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post #10591 of 10701 Old 03-20-2014, 05:12 AM
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Anyone had problems with WCVB 5 Boston lately? We were receiving a very low signal (WBZ/WHDH=90-100; WCVB=60 to zero). Suddenly back to full power this morning.


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post #10592 of 10701 Old 04-06-2014, 08:39 AM
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Hi Everyone,

I live about 25 miles northwest of the antenna farm in Needham ma and had been using an indoor rabbit ear antenna pretty successfully with only a couple channels dropping out (WBZ and FOX). I decided to install a roof top antenna to help with the range and reception. It is a Winegard 9095P mounted 30 ft. from ground level. Although the range is longer and the signal is stronger on some stations, the pixelating is about the same. Now I do have tall pine trees starting at 150 feet away which may be the cause of this but I would like to know if this is the right antenna for this location. Another issue that might be causing this signal bounce is I installed an FM dipole antenna on the same mast at the top. This will be the first thing I will remove and see if there is a difference.

Error correction might play a role here too. When sourced directly to the TV, the dropping is much less than through Silcone Dusts HD Home Run Dual.

My coordinates are here: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d5b94286910c718

Thanks For Your Help,

Bruce

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post #10593 of 10701 Old 04-06-2014, 09:59 AM
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A 9095 is fine if you are focused on receiving the Boston stations.

It's unlikely that the FM Dipole is causing a problem unless you improperly connected it to the UHF antenna.

If the signals must pass through the trees to get to the antenna, then they would be my prime suspect. If the breakups intensify whenever the wind blows, that would seal the diagnosis in my book.
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post #10594 of 10701 Old 04-07-2014, 06:30 AM
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Yes, I am mostly targeting the Boston channels, so it is good to know that I specked out the right antenna. Is the FM dipole frequencey to far away from the UHF band to cause any problems? The direction say to keep it away from other antennas by 4 feet and I have it within 2. It was windy yesterday and the drop outs were more than the day it wasn't, so that does look like the real problem. I still do not want to dismiss the error correction factors between these tuners just yet though.

So, now I have to determine if the pixalition is actualy bad enough to warrant making major changes. I will give this some time and just watch it for now. Aside from taking down the trees, is there any other antenna that may perform better under these circumstances. I do not want to go with cable again if I do not have too.

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post #10595 of 10701 Old 04-07-2014, 08:01 AM
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At that distance, you should not be getting pixelation, even through pine trees. I'm twice as far away from those stations as you are and I'm shooting through pine trees with no problems on any station from Boston. How much are you splitting the signal inside the house? I suspect a signaling problem internally more than externally at this point or that you're over driving the signal to the TV.
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post #10596 of 10701 Old 04-07-2014, 08:13 AM
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Please use existing threads before starting a new one. A Boston thread already exists.

Threads merged.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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post #10597 of 10701 Old 04-07-2014, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bac522 View Post

At that distance, you should not be getting pixelation, even through pine trees. I'm twice as far away from those stations as you are and I'm shooting through pine trees with no problems on any station from Boston. How much are you splitting the signal inside the house? I suspect a signaling problem internally more than externally at this point or that you're over driving the signal to the TV.

From the antenna it is about a 50 ft. run of RG11 to the passive amplified 9 port splitter. Currently there are 3 tuner leads connected to it. Here is the info on the splitter. http://www.commscope.com/catalog/broadband/2147484135/product_details.aspx?id=774
Do you think it is over driving with this set up?

Thanks,
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post #10598 of 10701 Old 04-07-2014, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ProjectSHO89 View Post

A 9095 is fine if you are focused on receiving the Boston stations.

It's unlikely that the FM Dipole is causing a problem unless you improperly connected it to the UHF antenna.

If the signals must pass through the trees to get to the antenna, then they would be my prime suspect. If the breakups intensify whenever the wind blows, that would seal the diagnosis in my book.

I forgot to mention that the FM dipole is a separate RG6 lead.

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post #10599 of 10701 Old 04-07-2014, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Bacffin View Post

Do you think it is over driving with this set up?

Thanks,
Bruce

Actually I think you might be since the antenna you're using has it's strongest gain on channels 32 and WBZ is at channel 30 and Fox is at channel 31. The 9-way splitter will attenuate the signal quite a bit, but probably not enough for those 2 channels. One thing to check is the TV's signal level meter, if it's pegged on those 2 channels then there's a good chance you are overdriving the TV's tuner. If you have some more splitters kicking around, put one in between the cable and TV and see if that helps, although the dB loss of the splitter may not be enough. Long term you can move your roof antenna to not point directly at the towers which will help reduce the signal it's capturing, the more you move it the less signal you will capture...the trick is finding the sweet spot. Another thing long term is you could get an in-line cable attenuator.
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post #10600 of 10701 Old 04-07-2014, 06:55 PM
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He's using an eight-port unity gain amp (a 10-11 dB amp plus an eight port splitter). Those types of distribution amps are pretty hard to overload.

