or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › HDTV › Local HDTV Info and Reception › Seattle, WA - OTA
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Seattle, WA - OTA - Page 308

post #9211 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdvegas View Post

Any chance you have the converter set to cable instead of antenna?

No
post #9212 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by be236 View Post

Also, I dont see CBUT (43) in your report. Are you sure you set the options on the report page to "PENDING - DIGITAL ONLY?" That will give you the most accurate numbers here.

Including pending...

http://www.tvfool.com/modeling/tmp/6...r-Digital2.png
post #9213 of 10032
Oh, I've got that DTV box too, CRA-TR-40... heh... I like it since it's got the "manually edit channel" feature that many boxes don't.... and supposedly it has a good/sensitive tuner.

Anyways, I think if you do the PENDING DIGITAL option, you should see better NM values and where you're at.. if you want those BC stations, getting a 91XG antenna should give you a very good chance to pick them up...

.. that's what I plan to do, and my NM is much worse than yours...
post #9214 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whidbey View Post

Including pending...

http://www.tvfool.com/modeling/tmp/6...r-Digital2.png

Ah.. much better.. yeah, those BC stations in light red (pink?) you definitely should be able to pick up with 91XG antenna and your pre-amp.

That's RF channels 22, 43, 32, 17, 26, and probably 20 too.

That's good programming/shows from our neighbours up north! (heh).
post #9215 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whidbey View Post

Here's my TV Fool image:
http://www.tvfool.com/modeling/tmp/6...ar-Digital.png

Hopefully the link will work.

I ran a check with my convertor box, as it was reporting new services. I only use the convertor on my garage TV, so it rarely gets used. My HDTV with digital tuner never tells me if it sniffs new channels.

Anyway, I recieved the following when I pointed my antenna north:

130.01 DTV (no picture, but 85% signal strength)
122.01 DTV (no picture, but 85% signal strength)
117.01 CBUT-DT (no picture, but 85% signal strength)
110.03 TVW (no signal strength, don't know where it comes from)
110.02 WLDVW (no signal strength, don't know where it comes from)
102.03 KNMT-D2 (no signal strength, don't know where it comes from)
094.02 KNMT-D1 (no signal strength, don't know where it comes from)
085.01 DTV (no signal strength, don't know where it comes from)
042.01 CHNM-DT KNMT-D2 (no signal strength, Canadian Station)
032.01 CIVT (no signal strength, Canadian Station)
008.01 CHAN-HD (no signal strength, Canadian Station)
002.01 CBUT-DT (no signal strength, Canadian Station)

The first three intrigue me, especially CBUT-DT. Why is it I am getting 85% strength with no picture on 117.01, but 0% signal on 002.01?

James

PS: Thank you Dan for pointing towards RS for the antenna!

James
You're welcome!
Most likely the reason for the first three channels is there's a carrier there that's coming in fine, but there's no program on it. Normally see that when they're testing. The 002.01 could be something in memory from a previous scan that originally had something, but never got cleaned out when you rescanned. Is there a reset to factory defaults? If not, I wouldn't loose sleep over it!
Dan
post #9216 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by be236 View Post

Ah.. much better.. yeah, those BC stations in light red (pink?) you definitely should be able to pick up with 91XG antenna and your pre-amp.

That's RF channels 22, 43, 32, 17, 26, and probably 20 too.

That's good programming/shows from our neighbours up north! (heh).

be236

Thought you might like some more data.

Sites like TVfool are great for some info, like direction, number of possible channels, etc. They look impressive with charts and graphs that were created from the FCC sites and other places. What they don't take into consideration is the real world, like trees, hills, trees, buildings, trees, the type of antenna required to deal with obstructions, like, uh, trees........

One of the acid tests I use is to put in addresses I know won't work, like 2401 West Lake Samammish Parkway NE, or 3301 SW 172nd St, or 3401 Perkins Lane West. They will look just fine, yet they won't get channels 4-5-7-9-11-13-16-22 because of huge hills in the way. Trying to guess what could be received in flat world with nothing in the way is okay. Just realize there's a bit more to it.

