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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some friends and I were trying to help a person who is a refugee to our city. So, I scoured Craigslist and found a Samsung 30" 16X9 HDTV ready set we bought. I had a Samsung SIR-t451 laying around the house I also gave them.


We went over to set things up. He gets basic cable for free. Unfortunately Time-Warner doesn't pass through HDTV with basic service. I had two sets of rabbit ears to try and pick up the local stations. With either set I could easily pick up HDTV stations 80 miles away. The fellow lives on the twelfth floor and the building is basically on a river. Looking out the door one can clearly see the broadcast towers for my city a few miles away. However, the Samsung T451 will not lock on to any of the HDTV stations from my city, it scans right past them.


It is somewhat difficult to attempt phone communication about the problem with the new owner. A friend suggested that an attenuator might solve the problem if screwed onto the antenna input. Frankly I am at a loss as to whether that is a likely outcome.


Does anyone have any idea of whether this is likely to help? Do you know of anything else I might try short of adding the attenuator? Thanks in advance for your input on the matter!
 

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Can you tell us which city your friend lives in? Rabbit ears are good for vhf signals but perform poorly with UHF. You could try the non-amplified budget antenna from Radio Shack. It has worked very well for many in high signal strength areas and receives both UHF and VHF signals. Here is a link for the $12 antenna: http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2103077


Attenuators are cheap (~$2). They are useful for reducing/eliminating signal overload. However, IMO, signal overload is not the problem as typically you lose all or nearly all your channels. Are your rabbit ear antennas amplified?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by IDRick /forum/post/17014310


Can you tell us which city your friend lives in? Rabbit ears are good for vhf signals but perform poorly with UHF. You could try the non-amplified budget antenna from Radio Shack. It has worked very well for many in high signal strength areas and receives both UHF and VHF signals. Here is a link for the $12 antenna: http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2103077


Attenuators are cheap (~$2). They are useful for reducing/eliminating signal overload. However, IMO, signal overload is not the problem as typically you lose all or nearly all your channels. Are your rabbit ear antennas amplified?


Thanks for the input. I incorrectly gave the impression these were only VHF. Both antennas had UHF and VHF reception. I am in Austin. I can pick up San Antonio using either of the antennas I brought with me to his apartment. However I can not pick up any Austin channels. Since a I played with both antennas while was there it was after dark when we left and as I say you can easily see the broadcast towers for our local channels a few miles away.


The Samsung t451 was picking up Austin channels from my home which is significantly further away from the broadcast towers. On the phone I tried to talk him through just hooking up a piece of cable to the tuner to see if it would lower the signal enough for local reception but I believe our communication was difficult and we finally gave up.


Radio Shack apparently no longer stocks attenuators in this territory but Altex does so I'll try some of their attenuators if there is no other solution. Part of the problem is transportation to his location.
 

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tulum,


Here is the generic tvfool results for Austin, TX. See: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...23c52a59006fb0 Holy shmoles! Those are the highest NM's that I have seen!
Do you have any two way splitters that your friend could borrow? Each splitter would reduce signal by 3.7 dB. Radio Shack has terminators that you can use for the unused splitter output. The rough schematic below would reduce signal by 7.4 dB. Please note, you do need the terminators for the unused port on the splitter.



Antenna ---> splitter -------> splitter -----> tv



Also, you didn't say in your reply. Are your rabbit ears amplified? If so, they are part of the problem with such strong signals in the area and a non-amplified antenna is indicated (see my earlier post for good example).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by IDRick /forum/post/17014978


tulum,


Here is the generic tvfool results for Austin, TX. See: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...23c52a59006fb0 Holy shmoles! Those are the highest NM's that I have seen!
Do you have any two way splitters that your friend could borrow? Each splitter would reduce signal by 3.7 dB. Radio Shack has terminators that you can use for the unused splitter output. The rough schematic below would reduce signal by 7.4 dB. Please note, you do need the terminators for the unused port on the splitter.



Antenna ---> splitter -------> splitter -----> tv



Also, you didn't say in your reply. Are your rabbit ears amplified? If so, they are part of the problem with such strong signals in the area and a non-amplified antenna is indicated (see my earlier post for good example).

Wow! Splitters are a great idea! I probably have some laying around. The antennas are not amplified. Out of curiosity, why do the other connections need to terminated?


