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post #4291 of 4318 Old 08-28-2014, 03:59 PM
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Trying to cut the cord so bought one of the new Channel Master Flatenna that they are advertising. It is a Mohu style antenna. Hooked it up and only get 3 channels and they are all channel 17. I did a tvfool report and thought I would be able to get them all since I live in Des Moines. Does anyone have any advice? This is my first time trying to do OTA so any help is appreciated. I attached the tvfool report if that helps anyone.
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post #4292 of 4318 Old 08-30-2014, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by mojo_13 View Post
Trying to cut the cord so bought one of the new Channel Master Flatenna that they are advertising. It is a Mohu style antenna. Hooked it up and only get 3 channels and they are all channel 17. I did a tvfool report and thought I would be able to get them all since I live in Des Moines. Does anyone have any advice? This is my first time trying to do OTA so any help is appreciated. I attached the tvfool report if that helps anyone.
Look at the most recent posts on the AVS Forum > HDTV > HDTV Recorders > Channel Master DVR+ Owners Thread. Posts Nos. 4603-4607. It doesn't look good for the Channel Master FLATenna. I'm still looking for other posts on AVS to see what others' experiences are with the FLATenna.

I was considering buying one to replace my $10 Radio Shack rabbit ears, since the FLATenna can now be purchased from CM online for $10 delivered. But after receiving the feedback on the DVR+ owners thread, I'm even less sure I'll buy one. It obviously isn't working for you either. Did you try Channel Master support?

--DawnSun

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post #4293 of 4318 Old 08-30-2014, 06:56 PM
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The FlatTenna is the same thing (internally) that Solid Signal is now selling as their HD Blade, also same as the Spectrum SP513.

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post #4294 of 4318 Old 08-30-2014, 11:51 PM
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The FlatTenna is the same thing (internally) that Solid Signal is now selling as their HD Blade, also same as the Spectrum SP513.
Are there reports on the quality of Solid Signal's HD Blade or the Spectrum SP513? Or posts of users' experiences? Anything that one might use in deciding to try Channel Master's offer on the FLATenna?

I've been following only the Channel Master DVR+ Owners' Thread, and the reports there on the FLATenna are not good.

I found this thread doing a search on AVS for "FLATenna." No other threads popped up.

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post #4295 of 4318 Old 08-31-2014, 12:44 AM
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The FlatTenna is the same thing (internally) that Solid Signal is now selling as their HD Blade, also same as the Spectrum SP513.
They cannot be the same internally since the antenna pattern is clearly different on the one from Amazon than the one from CM!
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post #4296 of 4318 Old 08-31-2014, 02:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnSun View Post
Look at the most recent posts on the AVS Forum > HDTV > HDTV Recorders > Channel Master DVR+ Owners Thread. Posts Nos. 4603-4607. It doesn't look good for the Channel Master FLATenna. I'm still looking for other posts on AVS to see what others' experiences are with the FLATenna.

I was considering buying one to replace my $10 Radio Shack rabbit ears, since the FLATenna can now be purchased from CM online for $10 delivered. But after receiving the feedback on the DVR+ owners thread, I'm even less sure I'll buy one. It obviously isn't working for you either. Did you try Channel Master support?

--DawnSun
Thanks for the link I did a search when I bought it but didn't see that thread, my experience is the same. Mine came with creases in it and in bubble wrap. I had heard good things about CM other antennas but will have to go another way on this one. I am going to try their support and see what they have to say. Thanks for the link to the reviews.
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post #4297 of 4318 Old 08-31-2014, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by mojo_13 View Post
Thanks for the link I did a search when I bought it but didn't see that thread, my experience is the same. Mine came with creases in it and in bubble wrap. I had heard good things about CM other antennas but will have to go another way on this one. I am going to try their support and see what they have to say. Thanks for the link to the reviews.
The discussion of the FLATenna has been moved (appropriately) from the Channel Master DVR+ Owners thread to a new thread: AVS Forum > HDTV > HDTV Technical >
Channel Master FLATenna any good?

It might be helpful to that discussion if you reposted your experience there--especially the damage in shipping and poor reception, which mirrors other comments there. I'm still looking for any reports of positive experiences with the FLATenna.

Let us know if the contact with CM support produces anything illuminating. CM makes some good antennas, but it seems that the FLATenna leaves much to be desired. That's too bad for those of us in strong reception areas who want an inexpensive unobtrusive indoor antenna.

Cheers,
DawnSun

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post #4298 of 4318 Old 09-01-2014, 04:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnSun View Post
Look at the most recent posts on the AVS Forum > HDTV > HDTV Recorders > Channel Master DVR+ Owners Thread. Posts Nos. 4603-4607. It doesn't look good for the Channel Master FLATenna. I'm still looking for other posts on AVS to see what others' experiences are with the FLATenna.