As for the 91XG Euro style antennas, I tried several back in the late 90's. Seattle HD wasn't available on cable or satellite in 97 and 98, so I got swamped trying to find miracles for people in marginal areas. I dragged those antennas around for over a year, comparing them to Channelmaster, Antennacraft, Winegard, Blonder Tongue and many, many others. I use two meters, a Sadelco and gonzo Sencore with way too many signal results that I only use in the tough spots. They give a clearer indication of what's really going on, unlike the "strength" indicators in TV's and tuners.
What I found was the Channelmaster, Antennacraft, Winegard and Blonder Tongue usually performed better, size and type wise, and never worse. Obviously it depends on the site location, antenna, what direction the problem channels are and more,....

But, I wasn't impressed. They were overpriced, construction is a bit flimsy compared to the others, and just didn't measure up to all the hype.
What I think happens is someone in a tough location, that has tried a small antenna without much luck, goes for broke. Installs one of the 91XG's, or similar, and it works. They now think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. And that's okay, but if they had tried one of the ones I mentioned, it would have probably worked as well, if not better, cost less and been easier to mount.

Something else that drives people nuts is someone will use brand A, works great and tells his next door neighbor. Neighbor buys one, mounts it on his house 20 feet away, same height and direction, lousy reception.
It's okay to try it. Logic dictates it should work. Reality says not always.
And then you have people in another city, with completely different parameters of location, terrain, TV stations with different frequencies and power, recommending something that worked great there, so it should anywhere.

Which brings me back to the more data, in a very long winded way.
There isn't any one antenna that works fine, all the time, everywhere. Sure wish there was. Take all the numbers data you cull from various sites and manufacturers (don't even get me started on product stats!) with a large grain of salt. Add to that the experiences that others here on the forum have found with their results, which is real world, and you'll have a better idea of what's really going on in the crazy world of reception.

Need more info, something explained, curious about some device, ask away. There's a lot of interesting stuff to learn about on this forum.

And Thanks for your info, too!

Dan
post #9217 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whidbey View Post

Including pending...

http://www.tvfool.com/modeling/tmp/6...r-Digital2.png

Hi - You wanted to know if anybody was getting Canadian stations... I live ~10 miles northwest of Marysville, west of Silvana. I do not get any Seattle stations, except for the channel 7 KIRO translator coming out of Mt Vernon (28.1). Since the Canadian digital conversion, I have been able to pick up 02 (CBUT 43.1), 08 (CHAN 22.1), 32 (CIVT 32.1), 17 (CIVI 17.1) and 42 (CHNM 20.1). 17 and 42 can be a little flaky if it's windy. When I first set up the antenna a year ago, I got CKVU (10.1), but 4 weeks after I had the system installed, we had a mild wind storm and I lost a lot of my signal strength on all channels (KVOS used to be the strongest station I had, but now is a total flake - not that there's anything I want to watch since they became MeTV). Can no longer use my stereo for sound because it cuts out all the time. The antenna is 50 feet in the air, and so I can't get to it to see if there's anything loose.

The antenna is a 91Xg combined with a Winegard YA 1713, a Channel Master 7777 preamp, and a 40 ft mast on top of a 10ft roof. I went with the 91xg and 1713 because they are light weight, and I was hoping to be able to install myself (was still too heavy - oh well).

Anyway, I have been able to get Canadian fairly well, which is a relief - I worried that I was going to have to get a dish after spending all that money on the antenna system.

Does anybody know of a good antenna installer in the north sound area? Somebody who can take down/put up a high antenna, and who uses a meter to locate the best spot?

Thanks!
Sherry
post #9218 of 10032
Hi Sherry,

Can you post your Tvfool report at 50feet high? *wow, a 40 feet mast on a roof, that's incredible.*

I'd like to see your NMs for your location that allows you to get those BC stations.
post #9219 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanKurts View Post

be236

Thought you might like some more data.

Sites like TVfool are great for some info, like direction, number of possible channels, etc. They look impressive with charts and graphs that were created from the FCC sites and other places. What they don't take into consideration is the real world, like trees, hills, trees, buildings, trees, the type of antenna required to deal with obstructions, like, uh, trees........

One of the acid tests I use is to put in addresses I know won't work, like 2401 West Lake Samammish Parkway NE, or 3301 SW 172nd St, or 3401 Perkins Lane West. They will look just fine, yet they won't get channels 4-5-7-9-11-13-16-22 because of huge hills in the way. Trying to guess what could be received in flat world with nothing in the way is okay. Just realize there's a bit more to it.

