Coverage Prediction With Google Earth

Ithaca, NY - Coverage Prediction for KD2SL 6 meter repeater

Ithaca coverage prediction. Click to enlarge.

You can do your own coverage prediction with Google Earth!  You’ve seen the wide-area map on the previous post (see the sample for Ithaca at left – even downtown could have signal!), but if you would like to zoom in on your address, here’s how:

  1. Download and install Google Earth.
  2. Download the TVFool coverage map overlay for Syracuse.  IMPORTANT NOTE: To find out more about TVFool’s coverage overlays for Google Earth, visit this page.  Because analog TV broadcasting has ended, the overlays currently available on do NOT include analog channels.  I still have a copy of the analog overlay, and have placed it on my server so that you can download it by clicking here. It is a .zip file.
  3. Unzip to extract the “Syracuse_NY.kmz” file.  Remember where you put it!
  4. Open Google Earth.
  5. In the menu, choose: “File –> Open…”  Navigate to the Syracuse_NY.kmz file you unzipped in step 3, and open it.
  6. In the “Places” window along the left side, scroll way down until you find “WSTM-TV (A) ch3”.  Click on the button to select it, and Google Earth will overlay the coverage map.  Zoom in to your address!

The limited radio testing we’ve done so far has produced s9+60 results in some areas colored dark blue and violet, so it would seem that ANY area showing color has some chance of hearing our signal.

Why use the analog overlay?  Because it was modeled based on the very antenna we’re using for the KD2SL repeater, for a frequency very close to ours.  It is fascinating to look around at different areas and see the effect terrain has on the coverage prediction.  Note also the areas of violet in Vermont, Massachusetts, and northern Pennsylvania!

What is the coverage prediction for your QTH?  Click “comment” below and let us know!

About kd2sl

I'm a lifelong geek, interested in anything electronic, but especially ham radio, radio and TV broadcasting, and computers. Employed as a television engineer for several Syracuse, NY TV stations.
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5 Responses to Coverage Prediction With Google Earth

  1. According to the map here in Beaver Falls, NY I should be able to hear it, and possibly check in, however it maybe quite weak,

  2. Bob says:

    from bob kb1swz. I listen at 8 pm 4-3-12 sorry did not hear anything. I am sure I was to far away. At my home qth 17 miles west of boston. 73,s. Bon

    • kd2sl says:

      Hi Bob, I appreciate your trying. That would be too far unless there is some favorable propagation. Can you hear 53.67 from Oakham, MA?

      73 – KD2SL

  3. kc2plj says:

    Hello Kevin, I used to live in Syracuse and now I am on the very edge of your repeaters footprint in Vestal NY. My QTH is in the middle of a purple shaded area of this overlay you provided. Just curious as to what others are using to get into the machine from 75+ miles away. I have a small M2 3 element 6 meter beam. Will have to put it in the air and give your machine a go. Take Care, Mike KC2PLJ

    • kd2sl says:

      Hello Mike,

      From that distance, hams are having very good results with horizontal beams, and even tuning up into 160m or 80m dipoles. Also, one distant station regularly gets in with a Moxon antenna. The key thing to remember is horizontal polarization.

      73 – KD2SL

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