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post #6811 of 6835 Old 09-07-2019, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Intheswamp View Post
Hmm, just looked back where I had recorded some signal strengths when I was putting together my (Frankenstein) antenna setup. It seems the 52 signal report for WBMM isn't the best that I've had. In November of 2017 I was hitting at around 65 on the meter (remember, max reading of 72 on Tivo). But, there were dropouts back then and at times no signal times. Too sporadic to keep in the channel line-up. So, the 52 might not be better or, if it's more stable it might be better. I'll keep a check on it and see how it does.

WBMM is currently having a bit of an issue and is at around half-power for now.

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post #6812 of 6835 Old 09-07-2019, 10:37 AM
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Just checked Facebook and several people are stating they're not getting any signals. WCOV did state the following but...no joy.

Quote:
Yesterday at 9:04 AM ·
Today is RESCAN DAY for WCOV. If you view us over the air you will need to rescan your TV or digital converter box to continue receiving WCOV.

After you rescan you should continue picking up the WCOV channels on 20.1, 20.2, and 20.3.

If you do not see them there you can try picking them up on 22.3, 22.4, and 22.5. We have found that some tv sets are interpreting the new signal differently. We are working to correct the issue and get everyone back to our original channels. In the meantime look for us on these alternate channel numbers.

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post #6813 of 6835 Old 09-07-2019, 10:40 AM
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WBMM is currently having a bit of an issue and is at around half-power for now.
Bob, that's actually good news for me. If ya'll are percolating along at 1/2 power then when the spiders are evicted and WBMM's back at 100% power it may be really LOUD down here.

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post #6814 of 6835 Old 09-07-2019, 02:11 PM
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and the color will be more better too!
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post #6815 of 6835 Old 09-07-2019, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Intheswamp View Post
WCOV/20Fox...seems to be down and out. Anybody know anything about it?
WCOV has an STA to run at something like 40 kW, so that's probably what the deal is.
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post #6816 of 6835 Old 09-09-2019, 12:11 PM
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Still no joy with WCOV down here in Crenshaw County.

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post #6817 of 6835 Old 09-10-2019, 05:11 AM
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No OTA free antenna CBS/FOX after rescan Montgomery,AL

People that live in Montgomery,AL have a choice to watch a couple channels my case is watch NBC,FOX however antenna readjusting is required to watch either CBS & ABC then there’s no NBC,FOX reception.

My antenna is located in the attic so readjusting isn’t an option.

CBS has known about the crappie reception for years they have been threatening a reconfiguration after 3PM on Septmber 6.

I rescanned main TV over a dozen times PCs three tuners are being recognized, still only 2 stations come in.

my secondary TV doe’s the same thing choose 2 stations.

Edit: everytime I did the rescan W7MC could find a bunch of new channels where you can’t watch. no signal. Then the mesaage would say can’t find any new data so we will use the old data the old data is the problem however all the channel #s are the same #.

First day of NFL I’m scrambling around rescanning the main TV w/ no joy.

So now I’m forced to turn on the low definition Magnavox DVR all channels come in on it.

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post #6818 of 6835 Old 09-10-2019, 06:23 AM
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So now I’m forced to turn on the low definition Magnavox DVR all channels come in on it.



If the Magnavox gets all the channels as you say..Then obviously YOU have something else wrong in your wiring, etc.
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post #6819 of 6835 Old 09-10-2019, 09:18 AM
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Yep, if the lowly Magnavox is picking up the stations then it is the better tuner or either something is amiss with your wiring/cabling. I'm 30+ miles from WAKA and I'm pulling it (along with WNCF) in ok. Same as with WSFA...coming in ok. And, WCOV is coming in weakly after re-aiming one of my antennas...but it is on a low, temporary tower and at reduced power for now. There is occasional pixelation for me but I figure that's some late-leaving spiders leaving the transmitters...also my distance and the weather can be an issue. I'm pulling in WCOV at 50+miles, WSFA at somewhere around 25 miles, and WAKA/WNCF at 30+ miles. My incredibly tall antenna tower stands at a staggering height of between 10 and 12 feet. It's a lot of tinkering, trail and error.

Steve, the two sets of stations that you are referring to, WSFA/WCOV and WAKA/WNCF, are in opposite directions. Note, though, that WCOV is temporarily in Montgomery but will return to Ramer. Without an omni-directional antenna you'll need two antennas aimed in basically opposite directions and a splitter in reversed to combine them. Use a splitter without a diode in it. It's a crap-shoot on getting the splitter to work in this way...I actually have three antennas combined in this way. I'm shooting towards WAKA/WNCF, towards WSFA, and towards WCOV's temporary tower in Montgomery. A single antenna, in your attic, is far from optimal. You need to be able to (from the center of Montgomery) aim to somewhat south-westerly and to the south. My antenna is outdoors, but I still can't put it on a rotor due to using a Tivo Roamio OTA for recording...recording from different stations requires reception from different directions.

I hope you iron your troubles out soon, it might take some antenna work on your end, though.
Ed
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post #6820 of 6835 Old 09-10-2019, 07:42 PM
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Ah well, WCOV has disappeared off the radar again. I'll just have to bide my time. Did you get to tinker with your system today, stevethebrain?

