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post #15121 of 15147 Old 10-28-2019, 06:33 PM
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WETA is temporarily operating from the WETA-FM tower in Arlington. It moves back to the shared tower in DC some time in the next few months.

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Comments are my own and not that of the FCC (my employer) or anyone else.

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post #15122 of 15147 Old 10-28-2019, 07:14 PM
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WETA's latest progress report says they expect to have their final facility done in December 2019 when construction on their new transmitter building is finished.

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post #15123 of 15147 Old 10-28-2019, 08:36 PM
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Thanks for the enlightenment.

I was aware of the WAMU and WETA-FM work but the TV aspect escaped my attention. So I spent the last hour looking at WETA pages but found nothing obvious. So I wonder where you found the update.
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post #15124 of 15147 Old 10-28-2019, 08:38 PM
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The progress reports are in their FCC applications:
https://enterpriseefiling.fcc.gov/da...cilityId=65670
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post #15125 of 15147 Old 10-29-2019, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkfs View Post
So I spent the last hour looking at WETA pages but found nothing obvious. So I wonder where you found the update.

This is WETA's page on the subject, AFAIK, although it only says this:


"WETA will be operating at a temporary broadcast tower while engaging in construction at our main facility in order to broadcast at our new frequency. Work is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2019."


There's more info earlier in this thread.

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post #15126 of 15147 Old 11-12-2019, 05:39 PM
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Personally, I can't wait until WETA comes back. I'm in Pasadena, MD. I lost WETA reception when they moved. It was spotty to begin with (attic antenna). Hopefully I will be able to pick them up again. 26.2 the UK channel is my primary interest. Lots of good programs (although most are years old).
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post #15127 of 15147 Old 11-26-2019, 02:42 PM
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I'm in Ellicott City (zip 21043) about 10.3 miles from the Baltimore broadcast towers to the southwest and about 30-35 miles from the DC towers on the northeast side. I'm currently using a ClearStream 4MAX antenna aimed at DC and an older ClearStream 2 antenna aimed at Baltimore, both mast-mounted on the roof. The outputs of the two antennas are combined using a standard VHF/UHF splitter/combiner. I can get most of the DC channels just fine, with the exception of channel 7.1. If I adjust the antenna to get WJLA I tend to lose channel 9.1 (WUSA) which is totally weird considering that they are on the same compass heading from my location. I can get channels 2.1, 4.1, and 5.1 with no problem but 11.1 and 13.1 have always been pixelated and break up. I'm using a HTPC with Windows 7 and WMC with both a Ceton InfiniTV 6 tuner for FIOS and a SiliconDust HDHomeRun Quatro tuner for OTA. I was thinking that maybe the signal was too strong and overdriving the tuners so I tried a single Moho Leaf Thirty antenna in the attic but still have the same issues except that I have fewer DC channels now, which isn't unexpected. My 2-story house sits lower than the house to the south on the DC side and is below a rise on the north side facing Baltimore. I can't really go with higher masts (it's a wifey thing). I've tried various other antennas and preamps but nothing seems to fix channels 11.1 and 13.1, which seems ridiculous based on how close I am to the towers. I'm curious to know what others in the area use to pick up those channels.

Here's a link to the Rabbit Ears info for my local channels:

https://www.rabbitears.info/searchma...study_id=30748

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post #15128 of 15147 Old 11-26-2019, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by captain_video View Post
I'm in Ellicott City (zip 21043) about 10.3 miles from the Baltimore broadcast towers to the southwest and about 30-35 miles from the DC towers on the northeast side. I'm currently using a ClearStream 4MAX antenna aimed at DC and an older ClearStream 2 antenna aimed at Baltimore, both mast-mounted on the roof. The outputs of the two antennas are combined using a standard VHF/UHF splitter/combiner. I can get most of the DC channels just fine, with the exception of channel 7.1. If I adjust the antenna to get WJLA I tend to lose channel 9.1 (WUSA) which is totally weird considering that they are on the same compass heading from my location. I can get channels 2.1, 4.1, and 5.1 with no problem but 11.1 and 13.1 have always been pixelated and break up.
It seems that you're receiving the UHF stations fine, but not getting a good lock on the VHF stations. The test you did with the Mohu Leaf is flawed, because they are designed for UHF, not VHF, so the signals from Baltimore coming through the roof antenna might still be overwhelming your tuner. If you try that test again, use an old rabbit ear antenna for VHF reception.