Thanks for the link to the site. Which brings up another question or two. I'm at a bit of loss as to how to interpret the data on that site. It seems to show me aiming my antenna away from the towers. Is that right or am I not understanding the info? I don't have cable and live in a four-plex when my neighbors walk around sometimes I lose my signal for a few seconds. This typically happens right at the end of PBS's Mystery program or some other terrible time. I am currently using a silver sensor antenna and unfortunately have aluminum siding. Is there anything short of an outside antenna which might not have a problem with my neighbors movement? I've tried just about everything I can think of other than an amplified antenna.


I'm afraid I don't know what an "nm" is. Do the numbers suggest typically strong or weak signal? I'm at a loss. Thank you for taking the time to help me solve the problem.
 

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Hi tulum,


An open port on the splitter can pick up interference which will degrade the signal on the used port. Also, you can lose tv signal through the open port. 75-ohm terminators are cheap (less than $1). For testing purposes, you simply use another cable and connect the open port to the analog port on a vcr or dvd recorder. If attentuation helps, you'll see the benefits immediately through improved reception (more channels/quality video & audio).


I may have misunderstood your earlier post. Do you live in Austin or San Antonio? A really cool feature of tvfool is to use the tv maps feature. If you use the hybrid view, you can see where your apartment is located. Zero in on it. Then check the box for "show lines pointing to each transmitter". Provides a nifty tool for aiming your antenna using local landmarks.


There is an excellent FAQ for tvfool found here: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_co...#table_details NM is a measure of signal strength. Your signals are very strong and an indoor antenna should receive them.


I am not familiar with many indoor antennas. Check out EV's thread on indoor antennas. EV had tested many of the current indoor antennas and is very knowledgable. His thread is here: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1037779


HTH


Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks again Rick. Sorry about the lack of clarity. I am in Austin and we were picking up San Antonio stations here in Austin but the HD tuner failed to pick up any Austin stations. It baffled me.
 

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I'm gonna sound real dense for asking this, but how are you picking up San Antonio stations from Austin by only using rabbit ears? The cities are 90 miles apart. Is it because your friend is on the 12th floor? I can only wish I had that kind of signal problem...



On a more serious note I hope you get your problem straightened out. It does sound like you are getting to strong of a signal..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillipH /forum/post/17022287


I'm gonna sound real dense for asking this, but how are you picking up San Antonio stations from Austin by only using rabbit ears? The cities are 90 miles apart. Is it because your friend is on the 12th floor? I can only wish I had that kind of signal problem...



On a more serious note I hope you get your problem straightened out. It does sound like you are getting to strong of a signal..

I was astounded! I could pick up the stations in San Antonio but not the stations from Austin whose towers I could look at out the front door and see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I thought I'd follow up on this problem. Maybe someone else might have a solution?


I don't have a car so it took some time to get back down to his apartment. In the meanwhile we obtained 3, 6 and 20dB attenuators. Still no HD channels!


I brought the antenna and tuner back to my house and had no problem picking up channels. I am much further from the towers than this fellow.


I am at my wits end! He is essentially in downtown and as such he near many other high rise type buildings. Is there possibly something blocking reception? There are bank buildings etc nearby. You can easily see the TV towers from the walkway in front of his apartment. As a crow flies they are perhaps 4-5 mile away at the most.


I'm happy to experiment with any ideas. Thanks in advance for any advice you might offer.
 

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You're saying he is downtown in "multipath city" ? Find a CECB and see if it works any better. The newer ATSC tuners (such as in the CECBs) are much better at handling multipath. If it does, then we can probably find a newer tuner that will work better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooper /forum/post/17206059


You're saying he is downtown in "multipath city" ? Find a CECB and see if it works any better. The newer ATSC tuners (such as in the CECBs) are much better at handling multipath. If it does, then we can probably find a newer tuner that will work better.


Thank you! I currently use a Humax HFA100 at my home. I prefer it over my older Samsung I was giving this fellow. Is there a way at look at something in the specs that might tell me if the Humax would possibly work better for him?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillipH /forum/post/17022287


I'm gonna sound real dense for asking this, but how are you picking up San Antonio stations from Austin by only using rabbit ears? The cities are 90 miles apart. Is it because your friend is on the 12th floor? I can only wish I had that kind of signal problem...

I get stations over 70 miles away with the unamped radio shack rabbit ear/loop antenna IDRick mentioned. Elevation helps. The antenna is indoors and only 4' off the floor. But my house is on a 1400' hilltop.


I do not get any VHF stations indoors.
 
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