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post #9241 of 10067 Old 10-19-2011, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by DanKurts View Post

Sherry
I'm trying to see which house is yours from the Google Earth shot.
North up 48th, on the west side of the road, the third house from 220th appears to have a brown roof, with an outbuilding that has a red roof. The 4th house up is about 100ft further north, light colored roof and sits at a 45 degree angle to the road. On the east side of 48th, about 150ft north of 220th, is an L shaped house with a big driveway and parking area. Where are you in relation to these houses?
KIRO translator from MT Vernon should be line of sight, almost due north. It doesn't have much power, but it's only 20 miles. Lowering your antenna should still receive it with all that equipment you're using. The nearest hill is across the valley, 3 miles away, not a big problem.
Also, when you had everything working okay, did you ever swing the antenna around to the south east and try for Tiger MT, by Issaquah, for ch51 KIRO? It's very high and should be line of sight as well. A lot farther, but could work, too.
As for KVOS and Vancouver, I would like to see which house is yours to get a better idea of what you're fighting.
I would bet we could get you back down to a reasonable height of 10ft to 20ft at the original location.

As for a good tuner, I found the ChannelMaster to be very sensitive and selective. I carry one in my van for testing. Works at very low levels of signal, below the minimum of what my meter reads, at -25db. Most TV's won't work below -15db. They carry two flavors at Fry's. One regular HD model
http://www.frys.com/product/6598413
The other comes with a DVR built in and two tuners
http://www.frys.com/product/6147839
Both have HDMI and optical outputs so you can run them through a good receiver and surround speakers.

The only good field strength meters I've seen start at $1500. Mine was over that, and my Sencore was almost $3000. They're invaluable because they show you more than just signal level. They give you an oscilloscope type view and the resulting waveshape is very important. Really helps you see what is going on.

Let me know which house is yours so I can check the tree situation a bit more. I love a good challenge!
Dan

Hi Dan,

That’s me with the brown roof, and red garage roof (I guess I’m not very good at estimating distances by feet!). There is an enclosed porch on the south end of the house which also has a red metal roof. The antenna is currently sitting on top of this roof.

When I first had the antenna installed, I moved that antenna around every which way trying to get something from Seattle - including all those from Tiger Mountain - although was mostly hoping for K29ED coming from Everett in that direction (a translator for KZJO, which in turn rebroadcasts KCPQ - was hoping to get my FOX that way). It’s only 17 miles away, but there must be a hill in the way that I can’t see). I got nothing.

I want to clarify that I can hook up a digital converter box (ie, the ChannelMaster you mention) to a digital TV?

Thanks again for your help!

If I can manage to get the sucker down, I might actually be able to get it back up to 20ft by myself!

Sherry
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post #9242 of 10067 Old 10-20-2011, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Wizeguy6 View Post

Thanks again, Dan!



I just built a really neat off-center fed dipole for my scanner base, and I'm playing around with other "stuff" while I try to educate myself on antenna theory and design. I needed a hobby... I suppose if I keep it up, I may end up in the market for a tower eventually. That kind of height might improve my OTA reception!

Wizeguy6
This a great site for ideas and theory.
http://www.kyes.com/antenna/antennadex.html
You can get deep into theory or just waffle around the easy stuff. One fun thing about antennas, there's a lot of oddball looking designs that work great. Nothing is really sacred beyond some basics, so push the limits. Great way to recycle those old coat hangers!

As for a tall tower, I'm sure there are local restrictions on that. Be sure to check into it first. Height is usually better, so you could use the side of the tower for the over air. Check into the above site for antenna stacking theory.
It might help if you want to play it. If I use a big tower, the Rohn is the best. Do a quality install, make it strong. You get a lot of wind there.
Send a snapshot of the dipole when you get it working.
Dan
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post #9243 of 10067 Old 10-20-2011, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shegato View Post

Hi Dan,

That's me with the brown roof, and red garage roof (I guess I'm not very good at estimating distances by feet!). There is an enclosed porch on the south end of the house which also has a red metal roof. The antenna is currently sitting on top of this roof.

When I first had the antenna installed, I moved that antenna around every which way trying to get something from Seattle - including all those from Tiger Mountain - although was mostly hoping for K29ED coming from Everett in that direction (a translator for KZJO, which in turn rebroadcasts KCPQ - was hoping to get my FOX that way). It's only 17 miles away, but there must be a hill in the way that I can't see). I got nothing.

