AVS Forum banner

61 - 80 of 206 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
Discussion Starter #61
As far as UHF antenna selection goes, one thing I have noticed is a highly-directional Yagi antenna like the renowned 91XG will have more resistance to multipath issues. Comparing the gain specs and even beam width plots may not show much difference between bowtie antenna like the CM4228HD and DB8e. I did find for my particular situation with UHF 1EDGE behind a hill, the 91XG helped noticeably with multipath. After switching to the Yagi a 95% reliable station went to 100% reliable, an improvement worth doing the antenna shuffle.

So, depending on your tolerance for experiments and antenna-swapping, your weak signals refracting over terrain may be better served by a UHF Yagi vs. a bowtie. Unfortunately there is no way to know for sure without putting up an antenna and giving it a try.

Good luck!
Thanks,, Everything here is 2 edge or tropo, and not much is totally reliable.. I am doing ok for what I have to work with actually!... bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
Discussion Starter #62 (Edited)
Question about OTA subchannels

I turned on my tv today and noticed one of the stations i can get in ok[transmitter is 75 miles away over the mountains!] went from 3 to 4 channels, and added Cozi TV.. happy to see that as i like old tv shows being a child of the 60's...
However, there was no fanfare, nothing on the tv stations website or facebook, and nothing anywhere I could find no matter how hard I looked.. Never saw a programming commercial on the main channel, just there it was -, not there yesterday, there today.. Is that the way it usually happens, and do they go away just as fast, -or change from one network to the other with no warning??.. No big deal, but it did make me curious.. After years of cable only I started fooling with antennas again, and was surprised to see whats out there, even in my "dead zone".. If I lived closer to a good sized city or two, there is no way I would ever pay another cable bill... bob
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
17,799 Posts
That's pretty much how it is. Subchannels are largely leased-out to the networks in question or required to carry them when it's part of the same ownership group. I would imagine, even then, there's some ledger numbers moving around. The "networks" lease the subchannel and sell ads much the same way a regular broadcast network does, turning back a couple minutes per half hour MOL for the station to sell.

There's really nothing in it for a station to highly promote a subchannel on their main channel. Remember, they're selling the eyeballs that are viewing the main channel. Enticing those eyeballs to go anywhere else is counterproductive, especially in the minds of Program Directors even if not in actuality. There's only so many promotional slots available in any given broadcast day. Some of those go to sales for cross-promotional deals. The rest are used to move viewers to other programming on the main channel. What makes more sense, running a promo sending viewers to a place where you get maybe ten bucks a spot or running a promo sending viewers to your local newscast where you haul in hundreds of dollars per spot and own all the inventory? More likely, you'll see stations use the subchannel inventory to promote something the main.

That's not to say some don't throw in some mention SOMEwhere once in a blue moon. I've seen slates showing a subchannel's logo and where you can find it on the various systems.

Which is another issue. When 3/4's of the audience is viewing over cable, how do you promote something that might not even BE on the same cable system? Or is on different channels on different systems and not on DSS at all? Pretty confusing. They figure the OTA-only crowd will find it on their own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
Discussion Starter #65
Thanks for the explanation... I am still new at all this... I have been cable only for many years, and things are very different than they were years ago, pre digital..bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
Discussion Starter #66
Another question perhaps someone can help me with... The station I want to get WNEP, is moving from Ch 50 to channel 16 where it is now "virtually".. Not sure when exactly, but I know its on the way...
Is there a real, tangible difference in receiving a weak high UHF signal than a low one?.. In other words, all else being 100% equal, should channel 16 travel stronger/farther/ "more bendy" than channel 50, or is that not the way UHF works, and is another of my pipe dreams??... bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,655 Posts
Another question perhaps someone can help me with... The station I want to get WNEP, is moving from Ch 50 to channel 16 where it is now "virtually".. Not sure when exactly, but I know its on the way...
Is there a real, tangible difference in receiving a weak high UHF signal than a low one?.. In other words, all else being 100% equal, should channel 16 travel stronger/farther/ "more bendy" than channel 50, or is that not the way UHF works, and is another of my pipe dreams??... bob
Yes, the lower the frequency, the more " bendy."

In regards to how far it travels, the lower the frequency, the farther it travels, but The FCC can adjust the power allowed to change the coverage area, to avoid co-channel interference, or compensate for viewer reception problems.