Swap out the amp for a four port passive splitter. That will answer your concern quickly as to whether or not it's overload.
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post #10601 of 10701 Old 04-08-2014, 05:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bac522 View Post

At that distance, you should not be getting pixelation, even through pine trees. I'm twice as far away from those stations as you are and I'm shooting through pine trees with no problems on any station from Boston. How much are you splitting the signal inside the house? I suspect a signaling problem internally more than externally at this point or that you're over driving the signal to the TV.

The amp is a 0 db gain/loss amp. Whatever the signal coming in is is what the signal going out will be across all ports. Unless the signal on the antenna is too strong which is doubtful i don't believe overcooking is the issue. What you should look for is errors. If signal strength is good and you are within the area signal can be received, at that height you shouldn't have issues. you can have great signal and still have pix-elation. to verify there are no errors i would suggest bypassing all wiring and devices and run a temp piece of rg6 from the antenna to the tv through a window or door. if the errors are still prevalent than you will need to exam the antenna more. if they are gone than address the devices and wiring in your home. If you do find the the antenna is a possible point of errors than try putting a pair of rabbit ears up there with your antenna and run the rg6 from that as a temp. If the problems are gone than you can confirm the antenna. If they aren't than something is messing with those specific frequencies in route to you. Try another location.

Hope this helps diagnosing. Good luck
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post #10602 of 10701 Old 04-08-2014, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by BeantowneS View Post

The amp is a 0 db gain/loss amp. Whatever the signal coming in is is what the signal going out will be across all ports.
Hope this helps diagnosing. Good luck
Yeah missed the fact it was a unity gain splitter. The signal strength meter in the TV might help provide a clue.
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post #10603 of 10701 Old 04-08-2014, 05:50 AM
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Baffin called it a passive which was the incorrect term. It is a active. That mislead me off the start as well. smile.gif
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post #10604 of 10701 Old 04-08-2014, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by BeantowneS View Post

The amp is a 0 db gain/loss amp. Whatever the signal coming in is is what the signal going out will be across all ports. Unless the signal on the antenna is too strong which is doubtful i don't believe overcooking is the issue. What you should look for is errors. If signal strength is good and you are within the area signal can be received, at that height you shouldn't have issues. you can have great signal and still have pix-elation. to verify there are no errors i would suggest bypassing all wiring and devices and run a temp piece of rg6 from the antenna to the tv through a window or door. if the errors are still prevalent than you will need to exam the antenna more. if they are gone than address the devices and wiring in your home. If you do find the the antenna is a possible point of errors than try putting a pair of rabbit ears up there with your antenna and run the rg6 from that as a temp. If the problems are gone than you can confirm the antenna. If they aren't than something is messing with those specific frequencies in route to you. Try another location.

Hope this helps diagnosing. Good luck

Thanks Everyone for the help. I am not an antenna guy at all and bear with me as I decifer the reasoning here. So by connecting the rabbit ears and the yagi together, would I be gathering more of the signal because it is wider? Can I just use a regular splitter backwards or do I need another type?

I will try the direct wiring too.

thanks,
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post #10605 of 10701 Old 04-08-2014, 08:29 AM
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no. Use the rabbit ears as a separate source on the roof. This will tell if the actual antenna is defective
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post #10606 of 10701 Old 04-08-2014, 03:25 PM
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DSCN4283-1.jpg 162k .jpg file
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Originally Posted by BeantowneS View Post

no. Use the rabbit ears as a separate source on the roof. This will tell if the actual antenna is defective
Okay, will do.

Well, it's windy tonight and channels 4,25,56 and 38 are all dropping out. I am almost convinced it is the wind. Now for the stupid question. I am probably in the shadow from the pine trees of the signal. If I angle the antenna pointing 45 degrees higher, will that help. Digital signal are different than analog from what I can tell.
The trees are a lot thicker than what you see in the picture. I also took a good look at the topography in my area. I am in a slight valley with a lake behind the antenna. I could top one of the trees further away from the thicket and turn it into a tower. They are 80 to 100 foot tall standing Q-Tips. I hate pine trees!eek.gif

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post #10607 of 10701 Old 04-08-2014, 03:28 PM
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Bottom of a hole that's surrounded by trees and you're having problems with UHF reception???

