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post #11611 of 12418 Old 12-24-2014, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post
I've been seeing exceptional conditions to Salinas on and off today. Tonight I received KYMB on RF 27 for the first time.
Chuck
Now a test of your antenna repairs.

We just had 5 minutes of extreme wind here. 2:25pm
It may reach you shortly.

Salinas reception was enhanced here yesterday. But nothing extreme or exceptional.
RF 27 Advances to KTSF 26 here.
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post #11612 of 12418 Old 12-25-2014, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 888CALLFCC View Post
Now a test of your antenna repairs.

We just had 5 minutes of extreme wind here. 2:25pm
It may reach you shortly.
Wind issues vary dramatically with location. In most cases the high winds I get are southerly and associated with storms. The Sierra Foothills don't get the northwest and north winds as much as the Bay Area or the west side of the Sacramento Valley and certainly not like the East Bay hills. Today my local forecast is winds northwest at 8 mph.

You may remember a big north wind event a few years ago in November that blew down thousands of trees in the eastern Sierra with 100mph+ winds. I had winds around 40mph during that event which was as high as I have seen from the north.

When I see a forecast with wind gusts approaching 50mph I crank down the 72' tower and tie off the boom of the lowest ham antenna to keep the wind from turning the mast in the rotor. The 55' tower with the main TV antennas comes down half way to increase its wind load rating.

Chuck
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post #11613 of 12418 Old 12-25-2014, 01:16 PM
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Kscz-ld

KSCZ-LD supposedly came on the air in July transmitting from a site a little east of Morgan Hill on channel 20. It should be easy to receive from the Morgan Hill/Gilroy area. Has anyone ever seen this station? I wonder if it's another LP DTV phantom station?

Chuck
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post #11614 of 12418 Old 12-26-2014, 04:14 AM
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A friend of mine who visited the area in early 2013 drove up to the tower and saw it transmitting an incredibly weak signal with no PSIP and nothing but black video with static in it. I've attached the picture he sent me, and the link to the TSReader data is below.

http://www.rabbitears.info/screencap...167279-0_0.htm

- Trip

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	mo20thumb_1_0.jpg
Views:	33
Size:	53.7 KB
ID:	442226  

N4MJC

Comments are my own and not that of the FCC (my employer) or anyone else.

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"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand..." - Rush "Witch Hunt"

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post #11615 of 12418 Old 12-26-2014, 06:40 PM
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K03HY channel 3 from Mt. Tamalpais is back on the air.
There's no PSIP information though and I'm not getting any picture.

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Last edited by Larry Kenney; 12-26-2014 at 06:47 PM. Reason: Updated info
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post #11616 of 12418 Old 12-26-2014, 06:43 PM
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K03HY channel 3 from Mt. Tamalpais is back on the air.
It seems like on .... at a reduced power here.
Not like before.
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post #11617 of 12418 Old 12-26-2014, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by 888CALLFCC View Post
It seems like on .... at a reduced power here.
Not like before.
I just updated my post above. The signal strength is normal here, but they're not sending out any PSIP information. On my receivers I'm not getting any picture, just a black screen.

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post #11618 of 12418 Old 12-26-2014, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Larry Kenney View Post
I just updated my post above. The signal strength is normal here, but they're not sending out any PSIP information. On my receivers I'm not getting any picture, just a black screen.

Larry
I will know soon..... will have a spectrum analyzer in a few short weeks (2015)
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post #11619 of 12418 Old 12-26-2014, 07:17 PM
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I will know soon..... will have a spectrum analyzer in a few short weeks (2015)
Oh no, more almost black thumbnails posted.


SHF
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post #11620 of 12418 Old 12-26-2014, 08:32 PM
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Yep, K03HY is back on at the previous strength. KCSO dropped from SNR 31 dB to 15 dB when I'm pointed at it. It's amazing that a station 115 miles away can cause that much interference to one only 14 miles away.

Chuck
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post #11621 of 12418 Old 12-26-2014, 09:02 PM
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If you stare at it long enough, you can almost see the image of santa!

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Oh no, more almost black thumbnails posted.


SHF
Your favorite thumbnail ? ..... the noise floor ? LOL
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post #11622 of 12418 Old 12-27-2014, 11:38 PM
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K03HY seems to be back to normal service now... at normal strength and picture quality and with no pixelation.

