I've kept up with posts and stuff with AVSForum for quite a while, but yeah, I've decided to quit lurking and start asking some questions.
I used to work in the telecommunications industry quite a few years ago. One of the things I did back then was installing/repairing antenna and satellite installations - quite a bit has changed since Primestar!
I've been learning a LOT about OTA digital signal lately...
I live in Mountain Top, PA - just about a mile away from Penobscot Mountain, where most of the Wilkes-Barre market's transmission towers are located. Trust me, it's not a good thing. I'm getting killed with multipath and overload problems.
Here's my TVFool link:
w w w . t v f o o l . c o m /?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3dda321d9c30e253
Currently, with an Antennas Direct DB4 mounted on a j-pipe outside of my office window, I can receive all the stations in the northeast quadrant of the radar map. Channel 43 comes in pretty well, with some occasional minor pixelating on its fourth sub-channel. Channel 31 is spotty, I haven't received it in a couple of weeks, but it's cool because I get it as a sub on another channel. I'm also using a decent RCA 10dB line amp to compensate for some cable loss.
Anyway, aside from some dropouts here and there (mainly on the VHF stations, when they happen, I either rig a dipole, or throw rabbit ears with folding dipoles into the loop, that cures it), reception is okay on those stations. My RCA converter box doesn't go beyond 70% for any channel - I assume because of overload. Even when I was using rabbit ears to pull in everything, it never got out of the 60% range. The DB4 gets me channel 43 at about 24% without the amp, and about 34% with.
I was hoping someone in the forums could offer suggestions for receiving channels in the southwest portion of the map. I haven't had success with anything I've tried. It's a bit frustrating for me because I can actually SEE two of those towers on a clear day!
Also, some variables thrown in, just for fun...
I live on the second floor of an apartment complex, so throwing a couple of amped-up eight-foot yagis on the roof isn't an option for me. I'm lucky I'm getting away with the DB4 outside my window. Running two antennas seems to be the best solution, especially since the building I live in runs right between the signal area. That is, if I point the antenna southwards, I'm running into the building blocking signal.
I'm looking into directional options, my favorite right now being installing an Antennas Direct SR-15 on my porch (with a combiner, keeping the DB4 where it is), and amping it up if need be. I have a Winegard 29dB amp that I'm not using - and an attenuator for it - just because I know 29dB unfiltered could (and probably would) multiply my overload problems.
I was just wondering if anyone had some ideas of how I could bring in those channels to the southwest? I also live close to FM transmitters, would an FM trap help me out? I'd love to get a frequency filter (Winegard has one at a reasonable price), but I have three UHF channels that are VERY close to the four channel range of the filter, two strong and one weak. Which would, of course, kill the weak one.
I was just hoping for some suggestions before I went out and spent some money on something that may or may not work.