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post #11701 of 11721 Old 01-22-2015, 01:37 AM
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As seen in several reports today, Fox Television Stations has acquired the rights to a new network called "Buzzr TV". The network will showcase FremantleMedia’s library of game show content in all 17 Fox O&O markets. That means it'll be showing up on KTVU here in the Bay Area.

According to the reports I read, Buzzr TV will have classic shows like Family Feud, the original Let's Make A Deal, To Tell The Truth, Password, Match Game, Beat The Clock, What's My Line?, Blockbusters, Card Sharks, and more.

No date has been announced for the start of the new network.

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post #11702 of 11721 Old 01-22-2015, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post
It's great that simple antennas are working for you but it's not true that they are as good or better than a large antenna. It's misleading to say otherwise without putting it into context. I have these stories too about simple antennas working great. A friend in Walnut Creek can receive everything from Walnut Grove, including VHF with a dipole made from tin foil. But he's in an excellent location and that makes all the difference.

Maybe you haven't read the many reports of people trying simple antennas on the HD Technical thread that can't receive anything even at 10 miles away from the transmitters. It all depends on the situation. Try to tell the guy in Yuba City that a small antenna is all he needs. He showed up on the Sacramento thread 9 months ago and wasn't receiving anything with a simple antenna. We finally convinced him to put up a large Winegard and now he's happy with over 60 channels.

Try your simple antennas at my house and you'll receive exactly one station if you can find a hot spot. With directional antennas in my driveway I can receive one UHF station and one VHF station. The antennas in my avatar are what's required if I want OTA DTV here. Much less doesn't work. I've tried it.

Chuck
Well, that's the key, it's whatever works best. And I
always caution that it's where you live and where you
put your antenna(s) that is more important than the
antenna itself.

I just happen to live in a fairly "target-rich" area (but
probably not as good as Sunnyvale). But it's fairly
ludicrous to claim that my reception of up to 100
channels is by any means guaranteed. When I've
checked my address at the web-sites that ostensibly
tell you how good your reception will be WITH
DIFFERENT ANTENNAS (note that most of these
sites are put up by antenna companies), I am informed
that I would be lucky to get seven channels. I am
surrounded by large trees, am five miles from SJ
International, and have mountains in my alleged
"line-of-sight".

But the technical truth of antennas is that for an
increase in "gain" there is a trade-off in terms of
directivity and bandwidth. The "simple" antenna
has the polar radiation plot that gives me sufficient
gain in an unbroken 90-degree sweep, allowing me
to get reception from the antenna farms far to the
north while at the same time being able to pick up
the much stronger stations to the side of the antenna.

So-called "stronger" antennas have big null
notches in their radiation plots, and I start losing
stations or losing reliability of reception of those
stations. So the question does finally boil down
to how much "gain" (or S-N ratio) you need to
get reliable reception from these new-fangled
digital signals.

I can check these numbers on my TV, and a
"signal strength" of 50-60 and an SNR over 20
tends to be "good enough". As far as KXTV
is concerned, I just looked at the numbers, and
I was getting 85 signal strength and 21 SNR,
compared to the "local" ABC affiliate from
Sutro at "MAX" (100) signal strength and
25 SNR. Now with a typical "big" LPDA pointed
directly at Sutro, I'd probably have a big hanging
null notch 20 degrees to the east from Walnut
Grove physical channel 10.

So there is no question that empiricly and
in theory, I double my ABC affiliate channels
using the coat-hanger wire antenna in my attic.

You'd also be in a much different situation if
your two ABC affiliates were separated by about
110 degrees, you'd be screwed unless you used
a rotor or multiple antennas. Unfortunately this
is the case for many people in this country, and
unacceptable reception was greatly aggravated
by the switch to digital rather than helped. So
yeah, there are literally millions of people in
the Bay Area who'd be lucky to pull in 20 channels
no matter how much money they waste on antennas.

But to the actual point here, I do believe that
a simple antenna will work fine to pull in Sacramento
stations in Sunnyvale, and may very well be better
than a "big" antenna for that purpose.

