WKON 44 (52-x) KET - PBS HD- http://www.ket.org/dtv
WDYC-LD 36 (36-1) - Daystar - http://www.daystar.com
In October 2012, WBQC-LD(currently on air on channel 47) Applied with FCC to (more or less) Move to channel 19.
W17AY Seaman, OH - Status Unknown. Renewed analog license in 2005/currently licensed according to FCC records. If any one knows anything about them, please post or PM me.
Hi, I am new to the hdtv world and just got my sony 65" XBR hooked up. I am wondering what the best antenna for hd is. All hd channels work for me ( all that my OTA reciever picks up that is ) except channel 12.1 it works but has some glitches in it. I am in between Batavia and Milford. Thx
What antenna make/model are you using currently, where is it mounted/placed(indoors/outdoors/attic/etc), and are you using a amp/preamp ?
Finding a "sweet spot" for your antenna is often very important, oftentimes just moving it a little sideways, or up/down can make a big difference - Proper antenna aiming is also important. Hopefully you were able to adjust your antenna a little and are presently enjoying the HD SEC game on 12-1(WKRC-DT) or, 41-1, WHIO-DT CBS Dayton ...
Not to say you can't get good reception with an indoor antenna/etc in any given circumstance, but, What is usually best (for DTV/HD or analog TV reception) is a directional antenna of conventional design mounted outdoors as high as is reasonably possible, and aimed towards the broadcast towers.
If your antenna is indoors, oftentimes the best place for a "indoor type" antenna is near a window that faces the towers(some types of insulated glass can be a problem though), some folks have had good luck using outdoor antennas in their attic. Basement is not a good place for an antenna.
No such thing as a "HD antenna", BTW, if you see antennas advertised as "for HD", it's marketing hype ... DTV stations use the same frequencies/channels(just "different ones" in any given area") as "old fashioned" analogs TV stations, it doesn't matter to the antenna how the signal is modulated(which is different for DTV than analog).
Anyhow, ABC digital HD In Cincy is on Ch 10 VHF, the rest of the digital/HD stations presently are on UHF, so an antenna(or antennas) designed for both VHF and UHF is probably a good idea, especially since it's fairly likely other stations will be moving to VHF after analog shut off time. Sometimes, however, UHF only antennas will also work "well enough" for VHF Ch 7-13(not usually so much for ch 2-6) if you're close enough and getting a good enough signal.
From your area, Most of the Cincy Towers would be West of your location, with WSTR tower being to the WNW, and WCVN in N KY to the WSW, all those being within 14~18 miles of your location. Hopefully, you should be able to get all the Cincy stations on one heading, but you might not want to get "too directional" with your antenna choice. Dayton stations are 40 miles North of your location, and you'd probably need a rotor, or 2nd antenna on seperate feedline to receive those -- Probably best to try a single antenna via "manual antenna aiming" first to see what you get before buying a rotor, or second antenna/feedline/etc.
I also know the area you are in has signifincantly hilly terrain in spots, so it's also possible hills(especially nearby ones) in the signal path's could be an especially big issue for you, depending upon your exact location and if you are in a relatively low spot for that area.
Punch in your address/etc. at the following site, and it should give you a good idea of which stations you should be able to receive, it will also recommend what sort of antenna you should use(you might want to go a step or two up from their antenna recomendation however):
Good luck, and let us know how it goes,
While we're near the top of the thread, here's a handy reference of phone numbers you can call when someone misses an HD switch. Be nice and ask them to pass the message to the control room. Some will connect you, but most all of them will pass the message.
WXIX-DT 19/29 Assignment Desk 513-421-0119
WCPO-DT 9/10 Newsroom 513-852-4071*
WKRC-DT 12/31 Newsroom 513-763-5422
* If the reason they're not in HD is because there's a weather bug or school closing list up, there's probably little they can do about it since that's how the integrated switcher is designed. It takes a second tech to fix that and there's rarely a second tech on duty.
