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Wichita, KS - HDTV - Page 7

post #181 of 3098
I just sent this to Dave Rickles, Chief Engineer at KSN. I suppose y'all can tell I'm a little PO'd at KSN.


I have adjusted my antenna orientation, but at best I get a signal strength of 15 on channel 45. If I rotate it any further I will loose CBS, which has dropped from 52 to 30 while my signal stength on NBC has increased just 3 points to 15. I can pick up all other local DTT channels with a COAT HANGER. What is the issue with your digital signal? Everyone on the AVS forum is complaining of, at best, frequent dropouts, and many are in the same boat as I and can't pull it in at all. For now, I am going to rotate my antenna back to the right so that at least I get a good signal on CBS, and forget about NBC until you (1) figure out what's going on and (2) communicate it with your customers.

David Hays
"Wichita KS DTV/HDTV resource thread" at www.avsforum.com
post #182 of 3098
Here is a different map of exactly where the KSN tower is. I got this at 100000watts.com .

I believe you are in northwest Wichita, right?? Maybe you are getting too much signal??

Have you tried just the bowtie antenan with a small cable (3 ft. ) cable going directly into the STB?? I am not all that familiar with Wichita, but it doesn't seem like you would be more than 5-10 miles, close enought where you could easily overload on signal.

just curious.

post #183 of 3098

It's not a problem of too much signal. Read back a few posts and you will see that I have tried a RS bowtie. I have also tried adding attenuators to my antenna lead. The signal strength from KSN is 12 to 15 on my Hughes receiver, vs. 100 for four of the other five stations. Also, it is known that NBC and CBS are broadcasting at a lower power (for whatever reason) than the other stations. My question is, why is KSN broadcasting a signal that even a person in NW Wichita, only a stone's throw from the tower, is unable to receive? Are they even AWARE that few customers (with the equipment to do so) can receive their broadcast?

I am going to call the station and get to the bottom of this...

OK. Heres the deal. The engineer I talked to, not Dave Rickles (who is out of town) first said I had to be a "mathematical oddity" in not being able to receive KSN-DT since he was unaware of anyone having any problem. I then said "no, I am most definitely NOT unique in not being able to receive your signal" and pointed out that few, if any, people on this forum have reported "no problem" receiving their signal, that everyone is either reporting being completely off the air or, at best, experiencing frequent breakups. What's weird though is he said they are receiving the signal at their station with a small Radio Shack antenna on the roof (albeit a 3 story roof) and an estimated 200' of RG6. What finally peaked his interest was me saying that the problems seemed to start (for me anyway) late last week. He said something about "maybe we lost a module" and indicated he might even drop by the transmitter himself and make sure everything was OK. He said this was not his area of expertise and that he would forward my name and number to Dave Rickels, who he referred to as "the RF guy". One other thing, he indicated KSN-DT would not be at full power until "this summer". But then, he also said "don't quote me on that." :-)

post #184 of 3098
So what does an attenuator do? Do you know what power they are at? Our NBC in Topeka is broadcasting at a whopping 1kW ERP. They say that will reach Wamego, which is more than 20 miles. Does your STB have two inputs for dtv channels?? Have you tried skinning a few inches off the end of some coax cable and using that? It just seems at that close, you will do better than 10- 15 on your signal bar.

What about a rotator, do you use one? Any hills in KSN's direction?

edited to ask another question
post #185 of 3098
An attenuator reduces the signal level. They were sometimes used to eliminate ghosts from analog signals. They really don't make any sense with a digital signal, but I tried the idea anyway, just in case there is such a thing as "too strong" a signal. I personally don't think this is possible, but I'm open to any ideas anyone has, even if I think they sound whacky.

They are definitely not at full power. This was confirmed by the engineer I spoke to at KSN.

My STB has two inputs, one for DirecTV diplexed with either cable or an antenna signal, then a second coax input for cable/antenna. In total it can accept three signals - DirecTV, cable, antenna.