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post #6821 of 6835 Old 09-11-2019, 04:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Intheswamp View Post
Yep, if the lowly Magnavox is picking up the stations then it is the better tuner or either something is amiss with your wiring/cabling. I'm 30+ miles from WAKA and I'm pulling it (along with WNCF) in ok. Same as with WSFA...coming in ok. And, WCOV is coming in weakly after re-aiming one of my antennas...but it is on a low, temporary tower and at reduced power for now. There is occasional pixelation for me but I figure that's some late-leaving spiders leaving the transmitters...also my distance and the weather can be an issue. I'm pulling in WCOV at 50+miles, WSFA at somewhere around 25 miles, and WAKA/WNCF at 30+ miles. My incredibly tall antenna tower stands at a staggering height of between 10 and 12 feet. It's a lot of tinkering, trail and error.

Steve, the two sets of stations that you are referring to, WSFA/WCOV and WAKA/WNCF, are in opposite directions. Note, though, that WCOV is temporarily in Montgomery but will return to Ramer. Without an omni-directional antenna you'll need two antennas aimed in basically opposite directions and a splitter in reversed to combine them. Use a splitter without a diode in it. It's a crap-shoot on getting the splitter to work in this way...I actually have three antennas combined in this way. I'm shooting towards WAKA/WNCF, towards WSFA, and towards WCOV's temporary tower in Montgomery. A single antenna, in your attic, is far from optimal. You need to be able to (from the center of Montgomery) aim to somewhat south-westerly and to the south. My antenna is outdoors, but I still can't put it on a rotor due to using a Tivo Roamio OTA for recording...recording from different stations requires reception from different directions.

I hope you iron your troubles out soon, it might take some antenna work on your end, though.
Ed
Quote:
Originally Posted by Intheswamp View Post
Ah well, WCOV has disappeared off the radar again. I'll just have to bide my time. Did you get to tinker with your system today, stevethebrain?
since the digital age was started I've had reception issues.

the problem is I'm located in the center of city and the TV stations surround the city are located in different areas.

I have been up in the attic many times w/ all sorts of different antennas so I kindof know where to aim it;s either slitely east or west I've also learned to use the magnavoxs signal strength meter.

when a city is designed/engineered it's basically the streets create a grid of north/south east west


my double bowtie coathanger wire homemade works the best. I need to make another.

edit: about a year ago I bought a el cheapo chinese signal enhancer https://www.walmart.com/ip/HDTV-Ante.../237995950(got the idea from the magnavox it has a 3DB gain which isn't very big but just right) it seamed to solve the reception maybe this amplifier has worn out.

edit2: I was getting away w/ the single 4 bay coat hanger antenna then decided to double its size to 8 bay which helped a tad. never heard of diodes inside the splitter I;m using a spectrum cable TV splitter to combine both of my 4bay.

I'll be working on another 8bay and combine the two can you recommend a decent splitter for both combining 2 4bays & then combining the two antennas.

in my other thread Byransj stated the channel 8 rescan date of sep6 was pushed back to
9-11 that's today so I'll rescan and report back.

my secondary TV also my workstation display uses a tiny hauppauge 950 portable it's coathanger extends but is still tiny. all channels even wcov come in fine except wsfa12.

STB
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Last edited by stevethebrain; 09-11-2019 at 05:30 AM.
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post #6822 of 6835 Old 09-11-2019, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevethebrain View Post
since the digital age was started I've had reception issues.

the problem is I'm located in the center of city and the TV stations surround the city are located in different areas.

I have been up in the attic many times w/ all sorts of different antennas so I kindof know where to aim it;s either slitely east or west I've also learned to use the magnavoxs signal strength meter.

when a city is designed/engineered it's basically the streets create a grid of north/south east west


my double bowtie coathanger wire homemade works the best. I need to make another.

edit: about a year ago I bought a el cheapo chinese signal enhancer https://www.walmart.com/ip/HDTV-Ante.../237995950(got the idea from the magnavox it has a 3DB gain which isn't very big but just right) it seamed to solve the reception maybe this amplifier has worn out.

edit2: I was getting away w/ the single 4 bay coat hanger antenna then decided to double its size to 8 bay which helped a tad. never heard of diodes inside the splitter I;m using a spectrum cable TV splitter to combine both of my 4bay.

I'll be working on another 8bay and combine the two can you recommend a decent splitter for both combining 2 4bays & then combining the two antennas.

in my other thread Byransj stated the channel 8 rescan date of sep6 was pushed back to
9-11 that's today so I'll rescan and report back.

my secondary TV also my workstation display uses a tiny hauppauge 950 portable it's coathanger extends but is still tiny. all channels even wcov come in fine except wsfa12.

