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post #15001 of 15020 Old 04-25-2017, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post
All I can suggest (I'll probably do this myself) is a real, directional, high-gain VHF Yagi like Stellar Labs 30-2476 combined with a good UVSJ like the one from Antennas Direct.
Not sure if there's a difference with what I have and the one in the link. Model #s are almost the same. Mind has an "S" at the end and the other has a "Z". In trying different configurations I discovered water inside the grommet on the Clearstream connector. When I disconnected the DB2e to islolate the Clearstream to see if it would improve VHF from Mt Sutro, it was a complete failure. So I reconnected everything through the combiner like before and now virtually no VHF at all. UHF is a little worse with just the DB2e though. I think water did something to the electronics inside the Clearstream box where the coax connects and my fiddling with it set it over the edge somehow. If I replace it with a VHF only antenna, I may have to also get something better for UHF.
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post #15002 of 15020 Old 04-25-2017, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gone hiking View Post
Not sure if there's a difference with what I have and the one in the link. Model #s are almost the same. Mind has an "S" at the end and the other has a "Z". In trying different configurations I discovered water inside the grommet on the Clearstream connector. When I disconnected the DB2e to islolate the Clearstream to see if it would improve VHF from Mt Sutro, it was a complete failure. So I reconnected everything through the combiner like before and now virtually no VHF at all. UHF is a little worse with just the DB2e though. I think water did something to the electronics inside the Clearstream box where the coax connects and my fiddling with it set it over the edge somehow. If I replace it with a VHF only antenna, I may have to also get something better for UHF.
That looks like the correct part to combine the antennae, model number differences aside. However, if you simply open-circuited the UHF port when you disconnected the DB2e that is electrically incorrect; the unused port should have been terminated with 75 ohms. If you want to look only at the Clearstream VHF and don't have a 75 ohm termination handy, you can can join the antenna cable to the TV cable with an F connector female adapter, removing both the diplexer and the UHF antenna from the circuit. Water is not a good thing.

I see a couple options here:

1) Replace the diplexer on the assumption it was water damaged and that is the source of your problems. This presumes your setup worked well over the full range of weather and seasons, not just for a couple weeks or months. Not clear if this was ever a truly good setup, have to judge by your experience with it.

2) Change out both antennae for high-gain narrow beam models to improve signal level and reject off-axis multipath. Chances are you'll just be able to point at Mt. Sutro and pick up Mt. Allison anyway (works for me). RF35 will probably still be flaky, but you should get RF7 from Sutro anyway. I have had great results with the XG91 on UHF, haven't yet tried the Stellar VHF but the specs are good.

My impression is the narrow beam is at least as important as higher gain.

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post #15003 of 15020 Old 04-25-2017, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post
That looks like the correct part to combine the antennae, model number differences aside. However, if you simply open-circuited the UHF port when you disconnected the DB2e that is electrically incorrect; the unused port should have been terminated with 75 ohms. If you want to look only at the Clearstream VHF and don't have a 75 ohm termination handy, you can can join the antenna cable to the TV cable with an F connector female adapter, removing both the diplexer and the UHF antenna from the circuit. Water is not a good thing.

I see a couple options here:

1) Replace the diplexer on the assumption it was water damaged and that is the source of your problems. This presumes your setup worked well over the full range of weather and seasons, not just for a couple weeks or months. Not clear if this was ever a truly good setup, have to judge by your experience with it.

2) Change out both antennae for high-gain narrow beam models to improve signal level and reject off-axis multipath. Chances are you'll just be able to point at Mt. Sutro and pick up Mt. Allison anyway (works for me). RF35 will probably still be flaky, but you should get RF7 from Sutro anyway. I have had great results with the XG91 on UHF, haven't yet tried the Stellar VHF but the specs are good.