I want to clarify that I can hook up a digital converter box (ie, the ChannelMaster you mention) to a digital TV?

Thanks again for your help!

If I can manage to get the sucker down, I might actually be able to get it back up to 20ft by myself!

Sherry

Sherry

Enclosing a picture with two lines on it. The more northern line is CHAN from Vancouver. As you can see, the north tip of your house just clears the trees. You had the it right the first time! Because the trees are so high, you're not going to gain anything by going up unless you could clear them, and that's not practical. Just get the antenna above your your roof by about 5ft and your as good as it gets. It's basically line of sight, 86 miles.
The second line is from KVOS on Orcas. You are more into the trees, but the angle the signal comes in from is higher. Again, by being at the north end of the house it will go through fewer trees.
The Seattle channels are blocked by the big hill to the south only about a mile away at 200th st NW.
Everett translator signals are shot down by the big 600ft hill on the Tulalip reservation. The translator is only about 320ft elevation.
However......
Ch13 from Gold Mt, Bremerton, is almost line of sight from you. It's about 50 miles, but at VHF freq's that's a bit easier. The biggest hill top in your way is only about 75ft higher than you and a mile away, essentially nothing. If you were trying for it from the north end of the house, you would be going through those cedar trees. I can see why you got nothing. If you were to mount the VHF antenna on red roof, however, you will see by the line in the second picture, heading southwest, you will go around them. I do see a big tree just south of the red roof, so if you can shoot the gap, it should work. Since there's nothing in Vancouver or KVOS that's VHF, permanently mounting the ch13 antenna, about 5 ft above the main house roof, or 10ft above the red roof, should be enough. Leave the 7777 preamp up at the north end of the house and run your ch13 cable up to it. Be sure to use the VHF input and open up the box and flip the switch so the input is NOT combined. Although that's not exactly the best way to do it, with a long run between the antenna and and the preamp, the loss of signal from the ch13 antenna through the coax is much less at the VHF freq.
No sweat. Then all you would need to do is tweak the rotor between KVOS and BC. All their channels seem to come from the same mountain top, so I doubt you would have to move it much once you get it dialed in.

Once you get all the stuff pulled down, and before you reinstall, just recheck all your fittings. If you put ends on the coax, just redo them. The most common mistakes are when you strip off the white dielectric from the center conductor, sometimes there's a small film of plastic left. Before you put the fitting on, gentley scrape the center conductor with your fingernail to make sure it's clean. Second, make sure there's no small bits of metal braid from the shielding that could short out the center to the edge when you put the fitting on. Last, seal up the balun and coax connections with electrical tape. Also, the baluns can get water inside and they will eventually short out. I usually put a dab of silicon glue on the end of the balun where the antenna wires com out as well.

Yes, the Channelmaster box is not just a converter, but regular HD tuner with full HD outputs, HDMI/Component and even composite. It doesn't have the fanciest graphics like some of the TV's do for menu GUI's, but you're not buying it for that. It performs great, and that's what matters. Just use it for tuning the channels, and your TV or AV receiver for the audio and picture.

So, you should have all this down and back up by Monday, working through all the rain this weekend, right?!?!?

Dan
LL
LL
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post #9244 of 10067 Old 10-28-2011, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by DanKurts View Post


laurienicol WOW!
That's some amazing reception. ... Friend of mine has a microwave relay shot from Queen Anne Hill, about 500ft elevation, going to KVOS tower on Mt Constitution, elevation 2700ft, and then relays to Bellingham. When they set it up, the engineers said the link to Orcas just cleared the horizon at 80 miles.

Dan

Dan,

Sorry to bump your older post but I thought you might like to know it's 76 miles from KVOS to me and my home-brew 15 bar cut-to-35 Yagi is about 218 feet lower than your other QA Hill friend who is concerned about the horizon. Does this prove RF 'bends' over the horizon? It certainly works for meee!

Steve at KVOS (CE) told me I'd never be able to receive them (wrong) and I doubt anyone here could have guessed I could also capture the Grays Harbor/LeBam translator for KBTC almost 90 miles distant and it is genuinely LP! Speaking of weak signals, I think I'll check analog 62 in Port Angles to see what's on tonight.

Hopefully the above brought a smile to your face! Like you, I don't like to lose.

73, Jim
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post #9245 of 10067 Old 10-28-2011, 10:28 PM
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I can get analog 62 here from Everett too.