Here are the Dayton #'s :
News Hotline(Newsroom) - 937-259-2237
Newsroom Fax - 937-259-2005
Switchboard - M-F 9-5 : 937-259-2111
Phone: (937) 293-2101
Fax: (937) 294-6542
Newsroom: (937) 293-5121
Switchboard: (937) 296-7105
switchboard phone (937) 220-1600
fax (937) 220-1642
Their CE's phone #/etc. is on their website as well.
They also have this on their website:
Questions regarding reception of Dayton's WB can be directed to (937) 384-9226 or by writing to ENGINEERING c/o Dayton's WB, 2589 Corporate Place, Miamisburg, OH 45342.
E-mail me with additions or changes and I'll edit them into this post so it stays near the top: firstname.lastname@example.org
For those who may be interested, just received the following response from WKRC-DT's Asst. DOE concerning the amount of bandwidth they are allocating to CBS HD :
The bandwidth used of CBS is 15 Mb/s.
This was in response to my comments below, which I sent to the engineering address via the drop down box on WKRC website(note, I do believe WBNS-DT CBS Columbus allocates the entire bandwidth possible to HD(19.39mb/s minus PSIP/audio/etc) :
I was wondering, how much Data bandwidth are you allocating to CBS HD on WKRC-DT?
The reason I'm asking is, compression artifacts seem to be a problem during HD with fast action/fast motion, such as during Today's UGA VS SC SEC game In HD, as is also the case with WHIO-DT, CBS Dayton. However, CBS HD from WBNS-DT, CBS Columbus, Ohio(when I can get them) Looks much better, Compression artifact free, and noticably sharper or clearer, the latter is even evident during less demanding HD source material.
I understand it could be an encoding issue/etc, but It doesn't look like your allocation 17mb/s+ to HD video, instead it looks more like 14-15mb/s or less, which isn't enough for 1080i HD.
As long as I'm asking questions, Also, What happened to the Paramount HD One Movies? We really enjoyed those here, Friday's once a Month, but haven't seen a HD One movie since April or so.
Also, Thanks much for the WEBN fireworks in HD last couple of years.
I like the way this one is starting off already! I've done some comparison between OTA via the DTC-100 and my newly acquired Pioneer HD box. The Pioneer unit has much darker output on the components and the SD images don't look as crisp at their OTA counterparts on the DTC-100. I would say that the HD is on par resolution wise, but the darker image of the Pioneer box makes it seem less sharp.
According to TWC, they simply pass the signal on, so I guess the output brightness/contrast is controlled by the Pioneer box. I'd love to get into the service menu on this thing and adjust some of the settings.
I'm still using a pair of rabbit ears for my OTA and I usually don't get WKOI-DT 39.
I've gotten used to acquiring the off-air-guides, but I definitely don't depend on their PSIP information for times....differences of 15 minutes between some!
Interesting report, Thanks! -- Also, would like to take the oppurtunity to thank you and other "pioneering" Cincy/Dayton area AVSforum members for your 2000-2001 era posts. I found those posts very useful back in Fall 2001 when I was researching the DTV/HD situation in the area. I've been enjoying HD for almost 2 Years now! How things have changed since "way back when" we were waiting for WLWT-DT to pass through NBC HD ...
I'm still in "guides off" mode on the DTC-100 here, it's been a while since I turned it on so I'll have to do so sometime soon to see what I'm missing these days.
Also, That's excellent you have seen WKOI-DT at all! Their current STA's directional antenna pattern indicates they don't send much power(about 1,000watts ERP at most) towards Cincy, FCC polar plot here :
I'm only 12 Miles ENE of WKOI-DT tower, They should send about 1800 Watts ERP in my direction. The only time I can see them and just barely so(hi-gain antenna w/rotor+preamp tower mounted 38 feet above ground) is when the leaves are off trees. Being down in a small, steep and very forested valley, I do have buku terrain and tree/leaves problems in that direction which aren't as much of an issue towards the other Dayton/Cincy towers. I'd guess if their(or my) antenna were a little higher, it could see over the hills near me, and I'd get much better results from them.
Also, FWIW, I've tried it just for the fun of it, and I can get decent reception from my location North of Middletown of most of the Cincy(27~32 Miles) and Dayton(12~14 miles) digitals with "rabbit ears/.99 cent UHF "bowtie" placed near a 2nd story window facing the towers involved(E window for Dayton, S window for Cincy).
