join-tenna? or just a combiner? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 06-06-2012, 10:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I have attic installed antennas from Antennas Direct. Almost all of my UHF stations are NNE, the only VHF station is SSW. I point a DB8 in the direction of the majority of the UHF stations, a C5 in the direction of the VHF channel, combined the signal with a diplexer, and call it good. The only problem is that there is one UHF station coming from the same tower as the VHF station. Channel 9.1 is VHF CBS, 9.2 is FOX VHF (SD), and 32.1 is channel 33 UHF, FOX HD. So after everything is hooked up, everything comes in great except the HD version of FOX, which varies from 50-75% on my TV. Since i'm splitting it to a Silicondust network dual tuner, a TV in the gym, and a guest bedroom, I'd like to have better reception on that channel, especially since I'll be using Media Center or Linux boxes as DVRs, recording programs while we're away. I'm currently awaiting an 8 port Channelmaster distribution amp (4db gain ea. port), but that's only to make up for the splits and cable length. I know to really improve reception I'll need a UHF antenna pointed SSW. I've read up on the jointennas, and it looks like that would be the perfect option if a channel 33 version were available. Using a rotor is NOT an option, since the wife has already gotten used to having no antennas visible indoors or out, and the attic isn't very spacious. Since the signals are nearly 180 degrees apart, could I combine in another UHF antenna on the same length of cable as the other, and somehow shield the back sides of the antennas to prevent them from capturing signal from the wrong direction? I can't really use high or low pass filters either, because I have channels above and below 33. Tinlee.com looks to be an expensive option if I have to go that route. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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post #2 of 27 Old 06-06-2012, 10:33 PM
 
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usually the more expensive option is the best way to go. With present day OTA especially with the inferior 8VSB modulation, if you want perfect reception and every channel in the area then you have to pay big time for it. wouldnt be as true had ISDB or DVB-T been selected.
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post #3 of 27 Old 06-07-2012, 03:43 AM
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Pay no attention to the whining by the previous poster. He's been ignoring advice for a year and places the blame everywhere he can think of.

Whether a channel 33 Jointenna (should one even be found) would work or if you'd need a much "tighter" combiner such as the TinLee AC-7 would be needed depends also on what adjacent channels might be in the area. If you post a link to your TVFool plot and point out the desired channels, we can comment further on your requirements.

I will point out that removing the reflector screens on a DB8 will make it bi-directional. This can work, but it does open up the possibility of other new problems, so remove them carefully (drill out the rivets, use screws and nuts to reinstall).
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post #4 of 27 Old 06-07-2012, 04:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eric12341 View Post

usually the more expensive option is the best way to go. With present day OTA especially with the inferior 8VSB modulation, if you want perfect reception and every channel in the area then you have to pay big time for it. wouldnt be as true had ISDB or DVB-T been selected.

That seems completely ridiculous. The only advice you've given seems to be to spend a lot of money. Hate to say it, but that helps me out very little. I have very good reception on all channels in my location, I just don't want to use a roof install with a rotor. I'm in the 95-97% range on every other channel, which is why I'm not using a pre-amp, and got a distribution amp with minimal gain compared to other models.

Project, I've never heard of tvfool. Is it a better resource than antennaweb? I'm on a mobile now, will post the info you asked when I get to my office. Thanks for the tip on removing the db8's reflector. I probably would have never thought of that. Does that cause signal from the former front to be lessened?
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post #5 of 27 Old 06-07-2012, 11:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ProjectSHO89 View Post

Pay no attention to the whining by the previous poster. He's been ignoring advice for a year and places the blame everywhere he can think of.
Whether a channel 33 Jointenna (should one even be found) would work or if you'd need a much "tighter" combiner such as the TinLee AC-7 would be needed depends also on what adjacent channels might be in the area. If you post a link to your TVFool plot and point out the desired channels, we can comment further on your requirements.
I will point out that removing the reflector screens on a DB8 will make it bi-directional. This can work, but it does open up the possibility of other new problems, so remove them carefully (drill out the rivets, use screws and nuts to reinstall).

Wasn't a year, the worst of my problem has been going on for about 3 months now. I don't ignore any advice.
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Originally Posted by bad_the_ba View Post

That seems completely ridiculous. The only advice you've given seems to be to spend a lot of money. Hate to say it, but that helps me out very little. I have very good reception on all channels in my location, I just don't want to use a roof install with a rotor. I'm in the 95-97% range on every other channel, which is why I'm not using a pre-amp, and got a distribution amp with minimal gain compared to other models.
Project, I've never heard of tvfool. Is it a better resource than antennaweb? I'm on a mobile now, will post the info you asked when I get to my office. Thanks for the tip on removing the db8's reflector. I probably would have never thought of that. Does that cause signal from the former front to be lessened?

