Candor, NY - Fringe OTA antenna help - Page 7 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #181 of 206 Old 03-09-2018, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
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You asked about noise margins at the extreme low end of what can be received. This is KRCB RF23 85 miles from my south san jose location on top of Sonoma Mountain. TVFool won't even show it to me on their plots as it is below their threshold of -20dB noise margin. This is from a 91XG -> 20' of RG6 -> SiliconDust HDHR4-2US tuner. The antenna isn't even direct aimed, it is off by 20 degrees. Most would say you need a preamp to pick up a signal this weak, but the tuner has a very good noise figure (they don't publish it) and the coax isn't that long. No, it is not reliable and I don't try to use automated recordings on my PC. Were I to mast-mount the tuner I think the reliability would improve significantly. If it were important I could improve my setup and probably make it reliable, but it is a PBS station that is largely duplicative, and it is moving to VHF 5 after the repack so any efforts would be short-lived.

So yes, Bob, I think every dB of loss you remove, every dB of antenna gain you add and every dB better noise figure in your preamp will pay off for you in a marginal reception situation.
Very nice information! .. I hope I can get a few stations from rochester, but I have my doubts.. They are listed as Tropo, and are 90 miles away.. However, the stations just above them on the list are also all shown as very weak, yet I get them at 45-70 when I aim the antenna at them. All strong, all the time. You will see a station with call letters WYDC.. Its always there, no dropouts ever.. Not real strong, but the way it shows on the graph it should be a real problem child. On tvfool it shows as ch 22. Right below that. slightly weaker the Rochester stations show up. I am hoping against hope that by raising the system 10 feet higher, going to separate large high gain antennas, with an upward tilt, and replacing all cheap cable co. coax with good stuff, I might get a few more channels even if only part time.. If so, I might consider getting much more serious about this, and opening my wallet a little more..


https://rabbitears.info/search.php?r...=dBm&height=30


http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...903805e0d6d21f

actually, never mind... After looking closely at the tvfool chart, I noticed that although the power on the Rochester stations looked close to stations I get solid, the NM jumped from around -16, down to around -24-28 NM... Thats not going to happen I imagine.... oh well, my antenna will be here tuesday, if I get a break in the weather I will have some answers to my questions next week... bob

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post #182 of 206 Old 04-03-2018, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Its been either snowing here or its 33 and raining all day every day for 2 months here.. however a few days ago, i got a couple hour window of 40 degrees without rain, until the snow at night.. again..
I managed to install my HDB91X UHF antenna and my stellar labs 30-2576 High VHF antenna installed... The SL antenna is the larger unit, but I left off the front 4 element section and 1 reflector making it identical to the 30-2575.. In several tests I found the small profile was much lighter, and provided more than enough gain for my needs..

I will need to do some refining on the temp install as the coax leads into the RCA preamp are 6 feet each, and will be replaced with 2 footers, and I am also going to replace the main coax into the house with quad shield...
Performance about what I expected, with a few exceptions..
My closest stations from Binghamton show about 70-80 on the meter and bar graph.. Plenty to keep things from dropping out in the bright sun, and about the same as they were with the GE 29884.. Those stations are about 21 miles away, through several 1500-2000 foot high hills... The 2 Scranton VHF stations are now in that same strength range... maybe 60-75 on the meter.. WNEP/WVIA has gone from about 25-45 with the 29884 to about 50-70... I also get WQPX at about 35-45 and no drop outs, and WOLF TV around 45-55, again no drop outs.. These last 2 stations were only solid maybe 10-20 % of the time.. WQPX always dropped out by 9 am most days.. I don't watch it anyway, but just mentioned it as a reference... So, what I got with the 2 large antennas replacing 1 small one is a decent improvement in signal all around, with no more dropping out.. what I did NOT get is any other stations such as WSWB out of Scranton... Never scanned that one ever, but its readily available here once you get up around 1300 feet.. I am at 1150 feet..
Once you go up the hills near me, its a different world, with 5 markets available, and most very strong.. HUGE difference a few hundred feet makes, once you get closer to direct LOS... I was hoping to get more but it just doesn't reach this far down the hill from what I can determine.. Also I have a few translators that show on TVFool and Rabbit ears as being stronger than some stations I lock in solid, but I have never scanned any of them at any time.. They are also very strong once you get above1300 feet.. I suppose if I installed a 60 foot tower, I would do better with numbers, but meantime, the bigger antennas have increased signal quality if not quantity.

