Digital ATV Activity

Digital ATV Test Beacon

Most up to date info can be found at the following:

Mid Atlantic ATV page on the groups.io web site.
https://groups.io/g/MidAtlanticATV

A summary of info will be kept here.


June 18, 2018

I’ve posted the spec sheet on the new beacon antenna in our group’s Files section. The antenna has a gain of 11 dBi; with a 55 degree beam width
Using that data, I’ve updated the predicted coverage model and posted that in our group’s Photos section.

Dan – WA3ATV


June 17 2018

There’s been an upgrade to the antenna for the beacon in Summerdale. What started out as Dick picking up a bag of goodies he left here when the beacon was first installed turned into a cookout which turned into an antenna replacement. The Big Wheel omni-directional antenna eleven feet AGL has been replaced with a Yagi that has been mounted on the tower.

It is 55′ AGL
It is believed to have a gain in the 7 to 8 dB range.
The azimuth is about 175 degrees – not quite due south.

This eliminates power wasted over the mountains to the north and also gets the antenna above the tree line. Dick and Jeff both report significant improvement in the signal strength at their home QTHs. I’ll leave it to them to give you their particular numbers as to previous signal strength vs. new signal strength.

If you’ve already made a reception test, please repeat it and post your findings as a reply to this thread. Things are looking promising!

Happy Fathers’ Day!
Dan – WA3ATV

Yagi at 175 deg and 10 w – Wider view.png


June 15, 2018

There is a group of ham radio operators in the mid-Atlantic region who have begun experimenting with Digital Amateur Television. They are using the DVB-T (European) broadcast standard as it has proven to be far more robust than the US broadcast standard – far more forgiving of multi-path and other types of interference. It also performs better at the lower power levels allowed on the ham bands.

There is currently a beacon on the air at the WA3ATV QTH near Harrisburg (Summerdale) for propagation test purposes. The DVB-T beacon can be received by low cost “receiver dongles” that some hams already own and are experimenting with. The dongles plug into the USB port of a computer and are controlled by software. As an alternative, the RF signal can viewed and measured on most spectrum analyzers. There are also low cost receivers and transmitters available on the web at prices comparable to an HT.

If you do not have hardware capable of looking at the video or RF but are interested in experimenting with Digital ATV, contact Dan – WA3ATV at sears.stuff @verizon.net to arrange for a reception test at your QTH. The beacon is slated to be operational for the next week or two to allow propagation testing. Once testing is completed here in the Harrisburg area, it will be relocated to a site near New Freedom for additional testing.

If you do have hardware and are interested in taking a look, here are the particulars for the beacon:

40 19′ 35.90″ N / 76 55′ 07.62″ W
956′ AMSL
554′ HAAT
11′ AGL

Call sign: W3JVU
Center Frequency: 429.0 MHz
Mode: DVB-T
Bandwidth: 2 MHz
Power: 10 watts
Antenna: Big Wheel Omni-directional
Polarization: Horizontal
Gain: 3 dBd

Video: Test Pattern with W3JVU call letters
Audio: None

Photos of the beacon installation are attached, including two maps of predicted coverage.
Anyone interested in following the project can join the Mid Atlantic ATV page on the groups.io web site.
https://groups.io/g/MidAtlanticATV

73,
Dan Rapak
WA3ATV