I can tell you that TVFool is totally wack. It said all I needed was a basic set top antenna to pick up all my stations but that's actually far from the truth. At least AntennaWeb takes trees into account.
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post #6 of 27 Old 06-07-2012, 01:22 PM
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Then... if antennaweb provides better recommendations, wouldn't you be having stable reception? smile.gif
TVFool isn't "whack". rolleyes.gif
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post #7 of 27 Old 06-07-2012, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ProjectSHO89 View Post

If you post a link to your TVFool plot and point out the desired channels, we can comment further on your requirements.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d1349c89e8fe846

That site seems pretty thorough, lists a lot more channels than I figured I COULD get, although I know for certain a lot of them are translators or duplicates. For me the major networks are my biggest concern.

WWTV RF 9 (9.1) is CBS. I have no problem picking this up with the C5, well above 90% all the time, most of the time closer to 97%. This is one of the most powerful transmitters in Michigan's lower peninsula, and very few people have any trouble getting this station even with indoor combo antennas.

WCMV-DT RF 17 (27.1-3) is PBS/Create. I have no problem picking this up with the DB8, also 97% locked, never drops.

WPBN-TV RF 47 (7.1) is NBC, also 97%, never drops.

WGTU RF 29 (29.1) is ABC, also 97%, never drops.

WFQX RF 33 (32.1) is FOX, which I had at ~75% with infrequent drops. With splitting 3 ways it now bounces between 55-75% with more frequent drops in windy or rainy weather.
9.2 (secondary because of the CBS and FOX affiliates merging) is also FOX, but only broadcast in SD, so I'd like to do whatever is reasonable to make sure RF 33 comes in reliable from the south.

Of very small concern is also WMNN-LD, which is a small start-up independent news and classic TV/movies company I have been wanting to see if I could get, but I don't really need it. I have friends a couple miles away that can get it from time to time with a tripod roof mount antenna with no rotor, but they have a 2 story and I have a 1 story. They have a very low power transmitter, and if it requires a pre-amp or roof antenna I'm not going to bother. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WMNN-LD

I'm open to trying anything that involves moving or rotating, other than roof installation, and will update this after I get the Channelmaster distribution amp and play with things that way. Also, I'll rotate the db8 to the south in the near future and see what signal I get direct to the TV with no splitter and no amp. I'm going to hold off on drilling out the reflector rivets for now, but I appreciate the idea. If you look at the tvfool link you'll see the desired channels aren't exactly 180° like I first thought. It had been a while since I looked at the antennaweb map.
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Originally Posted by eric12341 View Post

Wasn't a year, the worst of my problem has been going on for about 3 months now. I don't ignore any advice.
I can tell you that TVFool is totally wack. It said all I needed was a basic set top antenna to pick up all my stations but that's actually far from the truth. At least AntennaWeb takes trees into account.

Since I'm the one asking for help in this thread, I can officially say you've offered no assistance, just annoyance. I don't believe for one second that I have to spend loads of money to get these channels in, especially since even now it's adequate and I have channel 9.2 to revert to if the HD FOX feed fails. Although I don't have a ton of experience in radio frequency and how it travels, I do run a computer repair and networking business, and have paid the bare minimum through distributors for the setup I do have. I believe I've done most of my research before posting, and appreciate the thoughts from those that have responded with assistance.
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post #8 of 27 Old 06-07-2012, 03:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bad_the_ba View Post

