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post #4081 of 4088 Old 04-22-2017, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilbur_the_goose View Post
I hate VHF. I can get 6 in Chester Springs, but it took them to do a major increase in power to make it happen.

WHYY is impossible, but I get NJN 23 clear as a bell, although it's much further away and I'm "behind" Bacton Hill (a 550' hill)
Used to get channel 6 when they where on UHF. After the transition and they went to VHF, never seen ABC channel 6 again. I am in central NJ (45 miles out). I have the same issue with NY VHF channels. Reception via UHF was great, so why did the government allow stations to go back to VHF which is much harder to receive.
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post #4082 of 4088 Old 04-22-2017, 05:42 PM
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Because the government always does what's best for the general public.

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post #4083 of 4088 Old 04-22-2017, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by trailblazer View Post
so why did the government allow stations to go back to VHF which is much harder to receive.
because some folks at the FCC failed proper mathematics class. Here is a editorial from Mike Kohl at global-cm.net back in 2009

We have been attempting to cover the fallout from the June 12th shutoff of full power analog television signals across the United States. It turns out that most of the public WAS ready for the transition, and that television stations were equally ready for that plug to be pulled, forcing everyone into permanent digital mode. But it turns out that flawed engineering data at the FCC has caused a major fiasco with stations that are now using VHF channels 2 to 13 for digital. Most visible examples include channel 13 in Baltimore, which was doing fine with its analog VHF channel, and equally well if not even better with their temporary UHF digital frequency. Once they shut off analog on VHF, turned off the temporary UHF digital signal, and then turned on VHF digital, a nasty surprise was found. As an outsider, all I can see is that highly visible engineering people must have been sleeping through much of their elementary school mathematics classes, and missed the parts on multiplication and division. Let's see if the rest of you can pass this test: If a UHF TV station was allowed to transmit 5 million watts video power in analog, and then given permission to use 1 million watts for digital, that would mean that the digital signal is using 20% of the power of previous analog signal. Suppose that a VHF station on channel 13 was previously transmitting at the maximum 316 Kw allowed for analog (just as UHF channels were allowed 5000 Kw on analog), would it not make a little bit of sense that the digital allotment should be somewhere near 20% of the previous analog power output? That number would be just over 60 Kw in most circumstances. Why were VHF channels given power outputs typically between 10 and 30 Kw? Did nobody realize that you would get extremely reduced coverage at a fraction of the power? And there was no real-world testing situation in many cases to see if digital VHF performance was adequate at proposed power levels?? Somewhere in the explanation should include the word "idiot", in my humble opinion. At least the FCC is now acting at previously unheard of speed to respond to broadcasters that are struggling with the power levels authorized, and giving them permission to crank up the power. It's still sort of an experimental process, with those complaining the loudest getting the attention (and permission) to increase power levels. Let's hope that things work out for the best sooner than later. Next is the plan to allow fill-in translators and other rebroadcasters to go on the air in areas that digital is now not working---after being satisfactory for analog signals for many years. Another debacle that will take a long time to straighten our!

The issue with VHF Low is interference. Also Channel 6 chose VHF 6 in the Digital RF station rounds. They were on 64 pre-2009 which was taken away in 2009
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post #4084 of 4088 Old 04-23-2017, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclehonkey View Post
because some folks at the FCC failed proper mathematics class. Here is a editorial from Mike Kohl at global-cm.net back in 2009

We have been attempting to cover the fallout from the June 12th shutoff of full power analog television signals across the United States. It turns out that most of the public WAS ready for the transition, and that television stations were equally ready for that plug to be pulled, forcing everyone into permanent digital mode. But it turns out that flawed engineering data at the FCC has caused a major fiasco with stations that are now using VHF channels 2 to 13 for digital. Most visible examples include channel 13 in Baltimore, which was doing fine with its analog VHF channel, and equally well if not even better with their temporary UHF digital frequency. Once they shut off analog on VHF, turned off the temporary UHF digital signal, and then turned on VHF digital, a nasty surprise was found. As an outsider, all I can see is that highly visible engineering people must have been sleeping through much of their elementary school mathematics classes, and missed the parts on multiplication and division. Let's see if the rest of you can pass this test: If a UHF TV station was allowed to transmit 5 million watts video power in analog, and then given permission to use 1 million watts for digital, that would mean that the digital signal is using 20% of the power of previous analog signal. Suppose that a VHF station on channel 13 was previously transmitting at the maximum 316 Kw allowed for analog (just as UHF channels were allowed 5000 Kw on analog), would it not make a little bit of sense that the digital allotment should be somewhere near 20% of the previous analog power output? That number would be just over 60 Kw in most circumstances. Why were VHF channels given power outputs typically between 10 and 30 Kw? Did nobody realize that you would get extremely reduced coverage at a fraction of the power? And there was no real-world testing situation in many cases to see if digital VHF performance was adequate at proposed power levels?? Somewhere in the explanation should include the word "idiot", in my humble opinion. At least the FCC is now acting at previously unheard of speed to respond to broadcasters that are struggling with the power levels authorized, and giving them permission to crank up the power. It's still sort of an experimental process, with those complaining the loudest getting the attention (and permission) to increase power levels. Let's hope that things work out for the best sooner than later. Next is the plan to allow fill-in translators and other rebroadcasters to go on the air in areas that digital is now not working---after being satisfactory for analog signals for many years. Another debacle that will take a long time to straighten our!

