The Official AVS Antenna and Related Hardware Topic! - Page 13 - AVS Forum
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post #361 of 16258 Old 09-30-2004, 03:44 PM
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Is there any good way of measuring signal strength if your STB doesn't support it? I have an LG LST-3100A, and to the best of my knowledge it won't actually show me how strong the incoming signal is.

In general most of the stations are good, but if I watch for long enough (say 10-15 minutes), I get a dropout that can't be explained. This generally happens more on cloudy/rainy days than on clear days.

I live between 2.7 - 12 miles from my local broadcasting towers and I'm using a Silver Sensor (though I have an RS-1880 around that I tested and forgot to return until it was too late). There really isn't anything blocking me and the antennas, w/ the exception of maybe a house or two down the block (their house is the same height as mine). Are there any suggestions on how to keep me dropout-free?
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post #362 of 16258 Old 10-02-2004, 08:42 AM
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I recently installed the MyHD 120 HDTV card and daughterboard in my main computer. I've had two rooftop antennas for years, although one's lousy, so I'm looking to upgrade it. The other's pretty OK, I think, a Winegard Chromstar II directional ("anti-ghosting"). The MyHD card, thankfully, has two antenna inputs. I will have both antenna cables split once to send signals to an analog TV in another room.

I have three questions:

1. What kind of splitters should I be using?

2. What do I need in a balun?

3. What kind of cable do I want to buy?

Some more details:

The Winegard Chromstar II seems to work OK like it is. I'm removing the other antenna and am going to try to replace it with an antenna I found a couple weeks ago. I noticed this thing while skating to my workout, it was there on the way home and I snagged it. It looks almost exactly like the 3016 on this page at the Channel Master website. Mine's a bit longer than the 3016, so I guess it's an older model (the 3016 is 66" and mine's 70"). There was a 9 foot mast too, and I took it home as well. I had no idea why they were throwing it out, but when I put my multimeter to it, I think I found out why. There was no conductivity between a lot of the elements where I figure there should be. I'm not sure it's necessary, but I assume that an antenna to function correctly has to have continuity except where specifically prevented (i.e. by insulators). I fixed those continuity problems, which included non-continuity from the balun to the connections!

Well, I figured I was about ready to mount this thing, but I tested continuity between two mutually insulated parts of the antenna and found continuity! That would be a problem, it seems. It turns out that the balun itself was responsible for that.

So, question is: Is a balun supposed to have continuity between the leads? I have 4-5 baluns lieing around and I checked them all, and every one but one also tested as having continuity between the leads! That would seem to be wrong, but 4/5 do, so I guess maybe it's not wrong.

Well, should I get another balun? What do I need in a balun? I'm going to be using the antenna for HDTV, DTV and analog TV, and my priority is in that order.

So, again:

1. What kind of splitters should I be using? I see all kinds of splitters for sale and it's confusing. For instance, at Home Depot they had a couple:

5 MHz - 2.3 GHz (Ideal, the Mnfg.) $7 "Satellite & Digital"

40-2151 MHz Diplexer (RCA), $10

If I go to Radio Shack, what should I look for?

2. What do I need in a balun?

Again, what would I look for at Radio Shack, or can I just use the balun that was already on the Channel Master or maybe one of my others? I have 300-75 ohm, 75-75 ohm. Someone said I should get a UHF balun. He said some baluns have as much as 6 db signal loss and that I should get a good one. Would that also work for VHF stations? Now, I assume that the balun already on this antenna will work for UHF and VHF, and I gather from the design of this thing that it IS designed for both UHF and VHF. Of course, I don't know if it's working up to spec.

3. What kind of cable do I want to buy? I want to replace the old RG59 that's on the antenna I'm replacing as well as its splitter. I figure RG6, but do I want quad shield or not? Also, is copper clad steel core OK or should I hold out for solid copper core? The solid copper is harder to find, at least they don't have it at my local Home Depots.

Thanks!
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post #363 of 16258 Old 10-03-2004, 07:15 AM
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Channel Master balun from warrenelectronics.com if you can't find them locally.
RG6 quad shield coax
Inexpensive "Hybrid Splitter/Combiner" from Rat Shack. You can also get Channel Master splitter/combiners at the above link for Warren elect.
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post #364 of 16258 Old 10-03-2004, 08:13 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by arxaw
Channel Master balun from warrenelectronics.com if you can't find them locally.
RG6 quad shield coax
Inexpensive "Hybrid Splitter/Combiner" from Rat Shack. You can also get Channel Master splitter/combiners at the above link for Warren elect.

