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post #451 of 3822 Old 01-18-2007, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Max View Post

2) SOUNDSTAGE
"Peter Frampton" (part 2 of 2)
Thursday, January 25, 2007 10 - 11:00 pm
In Peter Frampton's second hour on "Soundstage," he performs a
thrilling cover of George Harrison’s "While My Guitar Gently
Weeps" and Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun." (CC, Stereo)

I missed this show. I used to get it in 52.5 or 23.5. Somehow I do not get it now even though I get the other subchannels 1, 2 & 3. Buying a new atsc tuner hopefully solves my accurian problems.
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post #452 of 3822 Old 01-18-2007, 04:51 PM
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T-Max: That antenna and my A antenna are a mere few feet apart, albeit separated by 3 layers of shingles (4 if you count the original cedar shingles!!)... I took my attic antenna down and it didn't do my digital reception any good. If it did anything, it made it a bit worse. But I think that's probably the clouds moving in. And it just now started snowing here.

And thus we have proven antenna coupling works. How? In reverse. You positioned the one on the roof to get the best reception. Now, you come along and change the whole dang problem by removing the attic antenna and the coupling is gone. So, the antenna in the attic was probably helping it's brother above. Try putting it back to see if you your signal levels are back. Best to wait until after the snowing stops and the roof clears up.

From the previous postings, I keep thinking about Frampton Comes Alive- when it first came out...
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post #453 of 3822 Old 01-18-2007, 08:54 PM
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enier - WHYY does indeed carry Soundstage, and I did not miss Part 1. It's on tomorrow night.

Soundstage
Peter Frampton
Friday, January 19, 11:00pm
CHANNEL 12 (WHYY)

Part 1 of a two-part concert with 1970s rocker Peter Frampton. Included: Show Me the Way; Nassau/Baby I Love Your Way.


Part 2 is next Friday night.

NJN also carries Soundstage, but they aren't having Frampton any time soon. I think they haven't gotten to it yet. You can check all that out here -

http://www.pbs.org/wttw/soundstage/airdate.htm

Here's who's on this season -

http://www.pbs.org/wttw/soundstage/featured.htm

I'll definitely check out Rickie Lee if I can. See how she's holding up.


GG - I don't think I'll be putting that antenna back up. I removed it completely to eliminate any possibility of coupling. I don't think there was much of an effect either positive or negative.

I said Do You Feel was a live version recorded on Long Island, but I might have been wrong. According to Wikipedia, the long version from Frampton Comes Alive!, which is often referred to as "the marathon version" (13:46), was recorded at SUNY-Plattsburgh, Plattsburgh, NY November 22, 1975. Some of the songs on FCA! were indeed recorded during a Long Island show, but apparently not that one -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frampton_Comes_Alive!

I said that because the DJ said so after it ended. He gave a little history of the version he played and he said it was recorded on such and such a date at (I think) Nassau Coliseum "on Long Island." He might have said it was '73 or '75, or maybe even later. I should have paid more attention because it might have been a version other than the one on FCA!, and maybe that's why he was going on about it. It certainly could have been longer than 13:46.

If I heard the FCA! version again any time soon, I might be able to tell. The one this guy played took a long time to end.
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post #454 of 3822 Old 01-19-2007, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Max View Post

Reason I said NJT was better was because my Zap2it doesn't list any subchannels for NJS, so I thought they didn't have any..

I was just looking at zap2it and they list the subchannels for both WNJS Camden and WNJT Trenton. For some reason the display I was looking at lists all of the digital channels by broadcast frequency (22 for WNJS and 43 for WNJT) as opposed to virtual channel (23 for WNJS and 52 for WNJT).
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post #455 of 3822 Old 01-19-2007, 08:41 AM
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Are there any volunteers to sumarize the OTA situation in Philly? We need someone to list the stations, subchannels, affiliations, tower locations, etc. and be willing to keep the info updated.

PM me if interested.
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post #456 of 3822 Old 01-19-2007, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by otaguy
I was just looking at zap2it and they list the subchannels for both WNJS Camden and WNJT Trenton. For some reason the display I was looking at lists all of the digital channels by broadcast frequency (22 for WNJS and 43 for WNJT) as opposed to virtual channel (23 for WNJS and 52 for WNJT).

I don't know why my display has no subchannels for virtual NJS 23. I thought maybe it was because of my location, so I put in your zip and I get the same thing. Also, my display has only the regular virtual channel designations. Thus my display shows 22 as WYOUI, not NJS.

BTW, I used 19081 for you because you are in Swathmore, as your posts clearly reflect (thus I should have known your twenty (twEnty) -- my bad). I updated my profile to reflect that I am near the Bridgewater Mall.

Updating my situation, a big gust of wind blew my antenna off the roof this morning(!!). But, as is often the case, something that seems bad can prove to be good. Other than some damage to some of the VHF rods (not too bad), it survived intact. And it gave me a chance to re-do it. Thus I got out my compass and did some other things of interest.

First the compass: My roof peak indeed points just about due west. So it is pointing just about exactly @ 290°, which is almost directly at Allentown, which (according to antennaweb) is 280° for me. That makes it easy to know where to point my antenna to try to get 39.1.

Also, now I know ~ where it was pointed before it blew off the roof. I'd say it was ~ 245°, and maybe more than that. Since it should be at 233° to point at the farm, there should be room for improvement.

And as to improvement, I figured I'd use this opportunity to hook up my B antenna (more of a UHF antenna than my A anntena is now, as presently configured), so I got it out and looked it over and noticed something of interest. That is, the two UHF "wings" are easily removable. They kinda just pop off. The bracket that holds them on is permanently rivited to the main bar, of course, so that stays in place. So when I looked at my A antenna, I saw that it indeed has its bracket. So then I went back upstairs and quickly found the 2 wings that go on it (!!). They are in brand-new condition. I obviously removed them when I garbage-picked this antenna, or they weren't on it at the time but were lying beside it. In any event, I have them. Thus I have a complete Model VU-190 XR, which amounts to a complete Model U-75R except it's bigger (and better?) and has the VHF part as well. I say "better?" because I note that if (when) I cut the VHF part off my VU-190 XR, I'll end up with something which is basically exactly a U-75R except that it will be longer because there are more of those wierd kind of short elements on the VU-190 XR as compared to the U-75R (thus the overall boom length of mine will be longer). The U-75R has what looks like 9 of those elements and my VU 190 XR has 15. Also, the wings on mine have 7 rods whereas the U-75R has only 4 rods. Also, my wings are longer (naturally). Does this make mine a better UHF antenna than the U-75R? I dunno.

