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post #181 of 16253 Old 06-28-2004, 02:40 PM
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Can you guys suffer through one more "I can't get this station" post?

Here's my setup:
Winegard 8800 8 bay bowtie antenna, roof/tripod mounted w/5 foot pole. Winegard 4800 UHF amp. Approx 75 feet of RG6 cable. HDTivo to receive signals.

Here are my stations/distances. All stations are within 3 degrees of each other at my location (Marysville, Michigan - near Detroit).

Here are my stations/distances/broadcast power:

WTVS-DT (PBS) 200 kW Ch 43 at 47.4 miles
WJBK-DT (FOX) 1000 kW Ch 58 at 48.4 miles
WWJ-DT (CBS) 200 kW Ch 44 at 47.4 miles
WDIV-DT (NBC) 973 kW Ch 45 at 47.1 miles
WXYZ-DT (ABC) 770 kW Ch 41 at 49.4 miles
WKBD-DT (UPN) 200 kW Ch 14 at 51.4 miles

OK, that said, I am getting ALL stations above with a decent, stable signal EXCEPT WXYZ-DT (ABC).

This is driving me nuts. I can't for the life of me understand why I can't receive this signal. All others, including some much lower power stations, come in fine. I do have some trees just to the left of my line of sight, but they apparently aren't affecting the other stations.

When I look at my signal meter for this station, it bounces all over in the lower numbers (0-30 usually), but every now and then it will spike and reach 0-80, then drop off within a few seconds.

Sometimes it does come in for a little while at night, but with lots of dropouts. I don't think the signal is much above 40 when this happens.

I have tried a Radioshack signal attenuator, but all that did was lower everything. Made no difference with ABC.

Any ideas? Is my antenna considered a good one? Is there better?

I'm considering a Channelmaster 4248 Yagi, I've heard good things about it, but it's only rated to 45 miles.

I'm also considering a Channelmaster 4228 8-Bay, but I already have the Winegard 8 Bay, so isn't it the same? Or is the Channelmaster better?

Also considering anything from Antennas Direct (either the 8 bay or the yagi's).

Any help or insight or advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm really confused as to why this channel eludes me when all others are fine. Especially when some are at lower power and same distance.

HELP!!!

Andy

Around the survivors, a perimeter create! - Yoda
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post #182 of 16253 Old 06-28-2004, 03:20 PM
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http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/siting.html
I'm guess guessing here, but I think you found a cold spot for your ABC affiliate on channel 41. You can try moving the antenna up or down the mast to see if that helps. Next would be roaming around the roof to try and find a hot spot.

http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/comparing.html
The antenna you have now is pretty good, you shouldn't see much of any gain going to a 4228 or a 4248, maybe an extra decibel with the 4228. The DB-8 might be better, as I've read a few positive posts about it, but I don't know for sure. Your pre-amp's pretty good, and your balun, if it's an outdoor one, should be fine as well. Maybe AltAntMike will chime in.
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post #183 of 16253 Old 06-28-2004, 04:44 PM
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Cold spot? I did read that on the link you provided. Mysterious, no?

The mast is mounted and I'm very reluctant to move it.

I found a good local dealer (Solid Signal) that will allow me to return an antenna if I try it and it doesn't work.

I read on the Antennas Direct site that they would do the same.

Maybe it's time to experiment! I just hate doing all that roof climbing

Thanks for the comments.

Andy

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post #184 of 16253 Old 06-28-2004, 06:35 PM
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Andy,

I can relate to your frustration. I am only 5-6 miles away from most of the Indy towers. Three years ago when I got my first STB, I put up the Channel Master 4221 (4-bay) around 20-22 feet. Then when I hooked it up to the STB, the results were great except for one station on ch. 45. For this channel the STB meter was indicating ZERO signal! How could this be with a station only 5 miles away and at the time putting out 200kW?! I took it down in disgust and began moving it around. Guess where I found the best reception of this channel? I got the strongest signal with the 4221 sitting on the floor in my basement!!! I believe my problem was related to multipath, since I live so close. I then tried the CM 4228 (8-bay) outside on the mast in the same location and the reception was fine for this channel and all the others.

Another thought is that the signal from WXYZ-DT is actually too strong with your preamp. I've experienced this before, too, but usually an attenuator will remedy this situation, which I see did not help your situation. Have you tried your current antenna setup without the preamp in place? Maybe you would be ok without it.

