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post #5851 of 6130 Old 04-08-2012, 06:56 PM
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Thanks, Trip and Peggy. I've got a Pinnacle PCTV USB stick upstairs in my west-facing office with a single-dipole antenna that does ok with some of the channels; WDBJ and WSLS are spotty but I can grab them if I tweak the antenna just right. It's been a while since I've used it so I don't remember how it does with WBRA, and I can't find the antenna specs online to compare. Leaning towards either the Terk HTDVa or the amplified version of the Mohu Leaf, but I've heard reports that the latter won't receive VHF at all.
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post #5852 of 6130 Old 04-08-2012, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Unless WBRA is really super strong at your location, the built-in amp will probably eat WBRA alive. Those amps are usually really noisy and trash VHF signals.

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post #5853 of 6130 Old 04-08-2012, 08:14 PM
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After looking over the TVfool output again, you're probably right. The only thing I probably want to think about an amp for would be WSET. Just ordered an unamplified Leaf; I'll report back once I get it set up.
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post #5854 of 6130 Old 04-08-2012, 08:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Good luck; I'm not expecting much out of it on WBRA or WSET, but maybe it will work for the others.

I do amplify things regularly, but I always use external amps. I own a Channel Master CM7777 which is decent, but my Kitztech KT200 is my amp of choice.

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post #5855 of 6130 Old 04-09-2012, 08:08 AM
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Which one are you using now and where in the system is it located?
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post #5856 of 6130 Old 04-09-2012, 09:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, these days I'm in Chattanooga. My antenna is out on my deck, there's 15 feet or so of coax, then the amp is right there before the splitter. I've currently got the CM7777 there in preparation for a trip on which I will take the KT200, but typically I would have the KT200 in that spot. I'm using it to pull in Atlanta from 100 miles away. Of course, now that leaves have come out on the tree I'm looking through, I'm getting a lot more random drops.

Without the amp, the Atlanta signals are not usable.

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post #5857 of 6130 Old 04-10-2012, 09:31 AM
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I hope you left at least one CM7777 in VA!

Does the Kitztech perform noticeably better that the CM7777 in the same configuration?
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post #5858 of 6130 Old 04-10-2012, 10:34 AM
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A few weeks ago I finally got around to getting on the roof and replacing the pre-amp. I was going to install a CM7777 but they have been on back order at Solid Signal for several months with no promise date. Based on some of the discussions in these forums I concluded I didn't need 25-26 dB of amplification. I went with the Winegard 19dB model and it does just fine. I probably could have gone with distribution amp in the attic, but then I would have been concerned about high temperatures in the attic.

A few general comments:

I was dreading having to lower the antenna but as it turned out things went very smoothly. I was able to stand on the chimney with one foot on either side of the chimney cap. (The cap wasn't there 20 years ago.) I sprayed some WD40 on the rusted U bolt threads and started to crank. Surprisingly the nuts started to unloosen, 1/8 of a turn at a time. Creak-Creak-Creak. After about 15 minutes I had all four nuts loosed to the point where I could shimmy the antenna down the mast and do all the rest of the work standing on the roof. (Eventually one nut on each U bolt unscrewed completely and the other one wrung off half way down the bolt.)

The connections inside the old pre-amp were pristine as were the exposed terminals on the antenna. Just unloosen the wing nuts and remove the flat lead. I hooked up the new pre-amp with a new balun, applied power and found out the problem was NOT the pre-amp!! I borrowed a 30 foot RG6 extension cord, ran it from the antenna down the side of the house around the gutter, onto the car port and into the attic and connected it to the splitter. Problem solved! Boy I wish I had checked the lead-in first!

After removing the old RG59 I noticed a gouge in the insulation about a foot from where the wire entered the house. A check with an Ohmmeter showed the center lead to be open. Inspection of the gouge showed the shield oxidized with some of it turning gray-green. After cutting into to the cable I found the center wire insulation melted and center conductor, at the site, gone, missing about an eight of an inch. I am guessing the when the contractors installed the vinyl siding they nicked the cable - on the top side of course. After 15 years of rain storms the shield shorted to the center conductor and the 19.5 VAC ate up the wire.