But all this tells me that when I put my wings back on, and point the thing more toward the farm than it was before, I should have no problem getting better reception. This is particularly important in regard to this weekend's early game on Fox, since I should be able to pull in WTXF better. Right now it's just on the fringe and although it's sometimes pretty rock-solid, it's often very iffy.

I won't cut the VHF part off just yet because I want to continue to use this antenna for getting analog WHYY since I can't get its digital signals (yet).

Okay, last thing -- of course having nothing to do with OTA. But it is marginally relevant. Otaguy, to get your zip and approximate location, I used 500 College Ave. as an address. As you know, that's Swarthmore College. For you musicians out there, my cousin Roger North is a Swarthmore grad, then went on to MIT grad school. He's a pretty bright guy. Of course, like me, he's also a southpaw; and as anyone of intelligence knows, we southpaws are the only folks who are in their right mind.

Think about that one a bit before going off on me.

He's also the inventor of North Drums (Google those bad boys) and currently living in Portland, OR, and the drummer for (are ya ready?) The Freak Mountain Ramblers!

http://www.freakmountain.com/

Check out the Forefathers link and see a good pic of him from back in the day, man. (Yikes!)

Send him an email and say I said hello.

My favorite CD is probably "Looks Perfectly Legal to Me" if only because of the message you get upon looking at its cover art. Kinda warms the cockles of my heart -- but then again, I might just be a redneck.
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post #457 of 3822 Old 01-19-2007, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Max View Post

I don't know why my display has no subchannels for virtual NJS 23. I thought maybe it was because of my location, so I put in your zip and I get the same thing.

Maybe you don't have the subchannels selected. They have a "favorite channels" feature where you go in and customize your grid by selecting or delecting channels.
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post #458 of 3822 Old 01-19-2007, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by T-Max View Post

I won't cut the VHF part off just yet because I want to continue to use this antenna for getting analog WHYY since I can't get its digital signals (yet).

You may not want to get rid of the VHF part of your antenna. The latest tentative channel designation (TCD), has WPVI-TV, channel 6, keeping its VHF channel when the changeover takes effect in 2009.
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post #459 of 3822 Old 01-19-2007, 04:47 PM
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newsman has volunteered to keep the first post up to date. (nice since he is already the OP)

You guys may want to post any known info about Philly DMA OTA stations (Channels, sub-channels, tower locations, etc.) so he can copy and paste the info into the first post.

I'd help, but I know at least 2 stations have swapped affiliations since I lived there - plus DTV wasn't real big when I left in '94.
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post #460 of 3822 Old 01-19-2007, 05:46 PM
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otaguy - I didn't know you could select subchannels, but it must be selected because I display subchannels for a whole bunch of channels, including 3,6,10,12,13, and all the NJN stations except 23, and a whole lotta others. So I don't know why 23's subchannels aren't showing up. I never made any selection regarding subchannels, so it must have just defaulted to show the ones it is showing. That's what I'm assuming.

newsman, thanks for that info. I would prefer to cut the VHF part off because it's just more unsightly, more of a lightning rod, and catches more wind. But I won't be cutting it off anytime soon either way.

Now, here's the latest update. Please bear with me because I do have a question that I'd like someone to answer.

Since it was so windy today, I decided to not fiddle with my A antenna and see if I could put the smaller B antenna up instead. Being the genius that I am -- if I do say so myself -- I came up with a really quick and dirty (and sturdy) temporary mount situation. I have a very sturdy camera tripod that I rarely use, so I mounted this B antenna to that, using the vertical rod of the tripod (on the top of which the camera sits) as a standard antenna mounting rod for the B antenna. The C-clamp on the antenna worked perfectly to attach it (I first wrapped the tripod rod with some painters tape to protect it from getting scratched, etc). This results in the B antenna being positioned high enough to clear the roof surface (the "wings" sit in the vertical, not horizontal, plane). I could raise it higher because I have quite a bit more vertical to go with the normal tripod adjustment.

Then I just spread the tripod legs and positioned 2 of its feet on one side of the roof peak, and the other foot on the other side of the peak. Then I weighted it down with 3 strings and 3 bricks tied to the strings (one heavier brick on the one-leg side of the roof peak, and 2 smaller bricks on the other side). Plus one heavy brick weighing it down at the center.

Of course, I only did the 3 bricks AFTER it had blown down 3 or 4 times. But hey, I'm still in the experimental stage here. Live and learn ya know.

The horizontal mast of the antenna is probably 18 inches or so above the roof peak (maybe more?).

This resulted in an excellent quick and dirty roof mount. It allows for easy rotation of the antenna. Ya just rotate the tripod as you normally would, then lock it down again (as you normally would).

So then I pointed it in the approximate correct position (I didn't use my compass) and did a scan. All the channels I've previously documented locked in -- with the exception of 29-1, along with the 4 NJB channels (New Brunswick), which were missing with my A antenna as it was, along with 4 new channels @ RF 27: WGTW-D1, -D2, -D3, -D4 & -D5. That gave me 29 channels + 29-1 which was just a tad too weak to lock in on this scan. All channels that locked came in at well above 90 except for the NJB channels, which were at 89. NJT (Trenton) all came in at 99, and there are others at 97-98.

Then my next wife arrived for pizza, so we went and got it and came back. While she was here, I had her tune to 29-1 while I slowly rotated the antenna to the right, which is toward Allentown. So let's say I had it pointed more toward Camden, or maybe even right at Philly, but I was now rotating it toward Allentown. After rotating it that way a fair amount, 29-1 came onscreen. I locked the antenna in that position and that's where it still is. 29-1 is at 84-85 and a bit too shakey for my tastes at present, but I'm staying off my roof for the rest of the night. So then I did a re-scan with the antenna in this position. This time all 30 channels locked in. They are all 90 or above except for the NJB's (89) and 29-1 (83-84). 3-1 (KYW) is at 98 and the NJT channels (Trenton) are at 99.

