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, Central America and sections of the Caribbean. 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. And to find out what your editors have been doing with the database lately, click HERE.
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 | April 14, 2017
The spectrum auction is over. The spectrum has been sold to the wireless companies. It's now time to clear OTA television out of that spectrum and pack the remaining stations into channels 2-36.
Some stations decided that they'd rather either go dark than move, or move from UHF to VHF to make a little money. A few moved down to channels 2 to 6, but not many.
Rather than create utter chaos on the VHF and UHF bands, repacking will occur in eleven phases. For example, much of the Northeast will be repacked in Phase 4; the Southeast will be repacked in Phase 5. Canada will be repacked in phase 11. All of this has to be completed in 39 months (by the summer of 2020).
Visit rabbitears.info to check the status of the stations in your area. Click on the rabbitears graphic.
The next 39 months should prove interesting as stations leave the air allowing previously unseen DX to be observed. We will also find some new E skip targets on Low VHF. Perhaps WSBE in Providence, RI, which is moving to ch2, will become a common skip catch in the summer, as might WGBH in Boston, which is moving to ch5. Time will tell.
Posted by Admin | November 13, 2016
There's a big change coming to digital television in the United States and it's coming soon. We're talking about ATSC3.0, the standard that replaces ATSC1.0, which is what we have now.
ATSC 3.0 will deliver a superior picture to viewers. For DXers, ATSC 3.0 promises to deliver watchable pictures from even weaker signals than before (with reduced resolution). It should improve performance with portables and reception in moving vehicles. Since ATSC 3.0 is not compatable with ATSC 1.0, a way will have to be found to watch 3.0 on an older TV. We're likely to see converter boxes again or USB sticks that will convert 3.0 back to 1.0 for those of us with older sets. Here is a link back to the ATSC and here's another one that talks about ATSC 3.0 being used to demonstrate picture quality at the World Series in Cleveland in 2016.
ATSC 3.0 will begin testing in 2017 and will be rolled out early in 2018.
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.info 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.info for more information.
The WTFDA FM Station Database now contains listings from more than 14 contries in North America, Central America and the Caribbean. The database has been upgraded to allow users to search the entire database or search by country using a pull down menu. All countries are shown by their three letter ITU abbreviations.
The // (parallel) field has also been made searchable, which allows users to find all listed translators of a particular station or find those FM translators that rebroadcast AM radio stations. This feature should prove valuable during skip season.
WTFDA member Andrew Knafel snagged this photo of CMEA, CH5 in Santa Clara, Cuba (~1300 miles) from his home in Akron, Ohio on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2016, on an old analog TV during a morning E skip opening. Could this reception be a preview of things to come? We hope so!
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.