I was considering buying one to replace my $10 Radio Shack rabbit ears, since the FLATenna can now be purchased from CM online for $10 delivered. But after receiving the feedback on the DVR+ owners thread, I'm even less sure I'll buy one. It obviously isn't working for you either. Did you try Channel Master support?

--DawnSun
Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnSun View Post
The discussion of the FLATenna has been moved (appropriately) from the Channel Master DVR+ Owners thread to a new thread: AVS Forum > HDTV > HDTV Technical >
Channel Master FLATenna any good?

It might be helpful to that discussion if you reposted your experience there--especially the damage in shipping and poor reception, which mirrors other comments there. I'm still looking for any reports of positive experiences with the FLATenna.

Let us know if the contact with CM support produces anything illuminating. CM makes some good antennas, but it seems that the FLATenna leaves much to be desired. That's too bad for those of us in strong reception areas who want an inexpensive unobtrusive indoor antenna.

Cheers,
DawnSun
I appreciate the link I will be sure to put my thoughts in there. I sent something to their customer service but don't expect to hear anything from them until after the holiday but i will put in her and the other thread when I hear back from them. Just frustrating when a company that seems to make good products puts out a dog like this. As a first time CM customer it kind of puts a bad taste in my mouth about the company.
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post #4299 of 4318 Old 09-02-2014, 05:48 PM
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For anyone interested here is what I heard back from CM support, not really what I was looking for.

It's possible that the other indoor antenna you're using has a high dB gain rating than the FLATenna. I would recommend you consider upgrading to a different antenna. I would suggest you input your address to antennaweb.org and click on the Channel Master logo for a professional recommendation. You'll also be able to receive a $10 credit from us for the replacement. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Kind Regards,

Jordan Cullimore
E-Commerce Sales Associate
Channel Master
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post #4300 of 4318 Old 09-04-2014, 07:36 AM
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What's the deal with WOI? Apparently they were unavailable on both DirecTV and Dish last evening, though OTA was available. Don't know about Mediacom.

Is there a single piece of equipment that feeds both satellite providers or something? Does Mediacom use a similar feed or just pull them off the air (or have an alternate means to do the latter if the feed fails?)
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post #4301 of 4318 Old 09-04-2014, 11:11 AM
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What is the deal with our OTA broadcasts in general......bugs bugs bugs. 7 years after the transistion to HD they still are not even close to the signal reliability of the old analog broadcasts. WOI news is all bugs, all the time, and their UHF 50.1 transmitter is down again, used to switch over to that one sometimes and get a better picture, when their main 5.1 signal was unwatchable.

KCCI has been buggy this year as I mentioned earlier, KDIN has a weak signal, I would suspect KDIN 11.1 can't be very watchable after you get 30 miles or so from Ankeny. Also KDIN has been frequently buggy over the years and goes down quite a bit, got cheated out of some of the state fair highlights this year. Strangely, WHO which used to be the king of technical difficulty, has been pretty clean this year, not the strongest signal compared to some others, but no major glitches. 17, 19, and 23 have also been fairly bug free this year, almost never see any problems with 17 and they have a very strong signal. The new GET TV 17.2 needs to boost the audio, I really have to crank up the volume about 3/4 the way up on the scale to hear, then forget when I change to another channel and get blasted, lol.
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post #4302 of 4318 Old 09-04-2014, 10:35 PM
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Sure, just got done boasting about Fox 17 having good reliable signal, and tonight 17.1 and sub channels are all down, been down for over 30 minutes....no Seinfeld.


Why is it taking so long to perfect OTA HD technology ? Why is it so prone to failure and glitches ?
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post #4303 of 4318 Old 09-06-2014, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mofford View Post
What is the deal with our OTA broadcasts in general......bugs bugs bugs. 7 years after the transistion to HD they still are not even close to the signal reliability of the old analog broadcasts. WOI news is all bugs, all the time, and their UHF 50.1 transmitter is down again, used to switch over to that one sometimes and get a better picture, when their main 5.1 signal was unwatchable.

