Originally Posted by glennunderwood
Thank you Chuck!
I still have a couple of questions...
I notice that KCSO broadcasts at what seems like a very low power (3kw), especially for a transmitter that is about 55 miles away from me.
Is that normal? It seems that most other stations broadcast at a higher watt level.
Thanks for directing me to the Solid Signal site. The 3679 is rated for 50 miles VHF and 60 miles UHF. If I went with the deepest fringe model CM3671, would there be any down side, such as problems receiving closer channels or bleed over?
Thank you again for helping me to learn this subject!
Your welcome Glenn. Bigger is better so the CM3671 is good.
KCSO is a low power station so they're limited to less power by the FCC. Low VHF requires less power than high VHF. You'll see that KVIE is 33KW compared to say KOVR on UHF that is 1000KW. With equal antennas, they produce about the same signal strength. Low VHF (channels 2-6) require even less power for an equal signal. Low power VHF stations are often only 0.3KW. KCSO received special permission from the FCC to up their power to 3KW because they had a lot of initial complaints from viewers who could no longer receive them (probably people with indoor antennas or no low VHF antenna) when they switched from channel 33 to channel 3. So 3KW is actually exceptionally high power for a low VHF low power station.
The problem with low VHF digital is that it's subject to manmade noise, like power line noise. Those annoying sparkles you used to see on low VHF analog stations are deadly to digital stations. With line-of-sight to KCSO and a good outdoor antenna, you should be able to receive them unless you have a bad case of power line noise. Lightning noise is also a big problem on low VHF but not so much in Sacramento.
I've attached a screen capture from Google Earth centered on about where you said you are with the KCSO transmitter overlay. As long as you're in the cyan area and not one of those blue areas, you should be okay. The blue areas indicate terrain shadowing.
If you put up this antenna and receive everything except KCSO, then come back and we'll see what the next step is.
If you take those rabbit ears, extend them to 88" across, and place them outdoors with a clear view to the southeast, you should have a reasonable chance to check your KCSO reception.