I have a few inexpensive splitters. If the results are the same I'll just use one of those.

RG6 quad shield. Does it matter if it's solid copper core or will copper clad steel be just as good for all intents and purposes?

I already have a balun that was on that antenna and I think I'll try it first. It was probably supplied by Channel Master. I found out (local indy electronics store) that baluns are expected to have continuity across the leads because that's an induction coil. The one balun I have that doesn't have continuity is probably bad.

Thanks!
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post #365 of 16258 Old 10-05-2004, 07:55 PM
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Always replace a balun that's suspect or has been outside for a few years. They're cheap. Either type of RG6 should work just fine.
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post #366 of 16258 Old 10-06-2004, 08:21 PM
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Here's my situation:

WKBD-DT 50.1 UPN DETROIT MI 275° 9.3 14
WDWB-DT 21.1 WB DETROIT MI 225° 3.5 21
WXYZ-DT 41.1 ABC DETROIT MI 266° 6.2 41
WTVS-DT 56.1 PBS DETROIT MI 225° 3.5 43
WWJ-DT62.1 CBS DETROIT MI 225° 3.5 44
WDIV-DT 4.1 NBC DETROIT MI 272° 3.9 45
WJBK-DT 2.1 FOX DETROIT MI 253° 4.7 58

For nearly two years, I was able to receive all these with relative consistency on my DirecTV HD receiver with a CM 40" boom yagi UHF antenna on 5' mast off the chimney, aimed at around 265°. I'm in a single-story house and there's a 1-1/2 story bungalow in that direction.

In spring of this year, the UPN station at channel 14 began intermittently dropping out, and it seemed to be affected by vehicle traffic on the road immediately to the north. By summer, it was pretty much gone all of the time.

A few weeks ago, I finally made it to the hardware and bought another 5' mast, figuring if I get that yagi above the next-door house, I could get a clearer shot at 275°. When I put it up, by aiming more toward 270°, I could pull in UPN, but FOX on channel 58 started getting interrupted by cars driving by. A little more fine tuning, and it seemed I found just the right aim.

This worked for a week or so, then last weekend, I wake up to a rainy day, and both 14 and 58 are having reception problems when cars drive by. Once the rain dried up, I swapped out the yagi for a 4221, with no improvement. The best I can seem to do is either all except UPN, or all except FOX without interruption, regardless which of these antennas I use.

So, my questions: Are these symptoms of multipath? What's the next plan of attack? It irritates me to think I such an elaborate setup is necessary in this part of the city, but I'm considering putting both these beasts up on that mast and hooking them up with a channel 14 Jointenna. Is there something else I should try before this?
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post #367 of 16258 Old 10-07-2004, 06:49 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by tbb1226
WKBD-DT 50.1 UPN DETROIT MI 275° 9.3 14
WJBK-DT 2.1 FOX DETROIT MI 253° 4.7 58

The best I can seem to do is either all except UPN, or all except FOX without interruption, regardless which of these antennas I use.

So, my questions: Are these symptoms of multipath? What's the next plan of attack?

You have all the symptoms of multipath. Your plan of attack depends on a lot of things.

The higher the channel number, the more directional your antenna becomes, meaning that aiming away from the Fox tower will likely cause you reception problems on that channel.

You don't say what kind of receiver you're using. Some handle multipath better than others.

If you haven't tried it yet, get a variable attenuator from Radio Shack and see if you can dial the signal strength down a little. It might be able to block the multipath.

You also might want to try tilting your yagis up, even as much as 20-30 degrees. This should reduce their sensitivity to reflections from the ground. (Most people have to do this in reverse because of airplane traffic.)

Fox won't be able to stay on channel 58 after the analog shutoff, as that frequency is out of the DTV core of 2-51.

A rotor would doubtless solve your problems, since you wouldn't have to pick one direction to aim at, but you're probably looking for a fix-it-and-forget-it solution.
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post #368 of 16258 Old 10-07-2004, 08:10 AM
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Thanks for your suggestions.

I started with a Mits DirecTV receiver, and just recently switched to the HR10-250. Both receivers have the same issues.

I have tried an attenuator - its only effect is to reduce reception on channels I'm getting fine without it. Average signal strength on the HR10-250 when no cars are driving by is in the 70s

I do need a 'fix-and-forget' solution, especially now with the TiVo.

I think I'll try tilting the yagi, though I'm not quite sure how to accomplish that.