KCCI has been buggy this year as I mentioned earlier, KDIN has a weak signal, I would suspect KDIN 11.1 can't be very watchable after you get 30 miles or so from Ankeny. Also KDIN has been frequently buggy over the years and goes down quite a bit, got cheated out of some of the state fair highlights this year. Strangely, WHO which used to be the king of technical difficulty, has been pretty clean this year, not the strongest signal compared to some others, but no major glitches. 17, 19, and 23 have also been fairly bug free this year, almost never see any problems with 17 and they have a very strong signal. The new GET TV 17.2 needs to boost the audio, I really have to crank up the volume about 3/4 the way up on the scale to hear, then forget when I change to another channel and get blasted, lol.
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Sure, just got done boasting about Fox 17 having good reliable signal, and tonight 17.1 and sub channels are all down, been down for over 30 minutes....no Seinfeld.


Why is it taking so long to perfect OTA HD technology ? Why is it so prone to failure and glitches ?
Maybe OTA is good? Maybe something else is interfering, like what happened with me a year ago?

Last winter, OTA reception went from quite good to incredibly bad. It was so bad that I purchased a 50 foot telescopic mast, and added another 10 foot section above that for the rotator. With the elevation at ground level, plus 60 feet of guyed mast, the altitude of the antennas reached 85 feet above sea level. The height of the transmission towers in my area vary between 850 and 1,000 feet above sea level. Transmission power varies a great deal, from a low of 330 kW to a high of 1000 kW. The terrain is extremely flat and low (New Orleans area), with 27 miles of Lake Pontchartrain (sea level) between my location and the towers, which are about 40 miles away. Since my location is the highest in the area, there are very few obstructions, other than about 10 miles of Pine trees, between the transmission and the antennas.

VHF and UHF are both required as PBS remained on the VHF band in this area. As such, I’m using a single Antennas Direct DB8 antenna, combined with a single Winegard HD8200U antenna, with the DB8 about 6 feet above the HD8200U, and both facing the same direction. The combined signals passes through a powered Pre-Amp just below the antennas, and amplified again at the destination with a 6 outlet powered amplifier. With the mast fully extended, the length of the 75 Ohm quad shielded cable is about 100 feet.

Even with the extremely high antennas, the reception remained very poor! UNTIL, I discovered that an electric heating blanket was pulsing signals every few seconds that interfered with the TV signals. Turn off the blanket, and TV reception is perfect. Turn it back on and a few seconds later reception is horrid. Replaced the blanket, and all is well. Since the new blanket didn’t interfere, the old blanket must have been defective. A very faint buzzing could be heard coming from one of the thermostats inside the old blanket. What made me take notice was an FM radio, in another room, was cyclically producing static at the exact moment that the TV would pixelate. Unplugging the radio had no effect, so I went looking for the source of the interference. I kept turning things off, and eventually I got to the blanket.

There are several things that came to light from this:

1. Check for, and eliminate, electrical disturbances within the area. If nearby, maybe it’s even coming from a neighbor?

2. The antenna did not have to be 60 feet above ground, and has been lowered to 30 feet.

3. Experiment with the height of the antenna. I cannot emphasize this enough. Even a few feet can make a HUGE difference. With my antenna about 40 feet above ground, the reception drops to near zero. Lowered 10 feet and the picture is perfect, except when an aircraft flies past, or in extremely bad weather. Raise it a few feet and the TV pixelates. There’s definitely a sweet spot, so look for it.

Of course, the terrain in my area is quite good for OTA. I’m about 40 miles from the transmitters, and I’m using antennas rated for much greater distances. All of the broadcast towers are within 14 degrees of each other, so once the antennas are pointed between them, there’s no fussing with the rotator. You may not be so lucky.

One more point! Yesterday a friend had me look at his system (the friend with the FLATenna that doesn’t work) because a TV in a room far from the outside antenna always has poor reception, and only picks up a few channels. Even though the 75 Ohm cable to that TV comes from a powered amplifier (about 50 feet of cable), I added a powered amplifier at the TV. Presto-Magic, the TV receives every signal in the area, and quite well. Conversely, and although it has never happened to me, I’ve heard that amplifying the signal might over power the receiver, resulting is poor reception, so keep that in mind.
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post #4304 of 4318 Old 09-07-2014, 09:26 PM
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Thanks pachinko, those were some tricky things to look out for, who would ever suspect the electric blanket, lol.

With my HD observations, I check the reception on other channels to compare with the channel having problems. If the main channel and all it's sub channels are down, but the others are up, even the weaker ones, then I assume it's just the one station in question having problems, and not my antenna setup. I check it with the TV tuner and the DVR tuner to compare. Usually it's just one channel (and associated sub channels) having a problem at any given point of time......but different channels having problems at various times. I use a Yagi with no power amp, coax split 3 ways no more than 40 total feet of coax, and get good signal strength for most channels. Right now I'm getting 86% for Fox 17, around 70% for 19 and 23, and KCCI 8 about the same, around 55% for 5 and 13, and the weak ones are 25% for PBS 11, and around 15% for 39 (low power station from Newton, dropouts to be expected).