But, I wasn't impressed. They were overpriced, construction is a bit flimsy compared to the others, and just didn't measure up to all the hype.
What I think happens is someone in a tough location, that has tried a small antenna without much luck, goes for broke. Installs one of the 91XG's, or similar, and it works. They now think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. And that's okay, but if they had tried one of the ones I mentioned, it would have probably worked as well, if not better, cost less and been easier to mount.
Dan

Hi Dan,

Yes, I agree with you on your two main points.

1. Yeah, I plotted those addresses and it says you should have STRONG signals for all the major Seattle channels.. but you can't, huh? So massive trees in the way? I plotted another address where I was having trouble getting Seattle was well (near Grasslawn park in Redmond) and it showed good green signal as well on the Seattle channels, but I got the roof and tried a Radio Shack UHF/VHF antenna and couldnt get much (got 33 and 46 channels in SE corner area)... so, you're right TREEs and hills along the way can really affect your signal. So at this point all I can do is "hope."

2. You're right... Because I consider myself in deep fringe of trying to get those BC stations, I AM going "for broke" to get the most / best /expensive antenna I can get, like this 91XG that lots of folks swear by... If I can get 1-2-3 BC stations with it, I'll be happy and not worry about the *extra* money, even if I knew I could have picked it up with a smaller/cheaper antenna...

Hopefully, once I get it hooked up (have to order it first, from Solid Signal or Amazon), then try it and then I can provide results of MY particular situation for others to learn from ...hehehh
post #9220 of 10032
K26IC-D is back up ... dependable? Per their recent record of popping on air and off air, I seriously doubt it.

I had to reset the TVGOS reception (start from scratch) ability on my Sony tonight, because after so long without any input, on its own the Sony gave up KIROs translator as its source. Perhaps in the morning we will have TVGOS -- or, maybe the channel will disappear for another few weeks.

Jim
post #9221 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by shegato View Post

Hi - You wanted to know if anybody was getting Canadian stations... I live ~10 miles northwest of Marysville, west of Silvana. I do not get any Seattle stations, except for the channel 7 KIRO translator coming out of Mt Vernon (28.1). Since the Canadian digital conversion, I have been able to pick up 02 (CBUT 43.1), 08 (CHAN 22.1), 32 (CIVT 32.1), 17 (CIVI 17.1) and 42 (CHNM 20.1). 17 and 42 can be a little flaky if it's windy. When I first set up the antenna a year ago, I got CKVU (10.1), but 4 weeks after I had the system installed, we had a mild wind storm and I lost a lot of my signal strength on all channels (KVOS used to be the strongest station I had, but now is a total flake - not that there's anything I want to watch since they became MeTV). Can no longer use my stereo for sound because it cuts out all the time. The antenna is 50 feet in the air, and so I can't get to it to see if there's anything loose.

The antenna is a 91Xg combined with a Winegard YA 1713, a Channel Master 7777 preamp, and a 40 ft mast on top of a 10ft roof. I went with the 91xg and 1713 because they are light weight, and I was hoping to be able to install myself (was still too heavy - oh well).

Anyway, I have been able to get Canadian fairly well, which is a relief - I worried that I was going to have to get a dish after spending all that money on the antenna system.

Does anybody know of a good antenna installer in the north sound area? Somebody who can take down/put up a high antenna, and who uses a meter to locate the best spot?

Thanks!
Sherry

shegato
Did you use a telescoping mast or Rohn tower? Could be it just needs to be reaimed a bit. Whats your nearest cross streets?
Dan
post #9222 of 10032
Hi Dan,

It's a telescoping mast with a rotator. The antenna changes direction in the wind, so I know it wasn't tightened well enough, but I can still readjust it once the wind stops. I do have a tree blocking problem - one of my hypotheses was that a tree somewhere along my line-of-site got tipped over just enough to cause a bigger blocking problem? Either that, or a connection loosened...
post #9223 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanKurts View Post

shegato
Did you use a telescoping mast or Rohn tower? Could be it just needs to be reaimed a bit. Whats your nearest cross streets?
Dan

oops, i forgot to give you my cross streets - 48th ave nw and Happy Hollow Rd (or 220th st nw).
post #9224 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by be236 View Post

Hi Sherry,

Can you post your Tvfool report at 50feet high? *wow, a 40 feet mast on a roof, that's incredible.*

I'd like to see your NMs for your location that allows you to get those BC stations.

