Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: El Cerrito, California
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We had similar problems when we started receiving OTA HD signals from the Bay Area. We live in El Cerrito - the towers have a little bit of mountain and house blockage from our line of site. (We can see the south end of GG Bridge, but NOT Sutro Tower.) Anyway, we started with an indoor antennae. We had symptoms as you explained -- some stations came in at 80-90% and other (KQED) came in at 65% or worse - causing major dropouts. They were worse once the sun went down.
We then decided to install a Roof-mount antennae. That helped immensely for most stations - got 95-100% on nearly everything -- except maybe 2 or so stations. When we moved the antennae to bring in the 2 that weren't strong, the other 5 or so would now experience 40-50% ... wierd, considering they all come from Sutro, RIGHT? Again, night time was the worse when we experienced the dropouts.
Well, what we figured out is that we were receiving signal "reflections" - our antennae in its optimal state - wasn't even pointing at Sutro ... but rather it was off by about 15 degrees (East). So we went out an purchased a 16 foot pole (Radio Shack - $13) and got the antennae up as high as we could. This has pretty much solved this problem. We pick up all the major stations now -- and they're all in the 90+ range (mostly 100) even at night ... (except when they're doing that damn retro-fit work).