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post #11703 of 11721 Old 01-22-2015, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxreactance View Post
From Sunnyvale, you have an embarrassment of riches,
but you won't be able to receive some of the Sacramento
stations because they are blocked by annonying translator
signals locally.

I get KXTV (10) reliably, and get 31 and 13 not so
reliably. KCRA is blocked by a translator. You don't
really need much in the way of an antenna or rotor, just
point your cheap antenna due magnetic north and get
just about everything, up to about 100 channels.

--
maxreactance
Well, I pointed my antenna toward Walnut Grove, but didn't get anything new. In fact, I lost several channels broadcasting from San Bruno and Sutro, and others got quite a bit weaker. So, its back to the original orientation. Either I need a taller mast or better antenna. Oh well, I do get 102 channels though, so I can't complain too much. Though, I wish more were in English and/or had more relevant (to me anyway!) programming. Looking forward to the new sub-channels coming soon!
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post #11704 of 11721 Old 01-22-2015, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvstevens View Post
Well, I pointed my antenna toward Walnut Grove, but didn't get anything new.

This is more like I'd expect for Walnut Grove from Sunnyvale. Maxreactance is just lucky. Sometimes that happens. You can be in a hot spot for no obvious reason. Same goes for dead spots. My TV Fool report has a number of stations in each category. One of the most surprising ones is KBTV on RF 27 which I can receive almost all the time. It doesn't even show up on my report which bottoms out at with a Noise Margin of -33 dB. I have no idea why this station comes in.

Chuck
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post #11705 of 11721 Old 01-23-2015, 12:37 PM
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CBS Decades Sub-Channel on the Air

I just noticed that the Decades sub-channel is now on the air on KPIX. It was turned on about 11 AM or at least that's when I noticed it. Initially, it was showing KBCW then the video froze and then the Decades feed was on the air. The PSIP data is a little off, it's showing the main channel guide data on my TV.
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post #11706 of 11721 Old 01-23-2015, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvstevens View Post
Well, I pointed my antenna toward Walnut Grove, but didn't get anything new. In fact, I lost several channels broadcasting from San Bruno and Sutro, and others got quite a bit weaker. So, its back to the original orientation. Either I need a taller mast or better antenna. Oh well, I do get 102 channels though, so I can't complain too much. Though, I wish more were in English and/or had more relevant (to me anyway!) programming. Looking forward to the new sub-channels coming soon!
Hmmmm, I have now posted several times about the
"radiation pattern" of different types of antennas. The
fact that you LOST San Bruno and Sutro by pointing
your antenna more directly at Walnut Grove just reinforces
this idea.

Your antenna is clearly more "directional", it receives
most strongly from stations it is pointed directly at, and
your reception falls off dramatically to the sides, even
just as little as 15 degrees off-axis. It is also likely that
your antenna's radiation pattern looks like a kind of
leaf with several long skinny lobes for various frequencies
that are "pinched in" along the sides. You can't receive
stations that are in the direction of these "null" spots
in your radiation pattern.

Again, the advantage of my el cheapo homemade antenna
is that instead of having that extreme directivity, the
antenna receives equally well (or poorly, from the
standpoint of the "high gain" antenna enthusiast) in
a 90 degree circumference around the direction the
antenna is pointed. That's why I only have my antenna
loosely pointed due magnetic north, I don't have to have
it pointed directly towards Sutro or San Bruno or Walnut
Grove or whatever mountain KCRB in Santa Rosa is
transmitting from (120 miles away), I get about the same
gain for all of them (again, lousy from the standpoint of
the old analog game of trying to get the maximum gain
for the best picture, but acceptable for the new digial
reality of being over the fairly low "digital cliff" of
SNR because digital data is HUGE compared to the
fineness of analog signals).

Look, if you have a $6 set of rabbit ears and UHF
loop, set the rabbit ears as flat possible with about
30-32 inches between the tips, and sling it up as high
as you can get it, pointed roughly magnetic north,
and just see what happens. You might be VERY
surprised...

