Wednesday, June 24, 2009

TV stations as 6 meter beacons

It used to be that if you lived in a place where there was no TV channel 2 broadcaster, you could tune your 6 meter receiver to 55.25 MHz to see if the 6 meter band was open. If it was, you'd find the video carrier of a TV broadcaster on channel 2.

With the change to digital, one would think that that trick would be a thing of the past, but that's not necessarily true. ATSC also includes a pilot frequency too - typically about 300 kHz up from the bottom end of the channel - 54.3 kHz or so for channel 2.

Also, there are fewer low-VHF broadcasters with the switch to digital than there used to be. Low VHF is not the best choice for ATSC because of the higher level of background electrical noise, so most broadcasters who formerly used low VHF have moved their digital transmitters to UHF instead.

There are a few high power stations on low VHF, though. Here's a list:

Butte, MT2KTVM
Chicago, IL3WBBM
Cleveland, OH2WKYC
Grand Junction, CO2KREX
Grand Rapids, MI2WOOD
Harrisburg, PA4WHP
Las Vegas, NV2KVVU
Lexington, KY4WDKY
Macon, GA4WMAZ
Rapid City, SD2KOTA
Roanoke, VA3WBRA
Tallahassee, FL2WTWC


Trip said...

I'm not sure from where you got this list, but many of these stations are no longer on low-VHF, and have moved elsewhere.

KTVM is now on channel 6 (still low-VHF)
WBBM is now on channel 12
WKYC is now on channel 17
KREX remained on 2
WOOD is now on channel 8
WHP is now on channel 21
KVVU has never been on 2, KVBC was and is still there
WDKY is now on channel 31
WMAZ is now on channel 13
KOTA remained on 2
WBRA remained on 3 (sadly)
WTWC is now on channel 40

There are still some low-VHF digital stations to look for. Click on the appropriate channel number on this page of my website to see the stations on it:

Hope that helps in your DXing. =)

- Trip

Anonymous said...

Now that the transition is complete, about 40 DT stations have returned to low band. You can find them on the FCC website

You will want to search for DT class stations. The pilot carriers are at 54.31, 60.31, 66.31, 76.31, and 82.31 MHz