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I was intrigued by your username "Calaveras". Looks like you may have lived in the county awhile back? I grew up in West Point and graduated from Calaveras High in the '70s. As a kid I used to climb pine trees and install TV antennas as a side job. Lots of fond TVDX memories from those days.


Craig - WB6LZV

Yes, I just moved from Mountain Ranch after being there for 16 years.

73, Chuck - AA6G
 

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Question on station ID: KFTY vs KQRO (kkpm: alert!)

I have an odd situation, where I receive a very weak signal from a station that is a "clone" of another one much farther away. The close station (KFTY) and the far one (KQRO) are both 3 kW ERP transmitting on channel 2 (virtual channel 45). Both of them have exactly the same lineup....they're essentially repeaters.

It's perfectly reasonable that I receive the close station (25 miles), but it has the call sign (as encoded in the signal) of the one that's 160 miles away. I'd love to believe that my gigantic antenna and preamp are that good, but 3 kW @ 160 miles seems unlikely (altho...at 56 MHz you can get stuff a lot farther away than up at 560 MHz).

It's possible that station operators put up the wrong call sign? It's hard to believe the FCC would appreciate it...

Ideas?
 

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This may be a worthless question, but has there been any real talk of television stations in this market going to ATSC 3.0? I know that at CES, they mentioned the Top 40 markets that were supposedly going to be transmitting 3.0 by the end of the year but also not holding my breath on that either. I was hoping someone here may have heard some inside info on what stations will be going first. I'll be receiving my first ATSC 3.0 tuner in the next month or two. I was a Kickstarter supporter of the Silicondust HDHomeRun Quattro 4K... supposed to be delivered in August but it was just announced that there are delays in shipment.
 

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I have an odd situation, where I receive a very weak signal from a station that is a "clone" of another one much farther away. The close station (KFTY) and the far one (KQRO) are both 3 kW ERP transmitting on channel 2 (virtual channel 45). Both of them have exactly the same lineup....they're essentially repeaters.

It's perfectly reasonable that I receive the close station (25 miles), but it has the call sign (as encoded in the signal) of the one that's 160 miles away. I'd love to believe that my gigantic antenna and preamp are that good, but 3 kW @ 160 miles seems unlikely (altho...at 56 MHz you can get stuff a lot farther away than up at 560 MHz).

It's possible that station operators put up the wrong call sign? It's hard to believe the FCC would appreciate it...

Ideas?
Moved to Sacramento thread. Please see posts that say "Read Before Posting" ...before posting. :) Thanks
 

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KFTY, KQRO, KURK and KQSL on RF 2-4 are translators for KKPM-CD (28). They're all FCC licensed so nothing strange going on. I wonder where you're located? Receiving two stations on the same RF channel is very hard due to co-channel interference, especially when one is strong and one is weak. Antennas don't usually have enough rejection of the strong station to allow reception of the weak station.

Chuck
 

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KFTY, KQRO, KURK and KQSL on RF 2-4 are translators for KKPM-CD (28). They're all FCC licensed so nothing strange going on. I wonder where you're located? Receiving two stations on the same RF channel is very hard due to co-channel interference, especially when one is strong and one is weak. Antennas don't usually have enough rejection of the strong station to allow reception of the weak station.

Chuck
Yeah, I got that they are all repeaters, but that's the crux of my question: if I see KQRO as the station ID that's embedded in the channel 2 signal, is that guaranteed to be right? Or is it possible that what I'm actually getting is the KFTY clone and they aren't embedded KFTY's station ID?


It seems incredible that I'd get a 3 kW signal (KQRO) from 160+ miles away...
 

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Yeah, I got that they are all repeaters, but that's the crux of my question: if I see KQRO as the station ID that's embedded in the channel 2 signal, is that guaranteed to be right? Or is it possible that what I'm actually getting is the KFTY clone and they aren't embedded KFTY's station ID?


It seems incredible that I'd get a 3 kW signal (KQRO) from 160+ miles away...

