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The Good Old Days of Full-Powered Analog TV

The technical side of broadcasting. Think IBOC is a sham? Talk about it here! How about HDTV? Post DX reports here as well.
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mtburb
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The Good Old Days of Full-Powered Analog TV

Post by mtburb » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:52 pm

This is the second time this thread had to be remade...the last two attempts at this thread were deleted in forum crashes.

Remember the pre-2009 days when, through over-the-air pickups, analog signals were more reliable? The signals would often have larger "Grade A" and "Grade B" coverage far beyond what they have in the digital era, sometimes for even a hundred or so miles further. when the signal broke up, you at least had some picture until the signal disappeared entirely. Not the case with digital signals.

I'll leave you with this link to part of the 1997 Television Factbook which features tons of analog coverage maps. Michigan listings start on page 122 and Toledo listings start on page 452. As an example, the "Grade A" signals of the Toledo stations extended into Michigan as far up as around the Wyandotte and Ypsilanti areas. WJRT's "Grade B" signal extended south to Bloomfield Hills. The Detroit VHFs had coverage areas extending to East Lansing and in WJBK's case almost to Saginaw.
https://www.americanradiohistory.com/Ar ... -IA-OH.pdf


My furthest DTV tropo: KDKA Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at 202 miles for three days in January 2017 and a night in September 2017 with only an Antennas Direct C2V!

Current setup: Antennas Direct C2Max (2018-present)

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HD74
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Re: The Good Old Days of Full-Powered Analog TV

Post by HD74 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:38 pm

WLNS reached as far as Taylor into the Detroit DMA with a pretty clear signal back then, of course on low band VHF, which can make those distances.
Problem is analog could work with less signal strength, digital requires a certain number of bits just to construct a picture, once the received info drops to the lower margin, one experiences what is called the "cliff effect" as the signal just falls off a cliff and goes away.
Also the move to UHF by most formerly broadcasting on low V, which doesn't have the ability under normal circumstance to make long hauls like that.
Low V is avoided by broadcasters if possible, as 8VSB is vulnerable to a lot of noise at those frequencies which tends to increase the cliff effect.
Just another reason to dislike Mr. Clavin.


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WOHO
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Re: The Good Old Days of Full-Powered Analog TV

Post by WOHO » Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:49 pm

Wow, amazing analog coverage areas, and if they digital stations today had this type of power, you could use rabbit ears in your car.
You could see in 1995 the beginning of the end of broadcasters as FOX buying-up the nice VHF stations in the top 10 markets, and in 1996 the unlimited sloth of radio ownership.



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Ed Joseph
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Re: The Good Old Days of Full-Powered Analog TV

Post by Ed Joseph » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:51 pm

WOHO wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:49 pm
Wow, amazing analog coverage areas, and if they digital stations today had this type of power, you could use rabbit ears in your car.
You could see in 1995 the beginning of the end of broadcasters as FOX buying-up the nice VHF stations in the top 10 markets, and in 1996 the unlimited sloth of radio ownership.
Yeah, now it's almost impossible to pick up a semi-local TV station without a tower and antenna. What a shame. But I guess, as bad as OTA programming has become, maybe it's better this way. I can remember watching analog WKAR 23 and WLNS 6 on the basement TV in Flint on a whip. Now, I can\t even get WJRT in Flint township on rabbit ears. I get 5, 25, 66 pretty well, WDCQ 19 sometimes, but never is there a signal found for WJRT. Not that I'm missing much. I really miss TV28 though. I just can't watch mindless drivel consisting of 90 seconds of segment followed by 6 minutes of the same 3 spots rotating endlessly, with a weather tease from three weeks ago tossed in for good measure.


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HD74
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Re: The Good Old Days of Full-Powered Analog TV

Post by HD74 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:49 pm

Well a test is coming up soon. WLAJ/WLNS has an approved CP for 950 kW on channel 14. This is being built right now and will move both stations to the old Okemos site.
Maybe we'll be playing Loverboy for Taylor again soon. (this is just a joke from me, I often heard this request picking up the phones on the former WLLZ)


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innate-in-you
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Re: The Good Old Days of Full-Powered Analog TV

Post by innate-in-you » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:37 pm

WOHO wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:49 pm
Wow, amazing analog coverage areas, and if they digital stations today had this type of power, you could use rabbit ears in your car.
You could see in 1995 the beginning of the end of broadcasters as FOX buying-up the nice VHF stations in the top 10 markets, and in 1996 the unlimited sloth of radio ownership.
The real barrier to mobile reception of digital TV as seen in North America (ATSC 1.0) Is the fact that the frequency and phase of the receiver must be perfectly locked with that of the transmitter. Move, change direction, change direction, speed up, slow down, or stop, and this synchronicity is broken. The problem is worst at UHF (since doppler shift is the product of the velocity times the frequency).