I'm surprised that a low power station with 2.5 kilowatts on channel 4 can reach 115 miles, Chuck. I thought the low VHF channels weren't any good for digital TV. Both of Keith's low VHF stations seem to have very good coverage.

Ben, great on the spectrum analyzer! I think you're going to have a lot of fun when you get it!

Larry

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post #11623 of 12418 Old 12-28-2014, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by 888CALLFCC View Post
I will know soon..... will have a spectrum analyzer in a few short weeks (2015)
What are you getting?

Chuck
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post #11624 of 12418 Old 12-28-2014, 08:24 AM
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K03HY seems to be back to normal service now... at normal strength and picture quality and with no pixelation.
I just checked KFTY and there's still pixelation. NBTV has very low audio. Even at full volume it is too low.


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I'm surprised that a low power station with 2.5 kilowatts on channel 4 can reach 115 miles, Chuck. I thought the low VHF channels weren't any good for digital TV. Both of Keith's low VHF stations seem to have very good coverage.
In theory it should work better than high VHF or UHF except:

1) There's about 10 dB more naturally occurring noise that everyone has on low VHF than UHF so stations need to run more power. Seems like no one considered this when the FCC came up with that 300 watt limit for low VHF. Stations found out they really needed 3000 watts. This is also the reason preamps don't do anything on low VHF. The natural noise overwhelms the low noise figure of the preamp.

2) Most people no longer want to put up an outdoor antenna with low VHF elements so they have little chance at reception.

3) Manmade noise, especially power line noise, is a terrible problem on low VHF. Your best hope is to live in a neighborhood with underground power lines. Where I used to live in Fremont had underground lines and I never saw "sparkles" on 2, 4 or 5. The alternative is to go to war with PG&E to get them to do their job of fixing noise problems. They really hate doing it.

Even if you get good reception on low VHF you'll still be subject to dropouts from sporadic-E propagation of stations 1000 miles away during the May through July "E" season. Thunderstorms will also cause pixelation. You just have to accept imperfect reception at times on low VHF. I get dropouts on KGO in the summer when there are thunderstorms over the Sierra crest 50 or miles more away. That problem doesn't completely disappear until you get to UHF.

Low VHF is not without at least some advantages. It refracts over hills much better than UHF. It is largely unaffected by trees. Back in the pre-cable or early cable days people up in Arnold (8 miles east of me), who all live in a pine forest, had only VHF antennas and watched mostly low VHF. That included 2, 4 and 5 from Sutro tower. High VHF wasn't as good but they got by. They didn't even bother with UHF.

Depending on what happens with repacking, we might see more low VHF stations.

Chuck
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post #11625 of 12418 Old 12-28-2014, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post
What are you getting?

Chuck
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Digiair-pro ATSC
Out of stock until mid January.

In spectrum mode, It covers the whole tv band at once, or each channel individually with a marker.
hand-held unit small enough for roof top work.
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post #11626 of 12418 Old 12-28-2014, 02:57 PM
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In theory it should work better than high VHF or UHF except:
came up with that 300 watt limit for low VHF. Stations found out they really needed 3000 watts. This is also the reason preamps don't do anything on low VHF. The natural noise overwhelms the low noise figure of the preamp.
Chuck
Here it shows weakness with everyday human activity.
I see problems when a motorcycle is in use outdoors, same goes when a neighbor starts a lawnmower.
And a troublesome T8 fluorescent ballast I have here.

I notice more of a problem with the audio here. Clicks & pops mostly, then a studder with sometimes picture pixelation.

You sure don't want a premium movie channel on Low VHF. But for Home shopping & Daystar, its perfect !

Probably only works well with shielded coax-cable in a closed cable tv system.
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post #11627 of 12418 Old 12-28-2014, 04:00 PM
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Here it shows weakness with everyday human activity.
I see problems when a motorcycle is in use outdoors, same goes when a neighbor starts a lawnmower.
And a troublesome T8 fluorescent ballast I have here.

Ignition noise used to be a common problem but I haven't heard that for a long time. Modern engines seemed to have licked it. I haven't had that issue with my mobile radio in decades. Must be an old motorcycle. I'm not surprised at the lawnmower but that's an infrequent issue.

There's no reason for a ballast to be generating noise on 50MHz and higher. It must be defective and it certainly isn't meeting its FCC specs. Replace it.

What antenna do you have on low VHF? I forgot what you are using.