Now, this is with my B antenna -- and a damaged B at that. It originally was missing 3 of its 4 rods on one wing, and half of one rod on the other wing. Plus on of the other rods on that wing was bent and loose. After blowing down several times today and nearly sliding off the roof entirely, it's now missing that formerly bent rod and the half rod it had earlier. So it's missing four and a half rods out of the total of eight it should have.

It's hurtin' for certain.

But it's doing a pretty darn good job, I must say.

Also, I noticed that it does not have that bowtie thingie that's on my A antenna. I don't know how much that contributes, but I'd have to think it doesn't hurt.

Soooo, I'm thinking that if I put my A antenna back up, WITH its wings in place, and point it correctly, I should be in fine shape.

Or, as they say in some circles, I should be sh*ttin' in high cotton!

Now, my question is this: Is the WTXF-DT 29-1 antenna in fact located in the farm or is it somewhere farther north? I will try rotating a bit more north tomorrow to see if I get better 29-1 reception, but I def had to go in that direction to get it today. Of course, I haven't checked my compass bearing, so maybe it's only NOW that I'm pointing toward the farm?

I'll also rig some more rods to my B antenna, using the rods on my old VHF antenna that used to live in my attic. That should also help this antenna somewhat.

Finally, about that "next wife" crack: It ain't happening. She's too smart for that. Plus I already had 2, and that's enough. They were, of course, my first wife and my last wife. And when you've had your last wife, you've had your last wife.

And that's all I have to say about that.
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post #461 of 3822 Old 01-19-2007, 07:39 PM
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T-max - the only thing that might twist your thinking here is that your temporary antenna mount is really 3 metal rods, except longer and pointed at a 45 degree or so angle to the boom. Yup, more coupling. However, since they're so long, it probably won't make much difference at UHF. Just pointing out the theory, not that it won't make any difference.

A "proper" antenna mount should be designed to withstand 80 mph winds in this area. That's the rule. Winds will be gusting 35+ mph over the weekend. We engineers figure out the total surface area of the antenna then put an 80 mph wind against it and see how many pounds are pushing it. That's called "wind loading".

In other words, think of your antenna as a giant sail, but with a lot of wholes in it. The larger the antenna, the more it's gonna want to fly.

80 mph is a lot more force than you think. Try leaning on your antenna with most of your weight and that about summarizes it. You need to find a heavy duty way to anchor that guy down without ripping up your shingles. Keep the height on the pole low to reduce the force on both the pole and the roof mount (which is of course not the direction to go for best reception).

That's my tech lesson for tonight.
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post #462 of 3822 Old 01-19-2007, 07:49 PM
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otaguy, I think Zap2it is in the midst of updating its situation over there. It's doing wacky things now. I have it bookmarked and when I went to get my listings awhile ago, it wasn't displaying any subchannels. I looked for, but couldn't find, any way to choose that as an option. But I did look at the "Customize Grid" link, which allows you to choose certain channels for display "at the top of the grid" and found that those channels are, for the most part, listed by their new digital designations (so that KYW 3-1 is listed as channel 26).

But I don't think it's working properly yet.

Here's my current situation ("RF channel strength" are the headings for each of what are 3 columns) -


RF channel strength

8 8-1 WNJB-DT 89
8 8-3 WNJB-DT 89
8 8-4 WNJB-DT 89
8 8-5 WNJB-DT 89
26 3-1 KYW-DT 98
27 48-1 WGTW-D1 90
27 48-2 WGTW-D2 90
27 48-3 WGTW-D3 90
27 48-4 WGTW-D4 90
27 48-5 WGTW-D5 90
31 61-1 ion 88
31 61-2 qubo 88
31 61-3 ionW 94
31 61-4 Worship 95
32 57-1 WPSG-DT 94
34 34-1 WYBE-DT 96
42 29-1 WTXF-DT 83
43 52-1 WNJT-DT 99
43 52-3 NJT-3 99
43 52-4 NJN-4 99
43 52-5 NJN-HD 99
54 17-1 WPHL-D1 91
54 17-2 WPHL-D2 90
64 6-1 WPVI-DT 95
64 6-2 WPVI-SD 94
64 6-3 WPVI-WX 94
66 65-1 WUVP-DT 91
66 65-2 WFPA 90
67 10-1 WCAU-DT 92
67 10-2 WX-PLUS 92

(30 channels total)

If you compare that to my prior listing (post #430), you'll see that there are now more channels AND that the ones that were there before are up in strength.

Keep in mind that I'm 50 miles from the Roxborough farm and that I'm using what amounts to a smaller version of the Radio Shack Model U-75R antenna with most of it's "wing" rods missing. I may not be pointed exactly right either. I'll report tomorrow on what my pointing angle is at the moment.
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post #463 of 3822 Old 01-19-2007, 08:10 PM
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GG - Thanks for that tech talk. I love it. I'm not thinking to make my permanent mounting on the roof itself. I was thinking more like something affixed to the west wall at or near the peak. I have no masonry chimney to attach it to. The rig I have now is just temporary and it's working quite well to work out direction and teach me what it's taught me so far. Namely, that this UHF-only antenna is pretty darn good. And that if I'd had my wings on my A antenna, I would have gotten even better reception.

Of course, it turns out that it's a good thing I didn't have them on there after all. Because they certainly would have gotten damaged in the fall.

And hopefully this rig will give me good Fox reception on Sunday. I'm almost there with that. I just need a teeny bit more signal strength to get me thru the game.

BTW, you are right on about wind loading. I was quite shocked to see my initial one-brick attempts to anchor this B antenna fail. It's not that big or heavy at all, and I was pretty sure that heavy brick would hold it fast. But I was wrong.