Hi be236,

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...60b52212d47060

I don't get anything under 1.2 dB, and I don't get half of what TV fool thinks i should (or the strength of signal) due to trees and hills. My best reception is the channel 7 translator out of Mt Vernon - followed by CBUT, CIVT and CHAN - but even they pixelate a lot, and the sound cuts out a lot. I do not get anything from the south (even though TVfool thinks I should get Fox and CW).

If your NMs are in negative territory... I doubt you will be able to pick up anything Canadian. Except for CBUT, Canadians mostly televise US crap anyway! They do have a lot less pharmaceutical commercials, which is nice

Good luck with what ever you decide!
post #9225 of 10032
Hi Sherry,

Wow, it seems like you live in a valley? Your area seems flat, but there might be a big hill just up north, between you and Stanwood that is reducing the Vancouver signals from the NW direction...

So the stations with negative NMs are the Seattle stations that you can't get? Seems like you have the opposite situation with ... I can get the Seattle stations, just can't get the BC ones. heh.. Oh, and it's funny, KVOS (Bellingham/Orcas Island) is 2EDGE for me and about 60 miles out, but I can get it fine with my old Radio SHack VU-190.. I think its NM is about 10 dB at my location.

I''m just surprised with your 91XG if you aim at Seattle, you can't get them because they are all negative? That's too bad...

I was on another site, where this guy in Victoria said he had NMs of -8 to -15 dB for Seattle channels and he can get them just fine with his 91XG and it was in his attic, no less! heh.. amazing.

I'm still gonna try to give it a shot... at a mininum I hope to get CHAN (8.1, RF 22) and CBUT (2.1, RF43) as their NMs are about -8 and -9 dBs.. so I still have some hope.... and before their DTV transition Sep 1, I was able to view their analog channels (CHAN and CKVU and CHEK), but that was when they were on VHF and had super high ERPs.

Anyway, yeah, I realize they broadcast the same US junk shows, but I want to watch them for their interesting/different perspective local news. :-)
post #9226 of 10032
Telescoping mast?

Can that be installed on the ground? Where can I get more info on this, maybe to buy?
post #9227 of 10032
Just got this today.

Hooked it up next to my RS antenna, put in a brand new 100-ft RG6 cable run to Artec DTV converter box.

Now channel RF 19 (22.1) from Orcas Island has a picture (before it was just a signal blip on the signal meter).

Also, now I see a signal blip on RF 17 (CIVI) and RF 22 (CHAN) , RF 24 (Orcas Island), but still no picture yet.

So, I'm getting "closer."

Sounds like my next step is 91XG antenna, eh?

Roughly speaking on Sony TV, before I for a given channel, its SNR was at 18,19... then when I put in the KT-200, its SNR was 22-23... so improved about 2-3dB SNR.. Is that about right?
post #9228 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by shegato View Post

Hi Dan,

It's a telescoping mast with a rotator. The antenna changes direction in the wind, so I know it wasn't tightened well enough, but I can still readjust it once the wind stops. I do have a tree blocking problem - one of my hypotheses was that a tree somewhere along my line-of-site got tipped over just enough to cause a bigger blocking problem? Either that, or a connection loosened...

shegato
If you're at the intersection of 220th and 48th, NW corner, it looks like you're kind of out in the open. Nearest trees are couple hundred of yards away to the NW, and the hill is falling away to the north, and it doesn't go very far to the NW before that falls away, too.
I can see why there's no Seattle. The hill to the south, little over a mile away is over 200ft higher than you.
I'm curious, what was the reception like with the same antenna setup, but at a lower height, like 10 to 20 feet above the ground?
I agree with your troubleshooting. Even it the wind moved it, the rotor should be able to compensate.
Is the mast guy wired every 10 feet? Did you use regular wire or is it vinyl covered? What are you using for a tuner?
Dan
post #9229 of 10032
Looking for some help from the experienced signal seekers here.

The thought of doing away with Dish came up recently, so I figured it was time to see if we could receive any decent OTA signal at our Gig Harbor home. But I'm really running up against a wall it seems, and I'm looking for advice from those with experience. Since I'm a newbie, I cannot post links, so I'll try to describe the situation thoroughly.

First OTA attempt was a small Indoor/Outdoor multi-directional antenna with a small amplifier purchased from Monoprice. Indoors, it only received the KBTC signal, and intermittently got KCPQ. Disappointing, but not surprising.

