The Worldwide TV-FM DX Association Website
The WTFDA FM Station Database is a complete listing of FM radio stations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, Cuba, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, Haiti and now, Jamaica. It is user searchable and sortable. Keep it open on your computer or smartphone during skip events to quickly and easily log your catches by callsigns,slogan or format or even by RDS PI codes. This site is a must for every FM Dxer in North America. ENTER DATABASE.
WTFDA presents a randomly selected group of articles for your reading pleasure. These may change from time to time so if you find something you enjoy, be sure to grab it.
Posted by Admin | December 6,2015
When you think about it, the way that TV DXers check the TV bands for DX hasn't changed much since the 50s. Today we still put an antenna on the roof, hook that up to a television and tune VHF and UHF looking for distant signals. What that means is that many times when we're not there to DX , we miss some DX.
What some TV Dxers are doing now is automating their DXing. They replace their TV or set top box with HDHomeRun tuners. Then, by using an internet connection, they use software that continuously scans the TV bands and sends the results to the rabbitears.com website, where the information is displayed on a map for anyone to see at their own locations. Oftentimes the system will log stations that the DXer didn't even know were there!
Here is one of the maps from the rabbitears website showing new and recent TV DX logged by TV DXer Roy Barstow in Massachusetts.
For more information on how to set up a DXing system like this, please visit the WTFDA Forum website in the DX Equipment forum. Also see rabbitears.com for more information.
Mexico finished its analog to DTV conversion on December 31, 2015 and some TV DXers are still in shock, pointing their antennas toward Mexico and looking in vain for some analog station still on the air but finding nothing.
there will still be around 500 analog station still on the air in
Mexico in 2016. Those VHF stations will run 1,000 watts and the
remaining UHF stations will run a maximum of 10,000 watts. It is
many of the VHF stations, if any, are still using lowband VHF (ch2-6)
and may still be E skip targets. Any analog TV stations still on the
air must shut down by September 30 and their digital channels must be
on the air by December 31, 2016.
So, what's left for analog TV? Cuba will transition to DTV by 2020 and currently has a few experimental DTV stations on the air. Unlike the United States, Cuba will be using its own standard (DTMB) so their transmissions cannot be decoded by any ATSC receiver. We suspect that eBay/Amazon may become the places where the DTMB boxes may eventually become available for those out of the country. Read more about Cuba here.
We've also heard that El Salvador intends to convert to digital but has yet decided on what system to use.
Meanwhile, analog TV is still on the air in the Caribbean, Central and South America for those with outdoor antennas trying for double-hop Es this summer.
We'd be remiss if didn't report the double-hop ch2 reception of Managua, Nicaragua by Bill Hepburn (ON) on December 30, 2015. This photo taken by Bill was processed using DScaler. Double hop can exist in late December! Note the "2" logo on the upper right of the picture.
Everybody wants to know what types of equipment TV DXers use in their hobby for best results. We've asked around for info on the best CECBs (set top boxes) and DTVs. Many DTV Dxers feel that manual tuning of RF channels with up/down buttons is a must! They like to tune their DTVs the same way they once tuned their analog sets. However, other top DTV DXers say that channel scanning should not be discounted and point to their success in logging new stations by auto scanning. On the other hand, new statons can be logged by manual tuning that auto scans may miss. It all boils down to individual preferences or perhaps using a combination of both methods.
So, considering that manual tuning is a very desirable feature for many DTV DXers, here is our list of DTVs and set top boxes with manual tuning. We also include those known to have direct entry tuning (enter *2* then *1* for channel 21), although direct entry tuning is not quite as desirable as full manual tuning.
SET TOP BOXES/DTVs with MANUAL TUNING
1. Insignia NS-DXA1 CECB
2. Zenith DTT-901 CECB
3. Zinwell ZAT-970A CECB
4. Coby DTV-102 CECB
5. Sansonic FT300-A CECB READ THE REVIEW HERE!
6. Silicon Dust HDHR3 & HDHR-US (network computer controlled tuners)
7. LG 32LG30 32" DTV (9/2009), 24" LG24LN451B, 42" LG42LN5300, and probably the entire line of LG DTVs. One WTFDA member purchased a LG DTV recently, compared its sensitivity to an Insignia converter box, and then decided to retire the Insignia box.
Direct Entry (of RF channels) Boxes & DTVs
1. Magnavox/Philco CECB
2. DigitalStream CECB
3. Toshiba 26" 26C100U1 DTV
4. Toshiba 26LV610U (2009) DTV
5. Panasonic 501 DTV
6. Sylvania 6427GFF DTV
7. Philips 19" 19PFL3504D/F7 (2009)
And there you have it. If you know of any others, let us know and we'll add them to the list. (Note: we do not guarantee this list to be 100% correct and cannot be held responsible for any inaccurate data).
There are still a few Canadian analog TV stations hanging around. As far as we can tell, this list of Canadian lowband VHF stations is still valid. Check here.
If you are a WTFDA member, we send you the VHF-UHF digest every month, but we can't send it to you if we don't have your correct email address. If you change your email address, please mail or email us with the updated info so we can continue to send you the VUD every month.
WTFDA is the only Radio hobby club in North America that caters to the TV and FM DXer, as well as the amateur radio operator who looks for DX on 6 meters. The term "DX" means "distant reception", and those who "DX" look for weak, distant radio and television signals, with an eye to logging as many of these distant signals as possible or obtaining the most distant reception of a given station. TV and FM signals normally only travel 50 to 100 miles out from their transmitters. DXers love to push the reception boundaries of stations by hundreds or thousands of miles by using their skills, better antennas and equipment, and knowing when conditions are ripe for it.