My impression is the narrow beam is at least as important as higher gain.
Actually I bypassed the diplexer and connected the Clearstream directly to the house coax and got no VHF reception. So that tells me the water damage is with the Clearstream electronics. I think you're right that this was a less than ideal setup to begin with. So I'm going with your suggestion to get a directional VHF and eventually a directional UHF also. But first I'll explore my options under Antenna Direct's lifetime warranty. Thanks again for your input.
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post #15004 of 15020 Old 04-25-2017, 04:56 PM
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The San Francisco Chronicle published an article on "Airwave Sale Nets Windfall at Stations" on April 21. It shows what each station will get from the sale of their spectrum.

To read it go to:
http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Oli...iscoChronicle/
Search 4/21/17 for "Airwave Sale".

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post #15005 of 15020 Old 04-25-2017, 05:03 PM
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Gone Hiking, I have a Clearstream 5 which I use with a Channel Master 4228 for the bedroom TV. See attached photo. It also shows my Dish antenna.

The C5 is a rather weird looking antenna and I don't really know how good it is. I only use it to receive KGO 7 and KNTV 12, both within 5 miles of my home. I know that it has never received the VHF stations from Walnut Grove, 65 miles from here.

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post #15006 of 15020 Old 04-25-2017, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gone hiking View Post
Not sure if there's a difference with what I have and the one in the link. Model #s are almost the same. Mind has an "S" at the end and the other has a "Z". In trying different configurations I discovered water inside the grommet on the Clearstream connector. When I disconnected the DB2e to islolate the Clearstream to see if it would improve VHF from Mt Sutro, it was a complete failure. So I reconnected everything through the combiner like before and now virtually no VHF at all. UHF is a little worse with just the DB2e though. I think water did something to the electronics inside the Clearstream box where the coax connects and my fiddling with it set it over the edge somehow. If I replace it with a VHF only antenna, I may have to also get something better for UHF.
One simple way to test VHF from sutro tower ... is simply tune your car radio to a sutro tower FM radio station... like 96.5
Driving around you will hear flutter (multipath) and total dead zones. Use regular FM, not HD-FM.

Some parts of San Jose get Monterey VHF-TV 8 & 13
So usually something will come in. No signal makes questionable equipment, cable, or splitter failure suspect.
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post #15007 of 15020 Old 04-26-2017, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Kenney View Post
The San Francisco Chronicle published an article on "Airwave Sale Nets Windfall at Stations" on April 21. It shows what each station will get from the sale of their spectrum.

To read it go to:
http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Oli...iscoChronicle/
Search 4/21/17 for "Airwave Sale".

Larry

Requires a subscription.

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post #15008 of 15020 Old 04-26-2017, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post
I have two completely separate antennae and tuners with fairly different characteristics. While tuned to KGO RF35 repeater, I get the same problem on both antenna. I can put up an instance of each antenna/tuner on my TV (I use an HTPC) and view the breakups occur on both antenna simultaneously. It is extremely rare for one antenna to pixelate when the other does not. The antenna are separated by a couple feet vertically, and aimed in different directions 45 degrees apart with the Yagi pointed at Mt. Sutro and the bowtie aimed towards Mt. Allison.

I would think if this were a multipath problem there would be some differences in reception between the two antennae. I'm not sure a single reply to the topic of the KGO repeater has indicated some people get good reception from it.


A bit late to the party (taxes & life got in the way). I'm now seeing two issues with RF35 - over the past few weeks reception has degraded. The hdhomerun on the DB4E pointed at Mt. Allison is having a tough time demodulating the signal. At the same time, the CM4228HD that I have pointed at Sutro is now picking up RF35 better than the DB4E. Possibly via a side lobe. (Interference with KICU RF36...as others are suggesting...is certainly a possibility, though in my case multipath is more likely. Wish I had a spectrum analyzer to check.)


The other issue is the one I posted here earlier - 5 - 6 times/s a packet is getting lost on RF35. This causes rather minor but constant artifacts on 7-1. A bit more digging (and comparing RF7 to RF35) showed that for every packet that got lost, another stuffing NULL packet was introduced. The most likely place for this to happen is on the broadcast side after the encoder and before/at the stat mux. Interestingly RF7 and RF35 appear to have slightly different bitrates. RF35 has some extra NULL packets. Makes me wonder if that could be giving the stat mux heartache. (Actually I'd think there'd be two different muxes for RF7 and RF35, but with only one encoder for both things could get very interesting.).