Good luck. Steve
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post #185 of 16253 Old 06-29-2004, 07:50 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by 3DCadman
Cold spot? I did read that on the link you provided. Mysterious, no?

The mast is mounted and I'm very reluctant to move it.

If you think about waves, it's really not so mysterious. Think about a rock in water and how a wave hits it. There are spots behind the rock where certain waves just don't hit. Since you're probably dealing with some blockage of the signal at your distance, there are places where signals aren't hitting. The Winegard PR-8800, however, has a pretty big "hot spot" compared to yagis and corner reflectors - in theory, you should be getting a signal if the wave is hitting one or two of the bowties.

If you haven't already, contact the station manager at the station giving you trouble and see if they've had other reports of reception difficulty. It also would pay to search on their call letters in this forum.

If you're trying to fix a cold spot, you don't necessarily need to move the mast - just move the antenna up or down on the mast by about 12". If it makes no difference, then things get more tricky, but if it really is just a cold spot, I'd expect that to fix things for you. Of course, you may inadvertently move the antenna into a cold spot for another channel that currently isn't giving you trouble.

Generally speaking, if you have one design of antenna and it isn't working, replacing it with a similar design isn't going to make a big difference. One 8-bay antenna is just about as good as another. There are minor differences, but you shouldn't expect any 8-bay to dramatically outperform your current one. If I was to experiment, I'd try a serious yagi, such as the 91XG from AntennasDirect, the Televes DAT75 (not available domestically -must be shipped internationally, and thus hard to return) or the like. I was unimpressed with the Channel Master 4248 both in build quality, and reception. It was almost identical to my Winegard HD7084P for reception, and in some cases worse.
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post #186 of 16253 Old 06-29-2004, 09:08 AM
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Thank you to everyone for the advice.

I think I may try the Antennas Direct 91XG yagi model. They have a good return policy if it doesn't work.

I will try various height locations on my mast to see what works best.

Thanks again. Time to get my courage up to make the multiple trips on the roof holding an antenna attached to a pole

Andy

Around the survivors, a perimeter create! - Yoda
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post #187 of 16253 Old 07-02-2004, 06:29 AM
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Just a quick antenna neophyte question.

If one places the antenna in the attic, should it still be grounded?

When we built our house we had it pre-wired with RG-6 up there and left had an antenna placed up there, just havent set it up. Been waiting for more locals to be integrated into the cable lineup, but now I am sick of waiting.

eric
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post #188 of 16253 Old 07-02-2004, 07:22 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by dresf
Just a quick antenna neophyte question.

If one places the antenna in the attic, should it still be grounded?

This thread has discussed that thoroughly.
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post #189 of 16253 Old 07-02-2004, 07:58 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by dresf

If one places the antenna in the attic, should it still be grounded?

While I understand and appreciate those who are bothered by the same questions being asked over and over again, even in the same thread, I also empathize with those who, for lack of time, don't read every message in every thread. It is especially onerous to complain about a failure to read the thread (and not provide an answer) when the answer is shorter than the complaint.

In short: No. There is no benefit to grounding an antenna indoors.
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post #190 of 16253 Old 07-02-2004, 08:02 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by sregener
While I understand and appreciate those who are bothered by the same questions being asked over and over again, even in the same thread, I also empathize with those who, for lack of time, don't read every message in every thread. It is especially onerous to complain about a failure to read the thread (and not provide an answer) when the answer is shorter than the complaint.

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. The "fishing" in this case is "searching." But you're right; I should have added the answer to my reply out of courtesy..
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post #191 of 16253 Old 07-02-2004, 10:54 AM
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Thanks for the info!

Pepar: Why is it such a bother on all boards that a question is asked over and over again. Are some of the stogdy members thumbs so arthritic from scrolling all day that they consider it inconvienent to just move past a stupid repetitive question. Hey I was in a hurry. What IS the BIG deal??
Apology accepted and the above rant isnt directed at you but a general rant to ones who continually post RTFA or RTFFAQ's. Fortunately this board is full of helpful people unlike some others. God Bless this board.

Amen

eric
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post #192 of 16253 Old 07-02-2004, 06:27 PM
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I posted this in this forum but also thought it might be helpful to some who are reading this thread. Tried the Gearviews section but there's no place for antenna preamps.