I did have to "split the difference" between Binghamton and Scranton as always, as they are not on the same heading, but are close enough to get both if you aim correctly.. Its a balancing act, and as always, I favored direction a small amount toward Scranton and thats probably why I am seeing similar signal strength/quality on the meter despite the big difference in distance.

All the stations from Elmira/Corning are very strong as well, when I turn the antenna toward them.. they have always been strong and reliable, and are now at about 90 on the meter, despite both TV Fool and rabbit ears showing them very weak. WYDC in Corning shows at -16.5 NM which should be pretty much unobtainable,, yet its always strong and clear here.. Something is amiss in the terrain maps or something.... I do recommend both antennas.. they work very well, and are really well priced...bob


http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...9038aabbb77ba3

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post #183 of 206 Old 04-03-2018, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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One thing I forgot to mention was the extreme directionality of both units. NOTHING comes in on the back or sides of either antenna but did nicely on the GE 29884 during periods of high signal strength, at night, early mornings or in very cold weather..
I would not use these units lets say at the tops of the local hills, as better than half of the available stations would not come in with the highly directional nature of these units.. In my tests with all these antennas up there, the 29884 was a better choice as it would receive Scranton VHF and UHF stations off the back with good strength from 80 miles away, Elmira/Corning off the sides with good strong signal, and Syracuse 45 miles away with over 90%, with that tiny antenna, no booster, and only about 7-8 feet AGL.. The larger units did not perform as well in that unusual situation where you had stations coming in from every direction all with good strength.. Too many were rejected by the highly directional design.. If I lived up there, I would probably use one of the Winegard omni designs... bob

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post #184 of 206 Old 04-03-2018, 01:37 PM
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Congratulations! Going from intermittent reception to reliable is a good accomplishment, especially given your difficult circumstances. Omnidirectional reception is a rare occurrence that only some will experience in ideal circumstances. Even here in the South San Francisco Bay area TV market I can't make that happen with 100% reliability.

Receiving -16dB NM signals is theoretically possible given a low-noise receiver and pre-amp, and of course the TVFool numbers are just estimates.

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post #185 of 206 Old 04-03-2018, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Congratulations! Going from intermittent reception to reliable is a good accomplishment, especially given your difficult circumstances. Omnidirectional reception is a rare occurrence that only some will experience in ideal circumstances. Even here in the South San Francisco Bay area TV market I can't make that happen with 100% reliability.

Receiving -16dB NM signals is theoretically possible given a low-noise receiver and pre-amp, and of course the TVFool numbers are just estimates.

I think a lot has to do with elevation.. I thought I was just in a bad area for OTA.. WRONG!.. My particular house is not good, but go a mile away and up a hill a few hundred feet, wow... Signals from every direction, and all clear and strong.. 58 channels with just a UHF antenna at 7 feet AGL from my pickup.. With a serious antenna, at 25 feet , probably 75- 80 or more from 5 markets, and a bunch of local translators, and LP stations.. Drive 1 minute and you are once again in a dead zone.. When I started tests in different signal environments, with an invertor, a small tv and pickup mounted antenna my eyes were opened at what rough terrain could do to TV signals, both good and bad... The hilltops are just saturated with OTA signals , and everything is strong!, That would be the area for an omni,, bob
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I think a lot has to do with elevation.. I thought I was just in a bad area for OTA.. WRONG!.. My particular house is not good, but go a mile away and up a hill a few hundred feet, wow... Signals from every direction, and all clear and strong.. 58 channels with just a UHF antenna at 7 feet AGL from my pickup.. With a serious antenna, at 25 feet , probably 75- 80 or more from 5 markets, and a bunch of local translators, and LP stations.. Drive 1 minute and you are once again in a dead zone.. When I started tests in different signal environments, with an invertor, a small tv and pickup mounted antenna my eyes were opened at what rough terrain could do to TV signals, both good and bad... The hilltops are just saturated with OTA signals , and everything is strong!, That would be the area for an omni,, bob
Well then Bob, the answer is simple.
Move!
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post #187 of 206 Old 04-03-2018, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Well then Bob, the answer is simple.
Move!
actually, in the event i do buy another place one day, I would check the signal strength and channel availability first.. Never again would I buy a place where I had to fight to get OTA TV... bob
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actually, in the event i do buy another place one day, I would check the signal strength and channel availability first.. Never again would I buy a place where I had to fight to get OTA TV... bob
When a friend buys a house, the first thing I do is check tvfool.com to see what they should be able to receive.
Had one friend buy a house high on a hill with no trees around, and although he moved again before we got an antenna up, he could have easily gotten stations from Indianapolis, Terre Haute, and Louisville KY.
Others can't expect much of anything except one local station and a pair of religious stations in Trafalgar IN.
Location, location, location.
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post #189 of 206 Old 04-04-2018, 06:45 AM - Thread Starter
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When a friend buys a house, the first thing I do is check tvfool.com to see what they should be able to receive.
Had one friend buy a house high on a hill with no trees around, and although he moved again before we got an antenna up, he could have easily gotten stations from Indianapolis, Terre Haute, and Louisville KY.
Others can't expect much of anything except one local station and a pair of religious stations in Trafalgar IN.
Location, location, location.