WNEP will be running more power on 16 for a greater coverage area:
http://www.rabbitears.info/market.php?request=station_search&callsign=wnep
click on Technical Data and Screencaps
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,326 Posts
Another question perhaps someone can help me with... The station I want to get WNEP, is moving from Ch 50 to channel 16 where it is now "virtually".. Not sure when exactly, but I know its on the way...
Is there a real, tangible difference in receiving a weak high UHF signal than a low one?.. In other words, all else being 100% equal, should channel 16 travel stronger/farther/ "more bendy" than channel 50, or is that not the way UHF works, and is another of my pipe dreams??... bob

You won't be able to notice much difference between UHF 50 and UHF 16. It's not enough of a frequency change. Your question entails several issues.

1) UHF doesn't diffract over hills as well as high VHF and especially low VHF. Low VHF is better in hilly non-LOS locations than UHF.

2) Tropospheric ducting affects higher frequencies more than lower frequencies. Strong ducting can bring in UHF stations with strong signals that are completely absent with no ducting. The effect is much less on low VHF.

3) The reason low VHF and high VHF use lower power transmitters than UHF is due to the dipole factor. A dipole on UHF is much smaller than a dipole on low VHF. When placed in an RF field of fixed strength, the larger dipole will generate a larger signal than a smaller dipole because it intercepts more of the RF field. It simply requires less transmitter power to generate the same signal on low VHF than it does on UHF.

The formula is 20*Log (F1/F2)

Let's compare the extremes: RF 51 - 695 MHz and RF 2 - 57 MHz

20*Log (695/57) = 21.7 dB

That means a 6.8 KW transmitter on RF 2 will equal a 1000KW transmitter on RF 51.


Now let's compare RF50 to RF16.

20*Log (689/485) = 3.05 dB

That means only 500KW is needed on RF 16 to equal 1000KW on RF 50. Even without looking up the WNEP repacking application, I can tell you they used the dipole factor formula for the power they applied for on RF 16. They may have applied for a power increase on a subsequent "maximization" application.

The FCC can't take signal bending into account for transmitter power because it varies all the time and also varies by location.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,444 Posts
I checked RabbitEars.Info again about WNEP. Looks like their current ch. 50 transmitter is running at 500 kW ERP while the new ch. 16 transmitter will be 950 kW ERP. Both are non-directional transmitting antennas so those figures apply in every direction.

So you'll see a rough doubling of power; i.e., about 3 dB. If you move to a UHF antenna scaled for lower frequencies, you'll see a bit more. And as rabbit73 says, lower frequencies diffract over obstacles more readily. So all things considered, you'll have a somewhat better chance of getting WNEP on UHF after they move to RF 16.

I'm not sure what repacking "phase" WNEP is in, but IIRC all phases are happening in 2019. So you only have another year and change to wait.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,655 Posts
Another question perhaps someone can help me with... The station I want to get WNEP, is moving from Ch 50 to channel 16 where it is now "virtually".. Not sure when exactly, but I know its on the way...
Is there a real, tangible difference in receiving a weak high UHF signal than a low one?.. In other words, all else being 100% equal, should channel 16 travel stronger/farther/ "more bendy" than channel 50, or is that not the way UHF works, and is another of my pipe dreams??... bob
Here are the Longley-Rice coverage maps for your area that show a little better coverage for RF 16 than for RF 50. The accuracy implied by the red areas is greater than the actual accuracy, so you will have to wait and see what happens. Red is the weakest listed strength; no color is weaker.



RF 50 map:
http://www.rabbitears.info/contour.php?appid=2008660&map=Y



RF 16 map:

http://www.rabbitears.info/contour.php?appid=2007560&map=Y


Please take into consideration that your UHF antenna might have less gain for channel 16 than for channel 50.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
Discussion Starter #71
Thanks guys.. thats very interesting stuff.. Looks like I'll have a little better shot at it going forward. Really great information you guys are able to access, and give good solid advice to guys like me, that don't have the experience. My luck, I'll get a lock on the channel, and the station will switch to Ion or Laff or another subchannel that I already have in triplicate.. lol.... Thanks again my friends, the effort to help out is very well appreciated!... bob
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,000 Posts
I am not real technical and surely I would be happy to PM you my address if thats what you mean.
Do you have a smart phone? If so, download the free app: GPS status

With it, you can get your location coordinates.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,008 Posts
Please take into consideration that your UHF antenna might have less gain for channel 16 than for channel 50.
To the OP; we antenna consumers are hoping the antenna bandwidth is something the vendors re-design as repack and ATSC 3.0 take effect. The new upper channel limit for UHF is dropping to 37 from 51 from 69. They (mobile phone companies) have taken a lot of our spectrum! The slightly positive view of this change is narrower-bandwidth UHF antennae designs can improve significantly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
Discussion Starter #74 (Edited)
I have WNEP again... I was able to rescan it again in the teeth of a blizzard.. Its weak and pixelating during the day, better at night,,, I plan on leaving it there in the tuner list until I can get outside again and try some different antennas.. I have this one on the way, because I got it for free.. It will be here tomorrow, but its single digits every day now, and I am NOT going up on the roof! I don't need the station that bad!

