I am doomed never to get DTV in Chicago! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 05-15-2002, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Have tried the RS Bowtie. Terk TV-55. Silver Sensor is on its way but I'm not optimstic. RCN Cable unapologetically refuses to give digital television, even sending unmodified the existing OTA DTV signals through its cable. Building has no roof antenna. Less than 1 mile from the transmitter and I can't get more than 1 or 2 stations.

So tell me - am I doomed never to use digital television?
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-15-2002, 02:18 PM
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You may be surprised at the Silver Sensor.

At your distance you may need an attenuator also. Try 20 db at least before you give up.

Otherwise you could just have to wait for the next tuner improvements.
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post #3 of 10 Old 05-15-2002, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I guess the silver sensor's my last hope.

BTW - I know my problem is major ghosting, not signal strength. I am very close to the transmitter. Every station I do get in analog has a lot of ghosts. The bowtie worked with 2 stations if I got it perfectly in place (a 1 degree difference was the difference between 0 and 99 signal). People are saying the SS is much better for multipath. I sure hope so!

I was getting 70 on NBC tonight with the Terk-55. Got a glimpse and even with the S-Video plug (the RCA I bought doesn't have component out - will exchange if all goes well) it looks amazing. Oh only another few days before the SS arrives. Pray for me everyone! :)
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-15-2002, 09:56 PM
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An attenuator cuts down the signal strength so it's not so overbearing -- (it's the opposite of an amplifier.)

It's typically needed when you're so close to a transmitter that the signals are blaring & undecipherable.
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-17-2002, 03:44 PM
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What tuner are you using? The tuner's circuitry typically responds to ghosting differently. I get a lot of analog ghosting too (I'm in Lincoln Park), but my DTV1080 seems to deal with it well.
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-19-2002, 05:49 AM
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Peter 0302

I live within 1 1/2 miles of the tower, but west. Down in a bunker of concrete and steel construction, I had multipath problems with several inside antennas, although I never tried the double bowtie or Silver Sensor. I tried the 'stripped RG6' antenna, which was an idea posted somewhere here. Just strip the last 6-8" of insulation off, I taped it to a 4' speaker stand. It worked and seemed to provide a more stable signal. Next, I found an old UHF loop (the kind you attach to the back of the set with 2 screw terminals). I used a 300/75 ohm transformer and a male F connector to attach it to a cable. It was better than the stripped wire and pretty stable (signals not jumping around).

Might be worth a shot before you try something expensive. BTW, outside, diplexed to my dish (which has a clear view of the tower), this thing gets mid-90's on most digitals.
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-19-2002, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Bardwell,
Thanks a lot for that suggestion. I tried the stripped RG-6 and to my amazement it worked just as well as the silver sensor. But still that's not good enough, as it only gets 2 channels.

Let me ask everyone this - what if money were no object, but that moving was not an option, and it HAD to be indoors? Other than that, I would like to hear even the most expensive suggestions, keeping in mind I've tried -

- Radioshack Doublebowtie
- Silver Sensor
- Stripped RG-6
- Attenuator (0 - 20dB)

Is there ANYTHING else ANYONE can think of? Thanks!
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-19-2002, 11:46 AM
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You have two problems. Too much signal, from too many directions. The Radio Shack double bowtie works for a lot of people by producing more gain, but also by limiting the vertical receptivity. The two antenna elements stacked one on top of the other functions like two speakers stacked one on top of the other - less vertical dispersion. Winegard's 4 bay and 8 bay UHF antennas are the double bowtie on steroids. Each doubling of the number of elements reduces the off-axis response and increases the gain. Gain you don't need, but directionality you do.

From what I can tell, you need a very directional antenna, pad it down a lot, and try it in every possible direction. The idea is to find one place where you have a strong signal, and reject the signals bouncing off all the other buildings. I'd try a Radio Shack corner reflector. It's an ourdoor antenna, but then I'm using an 80" outdoor antenna inside. It will not do any good for CBS (VHF) but will do a good job on all the other digital stations.
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-19-2002, 11:48 AM
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Shoot a PM over to Jim Burns. Since he lives in your area and may have some ideas.

Dave
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-21-2002, 11:39 AM
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The east facing buildings next to the lake is the worst. It is even worse than Manhattan. I just placed an antenna on the 10th floor of the new Prudential building and was able to get all of the stations. It took a bit of work but they now have their dtv.

Jim Burns

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