Waterford (Detroit), MI: Antenna/DTV Signal Woes - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-20-2017, 06:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Waterford (Detroit), MI: Antenna/DTV Signal Woes

Tried it first in my local market thread. Searched and searched, here and elsewhere, so...

For starters: Here's the TVFool results: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e6a42ef8be46d6

We have a Winegard HD7078P at about 30' off the ground. (Elevation is approx. 960 feet AMSL.)

I also have a Winegard Flatwave Amped tacked-up in the SE corner of the family room, which is the SE corner of the house.

As you'll see from the TVFool results, there's a cluster of stations at about ±135°. Those are the stations in which we're primarily interested.

Here's the problem: Whenever the wind blows, most of those stations go right to pieces with the HD7078P hooked up. Even in the wintertime when the big old maple that is right on that bearing, and only 75' away or so, is leafless. (There's another, smaller maple at about 145°, too.) Switch to the Flatwave Amped and the problem goes away.

"What's the problem?" you may ask. "Just use the Flatwave." Yeah, except Canadian channel 9 doesn't show up.

Now I know this antenna/propagation stuff is "magic" (Long-time radio guy. Way long-time. From HF to microwave. Have done my own antenna design/fab in the past), but I'm kinda sorta suspecting that rooftop antenna is the culprit. (Coax [RG6] is fine and so are the connections. Double- and triple-checked.) I'm wondering if a different antenna, of a different design might not solve the problem?

One of my best friends has one of these: https://www.amazon.com/ClearStream-I...2Boutdoor&th=1 way out in the sticks the other side of Houghton Lake, surrounded by big ol' jack pines and realizes good performance.

My stations are nearer. Maybe a ClearStream C2V?

Or maybe one of these: https://www.amazon.com/Channel-Maste...ntenna+outdoor (which rates on Amazon better than the ClearStream). Looks kind of big, though. I do want to keep wind load to a minimum, as the mast is on a chimney mount.

I don't believe I need the low-VHF the current yagi gave me, anymore?

Thanks for any insights or suggestions.

Jim
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-20-2017, 07:26 AM
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Maybe there's an intermittent connection in the Winegard. Your local stations are extremely strong and it's unlikely that it's a multipath problem caused by trees when the trees have no leaves. The fact that the other antenna doesn't have this problem tends to support this idea. Multipath problems caused by trees tend to affect some channels and not others.
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-20-2017, 08:35 AM
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Those were my thoughts when reading the post in the Detroit thread. If wind makes it happen, then the wind is moving the antenna around, which exposes the loose connection/bad or corroded cable/something else. Bet if you climbed up there and wiggled the mast, your wife or a friend inside would see the same issue.

I'd go pick up a spool of RG6 and some compression fittings and run a whole new line. That antenna ought to work just fine.
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-20-2017, 10:32 AM
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It could be a problem in the CB-8269 combiner housing that combines the UHF and VHF sections and has a balun to match the coax.

Winegard has a troubleshooting video:








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post #5 of 10 Old 04-20-2017, 10:54 AM
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The two antennas that you are considering are not the best for your Canadian channel on RF9.

With your strong signals the antenna that you have should be entirely suitable, especially considering there will be some transmitters moving down to VHF-Low after repack.

Some people with an antenna in the Platinum series keep a spare CB-8269 on hand.
http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=cb-8269

http://www.winegarddirect.com/viewit...-(CB8269)&post=

Interesting mod for a special application:


I'm not comfortable with the way the prongs on the board connect to the wires from each section of the antenna, but that type of connection can be reliable as it is in punch-down connections for telephone line connections.
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-20-2017, 11:31 AM
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If that maple tree's trunk and or main branches from the trunk are right in the direct signal path, then I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the tree as the culprit. Moving the antenna would surely resolve the problem, or at least change it, if the antenna's placement is behind the tree.
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-20-2017, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok. Thanks for the feedback, guys. Appreciate it.

For the $15 I just went ahead and ordered the "spare" CB-8269 coupler. (Let's hear it for Amazon Prime!)

Last time I was up there inspecting the antenna: Other than the largest reflector being a bit bent (wind damage, I assume), it looked to be in ok shape.

rabbit73, I don't like that assembly, either. Theoretically speaking: Those prongs should create a gas tight connection. But if the conductors they snap on to move, well... not so much.