For the indoor test, I used a el cheapo RS distribution amp, for the ~50' of coax run to the DTC-100 downstairs. It was needed, as the only thing that I received above a lock w/o the amp was WKRC-DT/WRGT-DT/WDTN-DT/WPTD-DT. WLWT-DT and WCPO-DT came awfully close to locking w/o amp though. I didn't actually try it for any extended period of time to see what the dropout situation was, although I didn't see any dropouts for the couple of hours I was doing the indoor test.
The only ones I couldn't get from indoors were WKOI-DT, WCVN-DT(39 Miles) and WSTR-DT(27 Miles - WSTR-DT was close to locking). On the DTC-100, WKRC-DT gave readings of 82, WLWT-DT=76, the rest ranged between 60~76 with quite steady readings. No indication of a signal at all from WKOI-DT or WCVN-DT.
I also tried it before some of the newer stations came on the air from the attic(even with a better antenna - 25el UHF Yagi), from the settop(rabbit ears) and away from the windows, and get pretty much nothing from there except WRGT-DT Fox Dayton from the settop through 4 walls(downstairs-no amp, 3' feedline run) and pretty much horrendous analog signals everywhere except near the windows, and analogs don't look too good from there, either.
Getting good analog reception here has never been easy, which is why I already had a decent outdoor antenna setup before "upgrading" to DTV. I Don't have the equipment to properly measure it, but from what I noticed during the indoor tests I'd think I'm probably getting just barely enough signal for decent DTV reception from indoors, and that I'm getting at least 20~30db more signal from the outdoor antenna setup due to add'l gain of antenna, better placement of antenna and lack of attuenation of signal caused by having antenna indoors. Also, in addition to pulling in more stations I'd think in my situation the outdoor setup is at least also providing some extra "insurance" against dropouts/etc.
Of course, with the outdoor antenna I get perfect, drop-out free reception of all 14 Dayton/Cincy Digitals except *WKOI-DT. Seeing the Lexington Analogs and Columbus Analogs/Digitals is quite common at night/early morning in Spring/summer/fall(when atmosphere cooperates, I've also seen DTV stations from as far as 300 Miles), as well as excellent NTSC quality from the analogs, with just some snow on some of the Low power stations+WCVN.
* - Which is fine too when leaves are off or there isn't too much wind in wintertime -- In which case it's good reception from WKOI-DT with 40~46 readings from the DTC-100 -- In the Summertime, it doesn't even register on the DTC-100, and gives about 8%-20% readings on the Zenith HDV420 box. I've noticed this starting to creep back up in the last couple of weeks with some of the leaves falling off the trees.
Probably more than anyone wanted to know, but hopefully this can give folks an idea of how easy getting DTV reception can be, while at the same time being an indication of how we can't really "predict" how easily reception will work for anyone in any given circumstance/specific location/etc, or what sort of antenna(or indoor/outdoor) will work "well enough" in any given situation.
I can't seem to get WLWT tonight! It was fine over the weekend....Is anyone else having problems?
When I view my signal strength meter it goes from 100% to 0% never being able to lock onto the signal. I receive DT-29 and DT-35 just fine!
Is it me or is the station having problems?
I'm showing normal signal level on WLWT-DT at 9:05 PM. The high winds over the weekend re-align your antenna?
Antenna is in the attic. I watched it all day Saturday / Sunday with 100% signal but today it is really wierd. I receive DT-29 / DT-31 at 90% with NO problems.....Oh well that's the way it goes with HD.
Thought I'd chime in with a visual signal report from over here,using an RCA ATSC11 receiver.WLWT looks good.The only stations missing are the usual one's;DT-41 and DT-30.Too much interference from other "locals".
No problems with WLWT-DT here, and things seem pretty "normal" here for this time of year/day. Perhaps getting a bit more than normal from Columbus. Looked up towards Lima, and didn't see anything from Lima analogs 44 or 35. I Rarely do see any hints of WLIO 35 Lima making it through WLWT-DT 35 snow however.