--
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post #11707 of 11721 Old 01-23-2015, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radiobern View Post
I just noticed that the Decades sub-channel is now on the air on KPIX. It was turned on about 11 AM or at least that's when I noticed it. Initially, it was showing KBCW then the video froze and then the Decades feed was on the air. The PSIP data is a little off, it's showing the main channel guide data on my TV.
I looked for it earlier today, didn't see it, I'll try again.

When I asked about the CBS O&O program guide, I
wasn't asking about the PSIP guide, but the special guide
CBS O&Os broadcast that has guide information for ALL
channels in the area, but only a very few TVs can actually
receive the guide. I always assumed that the CBS O&Os
transmitted this special guide in the bandwidth where
other stations would have sub-channels, so I was
wondering how a CBS sub-channel might affect the
program guide for the five TVs in the world that can
receive it...

--
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post #11708 of 11721 Old 01-23-2015, 04:06 PM
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I grabbed an image when it was on.
5.2 went black around 11:45AM. I hope they are fixing the slightly choppy audio and video.

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post #11709 of 11721 Old 01-23-2015, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTnA View Post
I grabbed an image when it was on.
5.2 went black around 11:45AM. I hope they are fixing the slightly choppy audio and video.

Well, all I got when I keyed in "5.2" on my TV was
the "Decades" channel name, the program name that
was playing on 5.1, and an eternal message saying
"trying to decode channel"...

Still probably more entertaining than "Family Affair",
though...

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post #11710 of 11721 Old 01-23-2015, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxreactance View Post
Well, all I got when I keyed in "5.2" on my TV was
the "Decades" channel name, the program name that
was playing on 5.1, and an eternal message saying
"trying to decode channel"...

Still probably more entertaining than "Family Affair",
though...

--
maxreactance
What?! You don't like Unko Beeyo?!

I got the same results when I tried just now. 5-2 is just black, with the programming info for 5-1.
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post #11711 of 11721 Old 01-23-2015, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxreactance View Post
Hmmmm, I have now posted several times about the
"radiation pattern" of different types of antennas. The
fact that you LOST San Bruno and Sutro by pointing
your antenna more directly at Walnut Grove just reinforces
this idea.

Your antenna is clearly more "directional", it receives
most strongly from stations it is pointed directly at, and
your reception falls off dramatically to the sides, even
just as little as 15 degrees off-axis. It is also likely that
your antenna's radiation pattern looks like a kind of
leaf with several long skinny lobes for various frequencies
that are "pinched in" along the sides. You can't receive
stations that are in the direction of these "null" spots
in your radiation pattern.

Again, the advantage of my el cheapo homemade antenna
is that instead of having that extreme directivity, the
antenna receives equally well (or poorly, from the
standpoint of the "high gain" antenna enthusiast) in
a 90 degree circumference around the direction the
antenna is pointed. That's why I only have my antenna
loosely pointed due magnetic north, I don't have to have
it pointed directly towards Sutro or San Bruno or Walnut
Grove or whatever mountain KCRB in Santa Rosa is
transmitting from (120 miles away), I get about the same
gain for all of them (again, lousy from the standpoint of
the old analog game of trying to get the maximum gain
for the best picture, but acceptable for the new digial
reality of being over the fairly low "digital cliff" of
SNR because digital data is HUGE compared to the
fineness of analog signals).

Look, if you have a $6 set of rabbit ears and UHF
loop, set the rabbit ears as flat possible with about
30-32 inches between the tips, and sling it up as high
as you can get it, pointed roughly magnetic north,
and just see what happens. You might be VERY
surprised...

--
maxreactance
Yeah, I was a bit surprised at how directional my antenna was. KRON & KPIX were very weak (pixelating), and PBS didn't come in at all. That's interesting, because when I am pointed at Sutro/Mt. Bruno, I get KNTV (and others from that same direction) pretty strong (no pixelating) , even though its coming from San Jose.

