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Can't get steady reception with 92% signal

866 Views 17 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  jmrobbins
Does anyone know why I get dropouts every 10 seconds with 92% reception. The signal meter is at 92% and then drops to 0 then back up again every 10 seconds. I'm currently using an indoor antenna. I have not yet got an outdoor antenna because I don't feel i'm up to the task of mounting one, does anyone know what catagory to look under in the yellow pages, or any business in the queens area of new york that does antenna mountings.
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I can't help you in the area of installers, but I might assume that you have some multipath issues happening. What type of building construction are you in? Brick -should be- somewhat good, but if it's Stucco facing, indoor antenna's are not too good.


Do you live near an airport?
Nope, no airports here, My house is brick and is covered with siding. And there is a very large building within 1 block of me, about 12 stories high. What would be the solution for me?
More likely it is interference from a defective cordless phone or wireless temperature transmitter or other electronic device that polls on a 10 sec interval. Tracking this down could be tough. Hams deal with interference problems alot, and with the right equipment and knowledge it can take weeks to find the source. You could try shutting off any such devices (and that may involve removing batteries from handsets, etc) one by one to see if its in your house. Unfortunately, it could be in you neighbors house. If your indoor antenna isn't in the attic, you could try a more directional (larger) antenna in the attic, and if you have an attic antenna, then upgrading that to a higher gain/more directional antenna could help.

I also live in an apartment building in Brooklyn New York and I'm using an amplified radio shack double bow tie antenna and sometimes I also get some interference when a vehicle passes my building which is about 25 feet. It could be from a vehicle.
Well, It is definitely something enviroment related. I decided to wake up at 4am just do do a quick test. And at 4am the signal is very steady with no dropouts at all. But the number of things it could be are endless, it could be vehicles, it could be phones, it could be something in my neighbors house as someone said. Would a large outdoor/attic antenna help in a situation like this even though I'm already getting a 92% signal?

The signal dropout you're describing is only happening with your dish reception. It has nothing to do with the antenna. I had a similiar problem and it was a bad crimp on one of the cables I made (RG6). CHECK every one of the connections ! I pulled on all of mine and the bad one came right off in my hand. Your OTA antenna will NOT cause the signal strength to drop-off.

Hope this helps

I don't see how it could be related to the dish cable? My dish cabling is rock solid 24-7 at 80%, do you mean that the cabling to the dish could somehow be leaking some sort of interference to the OTA side? I have also used two different high quality coax cabling for the OTA antenna, it makes no difference.
What type of STB are you using ? As far as I know, there isnt one that measures OTA signal strength. The signal strength meter is for the dish. My first generation Sony single lnb (non-HD) was doing the same thing (90%-0%) before I replaced it with the HD-520. I was getting 0% signal strength until I found the bad connection.
I think most do. The DTC-100 definitely measures OTA digital signal quality. His problem is OTA.

DUH ! I hit the signal button while watching CBS and the HD-520 displayed a bar graph indicating OTA signal strength ! Sorry Phire...wish I could've been more helpful.
have to disagree with Lonelasso. My Hughes E86 has a signal strength meter for the dish AND for local digital.
What type of indoor antenna are you using? Rabbit ears? Bowtie?
Sorry for not replying sooner, I've been trying 2 indoor antennas. One being the Radio Shack Double Bow-Tie with Mod and a Silver Sensor antenna. The Silver Sensor seems to preform better for me.

It seems doing an outdoor Antenna installation is way too involved for something like me to try. If anyone knows the proper catagory to look under for antenna installations under the yellow pages please let me know.

Under recent tests with my Silver Sensor, i've been finding that some days are worse and some days are good. One day I had steady reception throughout the whole day. The next day the antenna was dropping the signal like mad, yet the antenna position never moved.

On the day the antenna was preforming well I took a look at the signal meter, it ranged from 90% to 60%, the important thing to note was that it progressively dropped between those two numbers. On bad days it can spike up to 80% and then drop to 0% or 20% every 10 seconds.

I also recently asked a person about buying a CM amplifier and he had told me that using an amplifier for an indoor antenna does not help very much and is not worth it, and that they really only work for outdoor antennas.
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Originally posted by Phire
... It seems doing an outdoor Antenna installation is way too involved for something like me to try. If anyone knows the proper catagory to look under for antenna installations under the yellow pages please let me know.
Look in the Yellow Pages under Satellite Systems. Many of them also install local OTA antennas, or would know someone who does in your area.
I disagree that using an amplifier with an indoor antenna is worthless. Adding an amplifier to my RS double botwtie indoors allowed me to pick up ABC-HD from Poteau Oklahoma. I could not get it with the antenna alone.

Airplanes taking off do wreak havok on the double bowtie, but the Silver Sensor is much more directional and this my not be a problem. Luckily, Fort Smith does not have many airplanes taking off.

My double bowtie is now black taped to the antenna mast on the rooftop, but it is still amplified by that $10 RS amplifier mounted under the eaves of the house. My wife and I got that project completed this weekend.

If you buy an amplifier, make sure and get one with an FM trap. Using that makes a difference also in the number of dropouts.
I am also perplexed at the drop outs I get on OTA reception with my Hughes 86. I have a 12 element UHF antenna aimed at the station about 25 miles away. I don't know if it might not take a very large amplified antenna to maintain a drop-out free signal.

I had one in Germany to pick up AFN TV (a 10W station) in Frankfurt. The antenna was very large and very high quality (not at all what is sold over here).

All I can say is once digital is the norm, a lot of people will be pissed at how difficult it is to get a good signal.
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