After rewiring with satellite grade RG6, for a test, I connected the antenna directly to the Sony (20-30 feet of wire and a two way splitter) The Lynchburg stations and WBRA came in fine (26dB SNR and reasonable level). The Roanoke stations were decoding fine at that time, but with about 20 dB SNR and 20% level) I probably could feed one TV without an amplifier but not four. After completing the installation things were back to the way they were before the failure. WDBJ was at 27dB SNR and 65% level and WPXR was decoding with errors, 18dB SNR and 20% level. TVFOOL data indicated a turn of about 20 degrees counterclockwise. After making that change WDBJ jumped to 30dB SNR and 80% level and WPXR 26dB SNR and 50% level. Everyone else improved slightly. At this point I locked everything down and decided to wait for the high wind event.

I mounted the wall transformer in the house rather than the attic. I know that most new wall transformers have a thermal fuse in series with the transformer primary winding. If the coil gets too warm that's it. The power inserter is in the attic. It runs warm even on a cool day and I really don't understand why. I think I'll mount it on a heat sink.

While I was at it, decided to clean up the rats nest behind the DVR's. I replaced a couple of 4 foot cheap coax cables that were bundled up behind the DVR's with custom made 8 inch cables. Old Tandy wire RG59 that had a glued foil shield around the center conductor. That really made a difference on the 30 something channels. WSLS is back to 33dB SNR and 98 level. Of course all the changes made after moving the antenna have made no improvement in the picture or sound.

I had a flimsy coax cable that was so cheap it didn't have an RG number on it. It just said 75 ohm. I cut it apart to check the internal construction. I was surprised to find it had a (non-glued) foil shield around the center conductor.

About two weeks after I finished this project as I was looking up at the antenna I had a thought. Why did I mount the pre-amp on the end of the boom - same place as the old one? I could have moved it a couple of feet toward the mast and then if I ever needed to, I could access it while standing on the chimney. Too late now, but if this amp runs 20 years it will last until at least 2032! At that time I will NOT be climbing on the roof! Assuming I -- and OTA -- are still around.
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post #5859 of 6130 Old 04-16-2012, 12:16 AM
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Is anyone in the market sending a signal for equipment to set time automatically? My Mag 515 clock drifts pretty badly.
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post #5860 of 6130 Old 04-16-2012, 08:03 AM
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How does the Mag 515 get its time? 7 & 15 are transmitting TVGOS data which includes a time signal. The only other time signal I am aware of is part of the PSIP data transmitted by each channel. The last time I looked (probably a year ago) most stations were within a couple of seconds while 21 was about two minutes off.
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post #5861 of 6130 Old 04-16-2012, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete-N2 View Post

How does the Mag 515 get its time? 7 & 15 are transmitting TVGOS data which includes a time signal. The only other time signal I am aware of is part of the PSIP data transmitted by each channel. The last time I looked (probably a year ago) most stations were within a couple of seconds while 21 was about two minutes off.

PSIP. The Mag thread says...

For 2160/2160A/513/515: These units can search either analog or digital channels. If you have analog channels, start by entering a FOX analog channel #, then press OK. If no analog channels, arrow left to "CH." Arrow up/down to change it to "DTV." Enter a major DIGITAL FOX channel # in "Set Channel No." box (no subchannel digits). A Time Zone (TZ) menu pops up. Select your TZ, then press OK.


Open the Clock > Clock Setting menu and set your clock for 11:57am (not pm). You must press OK after setting the time, then quickly turn DVDR OFF.
You can set for 11:58am if you're in a hurry and have experience with this procedure already. However, the clock MUST be on 11:58am or earlier when it shuts down completely or it might not start a search at 11:59am, and complete shutdown takes ~15-20 sec after power-off. Don't use pm cuz that makes the date change to next day during the time search and affects the order of your current timer rec programs. Make sure you press OK or your time setting won't take.


Watch for auto time change within 2-3 minutes after "whirring" sound at 11:59.
At 11:59am clock time, the TV pic will change to a black screen and the DVDR will make a light "whirring" sound as the fan starts up and the tuner switches to your designated channel. If there's a time signal on that channel, you'll see the time change within ~2 min. or sooner. If no signal, the fan will stop at ~12:01pm and the TV screen will return to its normal "no signal" color, indicating search is over.