DrDon, I think I have more than enough RG6 left over from the cable I bought for my Comcast Internet run, and I have a Paladin DataShark termination kit and spare compression fittings. So, if swapping-out the CB-8269 doesn't do it, next I'll try re-terminating both ends, then replacing the cable.

But, let us say, for the sake of the discussion, none of that does the trick: Which might be a good antenna to go with? (Hopefully something w/o a dodgy "combiner" .)

ETA...

ADTech, it's a BIG tree. And, yes: I think the center of that tree is pretty much right on the antenna's bearing.

I don't have much roof ridgeline along which to install a tripod. (It's a hip roof.) Not enough to get that antenna out from behind that tree, in any event. If I have to move the antenna, I'll have to put up a tower about 100 feet back from the house, on the eastern property border, then run coax all the way back. In-between there are gardens, a lot of tree roots and, worse of all, underground sprinkler lines, the control lines for the sprinkler system valves, and an electrical service run to an out-building. I don't even want to think about trenching that

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post #8 of 10 Old 04-21-2017, 07:17 AM
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Got any access to the attic?

As close as you are to the Southfield tower farm, you shouldn't need much more than you have. There are no stations moving to VHF-Lo in Detroit. JBK and CBC are staying right where they are. Have the wind issues been there since the day you put that antenna up or did it work fine for a while?

Does JBK break up on a windy day, too?

I'm from the go-big-or-go-home school. In Novi, I had a two-antenna array with this on the top and one of these on the bottom. Plus a rotor. But then, my objective was to pick up Toledo's network affiliates as well as CBC. When I first put it up, Toledo's ABC affiliate was carrying SEC football games on a subchannel and often different ABC regional games from WXYZ. Now, everything's on DirecTV SOMEwhere every Saturday, so it's not as necessary as it once was. Only when WWJ pre-empts primetime for Jazzfest or WDIV for fireworks. But I digress..

You could try hanging something bigger. I know you don't want to use a combiner, but an under-the-eve bowtie away from the tree with a VHF-Hi on your mast could solve things, too. Keep receipts in case it doesn't.
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-21-2017, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
Got any access to the attic?
I do, but, it being a hip roof there's not a lot of vertical clearance in there. Besides: There's nowhere in there that would get an antenna out from behind that tree.

If the tree is the problem, my guess is the FlatWave Amped doesn't suffer from it because it's mostly under it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
JBK and CBC are staying right where they are. Have the wind issues been there since the day you put that antenna up or did it work fine for a while?

Does JBK break up on a windy day, too?
I think WJBK is one of the few that is very solid.

Are CBC and JBK on VHF-Hi?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
I know you don't want to use a combiner, but an under-the-eve bowtie away from the tree with a VHF-Hi on your mast could solve things, too. Keep receipts in case it doesn't.
I don't have any objection to a combiner.

It is possible I could put a UHF bowtie under an eve and actually get around most or all of said tree. Would mean a PITA cable run, but, no worse than I've done before.

I'll take this suggestion under advisement.
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-21-2017, 01:26 PM
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JBK is on 7 and CBC is on 9. If they're steady while WDIV and WWJ are breaking up, then it could be the tree. Still could be the connections in and around the antenna.

I'd still try things probably in this order:

Wiggle the antenna on a calm day and see if the problem repeats.
If it does, replace the cable and try again. If it still does, replace the antenna (or dissect it and clean all those connectors I see in the photo above).
If you can't make it fail on a calm day, then the tree just might be the issue. Sadly, it could be something else.

If you replace the antenna and coax and it still happens, then it's time to get creative and try something like I suggested.. VHF-Hi on your mast and a UHF bowtie anywhere you can put it that it'll work. At your location, that could be outside under an eve or in a coat closet on the top shelf. I have been known to stick yagis on tripods in seldom-used guest rooms.

Here in Tampa, I tried a combo in the attic, but VHF stations would glitch every time we flipped a light or fan switch upstairs. So, I pulled apart the combo so it's just a UHF yagi and placed a VHF-Hi in a distant part of the attic that's too low for the combo, but well away from lights and fans. Used a UHF-VHF combiner (surprisingly hard to find) and that solved my switch glitch.
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