Anyway, sent a more detailed description of this to the chief engineer at KGO, though with NAB going on I don't expect much to happen soon.
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post #15009 of 15020 Old 04-27-2017, 07:23 AM
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Keith,

I see the FCC approved your application for K11WP. I was looking at the antenna pattern. Is the antenna rotated CW or CCW so the main lobe is either at 197 degrees or 163 degrees?

Chuck
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post #15010 of 15020 Old 04-27-2017, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
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A bit late to the party (taxes & life got in the way). I'm now seeing two issues with RF35 - over the past few weeks reception has degraded. The hdhomerun on the DB4E pointed at Mt. Allison is having a tough time demodulating the signal. At the same time, the CM4228HD that I have pointed at Sutro is now picking up RF35 better than the DB4E. Possibly via a side lobe. (Interference with KICU RF36...as others are suggesting...is certainly a possibility, though in my case multipath is more likely. Wish I had a spectrum analyzer to check.)


The other issue is the one I posted here earlier - 5 - 6 times/s a packet is getting lost on RF35. This causes rather minor but constant artifacts on 7-1. A bit more digging (and comparing RF7 to RF35) showed that for every packet that got lost, another stuffing NULL packet was introduced. The most likely place for this to happen is on the broadcast side after the encoder and before/at the stat mux. Interestingly RF7 and RF35 appear to have slightly different bitrates. RF35 has some extra NULL packets. Makes me wonder if that could be giving the stat mux heartache. (Actually I'd think there'd be two different muxes for RF7 and RF35, but with only one encoder for both things could get very interesting.).


Anyway, sent a more detailed description of this to the chief engineer at KGO, though with NAB going on I don't expect much to happen soon.
I have had the exact same experience as you recently; the direct pointed DB4e is really bad around 7PM, the HDHR4-2US can't even demodulate the channel. Yet other times during the day before the twilight atmosphere change it decodes with no errors. The XG91 aimed 45 degrees to the west at Mt. Sutro receives the same as always, regular errors and pixelation, yet watchable.

I'll see if I can bring home a spectrum analyzer from work and post some plots. I am skeptical of adjacent channel interference given that others in more ideal locations than myself have similar problems. If it was just me it might be more believable. The Mt. Sutro adjacent high power low power channels (RF 48, 49?) don't seem to have this problem. The 75 ohm to 50 ohm type F attenuator might be hard to find.

Lifespeed

Last edited by lifespeed; 04-27-2017 at 09:47 AM.
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post #15011 of 15020 Old 04-27-2017, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post
I am skeptical of adjacent channel interference given that others in more ideal locations than myself have similar problems. If it was just me it might be more believable. The Mt. Sutro adjacent high power low power channels (RF 48, 49?) don't seem to have this problem. The 75 ohm to 50 ohm type F attenuator might be hard to find.
KTVU-LD 48 and KSTS 49 are both in the Mt. Allison group of stations. According to your TV Fool report you have LOS to KTVU-LD with a NM of +38 dB and the KSTS NM is +57 dB. The difference is just 19 dB. No tuner should have any trouble with that. The 40 dB difference between KICU and KGO-LD is definitely a problem. I'm assuming that TV Fool is pretty close to reality. You might find the number to be much different if you measure it.

I have a similar problem here between KUVS on 18 and KOFY on 19. I cannot receive KOFY unless I put KUVS in a sharp antenna null because the signal strength difference is too great between the stations.

It sounds like KGO-LD has some kind of a problem. But that doesn't rule out an adjacent channel issue in your case. In order to do that you'd need to coordinate with someone to see if your reception issues occur at the same time.

AFAIK there is no such thing as a 75:50 ohm F attenuator.

