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Philadelphia, PA - OTA - Page 124

post #3691 of 3803
My current setup includes an RCA ANT751 which is a good performing antenna for its size. It provides me with a good signal on most stations available on my TV Fool report, however, I was having trouble with several distant signals in recent weeks. This included WFMZ RF46 from Allentown and WTVE RF25 in Reading and WPSJ RF53 in Hammonton. All were unwatchable. I decided to try my CM 7777 pre-amp which I used to use when living elsewhere. I was hesitant because many comments I read in this thread and others said that a pre-amp can easily overload the TV on local signals. Since I am only 15 miles from Roxborough, I thought it would not be a good idea. I was pleasantly surprised however. It had no negative effect on the local signals, and has provided a strong and uninterrupted picture on WFMZ and WTVE and WPSJ. So, if some of your channels are weak and unreliable, I suggest you try a pre-amp. It won't necessarily cause a problem on stronger local signals.

By the way, WTVE (52.2) is now carrying Soul of the South network.
post #3692 of 3803
The original CM-7777 preamp is less likely to overload than the newer version, which is a higher gain of 30db. I have used the older version and had good luck as well. It helped receive the weaker distant channels, but did not cause overload problems from the stronger local channels. The new version may be a good amp, but requires only a distant fringe application as nearby signals will cause overload. The newer 7778 version at 16db is probably the better choice for most situations.
post #3693 of 3803
I finally got around to hooking up my rca 751 today and here are my results. I tried the ant in the attic because it was the easiest thing to do. I was able to drop a wire right down the wall to the basement where all my cable runs are. I hooked into the 8 port block and I have 5 tv's running off of it. I get something like 49 channels. Pretty much all of my channels get 8-10 bars on a scale of 10, but channels 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 only get 4-5 bars. Even though it is high on the list in my tv fool report. Even when I connect just 1 tv right to the antenna, I only get 8 bars. At this point I am not sure that even if I were to get a amplifier if that would help. Anyone have any info for me?

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3D1ddaa660d82ea3
post #3694 of 3803
WPVI requires a wide antenna for effective reception. The ANT-751R has only about a half to a third of the needed element length.

if it works and you're not having problems, don't fret over the signal meter readings.
post #3695 of 3803
Channel 6 does not work that well, it pixelates and drops sound. And this is on a clear sunny day, I can only imagine it will get worse.
post #3696 of 3803
Quote:
Originally Posted by hanly2 View Post

Channel 6 does not work that well, it pixelates and drops sound. And this is on a clear sunny day, I can only imagine it will get worse.
My solution to this problem is to add (in my attic) a simple folded dipole made of twinlead and cut to the half-wavelength of channel 6 (468/85 = 5.5 feet), combining the output of that dipole with my other antenna (using a UHF/VHF combiner) prior to the distribution amp (or splitter). I orient the folded dipole at right angles to the line-of-sight to Roxborough. My channel 6 reception with this setup is dandy! Total cost for the twinlead, a balun, and the combiner maybe $15. See here (sorry, the new forum format screwed up the diagram, but you'll get the idea): http://www.avsforum.com/t/620626/philadelphia-pa-ota/2190#post_16593441
post #3697 of 3803
If you need to combine the VHF6 signal with VHF Hi signals, you can use a HLSJ VHF-lo VHF-hi combiner.
post #3698 of 3803
Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredengineer View Post

If you need to combine the VHF6 signal with VHF Hi signals, you can use a HLSJ VHF-lo VHF-hi combiner.
Well, here is what I used: http://www.antennasdirect.com/antenna_combiner.html, though it was cheaper at the time an in a plastic, not steel, case. The folded dipole picks up more than enough signal from channel 12, though optimized for channel 6 (half wavelength 2.2ft. vs 5.5 ft), and the combiner is nice enough to pass it through along with VHF low. Solid Signal has a couple in the $10 to $20 range too.
Edited by frank70 - 7/30/13 at 3:02pm
post #3699 of 3803
So what's up with WWJT (PSIP 7.x)? After sitting there on the air with test patterns for the better part of 2 years, the signal disappeared. Their webside (http://channel7philly.com/) seems to imply they are on the air with programming, yet clearly that never happened and certainly isn't happening now. Why would they waste 2 years worth of electricity to run a transmitter (and no doubt rental for antenna space on a tower) and never show a single thing other than test patterns? Some kind of tax writeoff?
post #3700 of 3803
6:55 PM Tuesday evening... WPVI channel 6 having some serious issues. PSIP disappearing (so 6.1 and 6.2 become 6.3 and 6.4 on some of my receivers), sound disappearing entirely. Had one receiver that could still tune 6.1 for a while, but the sound disappeared on that about 7 PM when ABC news was over and Jeapordy came on. Really a mess. Anyone else seeing problems?

