Digital Reception Challenge: The "Hill" - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 63 Old 06-22-2009, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by walford View Post

I certainly do not think the Hill is the cause of your problem since you are getting all of the UHF channels from the Empire State building and UHF channels are more subject to line of sight problems then VHF.
The problem is that many users who apparenty received analog channels without serious problems are having problems with digital VHF on the same RF channels as you found from the "better or worse" thread( aslthough many of them do not have a VUHF capable antennas such as your 4" rabbit ears). If you can make a simple 300 ohm dipole and suspend it above the railing or move the rabbit ears away from the railing I think you may be able to receive your UVHF channels.
The wide swings on channel 13 are very indicative of multpath reception as the tuner switches between the direct path to the antenna and a signal received from another reflective object.

How about lining the rail with lead - I.E., the shielding jacket they put on you at hospital when they take your x-ray?? LOL! Just supposing.
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post #32 of 63 Old 06-22-2009, 05:25 PM
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LOL,
Did you try a direct connection between the rabbit ears and the TV unit since if it workes then it would indicate that increased signal strength would solve the problem by eliminating the signal loss caused by using a splitter/combiner and therefore could be fixed by putting a signal amplifier between the rabbit ears and the splitter/combiner.
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post #33 of 63 Old 06-23-2009, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here's the actual setup and a photo of the chunka metal I've used to combine the C-2(coax from the left) and the rabbit(flat lead upper-right):
LL
LL
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post #34 of 63 Old 06-23-2009, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walford View Post

LOL,
Did you try a direct connection between the rabbit ears and the TV unit since if it workes then it would indicate that increased signal strength would solve the problem by eliminating the signal loss caused by using a splitter/combiner and therefore could be fixed by putting a signal amplifier between the rabbit ears and the splitter/combiner.

Again, please READ through all of my replies in this thread, where I have repeatedly mentioned that I tried all antennas mentioned here by themselves and in combination with the C-2.

No solo antennas or combinations of antennas get ch7 or ch11, and 13 is shakey.
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post #35 of 63 Old 06-23-2009, 02:31 PM
 
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How about lining the rail with lead - I.E., the shielding jacket they put on you at hospital when they take your x-ray??

If they were broadcasting X-rays, maybe this would have an effect.
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post #36 of 63 Old 06-23-2009, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by duvetyne View Post

If they were broadcasting X-rays, maybe this would have an effect.

I was sarcastically suggesting that lead-lining that shiny flashing on the balcony rail would address some of the possible reflectiotation issues I might be having with the VHF section.

Any takers?
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post #37 of 63 Old 06-23-2009, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D-6500 View Post

Here's the actual setup and a photo of the chunka metal I've used to combine the C-2(coax from the left) and the rabbit(flat lead upper-right):

I have a couple suggestions. First, shorten the rabbit ears to about 15 inches on each side. In the picture they look fully extended, which is good for Low VHF, but is too long for High VHF.

Second, use a UVSJ, not a 2-way power divider/combiner. The UVSJ will have lower loss, and more importantly, it will filter out any VHF signals coming from the UHF antenna. Why is that important? If you combine the signals from the 2 antennas using a 2-way power divider/combiner they may be close to 180 degrees out of phase, in which case they will cancel each other out and you will end up with little or no signal.

Third, you need to keep the 300 Ohm twinlead away from the metal rail. One way to do this would be to put the balun right at the rabbit ears and use coax from there to the UVSJ.
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post #38 of 63 Old 06-23-2009, 04:26 PM
 
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Quote:


reflectiotation issues

Oh, that....can't help you there, you need a specialist
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post #39 of 63 Old 06-23-2009, 05:06 PM
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For channel 7 the minimum rabbit ear length is 36" (18" per side) so 40" is fine and worked before for you with analog.
D65.,,,
When you used only one of the antennas you did not state that the splitter was not also still being used.
I read in one of my searches about your problem that digital signals have a verticle compoent as well as a horizontal component but it did not explain what complications this could cause. It may be that with the metal railing this verticle conponent is being totally blocked.
Have you checked with any neighbors to see if they are receiving digtital 7 or 11 since the cutover?
I believe you stated that the rabbit ears are mounted on a board which is mounted on the railing, have you tried unmounting the board from the railing and moving it away from the railing? (suspending it from the ceiling might provide interesting results)
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post #40 of 63 Old 06-23-2009, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul1000 View Post

I have a couple suggestions. First, shorten the rabbit ears to about 15 inches on each side. In the picture they look fully extended, which is good for Low VHF, but is too long for High VHF.