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post #15012 of 15020 Old 04-27-2017, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post
KTVU-LD 48 and KSTS 49 are both in the Mt. Allison group of stations. According to your TV Fool report you have LOS to KTVU-LD with a NM of +38 dB and the KSTS NM is +57 dB. The difference is just 19 dB. No tuner should have any trouble with that. The 40 dB difference between KICU and KGO-LD is definitely a problem. I'm assuming that TV Fool is pretty close to reality. You might find the number to be much different if you measure it.

I have a similar problem here between KUVS on 18 and KOFY on 19. I cannot receive KOFY unless I put KUVS in a sharp antenna null because the signal strength difference is too great between the stations.

It sounds like KGO-LD has some kind of a problem. But that doesn't rule out an adjacent channel issue in your case. In order to do that you'd need to coordinate with someone to see if your reception issues occur at the same time.

AFAIK there is no such thing as a 75:50 ohm F attenuator.

Chuck
It does appear that most people have problems with KGO RF35. A spectrum analyzer will tell the tale, although it would really be preferable to match to 50 ohms. Such adapters exist for obvious reasons, but I don't want to buy one just to make the measurement. Not so sure I'll find one of those here at work, although it seems a common enough need in the cable TV industry. But I work in test and measurement, not CATV.

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post #15013 of 15020 Old 04-27-2017, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post
It does appear that most people have problems with KGO RF35. A spectrum analyzer will tell the tale, although it would really be preferable to match to 50 ohms. Such adapters exist for obvious reasons, but I don't want to buy one just to make the measurement. Not so sure I'll find one of those here at work, although it seems a common enough need in the cable TV industry. But I work in test and measurement, not CATV.

I didn't say there were no 75:50 ohm matching transformers or those 6 dB matching pads. I said there were no attenuators that matched 75 to 50 ohms. You won't find a 10 or 20 dB attenuator that goes from 75 to 50 ohms. I use the TPX-75-4 matching transformers. They have about 0.4 dB insertion loss on VHF and UHF.

I wouldn't concern myself with matching the antenna to a 50 ohm analyzer just to look at a signal. The mismatch is tiny compared to the poor VSWR most TV antennas have. 3:1 is not uncommon.

I hope to get down to the south bay in a couple of weeks with my UHF antenna, spectrum analyzer and portable TV to take a look at KGO-LD.

Chuck
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post #15014 of 15020 Old 04-27-2017, 01:06 PM
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attenuator = pad

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post #15015 of 15020 Old 04-27-2017, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post
...
I hope to get down to the south bay in a couple of weeks with my UHF antenna, spectrum analyzer and portable TV to take a look at KGO-LD.
Chuck
As there are continuous reports that KGO VC 7 RF 35 has

"missed_packets"

http://ruka.org/~toast/atscdata/chart.php?c=35
_____________________________________

Sequence errors:

Quote:
G:\HDTV>REM FullStream5.bat 9/6/2016
-
"101A7308 /tuner1 101A7308_T1.ts TRINITY"
Thu 04/27/2017
01:02 PM
auto:35
3: 7.1 KGO-HD
4: 7.2 LIVWELL
5: 7.3 LAFFTV
tsid=0x017D
ch=auto:35 lock=8vsb ss=81 snq=77 seq=100 bps=19394080 pps=1842
tun: ch=auto:35 lock=8vsb:599000000 ss=81 snq=77 seq=100 dbg=12960-10885-1407/-1
dev: bps=19394080 resync=0 overflow=0
ts: bps=19394080 te=0 crc=0
net: pps=1842 err=0 stop=0
ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss ssssssss
-- Video statistics --
108488 packets received, 0 overflow errors, 0 network errors, 0 transport errors
, 337 sequence errors
Terminate batch job (Y/N)? n
ch=auto:35 lock=8vsb ss=80 snq=75 seq=100 bps=19394080 pps=0
tun: ch=auto:35 lock=8vsb:599000000 ss=79 snq=80 seq=100 dbg=13123-10761-1409/-1
dev: bps=19394080 resync=0 overflow=0
ts: bps=19394080 te=0 crc=0
net: pps=0 err=0 stop=1
Thu 04/27/2017
01:03 PM
Press any key to continue . . .
___________________________________


"Continuity errors:"


See TSReader attachment "KGO_RF35.zip"
________________________________________


And the report of exactly what is wrong with the KGO VC 7 RF 35 transport stream plus the post from the KGO engineer acknowledging a problem you may or may not see anything interesting with the spectrum analyzer.

