Hello LA OTA gang.
Newbie here. Just cut the cord.
I live in the Hollywood Hills just north of the Sunset Strip.
Put an RCA ANT751E Yagi antenna (70 mile range, no amp) on my roof. Pointed directly at MT. Wilson (64% true from my spot). Ran a quality 100ft Mediabridge RG6 coax down to the latest generation AirTv dual tuner black box.
To watch programming via WiFi, I'm using the Sling app (paid subscription version) on both my TV (Roku streaming stick Plus) and my iPhone (iOS). Also have a new WD MyPassport 2TB portable hard drive plugged into my AirTV box for recording OTA.
I have 1-2 mountain crests between me and Mt. Wilson. This is verified by my TVFool report.
(Apparently, since I'm new here, and my post count is less than 5, I can't yet post a link to my TVFool report, but I will when I am able.)
On the bright side, I'm getting good solid consistent (2-3 of 5 bars) reception on all the major networks. CBS2, NBC4, KTLA5, ABC7, KCAL9, and KCOP13 are all coming in clearly and seldom pixilate or drop out. I'm quite happy about this considering I'm in the hills without a direct line of sight to Mt. Wilson.
On the down side, I'm having trouble getting in the PBS stations (which I really love and want), and some of the better secondary stations (which would be fun to have).
Interestingly, if do a rescan several times a day, over a period of several days, the tuner on the AirTV box will occasionally pick them up, I guess depending on the right weather and troposphere conditions. But even if I leave the scan in place, once that "ideal weather window" closes, I get a 'no signal' message on those channels.
I get 24 KVCR PBS (Empire, FNX, Encore, Create), 30 KPXN (ion, Qubo, ion Life), and 56 KDOC (MeTV, Comet, Charge!) in consistently alongside the networks mentioned above.
The ones I get in rarely and not consistently that I'd really like to are:
28 KCET PBS
50 KOCE PBS SoCal
58 KLCS PBS
.. and to a less important extent, any of these..
34 KMEX Univision (Bounce, Justice)
46 KFTR UniMás (getTV, Escape, Grit, Quest)
54 KAZA (MeTV, Decades)
ALL of these station are also broadcasting from Mt Wilson, 20 miles from me at 64*.
I tried adding a Wingard LNA-200 pre-amp at the antenna, but quickly learned that it didn't help. The decibel boost seems to be too strong, so the strong stations just slightly overload and prevent the weaker signal stations from coming in at all, even in ideal weather conditions. So I've had better results without it.
So I'm think of trying:
1) pointing the antenna up to 20* in either direction from its current 64* direct aim at Mt. Wilson, with the hope that it might lessen the strength of the stronger signals, and allow the weaker ones to come through. I suspect this probably won't work, and the I'll just start having issues with the good signal channels, but maybe I'll get lucky?
2) trying a lower-decibel adjustable gain pre-amp, and just turning it up enough to make up for the ~6db loss over the 100ft coax, plus maybe just a few extra decibels, with the hope that those inconsistent signals might become more consistent, without the stronger signals getting boosted enough to blow them out. I've only found one quality adjustable gain pre-amp with a very low noise rating (Kitztech KT-500) and it's expensive, but I guess it's worth a shot.
Are either of these ideas worthwhile?
What else should I try?
Those who are knowledgable, please feel free school me! I'm new to this. My OTA knowledge is limited.
I feel like a bigger antenna won't necessarily make the difference since I'm ~20 miles from Mt. Wilson, and this one is rated for 70 miles. I fact, I get in NBC, ABC, and KPBS all from San Diego more consistently than I get in these nearby channels. (Thanks Socal smog troposphere bounce..?!) (Maybe these longer distance signals are contributing to preventing the closer weaker ones from coming in? Perhaps the antenna is too effective over long distance for my situation?)
Perhaps mounting the antenna higher on a mast?
What else should I try?
Thanks in advance for any and all insightful input. 🙏