Attached below are screenshots of a few stations from here tonight - Sorry, I can't put channel #'s in with the HDV420 signal quality meter on screen :
Upper left - WBNS-DT 21(10-1) Columbus(78 miles) at signoff tonight after Letterman --
The "big" meter Just below WBNS-DT screenshot is what I'm getting(besides a blank screen) on Ch. 39 with antenna aimed at WKOI-DT 39(12 Miles)
Upper Right is WTTE 28 Analog Columbus - 78 Miles
Lower Left is WTVQ 36 Lexington analog - (107 Miles) - Things aren't quite good enough to see both WLEX 18 and WBDT-DT 18 at the same time tonight ...
Lower Right is WCVN-DT 24(54-3) (39 Miles), my weakest "dead band" local Digital(besides WKOI-DT).
Certianly, I would not be seeing anything much from stations in these pics except a good signal from WCVN-DT and hint of signal from WKOI-DT under completely "dead band" condtions.
Looking for any suggestions as several people have confirmed their signal strength to be "NORMAL" for WLWT-DT. The thing that bothers me and where I need anyone's suggestions is DT-29.1, 33.1 and 31.1 are all being received in the upper 90's.
Can you move that antenna slightly one direction or the other? Your bouncing meter sounds like what my receiver does when my antenna is slightly off-target.
I can try that but it's not easy as my antenna is mounted in the attic! The thing that bothers me is I watched this channel all weekend with NO problems. I guess I've seen other problems just as weird as this one.
I'll drag a small TV to the attic and try to tweak tonight. At least the weather has cooled down so going up there is not all that bad just a hassle taking the TV with me.
The changing weather would have me checking my connections. It's entirely possible for a bad connection to affect one freqency more than others, especially if moisture (the wind DID blow a bit of rain around, this weekend) is involved.
Could be that the weather is causing some ducting of interfering frequencies that aren't normally there. Nitewatchman can give you a better handle on that than I can.
While 35 is okay for me, 33 (WB 64) is breaking up quite a bit, this afternoon, which is what leads me to the second conclusion.
I also had a similar problem with WCPO-DT 10. It either came in gangbusters or bounced all over the place. After talking with Nitewatchman, I noticed a herringbone pattern on analog WCPO (9) which is indicative of FM interference. I installed an FM trap and although it didn't cure it completely, I get a lock most of the time now.
Good luck in the attic.
Not seeing any enhanced propagation via Tropo scatter or ducting today, in fact things are pretty much as dead as they get. Just seeing all 34 of the Cincy/Dayton analog/digital stations(all within 40 Miles of my location)except WKOI-DT, and as is usual also seeing WAVE 3 Louisville/WCMH Columbus, although they are weaker than usual. Everything else is pretty much mostly "snow", as one would usually expect for this time of day where signals beyond the limit of Curvature of Earth or terrain limited directions are concerned .....
I suppose WLIO 35 Lima could potentially be a co-channel interference(CCI) issue for you concerning WLWT-DT. However, I believe you are using a good, directional antenna(CM4228 I Believe), Aimed at Cincy, and given the distance to Lima from your location I'd expect any CCI problem from them to be rare(or at least occasional and variable), although, certianly they could be adding a little "noise" off the side of the antenna.
As others have indicated, "tweaking" your antenna's position, checking connections/etc/etc would probably be a good thing to try. But to make sure these sort's of "weird problems" don't occur again, or occur mininally, I think you might have to end up doing more to improve your antenna setup if you want good, reliable reception of the Cincy DTV stations from your location. Best way to try to accomplish this I think would be to get your antenna outside.
If I recall correctly, you're in Xenia, approx. 50 miles from WLWT/WCET tower and are using a 8-bay bowtie in the attic -- If this is the case, then I think it is quite likely you are dealing with weak signals from Cincinnati, and it could be one of many, or many factors in combination which are causing your problem.
A couple of the factors especially troublesome when a weak signal is involved could be:
1.) Interference issues, of which there are many such as:
a.) Co-Channel interference - As mentioned above --
b.) Electrical interference/impulse noise - While this is more of a problem generally on VHF(Lo-VHF ch 2-6 particlarly), it can be a problem as well on UHF, and especially so if you're dealing with a weak signal. Lightning, vehicle ignition systems, Appliances in your house, powerline "slop" among other things can produce this type of interference. If you have a problem with this, you may be able to detect it as "static" or sparkles/etc. on analog signals, especially weaker ones.