Last night, had tropo, was able to get RF 22 (CHAN), 20, 26 and 32. Great to watch BC stations again... Today tropo is gone and so are the channels.
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post #9246 of 10067 Old 10-29-2011, 01:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim in Seattle View Post

Dan,

Sorry to bump your older post but I thought you might like to know it's 76 miles from KVOS to me and my home-brew 15 bar cut-to-35 Yagi is about 218 feet lower than your other QA Hill friend who is concerned about the horizon. Does this prove RF 'bends' over the horizon? It certainly works for meee!

Steve at KVOS (CE) told me I'd never be able to receive them (wrong) and I doubt anyone here could have guessed I could also capture the Grays Harbor/LeBam translator for KBTC almost 90 miles distant and it is genuinely LP! Speaking of weak signals, I think I'll check analog 62 in Port Angles to see what's on tonight.

Hopefully the above brought a smile to your face! Like you, I don't like to lose.

73, Jim

Jim in Seattle
When they said it was right on the horizon, you have to take that with some lattitude. They never said how much it cleared it by. Microwave links are a different critter from TV, and I can't remember what frequency they were using.
Main thing is, when you get near a 100 miles, that's really pushing the limits of HD UHF. Add in elevation and it can be make or break it.
And for bragging rights, when I lived in Redondo, on the beach at elevation 20ft, I could get the old analog KVOS pretty good at 95 miles. It took three Blonder Tongue 60 db notch traps and an old Channelmaster 3617 (all 18ft of it) to trap out ch13 & 11. I also get HD KVOS here, two miles further, but 200ft higher, in the trees, with a 4221 and an old UHF preamp that was tweaked for it. It also takes a very good tuner.
From where you are, KVOS is still line of sight and above the horizon. What makes yours tough is all the powerful noise from the towers on the hill. Your yagi is helping a lot, too.

HD signals aren't really coming to you like a laser beam. They scatter more than you realize. Picture a car coming towards you at night, just over a hill. You can't see the headlights, but you see the glow. Not much there for you to see by, but it's light. When you get behind a hill, you can get some HD signals, just depends on many factors whether it will be enough to work with.
laurienicol is almost at sea level about 110 miles to QA Hill. Technically, it's possible, but there are some hills in the way only a few miles away. By the time signal gets there, it's very weak. That's what I found amazing.

So no, TV UHF RF doesn't really bend, but the scatter can sometimes be enough to work with. Yes, the lower the frequency, the more it can go over hills, again depending on various factors of type of modulation, power, etc.
Signals can also bounce off the troposphere, which is what we used in the military in ancient times. Took a lot of power and some big mo-fo antennas, but we could go around the world. It's technically possible to get TV signals that way, but it's far more likely they're getting atmospheric weather conditions that allow it to bounce along at much lower altitudes. Look up troposheric propagation for a better explanation. And as others have noted, reception that way is not very reliable.

I agree, not sure what the KVOS Steve person meant by his remarks, but you can't argue with good pictures!
As for your getting other areas, that's where good equipment and some persistence pays off. Well done.
The example of distant reception I like is that the satellites Directv and Dish use only transmit with about 100watts of power, 22,000 miles up. It takes some very sensitive antennas, preamps and tuners to make all that work, but it can be done. Back in the late 70's we had to sort through expensive transistors to get ones low enough in noise just to see the TV satellites, with 15ft dishes. Things have have obviously improved, far more than most people are aware of.

Yeah, I still smile when I get a win on a tough one. And I still find it amazing sometimes, like when I was a kid, that you can get all these stations out of the air with just a radio and some wire going out to the tree......

Geeze, ramblin again. Gotta get back to decaf.....
Take care.
Dan
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post #9247 of 10067 Old 10-30-2011, 10:00 PM
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Dan,

Your analogy about automobile headlights being just over a hill, is brilliant.

For KVOS, the only other antenna I've tested that ever received them was a DB-2 raised about 5 feet higher and it captured 1/3 of the "strength". I have tried 3 different corner reflectors, a CM-4221, a 4228 and a Kosmic SuperQuad and a small peculiar Yagi-type antenna I purchased from Pearl Electronics during the week they closed: none of them saw a hint of the signal.

One evening almost exactly two years ago, KVOS rode to town via tropo and my 4221 located in my back yard under the peak of my roof, facing west caught them! When I switched to my Yagi, my Sony reported signal at 100 and zero errors: half an hour later they started breaking up and then disappeared for over an hour.