Thanks again.
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post #369 of 16258 Old 10-07-2004, 08:57 AM
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tbb1226

I'm getting WKBD-DT at 66 on my F38310, must be a nice duct along
the lake shore. Its been rock solid all morning. Pointing 310 degrees from
Cleveland, Oh. We have a local NBC station on ch 2 here as well, I have noticed that when the band is up I have trouble with digital stations not locking at all.
at least with analog stuff you can tell whats going on.

Dan

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post #370 of 16258 Old 10-07-2004, 10:24 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by tbb1226
I think I'll try tilting the yagi, though I'm not quite sure how to accomplish that.

If you're handy you could probably fashion a bracket similar to what's shown here: http://www.atechfabrication.com/prod...g_brackets.htm

Or you could spring for what they're charging for one that's pre-made.

I know I've seen such things elsewhere but can't find them now. I've also seen remote controlled ones allowing you to tilt on demand.
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post #371 of 16258 Old 10-08-2004, 06:54 AM
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I purchased my HDTV 3 months ago. I have the 811 Dish receiver. AT first I hooked up my attic antenna with an amp. to get OTA signals. It worked for a short time, then I lost most of the signals. I called KGAN and the engineer told me to try rabbit ears. I had a set that was 20 yrs. old, so I put them in the attic and hooked then up to my Amp. It has worked very well. I live about 20 miles from the Walker towers and probably 60 miles from the Des Moines towers. I get KCRG and KGAN fine and KWWL some of the time. I get 13 and 17 out of DEs Moines real well. I am lucky getting 17 because they do NFL in HD. I know most of this does not make sense, but I thought I would share this info. in case it would help someone.
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post #372 of 16258 Old 10-08-2004, 06:56 AM
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Live in Delaware. Philly stations were a problem for me as a large hill is in my line of sight. So I pointed south the Baltimore.

RS Yagi (uhf/vhf/stereo) ... only using half of the antenna
CM 7777 preamp
RCA DTC-100

I get every channel from Baltimore with this setup. CBS,NBC,ABC,FOX,WB,PBS (mpt-annapolis). I even occasionally pickup DC stations but the air has to be right.

I tried a CM 4228 UHF but it didn't seem to work as well as the Yagi so I took it down. It's for sale if anyone local want's to buy it.
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post #373 of 16258 Old 10-11-2004, 08:03 AM
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i have signals in the mid 70's to low 80's. if i add a preamp can i use a diplexer to combine the signal and the power for the preamp??? i only have one rg-6 wire running up to the outside antenna and don't want to run another one if at all possible. also will a preamp help my signals much???
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post #374 of 16258 Old 10-11-2004, 09:16 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by skirt
i have signals in the mid 70's to low 80's.

Unless you're seeing macroblocking or have audio dropouts, your reception won't get any better with higher numbers.
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post #375 of 16258 Old 10-11-2004, 09:33 AM
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i have no drops - what is macroblocking???? i do have pixilazation at times.
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post #376 of 16258 Old 10-11-2004, 11:13 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by skirt
i have no drops - what is macroblocking???? i do have pixilazation at times.

Sounds like macroblocking.

Preamps help in areas with weak signals. They do harm in areas with strong signals. If you have a lot of snow on analog UHF stations, then a preamplifier might help.

The best thing you could do to improve reception is to run a dedicated line for the antenna. Diplexers cause signal loss and other problems that can be hard to trace.

As far as I know, no diplexer passes DC current anyway, so you couldn't use a preamp as long as you have the diplexer in the mix.
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post #377 of 16258 Old 10-11-2004, 02:20 PM
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I was looking at the Terk TV-36 that Crutchfield offers. Has anyone used this antenna for their OTA HD channels? I live about 15 miles from the broadcasting site and can mount it on my roof. Are there any others that are basic and easy that I can hook up through my Dish and will work just as well or better? Thanks.
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post #378 of 16258 Old 10-11-2004, 09:24 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Mac03
I was looking at the Terk TV-36 that Crutchfield offers. Has anyone used this antenna for their OTA HD channels? I live about 15 miles from the broadcasting site and can mount it on my roof. Are there any others that are basic and easy that I can hook up through my Dish and will work just as well or better? Thanks.

I have ATI's Zenith SilverSensor clone and I'm about the same distance away (actually a little further; about twenty miles) from the primary group of DC towers. The only DC HD locals I am *not* picking up are either lightbulb-powered (WDCA-DT), or not on the air yet (WHUT-DT). No preamp (I actually *removed* the indoor distribution amp I had been using, as it caused signal overload) and wired direct. WRC-DT is bell-clear, WJLA-DT is the best it's ever been, and WETA-DT is even *less* problematic than it used to be (even though the signal itself is marginally *weaker* because the distro amp is no longer in the picture).