https://www.amazon.com/DEEP-FRINGE-YAGI-ANTENNA-UHF/dp/B00DHHFPA8/ref=sr_1_15?srs=3043642011&ie=UTF8&qid=1515960363&sr=8-15&keywords=stellar+labs+antenna



Not sure its all that great, its a rip off of a Televes, but my Stellar Labs Hi VHF unit is very stoutly built, and I have read these units are as well...
Once I know if I am dealing with a VHF or UHF signal, I will adjust in an appropriate manner this spring.. btw, I am not sure if snow cover helps TV signals, but I do better with OTA reception here in this dead zone when the ground is snow covered!... bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
Discussion Starter #75 (Edited)
So now that WNEP is back, and my other "backside of the antenna" UHF channels from elmira have come back,- probably due to weather conditions, I scanned again and was surprised to see a Scranton UHF station WQPX.. Digital ch 64.1- 64.6. RF ch 32 . Comes in very haltingly, and can't be watched for more than 15 seconds before it falls off the digital cliff... However, it got me thinking that perhaps I am indeed picking up WNEP in the UHF band.. WNEP is the strongest signal,, highest tower,and most widely available UHF station in this region from what I have read.. So I am hoping that with a dedicated UHF antenna, and a decent mast mounted preamp, that I might be able to actually do something with the UHF band out of Scranton.. Its 75 miles away, and I realize that in this rugged terrain, getting any UHF stations from that far out is remarkable.. However, it is an interesting "chase", and now that I know that UHF signals from 75 miles out DO find there way here, at least part time, I will continue the effort.. Its just so interesting to me for some reason.. I went to 12 channels down from 27 a week ago... then the weather got icy cold again with snow, and as of last night I had 34 channels.. It seems to me UHF signals enjoy bitter, brutal cold, wind, and heavy snow.. thats when my UHF signals are strongest... Very strange..

. EDIT;,,,,, Ok finally figured out what going on.. I have indeed been getting the UHF signal from WNEP... Here's how I figured it out..
My tv, only shows the digital channel, not the actual RF channel.. However, I recently figured out by just playing with it, if you punch the actual channel numbers in on the remote, it defaults to the digital assignment.. In other words, when I pressed 8 on the remote, it automatically went to the digital channel 40.. I went through the entire rotation, and it did it with each channel.. duh,,, I kind of knew it did this for a week or so, but never really put 2+2 together that it would be a great way to see what i was getting..
Pressing ch 10 gets nothing.. It shows no signal, so I am not getting the WNEP translator out of Towanda Pa...
When I press 50 on my remote, which is the actual channel from WNEP,it does not go to 16 WNEP, but DOES go to ch 44 WVIA which is the same signal, same transmitter as WNEP at least for the time being.. That info is further back in this thread,, So making progress here, and the UHF antenna is on the way.. this does muddy things up however, as I may need a rotator, to get all the Elmira stations which are like 120 degrees the other way.. however I might not need them if I get all the scranton UHF channels.. They are all repeats anyway... So, no big deal, but I know a couple members here were interested in following my "exploits", and were invested in this with their time, wisdom, and generously shared knowledge and experience.. I have learned quite a bit, some through you fine fellows, and some through trial and error... Hell, if nothing else its given me a diversion in my old age in the dead of winter, chasing elusive UHF "ghosts" that come and go as they please, but seem drawn to Arctic cold blasts, and sideways snow storms!... bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,008 Posts
Interesting looking antenna with the triple beam directors, let us know how it works out. Here is a link that includes the datasheet, no gain plots though. Your TV fool report didn't show any strong UHF stations, which implies your best results would be with a mast-mounted low-noise preamp as previously mentioned. The difference between mast-mounted and TV preamp locations could easily be 2 - 3 dB of noise margin, which you just may need in your situation. Just mention this in the interest of minimizing trips up the pole. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
Discussion Starter #77
Interesting looking antenna with the triple beam directors, let us know how it works out. Here is a link that includes the datasheet, no gain plots though. Your TV fool report didn't show any strong UHF stations, which implies your best results would be with a mast-mounted low-noise preamp as previously mentioned. The difference between mast-mounted and TV preamp locations could easily be 2 - 3 dB of noise margin, which you just may need in your situation. Just mention this in the interest of minimizing trips up the pole. ;)
The tv fool and rabbit ears reports are not right for whatever reason... they do show the weak stations from Scranton, but they show them as weaker than the solid UHF signals out of elmira for some reason.. those elmira stations have always been there, they aren't weak at all with the antenna directed at them.. i can get them with a piece of copper wire on a bit of coax hung out the window. No matter, it is what it is.. probably just the lay of the hills are helping me out..