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d1349c89e8fe846
That site seems pretty thorough, lists a lot more channels than I figured I COULD get, although I know for certain a lot of them are translators or duplicates. For me the major networks are my biggest concern.
WWTV RF 9 (9.1) is CBS. I have no problem picking this up with the C5, well above 90% all the time, most of the time closer to 97%. This is one of the most powerful transmitters in Michigan's lower peninsula, and very few people have any trouble getting this station even with indoor combo antennas.
WCMV-DT RF 17 (27.1-3) is PBS/Create. I have no problem picking this up with the DB8, also 97% locked, never drops.
WPBN-TV RF 47 (7.1) is NBC, also 97%, never drops.
WGTU RF 29 (29.1) is ABC, also 97%, never drops.
WFQX RF 33 (32.1) is FOX, which I had at ~75% with infrequent drops. With splitting 3 ways it now bounces between 55-75% with more frequent drops in windy or rainy weather.
9.2 (secondary because of the CBS and FOX affiliates merging) is also FOX, but only broadcast in SD, so I'd like to do whatever is reasonable to make sure RF 33 comes in reliable from the south.
Of very small concern is also WMNN-LD, which is a small start-up independent news and classic TV/movies company I have been wanting to see if I could get, but I don't really need it. I have friends a couple miles away that can get it from time to time with a tripod roof mount antenna with no rotor, but they have a 2 story and I have a 1 story. They have a very low power transmitter, and if it requires a pre-amp or roof antenna I'm not going to bother. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WMNN-LD
I'm open to trying anything that involves moving or rotating, other than roof installation, and will update this after I get the Channelmaster distribution amp and play with things that way. Also, I'll rotate the db8 to the south in the near future and see what signal I get direct to the TV with no splitter and no amp. I'm going to hold off on drilling out the reflector rivets for now, but I appreciate the idea. If you look at the tvfool link you'll see the desired channels aren't exactly 180° like I first thought. It had been a while since I looked at the antennaweb map.
Since I'm the one asking for help in this thread, I can officially say you've offered no assistance, just annoyance. I don't believe for one second that I have to spend loads of money to get these channels in, especially since even now it's adequate and I have channel 9.2 to revert to if the HD FOX feed fails. Although I don't have a ton of experience in radio frequency and how it travels, I do run a computer repair and networking business, and have paid the bare minimum through distributors for the setup I do have. I believe I've done most of my research before posting, and appreciate the thoughts from those that have responded with assistance.


That TVFool reading is indeed interesting, only a few of your channels are so called green, rest are gray. Good thing you don't have any trees around or else you would be screwed.
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post #9 of 27 Old 06-07-2012, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eric12341 View Post

That TVFool reading is indeed interesting, only a few of your channels are so called green, rest are gray. Good thing you don't have any trees around or else you would be screwed.
Please stop trying to hijack my thread. I get all the major networks very easily, even with an indoor antenna. As I've made very clear, all i'm trying to do is permanently install the antennas so that they are invisible and require no interaction from me. Nearly all the grey channels you observed are translators for affiliates I already get. I have plenty of trees around, i'm in freaking Michigan. I'm not anywhere close to being "screwed", wether I get my info from tvfool or not. I'm not interested in your fight, only in information that will help me. Thanks.
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post #10 of 27 Old 06-07-2012, 06:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bad_the_ba View Post

Please stop trying to hijack my thread. I get all the major networks very easily, even with an indoor antenna. As I've made very clear, all i'm trying to do is permanently install the antennas so that they are invisible and require no interaction from me. Nearly all the grey channels you observed are translators for affiliates I already get. I have plenty of trees around, i'm in freaking Michigan. I'm not anywhere close to being "screwed", wether I get my info from tvfool or not. I'm not interested in your fight, only in information that will help me. Thanks.

Just trying to get the word out that 8VSB and TVFool are not as good as this site may think. Back in the day I used to be able to get WXMI,WNDU and FOX28 (don't know the call letters) from my location with an indoor antenna without a problem. Now I can barely even get my locals, so something is up.
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post #11 of 27 Old 06-07-2012, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eric12341 View Post

Just trying to get the word out that 8VSB and TVFool are not as good as this site may think. Back in the day I used to be able to get WXMI,WNDU and FOX28 (don't know the call letters) from my location with an indoor antenna without a problem. Now I can barely even get my locals, so something is up.
And if you'd read my first couple posts, you'd see that I'd already looked up info on antennaweb, and had never heard of tvfool. That's not what the thread is about, its about the antennas and equipment necessary to accomplish a specific purpose in my area. Whatever website or database adds to the info I've accumulated about my area's reception is a plus. You keep reiterating things that have nothing to do with the issues I've brought up. I DON'T have a poor signal issue, it's mainly a direction issue. I'm not going to respond to your crap again, everyone else has been very helpful.
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post #12 of 27 Old 06-08-2012, 08:47 AM
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Since you have such high signal strengths on your northeasterly UHF stations, the easiest solution is what ProjectSHO89 has suggested, namely, carefully removing the reflector screens on your DB8 to make it bi-directional. The gain will will be somewhat reduced, but it seems you have plenty of signal anyway. It would be fine if you had an 80-85 signal on all UHF channels, I'd think. You could then orient the DB8 somewhere between NE-SW and NNE-SSW to optimize signal strength for all UHF stations, while also positioning the DB8 at the very highest point of your attic, close to the rafters, to maximize signal strength. If it didn't work well for some reason, you'd pick up some bolts/nuts and reattach the reflectors.