Maybe the only reason it's still up there now is because the wind has died down considerably.
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post #464 of 3822 Old 01-20-2007, 04:26 AM
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I'm not an engineer but the brick idea may not work without 'a lot' of them. I know a 10ft dish is "slightly" bigger than a tv antenna but I had a bad experience years ago. I had a flat roof back then and my insurance paid for a replacement dish because of damage. Well the genius place i got to replace it said they would mount the dish on 2x wood then put 450lbs of block on it and it wouldnt move (boy did they make out financially). First decent wind and the dish was literally hanging over the edge of the house ready to crash on the neighbors car.

They were out there within 1 hour to move it to safety but the next people i got drilled down thru my roof and did it the right way.

I dont know the conversion of my big dish to a little tv antenna but i'd sure make sure there was a bunch of weight there if you do it the brick way.

57 inch Hitachi 57F710S
Tivo Premiere w/DB8 antenna which gets in VHF 6
Sony T60 2-160 drives unsubbed
Panasonic E80 Dvd recorder
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post #465 of 3822 Old 01-20-2007, 10:28 AM
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It's pretty windy out there today, but the bricks are still holding their own. I wuz up there awhile ago and the gusts are shaking the antenna a bit, but it all seems pretty solid. And a BIG gust just blew by as I'm typing this, and no sounds indicating a problem up there. Also, the picture remains solid, so I survived that one.

As to my orientation (the antenna, wise guy, not me!!) yesterday's scan was done at ~ 240°. According to antennaweb, the farm is @ 233° for me. Since I did that scan after rotating the antenna nortward a bit (trying to get 29-1), I certainly had it pointed more toward the farm originally. The results are above (post #462).

I took that orientation reading this morning. I also took a reading on the signal strength of 29-1. It was the same as last night, and so was its performance. It was thus barely watchable (signal strength 83-85). Then I rotated the antenna northward a bit more, to ~ 250°. I did another scan and here it is. The last number is the change from last night's scan. Again, there are 3 columns, and the last column heading is "change fr. last scan" -

RF channel change fr. last scan

8 8-1 WNJB-DT 0
8 8-3 WNJB-DT +1
8 8-4 WNJB-DT +1
8 8-5 WNJB-DT 0
26 3-1 KYW-DT -1
27 48-1 WGTW-D1 0
27 48-2 WGTW-D2 0
27 48-3 WGTW-D3 0
27 48-4 WGTW-D4 0
27 48-5 WGTW-D5 0
31 61-1 ion +1
31 61-2 qubo +1
31 61-3 ionW -2
31 61-4 Worship -1
32 57-1 WPSG-DT 0
34 34-1 WYBE-DT +1
42 29-1 WTXF-DT +1
43 52-1 WNJT-DT 0
43 52-3 NJT-3 0
43 52-4 NJN-4 0
43 52-5 NJN-HD 0
54 17-1 WPHL-D1 0
54 17-2 WPHL-D2 +1
64 6-1 WPVI-DT -1
64 6-2 WPVI-SD +1
64 6-3 WPVI-WX +1
66 65-1 WUVP-DT 0
66 65-2 WFPA 0
67 10-1 WCAU-DT -2
67 10-2 WX-PLUS -2

30 channels total

As you can see, 29-1 went up a point. But that makes quite a difference since it was right on the fringe as it was. It's now completely watchable at 84-85 with very occasional momentary freezes which are not bothersome at all. Pretty much everything else either stayed the same or went up a point, with the exception of a few which went down one or two points. But they were all so high already that the one or two points aren't going to make any difference at all. For example, WCAU 10-1 went down 2 points but it was already at 92, so it went down to 90. That's not going to make any practical difference at all. And, as I said before, this is all considering that I'm 50 miles away from the farm and working with that B antenna.

And as to that B antenna, I have to correct myself. Its wings are not supposed to have 4 rods each (GG, I think the proper term I should be using is "elements"?), but only 3. So what it has now is ONE rod on each wing (instead of 3), plus the one wing also has half of another rod.

Considering that my A antenna's wings have 7 elements (rods) each, I would hope I'd get improved reception using it. Plus it's got that bowtie thingie, which this antenna does not have (nor does the Model U-75R, from what I can tell).

Now, I also note that I'm getting a strong signal (91) for WUVP-DT, which, according to antennaweb, is out of Vineland, NJ and 60 miles away. I assume that WFPA is its sister station since they both scanned in at RF 66, and I'm getting that at a strength of 90 (no change from last scan).

Now, I also note that as I rotate my antenna northward, I'm getting closer and closer to pointing it at Allentown, and thus WLVT 39-1, which I'd like to be getting. That's supposedly at ~ 280° for me, so I'm going back up to point it at Allentown and see if I pick it up.

Finally, is anybody else's Zap2it acting crazy. I no longer have ANY subchannels displayed, and see NO way to choose to have them displayed. Thus I am flying blind as to what's on for a lot of the channels I'm receiving.

Help !!

P.S.: Vineland is at 203° for me. So it's 30° farther south than the farm. I'm currently pointed ~17° north of the farm, and thus I'm pointed 47° north of Vineland (which is 60 miles away) and still pulling in WUVP-DT at 91.
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post #466 of 3822 Old 01-20-2007, 11:47 AM
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Okay, now I rotated my antenna to 280° which is smack on Allentown, and I DID pick up WVT-DT 39-1 (and its digital subchannels). Here's the scan results -

RF channel strength

8 8-1 WNJB-DT 87
8 8-3 WNJB-DT 88
8 8-4 WNJB-DT 88
8 8-5 WNJB-DT 88
26 3-1 KYW-DT 94
27 48-1 WGTW-D1 84
27 48-2 WGTW-D2 84
27 48-3 WGTW-D3 84
27 48-4 WGTW-D4 84
27 48-5 WGTW-D5 84
31 61-1 ion 87
31 61-2 qubo 86
31 61-3 ionW 87
31 61-4 Worship 89
32 57-1 WPSG-DT 87
34 34-1 WYBE-DT 90
42 29-1 WTXF-DT **
43 52-1 WNJT-DT 97*
43 52-3 NJT-3 97
43 52-4 NJN-4 94
43 52-5 NJN-HD 99
46+ 69-1 WFMZ-S1 88
46+ 69-2 WFMZ-S2 88
46+ 69-3 WFMZ-HD 88
54 17-1 WPHL-D1 **
54 17-2 WPHL-D2 **
62+ 39-4 DLC 85
62+ 39-3 39KIDS 85
62+ 39-1 WLVT-DT 86
64 6-1 WPVI-DT **
64 6-2 WPVI-SD **
64 6-3 WPVI-WX **
66 65-1 WUVP-DT 81
66 65-2 WFPA 81
67 10-1 WCAU-DT **
67 10-2 WX-PLUS **

28 channels total

The **'s indicate a channel I had previously, but which didn't scan in at this heading.