STB
Yes, the digital age has brought it's advances and it's declines. Cellphones for example, it used to be you had to have a 5-pound bag phone...very powerful by today's standards. But, the technology was directed in making cellphones smaller and smaller. As they got smaller, they got less-powerful so more towers had to be put up. The problem is that in some areas the population is sparse so the cellular companies don't see the ROI being worth shelling out the cash for new towers. So, the folks living in those lower-populated areas end up with poor cell service due to no nearby towers for them to reach with their weak little high-tech phones. Progress...<sigh>

I've got a similar problem as you do with transmitters in opposite directions. WAKA/WNCF is to the northwest and WSFA/WCOV is to basically the east. My local PBS is to the south. I use a Tivo to record programs and it appears you use Windows Media Center to do the same. Using a rotor doesn't help us much because we'd have to have it to somehow (it's beyond me to figure it out) turn to different directions when a targeted program came on the air if it was in a different direction from the previous target program. The ideal thing would be for all the stations to located on one big hill "somewhere", such as was done in one place in California (can't remember the city)...a really big antenna farm and folks simply have to point towards that one direction. But, we have what we have and have to try and deal with it.

I have three antennas mounted on a piece of conduit. On the top is an 8-bay Antennas Direct DB8e, below it is a high-quality 4-bay bowtie (can't remember the name of the company but it has shut down), and a VHF-Kit retro-fit unit (simple dipole for VHF with built-in combiner). The DB8e is dedicated towards WAKA/WNCF. The 4-bay is shooting for WCOV and the VHF-Kit is for WSFA. WDIQ is my local PBS station but it is not as solid for me as I would like to my house basically blocking the signal even though it does come in pretty good.

These antennae are not spaced apart as they technically should be...they are crowded together. The lower elements of the 4-bay (bottom antenna) are roughly shoulder high...gotta be careful walking close to it!!! In other words, my setup is far from optimal. I can't remember exactly how I've got the splitter set up, but I believe this is how it goes...

The DB8e goes into one port of the "output" side of the splitter. The VHF-Kit dipole "television port" connects to the other "output" port. A short coax jumper cable connects the 4-bay to the "combiner" port of the VHF-Kit. This results in all three antenna signals exiting out of the "input" port of the reversed splitter. Connected to the "input" port of the reversed splitter is a short coax cable connect that port to my Antennas Direct Juice pre-amp. From the Juice preamp the coax cable enters the house where it encounters another splitter that divides the signal between two televisions. The power inserter is located close to one of the televisions. My pre-amp is located immediately below the three antennas so the reversed splitter is a regular low-MHz splitter (NOT a satellite splitter)...the pre-amp doesn't know that three antennas are providing the signal it is receiving. The splitter located inside the house that divides the signal between the televisions, though, is a "DC-Pass" splitter. This type of splitter allows the electricity to be fed back up the coax cable from the pre-amp's power-inserter to the pre-amp.

One thing about splitters. Each time you add a port you diminish your signal power.
A 2-way splitter = 50/50 power. (50% signal goes to each port)
A 3-way splitter = 33/33/33. (33% signal goes to each port)
A 4-way splitter = 25/25/25/25. etc.,.

The thing is, if you have a port that is not being used...it still counts in the signal power decrease. Only use a splitter with the number of ports that you actually need. Anything added into the circuit will decrease signal power....butt-connectors, splitters, etc.,.

I looked at the amplifier that you linked to at Walmart. If it was mine I would go through the channels and write down signal strengths. Then remove the amplifier and go through again writing down the signal strengths. The "honey hole" of an antenna's reception is at the feedpoint of the antenna. You cannot improve the signal above what is found at the feedpoint. But, you can amplify that signal so that it is stronger and so that it can deal with the splitters, etc., and the length of coax cable...but the amplifier (pre-amp) has to be located at the antenna and not at the television. If you have a really good signal at the feedpoint of the antenna then the amplifier will strengthen that signal for a good picture (unless it's too strong, that's another story). If a signal is "snow" then amplifying it will only create a stronger signal of....snow. The best amplification is at the antenna.

Usually including an amplifier close to a tuner really doesn't do much good...because you're amplifying the signal after it has been attenuated by the obstacles in the signal path. The amplifiers used close to a television *usually* are "distribution amps" used to send a signal on to another television in the house....if a good, strong signal is located at that point then it distributes a good signal on to the other tv. If it's a bad signal it sends a bad signal. The goal is to deliver the best signal, which is found at the antenna feedpoint, to the connection at the tv...amplification has to begin at the feedpoint.

Now, having said all of the above... Being as your antenna is in the attic and protected from the weather and *if* you have an electrical plug in the attic, you could probably use a distribution amp up there in the place of a regular pre-amp. Distribution amps are usually less-expensive, but most don't have as good of specs as a decent pre-amp. Whether a distribution amp or an actual mast-top pre-amp, place it as close to the antenna feedpoint as possible...short coax jumper.

For WSFA you need an antenna that will favor hi-VHF, the 8-bays most likely don't have good VHF performance.

This VHF dipole add-on includes a "combiner" for no-hassle adding to existing antenna: Antenna Direct VHF-Kit

Splitter for use with pre-amp/mast-top amplifier: Power-Pass Splitter

Splitter for use without pre-amp/mast-top amplifier. I would also use this one as a combiner: Standard Splitter

What would be cool is if you could get a small tv close to your attic antenna and with a 10' piece of coax between the antenna and tv see what you receive. That would let you know better what you're getting at the feedpoint. It might be you would do well to install a pre-amp.

