WWW.MIKESDX.COM

On the web Since 1999



For FM antenna specs, tuner mod info, phasing, filter info, look under LINKS above.

May 2020

I don't buy much DX equipment anymore but, on the advice of a couple of friends, I purchased an SDR from SDRPlay. I got the SDRDuo. This is the SDR with two tuners and two inputs for antannas. The grand thing about this receiver is that you can phase one tuner against the other using Diversity mode. It works like having a phase box but is a bit easier to make your nulls with it, and of course you don't need a splitter (combiner) or two more lengths of coax. It works just perfectly for tropo and you can use it for E skip DXing as long as you don't mind using the 2mhz of spectrum allowed for its use. I may use the phase box for Es DXing. In my opinion, it's worth the money. I'll see how it works out this summer.

March 2020

I've just renewed this domain for another year. I'll be around for another twelve months.

I'll be looking for some double hop low-VHF TV reception from Central and South America, but I'm not optimistic. I no longer have a D-100 available and can't justify buying another one. I do have an analog TV card that works with Windows 10 but the D-100 could "see" video down to S4 and the card cannot. Even if the double hop signal was up around S8, analog Dx signals S8 or under would be wiped out by digital Ch2 Providence and Ch3 NYC which run around S8 during the summer months. Even Ch4 in Atlantic City put in an S7-8 video pilot signal during much of last summer. It would take some really strong double hop to overtake that.

As for FM, who knows. All that's availale to me now is E skip reception and there was hardly any last summer (2019) so if this summer is just as bad as 2019 I'll have to pull the plug on FM. (update: May 30th 2020 provided a stong Es opening to Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama and Missouri. Will this Es season be better than last year? The jury is still out.)

THE STORY BEHIND THE PICTURE. The TV antenna you see at the top of this page is an Archer VU-190. It was originally sold by Radio Shack as a VHF-UHF combo. This antenna is brand new and has been sitting in the basement for the past 5-6 years until just recently when I decided to put it together and do something with it. I decided to try it as a phase antenna along with my APS-13 and Bolin phase box. The UHF elements were removed. The result is an antenna that works really well on FM and works fine as a phase antenna. It has enough gain that it does not need a pre-amp between it and the input to the combiner. The antenna was bought at a yard sale for just a few dollars, sold by a person who either didn't know what it was, or just didn't care.

February 2020

I haven't seen or heard any DX since the fall of 2019. I don't know what 2020 will bring, but I do know that my UHF band is full (with one or two exceptions) and there's very little left on VHF, either lowband or highband, for me to get excited about. My main "hobby" now is working with the linux OS and Linux Mint specifically. I got into that around two years ago (2018) when my wife's computer was having problems with Windows 10, and just for the fun of it I put Mint on a computer that I was going to throw out, and made it her computer and two years later it's running like a champ. It's the best move I ever made and I now have her computer, a laptop with Mint 19.3 Cinnamon on it and another old desktop computer that I use to test and play with, running Linux Mint. If you can get rid of Windows...DO IT!

With TV and FM DXing rapidly declining in activity here, I've gone to something that is actually fun like Dxing used to be. I think I will be devoting more of this site to Linux as time goes by.

HELLO!

Hello and welcome! If you've been here before, you'll notice that I've blown up this page and rebuilt it. The old style was getting a bit dated. Now with the coronavirus keeping us at home, what better time to work with css and html and learn a few more things. I've also added a link in the header to Linux computing, my other hobby for the past three years. Who knows whether DXing (the TV and FM type) will be there in another few years. It'a almost gone now, as far as I'm concerned. So, here we are.

I still have lots of moving things around of things on this site. I'll be working on that as well as on converting the other web pages over to this new format.

For those who like building their own antennas for whatever reasons, the antenna specs are here in the links menu. The filter mods are probably obsolete since almost nobody does them anymore (SDRs make mods unnecessary). The Sony PI mods are probably unneeded at this time. Since analog TV is 99% obsolete, I have already deleted the analog material that once was on these pages. At this point in time, analog TV discussion is pretty much moot, at least in the US and Mexico.

CT_map


Here's a chart showing how the ch2-36 repack affects me. UHF is almost full. Open channels are 2-6, 14-19, 27 and 29. Is TV DXing worth it? Maybe, if I would be content DXing ch2-6 and 14-19.

Let's take a look at my open FM channels: 90.9, 92.1, 94.5, 94.9, 96.3, 98.3, 99.5 103.7, 104.7, 105.1, 106.5, 106.7, 107.1, 107.5. I count 14 Es capable frequencies. Now very strong Es might be able to overcome a few others, especially if the skip is from the west, but as far as skip from the southwest, which is the most common type by far, I'm pretty screwed. Sure I could use the phaser on ONE frequency, but phasing would probably be useless when trying to record 8mhz of spectrum when only one station is nulled down. If that is the case, then the options are to either just record the spectrum and hope some skip breaks through, or forget the recording and just work the opening live while turning the dials on the phaser. Well there is another option, and that option is just to open a can of beer and watch reruns of GoldRush instead.

LOCAL BANDSCAN VIDEOS FROM MY HOME IN NORTHERN CT

88-95MHZ

95-102MHZ

102-108MHZ

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you found something worthwhile here.



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Updated 04-16-2020.

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