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I receive all the local channels in Sac during the day with levels bewteen 55-65% and at night (when they raise the levels?) of between 65-75%. This is for the last few days with good weather. Should I be trying to go to a better antenna to increase the signal%? I realize that better signal% may not give me better picture, but it may (?) decrease the freq of drop outs when the weather gets worse. If I go that way, I want to do it soon before the weather gets worse.


Is there a signal level above which it is not worth pursuing (diminsihing returns)? Is there a min signal level?


Byas
 

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My minimum signal to get a picture seems to be at 37. Below that I get dropouts and no picure at all. I have only one channel that gives me a low signal problem during the day and amazingly at night after 6pm it boosts up to the 65% range. I'd try to get the signal above 60% and then you'll have a 20% buffer with signal loss and still get a picture.
 

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I have a DTC-100 that reads anywhere between 28 and 94 ...


I have seen readings of 88 where there was no picture and

readings as low as 35 where there was a good one ...


Readings seem to be lower on weaker stations, so I think the numbers are affected by signal power (or S/N) as well as by multipath.


Also, readings can be high but the picture fails or the sound, if there are rapid fluctuations in the multipath. These may not show on the meter.


So, what you want is a good picture at all times when the TV station is working correctly, without sound or picture drop-outs or pixelization. If you don't get this and it isn't caused by aircraft, then you need a better antenna.


If everything works be happy with your low numbers.


Re: antennas, you can never have too good a one.

If you are very far from the stations weather will always affect you somewhat. Signals tend to be better at night, for distant stations, and that is atmospheric conditions, not the station turning on more power.


Rain and wet ground makes my numbers go down 10 points or so, and causes drop outs if I don't re-aim extra carefully.

Snow also increases multipath and causes more trouble.


Wet leaves can block more signal than dry, or reflect more multipath.


So, your antenna is big enough when you get perfect reception on all your desired channels under the worst case conditions.


One other point, here in NE, signals seem to be better in the fall, than any other season.


Finally anyone with multipath needs a rotor for outdoor antennas. I get great reception on most of my stations, but I can't get them at the same antenna position on dry days as I do on wet days. And with snow, there is one station I can pick up at one of 3 or 4 different directions around the whole compass, depending on conditions.



[This message has been edited by jhe (edited 10-03-2001).]
 

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If you're seeing 88 signal and no picture on a DTC100, you might try rescanning the tuner. I've had this happen regularly with my local PBS when they change the signal format and I just thought the signal was bad. But their engineer suggested rescanning to pick up the PSIP change and this did the trick. When this happens now, a rescan always finds the channel again.


I can pick up most stations around 82-88 signal strength, but they can drop down to the 60's during midday (between 1pm-6pm). For some stations, there's no problem, but for other if they hit 50's, I'll start seeing occasional dropouts. Anything less than 40 is severe dropouts for me, but so far I've only had that happen during lightning storms.
 
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