absolutely.. For decades [here since 1991] I was under the mistaken impression that there just "wasn't much here" as far as TV signals.. just too far out... SO wrong!... there is a TON here.. Its just that only the people ON the hills get signal.. those living under the hills lose out.. sadly thats about 80% or more..
Also- even at say 1400 feet elevation, you might get nothing because you are in a depression and the hills around you are 1600 feet,,, OR, I have found a place at 800 feet that gets Syracuse because there is a "cut" in between 2 several mile long, 1600 foot high hills...
One part of the same hill will get Scranton, and perhaps Binghamton, only another side will get Syracuse only, another part Elmira only, and on the same hill on top, you get all 4 of those, plus rochester... If the big rocky hills and steep drumlins were not here, this area would be a gold mine for OTA.. As it is, its a big crap shoot!. I guess I should be satisfied with what I have.. bob
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post #190 of 206 Old 04-16-2018, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I will be replacing all my coax with solid copper core 4 shield some time this week. Its here, just waiting out the HORRID weather.. Snow again tonight and tomorrow!. Shortening the 2 lead ins to the RCA preamp from about 6 feet each antenna to 4 feet for UHF, 2 feet VHF, plus going up another 5-8 feet or so with mast height w/ guy wires.. I really don't know what i am trying to achieve to be honest, as i have all solid signals now with zero drop outs even mid day.. I suppose i am hoping against hope that I might get some new channels which simply don't exist... However it IS kind of fun getting solid locks on stations 75 miles away through mountainous terrain, and then seeing those signals improve with each new upgrade in the system.. I am now at 65-70 on the signal meter mid day on the UHF and VHF stations, and at night getting close to 80... I am seeing just how strong I can get a 2 edge signal through really tough terrain.. I know I can't get 100, but each time I have added something, its gone up, and I kind of enjoy the 'chase"... Maybe I'll dig up another station I haven seen yet, who knows??. I will report back with results just in case anyone is interested in such things.... bob
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post #191 of 206 Old 04-16-2018, 03:24 PM
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Sounds good. I can't visualize your setup, but would suggest you try to place the preamp the shortest possible distance from the UHF antenna connector and make UHF the short cable. Loss at UHF is worse than VHF, so better to make VHF the longer cable. Unless there is something going on I don't understand, you should be able to get the UHF cable down to just the distance from the connector to the mast-mounted preamp.

You may not be wasting time with these exercises. It is hard to know exactly what your meter is telling you, but if it is signal quality you may have only modest margin against signal loss. More margin may carry you through wind and weather and other atmospheric changes over time and seasons.

Sounds like you made a difficult reception situation work!

