View Full Version : Need some help with antenna pointing/installation

17-Sep-2012, 6:30 PM
I'm trying to help my grandfather install a antenna at is house. We however have ran into some problems. My dad who lives next door put an antenna up on about 40ft and gets all kinds of channels. However my grandfather not so much. The main difference that I can tell is trees in the distance and around 15ft in antenna height also different antennas. The trees are several hundred yards away. Anyway here is what we are looking at http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d5ed6ce764e888b The antenna we have is a channel master 3671. I was trying to point towards the 64 degree. My dads is pointed there and gets almost everything. CBS is a little weak. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

17-Sep-2012, 7:16 PM
If you have good reception next door, can you consider running coax between the two buildings? A Channel Master CM-3410 (http://www.amazon.com/Channel-Master-3410-Distribution-Amplifier/dp/B001FY0B90/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347909514&sr=8-1&keywords=cm-3410) has 15 dB gain which is enough to drive over 200' of RG-6.

17-Sep-2012, 8:25 PM
Good info but, next door here is a little misleading I guess. There is a entrance to subdivision and a field between the 2 houses. Thanks

17-Sep-2012, 10:47 PM
Replace the matching transformer (balun) with a new matching transformer.

Connect a known to be good new long length of coax straight to the Tv through a open door or window.

No slitters , no couples , no amplifiers , no nothing.

Tv antenna -> matching transformer -> coax -> Tv.

Aim the antenna at about 62 degree magnetic compass direction.

Here is how to aim antennas , http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing/pointing.html.

Also please make a second tvfool radar report with the antenna height at 15 feet , to see what signal strength does.

Do not change the first tvfool report.

17-Sep-2012, 10:58 PM
Thanks for the advice. Not sure what you mean by matching transformer (balun) but, I will find out. We did run the coax straight to the tv through a window to try and eliminate all other variables. Still only picked up mainly ABC and a few others but, no other major networks which I was hoping to get. ABC is very strong I guess because I can point antenna almost any direction and get it. Here is the info you requested. http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d5ed6efb319c2cf

Okay, did some research and found out what a balun is. Now to buy one and try it.

17-Sep-2012, 11:30 PM
A test of reception using known to be good reception hardware.

Can I make it more clear.

Radio Shack matching transformer , http://www.radioshack.com.


Use a New long length of coax.

No splitters , no couplers , no amplifiers , no nothing.

Antenna -> matching transformer -> coax -> Tv , scan for digital broadcast tv channels.

Using a channel as a reference point.


Is in the Yellow zone , 17.3 NM(dB) , reception at 30 feet antenna height.

The NM(dB) number drops to 4.5 NM(dB) at 15 feet antenna height , weak but still receivable.

Do the reception test.

Always rescan for Digital Broadcast Tv Channels when making changes.

Would also help to get the antenna higher.

17-Sep-2012, 11:46 PM
The coax is brand new. Couple more questions before I try again. Will a preamp serve me any purpose? Also how big of a deal is it from going to 17.3 NM(db) to say 18.4 NM (db) I wish I understood all the workings of this because its very interesting. I hope I'm not asking to much but, I would like to understand more. Why can I not get WIAT CBS? Its also very weak on my dads. The NM (db) looks better than most other stations but, it does not come in. Can you please explain if you don't mind so I can start to put these things together. Thanks

18-Sep-2012, 1:11 AM
I am researching WIAT CBS.

The tvfool report shows signal strength is strong for WAIT channel 42 , but not for WAIT channel 30.

The 2 WAIT's is the reason for more research , I take very little at face value , I dig in deeper and deeper looking for the truth.

And if I do not find the truth , then I will find the reason I have not found the truth.

18-Sep-2012, 3:31 PM
My grandfather is going to get a 50ft mast today. Here are the exact coordinates using the smart maps and selecting 50ft. Do you think this will improve my situation and be able to get all the major networks for him if we do this? http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d5ed69cb9ae9fdd

18-Sep-2012, 4:09 PM
I called the engineering department at WIAT.

An other transmitter will be built in the near future , WIAT channel 42 , the transmitter will be 2.5 miles from your grand fathers house , and as such the signal will be Very Strong.

WIAT channel 30 transmitter is further away and the signal is weaker.

For reception with a antenna on a 50 foot tower the 3671 antenna you now have will receive CBS and all the receivable Tv stations with no problems no matter what happens.
A antenna amplifier will not be required at 50 feet antenna height.

18-Sep-2012, 4:13 PM
Thanks Teleview. Can't wait to get this up and going. I think though my grandfather is more excited than I am.

19-Sep-2012, 10:50 PM
Well here is a little follow up. Today we tried to install the 50ft mast. We got it up to about 44ft because it started to sway a good bit and it was just me and my grandfather trying to put it up and a power pole is around 20ft away from the mast and I got a little nervous. Anyways not much better on getting the channels we were hoping to get. On my grandfathers tv the turner must be weak because we got a few more channels on my dads when we used it for testing. We were finally able to get fox (6.1) but still could not get NBC (13.1) Not sure what else to try. My dads tv has a fine tune signal meter and we adjust left to right to get best signal for Fox which was around 67 percent. Does anyone think going up a few more feet will help? What about his weak tuner in his t.v.? Is there anyway to boost the power of it? Of course CBS also does not come in. This is driving me crazy.