2.) A change in the "Multipath" conditions(such as change when leaves are falling off trees/etc).
A couple of points:
#1) You say you're getting high "numbers" on your receiver's meter. Keep in mind, with some rare exceptions(such as S/N+AGC readings on a Hauppage Win-DTV card) Our receivers meters DO NOT measure signal strength, they can be thought of as a "signal quality" reading and measure things such as "error rate", and are implemented on the Datastream, not the RF signal itself. Therefore, a fairly weak signal just above the threshold for good DTV reception(15.3db of signal over noise(S/N)) can show high numbers on your receiver, just as an actually stronger signal would. Still, this weak signal is more susceptible to dropouts, "fluctuating meter readings", involving such issues as Interference, and multipath which your receiver's equalizer can't correct for/etc/etc.
#2) Attics(or indoors for that matter) are NOT a good place to put antennas, this is probably especially true when you are trying to pull in signals from 50 miles from the transmitter, but this applies in nearly all circumstances. Not to say that a indoor/attic antenna won't work "well enough" in any given circumstance, but in general it isn't a good idea. From indoors, putting your antenna near a window that faces the towers is often best. Good info on why attics aren't a good idea are described in the first few paragraphs at following link, and some of the issues mentioned here may very likely be things you are dealing with :
Furthermore, excellent info on antennas and reception/interference issues/etc/etc can be found throughout this site, here is link to main page:
Originally posted by Jon_E_R
I guess I've seen other problems just as weird as this one.
FWIW, I can count on my fingers the number of reception related droputs I've seen in the last two years from the 13 Dayton/Cincy digital stations I receive pretty much perfectly at all times .
I was able to detirmine These few dropouts were due to either very nearby lightning strikes, or very rare, "intense" co-channel interference. It's rare for me to see even a single reception related dropout from any of these stations over a 4-6 month period of time or so. When co-channel interference has been a factor, in those instances, In addition to getting lower than normal(and fluctuating readings) from the DTV receiver's "signal quality meter", I could actually receive the interfering station quite well on a analog, non-screen blanking TV, and in fact, have often seen an analog station "through" one of the local digitals without the interfering station causing any dropout problems to the local digital station involved.
I would speculate that, in addition to being in a location with 14 digital, and 20 analog stations currently on air, all within 40 Miles of my location and most with strong signals ---- using directional, outdoor antennas aimed at the towers is the main reason why I don't really experience reception related problems here.
Anyhow, Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
I appreciate your help the thing that frustrates me is I watched DT-35 all weekend without a single problem. Now the signal bounces like a ball. I'm going into the attic to adjust the antenna but what bothers me is channel 12 and 19 are rock solid so I'm not sure what kind of adjustment to make?
12 and 19 are in different locations than 5, (even from your location) so it's entirely possible to have an antenna problem that affects 5 but not the others. I'd still bet on the cold I know I need to check mine. Changes in temperature cause it to shift a little and half an inch makes all the difference to me.
Yes, as Doc mentioned, towers are in different locations but from your distance the headings are so similar I'd think the way to adjust it would be to move the antenna around the attic to try to find a "sweet spot" for all of the stations you want to receive(if possible) in addition to "tweaking" the antenna aiming.
Unfortuntely, the frequnecy is quite different, but When you take the small TV in the attic, WCET 48 Analog might be a good one to try to adjust it with, as WCET broadcasts off same tower as WLWT. Also, from your location, WLWT/WCET tower would be the one "in the middle", between towers for 12/9/54 a couple degrees or so to the Left, and 19/64 a couple of degrees to the Right ..Of course, taking your DTV receiver into the attic with the small TV, or having a helper at the receiver and a couple of those 2-way FRS radios can help, too as the analogs might not tell you everything you need to know ...
