Wife is cranky....we need better reception! Rhode Island - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 08-07-2014, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Wife is cranky....we need better reception! Rhode Island

We just bought out dream house (which is surrounded by trees), so putting an antenna on the roof does not have a high WAP (wife approval factor), yet we still need our basic channels: PBS, ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX.

I currently have a Mohu Sky mounted in our eaves (roof is sloped and shingled). I also bought a 30db preamp. I've tried to move that damn antenna in every conceivable angle - currently it is facing true north which is where most local channels are located.

TV reception upstairs is decent most days, but still blippy now and then. Downstairs reception is a nightmare, Fox doesn't even register even though I get it upstairs. What is wrong with my setup? Does my older DLP TV have a crappy tuner? Should I go to separate antennas (VHF and UHF)? My eaves are pretty small so huge antennas are not an option.

Please Advise.

Thanks, Tom
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post #2 of 27 Old 08-07-2014, 04:27 PM
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It's likely the older TV is less tolerant of multipath than the newer one which is likely your problem since your basic channels are very strong. Trees are notorious for causing multipath especially on UHF.

The preamp you have is likely unnecessary. Higher gain seldom equals better signals. The article on my DTV page explains this.

What's more important, the WAF or receiving the stations? If it's the WAF then get satellite or cable. If it's receiving the stations then get a better antenna and put it up higher.

There are no magic antennas that will solve tree caused multipath if that's the problem. Sometimes repositioning the antenna will help if it doesn't mess up another station.


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post #3 of 27 Old 08-07-2014, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for replying

To answer your question sat and cable are out since I refuse to pay for them, they would be a LAST resort...I'm determined to find a decent attic-based solution or at least die trying. I secretly enjoy the "game".

You also described the problem I'm facing...I'll get all the channels in but FOX (for example), I'll move the antenna foot and FOX will come in but PBS won't. I'll get everything fine upstairs and its a mess downstairs, then vice-versa.

Is separate antennas (UHF/VHF) a solution worth trying? Or should the Mohu Sky be sufficient and the trees are the culprit no matter what antenna I use.

50 feet isn't that long of a run, so am I correct in assuming that I'm not losing that much signal strength to the downstairs TV?

Thanks
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post #4 of 27 Old 08-07-2014, 05:30 PM
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You really should try a directional combo in your attic. Your local Fox and CBS are broadcast on channels 12 and 13, so you need a "real" antenna, which is to say, an antenna that looks like an antenna.

Unfortunate that you do not have line-of-site transmission paths to the Boston transmitters, because they are in the same direction as the Providence ones, but your chances of receiving them will improve with a larger directional antenna. Winegard models 7694P through 7698P are tried and proven and reasonably priced. The bigger the better.
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post #5 of 27 Old 08-07-2014, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AntAltMike View Post
You really should try a directional combo in your attic. Your local Fox and CBS are broadcast on channels 12 and 13, so you need a "real" antenna, which is to say, an antenna that looks like an antenna.

Unfortunate that you do not have line-of-site transmission paths to the Boston transmitters, because they are in the same direction as the Providence ones, but your chances of receiving them will improve with a larger directional antenna. Winegard models 7694P through 7698P are tried and proven and reasonably priced. The bigger the better.
My eaves are not that big...I'm guessing from the back wall to the point where the rafter meet the flooring is only 4 1/2" feet and only 5' tall. I'll take pics tomorrow and see if you guys can recommend another antenna (or antennas) to try.
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post #6 of 27 Old 08-07-2014, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfurman1919 View Post
My eaves are not that big...I'm guessing from the back wall to the point where the rafter meet the flooring is only 4 1/2" feet and only 5' tall. I'll take pics tomorrow and see if you guys can recommend another antenna (or antennas) to try.
I'm talking about inside the house. Your attic has to be as big as the rooms that the roof shelters.
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post #7 of 27 Old 08-08-2014, 03:09 AM
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The Sky already has an amplifier built into it. You cannot add a 30 dB amplifier without causing new problems.
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post #8 of 27 Old 08-08-2014, 06:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ProjectSHO89 View Post
The Sky already has an amplifier built into it. You cannot add a 30 dB amplifier without causing new problems.
The Sky comes with a preamp +15 (not built in) and I replaced that with a +30 preamp. Reception improved mildly....
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post #9 of 27 Old 08-08-2014, 10:18 AM
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Wife is cranky yet she doesn't want it on the roof...trade in the wife!