More likely, your problem has to do with some sort of interference. VHF TV signals can drop out due to solar panels, security cameras, LED lights, or any other "noise" emitting gadget. Do you have anything like that near your antenna? If so, that might be the cause. Also, since you have a house above you on one side and high terrain on the other, you might be experiencing signal multipathing. In the analog era, multipath would leave "ghosts" on your picture. With ATSC 1.0, if your signal meter is wildly fluctuating, that is a sign of multipath. Hope you soon find out what the culprit is. Your roof antennas should be receiving the Baltimore and D.C. stations easily.

Last edited by Brian in CT; 11-26-2019 at 07:11 PM.
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post #15129 of 15147 Old 11-27-2019, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian in CT View Post
It seems that you're receiving the UHF stations fine, but not getting a good lock on the VHF stations. The test you did with the Mohu Leaf is flawed, because they are designed for UHF, not VHF, so the signals from Baltimore coming through the roof antenna might still be overwhelming your tuner. If you try that test again, use an old rabbit ear antenna for VHF reception.

More likely, your problem has to do with some sort of interference. VHF TV signals can drop out due to solar panels, security cameras, LED lights, or any other "noise" emitting gadget. Do you have anything like that near your antenna? If so, that might be the cause. Also, since you have a house above you on one side and high terrain on the other, you might be experiencing signal multipathing. In the analog era, multipath would leave "ghosts" on your picture. With ATSC 1.0, if your signal meter is wildly fluctuating, that is a sign of multipath. Hope you soon find out what the culprit is. Your roof antennas should be receiving the Baltimore and D.C. stations easily.
I placed the Mohu in the attic and it's not near any electronic devices of the nature you described. I didn't realize the Mohu was UHF only, but I still pick up the lower VHF channels just fine when using it. I also have a ClearStream 2MAX that I bought to replace the older ClearStream 2, the main difference being that it has a pair of dipole antennas in addition to the main antenna elements for a little better coverage. That's the one I'll be using to get the Baltimore stations so I'll swap that out when the weather clears up. It's raining today and tomorrow will be busy with Thanksgiving so it looks like a good excuse to stay out of the stores on Black Friday.
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post #15130 of 15147 Old 11-27-2019, 09:47 AM
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Is there an issue with the Ion station in DC? Channel 66.
My GF said she had been having issues receiving it. But at my place I was still receiving it fine.
Did anything change with their transmission power? I did see where they changed frequencies at some point.

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post #15131 of 15147 Old 11-27-2019, 11:28 AM
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Is there an issue with the Ion station in DC? Channel 66.
My GF said she had been having issues receiving it. But at my place I was still receiving it fine.
Did anything change with their transmission power? I did see where they changed frequencies at some point.

Nothing very recently that I know of, but they have been at reduced power for several months since the change from channel RF34 to RF35. The Ion website said they'd go full power on Oct 15, but didn't. Maybe they are waiting to move to a new tower, along with current tower-mate WTTG, one of these days, before going full strength again - just a guess.


Correction: WPXW is already on the River Road tower on a temp antenna. WTTG is supposed to move there, and WPXW go full power there, eventually.
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post #15132 of 15147 Old 11-27-2019, 01:37 PM
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Nothing very recently that I know of, but they have been at reduced power for several months since the change from channel RF34 to RF35. The Ion website said they'd go full power on Oct 15, but didn't. Maybe they are waiting to move to a new tower, along with current tower-mate WTTG, one of these days, before going full strength again - just a guess.


Correction: WPXW is already on the River Road tower on a temp antenna. WTTG is supposed to move there, and WPXW go full power there, eventually.
Ok. Thanks. The lower power should be the issue then. My GF only brought this up last week. But had been having the issue for awhile. She wanted to record a bunch of holiday shows/movies from that station. Which I guess I will have to do for her now instead. And burn them to DVDs for her watch.