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post #192 of 206 Old 04-16-2018, 06:59 PM
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I will be replacing all my coax with solid copper core 4 shield some time this week. Its here, just waiting out the HORRID weather.. Snow again tonight and tomorrow!. Shortening the 2 lead ins to the RCA preamp from about 6 feet each antenna to 4 feet for UHF, 2 feet VHF, plus going up another 5-8 feet or so with mast height w/ guy wires.. I really don't know what i am trying to achieve to be honest, as i have all solid signals now with zero drop outs even mid day.. I suppose i am hoping against hope that I might get some new channels which simply don't exist... However it IS kind of fun getting solid locks on stations 75 miles away through mountainous terrain, and then seeing those signals improve with each new upgrade in the system.. I am now at 65-70 on the signal meter mid day on the UHF and VHF stations, and at night getting close to 80... I am seeing just how strong I can get a 2 edge signal through really tough terrain.. I know I can't get 100, but each time I have added something, its gone up, and I kind of enjoy the 'chase"... Maybe I'll dig up another station I haven seen yet, who knows??. I will report back with results just in case anyone is interested in such things.... bob
Have watched on this forum your attempts to get good signals, and I'm really happy you have gotten as far as you have.
Somehow I suspect it will be very hard to improve from where you are right now, but I wish you luck!
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post #193 of 206 Old 04-16-2018, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the encouragement gentlemen.. I can't really go much shorter than 4 ft on the UHF unless I make it the lower antenna. I would prefer to keep it on top.. I am getting pretty similar numbers now VHF and UHF on the graph/ number meter on the set... Lopping 2 feet off is better than nothing I guess.. I am really interested to see if the quad shielded solid copper cable does anything for signal strength.. I have read some reviews of people gaining several channels by using it over copper clad coax ,,, I have my doubts but its just kind of a fun experiment to me.. There is a UHF station in Scranton I want- WSWB... It comes in on the hilltops around here but not at my place.. Its the lowest power UHF station from Scranton at 100 kw..
The other 3 Scranton UHF stations are 220/350/500 kw and I get them all in solid.
No big deal if I don't see it, but I just wanted to try.. Also there are several low power translators in the area that I should be seeing, but never have, even once.. They are all repeats of what i have already so no great loss, but I do find it interesting that they show as stronger on tvfool than a lot of stations I get solid, yet I have never seen even once..
Just seeing if I can improve on what I already have done here with all the tweaks...
Also going to add another UHF antenna to get all the Elmira stations.. They are not needed as they are just triples of everything I already have doubles of, lol...
I only wish I could get a few more of the diginets I am interested in, but these small markets all use networks such as Ion /MyNetwork/Fox as subchannels..
Then they usually go with Laff or Escape which I have triples of as well ... I figured the more stations I can bring in, the better chance I have of one of them switching to or adding a sub I will actually watch.... bob
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post #194 of 206 Old 04-16-2018, 11:05 PM
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Thanks for the encouragement gentlemen.. I can't really go much shorter than 4 ft on the UHF unless I make it the lower antenna. I would prefer to keep it on top.
Sure you can, the law of gravity doesn't stop you from running the VHF cable up to the preamp. Making the preamp output cable a couple feet longer to accommodate the higher placement has no effect.

Anyway, sounds like it's working well.

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post #195 of 206 Old 04-17-2018, 07:36 AM
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Thanks for the encouragement gentlemen.. I can't really go much shorter than 4 ft on the UHF unless I make it the lower antenna. I would prefer to keep it on top.. I am getting pretty similar numbers now VHF and UHF on the graph/ number meter on the set... Lopping 2 feet off is better than nothing I guess.. I am really interested to see if the quad shielded solid copper cable does anything for signal strength.

Quad shield coax is a waste for almost everyone. It has the same loss as other RG-6 and the additional shielding is unnecessary unless you're in a high RF environment, like a high power transmitter next door.

You can drive yourself crazy trying to get ever weaker stations. You can have the best antenna system in the world and there will always be a few more stations that are just a couple dB too weak to receive.
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Quad shield coax is a waste for almost everyone. It has the same loss as other RG-6 and the additional shielding is unnecessary unless you're in a high RF environment, like a high power transmitter next door.

You can drive yourself crazy trying to get ever weaker stations. You can have the best antenna system in the world and there will always be a few more stations that are just a couple dB too weak to receive.
Understood.. I have high tension power lines not 50 feet in front of the antennas.. Not sure that counts.. The main power lines that run up the hill to other homes in the area, as well as the line into the house.. No where else to put the antenna to avoid them, as they entirely block the signal path to binghamton and scranton.. I would have to put a tower up to get above them, and I have no intention of doing that.. They haven't seemed to cause any problem, but again, I am just doing a "shot in the dark' experiment based on a few vague reports of folks getting huge improvement when going from standard coax to quad full copper.. I am with you, its probably in vain, but its just a fun experiment to me really... bob
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post #197 of 206 Old 04-17-2018, 11:20 AM
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If you want to make a measurable improvement a Kitztech low-noise preamp would get you there. It is measured to have at least a couple dB lower noise figure than your RCA, and you could probably add 0.5dB to that shortening the UHF coax down to nearly nothing. If you put the UHF/VHF signal joiner after the preamp you could add at least another 0.5dB for removing the loss ahead of the preamp (your RCA two-nput amp has it built in).