Even WBDC-D1 (DC's WB-Digital) is in the house.

UNfortunately, so is the dreaded PAXMonster (all six SD channels of WPXW-DT43) and *both* halves of MHz Networks' digital mishmash (30-x and 57-1). In addition, I have one of the *worst* signal pictures (I'm in the basement of my house, and the window the antenna is facing faces the wrong way, e.g., the rear of the house; as the towers themselves are behind me).

When WETA gets a permanent placement, WDCA-DT moves up from lightbulb power, and WHUT-DT finds a home, I'll be in ideal shape.

Not shabby at all for a bargain basement (pun not intended) basement HDPC.
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post #379 of 16258 Old 10-12-2004, 05:58 AM
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Hi all - First visit to thread and hopeful I can get some help.

I live in downtown DC (Logan Circle actually), about 3 miles from the transmitters in Tenleytown. I can pick up WJLA, WUSA, WTTG, and WBDC with my SilverSensor clone and HDTV wonder card. But I can't get any of the PBS stations, which I would really like to pull in.

Now, since I'm so close to the transmitters, I figure that my setup, not my location is the trouble. I'm on the 3rd floor of a 5-story condo building. I face west (toward Tenleytown), but since I'm in the middle of town I'm surrounded by other buildings. I don't think any of them directly block my LOS, but I'm not positive.

I need suggestions for an antenna that will work in my situation. I have a balcony so can mount a small outdoor job out there. But no room for a monster.

Any suggestions? Thanks much.

BV
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post #380 of 16258 Old 10-12-2004, 07:06 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by viggster
I need suggestions for an antenna that will work in my situation. I have a balcony so can mount a small outdoor job out there. But no room for a monster.

For both you and the poster asking about the Terk TV-36, my advice is the same: get a Winegard SquareShooter. They're expensive for an antenna, but they offer superior performance in a compact package.
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post #381 of 16258 Old 10-12-2004, 07:46 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by viggster
Hi all - First visit to thread and hopeful I can get some help.

I live in downtown DC (Logan Circle actually), about 3 miles from the transmitters in Tenleytown. I can pick up WJLA, WUSA, WTTG, and WBDC with my SilverSensor clone and HDTV wonder card. But I can't get any of the PBS stations, which I would really like to pull in.

Now, since I'm so close to the transmitters, I figure that my setup, not my location is the trouble. I'm on the 3rd floor of a 5-story condo building. I face west (toward Tenleytown), but since I'm in the middle of town I'm surrounded by other buildings. I don't think any of them directly block my LOS, but I'm not positive.

I need suggestions for an antenna that will work in my situation. I have a balcony so can mount a small outdoor job out there. But no room for a monster.

Any suggestions? Thanks much.

BV

Hi BV,

Check out AntennaWeb for pointing your antenna. My understanding is that WETA's digital signal is being broadcast off a completely different tower (in Virginia) than its analog signal (in MD, a mile or so past Tenleytown). The Silver Sensor is great - but it is fairly directional. Try pointing it in the direction indicated on AntennaWeb for channel 27, and see if you get the 4 WETA digital channels....

(I plugged in the approximate address of Logan - used to live in Dupont myself).

Marcus
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post #382 of 16258 Old 10-12-2004, 10:14 AM
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I am experiencing what seems to be a unique signal problem. I am using a RS VU-190 with no pre-amp to both a D* LG receiver and the ever hard to find HR10-250. The cable run is RG6 and only has one splitter right before the boxes. I have tried a 1000MHz splitter as well as a RS distribution amp.

The problem that I am running into is this, I point the antenna to get a decent (70-85) signal from all stations. Everything is working well so I assume it will continue to work well. About the time I try to watch something the signal drops and the antenna needs to be adjusted (thank goodness for rotators). That was all well and good when I was only tuning one channel at a time. Now that I am trying to do some recordings it presents a problem. Any time I fine tune one channel it adversely effects another. Sometimes the signal will bounce from 0 to 70+ almost constantly. I've always had some problems with tuning, the normal bearing for the antenna should be ~200 degrees but sometimes I have to go as low as 180 or as high as 260.

There are 2 towers that house all of the antennas in the area (Madison, WI). I am ~50 miles from the towers and they are ~2.5 degrees apart. My thinking is that I should be able to receive all stations without moving the antenna since the towers are only 2.5 degrees away from each other.

