I had lower expectations for digital TV than analog, but I hoped to see something by now. I'm not referring to tropo, which has actually been pretty good, but to e-skip. The season for this mode of TV DX is more than half over. There was a slow start reported throughout the US, but it's been picking up. Even my fellow Floridians are reporting catches. In spite of heavy monitoring here, though, I don't have a single thing to log.
As I live in an apartment now the setup is less than ideal. I haven't owned a yagi in a long time, but rabbit ears outside did the trick well enough before TV went digital. Unfortunately the exposed top-floor balcony has since been replaced by a screened-in lanai. The antenna can't be mounted above the roofline and rotated anymore. (The UHF antenna is small enough to avoid this problem. I removed it from the lanai to avoid RF interaction between the two antennas.) Add to these the lower number of stations I can target and the unstable signals delivered by e-skip (which digital boxes HATE) and you can understand why my expectations were so low for this year. But not this low. I may as well not have an antenna plugged in at all. With only a couple weeks left to try something I switched antennas and bypassed everything between it and the ATSC tuner. Getting away from the apartment and planting a yagi on the beach just isn't an option this year. :)
I've already decided to start FM DXing in January, and a total bust with TV DX this summer will only cement that decision. FM has its own problems but it's still analog. I'll be starting on that band when DX activity is low, just as I started the AM band last month so I could ease into it during its seasonal lull. To complete the DXing package I'll also be starting NOAA weather stations (162 MHz) in January. E-skip is rare at such high frequencies but I look forward to it.
Hopefully I'll be able to buy some good portable equipment in the next few years. The beaches of Sanibel Island sound like nice DX spots.
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