Chuck
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post #11628 of 12418 Old 12-28-2014, 07:43 PM
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I notice more of a problem with the audio here. Clicks & pops mostly, then a studder with sometimes picture pixelation.

I forgot to ask..... Are you sure this isn't K03HY just having its link problems? There have been long periods for some time now of frequent problems. I see it all the time on KFTY, audio and video problems but the TV says 0 errors and a good SNR. Your new analyzer will be able to tell you what the problem is if you can't monitor errors now.

I would think that if anyone would be having noise issues it would be Larry but he seems to receive it okay even without a dedicated low VHF antenna.

Chuck

Edit: I just checked KFTY; SNR=23 dB, 0 Errors, but only blips of picture and bleeps of audio. I expect that K03HY is the same.

Last edited by Calaveras; 12-28-2014 at 07:51 PM.
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post #11629 of 12418 Old 12-28-2014, 10:53 PM
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There's no reason for a ballast to be generating noise on 50MHz and higher. It must be defective and it certainly isn't meeting its FCC specs. Replace it.
What antenna do you have on low VHF? I forgot what you are using.
Chuck
A few years ago, I replaced the kitchen light ballast to save energy...... The ballast has a capacity to run "up to" 2 lamps.
I wired it correctly for only 1 lamp. (not 2) so one lamp works possibly overdriven somewhat.
It may possibly meet the UL / FCC specs only with the rated "2 lamps" capacity and in a commercial environment.
I'm not so sure it's defective, just possibly low quality.
It overdrives the lamp because when switched on cold, (under 60 degrees) the lamp is noticeably brighter then the rest of the lamps on a different ballast.

I'm sure you can buy a electronic ballast made for "just one lamp".
But most electronic ballasts can run / drive up to 4 lamps in a variety of sizes.
This was not possible with the older magnetic ballast(s) that were more lamp specific.

Yes, ... the only solution is to replace this problem ballast ... I simply do not use this light now ... when watching tv ... redneck troubleshooting solved.

It is in the same light fixture that another ballast lights the remaining 2 tubes. (3 tube fixture) 1 tube=dim, 2 tubes=brighter, 3 tubes=brightest (with 2 light switches)
It took me over a year to realize that when this lamp is on >>> VHF reception tanks.

For all of Sutro tower, San Bruno Mt, & K03HY I use a old radio shack VU-75 in the attic, ... pointed towards Marin county.
For all other stations, ... I do manual cable swaps to other fixed antennas.

KFTY-2 is around 12% and I have not made any efforts yet on that station. I did notice that KFTY-2 requires elevation, signal goes up with elevation.
No other station has that "elevation" problem, except KFTY-2, ... KEMO-50 works without the elevation.
The amp did work with KFTY-2, but it was one of those extreme low noise type 1 db of noise or less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post
I forgot to ask..... Are you sure this isn't K03HY just having its link problems? There have been long periods for some time now of frequent problems. I see it all the time on KFTY, audio and video problems but the TV says 0 errors and a good SNR. Your new analyzer will be able to tell you what the problem is if you can't monitor errors now.

I would think that if anyone would be having noise issues it would be Larry but he seems to receive it okay even without a dedicated low VHF antenna.

Chuck
The K03HY link problems last for minutes / hours. ... What I do here may just cause the flash/temporary type errors.
A combination of both. When you hit the light switch, about 1 second later ... the audio may (or may not pop)
I think the microwave impacts that station too, but some days are worse then others.
And some days are problem free.
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post #11630 of 12418 Old 12-29-2014, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post
I forgot to ask..... Are you sure this isn't K03HY just having its link problems? There have been long periods for some time now of frequent problems. I see it all the time on KFTY, audio and video problems but the TV says 0 errors and a good SNR. Your new analyzer will be able to tell you what the problem is if you can't monitor errors now.

I would think that if anyone would be having noise issues it would be Larry but he seems to receive it okay even without a dedicated low VHF antenna.

Chuck

Edit: I just checked KFTY; SNR=23 dB, 0 Errors, but only blips of picture and bleeps of audio. I expect that K03HY is the same.
Tonight K03HY has a normal, strong signal of 21 dB SNR from my high VHF yagi antenna pointed toward Walnut Grove with 0 errors, but I'm getting the "No Signal" error message and black screen on all 9 sub-channels from all of my TV tuners. It's the same as I get from KMTP 32.2, for example, which doesn't have any programming on that sub-channel.

