Distant reception of HD FM Radio question?

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This topic contains 50 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Alfredo_T 4 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #8512

    mwdxer1
    Participant

    I recently obtained a Sony XFR HD radio. I live on the Northern Oregon Coast. There are no HD stations here, AM or FM. The nearest is probably Portland or Seattle. I just purchased an FM6 yagi I plan to put up. Does anyone know if I will receive any FM in HD? I hooked up a 1500′ Eastern Beverage antenna to the AM antenna input and when night conditions are right, KSL 1160 Salt Lake City will pop into HD at times. I get the logo on a few others but nothing else. But I have never heard an FM HD signal other than at a station in my travels. Should I add a booster to the yagi? I have read FM digital is very picky and the extra noise may knock out the HD IBOC.I have also read that the HD signal is like 1% of the overall power. Is this correct?
    Any help would be appreciated.

    Patrick

    #8513

    semoochie
    Participant

    1% was the original standard. Some stations run as high as 10%.

    #8514

    Andy Brown
    Participant

    Don’t add a booster to the yogi. If you don’t have a rotor, buy one so you can sweep all the angles and hope to catch some skywave. You aren’t going to get any ground wave because of the lower powers being used as well as the coast range being in the way and a booster will only give you more problems (noise, ACI) then it’s worth. The yogi is probably giving you 6dB boost and if anything is leaking through the mountain passes (unlikely) you will need to point the yogi just right.

    #8515

    jr_tech
    Participant

    Totally agree about adding the rotator… in addition to Portland and *perhaps* Eugene stations, you have some decent HD targets to the north (Seattle) as well as to the south (KQOC and others along the coast).
    I use a 9 element log-Yagi and Sony XDR-F1HD from Hillsboro and regularly get HD from Eugene, and on rare occasions in the summer brief HD reception of KING from Seattle.

    #8522

    semoochie
    Participant

    “Don’t add a booster to the yogi. If you don’t have a rotor, buy one so you can sweep all the angles and hope to catch some skywave. You aren’t going to get any ground wave because of the lower powers being used as well as the coast range being in the way and a booster will only give you more problems (noise, ACI) then it’s worth. The yogi is probably giving you 6dB boost and if anything is leaking through the mountain passes (unlikely) you will need to point the yogi just right.” If you don’t point the yogi just right, is that a boo-boo? 🙂

    #8523

    mwdxer1
    Participant

    Thanks for all of the great replies. I had my doubts on a booster for HD because of noise. Adding a rotor may be an advantage, but with our very high winds we often get, the extra weight I am afraid would snap the pole. I had that years ago using a Winegard SC650 FM Yagi, just with the extra weight. I went with the FM6 as it is lighter and about the only thing available, unless I build my own, but getting hollow aluminum tubing I have no idea where I could look. For a bit more gain, I could stack two FM6 yagi’s. That would add weight, but not a lot. Seattle is probably a better bet in HD than Portland. It is a bit farther but the transmitter sites on Cougar Mountain blast in here. Or at least they used to back in the 70s & 80s. The mountains are not nearly as high to the NE. Portland stations used to always fade. KINK was a best but not nearly as good as stations like KPLZ. But at 10%, I might have a shot. 1%, I really doubt it. When I get it up and running, I give a report. I was deciding on RG6 or RG11. I have a 65 foot run. It probably would make little difference. I want to get a good matching transformer with little loss too. I used to regular get Vancouver & Victoria BC here, but that was before the dial filled up too.

    Patrick

    #8529

    jr_tech
    Participant

    The FM-6 should serve you quite well… I use an APS-9, but after some side by side testing with the Radio Shack branded FM-6, I concluded that it was an about 2dB (at best) better antenna for a 6dB higher price. 🙁
    I use RG 11 on the APS-9 (short run, about 25 ft) down the chimney) to the XDR-F1HD, and RG 59 for a short run (about 20 ft) down the side of the house from an older (arm-strong rotated) 10 element Radio Shack Yagi to my older DX champions (Yamaha TX-950 & Pioneer TX-9100). I can’t tell much difference.
    Never have found or built a booster that helped much, including the MD-205… http://www.magnumdynalab.com/md205.htm

    #8533

    mwdxer1
    Participant

    Thanks. I have an old Pioneer TX9100 too, but there seems to be an issue with the on & off switch, loading things down and is shorts out. It is a strange switch, so a replacement is probably n/a. But I think the Sony should work as well id not better. I am looking forward in getting the yagi up as I used to a lot of FM from the Cougar Mt site pretty strong here.