If you find an active time signal, make sure it sets the "correct" time and am/pm compared to some other clock in the house and leave it set that way. My analog PBS sets a time but it's always WRONG, whereas my analog FOX has been dead-accurate for 10 months... until just recently! DO NOT CHANGE THE AUTO CLOCK SETTING MENU TO OFF AFTER FINDING A GOOD MANUAL CHANNEL... just leave machine set the way it is now!


If no active time signal on FOX analog, try other known active channels.
Go back to Step 2 and try (1) FOX digital, (2) CBS analog, (3) CBS digital, (4) PBS digital, (5) PBS analog.
As a last resort, try any other suspects (except local access channels)... varies by locale. However, no one has reported other good channels.


If you do NOT get an auto time change on ANY channel, you have two choices:
Keep Auto Clock on Manual with either FOX or CBS (not PBS) in the channel-entry box to give your DVDR a power-backup time of 2-3 min. rather than the typ. 30 sec. when Auto Clock is set to OFF. (Also helps the 515 as mentioned in next subject below.) Correct time manually if/when it drifts. Don't use a local community-access or CATV channel cuz they might freeze your unit.
Give up extra power backup time and set clock to correct time and Auto Clock OFF. Correct time manually when it drifts. All clocks seem to run slightly fast. One person who might opt for this is a 515 user who has a lot of "freezes" that require him to pull the power cord and replug after full power drain, Soft Reset, in which case he'll have a shorter wait time (~1.5 hr instead of 2.5 hr).


FINAL STEP: No matter what the results were, check timer rec programs.
Check your existing timer programs to make sure changing the clock time didn't MOVE today's timer program to the bottom of the timer list, assuming it was PAST the time or day/date for that program. This can happen if you choose 11:59pm instead of am in Step 4 above. If you find today's program NOT back in normal top position, check the clock setting again and make sure the day/date is correct. Today's timer rec program will pop back to top position once you enter a correct date.
TIP: If your clock doesn't sync to the exact second compared to an atomic or other accurate clock in your house, go back to the 1st clock setting option and arrow right until you're over the minutes. Arrow up to 1 minute AHEAD of the atomic/accurate clock . Watch only the atomic/accurate clock and, exactly when it changes to that minute, press OK. The clock will start keeping time with the seconds in sync.
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post #5862 of 6130 Old 04-17-2012, 08:02 AM
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So which channel is your mag getting PSIP data from? Have you tried selecting a different channel?
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post #5863 of 6130 Old 04-26-2012, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete-N2 View Post

So which channel is your mag getting PSIP data from? Have you tried selecting a different channel?

That's what I asked, who's sending PSIP data?
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post #5864 of 6130 Old 04-27-2012, 04:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdhdtv View Post

That's what I asked, who's sending PSIP data?

All broadcasters are required to transmit PSIP. It is part of the ATSC standard.
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post #5865 of 6130 Old 04-27-2012, 04:57 AM
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After a quick check I'd recommend you select 10 or 38. Do not use 21 or 15...
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post #5866 of 6130 Old 05-08-2012, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete-N2 View Post

After a quick check I'd recommend you select 10 or 38. Do not use 21 or 15...

Why do you recommend 10 or 38 over 21 or 15 for PSIP information, because all broadcasters are required to do this.

Just curious.....

David S.
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post #5867 of 6130 Old 05-09-2012, 05:28 AM
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jdhdtv is looking for an accurate time source for his DVR. 15's time signal is + 2 minutes and 21's is +5 minutes. 10 and 38 appear to be dead on, the rest are close.
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post #5868 of 6130 Old 05-09-2012, 05:29 AM
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Question to the engineers: If you use a stat mux in your configuration how much of a time delay does it add? How do you compensate for it?
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post #5869 of 6130 Old 05-09-2012, 06:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete-N2 View Post

jdhdtv is looking for an accurate time source for his DVR. 15's time signal is + 2 minutes and 21's is +5 minutes. 10 and 38 appear to be dead on, the rest are close.


Thanks for the information, I will be looking into our +2 minutes discrepancy.