Keith really needs to work on his STL links. They just aren't working the way he has it set up now.

Larry

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post #11631 of 12418 Old 12-29-2014, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 888CALLFCC View Post
For all of Sutro tower, San Bruno Mt, & K03HY I use a old radio shack VU-75 in the attic, ... pointed towards Marin county.
For all other stations, ... I do manual cable swaps to other fixed antennas.

A VU-75 is a very minimal antenna and in the attic is probably a poor location. This goes along with what I've seen over the years. These days most people will not care much about low VHF but if you do then it requires a reasonable sized antenna mounted outdoors. Anything else doesn't have much chance of working.

Many years ago when my parents moved to Anaheim the house came with an attic antenna. Reception was poor. I installed a moderate sized Winegard outdoors and reception was good. The addition of a distribution amp allowed it to drive 4 TVs with no problem.

In regards to noise from switching devices on, any mechanical switch will generate a wideband RF pulse when turning on, especially if there's a big load on it. This could cause a glitch on low VHF. A microwave oven should not cause continuous interference since it operates on 2450 MHz.

Chuck
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post #11632 of 12418 Old 12-29-2014, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
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A VU-75 is a very minimal antenna and in the attic is probably a poor location. This goes along with what I've seen over the years. These days most people will not care much about low VHF but if you do then it requires a reasonable sized antenna mounted outdoors. Anything else doesn't have much chance of working.
Chuck
The 15 year old VU-75 was intended for Sutro tower, not K03HY
Given my location, & elevation, thats all this location needs for Sutro tower.
Moving that outside could help K03HY, but the location change would not provide any noticeable advantage for Sutro tower.

As I write this, ... talk about a mickey mouse operation, K03HY is having link troubles. Again.
So far, on this forum, only 3 readers have reported reception of K03HY.
This station has bigger issues ..... then my reception with an old attic antenna.
Somebody call the Geek Squad over to fix it.

Speaking of Low VHF, .... my battery tv worked just fine with analog VHF indoors and out.
Now ... Talk about fussy. It barely works even outdoors.
And when it does, ... you can't move it.... Or even bump it.
It works ok with UHF if you move slowly, ... but not Low VHF
So yes, you would think they should crank up the power. It's not fair to compare K03HY to a full power VHF, .... but you'd think a battery tv reception would be easy.
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post #11633 of 12418 Old 12-29-2014, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
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....

but you'd think a battery tv reception would be easy.
It is, the battery TVs are a run away best seller. They are called "Smart Phones" or "Tablets".

It is hard to miss the ad's. Download "Our" "ap" is repeated and repeated.

--------------------------------

If you hold a "Smart Phone" at the right distance you will see that the picture is the same size.

The bandwidth we use for our HTPC's and HDTV's are about to be converted to the frequency and transmitton method used by "Smart Phones".

SHF
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post #11634 of 12418 Old 12-30-2014, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 888CALLFCC View Post
The 15 year old VU-75 was intended for Sutro tower, not K03HY
Given my location, & elevation, thats all this location needs for Sutro tower.
Moving that outside could help K03HY, but the location change would not provide any noticeable advantage for Sutro tower.

As I write this, ... talk about a mickey mouse operation, K03HY is having link troubles. Again.
So far, on this forum, only 3 readers have reported reception of K03HY.
This station has bigger issues ..... then my reception with an old attic antenna.
Somebody call the Geek Squad over to fix it.

Speaking of Low VHF, .... my battery tv worked just fine with analog VHF indoors and out.
Now ... Talk about fussy. It barely works even outdoors.
And when it does, ... you can't move it.... Or even bump it.
It works ok with UHF if you move slowly, ... but not Low VHF
So yes, you would think they should crank up the power. It's not fair to compare K03HY to a full power VHF, .... but you'd think a battery tv reception would be easy.

I don't know why there's such a problem with the link. I guess Keith is going to be working on it. It didn't start out that way. It's become worse and worse over the months.