The jointennas work very well (I use two now), but they're discontinued and difficult to get, in case you wanted to instead add a second UHF antenna. Warren Electronics has a few left for channels other than 32 (your WFQX-Fox is on real channel 32, not 33), but their model numbering scheme is not currently correct for these items. As I understand it (others can confirm or correct this), model 585-1 is tunable for channels 14-29; model 585-2 is tunable for channels 30-49; and model 585-3 is tunable for channels 50-69 (maybe higher). Perhaps if you contacted Warren Electronics about the channel 40 version they have left (which appears to be the only actual 585-2 in their current stock), it could be re-tuned by them, Channel Master, someone on these boards with such talents or maybe even by yourself, to channel 32.

Hope this is helpful - good luck...

http://www.warrenelectronics.com/antennas/Jointennas.htm
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1152566/the-great-jointenna-exchange
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post #13 of 27 Old 06-08-2012, 09:29 AM
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Perhaps if you contacted Warren Electronics about the channel 40 version

No longer in stock. Besides that, they have the model numbers messed up of the high UHF ones (should be -3) and the ch 40 should have been a -2. Trust me, I've been looking for a -2 for awhile.

Removal of the reflector screen as suggested is your easiest DIY experiment. Just keep in mind "TANSTAAFL". You will reduce forward gain and eliminate the F/B ratio that helps with multi-path.

Good luck!

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post #14 of 27 Old 06-08-2012, 11:10 AM
 
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Yea we don't want to introduce multipath, once that happens bye bye signals. Especially with our inferior 8VSB modulation which still cannot tolerate it like the standard used in Latin America, Europe and Asia.
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post #15 of 27 Old 06-08-2012, 01:18 PM
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My goodness! Please stop attributing your lack of family support, knowledge, funds, lack of a ladder and frustration to everyone. eek.gif
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post #16 of 27 Old 06-08-2012, 01:47 PM
 
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My goodness! Please stop attributing your lack of family support, knowledge, funds, lack of a ladder and frustration to everyone. eek.gif

Just spreading the truth that apparently no one likes to hear. Broadcast networks have been petitioning the FCC not to use such an inferior standard since long before the transition, but they didn't listen.
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post #17 of 27 Old 06-08-2012, 02:41 PM
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There's no problem with the truth. No one likes to hear one individual's whining and excuses for not being able to resolve their issues after suggestions have been provided.

But now that you've derailed the thread, I'd be interested to see any documentation that you can provide in regard to broadcast networks petitioning the FCC for the choice of modulation.
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post #18 of 27 Old 06-08-2012, 04:31 PM
 
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There's no problem with the truth. No one likes to hear one individual's whining and excuses for not being able to resolve their issues after suggestions have been provided.
But now that you've derailed the thread, I'd be interested to see any documentation that you can provide in regard to broadcast networks petitioning the FCC for the choice of modulation.


Here's one article I read the other day about that

http://svconline.com/mag/avinstall_dtv_holy_grail/
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post #19 of 27 Old 06-09-2012, 04:46 AM
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I'll take Pete's word on the petitions (he is a reliable source). OTOH, that article is from 2000. 1st generation ATSC receivers were quite bad and attributed to poor reception and dropouts. Even so, apparently he got good results with his testing.
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post #20 of 27 Old 06-09-2012, 02:23 PM
 
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I'll take Pete's word on the petitions (he is a reliable source). OTOH, that article is from 2000. 1st generation ATSC receivers were quite bad and attributed to poor reception and dropouts. Even so, apparently he got good results with his testing.
They still are bad unless somehow all the TVs in my house are using receivers from that generation which I don't think is likely, here's a rundown of all the TVs in my house.

Living Room-Sony Bravia 42" (purchased in 2010)
Parents room- Emerson 32" (purchased in 2007)
Sisters room- Sylvania 32" (purchased in 2009)
My Room- Apex digital 32" SDTV (purchased in 2003,hooked up to apex converter box that was purchased in 2009)
My Brothers TV in basement-Samsung 32" (purchased in 2011)

The TVs in my parents and sisters room get the worst reception, while everywhere else gets equal or slightly better reception.
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post #21 of 27 Old 06-10-2012, 05:38 AM
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LOL. 5 TV's being fed by one Improperly mounted antenna? How do you have that managerie layed out?
(Run lengths? all RG6? Who installed the F connectors? Crimp, compression or "screw on"? How many splitters? Any amps (antenna pre-amp/distribution amp)?

