I'm happy to announce DTVUSAForum's first ever interview with webmaster Trip Ericson of RabbitEars.Info
. If you ever want to know what DTV stations are available in your city/market, visit Trip's Digital TV Market Listings
area. Before we begin, I'd like to personally thank Trip for taking the time to answer these questions and help out at DTV USA Forum
1. Trip, please tell us about yourself.
I am a 20-year old student of the University of Virginia who is studying Electrical Engineering. I've held an interest in TV for as long as I can remember, ever since one time around age 4 I saw stations in the newspaper listings that we could not receive on the TV and wondered why. At age 6, my family moved to Virginia from New Jersey. In rural Virginia, stations from surrounding cities were very common catches, and did a lot to help promote my interest in television.
I got into digital TV when I was a fan of a TV show that got moved from the local Fox station to the local WB station. The WB station was digital-only, so I purchased a Hauppauge WinTV-D in early 2003 and was able to use it to watch not just WB, but WDBJ had subchannels as well. Later in 2003, I bought a Zenith HDV420 and a USB analog receiver to use in the car, which was probably among the first "mobile digital TV" rigs outside professional circles.
Once I started RabbitEars, I became better known and now I have many contacts with many station engineers. I'm presently interning at WDBJ in Roanoke
where I spend a decent amount up on Poor Mountain and I spent some time taking phone calls right after the transition. I'm hoping to become a broadcast consulting engineer or broadcast lawyer or something along those lines, given how much time I've spent reading and understanding FCC filings and docmentation.
2. I also understand that you're a licensed Technician-class ham radio operator. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
I met the President of the Ham Radio Club at UVA
. They had a story about digital television in which I posted a comment. He visited my website and discovered that I went to UVA. I met him and he introduced me to ham radio, which is basically non-commercial point-to-point communication. A few months later, the club held a testing session and I am now licensed as KJ4IEA. I am the Secretary for the club in the upcoming school year.
Ham radio is quite an interesting thing. There are ham bands all over the spectrum, including near the AM and shortwave bands. With very little power, it's possible to communicate with people around the world on the right frequencies. My interest, however, lies more with VHF and UHF. Of course, not all ham radio is audio, there's also sending images, slow-scan TV, packet (sending data), and on UHF, it's possible to do amateur TV. As long as it's non-commercial and involves RF, you can probably do it with ham radio.