The + after the RF number indicates channels that were picked up at this heading (I didn't have them before). There's 6 of those.

The * after WNJT-DT's 97 indicates it's a VERY variable 97, which appears to run from <83 - 97 (lots of dropping out, etc). I suspect that the rest of the NJT's channels (the Trenton channels) and the Philly-farm channels would act similarly at this heading.

Update: Naturally, I rotated my antenna back to ~ 240° after scanning in 39-1 WLVT-DT. Then I found what is clearly the other half rod on the one wing of my antenna, so I went up and put it on. Reception for 29-1 WTXF-DT is up to 86-87 now and thus reception is basically rock solid.

I have to think it's the extra half rod. Again, this is at ~ 240° (233° being the Roxborough farm for me).
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post #467 of 3822 Old 01-20-2007, 03:13 PM
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As I already said, Zap2it is now acting wierd, at least for me. After looking through it as it stands now, I can work with it and get programming for basically all my stations (all the ones I'm interested in) except for WPPX, which is 61-1 (ion) and 3 other channels (qubo, ionW, Worship). Ya know that ion and ionW broadcast Green Acres every day (2 episodes), plus some other interesting stuff. So I Googled WPPX and got this link, which is the TV listings for all 4 stations!!

You guys probably already knew about it, but if you didn't, here it is -

http://www.ionline.tv/stations/defau...4&siteid=50650

P.S.: My 29-1 WTXF-DT reception is now rock solid at 85-87 (that's what it's been running for a few hours now). I read some of the first posts in this thread and learned that the problem is that its antenna is lower than the other guys at the farm. But they are (were) supposedly planning to raise it up as the lower antenna was only temporary. I don't know if it's "raised" now or still "lower." But you guys right around or in Philly should be getting it if I'm getting it this strong. I note that some of you are having problems getting it, and that seems strange to me unless, as someone suggested, your signal is TOO strong. Of if you're blocked by buildings, of course. Just thought I'd throw my 2 cents in.

Now I'm gonna email that WHYY guy and rattle his cage. This is B.S. with those folks. How can I be getting what I'm getting and not even sniffing their signal? I'm telling him they are losing me to NJN because I'm getting NJN strong and can't get a whiff of WHYY's signal.

Money talks and ******** walks, ya know. They are going to lose significant membership dollars if they don't change the way they are doing things at the moment.
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post #468 of 3822 Old 01-20-2007, 05:46 PM
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Just sent this email off -

TO:
Shamaine N. Walker
Technology Coordinator WHYY, Inc.
150 N. 6th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215-351-1270 (phone)
215-351-0398 (fax)
swalker@whyy.org

FROM:

[ me ]
Bridgewater, NJ 08807

RE: WHYY digital broadcasts

Dear Mr. Walker:

I have only recently become interested in over the air (OTA) digital TV reception such as your channels 12.1, 12.2 and 12.3. In fact, I became involved in this activity primarily so that I might be able to receive your said subchannels. I have been receiving and watching your analog signals for years, as a result of which I have been a member of your station for a number of years. I believe that in the year 2005 I contributed a total of more than $300 during your pledge drives.

I am located approximately 50 miles from the Roxborough antenna farm and it is my understanding that you transmit from this same antenna farm. The farm is located at an angle of 233° relative to my location; thus I am north and east of the farm.

Despite my distance from the farm, I currently receive the following lineup of stations transmitting from, or near, the farm:

RF channel strength

8 8-1 WNJB-DT 89
8 8-3 WNJB-DT 89
8 8-4 WNJB-DT 89
8 8-5 WNJB-DT 89
26 3-1 KYW-DT 98
27 48-1 WGTW-D1 90
27 48-2 WGTW-D2 90
27 48-3 WGTW-D3 90
27 48-4 WGTW-D4 90
27 48-5 WGTW-D5 90
31 61-1 ion 88
31 61-2 qubo 88
31 61-3 ionW 94
31 61-4 Worship 95
32 57-1 WPSG-DT 94
34 34-1 WYBE-DT 96
42 29-1 WTXF-DT 87
43 52-1 WNJT-DT 99
43 52-3 NJT-3 99
43 52-4 NJN-4 99
43 52-5 NJN-HD 99
54 17-1 WPHL-D1 91
54 17-2 WPHL-D2 90
64 6-1 WPVI-DT 95
64 6-2 WPVI-SD 94
64 6-3 WPVI-WX 94
66 65-1 WUVP-DT 91
66 65-2 WFPA 90
67 10-1 WCAU-DT 92
67 10-2 WX-PLUS 92

30 channels total

As can be seen, my weakest station is 29-1 WTXF-DT, which broadcasts at UHF 42 and which I receive at a signal strength of 87, more than enough to give solid reception. It is my understanding that WTXF is currently broadcasting from a temporary tower which is significantly lower than its regular tower, and that once the work they are doing at the present time is completed, they will be back online with their usual tower and tower height. Yet I am able to receive a solid signal from even their present lower tower.

My understanding is that your station broadcasts its digital signals at UHF 50. I receive absolutely no indication whatsoever that your signal is reaching me. When I do a scan for local stations, I naturally receive all of the above which thus lock in. In addition, my scan pauses at a number of other RF numbers but fails to lock in a station. This is an indication that it is detecting a signal but not at a sufficient level to lock that channel in.

Your station's signal, at UHF 50, does not cause my scan to pause at all. When my scan hits RF 50, it just blows on by with not so much as a wink or a nod.

I find this situation absolutely unacceptable. As a former member of your station, I can assure you that if this situation is not corrected in short order, or an adequate explanation given for what I assume is either an error or a temporary situation, I will remain forever a former member of your station.