Also along the lines of what Doc is getting at I think, the "stuff" that is in or around your attic(even roof/etc) which is inevitably "connected" to your antenna as mentioned in the attic info at link I provided above also can be frequency specific, as can multipath problems and some interference issues. Or maybe your cat got into the attic or something and ran into your antenna ;-)
I do wonder:
#1). If you've ever seen this problem before on WLWT-DT, and in General, how "reliable" has your reception of WLWT-DT has been in the past, and, hhave you noticed any "patterns"(such as seasonal/etc) that seem to correspond to reception problems with WLWT?
#2). How is your reception of WCET-DT 34(48-x) ?
WCET-DT also broadcast from WLWT/WCET tower from about the same height at WLWT-DT, and are operating at a power level very similar to WXIX-DT(229 KW ERP). While I wouldn't really think you would be having a 1st adjacent channel selectivity/Sensitivity issue between WCET-DT/WLWT-DT from your location given their fairly similar power levels(WLWT-DT 512 KW ERP - WCET-DT 215KW ERP presently)/etc, it is something to think about I suppose.
I'm(and we) of course are just grasping at straws here and trying to "cover the basics" and most common "probabilities" given what we know of your location/setup/etc. But, certianly, there are many other possible factors which may be involved which we haven't brought up -- such as: Other interference issues which may be causing Tuner overload/desense problems, which could even be originating from a nearby, strong signal which isn't even using TV channel frequencies.
It seems unlikely I think at this point, but I suppose it's also possible it might not even be a reception issue, and may be an issue on the Transmission side of things which could perhaps be only affecting certian models of receivers. What makes this seem especially unlikely though is that I don't think the "fluctuating meter syndrome" you are seeing has ever been reported to just affect certian receivers, and, It doesn't seem like anyone else so far has reported a change.
I can report though that I just had something "weird" happen on the Zenith HDV420 box, something I've only seen happen once or twice before, and which certianly may very likely have nothing to do with the station it was tuned to :
I tuned to WLWT-DT sometime earlier this afternoon/evening on the HDV420, and just noticed after dinner that the Receiver Locked up completely! I had to reset it, and so far since then it is working fine. Judging by the Captioning data still on screen, it must have happened during NBC news.
I adjusted the antenna ever so slightly towards Cincy but not very much as I do not want to effect my Dayton reception.
Murphy's law has it as WLWT comes in near 100% tonight on the digital receiver....I did take a line from the digital receiver into the attic so I could adjust the digital signal not the analog.
I'll just see how it goes and live with what I get!
Thanks for your help!
Initially, John forgot to mention that he's in Xenia, the windy city, the Bermuda Triangle of Ohio!
LOL! I think we should buy that Murphy guy a one trip ticket to the moon ;-)
He was really active in Sept., among some of the places he visited were WDTN, WXIX, Telstar 4 Sat., and Jon's attic ....
My house was 50% demolished in the 2000 tornado which gave me an opportunity to mount my attic antennas outside or at least outside until the new roof was put back on the frame.
I watched WLWT (DT-31) last night with NO drops.
Another wierd thing about this is the fact I originally installed this antenna back in 2000 and pointed it probably close to where it is now (Cincy) and I had NO problems receiving all the Cincy stations except for DT-10 (9). This was before any Dayton stations were broadcasting. Around six months ago my Sony HD-100 stop receiving ALL the Cincy stations. I found nothing wrong with the unit so I rotated the antenna towards Dayton as most of those stations had come on-line so I didn't see much difference if my antenna was pointed at Dayton or Cincinnati. The one thing I missed was Fox Widescreen which the Dayton station does not broadcast in but the Cincy chnanel does so I rediredted my antenna back towards Cincy last week. I prefer the Cincy stations as they appear to be more experienced and committed to the HD cause. I also believe the picture quality from Cincy is a little better than Dayton.
Anyways everything is working properly except I no longer can receive DT-51.1 (22) from Dayton due to antenna direction. That is why it is important to receive DT-31 (5) from Cincy as this my only NBC feed.
I know it would be better to have the antennas outside away from all my attic stuff but I do not want an antenna on my house. My attic has '2' eigth foot VHF/UHF antennas for local reception on '2' different TV's and of course my 8 bay channel master UHF digital antenna.