I have not tried a different antenna on the Hughes STB, although I did try a Radio shack bowtie on another HD receiver. I could pull in the four stations I get at a signal strength of 100 on my Hughes. I could not pull in NBC and CBS which are broadcasting at low power. And this was even before I started having trouble tuning in NBC.

Hopefully someone at KSN will actually try to tune in their own station at home with a consumer STB and they will understand what the problem is. Instead they are getting it just fine on their professional Sencor decoder with their antenna 50 feet in the air, and they say "we don't have any problem here at the station." I really am tired of hearing that. It took Jon Cyphers at FOX/UPN to borrow an HD receiver from Hephner TV, take it home and hook it up, before he could see what we were seeing. Marty Heffner "believes me," but I'm pretty sure he hasn't seen it with his own eyes (or rather heard it with his own ears) so I think he's not totally convinced yet that WB has a problem with their sound.

I haven't had any issue with KAKE-DT, nor have I read any reports of others with problems with KAKE, so I know it's possible to broadcast a signal that everyone can receive reliably. Tricky as hell maybe, but possible.


[Edit] Corrected the name of Hephner TV. Thanks to Marty Heffner, CE for WB, for pointing this out.
post #186 of 3098
Thread Starter 
KSN has definitely been flakey for me too.
Earlier today I was getting about 45% on it and was getting a pretty steady picture and sound. I live in the Pawnee and Meridian area in Southwest Wichita.

Last week I was hitting 100% a couple of times on KSN. But it seems to fluctuate wildly sometime. I have an RCA DTC-100 receiver. My antenna is a large outdoor Radio Shack on about a twenty foot pole.

Kevin C.
post #187 of 3098
Thats what is wierd about Davids situation Kevin. You are farther away, but getting a better signal that him.
post #188 of 3098
I had my son help me tonight see if I could orient my antenna such that I could bring in NBC. I gave him one two-way radio and I took the other to the attic. I rotated the antenna as far to the West as I could - it bumps into a rafter somewhere a bit West of NW and can't go any further. I was able to bring in channel 45-1, but my son said it was "fuzzy", which I assume means "blocky" or "pixelated" since at that point the signal was still only up to 30. I then had him tune to channel 19 and he said it was a black screen. I ended up ratating it back to exactly where I had positioned it a few months ago, which optimizes reception for channel 19 (signal strength in the low 60's) while keeping all the other stations at 100.

Is should be noted than an attic is NOT an optimum location for an antenna, but at least it's a BIG antenna, something like 8' across at the longest elements, and it's a shake shingle roof, two factors which I had hoped would mitigate the attic placement. My next step would be to mount an antenna on the roof, but it's unlikely I will do this. Not only would it antagonize the Reflection Ridge Homeowners Association, but it's just not worth the trouble considering it's only NBC that I can't get, and they will be going to full power within half a year or so according to the engineer I spoke with today. I'm still wondering why I WAS able to get that station until a week ago.

post #189 of 3098
I am using a Sony HD200 HD rec. Have a RS 10 foot beam ant. and Channel Master 7778 pre amp on a tower around 40 ft high. Useing quad coax, about 60 feet run.
My signal meter does't show percent, it has bad normal and good.

Tonite I am getting 5 digital channels, all showing from 1/4 to 3/4 into good.
The only exception is 3.1 . It shows 1/4 to 3/4 in poor, which is not good enough to get a pic. Last week it would give me 1/4 into normal which gave me a good picture.

NBC needs to get their act together. I sent them an email but have not heard back.

post #190 of 3098

That puts the issue totally to rest as far as I am concerned. I will stop feeling "guilty" that my setup "isn't good enough" to pull in a signal on 3-1. If you can't get it with THAT set-up, it ain't there to be got!

post #191 of 3098
Yea, I wouldn't worry about NBC. They've always been transmitting at a low power level. My guess is they reduced it even further. Dave Rickles told me when they first went online that they would upgrade the equipment in the spring. Hopefully they're still on track to do that.