Don't have any rabbit ears or UHF loop handy to do your experiment, but if do come across some, I'll give it a try. On another note, I was in Fry's today and noticed they carry the Channel Master 4228 antenna (currently out of stock though) for $109, which seems to be pretty high gain, but also claims to be good for 180 deg. It would be interesting to try that and see what sort of results I get compared to now (new stations and/or stronger signals).
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post #11712 of 11721 Old 01-23-2015, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvstevens View Post
... Channel Master 4228 antenna (currently out of stock though) for $109, which seems to be pretty high gain, but also claims to be good for 180 deg. ...
Close but not quite. (KEMO at ~ 97 miles is my most distant station)

http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/types.html

The lobes near 90 degrees are just in the right spot for me to get Mt. Allison and Monument Peak, I just got lucky.

KTNC on Mt. Diablo is not as good.

(Want a CM4228HD, check stock at Fry's Roseville, I drove 404 miles to get mine. )

SHF
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post #11713 of 11721 Old 01-23-2015, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvstevens View Post
That's interesting, because when I am pointed at Sutro/Mt. Bruno, I get KNTV (and others from that same direction) pretty strong (no pixelating) , even though its coming from San Jose.
.
KNTV moved their transmitter from San Jose (Loma Prieta) to San Francisco about 7 years ago .... Same thing for ION/PAX channel 65-1
No digital channels currently on Loma Prieta.

If you do not see at least some type of signal 1%.... or some other signal readings from Sacramento with your current antenna.
It will be very difficult to get any reliable channels at that location. It's not just the antenna, the location is also key.
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post #11714 of 11721 Old Yesterday, 01:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvstevens View Post
I was in Fry's today and noticed they carry the Channel Master 4228 antenna (currently out of stock though) for $109, which seems to be pretty high gain, but also claims to be good for 180 deg. It would be interesting to try that and see what sort of results I get compared to now (new stations and/or stronger signals).
I have two CM4228's, one for the Bay Area channels and one that's pointed at the Walnut Grove transmitter site along with a Y-10-7-13 yagi for the high VHF channels. (See the link below to see pictures.) I'm at 315 feet above sea level and I get two Sacramento/Stockton stations all the time, KMAX 31 and KQCA 58, and four other stations some of the time, KCRA 3, KVIE 6, KXTV 10 and KOVR 13. The two VHF channels (KVIE that transmits on channel 9 and KXTV that transmits on 10) come in about 60 to 70 % of the time, while KCRA and KOVR come in about 50% of the time. KCRA is fighting with the KGO translator since both transmit on channel 35. I used to get it 100% of the time until the translator came on the air.

The other 4228 is pointed at approximately 220 degrees and picks up all of the Sutro and Mt. San Bruno stations, and channels 1, 14, 27, 36, 48 and 54 from the South Bay.

Since you're further away from Walnut Grove, you'd probably have worse results than I do, and you definitely won't get KCRA.

The only antenna that's been reported to be better than the CM4228 is the Antennas Direct 91XG, but it requires a precise setting.

Larry
San Francisco

My complete SF Bay Area DTV Station Lists: http://www.choisser.com/sfonair.html
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post #11715 of 11721 Old Yesterday, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvstevens View Post
Yeah, I was a bit surprised at how directional my antenna was. KRON & KPIX were very weak (pixelating), and PBS didn't come in at all. That's interesting, because when I am pointed at Sutro/Mt. Bruno, I get KNTV (and others from that same direction) pretty strong (no pixelating) , even though its coming from San Jose.

Don't have any rabbit ears or UHF loop handy to do your experiment, but if do come across some, I'll give it a try. On another note, I was in Fry's today and noticed they carry the Channel Master 4228 antenna (currently out of stock though) for $109, which seems to be pretty high gain, but also claims to be good for 180 deg. It would be interesting to try that and see what sort of results I get compared to now (new stations and/or stronger signals).
Interesting that you're considering a $109 antenna
rather than a $6 antenna...