Then I mounted it outdoors on a small mast, approx 15' above ground, and did NO better. More disappointing. As a newbie, I started surfing the web. Antennaweb & TVfool were not looking promising, but it seemed I needed (1) a larger directional antenna, (2) higher in the air, and (3) with a decent signal amplifier.

This past weekend I added another 10' to the mast height, installed a Winegard 7695 antenna, and added a RatShack 15-259 signal amp. The result? No difference in locked channels. Used TVfool's data guidance to aim, re-aim, and re-aim again & again, never any real improvement.

Since I can't post links, the exact Lat/Lon of my antenna is 47.283887,-122.638987. Or the SW corner of Warren Drive NW and 29th St NW in rural Gig Harbor.

Either my interpretation of the topographical data is incorrect, or I am seriously underestimating the negative effect of all the fir trees around me. Or there's something I'm completely overlooking?? Right now, I'm thinking I may just need another 10' of height. But 20' of 1.25 mast sounds a bit unstable on a gable end mount. Any thoughts on that?

I'd be sincerely appreciative of any advice you folks can provide. The data on TVfool certainly seems to indicate I *should* be able to pull in the signals from the Tiger Mtn direction. I'm not holding my breath for Queen Anne signals, but it would be nice.

Help??
post #9230 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizeguy6 View Post

Looking for some help from the experienced signal seekers here.

The thought of doing away with Dish came up recently, so I figured it was time to see if we could receive any decent OTA signal at our Gig Harbor home. But I'm really running up against a wall it seems, and I'm looking for advice from those with experience. Since I'm a newbie, I cannot post links, so I'll try to describe the situation thoroughly.

First OTA attempt was a small Indoor/Outdoor multi-directional antenna with a small amplifier purchased from Monoprice. Indoors, it only received the KBTC signal, and intermittently got KCPQ. Disappointing, but not surprising.

Then I mounted it outdoors on a small mast, approx 15' above ground, and did NO better. More disappointing. As a newbie, I started surfing the web. Antennaweb & TVfool were not looking promising, but it seemed I needed (1) a larger directional antenna, (2) higher in the air, and (3) with a decent signal amplifier.

This past weekend I added another 10' to the mast height, installed a Winegard 7695 antenna, and added a RatShack 15-259 signal amp. The result? No difference in locked channels. Used TVfool's data guidance to aim, re-aim, and re-aim again & again, never any real improvement.

Since I can't post links, the exact Lat/Lon of my antenna is 47.283887,-122.638987. Or the SW corner of Warren Drive NW and 29th St NW in rural Gig Harbor.

Either my interpretation of the topographical data is incorrect, or I am seriously underestimating the negative effect of all the fir trees around me. Or there's something I'm completely overlooking?? Right now, I'm thinking I may just need another 10' of height. But 20' of 1.25 mast sounds a bit unstable on a gable end mount. Any thoughts on that?

I'd be sincerely appreciative of any advice you folks can provide. The data on TVfool certainly seems to indicate I *should* be able to pull in the signals from the Tiger Mtn direction. I'm not holding my breath for Queen Anne signals, but it would be nice.

Help??

Wizeguy6
You're about 80ft below the hill top to the NE, which normally wouldn't be a big deal, but I know your area is heavy with big fir trees. They add at least another 60ft, and they go on for at least a mile to about 43rd st crt NW and 87th ave NW. That's effectively a solid wall of wood. Reception is very line of sight. There's not much that's going to be available for an antenna to get. Once the signal level gets too weak, amplifying it doesn't help because you end up amplifying the noise, too.

Sadly, TVfool isn't able to take in obstructions and elevations, so it's not really good at predicting reception. Hopefully you'll be able to return the items.

Have you looked into basic cable? I'm not sure who serves your area, but they usually have a minimum Seattle only package for around $13/mo. You have to ask for it as they usually want to sell you more. If you have a newer TV with a QAM tuner, a cable box won't be needed, and should save you that cost. If you haven't had cable, they may charge you for a hookup, but that shouldn't be much.
Dan
post #9231 of 10032
Thanks for all the input Dan. I'm sure I can return the amplifier (gotta love RS!) but the Winegard likely isn't going anywhere. I've gotten into making some other antennas, so the mast will get used for something else.

The thing is, I get a fantastic signal from KBTC. There are no elevation conflicts between us, but there sure as heck are still trees! Do you feel I may have a better shot at those signals from the NE if I play with placement a bit? Like maybe a corner of the home with, say, 150 ft to the nearest blocking fir instead of 50 ft? Or am I smokin rope on that one?