Review of RC PHEMT HDTV LNA
Continuing in my quest for better and farther digital TV reception, I recently obtained a PHEMT GaAsFet low noise preamp (Research Communications in England) to try out. My current setup includes a CM 7777 and the antenna rig I've attached at the bottom of this post. The HDTV LNA as it's called has specs which include 20db gain and .4db noise figure and is designed for uhf frequencies. It is mast mountable with a weatherproof case available. It comes with either 75 ohm F connectors or BNC's.

I was very frustrated initially because I couldn't even get my strongest stations with the new amp. I eventually figured out that I needed an FM trap in-line because of local FM interference. Once that was done, the performance approached that of the CM 7777 but overall the CM 7777 was still superior in my setup in drawing in distant, weak stations (i.e. 5 kw at 65 mi omnidirectional). Why was it not better? I think in my case it was due to my 125 ft. cable run and the CM 7777 with it's higher gain simply is a better match for my setup. I did try adding the CM in-line amp available at Lowes (13 db gain, 3.5 db nf) as well as even adding my CM 7777 as an in-line amp but although the gain was increased as expected, the reception was never quite up to the level as with the 7777 on the mast. Most of my testing was geared towards uhf but interestingly the HDTV LNA does amplify vhf and I was able to tune vhf stations at times even off of my uhf rig.

I'd be interested in how the performance would have been with a shorter cable run as I do believe this company makes a good product. However, it should also make those of you out there using the CM7777/7775 feel pretty good about your preamp.

 

ant 3.zip 124.2568359375k . file
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post #193 of 16253 Old 07-02-2004, 07:02 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by dresf
Thanks for the info!

Pepar: Why is it such a bother on all boards that a question is asked over and over again...

Amen

Why is it such a bother to you that people ask questions for which you may have knowledge?

There are two types of people in this world.

There are those who will willingly wade through quite a bit of not necessarrily closely related material in order to garner specific information. Then, there are those who find it comfortable to ask someone who they think may know of the specific information.

The question asked cost you little or nothing but that you chose to be involved with it. Should everone in want of a wheel have to go through the process of inventing it?

We all have our irritations in life. In many cases, providing directions to those you perceive as less dilligent ought to be considered a simple courtesy in life...or, you can simply pass. (As perhaps I should have.)

"Duck, hide...run for cover." - Chuck Berry
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post #194 of 16253 Old 07-03-2004, 08:54 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by dresf
Why is it such a bother on all boards that a question is asked over and over again.[...]Hey I was in a hurry. What IS the BIG deal??

Actually, I'm on both sides with this one. Pepar took a lot of time to rant that you should have searched. The answer was a quick and easy one.

At the same time, if you've been on this board as long as I have, you start seeing the same questions asked over and over and over again and you wonder just how many times you have to type the answer before people will get it. You think you're just throwing your time away because the answers have already been given. At some point, experienced members throw in the towel and stop reading the board because it's like playing "Whack-a-Mole." The same moles keep popping up and when you have to hit each one, one at a time.

I suspect a search on 'grounding' 'indoor' and 'antenna' would have yielded you quicker results than posting and waiting for a reply.
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post #195 of 16253 Old 07-03-2004, 09:07 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by dresf
Thanks for the info!

Pepar: Why is it such a bother on all boards that a question is asked over and over again. Are some of the stogdy members thumbs so arthritic from scrolling all day that they consider it inconvienent to just move past a stupid repetitive question. Hey I was in a hurry. What IS the BIG deal??
Apology accepted and the above rant isnt directed at you but a general rant to ones who continually post RTFA or RTFFAQ's. Fortunately this board is full of helpful people unlike some others. God Bless this board.

Amen

I, personally, don't consider it a bother. I've seen some threads devoted to "improving" the forum and the subject came up as to how to streamline the forum. The "concern" was that threads scrolled too quickly to pg 2, pg 3, etc, and became too unweildy causing new readers to have to go through pages and pages of the same, repetitive information. I'm sorry that I seemed terse.
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post #196 of 16253 Old 07-03-2004, 09:09 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by dresf
God Bless this board.

Amen

Amen indeed.
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post #197 of 16253 Old 07-03-2004, 09:10 AM
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OK, OK, point taken.

