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Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Eta Aquariids Meteor Shower – Canadian Analog TV

By Mike Schaffer, KA3JAW, Guest Columnist


The eta Aquariids started on Sunday, April 19 and will be active until Thursday, May 28 with the peak occurring Monday and Tuesday, May 4-5.

I been busy today, Thursday, April 30 detecting Canadian analog TV via meteor scatter with the SDRuno coupled with a six meter dipole antenna strung between the house wall and the clothesline pole in the backyard.

Yes, Canada still has full-powered analog transmitters operational from rural places that run up to 180kW effective radiated power. There are only several active stations on each low-band VHF channel (2-6) in the provinces of Nova Scotia and Ontario.

It is easy to identify the station in question without the need of video and/or audio of a TV set, as each station broadcast on either one of three video carrier offset frequencies.

Example:

Analog TV-2
   Offset (-) 55.240 MHz
   Offset (z) 55.250 MHz 
   Offset (+) -55.260 MHz


Figure 1 is a map to give you an idea what can be done with a software defined radio that a standard analog cathode-ray picture tube television set with a blue screen feature (video squelch circuit) cannot do when the incoming signal is faint.

On the top center is a GACTVDX logo, the orange triangles are the stations received, the blue triangle is my QTH. The map shows eight Canadian NTSC analog stations that were detected via meteor scatter (Ms).

Channel Callsign Location                  ERP    Distance
                                                  (miles/km)

1. 6- CJOH-TV-6  CTV Deseronto, Ontario    100 kW 256/411
2. 2+ CIII-TV-2  Global Bancroft, Ontario  100 kW 331/532
3. 5+ CHRO CTV2  Pembroke, Ontario         100 kW 369/593
4. 5Z CICI CTV   Sudbury, Ontario          100 kW 496/798
5. 6+ CJCH-TV-6  Caledonia, Nova Scotia    100 kW 573/922
6. 2- CHBX CTV   Sault Ste Marie, Ontario  100 kW 610/981
7. 3+ CITO CTV   Timmons, Ontario          100 kW 613/986
8. 4Z CJCB CTV   Sydney, Nova Scotia       180 kW 843/1356

ERP= Effective radiated Power


Figure 2. SDRuno – Spectrum + Waterfall Displays


Date: April 30, 2020
Onset Time (local): 8:10:52 PM
Duration: 8 seconds
Channel: TV-3
Frequency: 61.260 MHz
Offset: +
Effective Radiated Power: 72.4 kW Average, 100 kW Peak
Callsign: CITO
Network: CTV
Location: Timmons, Ontario, Canada
Distance: 613 miles
Azimuth: 333 degrees (north-northwest)

Figure 3. CTV Network Logo




Figure 4. CTV2 Network Logo





Figure 5. Global Network Logo