Have you seen the Television signal strength meter currently for sale on Craigslist? Here's the link: http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/ele/2673211587.html

Best regards, Jim
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post #9248 of 10067 Old 10-31-2011, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim in Seattle View Post

Dan,

Your analogy about automobile headlights being just over a hill, is brilliant.

For KVOS, the only other antenna I've tested that ever received them was a DB-2 raised about 5 feet higher and it captured 1/3 of the "strength". I have tried 3 different corner reflectors, a CM-4221, a 4228 and a Kosmic SuperQuad and a small peculiar Yagi-type antenna I purchased from Pearl Electronics during the week they closed: none of them saw a hint of the signal.

One evening almost exactly two years ago, KVOS rode to town via tropo and my 4221 located in my back yard under the peak of my roof, facing west caught them! When I switched to my Yagi, my Sony reported signal at 100 and zero errors: half an hour later they started breaking up and then disappeared for over an hour.

Have you seen the Television signal strength meter currently for sale on Craigslist? Here's the link: http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/ele/2673211587.html

Best regards, Jim

Jim in Seattle
Yes, tropo is a crazy world. There's also the ground wave, signal that runs along the ground. Had one 4221 up in Lynwood area that worked like a champ when I set it on the ground, leaning against my leg! Picked it up, nothing. Set it back down, bingo! We left it leaning against his garage, still working today. In the analog days, I found a guy that had a big Channelmaster out in Wilkeson/Carbonado area, working pretty good by just laying in his front yard. He was surrounded by hills. He would pick it up when he mowed the yard. Said it didn't do anything mounted on a big mast, got mad about spending all the time and money, so he took it down and threw it out in the yard, and his wife shouted a picture came in!
Go figure.
Yeah, that's an old meter. Never seen one, but then there were lots of brands back then. I still have my Dad's Jerrold 704, sitting in the garage. All tubes except the rectifier. The 5U4 kept falling out so replaced it with some diodes. Still has all it's original 5star military spec tubes, and works. Used it up until HD came in 1997. A beast lugging it up on roofs on a long extension cord. Here's a similar one
http://www.recycledgoods.com/product...gth-Meter.html
Can't believe the guy is asking that kind of money for a 60 year old analog meter. Doubt he got mmore than $50.
Dan
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post #9249 of 10067 Old 11-03-2011, 08:19 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by DanKurts
Wizeguy6: What other frequencies are you creating antennas for?
Dan
----------
Wizeguy6: I just built a really neat off-center fed dipole for my scanner base, and I'm playing around with other "stuff" while I try to educate myself on antenna theory and design. I needed a hobby... I suppose if I keep it up, I may end up in the market for a tower eventually. That kind of height might improve my OTA reception!
-----------
I know this is not Seattle related, but this is what I use when I build VHF/UHF monitor antennas. High-pressure/aircraft-certified/stainless steel 3-way 1/4" diameter pipe connectors to attach and easily remove solid aluminum ground plane elements. A VHF (2 meter Ham/WX radio) antenna is featured here and it works for me!

Jim


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post #9250 of 10067 Old 11-03-2011, 08:46 PM
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I was reading over on the DBSTalk forums that KING has been dropping their broadcast power levels over the past few weeks. I have noticed that it has been harder to get the signal over the last few days, and they have been the easiest to get for a long time! Does anyone here know anything about this?
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post #9251 of 10067 Old 11-03-2011, 10:34 PM
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Must be another tropo-like night... Getting RF 22 and 20 from BC briefly, 107 miles away, using a home-brew M4 (similar to CM 4221) about 15 feet AGL.
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post #9252 of 10067 Old 11-04-2011, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by allen98311 View Post

I was reading over on the DBSTalk forums that KING has been dropping their broadcast power levels over the past few weeks. I have noticed that it has been harder to get the signal over the last few days, and they have been the easiest to get for a long time! Does anyone here know anything about this?

As I said in the forum you refer to, it still looks pretty strong (100%) here, although that is a single data point and my Directv receiver is the only one I have with a signal strength display.

I believe there is a KING employee who occasionally posts on this thread and maybe he will comment.

Bob
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post #9253 of 10067 Old 11-05-2011, 01:04 PM
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I've not noticed any difference with KING5 signal. Channel is fine for me from Everett/Mill Creek and a Radio Shack VU-190 antenna.
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post #9254 of 10067 Old 11-06-2011, 03:43 PM
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I'm looking for some suggestions on my OTA setup as it is having dropouts and I can't get rid of them. I'm at "nw 62nd st and 9th ave nw seattle wa" and have a roof mounted Channel Master 4221.

