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post #1 of 2388 Old 03-03-2003, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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I've intently followed the NYC thread to pick up bits and pieces on OTA reception where I am in Central NJ (Middlesex County---Monroe Township) and also tried to follow the Philly thread as well because I've read that folks are able to get both cities broadcasts in my area.

The search feature on this site was disabled this afternoon when I tried to find certain things I've got questions about.

Yesterday I hooked up my Channelmaster 4228 OTA UHF antenna (mounted about 5 feet above my ranch homes roofline on a 10 foot mast attached to the side of my house at a peak) and aimed it towards Philly to see what I could pick up in that direction. I plan on putting in a rotor in the near future for NYC locals---it's just that with all this darn snow/ice/rain lately, I was just happy to see 3 hours of sunlight yesterday to be able to clamor up onto the roof and get working like a busy beaver

Here's what I can pick up on my Hughes E86 receiver (I'm a D* sub as well):

WKYWDT (3-1) Strength of 100
WPSGDT (57-1) Strength of around 95
WNJTDT (43-1/2/3/4) Strength of 100 (***PBS OUT OF TRENTON)
WPVIDT (6-1) Strength of 27-35
WCAUDT (10-1) Strength of 0
WTXFDT (29-1) Strength of 0
WPHLDT (17-1) Strength of 0

Now, all of the above, with the exception of WNJT are supposedly available at 255 degrees according to Antennaweb.org from my location. Is there a reason that one station comes in at 100 but the rest don't? Are the ones I'm getting 0 strength on at lower power? My minimal knowledge base assumed all the towers were in the same spot---or all the transmitters were on the same tower.

And what's the best way to increase my strength on the ABC (WPVIDT) out of Philly? I got MUCHO pixelation and only was able to make out about a 1/5th of the screen visually---with the rest being solid smears of colors and pixels (Greens, reds, whites, etc...) Is it a matter of tweaking the antenna's direction? I know I've read that some pre-amps will overmodulate (not sure if that's the right term) the signal causing a degradation if the signal is already strong enough---so I'm not sure if I need a pre-amp for the Philly direction.

I guess the reason I started this thread and put it here and not under the Philly thread was I was curious to see if ANYONE else in Central NJ has similar issues. I know there's about a dozen of you out there who posted under NYC's thread. And it KILLS me that the NBC from Philly won't even register. My wife is ready to KILL me after I hyped the fact that Law and Order is in HD

Any info would be helpful.

Thanks in advance!

JPB


USER STB ANTENNA LOCATION PRE-AMP MOUNTING
_____ ____ ________ ________ _______ _________

JAYPB E86 CM4228 MONROE CM7775 ROOF
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post #2 of 2388 Old 03-03-2003, 01:11 PM
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JPB,

I live near Rt. 1, 1mile north of 95/295, so the situation shouldn't be dramatically different.

About stations, (I read through the looong Philly thread), people seem to have problems getting NBC (WCAU-DT) and FOX (WTXF-DT) even close to the tower. Looks like the problem is low power. WCAU had promised to move to the new tower with the full power, but it has been delayed many times.

I was not able to detect any signal for these 2 stations. I thought outdoor antenna might make a difference, but your report makes me think otherwise.. The rest of the stations you listed, I can get decent signals (including WPVI-DT) using indoor Silver Sensor and Samsung T-151. WPSG-DT is somewhat weak compared to others. I am able to get WHYY-DT (PBS: 12.1) but I have to move the antenna and lose CBS.

The signal strength you are getting from some of the stations looks very good compared to mine. Probably antenna shape, transmittion patter, location, STB, or the combination of all.

Yeah, NBC is also my biggest issue. Hopefully they will upgrade soon, and it will make a difference.

Hope this will help-
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post #3 of 2388 Old 03-03-2003, 01:24 PM
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Stay Tuned!

I'm in Montgomery Township near 206 and 518 and in next several days will be putting up a roof mounted Televes Dat 75 roof antenna with rotor and preamp. Will be using Zenith HD 520 box. I also subscribe to D*. I have high hopes for decent Phila reception. I will report back.
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post #4 of 2388 Old 03-03-2003, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by 2moon
JPB,

I live near Rt. 1, 1mile north of 95/295, so the situation shouldn't be dramatically different.

