Saturday, June 13, 2009

Good Reports Thus Far Out Of The Twin Cities!

KMSP and KARE, look to have a much larger range with VHF-HI signals. KSTC running one million watts on RF channel 45, is a killer tonight. KSTP, looks much better on RF 35 compared to the weird RF 50 issues... Please reply and let us know what you are seeing!

21 comments:

Paul said...

KMSP-9 is NOT getting better coverage. I live near Grantsburg, WI, about 56 miles from their antenna. We lost KMSP-9 when they switched to RF-9 last night. We have been watching digital KMSP-9 on RF-26 for almost a year without any problems. We get good signals from 2.1, 4.1, 5.1, 11.1, 23.1, 29.2, 41.1, and 45.1. KMSP-9 is the only signal that was lost after the switch. KARE-11 now broadcasts on RF-11 and their signal is fine.

gjvrieze said...

That is odd, KMSP should be stronger then KARE, since it runs a bit more power. What receiving devices are you using (antenna, amp, and tuner?)

Kevin said...

KMSP was coming in much better for me than KARE when they first switched over, from TSReader it was like 5dbm vs 3dbm for me. Later though, I checked again and 9 was down to -2dbm, while KARE was still at 3. I think they are having transmitter issues or had to lower power. Right now during the daytime where both stations don't peg the signal meter on my converter box, KMSP is at 40% and KARE is at 50%. The big winner was KSTC, which even during the day is now 75% (of course, pegging the meter at night)

gjvrieze said...

On some of the other reports that I just now seeomg, other people are getting KARE, who cannot lock KMSP. There is nothing on their website, so I do not know why it would be 5dBm lower in receive power then KARE.. These two stations broadcast in a near frequency from nearly the same height, with KARE around 100ft higher, but KMSP is running 35kW to KARE's 27.1kW....

Thom said...

My understanding is most antennas out there are suffering from a serious loss of antenna gain at channel 9 on the Hi VHF! Too many antenna manufacturers making high gain UHF and so-so for Channel 9. Pity too as its signal has great potential to travel so far!

mattdp said...

If I may quote gjvrieze (who answered this question on the Minneapolis, MN AVS Forum thread (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=446660&page=6):


No, 26 did not work out. They got in a "fight" with WDSE out of Duluth on which channel to use and it looks like they got paid to RF channel 23. They will still be able to use the KMSP-DT-26 antenna and feedline, but will need to retool on the ground. They will be running nearly 700kW though and should match or slightly exceed KTCA-DTs coverage!

gjvrieze said...

To Thom:

There are antennas out there with no or very little VHF-HI gain. But in many cases of people getting the UHFs and not the VHF-HIs, it is simply that rabbitears have much high gain at UHF then VHF-LO/HI because of the size needed to get gain at VHF.
Also, most antenna companies saw this one coming and answered with a VHF-HI/UHF antenna that would work great for many of the people who lost signal. Antenna Craft has a model out for $30 plus shipping (the HBU22) that works wonders for many people in urban areas.

Paul said...

Found a chart on www.hdtvprimer.com that shows the gain characteristics of my Radio Shack VU-190XR antenna. I get better gain on RF-9 (+7dBd) then on RF-11 (+5dBd), however, RF-9 gets that additional gain by being more directional. When installing the antenna 4 years ago, I suspect I split the difference between Shoreview (200 degrees) and KPXM in St Cloud (238 degrees). I will try repositioning my antenna tomorrow and suspect that that will fix RF-9 at the expense of KPXM.

gjvrieze said...

Paul, do that aim adjustment, and please report back with results... I am up in Red Wing currently, and I just signal testing, with VHF-LO/HI antenna and a decent UHF, I am seeing KTSC at 11dBm and KMSP at 11dBm, so KMSP is actually stronger, since the antennas in question have more gain at UHF then VHF....

gjvrieze said...

I have not looked at KMSP in the FCC database for a few days... Apparently, they are only going to run 30kW ERP, not 35kW, like they planned before...

Paul said...

My antenna direction was only 5 degrees off, repositioning killed KPXM in St Cloud (as expected) but didn't help KMSP-9 or any of the other Shoreview signals.

gjvrieze said...

Paul: That is odd.

Paul said...

Just received email from Engineering at Fox-9. Both KMSP and KARE are currently broadcasting at 19KW. They have applied for a permit to increase power to 30KW.

gjvrieze said...

Thanks for that info, Paul!

Thom said...

Am I correct to say that KARE11-DT has NOT increased their power to 30kW yet?

And boy did I have a dickens trying to pick up KMSP9-DT last PM after the 9pm news, they just suddenly dropped off the planet and came back about an hour later. Wonder what happened there?

These Hi-VHF power levels might be great for those of you with outside antennae but some of us don't have that luxury and it appears that problems with Hi -VHF reception with indoor antenna is only beaten by trying to pick up Low-VHF! Thank GOD Channels 4 and 5 (WCCO & KSTP) didn't fall for that trap.

Thom said...

Another problem was KTCI (2.3 & 2.4) and its sudden change in PSIP suddenly made all the RCA Converter boxes stop scanning when it hit RF16 (about 20%). Luckily they figured it out after many of us complaining about it...but they never admitted to what they changed and then changed back (had NO problems on the switch over day, just the following week). Sounds like KTCI is still on track for switch over to RF23 come mid to late August from its current low power RF16.

gjvrieze said...

There are good things and bad things about VHF-HI digital, that is for sure. I think for people who could not get the UHF counterparts before the switch, are doing much better now. The people with indoor antennas are hurting. WLS in Chicago has asked the FCC to allow them to run a channel 32 translator in addition to their DT-7 broadcast from the Sears Tower. I think this may become a popular thing in the future.

gjvrieze said...

KTCI had a good deal of problems with PSIP, most likely, it was not their direct fault, but the company who updates the PSIP generator. But they at least caught up with viewers and did "fix" it. There is too much room in the spec on the CECBs as well, makes it hard to be 100% compliant with every device out there.

gjvrieze said...

I do not believe that KARE has increased power yet. They are prolly converting the other half of their old analog transmitter for digital. I would expect it very soon.

Thom said...

And I hear Channel 29 WFTC plans to return to 29 (from current 21) about same time that KARE11 plans to power up to 30kW...abount mid-August.

Thom said...

Well we finally have KTCI 2-3 & 2-4 on a viewable and stable RF... although not quite the Radio Frequencies I expected, but at least I don't live in fear of bumping my indoor antenna anymore.