I hate to make you jealous, but apparently KXTV now
is showing something called "Justice Network" on 10.2,
a 24-hour a day true crime documentary channel. I first
saw an ad for it on 10.1 talking about a show with John
Walsh of "America's Most Wanted", so I flipped to 10.2
a few times last night and there was a show called
"Psychic Detectives" about phony mediums who claim
they can solve crimes, "True Crime Files With <some
woman I don't know>", etc., all replacing the old
"LivWell" network that is still on SF channels 7.2 and
7.3. The channel is listed as "480i 16:9" so you could get
all these true crime shows in wide-screen...if you only
could afford two coat-hangers...

What is a "ChannelMaster 4228" without me
Googling(TM) it? High gain and a wide radition
pattern are not possible in this universe. One antenna
I own is a ChannelMaster 4-bay bow-tie w/reflector
UHF, and for years it did a good job getting good
reception of distant (50 miles) UHF analog. It has
now been permanently retired to my garage storage
locker, along with a large LPDA with a UHF Yagi corner
reflector contraption which served me well for years
to get stations from up to 120 miles away with as
good as analog reception as possible.

Is this "ChannelMaster 4228" an LPDA (you can
identify it as such if it has a bunch of rods sticking
out of it in ever-decreasing width)? As a practical
matter with broadcasters abandoning the low-VHF
range that design of antenna is pretty much a waste
of money and space. Or is it a large UHF Yagi,
which you see pictures of here all the time, that is
fantastic for pulling in distant UHF (IF you actually
have line-of-sight, otherwise it's just a another waste
of money) but will do nothing for picking up VHF
and is very directional with low-bandwidth?

Like all "tools", use the correct one for the job, and
realize the limitations of the tools you choose...

--
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post #11716 of 11721 Old Yesterday, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvstevens View Post
What?! You don't like Unko Beeyo?!

I got the same results when I tried just now. 5-2 is just black, with the programming info for 5-1.
Yeah, they're all messed up at KPIX, they clearly have
no experience running sub-channels. They should hire
the people who run KAXT in San Jose, who have run as
many as 20 sub-channels of basically unviewable
low-res garbage...

--
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post #11717 of 11721 Old Yesterday, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 888CALLFCC View Post
KNTV moved their transmitter from San Jose (Loma Prieta) to San Francisco about 7 years ago .... Same thing for ION/PAX channel 65-1
No digital channels currently on Loma Prieta.

If you do not see at least some type of signal 1%.... or some other signal readings from Sacramento with your current antenna.
It will be very difficult to get any reliable channels at that location. It's not just the antenna, the location is also key.
Well, to be perfectly accurate, Loma Prieta is/was not
in San Jose, but in the Santa Cruz mountains straddling
Monterey County, which is the market they were going
after at the time (reception of this so-called "San Jose"
station was actually problematic in San Jose). When
they became the Bay Area NBC affiliate, they first
re-oriented their Loma Prieta antenna to point north,
then quickly moved broadcasting to Mount San Bruno
(five miles south of Sutro, and the mountain that effs
up reception of Sutro UHF on the peninsula), giving
them one of the best positions for transmitting to the
Bay Area possible (Marin took a hit compared to Sutro
though).

My location is just far enough east that I get Sutro
and Mount San Bruno separated by only about 5 degrees,
so I get about 70% of all the possible channels in the
Bay Area in one fell swoop. Again, location is SOOOO
important...

--
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post #11718 of 11721 Old Yesterday, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Kenney View Post
I have two CM4228's, one for the Bay Area channels and one that's pointed at the Walnut Grove transmitter site along with a Y-10-7-13 yagi for the high VHF channels. (See the link below to see pictures.) I'm at 315 feet above sea level and I get two Sacramento/Stockton stations all the time, KMAX 31 and KQCA 58, and four other stations some of the time, KCRA 3, KVIE 6, KXTV 10 and KOVR 13. The two VHF channels (KVIE that transmits on channel 9 and KXTV that transmits on 10) come in about 60 to 70 % of the time, while KCRA and KOVR come in about 50% of the time. KCRA is fighting with the KGO translator since both transmit on channel 35. I used to get it 100% of the time until the translator came on the air.

The other 4228 is pointed at approximately 220 degrees and picks up all of the Sutro and Mt. San Bruno stations, and channels 1, 14, 27, 36, 48 and 54 from the South Bay.

