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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live about 35-40 miles from most of the broadcast towers in my area and they are all located in the same direction. I built an indoor Hoverman antenna out of a board and some unshielded copper wire to get an idea of what I could pick up. After playing with it for a few weeks I knew I was going to need a beefier outdoor antenna if I wanted more than two channels.

The CM3020 may have been overkill for my situation but my original plan was to put it in the attic for aesthetic reasons. Well it turned out it wouldn't fit or rather it barely fit but I wasn't able to aim it. So I wound up building an antenna mast out of two chain link fence top rails. The antenna is now about 15ft above the ground and pointed in the direction of the broadcast towers. I was able to pickup all the local affiliates including Fox, which is the sole broadcaster using VHF. One night, on a whim I did another channel scan and managed to pick up another NBC affiliate with call letters I didn't recognize. Turned out it was from a small town 138 miles away!

Anyway, after about 2 weeks Fox and one of the indy stations just disappeared and ABC became intermittent. Thinking I hadn't secured the antenna well enough and that the wind had caused it to shift I tried re-aiming the antenna but to no avail. I'm at a loss as to why it would suddenly start acting up like this. One of my TVs has a signal diagnostics screen. It shows that when I tune to one of these channels the sign seems to fluctuate drastically. For Fox and the indy station it barely reaches 60%. While for ABC it hovers in the mid 70s but regularly drops down into the teens before rebounding.

Any way here's my setup: I have 4 TVs and my antenna is connected to a junction box mounted on the opposite side of the house from where the antenna is located by a 50ft run of cable. The junction box was installed by Cox Cable and was reused by DirecTV when I had satellite. I had to install the antenna on the opposite side because the junction box was right below where the electricity connected to the house. The DirecTV installer may have gotten away with installing an 18' dish next to the power lines but I wasn't about to tempt fate with a 12ft directional antenna. Anyway as best as I can tell the existing cable has 3 different splitters. Most of the cable and splitters were run on the outside of the house because, after all, cable installers are paid by the number of installs they complete.

Any suggestions? If there's any details that I've left out let me know. I haven't used an antenna since I was a kid and my dad would make me stand next to the TV with one hand on the rabbit ears because I was apparently a good conductor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oops, sorry didn't read any of the sticky posts before I posted

I didn't see a way to edit my original post so here's the details I failed to include:

I live in Pensacola, FL. The forum rules won't let me post a link to tvfool so someone would have to go there and enter my coordinates: 30.551041,-87.256955

All the channels I care about are located west and slightly north along I-10 between Pensacola, FL and Mobile, AL.
 

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Anyway, after about 2 weeks Fox and one of the indy stations just disappeared and ABC became intermittent.
Is Fox WALA real channel 9, virtual channel 10.1? Is ABC WEAR real channel 17, virtual channel 3.1?
I have 4 TVs and my antenna is connected to a junction box mounted on the opposite side of the house from where the antenna is located by a 50ft run of cable. The junction box was installed by Cox Cable and was reused by DirecTV when I had satellite......the existing cable has 3 different splitters. Most of the cable and splitters were run on the outside of the house
Some of that equipment, like splitters and multi switches, might not be suitable for OTA. The cables should be OK, if not damaged.

The coax shield should be grounded with a grounding block that is connected to the house electrical system ground with 10 gauge copper wire for electrical safety and to reject interference. For further compliance with the electrical code (NEC), the mast should also be grounded in a similar manner to drain any buildup of static charge, but the system will not survive a direct strike.
 

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There is a lot of loss in those cables and splitters, but your signals, except for Fox, are very strong. Might be something else, like an intermittent connection.



I did an FMFOOL report to see if there were any very strong FM signals that might interfere with TV reception, especially Fox. See attachment. FMFOOL reports don't link like TVFOOL reports.
 

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Well it turned out it wouldn't fit or rather it barely fit but I wasn't able to aim it.
The CM 3020 covers VHF-Low, real channels 2-6 which you don't have, so the antenna is wider than needed, at 95".

If you still want to experiment, one thing to try would be a DB8e for UHF unamplified combined with a VHF-High amplified antenna for Fox. No guarantee, because you would still have the trees.
 
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