I'm up a few miles off Rte 18 near East Brunswick and Helmetta/Spotswood. Sorry I didn't mention that earlier.

Quote:



I was not able to detect any signal for these 2 stations. I thought outdoor antenna might make a difference, but your report makes me think otherwise.. The rest of the stations you listed, I can get decent signals (including WPVI-DT) using indoor Silver Sensor and Samsung T-151. WPSG-DT is somewhat weak compared to others. I am able to get WHYY-DT (PBS: 12.1) but I have to move the antenna and lose CBS.

YMMV from mine. From reading I've noticed that some folks in the same area have drastically different results from others. My problem is I have NO ONE in my immediate area (i.e. Neighbors) with an HD system. You should've seen the looks on my neighbors faces as I was up on the roof yesterday hooking up the 4228. Granted the thing is Sci-Fi'ish looking---but I think they were more amazed that I was on the roof with snow around than anything else ANy with the weather the last few weeks, I couldn't wait anymore---I was itchin!

The other issue I'm not sure about is: Just how high I SHOULD have my antenna. Again, I'm only about 5 feet or so over the roofline. I guess I could add another 5 foot mast onto the height when I get the rotor hooked up---but just how high can you go with a mast system and a rotor?? Safety wise I mean. When I asked a guy at Radio Shack, you'd have thought I asked him to figure out the square root of the letter D

I want to make sure that my antenna is securely and safely fastened before I go any higher. Again, I'm a newbie to this WHOLE antenna thing---especially since I haven't utilized one since the pre-cable era (and I'm only 31)


Quote:



The signal strength you are getting from some of the stations looks very good compared to mine. Probably antenna shape, transmittion patter, location, STB, or the combination of all.

I was thinking along the lines of my E86 not pulling in an iffy signal because I've read that it's not the BEST at locking in on weaker/problematic signals. Out of curiousity just what IS a decent signal...I.E one that won't have drop outs and pixelations? 50? 60? My line of thinking falls back to DirecTV signalage where 80'ish gives you a solid, steady signal. Is it the same with OTA? I didn't see that addressed in the FAQ's.

Quote:



Yeah, NBC is also my biggest issue. Hopefully they will upgrade soon, and it will make a difference.

Hope this will help-

On the Philly thread it seems like it was "there" a few months ago---but now it's not--for most folks. Am I correct in believing that WNBC in NYC is not transmitting a steady OTA digital HD signal right now?

IMHO, any info ANYONE can provide me is going to help. Especially those in my "area".

Thanks again!
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post #5 of 2388 Old 03-03-2003, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by thomasgs
Stay Tuned!

I'm in Montgomery Township near 206 and 518 and in next several days will be putting up a roof mounted Televes Dat 75 roof antenna with rotor and preamp. Will be using Zenith HD 520 box. I also subscribe to D*. I have high hopes for decent Phila reception. I will report back.

Will you also be trying to pull in NYC locals? I was pretty amazed after I hooked up the antenna and was pulling in CBS from Philly in a picture, that all together, was "prettier" than CBS via my DirecTV locals!!!

Seeing is believing---I guess compression really DOES gum up a visual...at least locals wise.

Good luck!
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post #6 of 2388 Old 03-03-2003, 02:52 PM
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Philly DTV is pretty much a joke. You would figure that living in central NJ would be the best location for DTV. It is far from that.

You should be able to receive KYW and WPVI from Philly with no problem. I also receive WPSG (57) no problem.

I pick up Fox 5 and CBS 2 from NY and PBS from NJN-Trenton. Outside of this, it gets tough. There are no other NYC DT channels.

NBC Philadelphia is supposed to be on the new tower soon. But we have been been hearing that for 6-12 months. Someone just reported that Fox Philadelphia won't be on the new tower until next year.

WB 17 from Philadelphia purposely broadcasts a strange signal that precludes part of their viewing audience from recieiving it. While I can get the analog signal crystal clear, I get nothing from the digital signal.

WB 11 from NYC is supposed to be broadcasting on low power in a few weeks, but I doubt that will be viewable from outside of Jersey City.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
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post #7 of 2388 Old 03-03-2003, 02:59 PM
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Quote:


I'm up a few miles off Rte 18 near East Brunswick and Helmetta/Spotswood. Sorry I didn't mention that earlier.

