AVS Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know many variations of this question have been asked, but I'm getting frustrated and hope someone with similar experiences can help me out. I live 5 miles away from the Sears Tower and have recently purchased the SIR-T160. I have not activated the DirecTV tuner yet but am trying to get the HD locals with mixed results.


I've tried 5 different antennas (all indoor) from $10 RS antennas to a $50 amplified Jensen antenna. All I've been able to pull in is ABC, FOX and UPN (also PAX but don't care about that). At one point I was able to get NBC, but with many dropouts.


My setup is at the north end of our condo on the 2nd floor with the transmitters being to the south. CBS is a low VHF channel (3) so I expected some trouble with that but still thought I'd be able get it with some effort, as I'm also only 5 miles from the Hancock center, as well. The Silver Sensor didn't really get much more for me but I would like to get CBS so thought a VHF/UHF antenna would be more appropriate.


Has anyone else had more success in a similar situation? I feel my next step is the TERK TV42 mounted on the dish but have heard mixed reviews. From my dish on the roof, however, you can literally see both the Sears and the Hancock clearly so thought that might bode well for my situation. I realize that a different outdoor antenna would work better but due to condo living that would but a more difficult sell.


Anyone with comments/advise? Any would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks, Rob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
924 Posts
I have never recommended the terk, but in your situation 5 miles from the transmitters the roof access is going to more than likely be more important than all else in receiving your OTA stations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,242 Posts
Dont waste your time with the TV42 I used onei n the past and the reception was marginal at best. I recently purcased the Zenith Silver Sensor and had excellent results.


Give it try Circuit City and Sears carries them for about $29.99
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
924 Posts
In this situation I believe that anything outside on the roof is going to do better than inside through all the walls.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
729 Posts
If you are about to give up send me an e-mail and I can come out with a spectrum analyzer for a site survey to find a spot the silver sensor will work in. Just so you know, I charge for this service.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
See this old post about my homemade UHF only antenna, which has worked out great attached to my dish. You can use diplexers to avoid running more cable. Stay away from the RS antennas designed to mount with your dish, these are also junk.


Being so close, I'm able to use rabbit ears for CBS-3, flattened all the way out. I get 50's for signal but it's solid and watchable.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...10#post1422010
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
924 Posts
The "Bardwell loop" would be a good idea in your location, unobtrusive and outdoors in sight of the towers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the input... I broke down and decided to give the TV42 a try with interesting results (note; not great).


With the indoor antenna (all varieties) I was able to very easily get ABC, and with some adjustments was able to get UPN and occassionally FOX. I couldn't get NBC or rarely WGN. With the outdoor I was able to get NBC, FOX and WGN but not ABC or UPN. ABC continues to be the biggest mystery (VHF-3). I'm now trying to combine the signals from both the TV42 and the indoor but haven't got that working that well yet, but either way I'm still not getting CBS.


I will check out some of the suggestions and see how it works out. Right now I'm willing to try almost anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,084 Posts
You should have better luck with WBBM-DT Ch. 3 after the antenna/signal upgrade. If you can obtain an older rabbit ears that will extend up to 8', adjust it to 92" (Ch. 3 half-wavelength) and try to find a sweet spot, maybe at ceiling level. If this works, couple it to a UHF antenna with a 75-Ohm vhf/uhf coupler. As stated above, a simple loop should get all the UHFs in your location, but you'll have to find the sweet spot for it too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,084 Posts
The antenna installation was completed on 12/5. They hope to have it all connected and ready to operate before the end of the year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Another thing... how can I find the proverbial sweet spot on a channel that I haven't gotten the receiver to recognize? The Samsung I have (SIR-T160) requires you to scan the channels, after which, those are the only digital channels I have access to. I can't just put the receiver on channel 3 and fiddle with the antenna. I need to have the receiver find the channel and then fine tune things (or at least that's the way it appears to me).

Thanks, Rob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
729 Posts
You will need to move the antenna around the room very slowly and hope that the tuner gets a decodable signal. Then you can make fins adjustments to the antenna.


I have directions for how to use an analog TV to find a spot to try DTV here. http://dtvconsultants.com/antenna_pointing.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
That’s good advice about the older rabbit ears. I had actually been using a combination VHF/UHF antenna from RS, with a single 75 ohm output. I used this only for CBS-3, the signal was weak but if I placed it just right the picture was stable. I had postponed doing anything more permanent until the new broadcast antenna was finished. The Christmas tree in the window was all it took to kill this arrangement. Last night I dug back into the junk box in the garage and got the old rabbit ears with the flat 300 ohm output. Hung it on the wall behind the TV, I now get upper 70’s with no fiddling required.