Quote:


Originally posted by OneArchitect
Why is it such a bother to you that people ask questions for which you may have knowledge?

There are two types of people in this world.

There are those who will willingly wade through quite a bit of not necessarrily closely related material in order to garner specific information. Then, there are those who find it comfortable to ask someone who they think may know of the specific information.

The question asked cost you little or nothing but that you chose to be involved with it. Should everone in want of a wheel have to go through the process of inventing it?

We all have our irritations in life. In many cases, providing directions to those you perceive as less dilligent ought to be considered a simple courtesy in life...or, you can simply pass. (As perhaps I should have.)

"Duck, hide...run for cover." - Chuck Berry

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post #198 of 16253 Old 07-03-2004, 09:18 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by sregener
Actually, I'm on both sides with this one. Pepar took a lot of time to rant that you should have searched.

You've obviously never seen me rant.

I am now guilty of semi-OT posts that will inevitably push this thread to yet another page causing interminable scrolling and discouraging members from reading to find their answers.

Forum Admins: I see no way to streamline this forum by encouraging people to search on their own. It will always be easier to simply ask the question than to search for oneself. And efforts to encourage searching are met with heat directed at the person suggesting it, regardless of how tactfully it is done. OK, perhaps I could have een a bit more tactful . . .
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post #199 of 16253 Old 07-06-2004, 08:35 AM
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I have a Mitsubish set with an integrated tuner - ws65869. I recently had an antenna installer install an antenna, preamp, and amp. I am located in Chantilly VA a very low lying area. I get great video reception but I am not getting any audio. Well the audio works about 1% of the time but ususally does not work at all. rebooting the tv does not fix it. I have the latest 1.04 firmware.

At my previous address everything worked fine. I am wondering if the amplified antenna is causing the audio to not work most of the time. The fact that the audio only works 1% of the time is confusing me, I am not sure if the problem is with the firmware, internal tuner, or amplified antenna setup. Can someone please help with ideas? I do not have extended warranty so please help!

Thanks,
Tom
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post #200 of 16253 Old 07-06-2004, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by thomasamiller

At my previous address everything worked fine. I am wondering if the amplified antenna is causing the audio to not work most of the time. The fact that the audio only works 1% of the time is confusing me, I am not sure if the problem is with the firmware, internal tuner, or amplified antenna setup. Can someone please help with ideas? I do not have extended warranty so please help!

With digital reception, the audio stream is encoded in the same way (and stream) as the video stream - they're in the same datastream. Thus, if you're getting a digital picture that is reasonably breakup-free, there is no reason not to have audio. Most likely your television is malfunctioning.
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post #201 of 16253 Old 07-08-2004, 02:02 PM
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I recently installed a terk 5 by 8 multiswitch and ran the outdoor radio shack antenna though the multiswitch. I live in Nashville TN. I am approximately 10 miles from the local CBS affiliate and the antenna is aimed directly at the tower. I am about 6 miles from the local ABC affilate and the antenna is aimed in the exact opposite direction. Prior to the multiswitch install, I was nailing the signal from CBS but getting next to nothing from ABC. This is logical. Now after the install, I get a good signal from ABC, inspite of the directional placement of the antenna, and next to nothing from CBS. This is not logical. What gives?
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post #202 of 16253 Old 07-13-2004, 02:59 AM
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I currently connect to analog TV using a set of rabbit ears. I am thinking about getting an ATI HDTV Wonder card so that I can watch the olympics in HD (yes, i know about the looped programming and all that, but i love swimming and track...so i want it!!!), but I'm not sure about the reception. I currently get WRC-TV as a really static noisy picture (grainy). I'm guessing the equivalent of that in DT would be a stream with constant breakups...I checked with antennaweb.org and they showed me with a blue rating for WRC ("You need a Medium Directional Antenna with pre-amp"). Do you think I can slip by with my rabbit ear antennas with a built-in amplifier? What about an indoor antenna recommendation? When it comes to outdoor antennas...i simply am unable to climb roofs....