Although I can't receive K03HY here because KCSO is so much stronger, I can infer how strong K03HY would be if KCSO was off the air. I've measured the Noise Margin of KCSO at 41 dB. When I point my antenna at KCSO its SNR is right around 15 dB. This implies that K03HY is 15 dB weaker than KCSO and that it would have a Noise Margin around 26 dB. I measured KFTY Noise Margin at 15 dB so K03HY is far stronger. Mt. Tamalpias is a much better location for me than Sutro Tower. The heading to Mt. Tam is 7° north of Mt. Sutro so signals don't have to pass over the top of Mt. Diablo plus Mt. Tam is much higher.

I used to have a Casio battery TV and it received low VHF okay too. But it only had a tiny screen. The resolution was so low that even a marginal picture looked pretty good. That same signal on a 27" TV was terrible. This is a well known effect in photography. If you have a noisy (grainy) image, downsize it. Downsizing an image has the same affect as applying noise reduction..... at the expense of resolution. In DTV we don't have the luxury of accepting a lower resolution picture when the signal is weak. It's all or nothing. That was the main tradeoff made when going to digital.

I suspect the low rate of reception of K03HY is due to the lack of proper antennas. Most people only have high VHF antennas to receive low VHF. That's roughly equivalent to using a UHF antenna for high VHF. We've all read many stories of how often that fails. I can occasionally receive KFTY on my back-up high VHF antenna under above average conditions if I off-point by large amount. My real low VHF antenna receives it almost 100%.

Chuck
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post #11635 of 12418 Old 12-30-2014, 06:08 PM
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K03HY has been showing black for days now. I haven't seen any signs of pixelation. Are you seeing any picture on KFTY, Chuck?

Remember, a week or so ago I mentioned that reception from the north on my Antennas Direct S-15 had dropped considerably. On the HD Home Run scan the signal strength was still fairly good, but the quality was all over the place. Yesterday I found the problem. The F-connector at the antenna was loose and the crimped shield around the coax was cracked. I replaced it with a new F-connector and the problem is fixed. In fact, signals are stronger than ever on that antenna now. It's pointed NNW for channels 22, 50 and 68, but now it's getting good signals off the back from 11, 14, 36, 48, 54 and 65, as well as all of the Sutro Tower stations. That connector must have been bad for quite some time.

I'm glad that the problem wasn't due to water in the coax as I had suspected!

Larry

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post #11636 of 12418 Old 12-30-2014, 06:59 PM
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K03HY has been showing black for days now. I haven't seen any signs of pixelation. Are you seeing any picture on KFTY, Chuck?

I'm seeing pictures right now but there are a lot of errors. I have the tower halfway cranked down because of the high winds (really bad today) and the SNR is low. I'm not sure if the errors are on my end or the KFTY end. I hope the wind dies off by tomorrow afternoon so I can crank it back up.

Chuck
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post #11637 of 12418 Old 12-31-2014, 12:05 AM
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As of midnight, December 30, going into the 31st, I see pictures on channel 3, except for 3-7. There are no errors and I don't see any pixelation. The quality doesn't look that great on any of the sub-channels, though.

Larry

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post #11638 of 12418 Old 12-31-2014, 12:15 AM
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I don't know why there's such a problem with the link. I guess Keith is going to be working on it. It didn't start out that way.
Chuck
It's working just fine now. 12/31 12:05 am EXCEPT 3-7 (spanish?) has a green pixelation problem and over modulated audio.
I'm showing 3-1 through 3-9 ... excellent with no dropouts on such a windy day.


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Remember, a week or so ago I mentioned that reception from the north on my Antennas Direct S-15 had dropped considerably. In fact, signals are stronger than ever on that antenna now. That connector must have been bad for quite some time.
Larry
What do you get with that antenna from Chico now? 20 & 24 KNVN ?
Low signals year round ? ..... or just a summer DX
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post #11639 of 12418 Old 12-31-2014, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Larry Kenney View Post
As of midnight, December 30, going into the 31st, I see pictures on channel 3, except for 3-7. There are no errors and I don't see any pixelation. The quality doesn't look that great on any of the sub-channels, though.

Larry

I turned the antenna around this morning and I see noise at 53 MHz. The strong winds and very low dew points (about 0 F) this morning gets some power line noises started that I don't normally have. That plus the weaker KFTY signal with the tower partially down is causing the errors. KCSO with a much stronger signal shows no errors. This will return to normal once the cold/wind event is over. I should be able to raise the tower later today.

Chuck
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post #11640 of 12418 Old 12-31-2014, 07:21 AM
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After heavy pixelation (at best) for a long time, I'm now getting a clear picture on K03HY
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