KCCI went down last Friday morning and trashed the end of Drew Car Week on Price is Right, right at the critical point in the show when they played for the 100K car they went down for about 10 minutes. The people with Cable or Satellite may not see as many problems, if the problem is with the transmitter, as I think they tap off the signal for Cab/Sat before the transmitter section....which could be the problem. I suspect they probably don't care that much about the OTA viewers anyway, and give OTA a lower priority since OTA is a small % of total viewership anyway, and not really a prime target for the advertising market either.
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post #4305 of 4318 Old 10-15-2014, 05:28 PM
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... I suspect they probably don't care that much about the OTA viewers anyway, and give OTA a lower priority since OTA is a small % of total viewership anyway, and not really a prime target for the advertising market either.
Nothing could be further from the truth. All the stations place effort #1 in delivering a good OTA signal. All Dish and Direct signals are rebroadcasted OTA. Mediacom does have fiber feeds from the DSM stations, but has OTA as a backup option if the fiber gets cut. The dozens of small-town cable systems still receive OTA.

Yes, there are problems. WOI had an issue crop up earlier this year on the Alleman tower. It took time to fix...qualified tower crews are few, and hard to schedule. All the stations had to deal with deeper-than-usual atmospheric fades on the STL links to Alleman this summer. That same active atmosphere also can cause signals from other markets to skip in and cause interference.

Bottom line is...you can't throw rabbit-ears up and get a picture like you did with analog. Problems like electric blankets would throw lines into an analog picture, but obliterates DT. Noise from CFL lamps can interfere. All sorts of stuff today throws off RF interference...it ain't supposed to, but no one's watching the quality of cheap overseas crap coming into the US.

And the interference can come from TV's themselves! I just read a technical paper where a testbed of six TV's trying to receive weak UHF signals was interfered with by the seventh TV connected to the splitter...and it was turned OFF! A stronger VHF signal was getting into the seventh TV, and even though turned off, the tuner generated harmonics that jumped into the UHF band. Trying to track down stuff like that is maddening.
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post #4306 of 4318 Old 10-15-2014, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by mojo_13 View Post
Trying to cut the cord so bought one of the new Channel Master Flatenna that they are advertising. It is a Mohu style antenna. Hooked it up and only get 3 channels and they are all channel 17. I did a tvfool report and thought I would be able to get them all since I live in Des Moines. Does anyone have any advice? This is my first time trying to do OTA so any help is appreciated. I attached the tvfool report if that helps anyone.
The Flatenna has physics working against it from a VHF standpoint (it's just not big enough), and in the DSM market, most stations are VHF.

In my personal view, unobtrusive, indoor and VHF are incompatible with each other. A shame, too considering the number of VHF stations in the market.

My garage setup does OK with a random length of old telephone wire wrapped around two nails, but I live 4 miles from the Alleman towers, and even it doesn't work well when the trains go by and scatter RF off the moving cars and the lineside grain bins.
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post #4307 of 4318 Old 10-21-2014, 08:19 PM
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I'm glad the World Series is on Fox, because if it were on NBC I would not be able to watch it, as 13.1 and sub channels have been pretty much down since late this afternoon, and 11.1 has been flickering in and out for a couple days now, WOI is weaker than normal tonight as well, other channels are normal.

The OTA situation in DSM has become a joke. I remember a report from KCCI about 10 years ago in the analog days, one morning a truck hit a power transformer near the KCCI studios and they went down for a couple hours, and later announced on the news that evening what caused the disruption of broadcast, and boasted on how that was the first time in 15 years or something that the station had been down. That makes me laugh when I think of how many times they have been down this year, and so many other channels in our area as well, often in prime time, how the mighty have fallen, I laugh at how much the bar has been lowered.

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post #4308 of 4318 Old 10-22-2014, 02:52 PM
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WHO and KDIN have been operating with low signal power for 24 plus hours now, varying from 0 to 17% strength, 22 air miles from the transmitter....that aint makin' it down here on the south side without breaking up. WOI holding steady at 20%, at least that's enough to keep the picture solid, and have also noticed in recent weeks they have not been having the troubles with their news broadcasts they were having this past summer. Other stations running normal at 70% or so.
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post #4309 of 4318 Old 10-23-2014, 09:32 PM
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NBC 13.1 and PBS 11.1 completely down all day today. WOI 5.1 down as well, but downtown repeater 50.1 putting out enough to watch WOI within city limits today. PBS just came back up to 17%, WHO still dead.