why not cable or satellite? cox cable is too expensive...same for voom, dish, and directv
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post #203 of 16253 Old 07-13-2004, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by xbgamer
I currently connect to analog TV using a set of rabbit ears. I am thinking about getting an ATI HDTV Wonder card so that I can watch the olympics in HD (yes, i know about the looped programming and all that, but i love swimming and track...so i want it!!!), but I'm not sure about the reception. I currently get WRC-TV as a really static noisy picture (grainy). I'm guessing the equivalent of that in DT would be a stream with constant breakups...I checked with antennaweb.org and they showed me with a blue rating for WRC ("You need a Medium Directional Antenna with pre-amp"). Do you think I can slip by with my rabbit ear antennas with a built-in amplifier? What about an indoor antenna recommendation? When it comes to outdoor antennas...i simply am unable to climb roofs....

why not cable or satellite? cox cable is too expensive...same for voom, dish, and directv

I'd say it's a safe bet that if antennaweb call for a medium antenna w/pre-amp, rabbit ears WON'T do. As for the indoor (attic?) location, it would probably take the same medium w/pre-amp as indoor mounting cuts signal depending on construction materials used.
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post #204 of 16253 Old 07-13-2004, 06:02 AM
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ok...stupid question...what if i kept an outdoor antenna inside my bedroom, next to the window? I have never been up in the attic of this house (rental), so I don't know whats up there [or how to open the attic door, lol].
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post #205 of 16253 Old 07-13-2004, 06:06 AM
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Give it a try. It could double as a clothesline.
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post #206 of 16253 Old 07-13-2004, 06:11 AM
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lol, yea, that works too.

btw, i'm on your HT Upgrade site...and I must say...WOW!!! my home theater setup? 5 speakers in the approximate areas and the sub laying on the floor next to my xbox :-P. no acoustical measurements for me...
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post #207 of 16253 Old 07-13-2004, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by xbgamer
my home theater setup? 5 speakers in the approximate areas and the sub laying on the floor next to my xbox :-P. no acoustical measurements for me...

Do you enjoy it? That's what's important.
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post #208 of 16253 Old 07-13-2004, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by xbgamer
ok...stupid question...what if i kept an outdoor antenna inside my bedroom, next to the window? I have never been up in the attic of this house (rental), so I don't know whats up there [or how to open the attic door, lol].

That's exactly what I have done. I have a CM3021 in my office window, suspended from the top of the window frame to get the best height.

It works pretty dam well ... except that there is no possibility of turning it. I am ok with that at this point, since I receive pretty much every network from one city or another (but not every channel).

Just make sure the window in question doesn't have a metal screen in it.
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post #209 of 16253 Old 07-14-2004, 07:12 AM
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I have a 120 inch Radio Shack directional antenna installed in my attic for use with my Direct TV HD/Tivo. I get great reception on all of the OTA HD channels in my area except one, FOX 25.
I have my antenna pointed at 50 degrees, which is straight at the "antenna farm" 22 miles away where several of the towers are. My receiver registers only 25-30 for that channel, yet it registers in the 70-80 range for other channels with towers in that same place.
Can anyone tell me if a preamp would improve the reception from this channel or is it simply too weak a signal.
I am in Bellingham, MA and the towers are located in Needham, MA.

Thanks.
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post #210 of 16253 Old 07-14-2004, 10:27 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by mbtobe
I get great reception on all of the OTA HD channels in my area except one, FOX 25. I have my antenna pointed at 50 degrees, which is straight at the "antenna farm" 22 miles away where several of the towers are. My receiver registers only 25-30 for that channel, yet it registers in the 70-80 range for other channels with towers in that same place.
Can anyone tell me if a preamp would improve the reception from this channel or is it simply too weak a signal.

I know I'm talking to the wind here, but when you have problems with a local affiliate, PLEASE post the call letters. It saves a lot of work for the rest of us.

WFXT-DT is running at 78kw ERP, directional, though it appears to be sending 80% of the signal your way. This is moderate power, and would be plenty if you had an outdoor antenna. Generally speaking, amplifiers/preamplifiers are only good in very weak signal areas, far away from all transmitters. As close as you are, it is unlikely that it would help.

Either get that antenna out in the open air where God intended antennas to be, or get a stronger UHF antenna. Radio Shack antennas are not known for their UHF reception capabilities, especially the VHF/UHF combos. Contact Stark Electronics about getting a Channel Master 3021 or 4228 and a Channel Master #0549 to combine your existing VHF reception with the superior UHF design of the CM.
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