I would appreciate your prompt reply with an explanation as to why neither I nor a HUGE number of loyal WHYY fans and members are no longer receiving your digital signal at all. It is my understanding, through my participation in a Philadelphia area OTA forum, that your station only recently changed its digital broadcasts from channel 55 to channel 50, and made some other changes to the signal, which resulted in those folks formerly receiving the signal to lose it completely. Since I was not active in OTA at that time, which I believe was in the early part of December of last year, I cannot state that I was also receiving your signal at UHF 55. But I bet that if I had been active, I would have received it because it is my understanding that persons in my approximate area were receiving it.

In the event that this matter is not properly addressed to your attention, I would appreciate it if you could pass it on to the appropriate person for disposition, and notify me of your said disposition.

Of course, you could just completely ignore me. It does appear that you are doing so with regard to many of your previously loyal fans who are trying to receive your digital broadcasts but are unable to do so. I imagine that I don't have to remind you that if this situation continues, your membership will dramatically decrease, resulting in adverse financial impact on your station.

Given that I am receiving WNJT-DT and it's digital subchannels at a signal strength of 99, as well as WNJB and it's digital subchannels at a respectable strength of 89, I will be forced to become a member of NJN only, and to rely on their PBS broadcasting only, in the event that your station elects to allow this inexplicable situation to persist. I'm sure you are aware that WNJT broadcasts from Trenton, which is roughly 22 miles from me. Yet I receive their signals at a strength of 99. I'm confident that if they were broadcasting from the Roxborough farm, as you are, I would be receiving their signals with an appropriately strong signal strength, as is the case with KYW-DT, WPVI-DT, WCAU-DT and the many others listed above. Indeed, I am receiving WUVP at a strength of 91, and they are broadcasting out of Vineland, NJ, which is more than 60 miles from me, according to antennaweb.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation with regard to the foregoing.

Very truly yours,

[ me ]
08807
--

Hopefully, that might get some attention. Feel free to pepper him with some of your own emails, and plagiarize mine freely if you're so inclined. The squeaky wheel, ya know.

It will hit his desk Monday morning. I'll give him a reasonable time to respond, but if I don't hear something or just get blown off with some lame excuse, I'll take it higher up. And I'll tell the higher-ups what this guy said -- if I don't like what he says. I can be a real pain in the ass. Or so I've been told.

But what can he say? They must really be out of their minds over there. Can it be that they're just not paying attention???? Are they looking to reduce viewership? It makes absolutely no sense to me. Now that I see what I can get from the distances I can get it, it just is crazy that I can't get their signals. They are in the same freaking direction. I could maybe see if I was getting them but weak. But not at all???? And folks so much closer are getting nothing? It's wacky.
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post #469 of 3822 Old 01-21-2007, 12:47 PM
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WHYY will tell you that their antenna pattern is changed to avoid interference from North Jersey channel 50. Sorry about that. Thanks for your former patronage.

It's in the Philly HDTV thread http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...rn#post8915800 which contains a link to the FCC application: http://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/tvq?list=0&facid=165726

If you click on the "Relative field polar plot" http://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/polarplot...60&p360=0.530&, you will get a very geeky plot (my turf ) of the antenna pattern centered at Roxborough. This is a compass. North is up (0 deg).

The red line shows the strength of the signal. Notice how the red line is really close to the outside of the plot in the southwest quadrant (180 to 270 deg). This is good for viewers south and west of Roxborough.

You and I are in the northeast quadrant (45 deg), which is where the red line is not. No signal. Bye, bye WHYY. Hello WNJT.
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post #470 of 3822 Old 01-21-2007, 02:04 PM
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Quote:


WHYY will tell you that their antenna pattern is changed to avoid interference from North Jersey channel 50. Sorry about that. Thanks for your former patronage.

I hope he does tell me that.

NJN is no longer using ch 50.

http://www.njn.net/digital/

That's exactly the kind of B.S. excuse I'm expecting. Maybe if I'm lucky he'll even tell me to do a rescan.

I had seen those posts already and the lame excuses. Newsposter, are you still not getting WHYY?

Is there a distance scale to the "Relative field polar plot" that I'm missing? Without one, I can't tell if they are talking about miles or nanometers.

Bottom line is that everybody else is broadcasting at appropriate strength and/or pattern and they are not. If they don't want to give me a legitimate reason for that, then so be it. And BTW, why are they so interested in covering the SW area when they must have another antenna in the Wilmington area that probably already covers that area.
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post #471 of 3822 Old 01-21-2007, 07:32 PM
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Sorry, distance doesn't enter into it- it's relative. The graph is set so that whatever the maximum power (field strength) is at, it's set to 1.0. That's called normalizing the data (look in any math book).

It's math time: If you are 10 miles out, or 10 nanometers out, you will get 0.310 x the power that the folks in the southwest quadrant get. They get all of it (1.000), we get 0.310 (1/3) of the signal level. The 0.310 is the blue numbers at the 45 deg (between 40 and 50) radial line.

They are broadcasting at the exact strength and pattern that they are supposed to. The FCC says use this power and antenna pattern. They say OK. This data is from the FCC direct. They are legal eagle on this. If you want to change, file a protest to the FCC.

There are procedures to do this, but you'll need a lot of lawyers and technical experts who can negotiate on your behalf. Also, you'll have to come up with the scratch for WHYY to rebuild everything they just ripped apart. You need to be one mean benefactor.
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post #472 of 3822 Old 01-21-2007, 08:46 PM
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Actually, WNJN is still using ch 50 for its analog UHF (I think). But it is based in Montclair, which is 35.5 miles NE of me, and thus ~85.5 miles from Roxborough. I get NO signal from WNJN ch 50 at all. Anyone in my area is going to tune to either WNJB, which is 6.6 miles from me, or WNJT, which is ~20 miles from me and a clear shot. The mountains block Montclair from me and anyone in my area or south of me. Obviously, we couldn't give a rat's ass about Montclair and WNJN -- we just tune to either WNJB or WNJN. That's why NJN has various stations located in different areas of the State. Duh!