I don't know exactly what you mean by "embedded" or "clone." I think you're asking if the call sign you see on your TV that is part of the PSIP data correct? It should be. There is no such thing as a "clone" station meaning one station is an exact copy including PSIP data of another. The transmitter has to have its own ID. If your TV says KQRO then that's what it is.

According to Google Earth, Sonoma County is 80 to 130 miles from KQRO. 160 miles would put you in Lake or Mendocino Counties. Maybe you're in a really good location for KQRO and a poor location for KFTY which allows you to receive both. Have you run your Rabbitears report? That would be helpful. Please post the link.

I used to receive KTVJ on RF 4 and KFTY on RF 2 from the Sierra Foothills from 110-120 miles so those distances are certainly possible for low VHF 3KW stations if you're in a favorable location.

Chuck
 

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I don't know exactly what you mean by "embedded" or "clone." I think you're asking if the call sign you see on your TV that is part of the PSIP data correct? It should be. There is no such thing as a "clone" station meaning one station is an exact copy including PSIP data of another. The transmitter has to have its own ID. If your TV says KQRO then that's what it is.

According to Google Earth, Sonoma County is 80 to 130 miles from KQRO. 160 miles would put you in Lake or Mendocino Counties. Maybe you're in a really good location for KQRO and a poor location for KFTY which allows you to receive both. Have you run your Rabbitears report? That would be helpful. Please post the link.

I used to receive KTVJ on RF 4 and KFTY on RF 2 from the Sierra Foothills from 110-120 miles so those distances are certainly possible for low VHF 3KW stations if you're in a favorable location.

Chuck
Thanks, Chuck, for the confirmation that the station ID is guaranteed to be unique.


I'm right at the edge of Mendocino county, 700 ft elevation...so I guess when the wind is blowing the right direction I get a signal....
 

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Antennas don't usually have enough rejection of the strong station to allow reception of the weak station.

Chuck
I live in El Dorado Hills and that was the operating assumption I used when KFMS (47) moved to RF31 along with KTVU. I figured KTVU was gone forever. Using an RCA ANT705E on the roof at 30 feet I used to receive KTVU on RF44 with SNR in the 25 - 30dB range. KFMS about the same. After the repack, nothing from either. I was also never able to receive KICU (36), even though it is LOS for me at 94 miles, likely due to co-channel interference with KXTV (36) in downtown Sac.

I recently put up a Televes Ellipse Mix antenna and the situation changed dramatically. At the same azimuth as the ANT705E (210 degrees), I could pull in KTVU (RF31) in the 25dB SNR range as well as KICU. Pointing the antenna to North Sac I was able to capture KFMS instead. KFMS is 24 miles away while KTVU is 100.

Same is true for KKPM (28) /KBHK (28) and KAHC(30)/KQED(30). Pointing at Sutro I receive KBHK and KQED while pointing towards North Sac I receive KKPM and KAHC. Kudos to the Televes, but credit is also likely due to having a couple of lower elevation ridges east of Folsom that help block the low power stations in Sacramento proper. Oddly, I am LOS to KSAO (RF14) in Folsom.... I am 4 miles from the tower and can see it but can't receive it. Probably multipath. No loss since I wouldn't watch their programming anyway.

As for the co-channels in San Francisco and Sacramento, the service contours may help show whats going on. I'm enough on the eastern-most edge of the low power Sacramento stations and the Televes has enough side rejection to allow the strong signals from Sutro to capture them.
 

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Sutro and San Bruno with exceptional signals this morning on the Televes Ellipse Mix using the Signal GH app and an HDHomeRun Quattro. Also attached is a camera shot of Mt. Diablo taken at the antenna. Elevation at the antenna is 1285 feet above sea level. Mt. Sutro and San Bruno are 100 and 103 miles away respectively.
 