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post #15133 of 15147 Old 11-28-2019, 07:56 AM
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I placed the Mohu in the attic and it's not near any electronic devices of the nature you described. I didn't realize the Mohu was UHF only, but I still pick up the lower VHF channels just fine when using it.
Lower VHF channels??? If you're talking about channel 2 from Baltimore and channels 4 & 5 from D.C., don't you realize that those TV stations are actually on the UHF band? WMAR (VC 2) is currently on RF channel 38 and will soon be moving to RF channel 27 as part of the repack. WRC (VC 4) & WTTG (VC 5) are on RF channels 34 & 36, respectively. The TV stations that you said you have trouble with (7 & 9 from D.C. and 11 & 13 from Baltimore) are still on the VHF band. Either you are having some interference problems with those stations, or your setup is not conducive to reliably receiving VHF signals.
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post #15134 of 15147 Old 11-28-2019, 08:09 AM
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Lower VHF channels??? If you're talking about channel 2 from Baltimore and channels 4 & 5 from D.C., don't you realize that those TV stations are actually on the UHF band? WMAR (VC 2) is currently on RF channel 38 and will soon be moving to RF channel 27 as part of the repack. WRC (VC 4) & WTTG (VC 5) are on RF channels 34 & 36, respectively. The TV stations that you said you have trouble with (7 & 9 from D.C. and 11 & 13 from Baltimore) are still on the VHF band. Either you are having some interference problems with those stations, or your setup is not conducive to reliably receiving VHF signals.
Gotcha. That makes a lot more sense. I haven't looked at the actual channel frequencies vs. the virtual channels in quite some time so I assumed they had remained stationary for all of the VHF channels. I can still get the problem channels via FIOS but I would prefer to receive the ones from my antennas. I can actually get good reception on channel 9 from DC and I tend to use that one in favor of channel 13 from Baltimore. I also use channel 2 for ABC content and channel 4 for NBC. I'd like to be able to get channel 13 via antenna for the Ravens games instead of tying up my cablecard tuners. I plan on replacing the ClearStream 2 antenna with the 2MAX tomorrow, weather permitting. I need to run some new coax to the antennas so I don't have to keep climbing up into a cramped vaulted ceiling in the attic to access the connections. I'm not as young and agile as I once was.

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post #15135 of 15147 Old 11-28-2019, 08:12 AM
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list of DC channels (physical and virtual)
https://www.rabbitears.info/market.php?mktid=11

Baltimore (note Baltimore still has some channel changes to do but what is on UHF stays on UHF)
https://www.rabbitears.info/market.php?mktid=31
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post #15136 of 15147 Old 11-28-2019, 08:38 PM
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Gotcha. That makes a lot more sense. I haven't looked at the actual channel frequencies vs. the virtual channels in quite some time so I assumed they had remained stationary for all of the VHF channels.
Your assumption was partially correct. Most TV stations on VHF-Hi (channels 7-13) chose to stay on their current frequencies when the switch to digital happened. Conversely, practically all TV stations on VHF-Lo (channels 2-6) fled that part of the band after the switch. VHF-Lo in the digital era is a interference minefield. Broadcasters, with few exceptions, will only use these channels if they have no other choice.

I have no experience with ClearStream antennas, but I've read on this site that some of their models skimp on the VHF elements. Just make sure the antennas you use are good with VHF signals.
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post #15137 of 15147 Old 11-28-2019, 09:05 PM
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Your assumption was partially correct. Most TV stations on VHF-Hi (channels 7-13) chose to stay on their current frequencies when the switch to digital happened. Conversely, practically all TV stations on VHF-Lo (channels 2-6) fled that part of the band after the switch. VHF-Lo in the digital era is a interference minefield. Broadcasters, with few exceptions, will only use these channels if they have no other choice.