Gotta go, sorry to have been so long-winded.
Ed
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post #6823 of 6835 Old 09-11-2019, 08:19 PM
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Ok, WCOV is back with a weak signal. I think it's going to a crapshoot until they get the transmitter back to Ramer and get it pumping at full power. Seems it ride on the threshold of reception for me...good propagation days it's good, bad prop days it ain't so sporty. Patience grasshopper....

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post #6824 of 6835 Old 09-12-2019, 04:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Intheswamp View Post
Yes, the digital age has brought it's advances and it's declines. Cellphones for example, it used to be you had to have a 5-pound bag phone...very powerful by today's standards. But, the technology was directed in making cellphones smaller and smaller. As they got smaller, they got less-powerful so more towers had to be put up. The problem is that in some areas the population is sparse so the cellular companies don't see the ROI being worth shelling out the cash for new towers. So, the folks living in those lower-populated areas end up with poor cell service due to no nearby towers for them to reach with their weak little high-tech phones. Progress...<sigh>

excellent explanation

I've got a similar problem as you do with transmitters in opposite directions. WAKA/WNCF is to the northwest and WSFA/WCOV is to basically the east. My local PBS is to the south. I use a Tivo to record programs and it appears you use Windows Media Center yes W7MC 99% of programs are recorded been watching like this since VCRs came outto do the same. Using a rotor doesn't help us much because we'd have to have it to somehow (it's beyond me to figure it out) turn to different directions when a targeted program came on the air if it was in a different direction from the previous target program. The ideal thing would be for all the stations to located on one big hill "somewhere"that would make to much sense to idiots designing citys, such as was done in one place in California (can't remember the city)...a really big antenna farm and folks simply have to point towards that one direction. But, we have what we have and have to try and deal with it.

I have three antennas mounted on a piece of conduit. On the top is an 8-bay Antennas Direct DB8e, below it is a high-quality 4-bay bowtie (can't remember the name of the company but it has shut down), and a VHF-Kit retro-fit unit (simple dipole for VHF with built-in combiner). The DB8e is dedicated towards WAKA/WNCF. The 4-bay is shooting for WCOV and the VHF-Kit is for WSFA. WDIQ is my local PBS station but it is not as solid for me as I would like to my house basically blocking the signal even though it does come in pretty good.

These antennae are not spaced apart as they technically should be...they are crowded together. The lower elements of the 4-bay (bottom antenna) are roughly shoulder high...gotta be careful walking close to it!!! In other words, my setup is far from optimal. I can't remember exactly how I've got the splitter set up, but I believe this is how it goes...

The DB8e goes into one port of the "output" side of the splitter. The VHF-Kit dipole "television port" connects to the other "output" port. A short coax jumper cable connects the 4-bay to the "combiner" port of the VHF-Kit. This results in all three antenna signals exiting out of the "input" port of the reversed splitter. Connected to the "input" port of the reversed splitter is a short coax cable connect that port to my Antennas Direct Juice pre-amp. From the Juice preamp the coax cable enters the house where it encounters another splitter that divides the signal between two televisions. The power inserter is located close to one of the televisions. My pre-amp is located immediately below the three antennas so the reversed splitter is a regular low-MHz splitter (NOT a satellite splitter)...the pre-amp doesn't know that three antennas are providing the signal it is receiving. The splitter located inside the house that divides the signal between the televisions, though, is a "DC-Pass" splitter. This type of splitter allows the electricity to be fed back up the coax cable from the pre-amp's power-inserter to the pre-amp.

One thing about splitters. Each time you add a port you diminish your signal power.
A 2-way splitter = 50/50 power. (50% signal goes to each port)
A 3-way splitter = 33/33/33. (33% signal goes to each port)
A 4-way splitter = 25/25/25/25. etc.,.

The thing is, if you have a port that is not being used...it still counts in the signal power decrease. Only use a splitter with the number of ports that you actually need. Anything added into the circuit will decrease signal power....butt-connectors, splitters, etc.,.

what you think about my specturm cable tv splitter used reversed as a combiner?

I looked at the amplifier that you linked to at Walmart. If it was mine I would go through the channels and write down signal strengths. Then remove the amplifier and go through again writing down the signal strengths. The "honey hole" of an antenna's reception is at the feedpoint of the antenna. You cannot improve the signal above what is found at the feedpoint. But, you can amplify that signal so that it is stronger and so that it can deal with the splitters, etc., and the length of coax cable...but the amplifier (pre-amp) has to be located at the antenna and not at the television. If you have a really good signal at the feedpoint of the antenna then the amplifier will strengthen that signal for a good picture (unless it's too strong, that's another story). If a signal is "snow" then amplifying it will only create a stronger signal of....snow. The best amplification is at the antenna.