The issue with VHF Low is interference. Also Channel 6 chose VHF 6 in the Digital RF station rounds. They were on 64 pre-2009 which was taken away in 2009
Thanks. Interesting write up. Sounds more like the government did not have any common sense or just couldn't leave well enough alone!
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post #4085 of 4088 Old 04-23-2017, 03:31 PM
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One thing I forgot to note...Mike is/was a satellite dealer years ago and use to do installs of large commercial satellite dishes in Alaska and also did some work on the Mt Wilson (LA) Antenna farm years ago. So he knows his stuff. Here is a couple articles
http://www.global-cm.net/news&views200606.html
http://www.global-cm.net/news&views20061226.html
http://global-cm.net/news&views20080610.html


Anywho the thing with VHF Low is most of the stations that use it are smaller markets that could save money by not moving to a different station. Also in those areas most folks already had outdoor antennas so it wasnt that much of an issue. As example a few of these network (Big 4) stations right now on VHF Low
-Bangor Maine (which right now is very unique as you only need a VHF antenna to get all the stations. All 4 commercial and PBS are on VHF. A couple have UHF translators but they are on 2 (NBC), 13 (CBS), 7 (ABC/FOX) and 9 (PBS)
-North Platte, Nebraska (they actually have 2..NBC on 2 and ABC on 6)
-Eureka, CA
-Calumet, MI (UP of Michigan)
-Butte, Montana (2 of them..CBS on 5 and NBC on 6)
-Glendive, MT (KXGN flash cut on 6/17/09...they never had a "companion" channel
-Lead, SD (satellite of Rapid City station)
-Memphis, TN
-Bristol, VA (Tri Cities)
-Weston, WV
-Albany, NY

-Quad CIties and Des Moines, IA also have VHF Low stations but have UHF translators also

So as you can see outside of Philly I would say Albany being the next biggest market that has a VHF Low network affiliate. What is nuts is there are some stations who decided to cash in their chips and move from UHF or VHF High to VHF Low in exchange for a payout including the PBS stations in Pittsburgh (WQED), Boston (WGBH) Los Angeles and Rhode Island. So that outta be interesting when folks with antennas there lose those stations.

VHf High isnt so bad as long as you have the right antenna.
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post #4086 of 4088 Old 05-03-2017, 02:15 PM
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Channel 2 antenna tweak experiment

In anticipation of WFMZ's 69.3 (H&I) and 69.4 (Retro) moving to RF channel 2 (which I've never been able to receive at all), today I added two 17-inch "wings" to my 66-inch channel 6 folded dipole to see what would happen. As anticipated, this slightly reduced the signal from channel 6 (it went from 89-92 on my Sony TV's arbitrary signal strength scale down to 87-89, still quite receivable), but also allowed me to pull in a remarkably stable channel 2 (which currently airs KJWP's 2.1 through 2.4) on all my TVs and DVRs. The signal shows up with a strength 70 on the same Sony TV.

I didn't bother extending the whole twinlead folded dipole, but rather just attached two single-conductor wires to the ends of the folded dipole and fiddled a bit with the angle they came off the ends to get the strongest signal.

-----------<===============-===============>-----------
||

So at least here in Lower Bucks County it's possible to receive the 9.36KW VHF LOW signal from Roxborough with a homebrew attic antenna. My attic is about 230 ft. above sea level and the only obstacle between me and Roxborough is a lot of trees. YMMV.
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Last edited by frank70; 05-03-2017 at 02:47 PM.
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post #4087 of 4088 Old 05-05-2017, 05:49 PM
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^^^
wow - that's dedication to OTA
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post #4088 of 4088 Old Today, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilbur_the_goose View Post
wow - that's dedication to OTA
Well, not so much dedication, just trying to make it so my techno-phobic wife will not have to deal with change; she watches old Star Trek episodes (all the many incarnations) on 69.3 whenever there's nothing new or interesting on the networks.

As for me, at age 70 neither I nor my parents ever spent a dime to receive TV any other way than OTA. My investment in equipment is modest: a DB-8 UHF antenna, homemade VHF antenna, old (really old) channel master preamp on the DB-8, Kitztech low noise amp being used as a distribution amp, a handful of splitters and a VHF/UHF combiner, and maybe 100' of RG-6 and a bit of RG-59 all neatly out of sight. On the receiving end a Sony LCD 40" XBR that's probably pushing 10 years old but still looking great, a couple smaller sets one of which is a CRT still using a DTV converter box, and two OTA DVRs (DTVPal and DVR+) which replaced an even older Sony DHG-HDD500 DVR. A couple of roofs (or is that "rooves"?) ago I had a rooftop antenna, but for the past 25 years my antennas have been in my attic. That may be dedication to you, but it's just normal to me.

Looking forward (well, not really) to ATSC 3.0 transition, converter boxes again, and continuing challanges as they can never leave well enough alone.
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