I got another note from Jon Cyphers also. He's still working the UPN issues. It sounded like he may have found the problem, but a solution to it hasn't been found yet.

Dave G.
post #192 of 3098

I am using a Silver Sensor and have been getting NBC pretty consistently at 45 - 60%. However, I only get that signal if my antenna is pointed roughly 5 degrees west of due North. If it is off by about one degree I get major breakups. If its off any more than that and I get 0% signal. The antenna usually sits still, but if does get bumped I have to rotate it very slowly to find the right direction and to give my receiver a chance to lock on to the signal. No other station is anywhere near this touchy, but I find that I get the best reception for all stations when my antenna is pointed to the North and not to the West. Also, don't touch the metal on the antenna with your bare hands while your adjusting it. I've noticed that these weak digital signals are much, much more sensitive to this than an analog signal. Touching, or sometimes only being in close proximity to, my antenna will ruin an otherwise okay signal. Please disregard this post if these are things that you already knew, but I haven't noticed a similar reduction in signal and also live in Northwest Wichita. I hope some of this helps.

post #193 of 3098
Try a silver sensor. Or have someone come over with their box and hook it up to your antenna cable.

I have heard good things about the siver sensor, and I am considering trying one here at work if the antenna I have coming doesn't work. I am not doubting you, I just find it odd that someone in the same area get it at 45-60% with an indoor antenna and you are having trouble. Perhaps a small outdoor anteanna on a rotator will cure all that ails you. They can actually be pretty consipicious if you do a good job.

just suggestion, I want you to be able to pick that channel up.
post #194 of 3098
I'm not going to go to any heroic lengths to pick up KSN. When they go to full power, the problem will go away. I also remain curious as to why I could pick them up until a week ago but now I can't. Nothing has changed on my end so far as I know.

Long term, I would prefer to get all my programming via cable. DirecTV is ok, and the attic antenna works, but my druthers would be to get everything via cable. I'm not holding my breath, but I think the only thing holding up HD cable in Wichita is a good and affordable STB with a shelf life longer than 6 months. They have the infrastructure now, already being "fiber to the hubs". I'll bet it's an option before this year is out.

post #195 of 3098
Perhaps you should get ahold of Don Karell. He is the VP of Cox Kansas. I have exchanged many emails with him and he says that it the problem, being affordable STB that that will not loose their tail on by renting them to you. He never really said for sure this year, but I bet you are right. At least let him know more than a few are interested.

post #196 of 3098
I checked around COX' website but the only email contact info was to Sales, or Support, or Billing. No individual emails were listed. I sent a message via the online form, but I know where those usually go...to the great beyond.

I bought a Channel Master 4221 (not a 4228 as I previously wrote) antenna from a fellow forum member today. I haven't gotten it installed yet. It's a UHF only antenna, but with all the local DTT broadcasts located in the UHF band, I don't need VHF any more. I said I wasn't going to any heroic efforts to pick up NBC, but here I am.

post #197 of 3098
Just adding another data point regarding KSN...I have also noticed that their signal is weaker this past week or so. I used to get it in the 80-90% range (near 13th & Maize). Now it is 45-55%, still good enough for viewing. The timing of this drop in signal coincides with the problems David is having.

A mini rant on another topic: I give a big thumbs down to our local station's logos--especially KAKE and KWCH. Can they make them any larger?! Sheesh, KAKE's is about 2.5 times the size of the ABC logo, and KWCH's is just plain too big and bold! Plus, they interfere with graphics in some program content, such as football. Anyone who's gone through the expense and hassle to tune into these digital stations is already acutely aware of which station he is watching...give 'em a rest!!
post #198 of 3098
hey guys been awhile since I have posted a reply.

I was reading your posts and noticed the problems with ksn. I on the other hand have more problems with kake dropping signals my cbs and nbc are always hitting the upper80's to 90's on signal while kake drops down in the 60's sometime casuing some freezing. Not for sure. I am located in park city like 61st and grove and that is my readings in the last few months. Just some input for you guys..

post #199 of 3098
Yea I definatly agree with the logo's cbs's is huge ....why they gotta do that....
post #200 of 3098
Yea, the logos suck. Most of them are the watermark type, but there is still potential for burn in as well if you watch a particular station a lot.