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

Post or send me a PM a day ahead of your test and I will if I can capture KGO VC 7 RF 35 for an hour that you be doing your testing.

During your tests please check:

http://ruka.org/~toast/atscdata/chart.php?c=35


While the samples are ~ 30 minutes apart they in almost all cases matches up with what I see with my continuously sampling.

To my eyes I can see an interfering signal that produces errors when Toast0's samples are taken and as the periods are different more of the time a steady error rate is detected.

Click on the color bar just to the left of "Missing_Packets' to highlight the samples that are higher than the unusual non-zero values that KGO VC 7 RF 7 chart shows.

SHF
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post #15016 of 15020 Old 04-27-2017, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Larry Kenney View Post
Gone Hiking, I have a Clearstream 5 which I use with a Channel Master 4228 for the bedroom TV. See attached photo. It also shows my Dish antenna.

The C5 is a rather weird looking antenna and I don't really know how good it is. I only use it to receive KGO 7 and KNTV 12, both within 5 miles of my home. I know that it has never received the VHF stations from Walnut Grove, 65 miles from here.

Larry
Thanks Larry. I'm told the CL5 is a wide-beam moderate-gain antenna. It seemed to work fine at first. I'm 49.5 miles from Sutro (LOS) and got the CL5 because it's supposedly "extreme range" for both VHF and UHF. I have received RF7 and RF12 consistently. The signal was just strong enough and the quality was 100%. Recently, though 7 started dropping out at times and RF35 has issues now. When I disconnected the coax from the CL5 there was water in the cable grommet and a crack along the bottom of the balun housing. When I reconnected it suddenly there was no more VHF reception and UHF is degraded somewhat. The balun seems to have suffered water damage and the plastic housing photo degrades over time. Not sure what can be done to avoid those problems. Something to watch for. Antennas Direct is sending me a replacement part (presumably the hoop with the balun). But I probably need a more directional VHF antenna eventually.
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post #15017 of 15020 Old Yesterday, 12:24 AM
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... it's supposedly "extreme range" for both VHF and UHF.
VHF and UHF? I've always thought that the C5 was just a high VHF antenna, so you got me checking on line and the listings all say
"Antennas Direct C5 ClearStream 5 High Gain Digital VHF TV Antenna". No mention of UHF.

That's why I added the CM4228 for UHF.

If you've been using it for UHF, it was working beyond it's design. Please tell us how well it worked for you.

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post #15018 of 15020 Old Yesterday, 03:48 AM
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From what I've seen described by their tech guy, it behaves pretty much like an omnidirectional on UHF. The data sheet on their web site tends to support that observation.
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post #15019 of 15020 Old Yesterday, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post
I have had the exact same experience as you recently; the direct pointed DB4e is really bad around 7PM, the HDHR4-2US can't even demodulate the channel.


I spent some time in the attic in the early evening and replaced the DB4e with a CM4221HD. All night I've been getting RF35 with virtually no RF errors (very few uncorrectable errors reported by the HDHR's demodulator). While the CM4221HD is in the same position the DB4e was, the orientation I ended up with appears to point a bit further north. I wasn't able to achieve a strong/stable signal strength this with the DB4e, so perhaps the CM4221HD's characteristics play favorably in Mountain View. (Pointing north had a side-effect of reducing KICU's signal strength on RF36 a bit. So I suppose it's possible some adjacent channel interference may have been mitigated as well.)


Now I just see the sequence errors (5-6 packets lost/s).
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post #15020 of 15020 Old Today, 12:44 AM
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I'll have to connect a spectrum analyzer. I've been having trouble finding an N to F adapter, let alone a 75 to 50 ohm pad, however.

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