I have worked through most all suggestions on this thread including.
Replacing cables & connectors
Removing splitters
Changing position of antenna
Swapping out tuners

At this point I think that interference is the problem. I have systematically shut off things like my weather station and wifi to eliminate those sources. Most recently I have re-cabled the antenna and tried a number of attenuator combinations. Even with 21db of attenuator in line the dropouts continue and seem to have no effect.

Now I'm looking into FM trap as a next step. Has anybody used/needed one of these in ballard or close by? Other suggestions?

Thanks,
Blake
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post #9255 of 10067 Old 11-06-2011, 05:26 PM
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trode,

I am pretty close to you, on QA Hill and I don't think FM is a problem in your location. Please post your http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?opti...pper&Itemid=29 report for us to study so we can make antenna suggestions for you. Speaking of ... what do you currently have for an antenna?

I have a satisfied customer just north of you who I helped to receive about 35 free OTA channels. I wish he would give up his copper wire dipole ... Generally speaking, Ballard is usually a gimme, compared to many other locations.

Jim

PS I Said he receives 35 channels and that includes duplicates such as the SD version of KCPQ-13 coming from Capitol Hill.
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post #9256 of 10067 Old 11-06-2011, 05:58 PM
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Here is the tvfool report /?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d4bbafbf69595ef
Can't post the full url as I had to make a new account this week.

The antenna is a Channel Master 4221 roof mounted on a tripod.
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post #9257 of 10067 Old 11-06-2011, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trode View Post

I'm looking for some suggestions on my OTA setup as it is having dropouts and I can't get rid of them. I'm at "nw 62nd st and 9th ave nw seattle wa" and have a roof mounted Channel Master 4221.

I have worked through most all suggestions on this thread including.
Replacing cables & connectors
Removing splitters
Changing position of antenna
Swapping out tuners

At this point I think that interference is the problem. I have systematically shut off things like my weather station and wifi to eliminate those sources. Most recently I have re-cabled the antenna and tried a number of attenuator combinations. Even with 21db of attenuator in line the dropouts continue and seem to have no effect.

Now I'm looking into FM trap as a next step. Has anybody used/needed one of these in ballard or close by? Other suggestions?

Thanks,
Blake

Blake
Good job of troubleshooting!
I've installed many antennas around you, and like Jim said, usually a slam dunk. You may have trouble with channels 9-11-13, as the 4221 wasn't really designed for VHF. True, being close to the towers can make it work, but could give problems for those channels. 21db of attenuation is NOT too much, as it's very easy to get +30 to +45 db there. If you have an overly sensitive tuner, it's possible to overload it near +20db, but not too likely.
There's no FM around you of any major strength, like the TV towers are. FM is also far below UHF. The FM traps were really only for eliminating herringbone in the picture on the analog stuff, and usually only when you used an amplifier as well. With digital, it's not an issue that you need to worry about.

What tuners are you using? How do you have the antenna and cable grounded and to what? Did you replace the balun? Have you shut off ALL the electrical in the house? By that I mean, obviously, if you did it all at once nothing would work. However, you could run an extension cord to another plug that still had power so you could systematically shut off everything.
Does your neighbor have a sodium vapor light? Do the dropouts come at any predictable times? Are you near somebody with a neon sign? Are there any trees in the way, specially Fir or Cedar trees? Any big Ham radio or CB antennas within a 100 yards or so?
I know there's a bunch of business' up at 65th and 8th, and heading east over to 3rd, but I would find it hard to imagine any of them being the bad guy. And your antenna has a pretty good rejection to that from where you are. Can't remember anything nearby at your location but houses.

A not so hi-tech way of locating noise is with a battery powered AM radio, tuned to a blank spot on the dial. Walk around with it. When you get near a light switch dimmer that's on, you'll hear it. Then take it outside near the antenna and see what gives.

Let me know what you find.
Dan
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post #9258 of 10067 Old 11-06-2011, 11:56 PM
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Tuners are EyeTV 500, Original HDHomeRun and the Current HDHomerun. The hd homerun allowed me to shut off all the living room equipment and test it from a basement computer. Still the same dropouts. Regular interval for the most part.

Antenna is grounded to the main electrical ground of the house. I even tried disconnecting that to see if interference was coming from the ground.