Oh, that's pretty far. I thought it is more like Turnpike 8A.

Quote:


YMMV from mine. From reading I've noticed that some folks in the same area have drastically different results from others. My problem is I have NO ONE in my immediate area (i.e. Neighbors) with an HD system. You should've seen the looks on my neighbors faces as I was up on the roof yesterday hooking up the 4228. Granted the thing is Sci-Fi'ish looking---but I think they were more amazed that I was on the roof with snow around than anything else ANy with the weather the last few weeks, I couldn't wait anymore---I was itchin!

I bought antenna and STB and set up my system just last week. I was surprised only an indoor antenna could do the trick. You might able to pull off FOX because you have an outdoor. Consensus seems to be that you just need lots of experiments. My case too. Be carefull on that roof!

After viewing HD for just several days; man, DVD look so fuzzy.

Quote:


I was thinking along the lines of my E86 not pulling in an iffy signal because I've read that it's not the BEST at locking in on weaker/problematic signals. Out of curiousity just what IS a decent signal...I.E one that won't have drop outs and pixelations? 50? 60? My line of thinking falls back to DirecTV signalage where 80'ish gives you a solid, steady signal. Is it the same with OTA? I didn't see that addressed in the FAQ's.

My STB (T151) doesn't give numeric values, but most of the stations give something like 45-60% readings, and they are good enough for zero pixelation.

Quote:


On the Philly thread it seems like it was "there" a few months ago---but now it's not--for most folks. Am I correct in believing that WNBC in NYC is not transmitting a steady OTA digital HD signal right now?

I am not sure whether WCAU-DT has stopped transmitting at all. I remember reports on some equipment failure. I am waiting for Philly thread update too. According to titantv.com and antennaweb.org, WNBC-DT is not in business.

Happy HDTViewing!
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post #8 of 2388 Old 03-03-2003, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by 2moon
I bought antenna and STB and set up my system just last week. I was surprised only an indoor antenna could do the trick. You might able to pull off FOX because you have an outdoor. Consensus seems to be that you just need lots of experiments.

Initially I had purchased a Silver Sensor because I read that it was the most reliable STB antenna at getting signals. Only problem is my TV is in the basement---8 feet or so below grade---and I'd probably have to get the SS up in the attic---but then I read that I'd lose 50% of the signal anyway--so I took the rooftop plunge!

I figure I'll get the rotor and see what happens. Is the Fox picture...noticeably better than cable/satellite? They call it "enhanced widescreen" I believe?

I'm *hoping* that NBC from either direction (NYC or Philly) pops up and I'll be more than happy when I start pulling in some of the PBS stations.

Most of our viewing for the HD content was on HDNet---with it's stunning documentaries and just nature type visual fill.

And, now, we can't get enough
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post #9 of 2388 Old 03-04-2003, 06:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by pabuwal
You should be able to receive KYW and WPVI from Philly with no problem. I also receive WPSG (57) no problem.

Thanks for the reply.

Interestingly enough last night, I was able to pick up WPVI (6-1 on my E86) at a signal strength of anywhere from 58-64....and it was holding steady this AM. Not sure why. Do signals tend to fluctuate like this on occasion? I had nothing but pixelation the whole 24 hours before---and I didn't move the antenna. Does the "signal" travel better in colder weather? I always noticed as a kid that UHF signals seem to come in better on clear, cold winter nights. Or maybe I'm just crazy


Quote:



I pick up Fox 5 and CBS 2 from NY and PBS from NJN-Trenton. Outside of this, it gets tough. There are no other NYC DT channels.

I thought the Trenton PBS station was awesome! I get a kick out of watching those docuvisuals (whatever you call em) with the hills of Italy and the cars of Cuba

What kind of a STB are you using? For some reason my E86 doesn't give me a guide listing for WNJT (just says Local channels 43-1, 43-2, 43-3, 43-4) and for the UPN channel out of Philly it just says Local channel 57-1. I think I used a Philly zipcode of 19188 to get the guide data for the rest of the Philly channels. Weird.

Quote:



NBC Philadelphia is supposed to be on the new tower soon. But we have been been hearing that for 6-12 months. Someone just reported that Fox Philadelphia won't be on the new tower until next year.