Usually including an amplifier close to a tuner really doesn't do much good...because you're amplifying the signal after it has been attenuated by the obstacles in the signal path. The amplifiers used close to a television *usually* are "distribution amps" used to send a signal on to another television in the house....if a good, strong signal is located at that point then it distributes a good signal on to the other tv. If it's a bad signal it sends a bad signal. The goal is to deliver the best signal, which is found at the antenna feedpoint, to the connection at the tv...amplification has to begin at the feedpoint.

Now, having said all of the above... Being as your antenna is in the attic and protected from the weather and *if* you have an electrical plug in the attic, you could probably use a distribution amp up there in the place of a regular pre-amp. Distribution amps are usually less-expensive, but most don't have as good of specs as a decent pre-amp. Whether a distribution amp or an actual mast-top pre-amp, place it as close to the antenna feedpoint as possible...short coax jumper. OK now I know the basics of amplifying

For WSFA you need an antenna that will favor hi-VHF, the 8-bays most likely don't have good VHF performance.

This VHF dipole add-on includes a "combiner" for no-hassle adding to existing antenna: Antenna Direct VHF-Kit

Splitter for use with pre-amp/mast-top amplifier: Power-Pass Splitter

Splitter for use without pre-amp/mast-top amplifier. I would also use this one as a combiner: Standard Splitter

What would be cool is if you could get a small tv close to your attic antenna and with a 10' piece of coax between the antenna and tv see what you receive. That would let you know better what you're getting at the feedpoint. It might be you would do well to install a pre-amp.
yes I can use my lap top w/ a portable haugpage 950 USB tuner
Gotta go, sorry to have been so long-winded.
Ed
The AC people where in my attic yesterday and previously last week.unforcantly it's hard to find good help right so I went up there expecting the moron got tangled up in the coax cable hate to sound harsh but these AC morons really screwed up my new sys. rant over.

anyway the antenna was slightly unaligned.
additionally the 8 bay antenna isn't mounted vertical but diangler at the end of the house there is a diangale brace for the rafters this is where it's laced down w/ string this is why the bowties became unaligned. next I'll secure the two antennas w/ a backbone so to speak of.

after that I'll quite dicking around w/ coat hangers and purchase a real double bow tei please recommend .

I believe this bowtie type antenna receives signal from it's front and back, is this true or false?

also must these type antennas be mounted vertically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Intheswamp View Post
Ok, WCOV is back with a weak signal. I think it's going to a crapshoot until they get the transmitter back to Ramer and get it pumping at full power. Seems it ride on the threshold of reception for me...good propagation days it's good, bad prop days it ain't so sporty. Patience grasshopper....
I tryed rescan yesterday and got the same message not new data available so W7MC will use old data.

Thank you so much for sharing the knowledge you have clarified amps/splitter now on to antennas.https://www.walmart.com/ip/Antennas-...CABEgJEifD_BwE

edit: will channel8 become a UFH anytime soon?
STB

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post #6825 of 6835 Old 09-12-2019, 07:59 AM
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I'm no expert on all this, my info is more anecdotal or what I've managed to data on, it certainly isn't lab tested...so take it all with a grain of salt.

As for Windows Media Center I have tried to use it with a tuner dongle but never had much success. I may revisit it with a better USB tuner later on. It would be very handy in positioning antennas!!!

Quote:
The ideal thing would be for all the stations to located on one big hill "somewhere"that would make to much sense to idiots designing citys, such as was done in one place in California (can't remember the city)..
Well, to give them some credit, the transmitters need to be located on some of the highest ground in there listening area. There are companies today that search out landowners who have the higher elevation property in an area they wish to install cellphone towers (and other digital towers). Inside the perimeter of Montgomery not so many hills like that, I don't think. Up towards Wetumpka you get into some hills though. I know that WMCF is over (I think) in close proximity to the Shakespeare Theater but that doesn't seem like much higher ground and it is not a tall antenna...I feel that they had limited funding and had to take a lower tower and put it in an area that would reach the highest population. Interestingly for WMCF the population of Montgomery has grown and expanded in their direction.

WSFA used to be on Mount Carmel, a tall hill several miles NNE of Highland Home. In the 70's WSFA built the "Tall Tower" in Ramer and the transmitter was moved there...basically NE of Highland Home. Those two locations are some of the taller spots around. I figure they were taking into consideration what they calculating as being the distances they could transmit and the populations/areas they could service...higher is (with a few exceptions) always better. I haven't studied WAKA's tower, but I would imagine they sought high-ground, also. So, a city wants level ground but a transmitting station is better on ground higher than the surrounding area...LOS (Line of Sight) is what they depend on, anything moving into the 1-Edge, 2-Edge, or beyond reception I would consider gravy for their business.

Your Spectrum splitter should work ok...I think. Like I mentioned, I wouldn't have any un-used ports on it. I'd give it a shot and if it doesn't work or doesn't seem to work well then pick up one of the splitters that is not "Power Pass" or "DC Pass". You might want to pick up one of the splitters from Lowes to have with you while you're working on your antennas...you would have it to swap out with the Spectrum and if it performs significantly better then leave it in place...if the Spectrum works just as well then return the new one to Lowes. That way you won't be sitting there while your working on it saying "I wonder if I need to try a different splitter....".