When one either starts when the light turns green, stops at a stop sign, or drives on a curve, the synchronization of the DTV station's transmitter and the clock in the DTV receiver is broken, and reception abruptly ends.

Many years ago, I installed a battery power TV in the backseat of a car (and a magnet mount antenna) whilst my wife was driving through the Quad Cities and Chicago areas. UHF stations were a lost cause, popping in only very briefly. VHF-high stations were quite choppy and produced motion picture and sound only where the path was straight and clear of buildings.
WHBF (virtual and actual channel 4) was almost watchable, briefly cutting out when a car passed, when going under an overpass, or passing by a large building. The only long-term dropout occurred while going over the Mississippi on a cable-stayed bridge.
Last edited by innate-in-you on Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:32 pm, edited 4 times in total.



CK-722
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Re: The Good Old Days of Full-Powered Analog TV

Post by CK-722 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:47 am

What new TVs will Gary Shapiro and the very lovely Dr. Susie introduce this week at the CES in Las Vegas? I'll probably find out soon.


Is THAT where they got the idea for the 486-SX?

Same (x, y, z), different (t)

Your bullet missed my trial balloon.

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Nelson
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Re: The Good Old Days of Full-Powered Analog TV

Post by Nelson » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:31 pm

I sure miss the analog days, too. I'm lucky enough to live on a hill and have a small tower so I still get all the channels I used (and then some considering the sub-channels). Most everyone else I know has lost stations that they used to get, however.



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mtburb
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Re: The Good Old Days of Full-Powered Analog TV

Post by mtburb » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:15 pm

HD74 wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:49 pm
Well a test is coming up soon. WLAJ/WLNS has an approved CP for 950 kW on channel 14. This is being built right now and will move both stations to the old Okemos site.
Maybe we'll be playing Loverboy for Taylor again soon. (this is just a joke from me, I often heard this request picking up the phones on the former WLLZ)
With a fuzzier signal, WLNS (and WILX) could still be picked up further east than Taylor-including parts of Essex County.


My furthest DTV tropo: KDKA Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at 202 miles for three days in January 2017 and a night in September 2017 with only an Antennas Direct C2V!

Current setup: Antennas Direct C2Max (2018-present)

CK-722
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Re: The Good Old Days of Full-Powered Analog TV

Post by CK-722 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:55 pm

I remember not too many years ago, there were still a few old weather beaten 10 Element Channel 6 Yagis spread around Metro Detroit. I think I saw one in or around Grosse Pointe within the last five years. The reason was that before WKAR-TV came on, WJIM-TV, which became WLNS, used to carry a lot of MSU PBP and MSU Booster type programs. Also, some professional teams had restrictions called blackouts, which prevented stations within 75 miles from carrying any PBP at all unless they were sold out. At least at one point, Lansing was outside the 75 mile computation. Maybe that was the real reason they moved the stadiums to Pontiac and Auburn Hills, to keep you freeloaders in Lansing from watching for free.

I never knew exactly how they computed 75 miles-if it was from the studio, transmitter, stadium, or distance to a market that determined the points between which the 75 mile rule applied. In any event, many people were able to watch WJIM-TV for some of these games. Then some communities saw fit to outlaw TV antennas, claiming they contributed to Urban Blight. All the while the political people and citizens in the know, or able to think or otherwise figure it out for themselves, knew that this was hogwash. So then the industry made sure you couldn't get their signals working without government help, or without cable or satellite and a steep monthly fee. The new TV HD systems were unreliable, making it difficult to consistently get signals as close as 15-20 miles 100% of the time. And those neat little TVs called Watchmans didn't work either, and the new HD digital ones were even more finicky and unreliable. Portability was almost completely lost.
Last edited by CK-722 on Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.