Weird thing part II--I was able to pick up Fox Philly at a strength of anywhere from 37-44 on my signal meter with some pixelation late last night....and when I went down to check it this AM before leaving for work, I noticed the AM news was in "full" screen mode---not 4:3 with black bars like Seinfeld was last night. Do they send out their AM news in that
"enhanced widescreen" mode???

I sure hope that the NBC station starts coming in soon. My wife watches Law and Order and Boomtown religiously. After watching CSI last night in HD she was stupified!!! I'm DA MAN now .....on Monday nights at least

Quote:



WB 17 from Philadelphia purposely broadcasts a strange signal that precludes part of their viewing audience from recieiving it. While I can get the analog signal crystal clear, I get nothing from the digital signal.

Weird thing part III---I actually have a solid signal from WPHL (17-1) now! Last night it suddenly came in and this AM signal levels were at 44-65 and didn't see any pixelation. Oddly though, they had a show on last night....Everwood or something like that. Think it said on hdtvgalaxy.com it was supposed to be in HD---Looked ok visually before the show came on at 9pm. But when Everwood (SP??) was supposed to come on all I saw was a test pattern with WPHL's logo and some screen text so I never went back to the channel to see if the show ACTUALLY came on.

Quote:



WB 11 from NYC is supposed to be broadcasting on low power in a few weeks, but I doubt that will be viewable from outside of Jersey City.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

With HDTV there IS no bad news!!! Only obstacles!

Once I get the rotor up (I'm leaning towards the Channelmaster 9521A??? The one with the infared remote) I'll start toying with the rest of the NJ PBS channels and then aim towards NYC.

What kind of STB are you running? Antenna outside or in?

Thanks for the info.
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post #10 of 2388 Old 03-04-2003, 07:24 AM
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JPB,

I live in Bedminster and have a 4228 as well, mounted in the attic. I pretty much concur to what you see on the channels you suggested. CBS and 57-1 come in good all the time, I do get upn 17-1 once in a while.

I am insterested that you were able to get ABC this morning. I have had zero success in getting this channel in. The best I was able to get was the sound but no picture on my TV.

Gary
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post #11 of 2388 Old 03-04-2003, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by gjohnsen2002
JPB,

I live in Bedminster and have a 4228 as well, mounted in the attic. I pretty much concur to what you see on the channels you suggested. CBS and 57-1 come in good all the time, I do get upn 17-1 once in a while.

I am insterested that you were able to get ABC this morning. I have had zero success in getting this channel in. The best I was able to get was the sound but no picture on my TV.

Gary

Gary,

The weird thing was I wasn't getting a clear picture on 6-1 (where my E86 maps it to) all evening Sunday when I hooked it up. I had a visual---it was clean for about the top 3 inches of my 50" Toshiba and the rest of the screen was smears of color and pixels...no sound..no chirping with a signal strength of between 20-30 or so. It was warmer on Sunday than it was on Monday/today---I wonder if colder temps equal better signal distance?

Then, last night, I just flipped by and was like WOAH! Look at this! The Practice was on...was like I'd seen fire for the first time

Are you able to pick up NBC out of Philly (WCAU)??? I was hoping to get that station as well just because NBC seems to have shows that are worth watching. Seeing KYW's HD feed of CSI Miami last night was stunning. The clarity, the sound...my wife was in awe.

I'm pretty happy with the ChannelMaster 4228. Was easy to manuever and install. Was expecting it to come with a mast though---Spectravox.com's website had text saying "pre-galvanized mast"...but the rep later told me it wasn't shipped with one.

I'm diggin' OTA HD. My wife is too. Can't wait to have friends and family over and WOW em!

Thanks for the reply.
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post #12 of 2388 Old 03-04-2003, 04:57 PM
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Gentlemen,

Those of you having difficulty getting WCAU - NBC or WTXF - Fox from Philadelphia consistently might try adding a preamp to your rooftop antenna.

I am using a 20 year old Winegard combo VHF/UHF with a mast mounted Blonder-Tongue preamp. This combo sits about 5 feet above my 2 story roof. I get all of the Philly stations all the time with no dropouts or pixelations. As I measure it, I am 38 miles East by Northeast of the Philly ant farm. I also receive a solid signal from WCBS - NY off the back of this antenna. Under certain weather conditions, I have also received channels 5-1 and 5-2 from NYC.