No surprise that an Emerson and Sylvania get the worst reception. tongue.gif
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post #22 of 27 Old 06-10-2012, 12:27 PM
 
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LOL. 5 TV's being fed by one Improperly mounted antenna? How do you have that managerie layed out?
(Run lengths? all RG6? Who installed the F connectors? Crimp, compression or "screw on"? How many splitters? Any amps (antenna pre-amp/distribution amp)?
No surprise that an Emerson and Sylvania get the worst reception. tongue.gif

It is all RG6 except for my bros TV in the basement and my sisters TV, there's just one splitter which is just hooked up to an amp that was left by the cable installation. I already tried the antenas on each of the TVs separately and found reception to be better how it is now. Why should I have to have a properly mounted antenna to get signals that were working fine before? That's my problem, this 8VSB modulation simply cannot penetrate structure very well.
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post #23 of 27 Old 06-10-2012, 02:25 PM
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Eric, are you still using the huge 8-bay UHF antenna, that used to be in your YouTube videos?
I wonder if that thing is just overloading any amplifiers you have in the system.

As for 8VSB vs COFDM, I remember some seminars we went to, and one of the problems was that the countries that used COFDM were using 7 or 8 MHz channels, and still only getting enough bandwidth to do about five or six SDTV channels and some "radio" channels. With only six megahertz to work with in the USA, we would not have been able to do HDTV...or, maybe only ONE HD channel and no subs.

The other problem was that the USA uses widely spaced, high powered transmitter sites, and most of the COFDM countries used lower-powered "community" transmitter sites. That had something to do with having to make a different system.

Back on track,.....looks like the "Channel 33" is actually on 32, so there should be enough "pad" above and below to use a JoinTenna. If they are not available, remember that a JoinTenna is just filters and a combiner....someone like Warren Electronics, Tin-Lee, or Microwave Filter Company ought to be able to rig up something.
Or, just split the signals from the one odd antenna, and use an A-B switch on the set(s) that want that channel.

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post #24 of 27 Old 06-10-2012, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by eric12341 View Post

It is all RG6 except for my bros TV in the basement and my sisters TV, there's just one splitter which is just hooked up to an amp that was left by the cable installation. I already tried the antenas on each of the TVs separately and found reception to be better how it is now. Why should I have to have a properly mounted antenna to get signals that were working fine before? That's my problem, this 8VSB modulation simply cannot penetrate structure very well.
One spltter, an old cable TV amp, one antenna, 5 TV's. And... you have problems because of 8VSB? biggrin.gif
VSB is done... 8VSB is the standard. Resolve your infrastructure issues and I'm sure you'll see an improvement.
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post #25 of 27 Old 06-10-2012, 05:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

One spltter, an old cable TV amp, one antenna, 5 TV's. And... you have problems because of 8VSB? biggrin.gif
VSB is done... 8VSB is the standard. Resolve your infrastructure issues and I'm sure you'll see an improvement.

The reason I'm resorting to this configuration is because it wouldn't work otherwise. The indoor antennas I have did not work on the TVs when I hooked them up individually. This is all because the 8VSB simply cannot penetrate the trees, brick and possibly chicken wire insulation of my house as its the oldest one on the block. I've also tried removing the amp to eliminate the possibility of overload and that didn't work either.
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post #26 of 27 Old 06-10-2012, 10:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Still haven't received my Channelmaster distribution amp from Amazon, but the TV's I do have hooked up via a splitter right now have obvious differences in signal on channel 32.1/RF 33, because of the 7db drop on 2 ports of a triple splitter. As soon as I see that amp, I'll play with rotating the DB8 antenna nearly 180°, and later removing the reflector on the DB8 and rotating it back to he north. Until I see the amp, it's not really worth going up in the attic. Thanks for all the suggestions, and if I can get UHF from 2 directions without adding an antenna and jointenna or other filter(s), I'll be happy and much appreciative of the advice here.
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post #27 of 27 Old 06-11-2012, 05:22 AM
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Eric,

Please keep your concerns in your own thread instead of hijacking another conversation unless you have something constructive to contribute. To do otherwise is considered to be rude and immature.


bad,

Let us know how it turns out. Keep the reflector removal tip in mind as it's cheap and offers a decent chance of working for you.

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