I tried shortening them last week - 1 section each. No difference. I guess per your suggestion they shouldn't be even half their full heights. I'll try that. Hows the angle on them, by the way??

Second, use a UVSJ, not a 2-way power divider/combiner. The UVSJ will have lower loss, and more importantly, it will filter out any VHF signals coming from the UHF antenna. Why is that important? If you combine the signals from the 2 antennas using a 2-way power divider/combiner they may be close to 180 degrees out of phase, in which case they will cancel each other out and you will end up with little or no signal.

I'll tell you about acquiring that UVSJ - at least through solid signal - It's well-nigh IMPOSSIBLE! You hold for 10 minutes and then get routed to voice mail, which they never call back! And nobody local would even know what a UVSJ combiner IS!

Third, you need to keep the 300 Ohm twinlead away from the metal rail. One way to do this would be to put the balun right at the rabbit ears and use coax from there to the UVSJ.
Balun? You mean the thingie converting the 300ohm twinlead to 75ohm coax? Yeah, I could reposition it I suppose, coil the excess near that brick?

See my responses right after your paragraphs. ^

In summary Paul, your suggestions are very helpful and I will try them over time. What i never understood was how overloading an incoming signal could also result in not pulling it in. I just figured if it was too strong it would be overly bright and distorted - at least in the case of analog.
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post #41 of 63 Old 06-23-2009, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walford View Post

When you used only one of the antennas you did not state that the splitter was not also still being used.

Walford, Walford, WHAT am I going to do with you?

Think about what you said above and whether it makes any sense! WHY would I use a splitter in line with only ONE antenna?

Of COURSE I didn't use the splitter with just one antenna!

I ran RG6 straight from the C-2 to the CM set top, ran a scan, then added a balun to the rg6 and reconnected it directly to the rabbit ears.

Neither pulled in channel 7 or 11, digital, that is. And 13 remains marginal(as of this typing, 30-50% signal strength).
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post #42 of 63 Old 06-23-2009, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just for the heckuvit I shortened the rabbit-ears to 1/2 full height, still did not get 7 or 11, and lost channel 13 altogether.

Either I need a better solution for U-VHF, or Digital on U-VHF is simply not going to work in the market I'm in.

I will try some of the other solutions - perhaps even cutting down the 300ohm twin-lead on the rabbit ears to just 4-5 inches instead of the present 15", and splicing the bare wire into the balun and into the UVSJ Pico once that arrives Tuhsrday or Friday.

Suspending the rabbit-ears from the ceiling won't be an option either because I was born inherently clumsy and will whack it with my head each and everytime I walk across that balcony.

How about a better quality rabbit-ears than the RS I have? It's a little old and wasn't the sturdiest even just out of the stable(!) I remember the ones that used to come with the 19" TVs that were considered standard size in the 70s-80s, you could get a hernia picking up those antennas - they were actually pretty substantial and actually required some muscle to pull the sections out to extend the things. And they didn't double over when you pushed them back in like the $7.99 specials at RS or Zipmart!

Single-owner TV repair shop, perhaps?
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post #43 of 63 Old 06-24-2009, 07:59 AM
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Some interesting links:

http://www.kyes.com/antenna/rabbitear.html

http://www.wfu.edu/~matthews/misc/dipole.html

If only the railing is metal I beleive that you just need a way to get the UVHF antenna away from the railing
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post #44 of 63 Old 07-01-2009, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Last night, Tuesday, I replaced the splitter with the Pico-Macom UVSJ combiner from SolidSignal.

Here is an updated list of what I get and the associated signal levels:
(as of 6/30/09):

CBS: 2.1 - 100%

NBC: 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 - 100%

NYW(Fox): 5.1, 5.2 - 100%

WOR(MyNine): 9.1, 9.2 - 100%

PIX(CW11): 11.1, 11.2 - Fluctuates 90-100%

WNET(PBS): 13.1, 13.2, 13.3 - 60 - 80%(better than 40-80%)

LIW: 21.1, 21.2, 21.3 - 100%

NJN: 23.1, 23.2, 23.3 - 100%(Got it tuesday night after installing the Pico - WITH LIGHTNING & RAIN IN THE VICINITY, don't get at all today - WTH?!)