The model number for the current favoritre Channel Master preamp was mentioned several times in the Philly OTA thread. Worth a try!

Ray
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post #13 of 2388 Old 03-04-2003, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by RayN
Gentlemen,

Those of you having difficulty getting WCAU - NBC or WTXF - Fox from Philadelphia consistently might try adding a preamp to your rooftop antenna.

Ray,

I thought about using a pre-amp....specifically the one I *think* you are talking about (CM 7777). My question is: Will the preamp overamplify the channels I'm currently getting a perfect signal on? KYW-DT and WNJT-DT are a perfect 100 according to my E86. That's one of the things I wasn't sure about AFA using a preamp.

And, I just checked my signals--no WXTF or WPHL or WPVI viewing tonight. Signals are under 10 for all 3. Nothing out of WCAU at all

Thanks for the info.
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post #14 of 2388 Old 03-04-2003, 06:55 PM
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I use two Radio Shack Yagi antenna's in attic. I use a two piece RS amp. I live on a hill with good visibility toward Phily. I use a Panasonic HDS20 which has no signal meter. Since I'm doing this ad-hoc I won't use the actual digital channel numbers but how they appear on my receiver. Here's my situation:

Signal Reception
Strength Past Now

3-1 H Y Y
6-1 M-H Y Y
10-1 L Y N
12-1 M-H Y Y
17-1 L-M Y Y
29-1 M Y Y
43-1-4 M Y Y
52-1 L-M Y N
57-1 L-M Y N

L=Low M=Med H=High Y=Yes N=No

As you can tell, at one time I've been able to pick up all of these. Right now I am not seeing two channels.

Signal Strength is subjective based on lock-on speed, scanning recognition, guide, etc. For example, 3-1 or CBS always is picked up on scan, has immediate lock-on, sound & guide come up almost instantanously. But, 57-1 deesn't always get picked up and right now I can't receive it.

So, currently, I'm not sure if 10-1 NBC and 57-1 WB are broadcasting at full power from the new antenna. 10-1 was always weak but on most nights I was able to pick it up. Toward the end of last year it just went blank. The funny thing about 10-1 is that about a month to two ago they started coming in great with immediate lock-on so I new they had changed their broadcasting (location & power). But, they've been off to me for the last two months. Is it me or them? 57-1 is not currently available to me. It has come in well in the past. Again, not sure if it's my receiver's problem in locking this in. 52-1 sometimes comes in but not now.

Can someone with good local reception confirm if 10-1 and 57-1 are broadcasting right now?

Thanks
tonyo
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post #15 of 2388 Old 03-04-2003, 06:59 PM
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Sorry all, it word-wrapped the columns I set up with spaces. What I was trying to convey can be read as follows:

After each channel, 1st letter (L, M, H or range) is reception. 2nd letter is reception status during past (Y or N - but all Yes). 3rd letter is reception now (Y or N).

Thanks-

tonyo
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post #16 of 2388 Old 03-04-2003, 07:08 PM
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Quote:


Can someone with good local reception confirm if 10-1 and 57-1 are broadcasting right now?

tonyo123,

Both 10-1 and 57-1 are broadcasting as of 10:00 PM.

Quote:


). My question is: Will the preamp overamplify the channels I'm currently getting a perfect signal on? KYW-DT and WNJT-DT are a perfect 100 according to my E86.

jaypb,

I get the same signal strength on KYW 3-1 with and without the preamp. Apparently, my STP, a Samsung SIRT-165, handles the extra signal strength without overload at the distance that I am from the transmitter. On WCAU, the signal strength goes from 4 bars to 9 bars on the signal meter. I think that if the front end of the STB is properly designed, it will have enough dynamic range to handle the strong signals without overload while permitting consistent reception with the weaker ones.

Ray
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post #17 of 2388 Old 03-04-2003, 07:30 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by gjohnsen2002
JPB,

I live in Bedminster and have a 4228 as well, mounted in the attic. I pretty much concur to what you see on the channels you suggested. CBS and 57-1 come in good all the time, I do get upn 17-1 once in a while.

I am insterested that you were able to get ABC this morning. I have had zero success in getting this channel in. The best I was able to get was the sound but no picture on my TV.