Is THAT where they got the idea for the 486-SX?

Same (x, y, z), different (t)

Your bullet missed my trial balloon.

RTN Price. Not guaranteed, 2 deg source. As of 12:30, 157.71 Down 0.22.

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mtburb
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Re: The Good Old Days of Full-Powered Analog TV

Post by mtburb » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:21 pm

That reminded me to repost this photo that I posted before but was lost in the big forum crash. This was a typical old-fashioned Metro Detroit rooftop antenna setup that I spotted early in 2018 on 22nd Street in Wyandotte that was already decommissioned and which would be removed a short time afterwards (it's not visible in an August 2018 Google Street View photo of the house that this antenna used to stand on). Notice the longer multi-element unit pointed towards the then-new Southfield tower farm and, due to it's proximity, was used to pick up WTOL and WSPD/WTVG off of the back. Above that is a two-element unit for picking up CKLW/CBET.
Image


My furthest DTV tropo: KDKA Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at 202 miles for three days in January 2017 and a night in September 2017 with only an Antennas Direct C2V!

Current setup: Antennas Direct C2Max (2018-present)

CK-722
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Re: The Good Old Days of Full-Powered Analog TV

Post by CK-722 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:36 pm

Actually, mtburb, that's a fairly modern one, post large market UHF. That was probably 1965. In the late 1940s and 1950s, they mainly used VHF High-Lows, In-Lines, and Conicals. The trombone slides even hummed in the wind.


Is THAT where they got the idea for the 486-SX?

Same (x, y, z), different (t)

Your bullet missed my trial balloon.

RTN Price. Not guaranteed, 2 deg source. As of 12:30, 157.71 Down 0.22.

ftballfan
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Re: The Good Old Days of Full-Powered Analog TV

Post by ftballfan » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:28 pm

There are still some south-facing antennas in Manistee (for WZZM; WZZM's tower is slightly closer to Manistee than WGTU's tower)



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SolarMax
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Re: The Good Old Days of Full-Powered Analog TV

Post by SolarMax » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:23 am

mtburb wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:21 pm
That reminded me to repost this photo that I posted before but was lost in the big forum crash. This was a typical old-fashioned Metro Detroit rooftop antenna setup[...]
That one and some variations with fewer elements or conical reflector was marketed as "The Detroiter" antenna. Point the big one at Southfield, the small one at Windsor.



CK-722
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Easily Searchable Allied Catalogs!

Post by CK-722 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:40 am

I wonder what Mothers thought when they found ALLIED CATALOGS under their Sons' beds, and not what the neighbors' Mothers were finding.

The Adventures of Helen and Pam, two American housewives growing up in the upscale Pleasant Valley Subdivision.

Pam: "Helen, I'm really afraid that my son is going to grow up to be an Engineer. I just found a whole pile of Allied Catalogs under his bed! And the hard core stuff too, like Lafayette and Olson Tabloids! And a glossy one, called HEATHKIT! I'm afraid I'll die before I have Grandchildren."

http://www.alliedcatalogs.com/html/1961-200/h363.html

Helen: "Just be patient, Pam. He'll have some of these on his wall before you know it. His walls will look like Jeff Spicoli's. And there are some young ladies who will actually date and marry Engineers. Some of them will actually be attracted to your son. Not just to a boy who will probably have a stable, decent paying career. Unlike that no good Quarterback, Jack Mellencamp, who was dating my daughter, Diane, before he dumped her for a Cheerleader."

Pam: "Really, Helen? You really think so? You're such a good friend, Helen!"

http://www.alliedcatalogs.com/html/1962-210a/hr530.html

Announcer: Stay tuned for the further Adventures of Helen and Pam, two American housewives growing up in the upscale Pleasant Valley Subdivision. A Dick Orkin Bert Berdis Production. Any character details resembling real life people are purely coincidental.

Jingle: WLS!

Music to play while perusing the pages. Of the Allied Catalogs, of course!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqDjMZKf-wg
Last edited by CK-722 on Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:44 pm, edited 9 times in total.


Is THAT where they got the idea for the 486-SX?

Same (x, y, z), different (t)

Your bullet missed my trial balloon.

RTN Price. Not guaranteed, 2 deg source. As of 12:30, 157.71 Down 0.22.

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