Good replies all. Let me add my thoughts:
Originally Posted by MLaurel
I finally found the time to get up on the roof and make some adjustments. I took a little TV up on the roof so that I could make adjustments using the signal strength meter on the digital converter box. I twisted the antenna around until I had all channels pulling in 87%-97% signal strength. Apparently I'm losing signal down the coax from the roof to the splitter in the attic. Most stations have a much stronger signal than before except for KXAS and KERA. KERA holds steady at around 55% with practically no drop outs...I can live with that. KXAS drifts up and down between 40%-45% even dropping below 40% regularly with picture loss and the "Weak Signal" message appearing on the screen. I do have the coax plugged into an amp before it goes to the splitter. Without the amp there was no KXAS or KERA at all. What now?
Since everything was coming in strong on the roof, it sounds as if there's something wrong with the cable going from your antenna to your amp. Perhaps there's a pinch or other damage where it enters the roof. So my next questions would be: 1) How long is that cable, and 2) How easy would it be to replace?
If it's not too long and easy to replace, that might be worth a try. If it's really long, I'd go with RE Nelson's suggestion and replace the downstream amp with a mast-mounted preamp. (I use a Channel Master 7777 preamp and it works great.) A preamp might let you "power through" a bad cable, so you wouldn't need to replace it. (Most likely, you wouldn't need your current amp anymore.)
If you decide to replace the cable, make sure to get RG-6 instead of RG-59, especially if it's over 25 feet. RG-6 is a little thicker but will lose less signal, especially at the top of the UHF band. (You'll probably want KTXD/47 once Me-TV starts.) "Quad shield" is even better but probably an unnecessary expense unless you plan on adding a satellite dish at some point.
Your low reading on KERA sounds about right; that's what I get too but it's perfectly watchable. KXAS is more puzzling; each of us seems to have a station or two that "should" come in a lot stronger than they actually do in practice. You said KXTX/39 was decent; how is KPXD/68?
If it's OK too the impairment is specifically at RF 41. You may have an "accidental" notch filter somewhere; perhaps your cable is damaged in two places about 3 inches (or an odd multiple, i.e. 9 or 15 inches) apart. At most frequencies the two impairments weaken the signal independently, but the signal will bounce from the second to the first and back again, and at RF 41 the two signals will interfere destructively and cancel out. (Could also happen if you have a 3-inch cable stub connected to your splitter.)
Originally Posted by blueapplepaste
I stumbled upon this forum and thread and am hoping you guys with way more experience can help me out. Recently ditched cable, but still want to get the networks.
I recently moved to right outside downtown dallas and currently live on the 5th floor of a massive brick and concrete building. I live on the east side of the building, and from what I can tell all the towers broadcast from west of me, meaning I don't have a clear shot of the signal.
I just went onto Amazon and looked up indoor antennas and picked up the Mohu Leaf. Got a ton of channels, however, most I don't care about. I could never get all of the network channels. i.e. I'd get ABC, and CBS, but not FOX, and NBC would be intermittent. I could adjust it, but then I'd lose ABC, but get NBC, etc. I tried installing an amplifier, didn't really do much.
So I ordered at clearstream 2, which looked a larger and seemed it might get better reception. Hasn't really made anything better. I absolutely must have an indoor antenna b/c of where I live.
From just browsing the thread, I'm wondering if the Winegard SS-3000 might be worth a shot. Seems it is recommended. One of the top reviews mentioned living in a city with concrete and brick buildings all around, which is my situation right now.
Any other advice would be greatly recommended. I'm enjoying saving $100 not having cable, but not being able to watch the networks is going to be a deal breaker with the wife, especially when the Olympics are on.
Downtown, I suspect your biggest problem will be multipath interference. The CS 2 is an excellent antenna, but it has one weakness: it's not very directional, which means it's susceptible to multipath. The SS-3000 is a smaller, lower gain antenna, but it might actually be better in a downtown environment because its "side-by-side" design makes it more directional.
The towers will be to your south-southwest (as TV Fool showed), but if you don't have direct line-of-sight in that direction, you'll have to try for a good reflection. I see you're on the east side of the building. If you have any south-facing windows, try placing your antenna there. If you have a balcony, put it out there: if you can, put it where it can see "around the corner." Otherwise, as a last resort try aiming at a building facade to your south-southeast to try for a good low-angle reflection. Unfortunately there will probably be multiple buildings and therefore multiple reflections from that direction, but at least the reflections will be static since buildings don't blow in the wind as much as trees, so if you can find a good signal it should be pretty steady.
Originally Posted by HateNewNHL
I am helping out my grandfather with his new HDTV remotely and he lives near Dallas (I am in Colorado). He actually lives in Malakoff which is in between Athens and Corsicana if you arent familar with it. If I believe the antennaweb.org, they look to be 60-75mi from the broadcast antenna location.
My basic question is about the range of those signals. Should I expect them to pick them up with a basic powered antenna?
I apologize if this has been written on in the 217 pages of this thread and I cant seem to drill down enough on a search.
Many thanks for the assistance!
According to TV Fool your grandfather is just over 60 miles out. The biggest problem at that distance will be fading: the signal will start out fine, but weaken and drop out for several seconds (usually when your favorite sports team is about to take the lead), then come back for a while longer.
An indoor antenna will be nearly useless at that distance, and a built-in amp won't help. Your best defense is to get the biggest, baddest antenna you can afford, and mount it as high as practical. I'd recommend hiring someone to do a rooftop installation, so your granddad doesn't have to deal with it himself.
The HBU-44 is a really
good antenna at VHF-Hi, but may not be quite enough at UHF. If you can afford it, I'd recommend it's bigger brother, the HBU-55, or one of its competitiors, such as the Winegard 7698 or Channel Master 2020, just for the extra safety margin against fading.