Gary

You're living in Bedminster and can get Philly stations with a 4228? YES YES YES!!! WOOHOO. Bedminster is about the same distance from Philly as I am (Martinsville - I'm on the mountain, and I think close enough to the top that a roofmount antenna will "peek" over the top. I should check this with my GPS...)

Is that with or without a preamp?

BTW, for those that don't have a preamp, Lowes on Stelton Road in Piscataway (Keep turning right after taking the Stelton Road exit from I-287 south) has a Channel Master 3041DSB VHF/UHF preamp for around $55ish. Works wonderfully.

Have any of you been able to obtain the 4228 from a brick-and-mortar store anywhere? I'm VERY tempted to get a 4228 up on the roof aimed at Philly, but a brick-and-mortar store would make it easier to return if it isn't sufficient.
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post #18 of 2388 Old 03-04-2003, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by tonyo123
I use two Radio Shack Yagi antenna's in attic. I use a two piece RS amp. I live on a hill with good visibility toward Phily. I use a Panasonic HDS20 which has no signal meter. Since I'm doing this ad-hoc I won't use the actual digital channel numbers but how they appear on my receiver. Here's my situation:

Signal Reception
Strength Past Now

3-1 H Y Y
6-1 M-H Y Y
10-1 L Y N
12-1 M-H Y Y
17-1 L-M Y Y
29-1 M Y Y
43-1-4 M Y Y
52-1 L-M Y N
57-1 L-M Y N

L=Low M=Med H=High Y=Yes N=No

As you can tell, at one time I've been able to pick up all of these. Right now I am not seeing two channels.

Signal Strength is subjective based on lock-on speed, scanning recognition, guide, etc. For example, 3-1 or CBS always is picked up on scan, has immediate lock-on, sound & guide come up almost instantanously. But, 57-1 deesn't always get picked up and right now I can't receive it.

So, currently, I'm not sure if 10-1 NBC and 57-1 WB are broadcasting at full power from the new antenna. 10-1 was always weak but on most nights I was able to pick it up. Toward the end of last year it just went blank. The funny thing about 10-1 is that about a month to two ago they started coming in great with immediate lock-on so I new they had changed their broadcasting (location & power). But, they've been off to me for the last two months. Is it me or them? 57-1 is not currently available to me. It has come in well in the past. Again, not sure if it's my receiver's problem in locking this in. 52-1 sometimes comes in but not now.

Can someone with good local reception confirm if 10-1 and 57-1 are broadcasting right now?

Thanks
tonyo

Tonyo,

As of tonight, I'm able to get 57-1 UPN fine. I've yet to tune in 10-1 (WCAU). Where are you in NJ? And do you happen to know which amp you are using? I've come across your name while perusing the novel known as the Philly OTA thread

Is it normal for signals to fluctuate on a nightly basis? I KNOW this AM before I left for work I had a steady lock on 29-1, 17-1 and 6-1...yet when I got home at 8pm I didn't. No "24" for the wife--and she wasn't happy

I'll definitely give an amp/pre-amp a shot.

Funny thing about CBS 3-1. It has been at 100% since I hooked up the antenna on Sunday. Just for S&G's I tried 2-1 (WCBS out of NY) and actually got a semi steady picture/sound....even though the antenna is pointed totally in the other direction. Is CBS (as an organization) using a uniform broadcasting standard to boom their signals out there?

Just curious. Thanks for the info.
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post #19 of 2388 Old 03-04-2003, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally posted by RayN
jaypb,

I get the same signal strength on KYW 3-1 with and without the preamp. Apparently, my STP, a Samsung SIRT-165, handles the extra signal strength without overload at the distance that I am from the transmitter. On WCAU, the signal strength goes from 4 bars to 9 bars on the signal meter. I think that if the front end of the STB is properly designed, it will have enough dynamic range to handle the strong signals without overload while permitting consistent reception with the weaker ones.

Ray

I've got to get a preamp then! Is that preamp you are using carried locally or was it mail/internet order? Never heard of your make....but then again, I've only been "doing this HD thing" for a few weeks now
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Originally posted by Entropy512
Have any of you been able to obtain the 4228 from a brick-and-mortar store anywhere? I'm VERY tempted to get a 4228 up on the roof aimed at Philly, but a brick-and-mortar store would make it easier to return if it isn't sufficient.