Update: Called Action News room and asked them to let engineering know. Don't know if they did or didn't, but things went back to normal about an hour after they went freaky.
Edited by frank70 - 8/13/13 at 5:42pm
post #3701 of 3803
I lost Channel 6 yesterday after the storm and still have not got it back. Zero signal strength. Channel 12 is coming in about 75% of normal signal strength. All other channels fine. No discernible damage to the antenna. I re-scanned channels and it does detect 6-1, 6-2 and 6-3 but I get zero signal strength on them - which puzzles me since if there is zero signal strength why does the TV detect it?
post #3702 of 3803
I suggest you re-scan now that the PSIP outage is over. Your TV may be locked on the invalid PSIP that was present yesterday, looking for 6.1 on 6.3 and 6.2 on 6.4 (kind of a non-PSIP artifact of the fact that the PSIP channel and the RF channel happen to be the same).

Or, if you happen to have separate UHF and VHF antennas, the VHF one may be down or disoriented in some way (that would be the one that is significantly larger than a breadbox).
post #3703 of 3803
Re-scanning does not solve the problem. I have re-scanned on the TV and the DVR. The DVR does not even see 6-1, 6-2 or 6-3. I have just one antenna, a Winegard HD7084. It has it's own UHF/VHF combiner. Perhaps that board has been damaged. I will test it this weekend by by-passing the board.and seeing if the VHF signal improves. Thanks for the suggestions though.
post #3704 of 3803
fwiw, I'm about the same distance, (but westward of Rox) tuned to WPVI 24/7 and haven't noticed any problems in the last week or drops in sig strength.
Unfortunately, I'm probably just seconding the fact that you'll be up on the roof checking the antenna this weekend....
post #3705 of 3803
I'm over 70 miles from WPVi and haven't any problems with their signal.
post #3706 of 3803
Thanks for letting me know.

I by-passed the board and reception was worse. Worse on VHF and worse on UHF. I thought maybe I had a bad 75-300 ohm transformer so I ran out and bought one from another source. No difference. So I am baffled now. I will call Winegard on Monday and see if they can suggest why my VHF reception has suddenly degraded so significantly.
post #3707 of 3803
Two other possibilities:
1) It is unlikely, but possible that WPVI modified their antenna pattern (or is using a substitute antenna with a different pattern) that is restricting the signal in your direction. You might want to email or call their engineering department and just ask.
2) VHF Low is highly susceptible to interference from pulse noise (anything, particularly certain kinds of motors, that internally generates sparks). It is again unlikely but possible that something nearby is generating enough such interference to render the signal unusable - something that wasn't running before.

You might want to eliminate the antenna from suspicion this way: disconnect the antenna from (an upstairs if possible) TV (one that has a successfully scanned 6.1 into its channel list) and connect a pair of rabbit-ears. Tune channel 6.1, extend the rabbit-ears horizontally to about 5 feet across, and hold the rabbit ears above your head and turn slowly around. Surely in Lindenwold, you should be able to pick up some signal this way. You might try scanning while holding the rabbit-ears perpendicular to the direction to Roxborough (maybe around 270 degrees, I'm sure you know better). If the rabbit-ears can receive 6, even a little, and your fancy antenna can't, then at least you've narrowed it down to the antenna, cable, or distribution system.
post #3708 of 3803
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeL24 View Post

I lost Channel 6 yesterday after the storm and still have not got it back. Zero signal strength. Channel 12 is coming in about 75% of normal signal strength. All other channels fine. No discernible damage to the antenna. I re-scanned channels and it does detect 6-1, 6-2 and 6-3 but I get zero signal strength on them - which puzzles me since if there is zero signal strength why does the TV detect it?
rescans depending on equipment searches for new channels and doesn't delete old channels even if it has zero signal.
post #3709 of 3803
Quote:
Originally Posted by frank70 View Post

2) VHF Low is highly susceptible to interference from pulse noise (anything, particularly certain kinds of motors, that internally generates sparks). It is again unlikely but possible that something nearby is generating enough such interference to render the signal unusable - something that wasn't running before.
VHF is also sensitive to home network interference. I re-arranged a bunch of the network gear in my home and installed a 40' run of CAT5-e (UTP) from one end of the house to the other to connect two network switches together. The most convenient method was to run the network cable through the basement along side my RG6 antenna coax run. When I did that it knocked out WPVI and WHYY but didn't seem to have any effect on the UHF stations. If I unplug that network cable at either of the switches the VHF channels come back again.
post #3710 of 3803
Anyone have any luck receiving NY stations (CBS 2, NBC 4, ABC 7) in the PHL NJ suburbs (Haddon Heights)? Trying to get NY football on Sundays and was thinking about trying a long range (60+ mile) antenna, preamp on roof. Your thoughts, experiences and suggestions would be welcome.
post #3711 of 3803
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken.F View Post

VHF is also sensitive to home network interference. I re-arranged a bunch of the network gear in my home and installed a 40' run of CAT5-e (UTP) from one end of the house to the other to connect two network switches together. The most convenient method was to run the network cable through the basement along side my RG6 antenna coax run. When I did that it knocked out WPVI and WHYY but didn't seem to have any effect on the UHF stations. If I unplug that network cable at either of the switches the VHF channels come back again.
You're right about that - I formerly had a yagi-style antenna in my attic, with some CAT5E cables running beneath it. When I changed a switch in the attic from 10BaseT to 100BaseT, reception went to the dogs. So I throttled it back to 10BaseT. Later, I replaced that antenna (which is still laying up there 'cause it's too big to conveniently remove) with a DB-8 style UHF antenna in a far-off place in the attic plus a folded dipole for 6, also away from the cables, went back to 100BaseT on the ethernet and everything is dandy.