So what you're saying is that the FCC has its head firmly imbedded in its ass. It's telling WHYY to not block WNJN's signal? Yea, that makes sense to me. They couldn't interfere with WNJN's signal is they wanted to. They are way too far away and completely blocked from it.

This sounds like a major f*ck up. Why did WHYY switch from ch 55 anyway? Whatever the reason, ch 50 was probably chosen as the channel to switch to precisely because there was no chance they'd interfere with WNJN's signal in any meaningful respect -- for the reasons I just outlined.

Did I already mention this all makes no sense?
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post #473 of 3822 Old 01-22-2007, 05:07 AM
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everything above 51 will be gone after 2009

http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_publi...-05-2649A2.pdf

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post #474 of 3822 Old 01-22-2007, 08:47 AM
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Newsposter, thanks for that document. Much appreciated. I think I'm now starting to get a handle on things.

First off, the document is a tad outdated because it shows WHYY broadcasting at 55, not 50. I can't find a date on it (am I missing it?).

What I get from this document (keeping in mind it's "tentative") is that WHYY will continue as it is now until it goes full-time digital, whereupon it will switch from ch 50 to ch 12. Newsman, you said:

Quote:


You may not want to get rid of the VHF part of your antenna. The latest tentative channel designation (TCD), has WPVI-TV, channel 6, keeping its VHF channel when the changeover takes effect in 2009.

Looks like I'll also want the VHF part if I want to get WHYY when they go DTV on ch 12. Assuming they go back to the pattern they have now with NTSC 12, I should probably be able to get it then. So as it's currently planned, I'll need it for both WPVI and WHYY.

So I'm assuming that WHYY is working away getting set up to go to full DTV @ ch 12. Now, GG can jump in and advise as to whether it's a big deal to build for ch 12 DTV and then have to switch to some other UHF channel (like 50) if the current plan changes and that's the channel they are assigned. Maybe it's just flipping a switch for all I know. I don't think I'll be switching to a career in this field or dusting off my old math books to figure out how to interpret the "Relative field polar plot" or gain a proper understanding of what "normalizing the data" really means vis-a-vis the freaking chart.

I just want my MTV.

Now, as I review this document you've kindly provided, I see that nobody in our area will be broadcasting at UHF 50 after the deadline date. And nobody in our area is doing so now, save WNJN, as I discussed in my last post. The closest station broadcasting @ 50 two years from now appears to be in Greensburg, PA (unless somebody in NY or elsewhere is a bit closer). I doubt WHYY's current broadcasts will be a problem there.

So it looks to me like WHYY is going to continue with business as usual until they switch to fulltime DTV @ channel 12. They don't appear to be terribly concerned with the fact that they are not reaching a substantial portion of their regular audience with their current DTV broadcasts. I frankly don't understand why I should have to sue them to get them to do something which is in their own best interests (reach as many of their current NTSC viewers -- and thus future DTV viewers -- as possible). If they can't grasp the concept that folks who have already gone over to DTV will most probably be lost to them -- and probably a tad pissed off at them as well -- after not watching them for TWO YEARS (assuming we can all get them again when they go fulltime DTV), then I guess they are just morons. Call me crazy, but it seems to me that THEY (@ WHYY) should be appealling the FTC's seemingly meaningless (or shall we just say "overly cautious") antenna pattern which has resulted in THEM (WHYY) losing a substantial number of their potential DTV viewers.

But I'm just a cranky old bastard, so what the hell do I know.

Well, one thing I know is that I got started on this forum BECAUSE a lot of folks were complaining about losing WHYY. And I think it's fair to say that for every one of us complainers on this forum, there's a LOT of other folks who feel the same way but not speaking out. You know, "the silent majority?"

My first question is: Is anybody going to go fulltime DTV BEFORE the official change date? That is, might somebody like WHYY switch to all DTV (dropping all NTSC) sooner?

My other question remains: Why did WHYY switch from 55 to 50 given that they will be @ 12 in two years (under the current plan)? Why not just stick with 55 until the change??????

Your explanation doesn't really make sense to me since they will have to switch on or before 2/19/09, so it 'twould seem to me that they could just as easily switch from 55 to 12 as from 50 to 12.

Perhaps someone at WHYY can clarify this for me.

Also, you didn't answer my other question. I assume you are still not getting WHYY? Like we all will not be getting it for the next TWO YEARS?!!!!

WHYY, are you listening?

Hello? Hello?

Or to put it another way: WHYY, WHY????!!!!!!!

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post #475 of 3822 Old 01-22-2007, 11:27 AM
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gadgetphile-
Sorry for the late reply; sounds like you live in the Fitler Square area of the city, so I know which buildings you're referring to. They could be a problem... but I have a 5-6 story building in my path, which doesn't seem to affect my signal too much, although I do see ghosting in analog.

I'm in the Fairmount section, and I have the same style rooftop antennae you have (maybe not quite as large), on the roof of my 3 story rowhouse. I'm sure you've already tried this, but here what I did: I tuned into 6.1 which was dropping out once in a while, took the cell phone on the roof with me, and slowly rotated it till my wife told me it was no longer dropping out. Now it's aimed almost north/northwest, and I get everything but ch. 12/whyy.

I really want to get ch. 12. I haven't tried the indoor loop antenna yet. That's next.

Then maybe I'll try a uhf antenna like the channelmaster 4228: http://www.solidsignal.tv/prod_display.asp?prod=ANC4228.

Since I have a long cable run, I'll also try a mast mounted preamp, like the channelmaster 7777 which everyone seems to recommend. I always thought it required power on the roof, which is impossibe for me to do; but I just read that the power is trasmitted thru the RG6 line...? I'll have to read more, but if anyone can verify, that would be cool.

T-Max, thanks for writing the letter to HYY on all of our behalf!

thinman
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post #476 of 3822 Old 01-22-2007, 03:27 PM
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Thinman, think nothing of it. I doubt anything will come of it, but I will engage them as long as they will talk to me about the situation.

No WHYY peeps today, so we'll see what tomorrow may bring.

Updating my antenna situation, I have something interesting to report.