I have no experience with ClearStream antennas, but I've read on this site that some of their models skimp on the VHF elements. Just make sure the antennas you use are good with VHF signals.
I chose the ClearStream models because they almost always showed up as the antenna of choice when putting in my address in the various websites to determine which antenna was best for my location. I'm going to swap out my ClearStream 2 for the old ClearStream 4 that I had been using for the DC stations and aim it at Baltimore to see if it will boost the signal enough to get rid of the pixelation I've been seeing. I assume that the sites that spit out the antenna choices don't take into account the actual elevation of the properties in relation to the surrounding environment or obstructions such as other structures or trees.
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post #15138 of 15147 Old 11-29-2019, 02:23 PM
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I swapped out the ClearStream 2 with the ClearStream 4 and set it up using my signal strength meter. The ClearStream 4 is the one on the right with the wire mesh reflector whereas the ChearStream 4MAX is the one on the left with the two small dipole antennas and no wire mesh reflector. The meter was pegged at max so I adjusted the direction right in the middle between the point where it started to drop off on either side. I now get channel 11.1 from Baltimore quite clearly with no artifacts. Unfortunately I still get a lot of pixelation on channel 13.1. This is very frustrating considering my close proximity to the towers and the fact that both channel 2.1 and 11.1 broadcast from the same tower with the channel 45.1 tower just a couple hundred yards away, if that.
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post #15139 of 15147 Old 11-29-2019, 06:40 PM
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I swapped out the ClearStream 2 with the ClearStream 4 and set it up using my signal strength meter. The ClearStream 4 is the one on the right with the wire mesh reflector whereas the ChearStream 4MAX is the one on the left with the two small dipole antennas and no wire mesh reflector. The meter was pegged at max so I adjusted the direction right in the middle between the point where it started to drop off on either side. I now get channel 11.1 from Baltimore quite clearly with no artifacts. Unfortunately I still get a lot of pixelation on channel 13.1. This is very frustrating considering my close proximity to the towers and the fact that both channel 2.1 and 11.1 broadcast from the same tower with the channel 45.1 tower just a couple hundred yards away, if that.
Are you using a preamp? That may help with some of the problematic channels as long as you don't overload due to strong signals nearby. The Channel Master 7778 new version 3 preamp as 16db gain, which is more than adequate. But you may need a stronger High VHF antenna for 13 such as Winegard 7694 or the Stellar Labs 30-2475 High VHF antenna from Newark.
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post #15140 of 15147 Old 11-29-2019, 06:52 PM
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Are you using a preamp? That may help with some of the problematic channels as long as you don't overload due to strong signals nearby. The Channel Master 7778 new version 3 preamp as 16db gain, which is more than adequate. But you may need a stronger High VHF antenna for 13 such as Winegard 7694 or the Stellar Labs 30-2475 High VHF antenna from Newark.
I am not currently using a preamp, but it may be worth a shot. I am concerned about overloading the other channels that I do receive so it's a mixed bag. Like I said before, when I aligned the antenna the signal meter was pegged to the maximum signal strength so boosting the signal may mess up the good channels. I've already spent a small fortune on antennas and they're piling up in my shed. I can't really justify getting another one at this point. For now I can just record and watch channel 13.1 using the FIOS feed on HD channel 513. I think my biggest problem is that the top of the antenna mast is still below the tree line for LOS reception so the VHF signals from the Baltimore towers are being greatly attenuated. I'm not all that concerned about channels 7 or 9 since I don't watch the DC channels all that much and I already get a clear ABC signal on channel 2.1. I may have to adjust the antenna pointed towards DC to see if I can get channel 9.1 so I can record the CBS prime time programs. Otherwise I'll just keep using FIOS as my source.

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post #15141 of 15147 Old 11-29-2019, 07:43 PM
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Ah, so THOSE are ClearStream antennas. Now things are coming into focus for me. The one on the right has basically no dedicated VHF elements, while the one on the left has just a dipole for VHF. That is why you're having problems with VHF reception. There is good news, though. The antenna with the dipole should work just fine for the Baltimore VHF stations. At about ten miles away, the signal you're getting from Baltimore doesn't even need to be amplified. If you have the antenna on the left pointed at D.C., then that simple dipole might not be enough to pull in those VHF stations.

Since you say you don't care about the D.C. VHF stations, you should point the left antenna at Baltimore and the right antenna at D.C. If they are already set up that way, then the most likely reason RF channel 13 is pixelating is due to multipathing. You said you are located at a low point between higher terrain. You can have strong signals bouncing all over the place with your tuner being just able to lock in everything except channel 13.
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post #15142 of 15147 Old 11-29-2019, 08:24 PM
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I am not currently using a preamp, but it may be worth a shot. I am concerned about overloading the other channels that I do receive so it's a mixed bag. Like I said before, when I aligned the antenna the signal meter was pegged to the maximum signal strength so boosting the signal may mess up the good channels. I've already spent a small fortune on antennas and they're piling up in my shed. I can't really justify getting another one at this point. For now I can just record and watch channel 13.1 using the FIOS feed on HD channel 513. I think my biggest problem is that the top of the antenna mast is still below the tree line for LOS reception so the VHF signals from the Baltimore towers are being greatly attenuated. I'm not all that concerned about channels 7 or 9 since I don't watch the DC channels all that much and I already get a clear ABC signal on channel 2.1. I may have to adjust the antenna pointed towards DC to see if I can get channel 9.1 so I can record the CBS prime time programs. Otherwise I'll just keep using FIOS as my source.
Yea preamps can be helpful or problematic so it is trial and error due to overload. Perhaps a distribution amp may perform better down the line. Channel Master 3412 or 3414 depending upon the number of TVs connected.

