Tag Archives: UHF television

Video blog episode 004

Taking a break from the Superloop antenna series, here is some retro DXing.  As noted in this previous blog post, back in the 1980s I used to do television DXing. I’ve finally put together some video clips from 1986 and 1987 showing some of the best “catches” I made back then, along with some comments about the clips. Enjoy!

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Retro log: TV DX from the great Thanksgiving 1986 tropo episode

This just came up on a message board, so I though I would post a few frames from what apparently is considered one of the best tropospheric propagation episodes on record. I was in high school at the time in rural Iowa, and in addition to a log-periodic VHF antenna that we needed to get network stations out of Des Moines, I talked my Mom into buying me a UHF yagi antenna. This was nominally to get 17-KDSM out of Des Moines, but I also used it for DXing. Anyway, over the Thanksgiving holiday in 1986 atmospheric conditions were such that persistent long-range reception of TV signals (and other frequencies) occurred in the central and eastern US. I picked up a lot of UHF stations from Indiana and Ohio; UHF was more common in those areas than in most of the country. Here are a few samples; remember that these are single frames, so the actual perceived quality of the video was better; maybe someday I’ll do some frame averaging and put up more pictures, or post some videos to YouTube. Distances are approximate, I haven’t tried to re-calculate them from my road atlas measurements back in 1986.

(PS – These are frames from a VHS-to-DVD conversion I did back in 2004 when I threw out most of my VHS collection.)

14-WFIE Evansville IN, 340 miles (with some co-channel interference)frame12729_WFIE14

23-WAKC Akron OH, 580 milesframe18153_WAKC23

28-WTTE Columbus OH, 510 milesframe18485_WTTE28

36-WUPW Toledo OH, 500 milesframe16583_WUPW36

40-WHMB Indianapolis IN, 350 milesframe11009_WHMB40

45-WRGT Dayton OH, 460 miles<frame20553_WRGT45