Thanks for everyones help / advice
You might still be getting 51.1, as WKEF-DT 51 Has been on air, but has been in "Blank Screen mode" on 51.1 since sometime yesterday -- SD sub 51.2 is fine.
Update: 11:20am -- Figures --- As soon as I said that they finally got video back up on 51.1 (at least for now)
Oh, and I think you meant DT-35(5-1 remap) for WLWT-DT(NBC), WKRC-DT(CBS) is on 31(12-1 remap) ;-)
I'm relatively new to HDTV and the info provided here has been invaluable.
I live in Symmes Twp just south of Loveland. I have an outdoor antenna on a rotor and receive WLWT-DT and WKRC-DT at 100%, WCET-ET at 93%, WCPO-DT and WKRC-DT at 77% and cannot receive WSTR-DT at all (sometimes get a 22% but it never locks). Currently the coax runs to a Radio Shack distribution amp and is split three ways--one to the Samsung TS160 and two cables to the TV so I can use split screen. Would I benefit from mounting a pre-amp on the antenna mast? If I do that, should I still run the cable coming from the amp for the pre-amp to the distribution amp or just use a splitter? The antenna is mounted on the back of the house, which faces south and the antenna barely clears the peak--I didn't think that would be a problem since the antenna is orientated toward the south, but would I have any success picking up the Dayton stations if I was able to increase the height a few inches? On analog channel 64, I'm able to get a picture, but it's very poor quality--I don't watch ch 64 at all, but the same was true of Channel 19 a few years ago and I find myself watching that station more and more.
Thanks in advance for your advice.
What sort(make/model) of antenna are you using?
First off, from your location your antenna shouldn't be aimed South, it Should be aimed WSW for digital/analog WKRC/WCPO/WLWT/WCET/WXIX(+analog 25+38), Pretty much West for WSTR digital/analog(+analog 61), and Southwest for WCVN digital/analog. Since the side of your antenna is likely aimed right at WSTR's tower, that might explain why you are not seeing the DT, and why the analog looks so bad.
It's about a 40 degree difference in bearing between WCVN tower and WSTR tower from your location, with all the others right in the middle, if you aim at the middle(WSW), you'd only be 20 degrees off target for WCVN+WSTR, so It might be possible to good reception on one heading of all the Cincy/N KY digitals/analogs. WSTR digital might still be a bit of a problem for you though, and aiming right at them(West) might be a good idea if you want the best chance to receive them, as their directional antenna doesn't favor your direction(About 600~1000Watts or so depending upon your exact location - Compare that to 800,000watts from WKRC DT 31).
Also, For the Dayton stations(about 34 miles from your location), your antenna would need to be aimed pretty much North(~7 deg NNE). So, you can try it via "rotating by hand" first, but sounds like a Rotor(or mulitple antennas on seperate feedlines w/switch near the receiver/etc) would be something advantagous for your situation, you might even need to use different heading for WSTR than the rest of the Cincy stations. I certianly wouldn't count on being able to receive both Cincy+Dayton on one antenna heading from your location. Also in range for you would be WPTO 14(analog) Oxford, And WKOI(TBN), whose tower is also near oxford -- Both of those would be to the NW of your location.
BTW, I used intersection of Wards Corner+I-275 to find the direction you need to aim to Cincy/Dayton towers, you can get more precise info(corrected for magnetic deviation) by plugging in your address here : http://www.antennaweb.org
Proper antenna aiming of a good, directional antenna would be the first thing to try, but yes, it would be a good idea I think to get the antenna above the top of roof, too, at least for the Dayton stations which it sounds like are in direction of your roof peak. At least 4' above the roof is usually a good idea.
Concerning mast mount preamp, a good one would probably work better than the distribution amp you are using, but proper antenna aiming(and a good directional antenna) towards the towers involved is most important, and you might not need an amp/preamp at all. You most defintely would not want to use both the mast mount preamp+the distribution amp, instead you would just use a splitter in place of the distribution amp.
Unless you have a terrain issue, with proper antenna aiming and a decent directional antenna antenna I'd think you should be able to get all the Cincinnati stations, and all, or at least most of the Dayton stations.