We have Dish, and I love it. Just trying to supplement it with programming the locals carry that aren't part of Dish's local lineup, and maybe ditch the Dish if OTA worked out well enough. The ONLY cable option out here is Comcast/Xfinity, and frankly I don't care what they call themselves, my distaste for them goes back 20 years and I will never give them another penny. We're wired from the previous owner's subscription, but I'd rather pee on my livestock fence.

With regard to my antenna selection - ignoring the trees for a moment, do you feel this is a good antenna for my distance to Tiger Mtn? If a can get enough height?
post #9232 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanKurts View Post

shegato
If you're at the intersection of 220th and 48th, NW corner, it looks like you're kind of out in the open. Nearest trees are couple hundred of yards away to the NW, and the hill is falling away to the north, and it doesn't go very far to the NW before that falls away, too.
I can see why there's no Seattle. The hill to the south, little over a mile away is over 200ft higher than you.
I'm curious, what was the reception like with the same antenna setup, but at a lower height, like 10 to 20 feet above the ground?
I agree with your troubleshooting. Even it the wind moved it, the rotor should be able to compensate.
Is the mast guy wired every 10 feet? Did you use regular wire or is it vinyl covered? What are you using for a tuner?
Dan

Hi Dan,

I’m about 200 ft north of that intersection - on the downward slope of that hill. The green belt is right behind me to the east, and my neighbors to the south have a beautiful forested area of 100ft+ cedars, which are right in my line-of-site for the Vancouver stations and KVOS.

When the antenna was ~20ft off the ground Canada was still analog, and the analog stations came in fine. Digital did not come in at all… but they were operating at reduced power back then.

Before I got the new antennas, I had an old ratshack monster ~20 ft up, on the north side of the house (where I can see better around the neighbor’s trees). It did fine with the Canadian analogs and KVOS digital. I got the new set-up in the hopes of picking up FOX (based on TVfools predictions) and moved the antenna placement to the south side of the house, where I could put it on top of a low-sloping roof, adding ~10ft. Since I’m not going to get FOX, I’m considering moving the antenna back to the north side of the house, which will decrease the height to 40ft, but will give me better line-of-site around those trees. BUT, I don’t want to do that unless I’m sure that the signal will be any better. And I definitely do not want to lose KIRO 7 out of Mt Vernon - which I’m very lucky to be receiving. Losing that 10 ft may put me out of reach.

The mast is guy’d at every telescoping section (ie, every 10ft). The wire is not covered, but is 6 stranded. When I was first set-up I was using a Zenith converter box which seemed to have a pretty good tuner. I got a digital TV as a gift this past Christmas (a Toshiba), but the tuner does not seem to be as good - especially for sound. Do they make good quality tuners to hook up to digital TVs with crappy tuners??? : ) Also, is there a semi-decent consumer grade (<$70) digital signal meter out there?

As always, THANKS for all your help and advice!
Sherry
post #9233 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizeguy6 View Post

Looking for some help from the experienced signal seekers here.

The thought of doing away with Dish came up recently, so I figured it was time to see if we could receive any decent OTA signal at our Gig Harbor home. But I'm really running up against a wall it seems, and I'm looking for advice from those with experience. Since I'm a newbie, I cannot post links, so I'll try to describe the situation thoroughly.

First OTA attempt was a small Indoor/Outdoor multi-directional antenna with a small amplifier purchased from Monoprice. Indoors, it only received the KBTC signal, and intermittently got KCPQ. Disappointing, but not surprising.

Then I mounted it outdoors on a small mast, approx 15' above ground, and did NO better. More disappointing. As a newbie, I started surfing the web. Antennaweb & TVfool were not looking promising, but it seemed I needed (1) a larger directional antenna, (2) higher in the air, and (3) with a decent signal amplifier.

This past weekend I added another 10' to the mast height, installed a Winegard 7695 antenna, and added a RatShack 15-259 signal amp. The result? No difference in locked channels. Used TVfool's data guidance to aim, re-aim, and re-aim again & again, never any real improvement.

Since I can't post links, the exact Lat/Lon of my antenna is 47.283887,-122.638987. Or the SW corner of Warren Drive NW and 29th St NW in rural Gig Harbor.