Dave G.

P.S. I also sent a reply to the original email I got from Dave Rickels asking about KSN. Originally they were transmitting at 1000 watts, which is low comparted to other stations.
post #201 of 3098
KSN will be going to full power "this summer", from what I was told by another engineer at KSN. He didn't know whether that meant May or July or September though.

It's funny, I HATE those logos too, and yet I have never once complained about them to the station managers.

OK, I'm heading up into my attic now, right after I do one last check of signal strength of channel 45, for a before and after comparison.

post #202 of 3098
I replaced my Radio Shack combination UHF/VHF antenna with a Channel Master 4221 4-way bowtie UHF only antenna I bought from fellow AVS member John Lister. I have been able to get my signal strength on channel 45 up to 37, which is enough to pull in a stable picture. Signal strength on channel 19-1 (KWCH CBS 12-1) is also up a bit, into the 70's, and all the other DTT channels are still pegging the meter at 100.

post #203 of 3098
I'm not surprised at that. The general consensus on this forum is that UHF only antennas like the CM you bought are the best. This is why my little RSDB antenna works so well. I can't get KSN now, but that's understandable considering the low power levels.

Congrats by the way.

Dave G.
post #204 of 3098
Looks like Fox and UPN finally fixed their audio problems as all Wichita feeds are working great today! I never have a problem with NBC and I use a 5 year old Terk "stick" six foot long VHF/UHF antenna in the attic pointed at Colwich.
post #205 of 3098
David, I'm glad it worked for you but I still feel bad about giveing you the wrong number.
I am still just geting 3.1 on and off here in El Dorado.

post #206 of 3098
I'm getting video on 3-1 consistantly now, but a show on last night between 8 and 10 looked really weird, like the frame rate was really low. It was a little like watching people on the dance floor in a disco, with a strobe light. Motion wasn't fluid, but kindy jerky. I've seen that sometimes in movies, Saving Private Ryan comes to mind, where it's done for "cinematic effect" but in this case the whole show was that way. It was disturbing and unwatchable. I don't know if this was an artifact of a marginal signal or if they had some other problem going on.

I'm looking forward to speaking with Dave Rickels about these issues.

John, don't sweat giving me the wrong number. The antenna is exactly what I need. The larger 8-way bowtie would have been overkill and would have been harder to install. I still paid less than half of what a new one would have cost with shipping. No blood no foul.

post #207 of 3098
I just got an e-mail from Dave Rickels and he said he had reset his equipment. I checked and I am getting the best signal I have ever gotten on 3.1 Hope you all are doing as well. It looks great but I haven't had much time to view it yet.

post #208 of 3098
Get this. My signal strength on 3-1 is now 87-93. I feel vindicated. "Mathematical Oddity" my arse.

post #209 of 3098
Hehehe, just needed a reboot. Must be running on a Billsoft product....

Dave G.
post #210 of 3098

I think I finally got the timing correct on my PSIP tables correcting the 24-1/26-2 problem on Fox. Please try rescanning and see if you have the same results. Also, I have watched several hours of Fox and have yet to find video problems, hopefully it will be the same for you.

On UPN, the encoder was sent to us with a setting in the wrong position, I think the video jerking problem is fixed, I have yet to see it today. Again let me know if you see any problems, I will be watching the stations closely also.

Please forward this to other forum members and invite them to email me directly if they still see problems.

I will now work towards passing Fox in 16x9 when it's available in prime, we still require some more equipment to make it happen. UPN doesn't offer 16x9, so nothing will change on it.


Jon Cyphers
Assistant Chief Engineer
FOXKansas and UPNKansas
Wichita, KS
Voice 316-942-2424
Fax 316-942-8927
www.foxkansas.com www.upnkansas.com
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