A 3dB improvement is not insignificant (double the received signal), but I really don't know whether it would gain you more stations. The only way to find out is try it, but you're looking at $100+ in parts. It would, of course, buy you more noise margin. But you want more stations.

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post #198 of 206 Old 04-17-2018, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
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If you want to make a measurable improvement a Kitztech low-noise preamp would get you there. It is measured to have at least a couple dB lower noise figure than your RCA, and you could probably add 0.5dB to that shortening the UHF coax down to nearly nothing. If you put the UHF/VHF signal joiner after the preamp you could add at least another 0.5dB for removing the loss ahead of the preamp (your RCA two-nput amp has it built in).

A 3dB improvement is not insignificant (double the received signal), but I really don't know whether it would gain you more stations. The only way to find out is try it, but you're looking at $100+ in parts. It would, of course, buy you more noise margin. But you want more stations.

https://rabbitears.info/search.php?r...=dBm&height=30

Its just not worth it yet ... when I think realistically, I get about all I am going to get... maybe.

On this Rabbit ears report, I get everything down to and including WYDC, and all come in strong depending on how the antenna is turned.
One odd thing is I get NONE of the translators listed and never have even once, although rabbitears and tvfool show them as stronger than some stations I get in solid at 75%-80%..
tvfool shows WYDC at -16.5 NM, yet I get it solid... There is no great loss not getting the translators as 3 of them are translators for WNEP which I get solid from the main transmitter.. To put it simply, other than WSWB ch 31 and the translators, I am getting everything that both sites show I can get..
Thats no loss either as it has 3 channels I can already get, and that weird OTA sports network that shows old world series games..

I was hoping to be able to pick up Rochester, but at -25 NM its just not going to happen.. To be honest, I am getting all I can get I think, and any "improvements" I make will most likely just bring the numbers and graph up a bit on the tuner... If I scan something new and interesting or get it in at times, I would certainly buy a better/cleaner mast mount preamp to try and dial it in better.. I am going to wait a bit and see how the new wiring and higher mast work out before spending any more money.. bob

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post #199 of 206 Old 04-17-2018, 12:18 PM
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I was hoping to be able to pick up Rochester, but at -25 NM its just not going to happen.. To be honest, I am getting all I can get I think, and any "improvements" I make will most likely just bring the numbers and graph up a bit on the tuner... If I scan something new and interesting or get it in at times, I would certainly buy a better/cleaner mast mount preamp to try and dial it in better.. I am going to wait a bit and see how the new wiring and higher mast work out before spending any more money.. bob
You'll never have absolute certainty regarding return on investment for better hardware vs. stations received. I can receive a sub -20dB noise margin RF 23 station with my tuner on 20' of coax, no preamp (except for the tuner's internal preamp). So one never knows what might be possible with good enough equipment. But you may be near the point of diminishing returns. If you can afford it and are enjoying the chase, sure why not. If money is tight, you've got a good setup where you're at now.

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post #200 of 206 Old 04-17-2018, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post
You'll never have absolute certainty regarding return on investment for better hardware vs. stations received. I can receive a sub -20dB noise margin RF 23 station with my tuner on 20' of coax, no preamp (except for the tuner's internal preamp). So one never knows what might be possible with good enough equipment. But you may be near the point of diminishing returns. If you can afford it and are enjoying the chase, sure why not. If money is tight, you've got a good setup where you're at now.
Money is not a problem at all.. I will keep an open mind as to your suggestion for certain... I like what you said about diminishing returns.. I am thinking thats about where I am at, but as you alluded to, I can't be 100% sure... I will post a report here within a few days when everything gets installed.. bob
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post #201 of 206 Old 04-17-2018, 01:08 PM
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Understood.. I have high tension power lines not 50 feet in front of the antennas.. Not sure that counts.. The main power lines that run up the hill to other homes in the area, as well as the line into the house.. No where else to put the antenna to avoid them, as they entirely block the signal path to binghamton and scranton.. I would have to put a tower up to get above them, and I have no intention of doing that.. They haven't seemed to cause any problem, but again, I am just doing a "shot in the dark' experiment based on a few vague reports of folks getting huge improvement when going from standard coax to quad full copper.. I am with you, its probably in vain, but its just a fun experiment to me really... bob

There's another problem receiving very weak stations. They're almost always distant non line of sight stations. These sorts of paths are dominated by temperature inversions which can enhance or degrade signals. That means these stations will almost always be part time stations as there is no antenna you can install to compensate for these affects. I've seen signals on some paths vary as much as 40 dB due to temperature inversions. That completely dwarfs anything you can do with an antenna.