After trying several store-bought antennas (some of which are still in the garage), I am now completely reliant on the two antennas removed from a 25 year-old, 13†Sanyo TV.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,084 Posts
I noticed in the post about the test of the LINX DTV system in the Tribune Tower today (which was very successful BTW) the antennas they used to receive the Chicago digital signals were a "simple dipole" (perhaps a rabbit ears adjusted to 92" for Ch. 3) and a Radio Shack double bowtie. This same combo in my attic (with a 75 Ohm VHF/UHF joiner) receives all 12 digital channels well. At 21 miles from the transmitters, SS ranges from 70-76 on WBBM-DT3 to 94-97 on WGN-DT19.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
952 Posts
Maybe someone can help me out here. I just bought all my HDTV equipment besides the tv..plan on getting it in a few weeks but wanted to iron out all the kinks in the equipment first. I am using a Sony HD100 and the Radioshack double bowtie antenna and cannot receive 1 station. I know there are 2 stations that are within 30 miles of me that should come in. Do I need to amplify this antenna? It's connected right beside the tv right now straight to the box...no extenders on any kind. I can't go outdoor as I am in an apartment. What should I get to actually receive a signal? BTW all the stations are gonna be in the same town and approx the same distance so whatever works best is this scenario would be great. Thanks in advance..I'm desparate!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,084 Posts
If your apartment has an antenna system, give that a try to see if it delivers the digital channels. You don't mention your location or the desired stations, but there are usually analog channels transmitting from the same site(s). Try to find a spot, perhaps near the ceiling, where your analog UHF channels are received best. Check Jim Burns' post above for tips on this. This may be a sweet spot for the digital channels as well. If you have VHF digital channels (2-13) the DBT will not get them and you may have to couple it to a rabbit ears. If you get any encouraging results, you may be able to improve the DBT by eliminating the twinlead and getting a better 300/75 balun as discussed elsewhere in this forum. If all your digitals are UHF, it is also possible to suspend an outdoor antenna like the 4' RS U-75R ($21.95) from your ceiling. Yagi-types like this will have more gain than the DBT and are more directional, so there is less margin for error in the aiming. A preamp might help if you are receiving the stations marginally and just need a bit more SS, but be sure to have return privileges. Hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I've finally acheived a measure of success so I thought I'd chime in again at this point.


First off the Terk TV42 is going back to Best Buy. It would only get me 2-3 of the locals that I'm after. This did suprise me because of how close I am to the transmitters. I really thought getting it outside would do the trick.


What has ended up working for me is moving the cheap $10 VHF/UHF antenna from Radio Shack to a different wall. It didn't seem logically that it would work better but I figured I'd give it a try. I was about 15ft away from what looked to be the 'best' spot. Set it up, adjusted it so NBC was coming in as strong as possible and rescanned the channels. Wasn't expecting much but, low and behold, 8 digitals came through including CBS (ch3...wasn't expecting that) and all the majors. Some adjustments are still required depending on which channel I want to watch, but right now I'm pretty happy.


The moral I took from this ordeal was that patience is required in many less that optimal situations (namely indoor in my case) in order to track down the proverbial 'sweet spot'. I thought it would be easier than it ended up being because of my close proximity to the towers.


I constantly felt nostalgic to my much younger days when we'd get up early on Saturdays and played with the antenna trying to get cartoons from a distant city (I grew up in a small town, hours away from major cities). Thought those days were behind me!


Thanks for all the input... Rob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
952 Posts
Thanks for the reply. My problem (once I found out how to measure the strengths...duh) is that I get about 70 SS for channel 36 out of Youngstown, OH (I live in Salem, OH) if the doublebowtie is perfectly placed...most positions..almost all...leave about a 2 for SS peaked. I have also repointed the antenna towards Cleveland and was able to get a SS of about 70 or so as well for channel 31 in Cleveland. Neither are viewable though. Just video and audio every few seconds for a split second. Any ideas what I can do?

Here's my scenario: I live in a 2-story apartment..We have the bottom floor and basement to our disposal and can pretty-much do whatver we need to as long as we aren't destructive to the property (ie we have aluminum siding so I mounted our Directv dish on a pole that I put in the ground to save from damaging the home. Anyhow, the TV and receiver are at the extreme NW corner of the house with 3 windows starting at that corner and continuing side-by-side on the north side of that corner..those windows lead to a large open front porch that I thought if the antenna wire was longer I could run to the porch for reception. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,084 Posts
I would pursue the porch idea. Getting the antenna outside is always better, assuming the transmitters are in the right direction. If you get rid of the twinlead on the DBT and attach a 300/75 balun transformer directly to the antenna, you can then attach enough RG-6 coax to reach the porch.


P.S. - See additional comment on next page about your VHF channels.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top