Either my interpretation of the topographical data is incorrect, or I am seriously underestimating the negative effect of all the fir trees around me. Or there's something I'm completely overlooking?? Right now, I'm thinking I may just need another 10' of height. But 20' of 1.25 mast sounds a bit unstable on a gable end mount. Any thoughts on that?

I'd be sincerely appreciative of any advice you folks can provide. The data on TVfool certainly seems to indicate I *should* be able to pull in the signals from the Tiger Mtn direction. I'm not holding my breath for Queen Anne signals, but it would be nice.

Help??

Hi Wizeguy6,

Another option other than cable is the Dish Welcome Pack. It costs $15 per month and you get locals + an assortment of other stations (mostly garbage, but a few good ones). The trick is you already have to be a customer no longer under contract - AND threatening to cancel your subscription. They don't advertise it, and I've heard that you sometimes have to be pretty forceful at getting them to acknowledge that they offer it. Google "Welcome Pack" associated with Dish - there are some message boards like this one that discuss it. Good luck!

Sherry
post #9234 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by be236 View Post

Telescoping mast?

Can that be installed on the ground? Where can I get more info on this, maybe to buy?

I bought mine at a1 components.
post #9235 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by shegato View Post

Hi Wizeguy6,

Another option other than cable is the Dish Welcome Pack. It costs $15 per month and you get locals + an assortment of other stations (mostly garbage, but a few good ones). The trick is you already have to be a customer no longer under contract - AND threatening to cancel your subscription. They don't advertise it, and I've heard that you sometimes have to be pretty forceful at getting them to acknowledge that they offer it. Google "Welcome Pack" associated with Dish - there are some message boards like this one that discuss it. Good luck!

Sherry

Thank you! I had not heard of this before, but I see if right now on their website (obscurely listed way down low at $14.99, with no details except to call Dish).
post #9236 of 10032
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Was there tropo conditions this morning?

With KT-200 preamp and same VU-190 antenna with aluminum foil on the lower reflector, this morning, I was able to get picture on CHAN (RF 22), RF 20, 26, and 43.

CHAN was the best with SNR of about 18. RF 20 was weakest at SNR 16 and breaking up here and there.

Probably when I get home this evening, they'll probably be gone.

If you're in Marysville, you should be able to get it now under tropo.
post #9237 of 10032
Wizeguy6,

From your Tvfool report, normally you should be able to get most/all of the Seattle stations no problem with an outdoor antenna.

But if you've got tall trees blocking your path a hundred feet away or so, then yeah, that'll really block the signal.

At worse, you could try to play with height and position of the antenna (just walk around on your roof and carry a portable DTV and hopefully with a signal meter).. it's a pain-in-the-butt time consuming process, but if you have the time, I'd go for it.
post #9238 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizeguy6 View Post

Thanks for all the input Dan. I'm sure I can return the amplifier (gotta love RS!) but the Winegard likely isn't going anywhere. I've gotten into making some other antennas, so the mast will get used for something else.

The thing is, I get a fantastic signal from KBTC. There are no elevation conflicts between us, but there sure as heck are still trees! Do you feel I may have a better shot at those signals from the NE if I play with placement a bit? Like maybe a corner of the home with, say, 150 ft to the nearest blocking fir instead of 50 ft? Or am I smokin rope on that one?

We have Dish, and I love it. Just trying to supplement it with programming the locals carry that aren't part of Dish's local lineup, and maybe ditch the Dish if OTA worked out well enough. The ONLY cable option out here is Comcast/Xfinity, and frankly I don't care what they call themselves, my distaste for them goes back 20 years and I will never give them another penny. We're wired from the previous owner's subscription, but I'd rather pee on my livestock fence.

With regard to my antenna selection - ignoring the trees for a moment, do you feel this is a good antenna for my distance to Tiger Mtn? If a can get enough height?