With the Attenuators I was able to drop signal levels as reported by eyeTV software to ~70% and was still seeing the dropouts. King 5 antenna is direct LOS so no trees involved with that channel. Dropouts seem consistent across channels.

I haven't tried replacing the balun yet. I don't think anybody has any high powered lights or neon as it's all houses for quite a few blocks. I guess I could do eyetv 500 and a laptop with the house main breaker off :-)
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post #9259 of 10067 Old 11-07-2011, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trode View Post

Tuners are EyeTV 500, Original HDHomeRun and the Current HDHomerun. The hd homerun allowed me to shut off all the living room equipment and test it from a basement computer. Still the same dropouts. Regular interval for the most part.

Antenna is grounded to the main electrical ground of the house. I even tried disconnecting that to see if interference was coming from the ground.

With the Attenuators I was able to drop signal levels as reported by eyeTV software to ~70% and was still seeing the dropouts. King 5 antenna is direct LOS so no trees involved with that channel. Dropouts seem consistent across channels.

I haven't tried replacing the balun yet. I don't think anybody has any high powered lights or neon as it's all houses for quite a few blocks. I guess I could do eyetv 500 and a laptop with the house main breaker off :-)

Blake
Again, very logical troubleshooting, good job!
I'm not familiar with the tuners you have, so I can't comment on them. It's hard to believe all would be bad, though. I'm assuming the Mac is running when you watch TV, so is there an instant replay while watching live TV?
Are the Macs your only display, or are they driving a regular TV as well? What are the time intervals of the breakups? Is it picture tiling, freezing, audio droputs, all the above? Do they show up on the Mac display as well?
Is there a big power transformer on a utility pole nearby?
Did you try the AM radio test? It would be interesting to see if you heard an increase in noise on it at the same time a breakup occurs.

If possible, and the time interval of breakups is often enough, try running one of the newer Macs on battery, house off power, and see what happens.

Last, have you tried a regular over air tuner made to work with TV's?

Edit: just saw something on the EyeTV on a blog that was interesting.

https://josephhall.org/nqb2/index.php/elgato

If that's true, and you have other things going on in the Macs background, and all your viewing is on Macs, could be the CPU is choking.
Also, was this problem occuring from the start of your over air project, or was it initially working fine for some period of time and then went south?

Hang in there, we'll track this down!

Dan
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post #9260 of 10067 Old 11-08-2011, 09:05 PM
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My main htpc is a Mac mini and I have also tested from a second system as HDhomeRun is accessible over the network. The Mac drives an older HP LCD tv.

Time interval seems like 3/4 a second to 2 seconds. Problem got worse after moving the antenna from the attic to the roof. Using the eyetv software the whole image stutters but audio usually continues. If I use HDhomeRun software in combination with vlc I see horizontal artifacts in the image.

I'm confident it's not a computer issue after 15+ years as a Mac IT guy. So I will try some more process of elimination tests next weekend.

Thanks for the suggestions!
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post #9261 of 10067 Old 11-09-2011, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trode View Post

My main htpc is a Mac mini and I have also tested from a second system as HDhomeRun is accessible over the network. The Mac drives an older HP LCD tv.

Time interval seems like 3/4 a second to 2 seconds. Problem got worse after moving the antenna from the attic to the roof. Using the eyetv software the whole image stutters but audio usually continues. If I use HDhomeRun software in combination with vlc I see horizontal artifacts in the image.

I'm confident it's not a computer issue after 15+ years as a Mac IT guy. So I will try some more process of elimination tests next weekend.

Thanks for the suggestions!

Blake
Definitely sounds like you're picking up some stray noise from outside the house.
Change the balun first, if you can. It may have gone wierd on you during the move. The wire inside is really tiny and fragile. If the f fitting gets tweaked or turns inside the plastic it can break it. Your signal may still be strong enough for it to work, but you loose your ground. Make sure you keep leads from the balun to the antenna separated and evenly spaced and not twisted together.

If you have a friend with a HD tuner, connect it directly to the LCD TV and see what happens. And definitely try the no house power as a last test.
It's going to be a bit wet this weekend, stay safe on the roof!
Dan
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post #9262 of 10067 Old 11-09-2011, 10:41 PM
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Hey all,

I'm on the west slope of Beacon Hill, and I'm using an RCA ANT751 antenna. I've been having a lot of signal trouble, particularly with KING-5, where it would start to scramble or drop audio for several seconds. I attributed this to long RG-59 cable runs (and it's split three ways, too), so I installed a CM7777 pre-amp. Now I don't get KING-5 at all.

