Los Angeles area- Could use some advice on OTA reception. Cutting the cord (Seldom asked, right?)... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-02-2014, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I live in Whittier, which is about 27 miles from the broadcast source (Mt. Wilson).

 

 

Here is my setup:

 

Chimney mounted Winegard Yagi 39 element UHF only antenna plus a Winegard AP-4700 19 db UHF only pre-amp (2.9 db noise). 50' total cabling to the TV. No splitting from antenna to the TV (except for the pre-amp). Connected to a newer smart TV.

 

I get most local stations with the azimuth set to 359 degrees. I do not get Fox (11.1 @ 355 degrees) and local station KCAL (9.1 @ 354 degrees). Even when I rotate the antenna to 355 or other close azimuths. According to antenna.org, this is my only broadcast source. I placed a slight tilt to the antenna shaft to possibly improve my l.o.s. over the hills. I believe that the elevation to the top of my antenna is 389'. Mt. Wilson is 5710' elevation (at the mount top, not to the top of the broadcast antennas?). I calculated that the tilt should be about 2 degrees up. I believe that this tilt beams over the hills, but I cannot be sure.

 

I tried a different yard location with the antenna at 20' higher, but the results were similar.

 

 

Here are my obstructions:

 

(1) A large evergreen conifer tree which blocks line of sight between 315 to 355 degrees.

 

(2) Local hills about .6 miles away. Blocks. l.o.s. from about 340 to +20 degrees. These hills have no significant trees on the top of them, only low grasses.

 

 

 

Any suggestions to also get these 2 stations, without losing the others?

 

 

I found a rotating type antenna on tvantennasale.com that has a 150 mile range and 36 db gain. It has an integral amplifier. Model LAVA HD-2605. Are these realistic claims? Will this achieve my goal?

 

 

 

Thanks.

 

 

Tony

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post #2 of 6 Old 01-02-2014, 12:43 PM
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The Lava antenna is junk. Avoid it.

Channels 7, 9, 11, & 13 are all VHF stations. You cannot expect to get reliable VHF reception with an all-UHF system like you have. Either start over with a high-VHF/UHF antenna and, if needed, an appropriate amp or add a high-VHF antenna plus a suitable amp.

If you post your TVFool plot, we can better analyze your requirements.
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-02-2014, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
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I ran the plot. I am unable to paste the page reference. My address is 6046 Comstock Ave. Whittier CA 90601. I estimate the antenna height at 389 above sea level.

 

When I got the antenna, I was told that 98% of the broadcast stations were UHF. I guess the 2% included the ones that I want. Oh well.

 

Can you make a recommendation on a specific brand & model for the antenna and amp? Stations I prefer are 2-13, 28, 30 and 56. My antenna beam is about 10' above the chimney top (included in the antenna height above).

 

I set the mast orientation to 359 degrees (with my compass) which had the best reception for the most channels (2-13). That just misses the large tree. I see from the plot that the magnetic azimuth is 342 or 343 degrees, directly at the tree. When I get the new antenna, should I initially set it to the true azimuth or the magnetic azimuth?

 

In the 25+ years of my occupancy, that trees had not been pruned/thinned out. Except one time about 4 years ago. The reception improved. I used to have a component digital receiver with a signal strength meter. Each tree (2 total) has a crown of about 40' and is about 100-125' tall. The needles have full coverage again.

 

 

Thank you.

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post #4 of 6 Old 01-03-2014, 05:39 AM
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Not sure who told you the 98% figure, but it was clearly wrong. Post-transition, almost a quarter of the full power stations in the country operate on VHF.

Your line of sight to Mt Wilson is just a little left of a line parallel to Comstock Ave, perhaps 10 degrees or so. Here's your plot: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d46ae50cf2a158a If you use the interactive maps in satellite view and turn on the lines, you can move the virtual antenna around on the roof and see your signal path.

Assuming your reception of the UHF stations is adequate, I'd supplement it as follows for minimum cost:

Add an Antennacraft Y5713 antenna (http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=Y5-7-13), either on the same mast if space permits 3' of separation, or on a separate mast if required. Also order a balun (http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?mc=03&p=TV-2900). Replace the Winegard amp with an RCA TVPRAMP1 (http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=TVPRAMP1R) set to "Combine". You'll need several jumper cables to complete the connections.

That ought to resolve reception of channels 7-13 for about $60.
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-03-2014, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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I will replace the antenna since I don't want to have 2 cables or have to combine them. With that in mind, what is your new recommendation for a single antenna (and amp)?  Thank you very much.

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post #6 of 6 Old 01-22-2014, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
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ProjectSHO90,

 

I finished the set-up you recommended. I got channel 9, but could not get 11 (Fox). That is the one that I really wanted.  I tried a separate pole, various heights, up-tilting the rake, rotating the antenna etc. I could not get that channel signal on my Smart TV. I would get auto tuning, but no signal. No video or audio ever.

 

Then I decided to try a hookup to my retired component digital HD receiver (Sony SAT HD300). I ran the RF connection through this receiver (then to the Smart TV). Hooray! It worked for 11 and most of the other VHF and UHF channels. The receiver has a signal strength meter and it showed a good signal (and stable) on 11. No apparent degradation of signal for the Smart TV reception.

 

I do not understand why the component receiver works for 11 and not so well for the ones that the Smart TV receives (and vice versa on 11). But for now, I have reception for the OTA channels that I desire. I am ready to cut the cord!

 

Thanks for your recommendation and help.

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