WNYE: 25.1, 25.2 - 100%

iOnTV: 31.1, 31.2, 31.3 - 100%

Spanish: NJU, XTV, etc: 41.1, 41.2, 47.1, 47.2, 67.x, 68.x 100% except 47 which fluctuates as low as 85% sometimes, but does not break up.

WLNY: 55.1 - 80 - 100%

Overall - Noticeable improvments in signal strengths of channels I've already got. Still no Channel 7(ABC), and I don't understand WHY I got the additional NJN for just one evening, and now no longer get it.

As far as the orientation of the two pickups goes, what you see in the newly attached photos is what works for me. If I move the VHF rabbit ears in any direction from where it is in the photos - I LOSE channels - PERIOD. If I rotate it with respect to the direction the Clearstream C-2 is aimed, I LOSE CHANNELS - PERIOD.

Their proximity to each other and they way they are both aimed maximizes the channels I get to what I listed above. They are complementing each other the way I have them in the photo. And thanks to whomever recommended flattening the rabbit ears out - it even brought in Ch7 for a few minutes - LOL - but it did help 11 & 13.

I thought of cantilevering the rabbit ears out two feet from that rail by nailing two 2x4s together at their ends to form an upside-down "L", the long part of that L hanging down inside the balcony wall to counter-balance the shorter arm hanging out past the edge of the building. That would at least get the rabbit ears away from that metal flashing on the railing.

Your thoughts are appreciated, esp with regards to why I no longer receive channel 23(NJN) - which I also did not get with the old splitter.

** Notice in "Detail of connects" how I gingerly attempted to keep the twin-lead from the rabbit-ears up & away from that flashing!**
LL
LL
LL
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post #45 of 63 Old 07-01-2009, 03:45 PM
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I see a couple of possible areas of improvement

1) That twin lead is running along the mast for the other antenna. You want it separated from anything, especially but not exclusively metal.

2) That appears to be one huge opening. Perhaps you could get a relatively small VHF directional antenna like an Antennacraft Y-5-7-13 in that spot.

The thunderstorms were likely the reason you got WNJS. The characteristics of the atmosphere change around a storm, which could have either enhanced your reception of WNJS, or blocked reception of another station interfering with it.
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post #46 of 63 Old 07-01-2009, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by nybbler View Post

I see a couple of possible areas of improvement

1) That twin lead is running along the mast for the other antenna. You want it separated from anything, especially but not exclusively metal.

2) That appears to be one huge opening. Perhaps you could get a relatively small VHF directional antenna like an Antennacraft Y-5-7-13 in that spot.

The thunderstorms were likely the reason you got WNJS. The characteristics of the atmosphere change around a storm, which could have either enhanced your reception of WNJS, or blocked reception of another station interfering with it.

1) In order to accomplish that, the twin-lead would have to be suspended in mid-air at least 4 inches from said mast and the metal rail covering. I don't know how to do that sort of thing.

2) It's not, really. That's the issue with photos(and video) - they both can make a broom closet look like a ballroom(!). It's 12' wide, and the height of the opening is about 3.5'. Two people leaning there, elbow-to-elbow, would occupy most of the remaining rail from the antennas to the potted plants out of view at the opposite end. Not much room to hang stealth-bomber shaped antennas of any size in.

The thunderstorms - creepy explanation. Think the next time a storm like that crops up I'll get to see the '69 World Series - A La Dennis Quaid? LOL!! Guess I need to go back to school and learn a thing or two about interference. Alls I do know is, ABC(TV & radio) didn't help matters after 9/11 by moving all their transmitters to the Jersey side. So I must be doing SOMEthings right - only ABC7 "absolutely refuses" to come in.
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post #47 of 63 Old 07-01-2009, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by HDTVbroken View Post

This is ridiculous - bring back analog!