Amplifying... Just remember that if you get a good signal at the antenna feedpoint then a poor signal or lack of signal at your television is on you due to bad connections, losses due to connectors and cable lengths, etc.,. So, to over come some of those barriers you would won't the amplifier closest to the feedpoint so that you amplify the best signal possible...not the poor one at the other end of the coax cable. Sometimes just the act of unscrewing and re-screwing connectors can make an improvement...it freshens the connection up a bit if you have some oxidation or corrosion causing problems.

Btw, in case you get interested in a pre-amp here is a link that gives a lot of information on how they work...explains things better than me.<grin> In my opinion, it's good to know how something works before plucking money down for it. Denny's Pre-Amp Info

Using your laptop at the antenna will be a great diagnostic tool for you! How many televisions do you feed a signal to?

I hear you on finding good help. I've own a 2003 Jeep Wrangler. Bought it new on my birthday in December of 2002. I've had a mechanic put a wrench to it only two times over the past 17 years. The first time to replace the brake pads on the front. I attempted to swap them but didn't have a clamp to open the piston up with so the disc would clear the caliper. I got the jeep back, drove it home and smoke was boiling from the right-front hub!!! Naturally I got the "this happens sometimes" story. What really happened is they didn't use a clamp and simply pried on the piston and scarred the cylinder in the caliper. I had to buy a new caliper, blah, blah, blah. Not happy. The second time I let a mechanic work on it was to replace the sparkplugs. My A/C started working sporadically. I figured it was a vacuum line and after hunting and hunting someone I found the crack in the small line. It was easier to move it out of the way of the plugs than to work beside it, I guess, and when they bent it out of the way it cracked. A half-penny's worth of electrical tape wrapped around the crack fixed it. Yeah, good help's hard to find, it seems. The bad thing is trying to find *anybody* to do a job. Ah well, my jeep rant's over....

The diagonal orientation of your bowtie probably doesn't make much difference. By time the signal gets to you it's probably bounced around a good bit and may not be oriented in the way it left the transmitter's antenna. The actual direction it is pointed is important, though. That doesn't necessarily mean that's it on a direct bearing to the transmitting station but that it's aimed in the direction that gets you the best signal. That direction could be not the one you figure it is due to a reflected signal or ???. I always recommend for someone to "fish" for a signal. Move the antenna around, to the left and right, back and forth, up and down. Sometimes only a few feet one way or the other can make a big difference. With your laptop you might want to use a longer piece of coax cable to "fish" with...set your laptop down and watch the signal strength as you move it around in the attic. Find the sweet spot.

If you don't have a reflector on one side of your bowties then it is bi-directional, receiving equally from the front and back. A metal screen, array of bars, etc., on one side will all but kill reception from that direction and slightly enhance reception from the un-screened direction by reducing backside interference. There's pros and cons to having a screen and not having a screen. Being able to actually receive good signals from both directions is a good thing. But, if you have a main station (or stations) that you want to receive and there's a pesky, non-desired station from the opposite direction then a screen will help block the pesky station from creating interference for the desired ones. Pre-built/consumer bowtie antennas pretty much all come with a screen which makes them directional antennas, but people who have stations in opposite directions often remove the screens to create a bi-directional antenna.

Channel Master and Antennas Direct both build pretty good 8-bays. I'm using an Antennas Direct DB8e...it's a nice antenna, but can be pricey...shop around. I actually found mine on Craigslist...actually made the transaction in the parking lot of the Shakespeare Theater.<grin> The old model of the Channel Master was a mainstay in OTA reception for years. They changes it a few years ago and I don't think it has as robust of a build as it once had. Having said that, since you will be installing in an attic you don't need to be very worried about an antenna surviving the elements (wind, rain, sun, etc)...just the attic heat.

I just looked and it looks like the 8-bay Channel Master is running around $140(?). The Antennas Direct DB8e is running around $120(?). Looking on eBay I see some generic 8-bays for around $75. I have no idea of the quality of the eBay antennas but being as your location is a protected one you don't have to worry about it withstanding a storm or whatever. But, you do want it to go together without much hassle and not break while assembling. I'm not sure what to recommend on that. Depends on how much money you intend to invest. The CM or AD will be there from now on...I personally would go for the AD if choosing between those two. Also, due to the repack some manufacturers are modifying there models to more closely be designed for the new frequency range.

One thing you will be needing is something that works for VHF. WSFA is already in hi-VHF range...some UHF antennas can handle that "ok". But, WSFA will be dropping even lower in frequency to channel 8. This will make it harder to receive it on a UHF-designed antenna. The VHF-Kit that I linked to is pretty good, I use it now for my WSFA reception, though I think I may be a tad closer to the tower than you. It is a basic dipole antenna, which can be built fairly easily. Being in an attic you could build a simple one out of wire, but I would recommend thicker elements...maybe even elements from an old discarded tv antenna. The thicker the element the more "bandwidth" it will have (good thing). The nice thing about the VHF-Kit is that it has an antenna combiner built into it...that is rather handy.