Does this mean I had a too-strong signal all along, and I need to toss it and get an attenuator? Or do I need to scrap my cheap antenna and get a more serious one? All advice welcome...thanks!

(Secondary question: I've been thinking about springing for separate UHF and VHF antennae, in an attempt to get FOX in HD. Given my location, is that a hopeless cause, or is there an antenna out there that might work for me?)
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post #9263 of 10067 Old 11-10-2011, 04:25 AM
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We would really need to see a TVFool plot in order to more accurately gauge your situation. Go to http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29, enter your address (it won't display on the output report), then paste the resultant URL back here according to that pages instructions for sharing. As a newly joined member, this forum will not allow you to post a web link (thanks to spammers), but if you edit the link by replacing the "." character with the word "dot", we can easily reassemble the link.

Channel 13's transmitter is over on Gold Mtn, overlooking Bremerton and transmits on "real" channel 13. This often makes its direct reception a bit challenging. That TVfool plot will help us in the analysis.

A 7777 is definitely the wrong thing to install. It's about like hitting a tack with a sledgehammer. You're likely getting severe inter-modulation distortion that has caused the loss of KING.

Quote:
Originally Posted by afurdell View Post

Hey all,

I'm on the west slope of Beacon Hill, and I'm using an RCA ANT751 antenna. I've been having a lot of signal trouble, particularly with KING-5, where it would start to scramble or drop audio for several seconds. I attributed this to long RG-59 cable runs (and it's split three ways, too), so I installed a CM7777 pre-amp. Now I don't get KING-5 at all.

Does this mean I had a too-strong signal all along, and I need to toss it and get an attenuator? Or do I need to scrap my cheap antenna and get a more serious one? All advice welcome...thanks!

(Secondary question: I've been thinking about springing for separate UHF and VHF antennae, in an attempt to get FOX in HD. Given my location, is that a hopeless cause, or is there an antenna out there that might work for me?)

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post #9264 of 10067 Old 11-10-2011, 07:49 AM
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OK, here's the results:

tvfoolDOTcom/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d4bba175323090c
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post #9265 of 10067 Old 11-10-2011, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afurdell View Post

Hey all,

I'm on the west slope of Beacon Hill, and I'm using an RCA ANT751 antenna. I've been having a lot of signal trouble, particularly with KING-5, where it would start to scramble or drop audio for several seconds. I attributed this to long RG-59 cable runs (and it's split three ways, too), so I installed a CM7777 pre-amp. Now I don't get KING-5 at all.

Does this mean I had a too-strong signal all along, and I need to toss it and get an attenuator? Or do I need to scrap my cheap antenna and get a more serious one? All advice welcome...thanks!

(Secondary question: I've been thinking about springing for separate UHF and VHF antennae, in an attempt to get FOX in HD. Given my location, is that a hopeless cause, or is there an antenna out there that might work for me?)

afurdell
What's your nearest cross streets?
Dan
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post #9266 of 10067 Old 11-11-2011, 12:40 AM
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I'm right near 23rd and McClellan.

So should I experiment with an attenuator to fix my KING problem? If so, is there someplace I can buy them in Seattle, or do I need to order one online? I'm pretty new to this, as you can tell I'm sure...any direction would be appreciated.
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post #9267 of 10067 Old 11-11-2011, 06:41 PM
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I'm right near 23rd and McClellan.

So should I experiment with an attenuator to fix my KING problem? If so, is there someplace I can buy them in Seattle, or do I need to order one online? I'm pretty new to this, as you can tell I'm sure...any direction would be appreciated.

