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Quakertown, PA: Antenna Reception Help

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey, just stumbled upon this site while looking up some info on my antenna problems. It looks like others have gotten some great help, so I thought I'd see if anyone was willing to help with my situation. I have an antenna in the attic and can only pick up one (WPVI) of the yellow stations listed here:





I have the "Antennas Direct - ClearStream 2 Long-Range HDTV Outdoor Antenna" from Best Buy. Right now, I can pick up the green stations, although those are the local PBS / IND stations. I'd like to be able to get more stations from Philadelphia. According to the chart, it's only 26/27 miles, and the antenna is supposed to reach up to 50 miles. I'm not sure if I need a pre-amplifier or something else. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated!!

Kevin
post #2 of 12
Kevin,

It's somewhat ironic that you're picking up a low-VHF station on what is usually a very good UHF but a lousy VHF antenna (the C2 uses the coax as the VHF element just like a clock radio does for FM).

You're dealing with reported 2-edge diffractions (mountains or hills) so the rated mileage of any antenna is irrelevant. Antennas don't "reach out", they simply gather the signal that is present in the air at the antennas location. If the signal isn't there or is significantly attenuated due to obstructions, there's little to nothing there for the antenna to receive. The solution is to select the best possible location for the antenna in a spot where there is signal to be received.

I suspect that your TVFool plot is over-optimistic and that you will need to get the antenna out of the attic if you want to achieve reliable reception. Since it appears that you're near the end of Witchazel, I can see the that you're on a north-facing slope of a hill that extends a good 75' uphill over a quarter mile. Since my home is similarly located, I can tell you from my experience that the TVFool estimate is too optimistic. For fun, I sent my exact coordinates to Solid Sigal to see what the recommended. They recommended a C2 just like you have. Unfortunately, I had to install a 91XG (with 4th boom section) with pre-amp at 40' AGL to make it work. I suspect you'll have to do something more than a C2 in your attic.

Mount the antenna outdoors in a location on the northern-most point of your house where it has the best unobstructed line of sight to the SSE and re-scan. If the view from that spot requires you to look upwards due to a nearby hill, you can bet that you'll need to treat your situation as if it were a much longer range installation.
post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProjectSHO89 View Post

You will need to get the antenna out of the attic if you want to achieve reliable reception.

Plus, is the antenna aimed in the best direction? To get the most number of stations the C-2 should be aimed at Philadelphia.

Once the C-2 is located properly to get the UHF stations, reception of WPVI with a C-2 cannot be assured. Also the local PBS and Indy's may or may not work. The signals may be strong enough off the back of the antenna, but multipath may prevent decoding of the signal.

Consider adding a VHF only CS600 to the C-2 using a UVSJ. If reception of the UHF station from Philly is spotty, add a HDP-269 preamp mounted at the antenna.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Great, thanks guys. I appreciate the help.

I do have the antenna facing south, towards Philadelphia. Should I be as specific as the TV Fool chart with the degree measurements? I figured facing south would be enough.

I'll look into the CS600 and the pre-amp and see how it goes. I can't get up to the roof this week with the snow anyway, so I'll try some attic adjustments first. I looked into the Solid Signal site, and they suggested a Channel Master 3679. Any thoughts/experiences with that?
post #5 of 12
The CM3679 probably doesn't have enough pickup on the UHF side.

I'd suggest the CS600 combined with your UHF antenna using a UVSJ. If moving the C2 out of the attic doesn't improve the UHF side of the equation (and I'm not very optimistic given your location), then I'd recommend swapping to a 91XG outdoors. Mount it on the northern end of your house as high as possible. Tilt the nose up so it's boresited to your visual horizon on the Roxborough azimuth. The CS600 will likely be much more forgiving for a location due to the greater ability of VHF to diffract over your hill. It might be able to stay in the attic.

As far as a preamp, pick one with a high input resistance such as the CPA19 or the HDP269 due to the strong signals from the north.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ktom5397 View Post

I do have the antenna facing south, towards Philadelphia. Should I be as specific as the TV Fool chart with the degree measurements? I figured facing south would be enough.

The C-2 when aimed south should pick up all the Philly UHF stations. That suggests another problem such as foil backed insulation, aluminum siding, lossy roofing materials, or an antenna that's not upright. When properly installed, the C-2 should look like the number 8.
post #7 of 12
If I could interject...

I would like to see a more accurate TVfool plot and chart. Most people post their zip code, as has been done here. I have found this to usually be wildly inaccurate. For instance, if you look up my zip code and insert it into TVfool, it will give a much different result than if you give TVfool the eact coordinates of the location of my antennas (yes, it is accurate to within about 1-2 feet!).

My town is centered near 3 rivers and as a result, is "in a hole" so to speak. I live less than 1 mile from the cdnter of town, but I live on the west side of the highest hill in town. My reception is much different that that of a friend of mine who lives in the heart of town. Also, the height of the antennas matters. Once you locate and input the exact location of your antenna, input the height above ground level at that point. If your antenna is in the attic of a single story 70's type ranch with 7'-4" cielings, perhaps it is only 10' AGL. If it is in the attic of an old 2 story victorian with 10' floors and a virtual 3rd floor for an attic and the first floor is already 3' AGL, your antenna might be 25' AGL in the attic. Do you see what I mean?

Tower Guy (and others) can give much better advice if we know more information about location and height.

When I go to TVfool "maps" and type in your zip code, the location that it chooses is in the middle of a highly wooded area with a hill directly to the south southeast, right in line with the towers that you are trying to receive. It is possible that your reception area may be much better, or a bit worse than what your original results show.

Please post your exact location using coordinates and correct antenna height. You can change the "maps" view to satellite by clicking on the satellite tab, then you can drag the pointer to your exact location.You can zoom in all the way so that your house is magnified as much as possible, then simpy fine tune the location by dragging the pointer and placing the "X" directly over the antenna location. Once situated, then enter the antenna height. Repost the results.

Thanks!
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Most people post their zip code, as has been done here.
Looks like an exact address TVFool to me...but then I'm just going by where it says "Exact address"...


Kevin,

Are you on the street identified above, it so, the above evaluation given by Projectso89 is likely the most accurate.

Feel free to call or email us for tech support.
post #9 of 12
Please add a location to thread titles requesting antenna help. See my edit.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:


Are you on the street identified above, it so, the above evaluation given by Projectso89 is likely the most accurate.

Yep, I put in my exact address for TVFool.

Quote:


Please post your exact location using coordinates and correct antenna height. You can change the "maps" view to satellite by clicking on the satellite tab, then you can drag the pointer to your exact location.You can zoom in all the way so that your house is magnified as much as possible, then simpy fine tune the location by dragging the pointer and placing the "X" directly over the antenna location. Once situated, then enter the antenna height. Repost the results.



The results look pretty similar from what I can tell.

Quote:


When properly installed, the C-2 should look like the number 8

The C2 is installed properly then, as it does look like an 8. I hadn't thought about the aluminum siding, but we do have that, which now makes sense as an obvious problem with trying to pick up a solid signal. I guess that means the roof is the best bet?
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ktom5397 View Post

I guess that means the roof is the best bet?

Yes, the roof is usually the best bet. I would do that before I add any amplifiers. I am about 20 miles south of you and RF channel 6 is by far the strongest signal and its VHF. I am only 6 miles from the transmitters. I am trying to get your local stations, especially 69.3. (RF channel 46). Sometimes I get it and sometimes nothing. I was thinking about buying a C2.
post #12 of 12
here is my report.
LL
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