Theoretically, the bowtie antenna should be mounted with the bowties horizontal so that the radio signal "wave" hits them properly. But, distance and obstacles, especially in an urban setting can cause the signal to get distorted. Objects within the attic affect reception, too. Again, "fishing" for the best signal is worthwhile but I hadn't thought about bowtie horizontal/vertical orientation. You might find the best signal spot for the antenna with the bowties horizontal and then try moving it from the horizontal to the vertical and see how your signal meter responds. Looking back at your question...just to clarify, I would mount the antenna perpendicular to the ground...a slight tilt up or down may help a tad. But, I would not have it parallel with the ground.

Channel 8/WAKA, has been and, from what I can tell, will always be in the UHF band. It dropped from digital channel 42 to 25.

Try 20/WCOV again. I managed to get it last night, though weakly. It is in your backyard so you should be able to get it easily, even at it's reduced power. My Tivo is showing some conflicting channels right now between 22/WBMM and 20/WCOV. I'm not sure how Tivo is going to work that out but I do feel that that issue is a Tivo-issue, not WCOV or WBMM. But, I could be wrong.<g>

Hang in there, the repack wasn't expected to go too smoothly...and that thought was correct.
Ed

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post #6826 of 6835 Old 09-12-2019, 08:33 AM
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I looked at the antenna that you linked to and cannot find it listed on AD's website. But, I've found it listed on several vendor websites. Walmart has about the best price.

The current 8-bay offering from AD (DB8e) is configured so that there are two 4-bay antennas combined in a hinged fashion where each can be aimed in different directions...supposedly to pick up signals from transmitters that are in different directions. I've only used mine as a single antenna, not aiming the two 4-bays in different directions. I haven't heard a large amount of praise for the "hinged" feature. I do like the build of the antenna that you linked to, it looks good. Honestly, it sounds like a good deal. Something tells me that a pre-amp may help, too. But, it will only serve you for either the WSFA/WCOV tower or the WAKA/WNCF tower. You will still need another antenna, which may be one of your homebrew ones. Or if you find one of the towers has a much stronger signal than the other one, use this antenna for the weaker one and possibly a smaller antenna for the stronger one.

Don't forget, though, that WSFA/12 will most likely need some help (especially in the future) with a VHF capable antenna.

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post #6827 of 6835 Old 09-16-2019, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Intheswamp View Post
I looked at the antenna that you linked to and cannot find it listed on AD's website. But, I've found it listed on several vendor websites. Walmart has about the best price.

The current 8-bay offering from AD (DB8e) is configured so that there are two 4-bay antennas combined in a hinged fashion where each can be aimed in different directions...supposedly to pick up signals from transmitters that are in different directions. I've only used mine as a single antenna, not aiming the two 4-bays in different directions. I haven't heard a large amount of praise for the "hinged" feature. I do like the build of the antenna that you linked to, it looks good. Honestly, it sounds like a good deal. Something tells me that a pre-amp may help, too. But, it will only serve you for either the WSFA/WCOV tower or the WAKA/WNCF tower. You will still need another antenna, which may be one of your homebrew ones. Or if you find one of the towers has a much stronger signal than the other one, use this antenna for the weaker one and possibly a smaller antenna for the stronger one.

Don't forget, though, that WSFA/12 will most likely need some help (especially in the future) with a VHF capable antenna.

Ed
Oh, and don't forget that any antenna that you choose will have to fit through your opening into your attic.

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post #6828 of 6835 Old 09-27-2019, 06:42 AM
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@stevethebrain , did you get a chance to work with your antenna setup?

Seems that WCOV has been absent down my way for well over a week now. Looking forward to its return...we're missing fall programing.

Ah well, other things to do and watch, not the end of the world.

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post #6829 of 6835 Old 09-30-2019, 04:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Intheswamp View Post
@stevethebrain , did you get a chance to work with your antenna setup? kindof improved w/ my breifcase TV antenna (using it up till I retrieve and refurb the coathanger I admit I love my coat hanger ant. I feel like I beat the sys. in a small way) purchased for cabin cruiser boat https://www.ebay.com/itm/Digital-Ind...72.m2749.l2649 .

the antenna has a long cord so I hung it over the window shade so it's high up in window not sure if there's a proper mount position if yes then mines upside down. but still flakey on 8 and now weirdly 12 lose's reception completely missed the first episode of the police show SVU NY


Seems that WCOV has been absent down my way for well over a week now. Looking forward to its return...we're missing fall programing.

Ah well, other things to do and watch, not the end of the world.
the el cheapo antenna works better than the coat hanger, but in fairness the CH needs adjusting and a backbone to keep her delicate anteni aligned.

I give a link to a el cheapo because I recommend and would buy another maybe it will improve you're reception. is channel 20 transitioning though a upgrade for the transmitters I remember you wrote about relocating Ramer

edit: as far as the flakeing out of mainly channel 8 and now 12 next I will try the tiny amplifier after all it's designed for indoor behind the TV.
doe's this tiny amp have a turn on trigger when TV powers up so do'es amp. it must or it would burn up if it stayed on all the time right.

edit2: next step combine a second el cheapo aimed at whatever stations need extra reception.