If you go to Channelmaster's website they have a search feature to "find a local dealer" in your area. The only place I found local (somewhat) to me was in Hazlet (over by Rte 36 I believe). I never called them though. Bought my 4228 from spectravox.com. Received it in about 3 days too. Only complaint I had was based on their description I was expecting a mast with the antenna. No mast. Explanation given to me was that the "mast" the description was talking about was the tubing on the sides.

Either way I had read about their CS before I bought. I can't complain other than that.

Good luck!
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jaypb,

My preamp was installed by a professional antenna installer a long time ago. Blonder-Tongue is a local company (Old Bridge, I think) that has been making high quality antenna products for many years.

My preamp is mounted just below the antenna on the mast and gets its' power through the coax. I don't know whether the Channel Master mentioned in this thread preamp is mast mounted or is used indoors at the STB. I think that any probably any high quality UHF preamp with 10-15 db gain across the band will be fine.

Ray
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jaypb

I live in Basking Ridge, just under 100 miles from center of Phily according to Mapquest (does anyone have exact address of antenna locations?). The preamp is a two-piece Radio Shack model. It has a small AC supply and a separate power amp that you put close to the antenna. Seems to work well although I'm wondering if I could do better with a strong Channel Master model. It did work better than other RS models even those with variable power.

As for 10-1 NBC WCAU I will reset my receiber tonight and see if I can somehow pick it up.
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jaypb

Ran up to the attic and couldn't find model number on the RS amp....
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jaypb-

Okay, found the 'in-line signal amplifier' in the RS web page:

It's RS Cat # 15-1170 and it boosts the siganl 10 db. It's $30 and carried at most Radio Shacks. Here is the Web Page:

http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...5Fid=15%2D1170
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jaypb-

Okay, found the 'in-line signal amplifier' in the RS web page:

It's RS Cat # 15-1170 and it boosts the signal 10 db. It's $30 and carried at most Radio Shacks. Here is the Web Page:

http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...5Fid=15%2D1170
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Quote:


Originally posted by RayN
jaypb,

My preamp was installed by a professional antenna installer a long time ago. Blonder-Tongue is a local company (Old Bridge, I think) that has been making high quality antenna products for many years.

My preamp is mounted just below the antenna on the mast and gets its' power through the coax. I don't know whether the Channel Master mentioned in this thread preamp is mast mounted or is used indoors at the STB. I think that any probably any high quality UHF preamp with 10-15 db gain across the band will be fine.

Ray

The 3041DSB is definately mast-mounted.

As far as Rat Shack preamps - I wouldn't trust most of them. The 1171 bidirectional amp seems to be the most stable/lowest noise amp available from them according to people's experiences on this forum, but they still have no noise figure specifications published. No NF spec = I would strongly not reccommend using it.

The CM 3041DSB amp available at Lowes is mast-mounted and specced at (I believe) 22 dB gain and 2-2.2 dB noise figure (The best NF I've seen for any broadband amp) at UHF. It's specced somewhat lower (16 dB gain???) at VHF.

BTW, can anyone with a 4228 provide a picture of it with something else in the picture to provide a scale reference? CM's site shows it with nothing but blue sky in the background, which makes the antenna look HUGE compared to what I would expect given the size specs. It would be nice to see a picture of what an installed antenna looks like. (While we have no HOAs to worry about, being the only people in the neighborhood with a television antenna on the roof is somewhat of a sticky issue, so it would be nice to minimize visible impact.)

Edit: BTW, as the crow flies, Basking Ridge is probably on the order of 60ish miles from Philly, not 100. Basking Ridge is only a few miles north of Martinsville and my range is 55 miles.
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Originally posted by tonyo123
jaypb

I live in Basking Ridge, just under 100 miles from center of Phily according to Mapquest (does anyone have exact address of antenna locations?). The preamp is a two-piece Radio Shack model. It has a small AC supply and a separate power amp that you put close to the antenna. Seems to work well although I'm wondering if I could do better with a strong Channel Master model. It did work better than other RS models even those with variable power.

As for 10-1 NBC WCAU I will reset my receiber tonight and see if I can somehow pick it up.