I'm shocked, truly shocked!!

Guess what's going to happen every time when the trees are wet and/or the wind blows?
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post #10608 of 10701 Old 04-08-2014, 03:45 PM
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Thanks for the sarcasm! Do you have any suggestions to solve the problem? Told you, I was new at this....That is why people come here, isn't it?

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post #10609 of 10701 Old 04-08-2014, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Digital signal are different than analog from what I can tell.
All radio waves are analog, there is no difference between a digital or analog radio wave, it's just the digital signal has been modulated into analog radio signal, don't worry about that.
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If I angle the antenna pointing 45 degrees higher, will that help.
Not sure what the logic is behind that? But I would say no.
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Well, it's windy tonight and channels 4,25,56 and 38 are all dropping out.
Maybe but you're having issues one of the strongest signals (channel 4) according to TV fool plot, if the swaying pine trees were a problem, I would think you'd be seeing problems on all channels.

Again, do you have a signal meter on your TV and/or Silicon Home Run? That will at least give you a start as to where the problem is rather than shooting from the hip.
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post #10610 of 10701 Old 04-08-2014, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by bac522 View Post

All radio waves are analog, there is no difference between a digital or analog radio wave, it's just the digital signal has been modulated into analog radio signal, don't worry about that.
Not sure what the logic is behind that? But I would say no.
Maybe but you're having issues one of the strongest signals (channel 4) according to TV fool plot, if the swaying pine trees were a problem, I would think you'd be seeing problems on all channels.

Again, do you have a signal meter on your TV and/or Silicon Home Run? That will at least give you a start as to where the problem is rather than shooting from the hip.

Logic...that's why I said "stupid question". I was just thinking, if I was in a "shadow" of a signal, because I do get most of it, would aiming it up help...that's all. I got it.

The meter on Windows Media Center tells this with the wind blowing tonight. last night, no wind, no drops, but I was only on channel 7 while watching.
2.1, 2.2-6 bars (max)
4.1- 5 bars
5.1, 5.2 -6 bars
7.1,7.2-4 bars
25.1,25.2-4 bars
38.1-4 bars
44.1,44.3,44,4-4 bars
56.1,56.2-3-bars

This is why I think it is the trees and my location that is the problem.

Thanks,
Bruce

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post #10611 of 10701 Old 04-08-2014, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Bacffin View Post

Thanks for the sarcasm! Do you have any suggestions to solve the problem? Told you, I was new at this....That is why people come here, isn't it?

I'm just emphasizing that your particular set of circumstances is one of the usual problems that don't have good solutions.

Mount the antenna as far back from the trees as possible, as high as possible, and tilt up the nose of the antenna to aim it at the top of the tree line. That's about the best you can do.
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post #10612 of 10701 Old 04-09-2014, 03:48 AM
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I'm just emphasizing that your particular set of circumstances is one of the usual problems that don't have good solutions.

Mount the antenna as far back from the trees as possible, as high as possible, and tilt up the nose of the antenna to aim it at the top of the tree line. That's about the best you can do.

So I take it there is no "Magic" antenna out there....

There is more open space to the north, so I may be able to get the Concord NH channels if the antenna is long enough.

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post #10613 of 10701 Old 04-09-2014, 04:33 AM
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Bacffin, you have a pretty favorable TVFool plot. I live in southern New Hampshire on a hill surrounded by red pines, oaks, and maples. I can affirm your suspicion that wind and rain can impact reception.

Looking at the green band of stations from your report and ignoring nonchannels and spanish language channels, you should be able to get good reception with an indoor antenna pointed to 145 degrees. I think you should be able to pull in WENH and WMUR with a vhf antenna pointed to 5 degrees as well. I'd probably look at joining a y10-7-13 to a 91xg. Since you already own the HD9095P, I would consider testing/coupling this with a y10-7-13.

For test and pointing purposes, I like to use a HD Homerun HDHR3-US because it reports signal strength, signal quality, and symbol quality on two channels concurrently. These cost $50-$60 and have other uses...

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=simple+tv&_sop=1&_osacat=11725&_from=R40&_dmd=1&_udhi=55&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1311.R1.TR12.TRC2.A0.H0.Xhdhr&_nkw=hdhr3-us&_sacat=0




If you want to take the black box approach, you can point the antenna with a compass and move it around until things look good.

