinking.

              On the other hand, I will now try my tv/vcr combo which should always put something on the screen to look at, when re-playing later at a fast speed.

              Regards, Scott.

              Comment


              • #8
                Well I have to use ch 3.....

                It would depend on whether there is DX at all, or not. On my Sharp, when I get home from work, I rewind the tape all the way (I say NEVER use one of those "rewinder" units....I've had those things pull the tape right off.....I don't care if I have to wait.....)

                If I see no DX, generally I hit STOP, then FF to the 2 hour point....again, if nothing, STOP, FF to 4-hour point....if nothing, STOP & FF to the 5 hour 50 min point or so. If your machine has a tape counter (# of feet used), get acquainted with what's the 2 hour, 4 hour & 6 hour points.

                On a non DX day, I'd say it is about 15 minutes to do all this.....

                cd

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by cd637299 View Post
                  If I see no DX, generally I hit STOP, then FF to the 2 hour point....again, if nothing, STOP, FF to 4-hour point....if nothing, STOP & FF to the 5 hour 50 min point or so. If your machine has a tape counter (# of feet used), get acquainted with what's the 2 hour, 4 hour & 6 hour points.
                  cd
                  That makes a lot of sense.

                  Has anyone tried remote monitoring their PC TV tuner?

                  Comment

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