All these problems and not one word on any newcasts with any explanation of what the problem is......half our local networks down and not one god damn word about it.
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post #4310 of 4318 Old 10-24-2014, 01:09 PM
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All these problems and not one word on any newcasts with any explanation of what the problem is......half our local networks down and not one god damn word about it.
You would think that a communications company would know who to talk to on the other side of the building to get a notice sent out for viewers. I guess the engineering departments don't really think to put out a press release. I've called before and just asked to talk to the chief engineer, who will usually be pretty straightforward about what they're doing and how long it might be before they're back up.

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post #4311 of 4318 Old 10-27-2014, 10:50 AM
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I contacted WHO and they said there were no signal problems, I am checking my antenna system, think there might be a problem on the VHF side of my antenna, or coax problem. Strange I would get 8, but not 5, 11, or 13.
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post #4312 of 4318 Old 10-27-2014, 01:51 PM
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All fixed, I made an indoor half wave dipole antenna, 18 inch long.

Signal levels are a bit jumpy, but here's what I get with it.

WOI - 17 %
KCCI - 40 %
KDIN - 82 %
WHO - 82 %
KDSM - 84%
KDMI - 70%
KCWI - 70%

Last edited by mofford; 10-27-2014 at 01:55 PM.
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post #4313 of 4318 Old 11-04-2014, 09:00 AM
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Nexstar, the new owners of WOI-TV, is buying KCWI 23 from Pappas Telecasting for $3.5 million (https://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws...&fac_num=51502 )

Could this be the sinking of "el cinco de stinko" as we know it, or the end of operation on RF channel 5? It would seem very likely that Nexstar will move WOI to RF channel 23 while maintaining the virtual channel 5 designation.

ABC on 5.1, CW on 5.2? Or will KCWI continue to exist as a separate entity and separate virtual channel? I don't know how that works, can there be a virtual 5.1 and 23.1 on the same RF channel? Let the speculation begin!

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post #4314 of 4318 Old 11-10-2014, 08:54 PM
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I just started setting up my Mohu Leaf 50 antenna in Nevada, IA tonight and I get all of the channels I see I should get according to the FCC map except for 5. I see on that map, it is a different band than the others. It is a Lo-v band instead of UHF or Hi-v. I don't know what those mean but is that why I can't get it?
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post #4315 of 4318 Old 11-14-2014, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by krusej23 View Post
I just started setting up my Mohu Leaf 50 antenna in Nevada, IA tonight and I get all of the channels I see I should get according to the FCC map except for 5. I see on that map, it is a different band than the others. It is a Lo-v band instead of UHF or Hi-v. I don't know what those mean but is that why I can't get it?
The Leaf 50 is basically a UHF antenna. It's able to pick up the other VHF stations in the area because they have strong enough signals. WOI has a notoriously weak signal. I'm in Ames, have my antenna mounted on the roof, and before I upgraded it I still had issues picking up WOI. I went from a Clearstream 2 to a Clearstream 2V which added VHF specific tuning.

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post #4316 of 4318 Old 11-17-2014, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by thrillcat View Post
The Leaf 50 is basically a UHF antenna. It's able to pick up the other VHF stations in the area because they have strong enough signals. WOI has a notoriously weak signal. I'm in Ames, have my antenna mounted on the roof, and before I upgraded it I still had issues picking up WOI. I went from a Clearstream 2 to a Clearstream 2V which added VHF specific tuning.
Thank you! That explains it. I can't come close to getting channel 5 but I can get channel 2 which according to the FCC map, I would really struggle to get without a strong antenna on the roof. I would really like to get an ABC channel because they have NBA games on every once in awhile and I would like to see those. Maybe I will try to put my antenna in the North end of my house and see if I can pick up the ABC channel up by Waterloo.
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post #4317 of 4318 Old Today, 03:56 PM
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My Network moving to channel 8 on Monday

from northpine.com

Hearst CBS affiliate KCCI/8 (Des Moines) already carries "Me," and soon it'll be home to "My" as well. The station has announced plans to launch "My Des Moines" on channel 8.3 on Monday, Dec. 1, apparently carrying programming from MyNetworkTV and the Heroes & Icons network. H&I is a relatively new classic TV network launched by Weigel Broadcasting, operator of the classic Me-TV network already seen on KCCI/8.2. MyNetworkTV was previously seen in the market on Pappas' KDMI/19.1 (Des Moines), which continues to carry ThisTV.
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post #4318 of 4318 Old Today, 03:58 PM
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by the way. quick question

Rabbitears shows KDMI 19 & KCWI 23 carrying each others feed as a subchannel. But I thought they didn't

Can someone verify?
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