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I understand your love of your homebrew antenna, it's fun to build something that works. But, don't let it interfere with getting good reception with a spec'd out commercially manufactured one.

The folded dipole (I figured that's what's inside the rectangular case) works "ok". I tried a similar one that I bought at Wallyworld at my daughter's house. Her location is more signal-challenged (distance) than mine is. The antenna...meh,...not great, it sits in a box somewhere. Her house is on the west side of OPP. With an Antenna's Direct Clearstream 2 (a type of bowtie with a built-in VHF antenna...buy off eBay, much cheaper) and a small 2-bay traditional bowtie (Eagle Aspen, check eBay and Amazon) she is receiving good signals from Dothan and Montgomery...most distant is ~50 miles. BUT...this includes an old Channel Master 7777 mast-top pre-amp. The antenna feeds three different televisions that splits the signal three ways. There is lots of coax cable involved, too. The pre-amp does a good job of pushing the signal from the mast-top to the receivers.

The CS2 comes in two versions. I think the version with the reflector screen is the older version. The one at my daughter's does not have a reflector screen and works nicely. Antennas Direct also builds a four-bay version of this but the antenna pattern will be much more directional so that your aim has to be better and if stations are spaced out a distance from each other (within a reasonable span) it may not receive both of them. The CS2 has a broader reception pattern and is more forgiving of stations spaced further apart. A nice thing about the CS2 is the included VHF antenna. Don't fear the low-priced listings on eBay...just be sure the mounting hardware is included (it usually is, but just be sure).

The 2-bay Eagle Aspen is just a basic, but well-built, 2-bay bowtie. Durable, cheap, and works.

The tiny amp that fits behind the tv... Go back and read what I wrote about amplifying a signal. If you have junk at the end of the coax cable all you will amplify is junk. You need to amplify the signal at the *antenna feedpoint* to get it right. It sounds like a distribution amp that you have...is it the one that came with the black plastic antenna?

As for your coat-hanger antenna... Since you are putting your antenna in the protected space of your attic you might want to look at building a "Gray-Hovermann". These can literally be built on a piece of poster-board but I'd want something a bit more substantial to build it on...maybe plywood, thick plastic, etc., or maybe an open frame work. With thick wire it could actually be mostly self-supporting in it's shape. I like this particular design of it because it's incorporating some VHF capabilities. Check it out, good food for thought.

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post #6831 of 6835 Old 09-30-2019, 07:19 AM
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I forgot to respond to your WCOV question... Yes, WCOV/20 is going through the repack. When things are finalized they will be back transmitting at full power from the "Tall Tower" in Ramer. For now, while they wait for a tower crew to make the antenna/xmitter change in Ramer, they are at much reduced power and a much shorter antenna as they transmit from somewhere in Montgomery.

The tiny amp will (most likely) stay turned on all of the time...most all of them do.

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post #6832 of 6835 Old 09-30-2019, 08:16 AM
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here's the type antenna had best results w/ two of these combined
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Yes, I built one of those years ago. Gave it to my daughter who lives in Montgomery and she used it for several years. She recently moved to s different house and I'm not sure whether she's still using it or not. I'll have to check with her and see how it works for her. She had great results with it. I've tinkered with building antennas (I'm no radio wave engineer or anything) for years. I'm an old HAM radio guy. Biggest (and best!!!) antenna I ever made was a full-wave loop antenna for the 40m band (down in the 7mhz range). It was roughly 140' in length, but formed a "loop" around a pecan tree. I used insulated wire and used a surfcasting rod-n-reel to get it over the tree.<grin> I basically always worked QRP (reduced power) and my main rig ran about 2watts of output. This was using CW (continuous-wave or "morse code"). I had folks tell me I was lying when I gave them a station report that included my power. That was a sweet antenna.

Yeah, check out that Hovermann, people have actually taken foil-backed insulation and cut the elements out (peeled the foil of the styrofoam) of the rigid foam. But, what you have there is good, but it will restrict you on VHF (WSFA and any other station on channels 13 or lower). Are you receiving WSFA good?

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Update I live in the JD area wsfa tv not working no signal w/ new el cheapo antenna https://www.ebay.com/itm/Digital-Ind...72.m2749.l2649, my indoor antenna usually receives channel 12.

past few days zero reception on 12 w/ new el cheapo antenna however the low def. dvd recorder/tuner doe’s receive 12 w/ old fashion rabbit ears.

Is the old fashion rabbit ears a VHS capable? and the w/ new el cheapo antenna is none VHS? It claims to be VHS it must be because 8 comes in kindof.

I need the splitter in the attic will attempt combining the 2 antennas.

Channel 12 needs to step up.

edit:I connected the small interia amplifier to new antenna and 12 dropped so I disconnected amp this done couple weeks ago when 12 came in.STB

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I've got one of those black rectangular antennas sitting in a box somewhere...it didn't work well for me.

A set of rabbit ears can be adjusted for UHF or VHF frequencies. Pull the elements out until each one measures around 1-foot, 2-inches. That should get you close to a resonant element length for Channel 12.

Channel 8 is UHF, I'm pretty sure.

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