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  • New to WTFDA from South Louisiana

    Hi everyone! My name is Broc from St. Martinville, Louisiana. I'm 23 years old, and I've been privately AM-DXing for almost 8 years. I was heavily inspired by egrabow's old TV-DX videos. I wish to get involved with FM/TV-DXing soon, as I heard that the next solar cycle is going to be historic in terms of sunspots.

    I was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3, so focusing on one thing for a long period of time is extremely difficult for me. Nonetheless, I trotted through those years of my life to get to where I'm at now!

    When I started AM-DXing back in 2014 (in Jennings, LA), the only equipment I had was a 1970's Kenwood KR-720 receiver, a speaker wire for an antenna, and a cassette recorder for logging my catches. In 2020, I moved to a rental house owned by a good friend of my mother's that had an old VHF/UHF antenna setup, which, alongside my KR-720, was perfect for AM-DXing in the long run, as I've caught a lot of my rare stations from this area.

    The equipment I currently own is the following:

    - TEAC T-R670 AM/FM Tuner (for AM reception)
    - YAMAHA Loop Antenna
    - ONKYO TX-SR608 Receiver (for FM reception)

    I plan on getting a vintage RadioShack FM6 antenna from a guy I know soon, so I can properly FM-DX for the summer season. I also do not have any SDR software for my computer yet, but once I get the FM6 I mentioned earlier, that will be the next step.

    The TV antenna I have is one of those 4-element RCA "4K" TV antenna's (I don't know the model # of the antenna).

    The TV tuner is a Magnavox TB100MW9 (E175215) SDTV tuner. It's very basic, but it catches what it can. And I have caught some tropo before with this tuner, but that was only once with a completely different antenna (WMAU-TV 17: Bude, MS / 111 mi.).

    The farthest AM station I've ever caught is the 440kW monster that is PJB-AM 800 out of Bonaire, which is 1,951 miles from my location. Last night, I caught WBZ-AM 1030 in Boston, which is 1,435 miles from my location. This shattered my continental US AM-DX record that I held previously, which was WCBS-AM in New York (1,256 mi.), and before that it was KDKA-AM 1020 in Pittsburgh (985 mi.). I have never received any Trans-Atlantic or South American stations on AM (unless you count PJB), but I hope to change this soon enough.

    Hopefully this website will expose me to the technical wonders of DX-ing to help broaden my knowledge on the subject and to ease my curiosities of life.

    May 2022 be an excellent year for DX-ing!

    ~ Broc
    Eventual FM-DX Setup:

    - Antennacraft FM6 6-Element Yagi FM Antenna
    - RCA VH226E Outdoor Antenna Rotator
    - Wineguard Boost XT 18dB Preamp
    - PDB CX-4FA amplifier/4-way splitter
    - Sony XDR-S3HD AM/FM Tuner (Main Tuner) [Running through Audacity 3.1.3 via Line-In]
    - SDRplay RSP1A running SDRuno (Main Monitor)

    ~ ​​​​​​​'73!
    Broc D'Albor
    St. Martinville, LA (EM40bb)

  • #2
    Welcome to the club, Broc. 2021 was an awesome Eskip year but who knows what 2022 will bring. You are also in a very good location for Gulf TV-FM tropo. As they say with elections, report early, report often!
    Saul Chernos
    Burnt River ON

    Comment


    • #3
      Welcome Broc. Assuming you're still in the rental house, I'd TV DX with the rental property antennas rather than the RCA. Especially with E-skip, the standalone VHF antenna will do much better, but tropo should also do better with the rental house antennas. If you're no longer in the rental house, offer to take those antennas down for free so you can use them.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by antennanut View Post
        Assuming you're still in the rental house, I'd TV DX with the rental property antennas rather than the RCA. Especially with E-skip, the standalone VHF antenna will do much better, but tropo should also do better with the rental house antennas. If you're no longer in the rental house, offer to take those antennas down for free so you can use them.
        Hi there! Thanks for the greetings! I'm actually living in a "forever home" currently, so I don't have to worry about putting up my own antennas with much scrutiny. I would go back and get that VHF/UHF antenna, but the loop/element part of the VHF antenna came off during a hurricane last year, so I don't know how much use that would be right now.
        Eventual FM-DX Setup:

        - Antennacraft FM6 6-Element Yagi FM Antenna
        - RCA VH226E Outdoor Antenna Rotator
        - Wineguard Boost XT 18dB Preamp
        - PDB CX-4FA amplifier/4-way splitter
        - Sony XDR-S3HD AM/FM Tuner (Main Tuner) [Running through Audacity 3.1.3 via Line-In]
        - SDRplay RSP1A running SDRuno (Main Monitor)

        ~ ​​​​​​​'73!
        Broc D'Albor
        St. Martinville, LA (EM40bb)

        Comment


        • #5
          That's great you can install without much scrutiny! I would definitely try to find an antenna with low VHF elements and made by reputable antenna companies such as Channel Master and Winegard. I'm not saying RCA isn't reputable, but I would try to get more metal in the air than your current RCA antenna has. As Saul said, you're in a great location, so if a larger antenna won't attract unwelcome attention, go for it!

          And that's too bad the hurricane damaged the rental home's VHF antenna.

          Tommy

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Broc and welcome, Like you, I started AM DXing as a kid, but that was a long time ago! You live in a good area for DTV DX and can probably receive some Texas stations and maybe even Florida during good tropo. Maybe you don't know about the following two sites which are very helpful for TV DXing. Bill Hepburn's (he's an esteemed member of WTFDA) site predicts VHF and above conditions the next seven days, found here- https://www.dxinfocentre.com/tropo.html and the APRS tropo map gives a picture of current, real time tropo conditions- http://aprs.mennolink.org/
            For both sites, orange is very good and and red is even better, and I frequently see those conditions in southern Louisiana west to Texas and east to Florida. E-skip on ch 2 through 6 is another possibility, mostly May to early August.
            Have fun!
            Doug
            Inman, SC

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Doug! I was actually not aware of those tropo maps... These will come in handy for the upcoming summer DX season! Thank you for that!
              Eventual FM-DX Setup:

              - Antennacraft FM6 6-Element Yagi FM Antenna
              - RCA VH226E Outdoor Antenna Rotator
              - Wineguard Boost XT 18dB Preamp
              - PDB CX-4FA amplifier/4-way splitter
              - Sony XDR-S3HD AM/FM Tuner (Main Tuner) [Running through Audacity 3.1.3 via Line-In]
              - SDRplay RSP1A running SDRuno (Main Monitor)

              ~ ​​​​​​​'73!
              Broc D'Albor
              St. Martinville, LA (EM40bb)

              Comment


              • #8
                Welcome to the club! Louisiana is excellent tropo country. The rest of us will be jealous. i hope you're amazed at what comes in across the Gulf.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by McDX View Post
                  Welcome to the club! Louisiana is excellent tropo country. The rest of us will be jealous. I hope you're amazed at what comes in across the Gulf.
                  Thank you! And trust me, I've seriously been shocked so far! If it's okay to share here, here's a map of the stations I caught via tropo for one week in April. The things that certain atmospheric conditions can do to radio signals, I tell ya!

                  And if Bill Hepburn's tropo map is correct, May 2nd may be the strongest night of tropo for me yet, as conditions look to be favoring stations being caught as far South as Veracruz
                  .
                  Eventual FM-DX Setup:

                  - Antennacraft FM6 6-Element Yagi FM Antenna
                  - RCA VH226E Outdoor Antenna Rotator
                  - Wineguard Boost XT 18dB Preamp
                  - PDB CX-4FA amplifier/4-way splitter
                  - Sony XDR-S3HD AM/FM Tuner (Main Tuner) [Running through Audacity 3.1.3 via Line-In]
                  - SDRplay RSP1A running SDRuno (Main Monitor)

                  ~ ​​​​​​​'73!
                  Broc D'Albor
                  St. Martinville, LA (EM40bb)

                  Comment

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