ONLINE SINCE 1999 AND STILL GOING!

ALL OF MY ORIGINAL SITE IS LOCATED AT http://www.wtfda.org/mikestvfmdx/

I've changed things. If you've come here looking for any of my tuner mod info, tuner reviews, D100 info, antenna specs, antenna construction, filter installation, antenna phasing, my Es and Tropo maps or just about anything that you've seen here in the past, you can still find it here. Everything is here, just use this link to get transported back to my original website.

I started Mike's TV and DX Page back in 1999 and all during that time it was hosted by US Computer in Florida. As of 2017 I've moved it to another host and for the first time I have my own domain name, which is pretty neat.

I began DXing when I was a teenager. I started with AM radio then moved into FM when I heard my first E skip on a Zenith portable radio my folks got me for Christmas. It was around 1964. So I've been around and I know a few things about the hobby.  I probably know more about it than even I think I know.

For TV DXing I currently use an Insignia NS-DXA1 set top box with a Winegard 2-13 VHF antenna and an Antennas Direct XG-91 for UHF. The whole thing sits on a five-foot tripod about 30' above ground level on the roof.  For FM DXing I have an APS-13 (minus the first two directors) on a tripod on the roof. The receiver is an RSP1 or RSP2 from SDRPlay. I've also used my Elad FDM-S2 for FM DXing.

For 2018 I have once again put up my 7 element home made yagi about 20 feet above ground level. Even though I have a ton of local translators on the air now, I know I can phase them out and let DX roll in over them. So far (as of May 27th) the Es season has not started yet and that's not a good sign.

Over the past couple of years I have become really interested is software-defined radios, commonly called SDRs. I have found them to be currently as good as, or better then (in some respects) high end FM tuners or tuners that have been modified with narrow IF filters. They are great for FM Dxing. Some time ago I was approached by SDRplay to check out one of their first RSPs, which I did. I wrote a review and you can find it here. In 2016 I was also asked by SDRplay to check out their newer RSP2, and again I did and wrote a review on this new product here. Also for 2018 I've added a much stronger computer for DXing this year which lets me use SDR Console with my SDRs. I've found SDR Console to be the best SDR software out there. Nothing decodes RDS faster. It displays all of the RDS fields. I've used RDS Spy in past years and it is good, but it requires Virtual Audio Cable to make it work, and if I don't have to work with VAC anymore, I'm happy.

Now I can also use the Sabrent SAA-7130 TV PCI card in this PC. This is the same card that I used in my last PC that brought me video from Central and South America. I hope it delivers for me this summer. Let's hope we get some super 6meter skip up here in New England this time. It has been missing the past four years.

I have a YouTube channel dedicated to TV DX audio. Sometimes I'd rather watch the video than look at pictures. I have video of analog TV DX. There's one popular video there that I took during a skip opening where channels 2-6 were full of skip. A few people have IDed some of the stations seen that video. I have video of double-hop skip to Nicaragua (ch2), Colombia (ch4) as well as others. I have a couple of nightlight stations (stations received by skip after most of the other analog stations on that particular channel had signed off permanently). There is some DTV skip video. There's a video of local WGBY-57 in Springfield signing off in analog for the last time. If you are interested in that kind of thing, the channel is right here.

Since the beginning of the DTV age, I have logged only 12 lowband DTV stations via E skip. A few are no longer in existence, but the rest are. Some of the distances involved are pretty good also. You can see pics of the along with other information on these stations right here.

I have a page devoted to the various TV antennas I've used over the years. It also includes my current setup. I talk about what I like and why. I sure have gone through enough UHF antennas over the years in search of the ultimate. Have I found it? Read the page.

The Spectrum Auction is over! We now know which stations are moving or staying the same or shutting down. We have a table of channel reassignments for Connecticut so for an idea of how this repacking will affect TV DXing here, read this. As of August 2nd, 2018, we are now just 12 more months away from the end of repacking, and with that, the end of the TV DXing hobby for some people, and that may probably include myself.

I've managed to dig up some photos of the FM yagis I use and have used in the past. You can check them out here.

I've been in this hobby for a long time. Recently I moved my FM log to a mySQL database, which now allows me to analyze data that I couldn't do easily before. So what you see in the graph to your left is the number of new station loggings I've made each year since 1998 (I could have gone back into the 1980s if I wanted to.)
     What the graph shows me is that prior to HD radio, I did pretty well here. As more and more stations added HD, the amount of new loggings dropped dramatically. I already knew that, but I didn't realize just how bad it became. But around 2013 my new station total began to climb again, despite the fact that the IBOC sidebands are still there, and I've got LPFM stations now plus a bazillion new FM translators to clog channels. So what am I doing different? Glad you asked.
     Two things saved me. One is antenna phasing. I'm able to eliminate, or almost totally eliminate, the HD sidebands that plague me. The last, and most important item, is Software Defined Radio, or SDR for short. I started using SDRs for FM DXing. First was the Elad FDM-S2 followed by the RSP1 and RSP2 from SDRPlay. I've also used an Airspy stick (since sold). I've had little time to DX live this summer so I've recorded most of the skip I've seen and played it back later, digging out every log that I possibly could. If this isn't a ringing endorsement for SDR radios, I don't know what is. If you want to be a serious FM DXer and you live in an area with lots of stations and HD radio, you need this! And you need to look into antenna phasing.

Es season 2017 (as of June 11). It began very slowly. There were two small openings here at the end of May. June was a little better, beginning with a large opening on the 7th and a tiny one on the 8th. You can see my loggings for for 2017 in the chart below.

Skip season 2018 is almost over. May was a bust for skip. June really began in the later half of the month and carried over into July when it began to fade after the 15th of the month. August ended with a huge skip event on August 13th which netted me 15 new stations logged, close to 60 for the year.

DTV Tropo catches from 2015 HERE and more HERE.
DTV Tropo catches from 2018 HERE.
My closest and furthest DTV Es catches, my best tropo catches HERE.
It was one of my favorite pieces of TV DX equipment, the D100, but I finally sold it.
Yard Sales and dirt cheap DX related equipment. Good stuff CHEAP.

MY SKIP LOGGINGS FROM JUNE, JULY AND AUGUST 2018 ARE NOW ONLINE. SEE BELOW.

E-SKIP DX LOGS FOR THE FOLLOWING YEARS

2015     June July August December
2016 April May June July August  
2017   May June July August December
2018   May June July August  

LOCAL BANDSCAN VIDEOS FROM MY HOME IN NORTHERN CT

88-95MHZ

95-102MHZ

102-108MHZ


Thank you for stopping in, even if you didn't mean to. I appreciate it.
2018 and beyond. Mike Bugaj

 

Updated September 10, 2018