Even so I doubt she'd even notice the antenna you have now installed on the roof. Attics can be extremely problematic because of metal flashing and multipath issues...heck, even moving it 10 feet in one direction can make a huge difference. Still I had a lot of problems when I had my antenna in the attic, broke down one sunny day and move it to the highest spot on the roof, yet inconspicuous spot and suddenly all the Boston stations 50+ miles away came in full strength!
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post #10 of 27 Old 08-08-2014, 12:27 PM
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You have two high VHF channels FOX and CBS but all of the main channels are very strong. Even though you probably don't need the gain, a small directional antenna that covers VHF high and UHF would likely work out at your location to help with multipath. I would try an ANT751 or HBU22 without a preamp. The 30 dB preamp is almost guaranteed to cause more harm than good at your location. If you need some gain to drive a splitter and long cable use a Channel Master 3414.
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post #11 of 27 Old 08-08-2014, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfurman1919 View Post
The Sky comes with a preamp +15 (not built in) and I replaced that with a +30 preamp. Reception improved mildly....

Well, son of a gun! I didn't think that Mohu was stupid enough to throw one of those amps at the end of a 30' coax cable. I guess I underestimated them...

Anyway, replacing a 15 dB amp with a 30 dB amp wouldn't be expected to change reception unless there were a lot of downstream losses (splitters or cables) to be overcome.
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post #12 of 27 Old 08-10-2014, 05:30 PM
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Answers -

You do NOT need that 30db Amp - not helping and likely causing overloading problems.

The heck with the wife's desires - you want OTA reception - get a real antenna (some were suggested by other posters) that covers upper VHF as well as UHF frequecies and put it outside up on the roof.. Concentrate on getting the TV closest to the antenna working on all channels first, then take it from there on distributing signal to the rest of the TVs. I live in a forest and I use OTA (I use a UHF only and a VHF only antenna, combined with a pre-amp) and I'm also about 22 miles from my TV stations. Reception IS possible in your location, but it will take some experimentation to get a solution that works.

If she is absolutely adamant about "no TV antennas outside" - call the cable company. You should be able to subscribe to a "local channels only" type package.

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...

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post #13 of 27 Old 08-12-2014, 06:58 AM
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Here is the problem. The Mohu Sky has a built in amp. The external inline amp is actually a remote power supply. Switching an amp will not help but make matters worse. The Mohu amp may be subject to overload, and without the power supply it could block the signal. I say get a real antenna such as Antennacraft HBU-22 or HBU-33, or a Winegard version 7694 or 7696. If you need a low gain amp, then try a Channel Master 3414 distribution amp. It is resistant to overload and low gain which is all you need. And can also be used as a preamp with a separate power supply.
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post #14 of 27 Old 08-12-2014, 07:35 AM
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The Mohu Sky has a built in amp. The external inline amp is actually a remote power supply.
Actually, no. See the owner's guide for the antenna.

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post #15 of 27 Old 08-12-2014, 07:45 AM
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I remember a couple of decades ago, Radio Shack made an amplifier product that actually had two physically separate amplifier stages. There was the power supply/amplifier unit that had a gain control pot on it, and there was a tiny thingies that looked like a balun but it, too, had an amplifier in it, and if you replaced it with an ordinary balun, it would suck the voltage down to a level at which the amplifier in the power supply unit wouldn't work, either. You could make it work as a distribution amplifier without the dedicated balun/preamplifier, but only if you put a DC block on the antenna input lead. And of course, if someone misplaced or discarded the power supply/amplifier base unit, the balun/amplifier thingie that looked like a balun wouldn't work like a balun without power going to it.