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post #5870 of 6130 Old 06-02-2012, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete-N2 View Post

Question to the engineers: If you use a stat mux in your configuration how much of a time delay does it add? How do you compensate for it?

Wow, this is old - sorry I didn't see this earlier! . Stat mux (or statistical multiplexing) is the on the fly dynamic allocation of bandwith. This shouldn't add any *delay* to the signal - other than the normal mux signals. I just looked at the thread. If you are looking for this to blame for a time variance - No.
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post #5871 of 6130 Old 06-06-2012, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Don't know if anyone noticed, but WSET has lit up 13.3 with WeatherNation. I'm told it is a soft-launch with the official launch coming next week.

- Trip

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post #5872 of 6130 Old 06-06-2012, 04:34 PM
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Don't know if anyone noticed, but WSET has lit up 13.3 with WeatherNation. I'm told it is a soft-launch with the official launch coming next week.
- Trip
Do they stream their video?

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post #5873 of 6130 Old 06-06-2012, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
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There's a national WeatherNation feed that is streamed, but I don't see anything for the local feed. At least, not yet. As I said, official launch is next week.

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post #5874 of 6130 Old 06-07-2012, 05:44 AM
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A few more bits wasted....

I wonder who will be first in this DMA to create a .4
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post #5875 of 6130 Old 06-07-2012, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
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That honor goes to WPXR, which used to have Worship.Net on 38-4.

On an unrelated note, is anyone seeing WEFC-24 (formerly WDRL) on the air? If so, what's it running? A friend in North Carolina reported seeing it on the air, but it's not decoding in Charlotte County...

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post #5876 of 6130 Old 06-07-2012, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post

That honor goes to WPXR, which used to have Worship.Net on 38-4.
On an unrelated note, is anyone seeing WEFC-24 (formerly WDRL) on the air? If so, what's it running? A friend in North Carolina reported seeing it on the air, but it's not decoding in Charlotte County...
- Trip
Figures Trip would figure that out. Our TBN O&O runs 5 SD streams...

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post #5877 of 6130 Old 06-11-2012, 11:03 AM
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The latest application filed by Millard S. Younts, receiver for WEFC, stated this on May 25th:

ON MAY 24, 2012, WEFC-TV RESUMED OPERATIONS USING ITS EXCITER AT LOW POWER. A NEW TRANSMITTER IS BEING INSTALLED, AND WHEN IT HAS BEEN INSTALLED AND TESTED, THE LICENSEE WILL RESUME REGULAR LICENSED OPERATION. THIS INTERIM OPERATION IS NECESSARY TO RETURN THE STATION TO OPERATIONAL STATUS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. THE LICENSEE INTENDS TO FILE A REQUEST FOR SPECIAL TEMPORARY AUTHORITY.

That probably means you won't see this station unless you live in the immediate vicinity of Smith Mountain Lake. They have recently received a CP, and have another application for changed facilities on file with the FCC. My guess is that they have a buyer for the station lined up, but the buyer is demanding changes before they put their name on the line. Going back on with only exciter power is likely to keep from going dark for over 12 months, which is required to keep the licence from being cancelled.

Later . . . .
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post #5878 of 6130 Old 06-11-2012, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
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That explains it. But the buyer is already revealed to be Jones Broadcasting, owner of WAZT. That was announced a few months back.

- Trip

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post #5879 of 6130 Old 06-12-2012, 10:15 AM
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Until consummation of that transaction is confirmed with the FCC, and the money changes hands, one should never assume that a transfer and approved by the FCC will take place. The previous owner of this station proved this in his dealings with Liberty University and LFM Broadcasting. My question is what are they broadcasting? Is it a satellite signal or are they doing their own programming again. I guess only someone from the Smith Mountain Lake area could tell us for sure.

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post #5880 of 6130 Old 06-13-2012, 10:12 AM
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Finally have a chance to get back to this thread.

The Leaf works well. Haven't wall-mounted it yet, but it works quite well sitting horizontally in the middle of the living room next to the TV. I get some light degradation occasionally on WSLS and WFXR, but nothing that makes either channel unwatchable. WDBJ and WPXR both come in beautifully. If I orient the antenna vertically, the signal issues seem to disappear.

However, no joy with either WBRA or WSET.
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