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I recently put up a Televes Ellipse Mix antenna and the situation changed dramatically. At the same azimuth as the ANT705E (210 degrees), I could pull in KTVU (RF31) in the 25dB SNR range as well as KICU. Pointing the antenna to North Sac I was able to capture KFMS instead. KFMS is 24 miles away while KTVU is 100.

Same is true for KKPM (28) /KBHK (28) and KAHC(30)/KQED(30).
That new Televes antenna sure is directional! To be able to receive two different stations on the same channel is amazing!

Larry
 

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Some strange propagation across the Valley today between Walnut Grove and El Dorado Hills. Stations are 100% signal strength but SNR fell off a cliff, especially VHF-Hi. Sutro and San Bruno are solid.
 

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Probably inversion... I've seen a lot of these affects when conditions are right between the Bay Area and the Central Valley. I've seen Walnut Grove stations vary by as much as 10 to 12 dB here in San Francisco. What I find interesting is that VHF and UHF stations usually behave differently. Sometimes the VHF are affected; other times it's the UHF, but not usually at the same time.

Larry
 

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Does anyone know if KSAO-LD (RF14) is offline? They seemed to have disappeared off my bandscans sometime yesterday (10/6) around 2pm PDT.
 

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Just got my ATSC3 4k Silicon Dust tuner, mounted and connected my (15 year old) CM4228 antenna, and spent an hour pointing / fine tuning. I am located in Stockton (I-5 @ Carolyn Weston), so the "Sacramento" towers are about 25 miles up I-5 from here. I mounted the antenna off my second floor balcony, about 15 feet off the ground. No buildings or fences, just a few trees about 100 yards out.

I get solid signal and good picture on all channels, except KOVR13 & KMAX31. These two channels are basically unwatchable. I get maybe 20 seconds of good picture, then breakups, repeat.... I can watch the signal/symbol quality jump around like crazy when the picture breaks up.

What can I do about these two channels???

Signal numbers:

KCRA3
Signal Strength 74%
Signal Quality 100%
Symbol Quality 100%

KVIE6
Signal Strength 54%
Signal Quality 80%
Symbol Quality 100%

KXTV10
Signal Strength 58%
Signal Quality 100%
Symbol Quality 100%

KOVR13
Signal Strength 52%
Signal Quality 76% ->48% ->53%
Symbol Quality 100% -> none ->100%

KMAX31
Signal Strength 46%
Signal Quality 66% ->59% -> 52%
Symbol Quality 100% -> none -> 28%

KTXL40
Signal Strength 59%
Signal Quality 100%
Symbol Quality 100%

KQCA58
Signal Strength 64%
Signal Quality 100%
Symbol Quality 100%
 

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Even with the trees ~100 yards out, the towers are high enough that you're still likely line of sight to them. All of those stations should be giving you much stronger signals that what you're receiving, which leads me to believe there may something amiss with the antenna and/or cabling. I'm in El Dorado Hills, 40 miles from the transmitters, and I receive all of them 95%-100% signal strength, signal quality and symbol quality on my SiliconDust Connect Quatro. It makes sense that KVIE and KXTV have lower signals since the CM4228 isn't a VHF antenna, but the UHF stations should be banging in. I ran a RabbitEars report for the area you said you are located. According to it, KOVR and KMAX should be the strongest signals you get.
RabbitEars.Info
 

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There must be some unrecognized problem causing your reception issues. All the Walnut Grove stations are extremely strong in Stockton as shown by your Rabbitears report. All of your signal strengths should be 100%. Even the good stations are way down. KOVR and KMAX are the strongest stations in the market. I assume you're not using a preamp? A preamp would be overloaded. Maybe your antenna has a bad balun or a bad connection somewhere. Things happen to 15 year old antennas.

Just FYI..... KVIE and KXTV are VHF stations and your antenna is UHF. It may be good enough to receive them anyway because they are so strong. Symbol Quality is always 100% unless there are uncorrected errors. Uncorrected errors normally only occur when the SNR is teetering on the 15dB cliff.

Chuck
 
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