I am debating on whether to try a CM 7777 or add a CM 4228 for the UHF band. Unfortunately FOX DT is VHF here. I've noticed most of the problems with the UHF side, hence the thought of adding a UHF only antenna.

If I add the 4228 how can I combine that with the VHF side of the VU-190? Is it as simple as removing the UHF side from the VU-190 and running both antennas through a combiner to the one cable?

Any help anyone can provide will be greatly appreciated.
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post #383 of 16258 Old 10-12-2004, 10:17 AM
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A preamplifier is a great idea at 50 miles. Get a Winegard UHF-only model. (The Channel Master lineup will either amplify VHF, which you're not having trouble with, or fail to pass VHF.)

If you want to combine another antenna, a Channel Master #0549 will do the trick - it will filter out the UHF on one side and the VHF on the other. No modifications to your current antenna would be necessary.
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post #384 of 16258 Old 10-12-2004, 12:10 PM
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So on the Winegard side the AP-4700 or AP-4800 should be of help. Is there any chance of overdriving the signal at 50 miles or should I be safe going with the bigger of the two? Also, given my distance from the towers would it hurt to amp both VHF and UHF even though I am not currently experiencing problems with the VHF? I might just as soon spend a little extra money now, AP-8275, to know I'm covered down the road. I'd hate the get a UHF only and then experience VHF problems and need to add a VHF or UHF / VHF later.

Also, as I understand it I could go with the CM 4228 and use the CM 0549 to combine and then run through a preamp if needed as well correct?

Thanks.
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post #385 of 16258 Old 10-12-2004, 02:33 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by isyp
So on the Winegard side the AP-4700 or AP-4800 should be of help. Is there any chance of overdriving the signal at 50 miles or should I be safe going with the bigger of the two? Also, given my distance from the towers would it hurt to amp both VHF and UHF even though I am not currently experiencing problems with the VHF? I might just as soon spend a little extra money now, AP-8275, to know I'm covered down the road. I'd hate the get a UHF only and then experience VHF problems and need to add a VHF or UHF / VHF later.

Also, as I understand it I could go with the CM 4228 and use the CM 0549 to combine and then run through a preamp if needed as well correct?

You won't overdrive the signal (unless you have something nearby that's broadcasting at high power.) Generally speaking, you don't need to amplify VHF at 50 miles. It travels further and better than UHF.

Antenna 1 -----------> CM #0549 <---------------- Antenna 2
|
V
Preamplifier
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post #386 of 16258 Old 10-12-2004, 02:42 PM
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Thank you very much for the advise. I hope it clears up some of the problems I've been having.
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post #387 of 16258 Old 10-12-2004, 02:58 PM
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Marcus - Thanks for the tips. I checked out AntennaWeb and it does show the WETA towers to the southwest. I'll try that out.

Did you try DTV reception in Dupont? If so, I'd be curious what antenna you went with. BV
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post #388 of 16258 Old 10-13-2004, 12:57 PM
 
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I am having a hard time getting the HR10-250 to lock on to a signal. I've got a VHF/UHF attenna, and I am about 26 miles from the site. The interesting this is the HD-300 receiver I have can lock in at 65%, but HR10-250 jumps from 1-41 without locking in? I know it's tuner is not as good, but is this a multipath issuse? I am surrounded by buildings, so I am not sure if I should try a UHF only or perhaps a db4 over a directional antenna?
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post #389 of 16258 Old 10-13-2004, 01:06 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by John Haghighi
I am having a hard time getting the HR10-250 to lock on to a signal. I've got a VHF/UHF attenna, and I am about 26 miles from the site. The interesting this is the HD-300 receiver I have can lock in at 65%, but HR10-250 jumps from 1-41 without locking in? I know it's tuner is not as good, but is this a multipath issuse? I am surrounded by buildings, so I am not sure if I should try a UHF only or perhaps a db4 over a directional antenna?

Sounds like multipath. What do your analog UHF stations look like?

The DB4 is a directional antenna. It's very good.
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post #390 of 16258 Old 10-14-2004, 11:47 AM
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I have seen several posts with discussion of HD reception issues. I have had very good luck with a Winegard Powered Antenna. It is fairly directional and resembles a batwing. Advanced Audio has been selling them. I was able to receive all HD programming through this antenna 1 mile north of Belle Plaine. It is worth a shot if you are having trouble. So far I have helped 4 friends set up their HD TVs and this has solved their reception issues.

jb
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