I've got another antenna story, but this one's pretty much concluded. More of a documentation than anything else.
My friend lives in Staunton and on the way back from a trip to Virginia Tech a few weeks ago, I stopped in at his house. Turned out he had a great view of the mountains and I pulled out my spectrum analyzer and saw that he had lots of signal on Richmond and other things. With this encouragement, he decided to pull out the old TV antenna again, put it up on a pole tied to his fence, and gave it a shot.
The results were disappointing. The only reliable signals were 29-1 (WVIR-32), 41-1 (WHTJ-46), and 65-1 (WUPV-47). He'd see 6, 8, 12, and 35 from Richmond in the mornings but they'd disappear any other time. He could also see 3-1 WHSV if he aimed right at it, but since he has that on cable, it's not as much of a concern.
He was using what looked to be an old Radio Shack roof antenna of some kind, looks to be about medium range rather than deep fringe, fed through RG-6 to RG-59 to a Radio Shack powered splitter which then went to his two TVs (Sony and LG). I loaned him my Zenith CECB and it outperformed the TVs in a huge way, but since it wasn't HD, he couldn't use it for viewing.
Yesterday, I went up there and we tried lots of different configurations. We settled on his same Radio Shack-looking antenna elevated MUCH higher, from a different fencepost such that the RG-59 could be removed. When I left, through the amp and everything, he was receiving:
57-1 (Only with my KT-200, not present with the Sony amplified splitter)
You may note the oddly missing station, WHTJ-46 (41-1). Looking at my analyzer, it was definitely present but with a very deep gouge at the lower end of the channel. I suspect the Zenith would have handled it fine, but the TVs were seriously unhappy. Since he gets 23-1 now, however, I told him that he didn't need to worry about WHTJ, so as long as it remains reliable, all should be good.
The real oddity was the absence of the Staunton stations (WVPT-11, W41DT-41, WHSV-51). WVPT-11 had more signal than WWBT-12 the entire time I was there playing with it, but it never once decoded. He does have a hill behind him blocking those signals, but as much as the analyzer was showing signal, one would have expected a decode out of it. Even when we turned the antenna that way, no luck. But, again, since he gets WVPT and WHSV on cable, and W41DT repeats WVIR which is reliable, he wasn't interested in fighting with those signals.
We tried to get Roanoke since it's there on the analyzer (17, 18, 36), but the surrounding buildings and terrain chopped the signal to pieces, so we gave up on that pretty quickly. If he was higher on the hill, Roanoke would probably be feasible for him. At various times, I also saw signals present on 7, 9, 31, 33, and 34. I'm assuming all of those were DC (7, 9, 34) and/or Norfolk (7, 9, 31, 33). These were well below decoding and I suspect a result of atmospheric conditions.
Here's a report on the RabbitEars DX Tool for his location. Bear in mind that WHSV-49 only works when it's aimed in that direction, so his permanent aim does not allow for 3-1.http://www.rabbitears.info/dxlocation.php?id=244
Oh, and I spotted an analog on 39. Could W39AK be back on the air, or was it a Richmond analog?