Since you're further away from Walnut Grove, you'd probably have worse results than I do, and you definitely won't get KCRA.

The only antenna that's been reported to be better than the CM4228 is the Antennas Direct 91XG, but it requires a precise setting.

Larry
San Francisco
Made me look at the Google(TM) search results for
the "CM4228", and indeed it's an 8-bay bowtie reflector
UHF antenna. As I've posted elsewhere I retired my
ChannelMaster 4-bay bowtie years ago, along with my
LPDA with corner-reflector UHF section, in favor of
a home-made antenna that's a tiny fraction of the size
of those montrosities (which may very well be the only
way to get a number of stations in certain areas like
SF, but I don't live in SF).

What does my antenna look like? Well, Google(TM)
the Antennas Direct ClearStream2, and that's basically
it, minus the reflector, and the VHF section is two pieces
of coat-hanger wire threaded through the middle of the
double-parabolic loop UHF, sized at around 30 inches
from tip-to-tip (a half-wave dipole sized for physical
channel 7 that receives well from channel 7 to channel
13, and receives physical channel 10 from Walnut Grove
with no problems). I made the UHF loop from a piece
of sheet metal I got at Home Depot for like $4, shaped
using a pair of tin snips).

It's good enough to get me UHF from up to 120 miles
away, so good-bye ChannelMaster multi-bay bowties...

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maxreactance
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post #11719 of 11721 Old Yesterday, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by 888CALLFCC View Post
KNTV moved their transmitter from San Jose (Loma Prieta) to San Francisco about 7 years ago .... Same thing for ION/PAX channel 65-1
No digital channels currently on Loma Prieta.

If you do not see at least some type of signal 1%.... or some other signal readings from Sacramento with your current antenna.
It will be very difficult to get any reliable channels at that location. It's not just the antenna, the location is also key.
My bad. I meant KICU 36, not KNTV 11. I tend to get those two mixed up for some reason. I wish KICU 36 would bring back Carol Doda for their station ID breaks. "The perfect 36". Ah, mammaries...er, I mean memories, of course.
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post #11720 of 11721 Old Yesterday, 04:12 PM
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Anyone who's wanting to see if they can receive the Sacramento/Stockton stations from Walnut Grove, now is a good time to do it. All of the signals are way up this afternoon and I'm receiving 3, 6, 10, 13, 31 and 58 all with solid signals. 22, 50 and 68 from Marin and Sonoma Counties are also coming in stronger than usual this afternoon.

By the way, a few days ago I mentioned that KTNC 42 had been coming in about 3 to 4 dB stronger than usual for about a week, reaching as high as 28 dB SNR. Well, as of yesterday it is back to it's normal 23 dB level. I don't know if they're adjusting their transmitter power or if it was all due to conditions.

Larry

My complete SF Bay Area DTV Station Lists: http://www.choisser.com/sfonair.html
Lots of Broadcasting links and information: http://www.choisser.com/broadcast.html

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post #11721 of 11721 Old Today, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Kenney View Post
By the way, a few days ago I mentioned that KTNC 42 had been coming in about 3 to 4 dB stronger than usual for about a week, reaching as high as 28 dB SNR. Well, as of yesterday it is back to it's normal 23 dB level. I don't know if they're adjusting their transmitter power or if it was all due to conditions.

Larry
I've been fooled like this so many times that I'm hesitant to say anything when I see a change. I have an especially hard time detecting real signal improvements if I try something new with the antennas. I just completed some work to the mechanical stability and electrical performance of the VHF antennas. I'm seeing some improvement in the signals viewed on the spectrum analyzer but it's harder to see that translate to improved reception. I figure I need a week at the minimum to say whether it's real or not. A month would be better. The only thing I know for sure is that I was able to improve the VSWR of the antennas but that's a hard measurement not subject to the whims of atmospheric conditions. An improved VSWR doesn't necessarily mean better reception when you're only looking at <0.1 dB mismatch loss improvement.

Chuck
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