I'm 110 miles from Sutro Tower in San Francisco and under nominal conditions (no temperature inversions) I can receive most of those stations. But temperature inversions are very common and often reduce the signals to levels that are not possible to receive. My philosophy was to receive my local stations (54 mile 2 edge path) nearly 100% and anything else is just a bonus that I look at when they're coming in. I only record the local stations.

Power lines are not a problem unless they are arcing at the poles. The antenna itself will receive this, not the coax. Regular RG6 has something on the order of 90 dB isolation. Anyone reporting a huge improvement with quad shield had some other problem that got fixed by replacing the coax.

TV DXing can be lots of fun but you run out of possible catches eventually.
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post #202 of 206 Old 04-17-2018, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post
There's another problem receiving very weak stations. They're almost always distant non line of sight stations. These sorts of paths are dominated by temperature inversions which can enhance or degrade signals. That means these stations will almost always be part time stations as there is no antenna you can install to compensate for these affects. I've seen signals on some paths vary as much as 40 dB due to temperature inversions. That completely dwarfs anything you can do with an antenna.

I'm 110 miles from Sutro Tower in San Francisco and under nominal conditions (no temperature inversions) I can receive most of those stations. But temperature inversions are very common and often reduce the signals to levels that are not possible to receive. My philosophy was to receive my local stations (54 mile 2 edge path) nearly 100% and anything else is just a bonus that I look at when they're coming in. I only record the local stations.

Power lines are not a problem unless they are arcing at the poles. The antenna itself will receive this, not the coax. Regular RG6 has something on the order of 90 dB isolation. Anyone reporting a huge improvement with quad shield had some other problem that got fixed by replacing the coax.

TV DXing can be lots of fun but you run out of possible catches eventually.
Several of my now strong solid stations were part time. not long ago. Pretty well documented early in this thread... they are all solid now, No more issues no more dropouts since putting serious metal in the air, and ditching the indoors "signal booster" in favor of the RCA mast mount..
Even UHF at 75 miles through the Endless Mountains region of Pa..

I guess the problem is there simply isn't enough of what i want to receive.. I am getting pretty much everything I can at my elevation... Up the hills another 400 feet and there are dozens more stations from every direction.. I am blocked from the 2 biggest markets by a 1600 foot high 5 mile long rock.. I am at 1100 feet on the southern slope of that rock, totally blocking Syracuse and several other small markets and translators that are north only 47 miles away...
According toTVfool I would get them in range if I went with a 350 foot tower...

I understand what you are saying and agree 100%... If there was a big increase in actual numbers of channels after installing quad/copper coax, it means the old coax was shot to hell.!..
I just got intrigued by the reviews from guys that said they got much improved signal and more channels, and figured for about $30 it was worth a try... I really have my doubts but wanted to try it just for the heck of it...
I would love to be a DX'er but i have never seen a tropo event or a signal skip here, at any time, and honestly don't think they exist here..
Never had a signal that didn't originate in Binghamton, Scranton, Elmira/Corning.. I think this is just the wrong area for that sort of thing... bob
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post #203 of 206 Old 04-18-2018, 03:10 AM
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https://rabbitears.info/search.php?r...=dBm&height=30

...One odd thing is I get NONE of the translators listed and never have even once, although rabbitears and tvfool show them as stronger than some stations I get in solid at 75%-80%..
tvfool shows WYDC at -16.5 NM, yet I get it solid... There is no great loss not getting the translators as 3 of them are translators for WNEP which I get solid from the main transmitter.. To put it simply, other than WSWB ch 31 and the translators, I am getting everything that both sites show I can get..
Thats no loss either as it has 3 channels I can already get, and that weird OTA sports network that shows old world series games..
Have you been able to receive any of the missing translators from a different location in your area? Just wondering if they are actually on the air; in my TVFool report there are two low power stations (RF 26 & 29) that show up as very strong, even though they have never been on the air - and thankfully so, since I depend on a weak RF 29 station (WANN) for the Comet network.