Wizeguy6
Well, you could probably do Tiger Mt. The stations there aren't much in the way of programming. I've not had anyone ask me to dial them in, specifically. There's only a slight elevation rise from you in that direction of maybe 30ft at most, and only for a few blocks where there's a notch in the hill at 30th and 73rd, and then it drops off fast. Tiger is almost 3 times the height of Seattle towers, about 2800ft give or take, so barring any monster trees near you, might work. It's coming in at a higher angle to you.
Seattle direction has a much bigger hill plus trees, lots of them, and lower angle. You would need to get up over 140ft or more to clear them.
KBTC is only 6 miles away, line of sight, due east. You only have the same 2 or 3 blocks of trees at most, no hills in the way, so it should be gangbusters.
I can understand your Comcrap frustration.
I've not done a Dish install in many years, so not familiar with their offerings. Shegato's comments above sound like they might have something going that would work for you.
What other frequencies are you creating antennas for?
Dan
post #9239 of 10032
Quote:
Originally Posted by shegato View Post

Hi Dan,

I'm about 200 ft north of that intersection - on the downward slope of that hill. The green belt is right behind me to the east, and my neighbors to the south have a beautiful forested area of 100ft+ cedars, which are right in my line-of-site for the Vancouver stations and KVOS.

When the antenna was ~20ft off the ground Canada was still analog, and the analog stations came in fine. Digital did not come in at all but they were operating at reduced power back then.

Before I got the new antennas, I had an old ratshack monster ~20 ft up, on the north side of the house (where I can see better around the neighbor's trees). It did fine with the Canadian analogs and KVOS digital. I got the new set-up in the hopes of picking up FOX (based on TVfools predictions) and moved the antenna placement to the south side of the house, where I could put it on top of a low-sloping roof, adding ~10ft. Since I'm not going to get FOX, I'm considering moving the antenna back to the north side of the house, which will decrease the height to 40ft, but will give me better line-of-site around those trees. BUT, I don't want to do that unless I'm sure that the signal will be any better. And I definitely do not want to lose KIRO 7 out of Mt Vernon - which I'm very lucky to be receiving. Losing that 10 ft may put me out of reach.

The mast is guy'd at every telescoping section (ie, every 10ft). The wire is not covered, but is 6 stranded. When I was first set-up I was using a Zenith converter box which seemed to have a pretty good tuner. I got a digital TV as a gift this past Christmas (a Toshiba), but the tuner does not seem to be as good - especially for sound. Do they make good quality tuners to hook up to digital TVs with crappy tuners??? : ) Also, is there a semi-decent consumer grade (<$70) digital signal meter out there?

As always, THANKS for all your help and advice!
Sherry

Sherry
I'm trying to see which house is yours from the Google Earth shot.
North up 48th, on the west side of the road, the third house from 220th appears to have a brown roof, with an outbuilding that has a red roof. The 4th house up is about 100ft further north, light colored roof and sits at a 45 degree angle to the road. On the east side of 48th, about 150ft north of 220th, is an L shaped house with a big driveway and parking area. Where are you in relation to these houses?
KIRO translator from MT Vernon should be line of sight, almost due north. It doesn't have much power, but it's only 20 miles. Lowering your antenna should still receive it with all that equipment you're using. The nearest hill is across the valley, 3 miles away, not a big problem.
Also, when you had everything working okay, did you ever swing the antenna around to the south east and try for Tiger MT, by Issaquah, for ch51 KIRO? It's very high and should be line of sight as well. A lot farther, but could work, too.
As for KVOS and Vancouver, I would like to see which house is yours to get a better idea of what you're fighting.
I would bet we could get you back down to a reasonable height of 10ft to 20ft at the original location.

As for a good tuner, I found the ChannelMaster to be very sensitive and selective. I carry one in my van for testing. Works at very low levels of signal, below the minimum of what my meter reads, at -25db. Most TV's won't work below -15db. They carry two flavors at Fry's. One regular HD model
http://www.frys.com/product/6598413
The other comes with a DVR built in and two tuners
http://www.frys.com/product/6147839
Both have HDMI and optical outputs so you can run them through a good receiver and surround speakers.

The only good field strength meters I've seen start at $1500. Mine was over that, and my Sencore was almost $3000. They're invaluable because they show you more than just signal level. They give you an oscilloscope type view and the resulting waveshape is very important. Really helps you see what is going on.

Let me know which house is yours so I can check the tree situation a bit more. I love a good challenge!
Dan
post #9240 of 10032
Thanks again, Dan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanKurts View Post

Wizeguy6
What other frequencies are you creating antennas for?
Dan

I just built a really neat off-center fed dipole for my scanner base, and I'm playing around with other "stuff" while I try to educate myself on antenna theory and design. I needed a hobby... I suppose if I keep it up, I may end up in the market for a tower eventually. That kind of height might improve my OTA reception!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Local HDTV Info and Reception
AVS › AVS Forum › HDTV › Local HDTV Info and Reception › Seattle, WA - OTA