Hope this helps, Let us know how it goes+good luck,
Thank you for your quick and comprehensive reply.
I am using a Radio Shack directional VHF/UHF antenna I put on the roof six years ago before Directv had the locals. I don't know the model, but I remember it had something like a 65 mile range.
I do have the antenna on a rotor so I've been experimenting with the various headings. You were close on the Wards Corner location--I live off the Loveland-Indian Hill exit.
I can only raise the antenna a few inches but I'll try the mast mounted pre-amp and ditch the distribution amp.
Oh, one other thing I forgot to mention, you would want to put the power inserter for the mast-mount preamp between the preamp and splitter, not after the splitter. Channel Master, Blonder-Tongue and Winegaurd make good preamps, in general, the ones from Radio Shack aren't so great.
Also, looks like your at least 12~14 miles from the nearest TV transmitter, so preamp overload probably isn't going to be too much of an issue for you, but, keep in mind, preamps can overload(Since they are very broadband amplifiers, they can be overloaded from any nearby source of strong signal, might not be on TV frequencies), or can also help cause the front end of your tuner to overload, and "bascially" spread unwanted "noise" on TV channels you want to receive.
This is one of the reasons why if your reception is good without a preamp/amp, a preamp might not help as much(or any, as it might actually hurt) as finding a "sweet spot" for your antenna, or a better antenna might. On the other hand, a preamp might work well in your situation to recover the losses from splitting the signal/feedline loss/etc, I do know a "medium~high gain"/Low noise preamp works well here for those reasons.
On the antenna, I'm guessing you're using the RS VU-75 or VU-90 -- Should work fine for the most part for Cincy/n ky, except perhaps the Low power your getting sent your way from WSTR-DT, and might not give you the best quality possible on Analogs 25, 38+61/etc. But, it might not be enough for Dayton, especially the UHF stations, and especially the ones on the higher channels.
BTW, Those mileage figures really mean nothing, it's the gain/directivity of the antenna on the frequencies(channels) involved that is important. The antenna you are using probably doesn't work as well(or as "far") generally on UHF as it does on VHF, for example.
Curvature of the Earth(and terrain/building blockage/etc.) are the main limiting factor for VHF/UHF reception and around here, that generally means stations have max coverage range of 55-65 miles given their Tower heights -- Reception can still be a problem from closer than that from indoors, or if your in the "null" of a station's directional transmitting antenna's pattern(as is the case in your situation with WSTR-DT), or if you have a hill, or building/etc. in the signal path to towers which your antenna can't "see" over very well - The latter being particularly more of a problem the higher the frequency(channel).
I would also speculate that a terrain(or other signal blockage issue) may be involved if it is the case that your seeing better results when antenna isn't aimed right at the towers involved. In which case raising your antenna a little, or even finding a "sweet spot" by moving antenna horizontally(Which is certianly difficult if antenna is mounted on chimney/etc!) can make a big difference. Or, amp/preamp overload could also be an issue that might make stations seem to come in better if antenna isn't aimed at their tower, and some of those RS amps do seem to have a reputation for amplifing "noise" as much as, or more than signal.
Update: Would Probably also be a good idea to check condition of your coax/Connections when you add the mast mount preamp ... Especially if moisture has gotten inside the Coax(or if it is "crimped somewhere/etc), it can seriously degrade performance, especially on the Higher UHF channels. RG-6 Coax does have a tad less loss than RG-59, with RG-11 being the lowest loss 75Ohm Coax -- But, RG-6 is generally preferred as RG-11 is larger in diameter, requires relatively expensive connectors and is more difficult to work with .. Generally, most folks would use RG-11 if a long feedline run of say, 300~500 feet or more.
Best to put the preamp as close to antenna as is possible, if you use a preamp with 300 ohm input(s), you'll need a short piece of good, 300 Ohm twinlead to connect antenna to preamp. With 75 ohm input on preamp, you'd use balun/matching transformer hooked to antenna and a short piece of Coax with F-Connectors on each end. Don't forget to add a "drip loop" to keep water from running into preamp input connection, and to seal up the connections to keep water out :-)
Let's hope the first couple pages of this thread can also help others with their antenna/reception related questions ;-)
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