Wrong - unfortunately analog won't be back. What should be done is to relocate the small percentage of digital OTA broadcasters from HiVHF to the UHF band like they should have in the first place! That way viewers would need only one antenna, size depending on distance, instead of cobbling two, three, or more together to get what one used to, pre-June 2009.
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post #48 of 63 Old 07-01-2009, 05:14 PM
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You certainly have tried to resolve the problem with some resonable solutions.
Have you checked with any neighbors or with the subforum for your location to see if anyboy else in Westchester is able to get 7,11, and 13 sucessfully?
Have you had any luck in contating ABC to see if they are working on any solutons such as increasing the output power. I agree it would make sense if they could switch back to UHF but who knows how long it would take to make that happen.
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post #49 of 63 Old 07-01-2009, 06:19 PM
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You have an interesting problem that doesn't make any sense. According to various sources I checked (Wikipedia, fybush.com), WABC and WPIX broadcast from Empire on VHF, so if you're getting one you should get the other. According to Wikipedia, WWOR is still on UHF 38.

I wonder if WABC is broadcasting on lower power or with a directional signal. Here in Atlanta we have a VHF channel 11 that's full power and comes in great, but the PBS affiliate is on channel 8 and is lower power and directional. I can't receive it.

Are you getting zero signal on VHF channel 7, or are you getting something (just not enough signal to lock)?
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post #50 of 63 Old 07-01-2009, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by 84lion View Post

You have an interesting problem that doesn't make any sense. According to various sources I checked (Wikipedia, fybush.com), WABC and WPIX broadcast from Empire on VHF, so if you're getting one you should get the other. According to Wikipedia, WWOR is still on UHF 38.

I wonder if WABC is broadcasting on lower power or with a directional signal. Here in Atlanta we have a VHF channel 11 that's full power and comes in great, but the PBS affiliate is on channel 8 and is lower power and directional. I can't receive it.

Are you getting zero signal on VHF channel 7, or are you getting something (just not enough signal to lock)?

In the few cases when I did get channel 7(when the CM 700 locked onto it), it was still too weak to show a moving picture. The sound stuttered and the image froze and pixellated. In fact, the box would simply show a combination of a frozen 7 and a pixellated but moving image of the channel I last tuned in before reaching 7(Fox5 or WOR 9 depending on if I was tuning up or down).

Lately, it does not register at all when I do a full scan(not just an "update").

I admire and appreciate all the concern shown on my thread regarding this, but look: It's ONE channel. I'm not going to fret it! According to TV fool I'm already in a semi-red area behind this hill(which doesn't seem to affect the UHFs as much as the HiVHFs) and theoretically should be getting very little usable signal on any channel, but look at my update - I get practically the whole frickin' NY Metro except for 7! I figure, I'm not going to live here forever, and one day I will live where I will get 7.1 in just fine.
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post #51 of 63 Old 07-02-2009, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D-6500 View Post

1) In order to accomplish that, the twin-lead would have to be suspended in mid-air at least 4 inches from said mast and the metal rail covering. I don't know how to do that sort of thing.

Stand-offs, as few as possible. Radio shack actually still sells them, as product 15-853 and 15-823.

Quote:


2) It's not, really. That's the issue with photos(and video) - they both can make a broom closet look like a ballroom(!). It's 12' wide, and the height of the opening is about 3.5'.

It's the width that is usually a problem -- some VHF antennas are relatively flat vertically, not like corner reflectors. Provided you can stick them out the opening so the length isn't an issue, anyway.

Quote:


Alls I do know is, ABC(TV & radio) didn't help matters after 9/11 by moving all their transmitters to the Jersey side.

Is the building between your antenna and the transmitter? If so, you're probably out of luck unless you can find another location.
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post #52 of 63 Old 07-02-2009, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by nybbler View Post


Is the building between your antenna and the transmitter? If so, you're probably out of luck unless you can find another location.

Did you mean "hill" instead of building, in that last question? I sincerely hope you did. LOL!
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post #53 of 63 Old 07-03-2009, 06:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D-6500 View Post

..... I get practically the whole frickin' NY Metro except for 7!

for whatever its worth > most or all of the owned & operated abc stations are having major signal coverage problems...they mostly all went back to vhf (mostly hi-band vhf ch 7, i think) from uhf after 6/12/09....

in chicago, abc applied to the fcc for higher transmit power and are testing that now....also they applied to the fcc to build a translator transmitter on uhf ch 32 to 'fill in' their signal gaps....

so i bet abc in nyc is doing the same things to fix the mess they are in....so relief may be coming soon for u.....