One tool for hunting those elusive/borderline stations that I have found to be absolutely essential is a spectrum analyzer. By "seeing" the raw RF signals I can tell whether I need just a couple more dB to get a signal lock, or whether it's hopeless case. Or being able to verify when a station has gone off the air, and not just weakened by atmospherics etc. And incredibly useful to fine tune antenna location/direction. In my early cord cutting days (2016) it is scary to think of how many hours (days?) I spent in an endless loop of "change antenna position/direction, re-scan for channels"...."buy new antenna/preamp"....repeat.
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post #204 of 206 Old 04-18-2018, 06:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Have you been able to receive any of the missing translators from a different location in your area? Just wondering if they are actually on the air; in my TVFool report there are two low power stations (RF 26 & 29) that show up as very strong, even though they have never been on the air - and thankfully so, since I depend on a weak RF 29 station (WANN) for the Comet network.

One tool for hunting those elusive/borderline stations that I have found to be absolutely essential is a spectrum analyzer. By "seeing" the raw RF signals I can tell whether I need just a couple more dB to get a signal lock, or whether it's hopeless case. Or being able to verify when a station has gone off the air, and not just weakened by atmospherics etc. And incredibly useful to fine tune antenna location/direction. In my early cord cutting days (2016) it is scary to think of how many hours (days?) I spent in an endless loop of "change antenna position/direction, re-scan for channels"...."buy new antenna/preamp"....repeat.
Yes, they are all in the area, but not right here at my place.. I have gotten all of them on streets that are on higher elevation with my portable antenna/inverter setup in my truck... Around here, its all about elevation.. The hilltops are loaded with signals, drive 30 seconds down the hill, nothing or very little.. I guess i am simply frustrated, knowing whats up in the air witout being able to reach it!... bob
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post #205 of 206 Old 04-18-2018, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by steel guitar guy View Post
Yes, they are all in the area, but not right here at my place.. I have gotten all of them on streets that are on higher elevation with my portable antenna/inverter setup in my truck... Around here, its all about elevation.. The hilltops are loaded with signals, drive 30 seconds down the hill, nothing or very little.. I guess i am simply frustrated, knowing whats up in the air witout being able to reach it!... bob
Sounds like you want to duplicate @Calaveras setup, or at least a tower. Never looked into these myself, how tall a tower do you think you need? Maybe it isn't totally unreasonable. I'm not familiar with the lay of your property, but could you remote-locate it at the highest spot on your property.

If the tower height on your property is impractical, is there property available closer to the top of a hill that receives all your stations? So long as you can come to an agreement with a neighbor TV viewer, there is nothing that says the antenna has to be on your property. Put networked tuners up at the top and use a parabolic antenna wireless access point to network to your house. Even better, both locations have high-speed internet access so TV can be tuned over an already-existing broadband network, saving you the wireless link. It may sound elaborate, but this is all consumer grade stuff readily and inexpensively available. I actually have such a setup. Were I to give you network access to my tuners you could watch and record TV off my antenna near San Francisco in full resolution.

Much can be done, and with consumer technology available today it isn't all that difficult or expensive.

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post #206 of 206 Old 04-18-2018, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Not practical... If you check out these 2 TVFool reports, you'll see that I gain nothing even if I put a 90 foot tower up...
A little more strength on stations that I already get clearly...
I might get 1 Christian low power station out of Elmira at 90 feet, but even that station shows at -13.5 NM, so its a crap shoot..

I would have to go up 300 or more feet, as the hill in my yard goes to 1600+ feet, and I am at 1100 or so feet.. Even then I might not get what I want. Syracuse is totally cut off by that hill, and thats what I would like to get,, Won't happen here, but a mile away, its very strong... It is what it is, and I am doing ok actually.. I have 33 strong channels, and when I add a 2nd antenna pointed at Elmira in a few days, I will gain another 15.. thats plenty really, and many would be thrilled with that..
the reason I am annoyed I guess, is EVERYTHING including subchannels is in triplicate.. 3 each of- abc-nbc-cbs-fox-cw- mynetwork-Ion-PBS-Laff- and 2 of Escape...
I was hoping for some of the better diginets , but they all seem to use the same ones in the 3 markets I can reach.. Problem is, there just aren't enough broadcasters until you get to the Larger cities like Buffalo and Syracuse...
Its no big deal, summers on the way, and I don't watch as much TV then anyway.... Its all good.... bob

30 feet http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...9038aabbb77ba3

90 feet http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...903889c525de18
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