I plan on using a preamp on the mast, but I wanted to see exactly what i have to work on first.. That is starting to make itself known as time goes on... i will certainly report on how this antenna performs meantime when I can out there for an hour without dying of hypothermia... bob bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,444 Posts
My tv, only shows the digital channel, not the actual RF channel.. However, I recently figured out by just playing with it, if you punch the actual channel numbers in on the remote, it defaults to the digital assignment.. In other words, when I pressed 8 on the remote, it automatically went to the digital channel 40.. I went through the entire rotation, and it did it with each channel.. duh,,, I kind of knew it did this for a week or so, but never really put 2+2 together that it would be a great way to see what i was getting..
Pressing ch 10 gets nothing.. It shows no signal, so I am not getting the WNEP translator out of Towanda Pa...
When I press 50 on my remote, which is the actual channel from WNEP,it does not go to 16 WNEP, but DOES go to ch 44 WVIA which is the same signal, same transmitter as WNEP at least for the time being.

bob
Very clever, and I'm :eek: I didn't think of it myself.

I haven't done that in years, but I used to, back when I was using a Philco converter box. It did the same thing. If you entered a channel number and there was no virtual channel with that number, it treated the number you entered as an RF channel and displayed the first program ID it found there.

I think many digital tuners work that way, but the ones I use most often these days don't; so I'd completely forgotten about that trick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
Discussion Starter #79
Low tech but it worked,, Wish I had thought of it before buying a big high VHF antenna i really didn't need, but whatever,,, Next step is seeing whats in the air, and if there's enough signal from the Scranton UHF stations to bother with.. that WNEP signal is driving 75 miles through heavily forested mountains to get here, so I have my doubts it will ever be totally reliable on a daily basis.. Here's where they go through to get here.. . bob
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endless_Mountains
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
Discussion Starter #80 (Edited)
So I got out in the snow with a 10' pipe, and the antenna, standing on my deck about 3-4 feet AGL... I was able to get WNEP/WVIA in,, When I lifted the pole over my head totaling about 20 feet AGL, I got to about 37 on the tv's signal graph.. Typically I only reach that level with the GE antenna at night when the signal is stronger,,
I did use the $7.95 behind the set "booster" in the line...

Not great but somewhat better than the little GE can muster on this station it would seem.. I was only about 3 feet under the height of the GE.. Only scanned 10 channels which isn't great, because the little GE gets more than that on UHF, including some very clear UHF stations out of Elmira on the backside of the antenna.. This new Stellar Labs unit seems VERY directional too. It picked nothing up from the back side . So yes its stronger on UHF than whats up there now, but it should be as its a big antenna, and 3 times the size of the GE...

I am almost thinking of simply keeping the little GE right where it is, putting it up another 10 feet, adding a mast mounted booster and calling it good..


yes, the MUCH larger dedicated UHF/VHF antennas would bring the signal meter up 10-15 % over what the GE does, but that would mean 2 massive units up there, and so far I am just a little underwhelmed with what I have seen from these high gain antennas.. I was expecting to be floored with the nicely increased signal strength, and the multitudes of new exciting channels from exotic places.. Thus far I have found incremental and somewhat inconclusive results... I think when it gets warmer, I am simply going to try the mast mounted booster and raise the GE antenna up another 10 feet higher, and that might be enough....

Maybe someone here could take a guess on something for me...
I was considering a CM 4228, because it has some VHF capability although its basically a UHF antenna...

I want to be able to keep the 2 Binghamton and 2 Scranton high VHF stations as well as having good UHF gain on the Scranton stations..
The GE has been doing well with the VHF stations, including the ones from Scranton... GE doesn't publish the specs on their antennas as we know.. However, does anyone/everyone think I would have similar VHF gain from a 4228HD as i get from the VHF dipole on the GE???...

I would hate to buy it, and then find I just bought another very directional UHF antenna.. Right now I can cover what I want, but those are 2 big antennas, and really to do it right I would need a rotator as they are both highly directional, whereas the GE is not...
Its not about money, but simply trying to find a 1 antenna solution if at all possible... bob
 
61 - 80 of 206 Posts
Top