Also keep in mind 13-WJZ will repack next spring and convert to an omnidirectional antenna so the reception pattern may improve.
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post #15143 of 15147 Old 11-30-2019, 05:31 AM
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Ah, so THOSE are ClearStream antennas. Now things are coming into focus for me. The one on the right has basically no dedicated VHF elements, while the one on the left has just a dipole for VHF. That is why you're having problems with VHF reception. There is good news, though. The antenna with the dipole should work just fine for the Baltimore VHF stations. At about ten miles away, the signal you're getting from Baltimore doesn't even need to be amplified. If you have the antenna on the left pointed at D.C., then that simple dipole might not be enough to pull in those VHF stations.

Since you say you don't care about the D.C. VHF stations, you should point the left antenna at Baltimore and the right antenna at D.C. If they are already set up that way, then the most likely reason RF channel 13 is pixelating is due to multipathing. You said you are located at a low point between higher terrain. You can have strong signals bouncing all over the place with your tuner being just able to lock in everything except channel 13.
Interesting. The antenna on the right used to be the one that I had pointed at DC. I had a similar model with just two circular elements (ClearStream 2) aimed at Baltimore. I do have a newer ClearStream 2MAX with the two circular elements plus the two dipole antennas minus the screen reflector that I had intended to use for the Baltimore stations. I may give that a try and see if it pulls in the Baltimore VHF channels any better.
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post #15144 of 15147 Old 11-30-2019, 07:33 PM
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I do have a newer ClearStream 2MAX with the two circular elements plus the two dipole antennas minus the screen reflector that I had intended to use for the Baltimore stations. I may give that a try and see if it pulls in the Baltimore VHF channels any better.
Yes, use the 2MAX with the two dipoles for Baltimore. The circular elements are for UHF and do nothing for VHF. This will be your best shot at RF channels 11 & 13. If that fails, then it is probably multipath that is causing your trouble. Unfortunately, there is little you would be able to do about that.
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post #15145 of 15147 Old 11-30-2019, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian in CT View Post
Yes, use the 2MAX with the two dipoles for Baltimore. The circular elements are for UHF and do nothing for VHF. This will be your best shot at RF channels 11 & 13. If that fails, then it is probably multipath that is causing your trouble. Unfortunately, there is little you would be able to do about that.
I'm inclined to try what was suggested earlier and swap the two ClearStream 4 antennas and point them in the opposite directions. The 4MAX isn't picking up channel 9 from DC like the older model 4 did. I think I read somewhere that the newer MAX versions lost some of their signal strength in favor of greater multi-directional capability. I assume that the loss of the mesh screen reflector has something to do with that. It's certainly the easiest solution to try since all I have to do is loosen the mast clamps enough to rotate the masts and point the antennas to the opposite set of towers. It will have to wait at least a couple of days with bad weather moving in. It's supposed to rain all day tomorrow and into Monday.
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post #15146 of 15147 Old 12-01-2019, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post
I assume that the loss of the mesh screen reflector has something to do with that.
I thought I saw a screen reflector in your picture... One wonders how that can work at all given how you point a loop antenna. From here: https://www.tutorialspoint.com/anten...on_pattern.jpg


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post #15147 of 15147 Old 12-01-2019, 07:54 AM
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You are correct. One of the antennas in the photo has a reflector and the other does not. The ClearStream 4MAX is the one without the reflector screen but it also has the dipole antennas protruding from the sides. The older ClearStream 4 is the one with the wire mesh screen reflector. I connected a signal strength meter to the coax from the antenna and aligned it for maximum signal strength. I used a compass app on my phone to get it lined up with the towers and then used the meter to fine tune it.
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