[Portland] GE Amplified Antenna trouble (24700-2) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-27-2013, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
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So after doing some research, I went to Target and picked up their 2nd from the top of the line antenna that they stocked. It's a GE Digital Indoor Amplified Antenna (24700-2).

I was curious to see if I really needed an amplified signal, so I hooked up just the coax cable and aimed it NxNW based on TV Fool (LIST and ran my channel programing.
Here are my results:
2-1
2-2
6-1
10-1
10-2 (these require me to rotate the antenna to actually get a picture)
10-3

24-1
24-2
24-3
24-4
24-5
32-1
32-3
32-3

Not too shabby for just the antenna. They all come in crystal clear (with the exception of 10) but most of them are shopping/religious/etc. Only 2 and 6 are ABC and CBS. So let's see how many channels I get with the amplifier plugged in.

Here are my results:

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. As soon as I plug in the power cable to the back of the antenna, the signal meter on my TV goes from half power to "No Signal" and as soon as I unplug is, it goes right back up to half power.

Any ideas why this would be happening? Faulty antenna? Interference? Any input would be great.
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-27-2013, 06:09 PM
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Almost certainly signal overload because of the amplifier. Your TV fool report shows very high signal levels on 25+ channels, from transmitters that are only a few miles away
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-27-2013, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Does that mean I am better off without an amplified antenna? And if that is the case, how come I am only really picking up 3 national channels and 2 obscure ones?
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-27-2013, 07:15 PM
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Get rid of the amplified antenna and use an antenna that has no amp.

An inexpensive loop and rabbit ears antenna is all you need. Don't fall for the marketing bull$hit.

Quote:
how come I am only really picking up 3 national channels and 2 obscure ones?

Probably because you're using the wrong antenna for your circumstances.
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-27-2013, 11:12 PM
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Electrical interference and multipath are very likely culprits for problems indoors. Obviously the amplification isn't working with the antenna you have now. A better antenna for you may not be one that is more expensive. More gain is not what is needed when those are the problems. I've used a DB2-e in a room where it does worse than a single classic bowtie, a Leaf, an HD-Blade, and a Flatwave. The DB2-e has better documented gain than all of those antennas for UHF, but it doesn't matter. You can try moving your current antenna with a longer cable in an attempt to find a sweet spot for reception, but understand that multipath can make the correct aim for one station wrong for another. This is true even if the broadcasts come from the same tower. Put away the compass and aim for a single channel at a time.

Additional channel scans would also be a good idea. You should at least be able to scan into your tvs memory many more channels than you have now. If your tv allows checking for specific frequencies, you can aim for one at a time. Good Luck.
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-28-2013, 01:40 AM
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Those GE branded antennas at Target are not very good. A very good indoor antenna is the HDTVi from Terk. Also HDTVa but you don't need amplified. And in your case with strong signals, the basic unamped rabbit ears and loop from RadioShack should work well, and it is one of the better performers in this basic category.
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-28-2013, 10:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately, my TV's scan will not list any channel that doesn't have a strong signal. And manually entering them didn't work either. I'm not sure if it matters, but I also had my wireless router a couple feet way from the amplified antenna.

I ended up taking it back and exchanged it for the GE 24734 (they only carry GE) and I rescanned and got 32 channels. Works for me. Between that and my Xbox, I should be able to cut cable now and just keep the internet connection.smile.gif
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-28-2013, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
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What is the difference between UHF and VHF? Are channels based on spectrum like radio stations, and just cross the threshold between the two? Or do I only need one type for what I'm using it for?
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-29-2013, 12:50 AM
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Real channels 2-13 are VHF, and 14 and above are UHF. Referring to the radio frequency bands the signals exist on. Rabbit ears are best designed to receive VHF signals for TV and FM radio, whereas the round loop or X-shaped bow ties best capture UHF TV signals in the upper bands. Digital TV signals are usually easier to receive on UHF rather than VHF, especially with indoor antennas. Glad your new antenna is working, and as I predicted, the basic rabbit ears and loop design is all that was needed at your location due to strong signals. Those flat panels can have poor reception, and the amp was probably overloading your tuner. Also, be aware when scanning or tuning your TV for channels, that the real channels may not be the same as the virtual channels that the TV displays for channel branding in digital television.
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-29-2013, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy Dieterich View Post

What is the difference between UHF and VHF? Are channels based on spectrum like radio stations, and just cross the threshold between the two? Or do I only need one type for what I'm using it for?

The type of antenna you need is one that works. Indoors this can't be predicted. Some people use antennas labeled as UHF and receive VHF signals. Some use VHF antennas and receive UHF. Antennas aren't designed to reject signals. They are designed to perform better on certain signals. This is where interference and multipath become factors. The passive antenna you have now might be better for UHF without the rabbit ears, or it may be better because of them. Luckily, you got your channels scanned and can begin to learn what works or doesn't for you. Reset your tvs video settings and your OTA picture may look even better. Congrats.
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