*** its high time to go back to OTA antennas and CANCEL our cable/satellite pay tv services! their greed is totally & insanely out of control! ***
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post #54 of 63 Old 07-03-2009, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just a heads up - I just caught glance of jjeff's CM-7000 post and noticed a lot of comments on there about its supposed abysmal performance at rendering Hi-VHF digital channels.

I have that converter, and I'm wondering if this might be *part* of my problem. Although again - it's ONLY ch7.1 that will not come in "at all", and everything else is 80 - 100% with reduced fluctuation since dropping in that Pico-Macom UVSJ. Kinda silly to start experimenting with other CECBs just because one channel can't be received, don't youz think??
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post #55 of 63 Old 07-04-2009, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by D-6500 View Post

Did you mean "hill" instead of building, in that last question? I sincerely hope you did. LOL!

No, I meant building (meaning your own building). You said the ABC transmitter was in NJ, whereas the others are on the Empire State Building.
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post #56 of 63 Old 07-04-2009, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by nybbler View Post

No, I meant building (meaning your own building). You said the ABC transmitter was in NJ, whereas the others are on the Empire State Building.

OMG!

Nybbler, I won't even entertain this. PLEASE review my many photos I've attached to my posts and observe which way the antennas are aimed and my narrations.

Then decide for yourself if my building is between my aerials & NYC.
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post #57 of 63 Old 07-04-2009, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Everybody:

This photo was taken aiming roughly toward NYC, the same way my antennas are aimed.

In that vein, does it look like my BUILDING is in between those antennas and the Manhattan transmitters??

(Heaven help us all!!)
LL
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post #58 of 63 Old 07-04-2009, 10:29 AM
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Have you gotten some strandoffs yet at Radion Shack to keep the 300 ohm cable away from the pole?
Following is the only picture I could find of what they look like:

http://www.p4c.philips.com/files/s/s...17_pss_aen.pdf

Also please do not use yellow fonts. I use black text on a white background in the AVSforum and therfore I can't read the yellow.
I can understand your frustration at some of our posts, please understand that we might not of read every post in this thread correctly and therefore some of our posts may duplicate previous posts but we are trying to help you , not to upset you.
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post #59 of 63 Old 07-05-2009, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walford View Post

Have you gotten some strandoffs yet at Radion Shack to keep the 300 ohm cable away from the pole?
Following is the only picture I could find of what they look like:

http://www.p4c.philips.com/files/s/s...17_pss_aen.pdf

Also please do not use yellow fonts. I use black text on a white background in the AVSforum and therfore I can't read the yellow.
I can understand your frustration at some of our posts, please understand that we might not of read every post in this thread correctly and therefore some of our posts may duplicate previous posts but we are trying to help you , not to upset you.

Actully, not yet. and they would have to be arranged in a most interesting fashion to kepe them away from that rail as they go over and down the side toward where the UVSJ combiner is.

To my knowledge, the only yellow in my posts/replies is the names of the links to the photos I've attached(beyond my control), and in my "bolt of lightning" signature. I know I used greeen to insert replies to someone, mid-thread, but beyond that, I've been using defaults.

Thanks for the standoff tip, I will be using them in conjunction with my lumber "cantilever" project to mount the VHF dipole out from the side of this building. Also, lifting the twinlead too far above the rail brings it too close to the C-2, further aggravating reception problems. You can't win!

And like I said, if both antennas aren't aiming in precisely the same direction and aren't positioned relatively to each other, as I have them - reception flounders.

Again people: I have in those photos the worst of all possible OTA environments - surrounded by metal & masonry, a modest hill in the general direction of Manhattan/NJ - you name it! This all in addition to the fact that digital OTA still uses part of the dinosaur VHF band that it should not be on in the first place. Your suggestions and my efforts have optimized the reception as much as possible given the conditions present. Thanks to all here, even if there were some misunderstandings as to where NYC was relative to my apt building.

A wood-frame house with decent line-of-sight would lick all of the above challenges and send my digital channel count skyrocketing accordingly.
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post #60 of 63 Old 07-05-2009, 11:29 AM
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The standoffs permit lots of flexability since after you slide the twinlead into the gromet you turn the gromet and that locks in the twin lead. This allows you make loops were required to keep the twinlead away from other surfaces.
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