afurdell
It looks like you're on the East side of the hill.
As ProjectSHO89 noted, using that preamp, which is really pretty powerful when you give it a strong signal to begin with, is not wise. Trying to work around it is going to be a nightmare. Remove it.
Your antenna is really decent for where you are. Where the problems come from are many. Ch's 4-5-7-16 signal path goes right down the middle of all the buildings downtown. They can really chop up the signal. It means not all of the signal is getting to you at the same time. There's plenty of signal in terms of level, and for ch's 9-11-22, it's causing you to glow in the dark. If you use a bigger antenna, like a longer yagi, it might help eliminate some of the multipath for QA hill signals, but might make Capital hill ch's tough to get. It's actually better to have a small one like you have now. Trick is finding the sweet spot where you can fudge in both directions. They're spread apart just enough to make it a real challenge.
Ch13 from Gold Mt to the west is going to be very tough. You have a 100ft or more of Beacon hill in the way, and it rises pretty fast until 15th. However, you can get ch13 on ch22-2 in standard def. If you want to try for Gold Mt, it's going to be tough. You'll need a separate antenna, probably a VHF hi band only, with a trap for UHF, and run in on a separate cable to your tuner, with an A/B switch. Trying to couple the antennas on the roof with a Jointenna and use one cable won't work. CH11 is too close and will just overload the coupler.
The best solution for the other channels is to try and find a different location. Just moving it 8" in any direction can make or break. You'll find some channels won't be that fussy, others very touchy. Try and keep it pointed basically towards the Columbia tower and work from there. If you turn it too much towards the Capital hill towers, they will overload your tuner.
If you want to use an attenuator, which couldn't hurt, it might put your levels down a bit and make your tuner work better if it's overly sensitive. (again, this is without any preamplifier) A quick easy way to make one is use a 4way splitter, and install 75ohm terminators on the unused ports. It's equivalent to about 7db of loss.
Patience is the key. Whenever you try a position, give the tuner at least 10 seconds to lock on. You can't just whip it around like finding an analog channel with instant results. If you keep a simple chart, do a scan and record what your tuner results are each time, the tough and difficult channels will jump out, and the easy ones can be somewhat ignored, speeding up the process. If you can kind of sight down the main boom of the antenna, you may notice a building or tree nearby in the general direction, and see the results on the chart. It could be only a few blocks away, but the clearer you can see around the close stuff, the better.
Let us know what happens.
Dan
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post #9268 of 10067 Old 11-12-2011, 04:23 PM
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Turns out my problem ended up being a bad network switch and a firewire tuner that wasn't able to tune well.

I started from scratch and tested all available tuners including the LCD tv. It was able to get all channels without issue. The tip I would share with network attached tuners is to try directly connecting them to a computer via ethernet port and test them that way. That is how I determined that it had to be a network issue when they worked properly that way. I swapped out a 8 port netgear switch with an older 5 port one and now everything works. The switch was failing is such a way that normal tests like ping did not show any problems..

What really confused me was the old firewire tuner was failing in a similar way on the same channels. I have retired the EyeTV 500 and now am using 2 HDHomeRun's to get 4 tuners via the network.

Thanks for the help Jim/Dan and the rest of the posters!
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post #9269 of 10067 Old 11-14-2011, 11:04 AM
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Okay, I went out with a compass and tried my best to move the antenna towards 162º which is what that OTA website said the bulk of the stations I want are located. Because I already had the mast installed, I wasn't able to get it exactly where I wanted it, but as close as possible. I swiveled the antenna a little but I still get random pixilation on most of the mainstream networks (kiro,komo,king and fox). Sometime it will go an hour fine, but sometimes it will go a minutes, then pixels, then a message from my TV saying “there is no or a weak signal” – or something to that effect. Then it will pop back on for a minute, then it starts all over. It might be worth noting that when the station is on, it is clear as a bell - better than my previous HD cable.

I forgot to mention that when I was originally hooking up the antenna, I split the coax so I could have a TV in my basement. I have the cable run, but it is not hooked up to the 2nd TV yet or the splitter yet. So I have a 2-way splitter with one cable going to my main TV and the other ready but not hooked up to anything yet.

With that in mind, I called channel master to ask for some advice. They said do not get a bigger antenna; that the 4220 may be too big since I am less than 20 miles from the towers and that if anything my problem might be that I my antenna is over-shooting the Seattle towers. They suggested hooking up the second TV so that it will weaken the signal and possible clear up the pixilation. If that doesn’t work they suggest bypassing the splitter and going directly from the antenna to the TV. If neither of those work, they suggested moving the antenna to the peak of my roof (another 4’) and trying that.

I could move the antenna another 4' up to the exact peak of my roof. this would put the antenna a little higher and I would at that point be able to position the mast exactly where I want it.

What do you think?

here is my tvfool info in it helps:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...ec12baa4201296
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post #9270 of 10067 Old 11-14-2011, 08:10 PM
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Rbico,

Per your TVFOOL report it looks to me that you are well east of Lynnwood, so I'd like to know the altitude above sea level where you live and a closer physical location.

I setup a friend in Lynnwood who's TVFOOL looks nothing like yours and he gets over 30 clear channels.

Jim
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