    Patrick

    #8544

    jr_tech
    Participant

    For sure the Sony HD tuner will outperform the older Pioneer… It has very good adjacent channel performance… you just might find some of those Canadian signals coming through past stronger local adjacent channels on a nice summer day!

    PS in case you might have missed this, here is a good write up on the XDR-F1HD….
    http://www.ham-radio.com/k6sti/xdr-f1hd.htm
    “The astronomical selectivity figure is real. Even though both use digital IF filters, the XDR-F1HD is noticeably more selective than the HDT-1X. Sometimes the Sony can retrieve listenable signals that are buried beneath adjacent-channel splatter or completely inaudible in the Sangean. Selectivity is 30 dB greater than that of the best conventional tuner I’ve ever tested, one using a kHz cascade of 110-110-150-250-250 Murata ceramics.”

    #8567

    mwdxer1
    Participant

    Thanks. I have read the reviews on the Sony. Very impressive figures to say the least. I do know the Sony does have a low noise floor which should work well for DX. I used to have an old Marantz tuner. Not the greatest, but it did pick up E skip pretty well. I logged and QSL’d a bunch of stations in the Midwest.

    Patrick

    #8612

    Chico
    Participant

    MW- if you have a straight shot to Cougar, you might want to try KCMS 105.3. The analog signal is Contemporary Christian (basically hot Christian AC with upbeat messaging), but the HD2 is an in house produced hybrid pop/rock format they brand as “Pure Music Radio.” I find it really interesting- it is not Christian music per se, but rather contemporary rock/pop songs picked out as “having something to say about humanity and faith” in their own words. Last hour artists included Death Cab for Cutie, Robert Plant, OneRepublic, Coldplay, Head and the Heart. Worth a listen. Here’s their link: http://www.puremusicradio.com/ Christa runs it on all 3 of their HD 2 channels- Seattle, Austin, and “Lynden” (Vancouver, BC)

    Fun side notes on Christa Seattle- the AM has different locations for day and night, and the “old” FM elements are still sitting on the top of the daytime AM tower. They were grandfathered in at 115kw on the FM but the multipath was awful- much better signal at half the power from Cougar.

    #8625

    mwdxer1
    Participant

    Thanks for the info on 105.3. Yes, I can hear them on the van radio driving around the coast. The ones I used to regularly get from Cougar were 92.5, 93.3, 94.1, 95.7, 96.5, 98.9, 99.9, 101.5, 102.5, and 107.7. But that was years ago. Some I still can hear on the van radio. Cougar Mt. FM’s used to listened to by many on the coast back in the 60s & 70s. Everyone that had yagi’s up were about all pointed at Seattle. I guess Tigar Mountain is another location for the tx sites now. It will be interesting to compare the signals here from both. In the old days in the early 60s, I knew the CE at KYAC 96.5 and one Monday morning he was working late and I talked to him on the phone. He turned the transmitter power down to a few hundred watts (If I remember correctly), and my old Marantz still had the signal in Stereo and no noise.

    #8626

    Scott Young
    Participant

    That 115kw may have been full of mulitpath locally but I used to hear it frequently here in Portland when they were beautiful music…KBIQ I think. They had a sweeper with a jet sfx panning across the stereo field, and a voiceover that said “From Vancouver to Vancouver…”

    #8630

    Andy Brown
    Participant

    “used to listened to by many on the coast back in the 60s & 70s. Everyone that had yagi’s up were about all pointed at Seattle.”

    The amount of FM stations that exist between the coast and Cougar nowadays compared to back then is mind boggling.

    #8631

    Chico
    Participant

    And the number of stations now on Cougar is a lot lower. Most have moved to Tiger, which may not be quite as line of sight for you. Will be interested to see how you do.

    Mr. Young, you are dead correct as to KBIQ. Good memory!

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