So MikeL24 might want to think about any recent network changes (note that it wasn't the ethernet cables or signal per-se in my case, but the change to 100Mbps that had the ill effect.)
post #3712 of 3803
Thanks for all the good suggestions. I am embarrassed to admit it but it was operator error: loose coax connection. In trying to see if there was network interference, I started with first things first and checked the coax connection to the TV/DVR splitter. It was slightly loose (less then a quarter of a turn). Channel 6 went to 100% signal strength. I loosened the connection less then a quarter turn and lost the channel again. I would never have thought that a loose connection would wipe out VHF yet have no impact on UHF.
post #3713 of 3803
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulnj View Post

Anyone have any luck receiving NY stations (CBS 2, NBC 4, ABC 7) in the PHL NJ suburbs (Haddon Heights)? Trying to get NY football on Sundays and was thinking about trying a long range (60+ mile) antenna, preamp on roof. Your thoughts, experiences and suggestions would be welcome.

My HD7084's range is 60 miles and I tried but cannot pick up NYC stations. TV Fool says I am more like 85 miles away from NYC antennas and my antenna height is only 18 feet. So maybe more long range antenna and more height can do it for you.
post #3714 of 3803
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulnj View Post

Anyone have any luck receiving NY stations (CBS 2, NBC 4, ABC 7) in the PHL NJ suburbs (Haddon Heights)? Trying to get NY football on Sundays and was thinking about trying a long range (60+ mile) antenna, preamp on roof. Your thoughts, experiences and suggestions would be welcome.
absolutely won't work. Perhaps see if you can fool Aereo.com into thinking you're in NYC and stream it from them.
post #3715 of 3803
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeL24 View Post

Thanks for all the good suggestions. I am embarrassed to admit it but it was operator error: loose coax connection. In trying to see if there was network interference, I started with first things first and checked the coax connection to the TV/DVR splitter. It was slightly loose (less then a quarter of a turn). Channel 6 went to 100% signal strength. I loosened the connection less then a quarter turn and lost the channel again. I would never have thought that a loose connection would wipe out VHF yet have no impact on UHF.
Sounds like a marginal connector on the end of that cable. The center conductor should be long enough to engage the center contact in the splitter BEFORE you actually start screwing the outer ring down; in your case sounds like the center conductor is not protruding enough. I suggest you replace the connector and leave plenty of center conductor, maybe sticking out 1/8 inch from the outer ring, so it goes into the splitter first. A properly installed F connector should look like this.

Could also be a splitter with a center contact that is not springy enough, or otherwise compromised.

If the center conductor was simply a very tiny distance from the center contact of the splitter, there was no direct connection, but enough of the UHF signals leaked across the gap (like a tiny transmitter and antenna), just not enough of the VHF.
Edited by frank70 - 8/17/13 at 12:34pm
post #3716 of 3803
MikeL24:

I used to live in Columbus, NJ, about 60 miles from NYC and most of the NY stations were very reliable, but to get them from Haddon Heights would be next to impossible. Your only chance would be with a very large antenna mounted on a tower.
post #3717 of 3803
Looked like a challenge in Haddon Heights, but now looks impossible. So many trees prevent DirecTV signal so streaming looks like the only way. Does Aereo just needs an in market billing address? They don't do reverse lookup on the IP address and block out of market do they?

Thinking of using Sony TV or WD TV to stream into Samsung HD TV via HDMI now. Again, thoughts, ideas and suggestions are much appreciated.
post #3718 of 3803
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Max View Post

Anybody know if it's possible to build an antenna that's specifically designed to pick up one RF only?

If so, I'm interested in RF 38
If your location is bad you're not gonna pick up WWOR no matter what kind of antenna you have
post #3719 of 3803
Hmmmm. There seems to be a problem with my post disappearing. So let's try this AGAIN

Does anyone know if there's a way to construct an antenna tuned to one frequency? I'm interested in RF 38.
post #3720 of 3803
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Max View Post

Does anyone know if there's a way to construct an antenna tuned to one frequency? I'm interested in RF 38.
UHF wavelengths are so short (half-wavelength across the entire UHF band only varies from about 6 inches to a foot) that an antenna tuned precisely to a single channel is pretty much going to pick up the whole band anyway (did you ever wonder why the UHF element on a pair of rabbit-ears is not adjustable in size, while the VHF element is?) Channel 38 is somewhere in the middle too, so if you're trying to reject other UHF channels and select only 38, the antenna isn't going to do it. No doubt an active filter could be built for that frequency with a 6MHz bandpass. Why, specifically, would you want such an antenna? If you're dead set on it and really want to tune a little dipole for that channel, make it 9.564 inches across.
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