At the end of 2010 a couple of changes that occurred during the year led me to decide that it was time to get serious about replacing my 50' guyed tower with a tilt-over crank-up tower. Not least of which was that getting older makes me not want to be climbing a 50' tower.
So I decided on a 55' crank-up that I could work on from the ground. Starting in mid April I took down the guyed tower and started working on the new tower. Yesterday I tilted the tower up for the first time with only the TV antennas on it, no ham antennas yet. I've attached on image of the tower as it is right now.
The tower is located 5' south of the old one, is 5' taller, and the mast is 5' taller than the old one. That makes the 91XGs on the top 10' higher.
I made two small hardware changes. I lengthened the high VHF antenna booms by 16" and added 2 elements to improve the channel 13 performance. That's of some importance here because of KCBA on RF 13. I had a Tin Lee channel 19 notch filter before the preamp to keep KUVS analog from overloading the preamp but that station is long gone but the filter was still attenuating part of KUVS digital on 18 which also overloads the preamp with no filter. I wanted to have a chance at KOFY on 19 so I had Tin Lee retune the filter to maximize attenuation at the low end of 18 and minimize attenuation at the low of 19. They did that for only the cost of shipping. Good guys to deal with!
The reception results are mostly positive. The only negative is that KXTV 10 is slightly weaker and its SNR is down a couple of dB. Every other station seems to be as good or better.
I've only had less than one day to evaluate reception but with the storms there seems to be no inversions affecting the the signals. Time will tell what happens in the long run.
The most noticeable improvements are KCRA, KMAX, KTXL, & KTFK which look to be 4 - 10 dB stronger in real signal strength. The SNRs have improved a couple of dB.
Sutro is still a problem. KQED seems more consistent and KGO is in more but there's no improvement in the other stations. I did see KOFY briefly so the filter change did its job. KGO had a strange problem where I had to point the antennas about 8 degrees off of Sutro to the peak signal. That's now gone.
Fremont signals are un changed.
Salinas signals are better still. KSBW now seems to come in all the time even when pointed at Walnut Grove. With the addition of ABC on 8.2, that gives me an option to KXTV which I know is going to be a problem when the inversion comes. KCBA is running about SNR 20 dB all the time now. Previously it was in and out. Not that I care to watch it, but KLFB with its little 3KW looks to be running SNR 20 dB or better all the time. I think KION is stronger but so is KFTY so the net result is no improvement on KION.
KCSO on RF 3 is now solid all the time at SNR 25 dB even with only the high VHF antennas.
I suspect that moving the antennas 5' has as much affect as raising them.
I also have a new TV. My 4 year old Sony SXRD developed the infamous green background problem. Upon providing proof of the problem and proof of ownership, Sony is providing an option for a free replacement or a better TV at a low price. The offer changes all the time. I got a 55HX800 for $600. So far it's a great TV at 50% lighter and a fraction of the width.
The channel scanning scheme is identical to the older TV as far as I can tell. The diagnostic screen is slightly different. SNR now reads in 0.1 dB steps and the maximum displayed number is 31.3 dB. Error count maxes out at 255. The signal quality meter reads 0 - 95. The weakest signal teetering on the digital cliff reads 3 or 4 at an SNR of 14.8 dB.