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post #16 of 27 Old 08-12-2014, 08:02 AM
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Radio Shack made an amplifier product that actually had two physically separate amplifier stages.
I think that their current 15-526 still uses that same set up.

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post #17 of 27 Old 08-12-2014, 09:22 AM
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Actually, no. See the owner's guide for the antenna.
Well I have inquired about that before and may have been misinformed by the sales rep. But supposedly their inline amp has a low noise figure, but I am not sure how it compares to the LNA-100 from Winegard. And it still could be an overload issue. But overall, a better antenna may solve the problem rather than issues with the amp.
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post #18 of 27 Old 08-12-2014, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input guys...

I am not opposed to trying a different antenna....I just measured my eaves and it is only 4' x 4' (approx)...the HBU models would not fit...is there a different model you recommend I try? Something shaped like a DB8?
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post #19 of 27 Old 08-12-2014, 07:04 PM
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You could try this http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp...ce=google_base
It has very little directivity for your FOX and CBS stations though. I don't think on is available off the shelf but a 3 element Yaggi for the VHF high band would be about 25 by 20-30 inches. This is the smallest antenna that would provide directivity for those two stations.
John
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post #20 of 27 Old 08-12-2014, 09:22 PM
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You could try this http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp...ce=google_base
It has very little directivity for your FOX and CBS stations though. I don't think on is available off the shelf but a 3 element Yaggi for the VHF high band would be about 25 by 20-30 inches. This is the smallest antenna that would provide directivity for those two stations.
John
I use this antenna & it picks up my 4 VHF station, 7,9,11&13, at 40 miles away. I have it hanging in my utility closet.
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post #21 of 27 Old 08-16-2014, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
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I just bought a new 55" Vizio to replace my older DLP downstairs. I only get like five channels on it now...I get nothing on channels 12.1 and 64.1 which are both very close to me!
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post #22 of 27 Old 08-16-2014, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tfurman1919 View Post
I just bought a new 55" Vizio to replace my older DLP downstairs. I only get like five channels on it now...I get nothing on channels 12.1 and 64.1 which are both very close to me!
Now I'm still a little fizzy on all the UHF/VHF/HIGH-BAND stuff....theoretically, the Winegard HD-1080 should be sufficent to pick up the major channels near me? Such as 2.1, 6.1, 10.1, 12.1 and 64.1?

Also am I correct in my uderstanding that antennas like the Winegard 7694p which state the boom is 65" meaning that is the overall length of the antenna?

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post #23 of 27 Old 08-16-2014, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
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ok I' back...I turned down the gain on the preamp and rescanned. Now everything but 10.1 is coming in perfectly...I'm going to up the gain a little until I get 10.1 back in.
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post #24 of 27 Old 08-16-2014, 12:25 PM
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Glad things are getting better.
The channel numbers you see on your TV have nothing to do with the RF channel received by the antenna. To find out what type of antenna you need look at the real column on your TVFool listing.
7-13 are VHF high. 14 and up are UHF. FOX and CBS from Providence use real channels 12 and 13.
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post #25 of 27 Old 08-17-2014, 08:23 AM
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If you need a compact antenna for HiVHF and UHF, then consider the Clearstream 2V from Antennas Direct. Sold at Walmart and Best Buy. And Walmart also has a decent inexpensive RCA inline amp for $15 that may be helpful. Also, you can consider a DB8e from Antennas Direct and add on the VHF dipole kit as another option. And there is also the Winegard Flatwave Air amplified antenna, but that may not be the best choice, but something to consider.
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post #26 of 27 Old 08-17-2014, 08:35 AM
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When you use an antenna that has relatively little gain on the VHF and then preamplify the strong UHF along with the weak VHF in the same amplifier, then the UHF signal beats up the VHF signal.
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post #27 of 27 Old 08-17-2014, 09:41 AM
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^^Yea sometimes amps help, sometimes they don't. Or you may need to separately amplify the VHF and not the UHF. Or vice versa. Or use filters or an attenuator, depending upon your situation.
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