I wonder how far I am from Philly. On the map sure looks further than I am from NYC

I noticed last night that, even though my CM 4228 is a UHF antenna, I'm picking up analog 3/6/10/17/29/57. Weird. Pretty clear visuals/sound too. Yet I'm not even getting a BLIP out of WCAU-DT 10.1

Go figure.

And everything but KYW-DT and UPN 57.1 and 43-1/2/3/4 was gone last night.

No "24" for the wife. I wanted to see how much better the picture looked in "enhanced widescreen" or whatever FOX calls it.

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post #28 of 2388 Old 03-05-2003, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally posted by tonyo123
jaypb-

Okay, found the 'in-line signal amplifier' in the RS web page:

It's RS Cat # 15-1170 and it boosts the siganl 10 db. It's $30 and carried at most Radio Shacks. Here is the Web Page:

http://www.radioshack.com/product.a...%5Fid=15%2D1170
Okay, found the 'in-line signal amplifier' in the RS web page:

It's RS Cat # 15-1170 and it boosts the siganl 10 db. It's $30 and carried at most Radio Shacks. Here is the Web Page:

http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...5Fid=15%2D1170

Thanks. I noticed these last week before I bought my antenna masts and mounts at RS. I was hoping to hook up the antenna and go "bareback" so to speak (no rotor and no amps) aimed at Philly to see what I picked up.

I was tease on Monday when nearly EVERYTHING but WCAU came in...and now everything but CBS and UPN are gone

Trial and error....right???

BTW---if anyone is near East Brunswick, I was at the Best Buy yesterday--they have an E86 on the floor...open box tagged----$250! I asked the sales guy if I had to buy it with an access card---he told me yes. I didn't have time to ask for a supervisor. I know I've read different threads about people buying open box specials without the access card. Has BB changed their policies?
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post #29 of 2388 Old 03-05-2003, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally posted by Entropy512
The CM 3041DSB amp available at Lowes is mast-mounted and specced at (I believe) 22 dB gain and 2-2.2 dB noise figure (The best NF I've seen for any broadband amp) at UHF. It's specced somewhat lower (16 dB gain???) at VHF.

I may have to hit Lowe's on the way home. Either way I won't be able to get up on the roof till Saturday---and now I see there's MORE precip coming for the weekend. Oh joy!

Are there any charts/rules of thumb as far as just HOW high a mast can be as far as support/safety wise? I'm using the antenna mounts that go near the peak of the house on the siding. I only have 2 5 foot masts attached right now. If I put the rotor on, I probably want to have 10 feet of mast ABOVE the rotor. Is that within the specs/guidelines for a CM 9521a rotor? When I asked the salesman at RS about their rotor and how much it could handle (mast wise) he didn't know.

Quote:



BTW, can anyone with a 4228 provide a picture of it with something else in the picture to provide a scale reference? CM's site shows it with nothing but blue sky in the background, which makes the antenna look HUGE compared to what I would expect given the size specs. It would be nice to see a picture of what an installed antenna looks like. (While we have no HOAs to worry about, being the only people in the neighborhood with a television antenna on the roof is somewhat of a sticky issue, so it would be nice to minimize visible impact.)

I can probably post one by the end of the weekend. It really is sci-fi looking compared to normal VHF/Yagi style antennas. My wife says it looks like the burger/fish basket that you use on your barbecue.

I concur.
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post #30 of 2388 Old 03-05-2003, 09:55 AM
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Hello All,

Entropy,
I have talked to you before and you have given me some great advise in the past. Yes I am in Bedminster (the Hills) and have a CM 4228 in the attic and am picking up some Philly stations. You have suggested me replacing my 11-1191 RS amp with a CM 7775. I have yet to do this, but am optimistic that this will do the trick (The Goal: Get ABC and FOX 6-1, 29-1) w/o missing up my rock solid CBS (3-1) signal. This will probably be my last step, cant think of any other things to do .

I bought my 4228 from Warren Electronics on the Web - came in 4 days !! Could not find any Brick & Mortar shops selling antenna's (other than the Shack - which know nada regarding Antenna theory - I know next to nada !!)

jaypb:

You and I have pretty much the same reception. Analog Fox and NBC come in GREAT for me, get 20% on the digital equivalents - I get KYW digital at 85% whilst the analog channel is awful!!!

Gary
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