Being the genius that I am (that's sarcasm this time) I figured out that the UHF "wings" that go on my A antenna (which either were never on it when I got it or I removed them when I got it -- can't recall which) would almost certainly go on my B antenna (that I'm presently using). Soooo, I removed the wings from my B antenna (each designed to have 3 elements but one having just one element and the other two elements) and put the A wings on (each having it's full complement of 7 elements). You can see those wings and elements best in that ebay link I posted previously although it doesn't seem to work for me anymore -- so just go to ebay and search for item 170071124730 and see it.

I had tuned to my weakest station, 29-1, and taken a reading for ~ 10 minutes. It was running a steady 84-85 and was pretty much solid reception. After swapping out the wings, it went down a bit (!!). The operation didn't take very long, so I think the conditions hadn't changed. The reception was very noticably worse. I'll fiddle with it some more tomorrow, but I'm pretty sure I'll just confirm these results.

Then I did a scan and pretty much everything else was up slightly in strength. KYW came in at 99 (it was 98 before).
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post #477 of 3822 Old 01-22-2007, 03:41 PM
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"but if anyone can verify, that would be cool."

That is correct, power moves from a small transformer up the RG6 to the pre-amp on the mast.

"The Bundys' proud name was built on a philosophy of lying. Well, lying, owing money and perhaps beer. Yes, lying, owing money and beer. The only thing that separates us from the Kennedys is that they have money." - Al Bundy
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post #478 of 3822 Old 01-22-2007, 07:58 PM
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OK, I'll jump in. Ch. 12 is VHF. Channel 50 is UHF. The wing dimensions are critical (even in the same band- it's up to the manufacturer), as you noted when the signal levels dropped when you swapped out the wings from the "other" antenna. To put it in perspective, here's the frequencies of the channels:

Channel Freq Band
AIR 12 205.25 VHF-HI
AIR 13 211.25 VHF-HI
...
AIR 14 471.25 UHF
AIR 15 477.25 UHF
...
AIR 50 687.25 UHF
AIR 55 717.25 UHF

Freq is in MHz. This list is from an amateur radio web site. If you want to see where all the OTA TV, cable (CATV), and FM channel frequencies are, check here http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/catv-ch.html.

Note the jump between 13 and 14. It's over 2x, which means that your elements for VHF will be 2x longer, and the spacing between them will be different (maybe not 2x, but it will be larger). Hopping from channel 12 to 50 is 3.5x - that's quite a haul.

I'm using the Channelmaster CM2223 UHF only Yagi with 7777 UHF preamp. Chimney mount on a 5' pole with rotator. I don't go up more than that due to wind loading.
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post #479 of 3822 Old 01-23-2007, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinman View Post

gadgetphile-
Sorry for the late reply; sounds like you live in the Fitler Square area of the city, so I know which buildings you're referring to. They could be a problem... but I have a 5-6 story building in my path, which doesn't seem to affect my signal too much, although I do see ghosting in analog.

I'm in the Fairmount section, and I have the same style rooftop antennae you have (maybe not quite as large), on the roof of my 3 story rowhouse. I'm sure you've already tried this, but here what I did: I tuned into 6.1 which was dropping out once in a while, took the cell phone on the roof with me, and slowly rotated it till my wife told me it was no longer dropping out. Now it's aimed almost north/northwest, and I get everything but ch. 12/whyy.

I really want to get ch. 12. I haven't tried the indoor loop antenna yet. That's next.

Then maybe I'll try a uhf antenna like the channelmaster 4228: http://www.solidsignal.tv/prod_display.asp?prod=ANC4228.

Since I have a long cable run, I'll also try a mast mounted preamp, like the channelmaster 7777 which everyone seems to recommend. I always thought it required power on the roof, which is impossibe for me to do; but I just read that the power is trasmitted thru the RG6 line...? I'll have to read more, but if anyone can verify, that would be cool.

thinman

thinman, thanks for the reply, no worries on the delay...

I do indeed live in the Fitler Square area of the city, also in a 3-story rowhouse. A very popular option in this city. =) Glad to hear the rooftop setup is working for you.

Once the snow goes away, I'll try the rotation-with-live-feedback via cell phone technique you mentioned. I've done that with my lovely spouse while doing electrical wiring, for some reason just didn't think of it while fiddling with antenna reception.

Ok, I do have a confession to make to this, the Philadelphia OTA forum -- I broke down and ordered basic cable from Comcast for $20.35/month. Beats the stuffing out of Dish which I had before and was paying through the nose, plus they transmit all of the local DTV channels. The games on Sunday were amazing (go Bears!).

However, I will continue to experiment with OTA reception and let y'all know what I find that's useful.

Interestingly, I hooked up the RG6 feed from my roof to my stereo receiver (FM is in the middle of the VHF band) and now pick up FM stations I never knew existed... so clearly I'm getting good VHF reception with the rooftop antenna. I think it's definitely a case of it being a bit too directional, so aiming will be a top priority, after the bow-tie experiment. All once the roof becomes safe to climb on again, may be a while given the current weather.

do try the $4 RS bow-tie, you just might be surprised.

to answer your question on the mast-mounted preamp -- I have one, not a channelmaster, but a Radio Shack 15-2507. I had better reception without it, though that makes sense now that I've figured out signal strength is not the issue, direction is.

Anyway, regarding your question, the amp comes in two pieces, an AC-to-DC converter with a wall plug that sits inside, and the outside part that sits up on the antenna mast. The inside amp can bias the RG6 run with a DC voltage (I think mine's 4V), which the mast-mounted part picks up and uses to power its internal op-amps or whatever they've got in there for amplifying the freshly-caught signal. Since you want the amp as close to the signal as possible (to avoid cable-run losses), this accomplishes that. The beauty of the design is that the DC bias on the line has no effect at all on the AC television signal, yet can still function as a power source for the amp that sits up on the antenna. Hooray for good, clever engineering.
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post #480 of 3822 Old 01-23-2007, 12:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeekGirl View Post

If you click on the "Relative field polar plot" http://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/polarplot...60&p360=0.530&, you will get a very geeky plot (my turf ) of the antenna pattern centered at Roxborough. This is a compass. North is up (0 deg).

GeekGirl, thanks for the link -- nifty cool stuff.
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