Get two long pieces of factory terminated RG6 coax and run it directly from the antenna to a television. If that works, you do not need amplifiers except to account for distribution losses and your antenna is good. Move the coax from the input of your TV to the input of your splitter. Terminate all outputs except for one and use the second coax to connect directly from the splitter to a tv. If this is fine, replace your factory coax with the premise coax. If the signal is worse, replace the premise coax. Use this iterative approach to test each leg of your infrastructure repairing any deficiencies.
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post #10614 of 10701 Old 04-09-2014, 03:01 PM
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Hey Thanks Wizwor...My HomeRun Dual has this signal meter!

Now it is windy again today and watching WBZ the meter bounce all over the place when the wind blows. So this confirms the trees and valley for me. I still need to find out what "signal quality" and "symbol quality" mean, but when the quality drops to yellow and the signal drops to 65% I loose it. I am also noticing that that I have good signal and quality (green bars), and the symbol bar goes right from 100% to 0% the picture pixels. I am going to research these individual meters further. Thanks for the tip on the VHF too. When I get things settled on the UHF, I look into it.

So now I have am going to figure out to either go higher or go back an hang it on a tree and higher. Anyone got a bucket truck tongue.gif

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post #10615 of 10701 Old 04-09-2014, 03:46 PM
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I'm not an expert, but this is how SiliconDust explains it...
Quote:
Signal Strength (ss)
- raw power level as measured by the receiver

Signal Quality (snq)
- how clearly defined the digital data is

Symbol Quality (seq)
- Amount of correct or corrected data over the last second

The above definitions can be confusing, so a much simpler definition is to imagine listening to the radio:
- Signal Strength represents the volume
- Signal Quality represents how clearly you can hear the lyrics
- Symbol Quality indicates the percentage of the lyrics you could hear or guess correctly

As it turns out, Signal Strength is somewhat irrelevant; if your antenna isn't pointed properly, it doesn't matter how loud you turn up the volume, the static will prevent you from hearing the lyrics correctly. Similarly, amplifying a weak HDTV signal can result in a high signal strength but too much noise to decode the digital data correctly.

Use the Signal Strength for a rough idea of direction, but align the antenna for the highest Signal Quality, ignoring Signal Strength. When aimed correctly, Symbol Quality will show 100%, indicating no errors in the output. Splitters and amplifiers can introduce noise which will lower the Signal Quality, even if the Signal Strength increases.
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post #10616 of 10701 Old 04-09-2014, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by wizwor View Post

For test and pointing purposes, I like to use a HD Homerun HDHR3-US because it reports signal strength, signal quality, and symbol quality on two channels concurrently. These cost $50-$60 and have other uses...
Having that type of data certainly makes troubleshooting a signal issue so much easier...that's a nice little box, I might have to pick one up myself. Every TV set should provide this kind of information, would make OTA for many so much easier!
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post #10617 of 10701 Old 04-09-2014, 04:12 PM
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post #10618 of 10701 Old 04-09-2014, 05:20 PM
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I get all of those channels in Winchester. Do you get WBIN 50.1 (and related substations)? I have an antenna pointed in that direction but it is not reliable and cuts out often. Some of the other channels, most notably 7.1 and 7.2 and 4.1 sometimes drop during high winds or precipitation events.
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post #10619 of 10701 Old 04-09-2014, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrea Circle View Post

I get all of those channels in Winchester. Do you get WBIN 50.1 (and related substations)? I have an antenna pointed in that direction but it is not reliable and cuts out often. Some of the other channels, most notably 7.1 and 7.2 and 4.1 sometimes drop during high winds or precipitation events.
I point my uhf antenna about due south. In that direction, 50, 38, 56, and 68 are all sketchy. If I swing the antenna a little east, I pretty much lose 50, but the others get much better. I plan to go this route and add a second antenna just for a Simple DVR so that I can record those shows.


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post #10620 of 10701 Old 04-10-2014, 12:24 PM
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I lost half of my OTA channels in southern NH recently.
No fox 25 . No channel-9/WMUR via the 'reverse lobe' of my YAGI. No 38. No 56. Not enough signal for 44.

I attribute the signal loss to both wind & trees & weather.
OTA reception gets much worse *every* spring&summer, better every fall&winter.
It's been seasonal like this since I started watching OTA HDTV in 2001.

In the distant past I have had good experience pointing my YAGI antenna slightly upwards, maybe up to 10 or 20 degrees upwards - or a few degrees away from the max-power-from-xmitters direction. I've got a lot of antenna/preamp/pad/splitter/segment tuning to do some weekend soon.
I will report back if I discover anything possibly-useful to other OTA people.
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