19-Sep-2012, 11:05 PM
As a test.

A reminder about the matching transformer.

Remove any splitters , have only 1 Tv connected.

Also can install a Antennas Direct CPA-19 preamp. http://www.solidsignal.com , http://www.amazon.com.

Also as a test can connect a Known to be good Tv.

20-Sep-2012, 12:36 AM
Okay. Ordered the preamp. Do you think I need to raise the mast the other 6ft or so? Also will a preamp help pull in stations that I can not receive now or is it just to boost the other channels? Thanks for the help.

20-Sep-2012, 3:38 AM
These and many more urban myths are what creates billions of layers of misinformation and straight out lies about Tv reception.

At least 99% of the humans are so full misinformation and lies that they do not know where the , begining is , whats in the middle , or where the end is.

Antennas and antenna amplifiers do Not 'pull in' Tv signals.

In general , the smaller the Tv antenna is , the less signal it will receive , the bigger the Tv antenna is the more signal will be received.

A Tv antenna is like a sail on a boat , a small sail will not receive as much wind as a big sail.

Sails do not 'pull in' wind and Tv antennas do not 'pull in' signals.


Signal amplifiers increase the strength of the signal but do not 'pull in' any signal or make any new signal.

It is not easy to explain , I use the ballon example.

A ballon in its un inflated state is the -> ballon.

Put air in the ballon and the ballon can do more and it is bigger , however it is still the same ballon.

As for the antenna height , it is best to try the antenna at different heights , higher is not always automatic better.

According to the tvfool radar reports at 30 and 50 foot antenna heights WIAT is receivable with a reliable signal.

26-Sep-2012, 1:20 PM
I am really lost now. Installed the preamp as suggested and lost all digital channels. No splitters or anything else is connected. Cabling does go through attic with some old rg59 cable. I can run straight from antenna through window for testing purposes right now if need be.

26-Sep-2012, 5:00 PM
As a test of reception , do not use the RG-59 in the attic.

Use new RG-6 through a door or window with and with out the preamp.

What about the matching transformer??

26-Sep-2012, 5:19 PM
I have not replaced that part yet due to the antenna being up so far right now. I do however plan on doing it. I was hoping that I would see some improvement without changing it yet when I installed the preamp. Is it possible for the matching transformer to only get some channels and not others? Just curious because it seems like a all or nothing part. Although I am not the expert, I will lean towards what you say on the matter.

26-Sep-2012, 6:45 PM
Matching transformers, aka baluns can go bad and can also have high loss at one range of frequencies while still performing well at others.

26-Sep-2012, 6:53 PM
Thanks. Would you think it is bad if I was able to get some of the missing channels on a different t.v.? The reason I ask is because we have tried a different t.v. and received some of the channels we were trying to get.

26-Sep-2012, 7:15 PM
It sounds as if you've proven one tuner to be less capable than the other.

The cost of a matching transformer is quite a bit less than a new TV... I agree with teleview, it's too easy and inexpensive to not try.

The loss of all digital signals with the CPA-19 installed makes me question if there is a splitter in the system that blocks power to the preamp, or is there a problem with the preamp (out-of-box failure... Antennas Direct support has a very good reputation). Also, the preamp should be mounted close to the antenna, a foot or two as the coax runs. If the balun has not been changed because it's too high to reach, were did you mount the preamp?

26-Sep-2012, 7:19 PM
I mounted the preamp right where the cable goes in the house. I would say 60ft down from the antenna. You know you may be right on the cable now I think about it. I was undoing a splitter in the attic and the cable was RG6 I believe and outside the cable is RG59. I need to go back and verify. I have though tried running the cable through the window with not much improvement before but not with the amp installed.

26-Sep-2012, 7:56 PM
Any loss between the antenna and preamp is loss that the preamp can not overcome. The preamp belongs close to the antenna. The power supply for the preamp needs to be protected from the elements and there should not be any splitters between the power supply and the preamp (unless the splitter is designed to pass power).

While you're installing the preamp correctly, give the antenna a thorough inspection and consider trying a new balun.

27-Sep-2012, 2:32 AM
Update*. I went and installed the preamp again today but, I ran rg6 cable through window to eliminate the rg59 in attic. Preamp still installed 60ft from antenna. Had pretty god results this time around. Got everything except NBC and CBS. Those 2 stations I have not been able to get for some reason. I went ahead and lowered antenna for now and plan on replacing matching transformer next and start raising antenna back up. I plan to start at 30ft and hope to be able to get everything. Also I will mount preamp next to antenna now that it is lowered and I am positive it works now. Don't know why NBC and CBS is so hard to get. NBC is just a little lower in power than fox is and I was pulling it in with 87 signal strength.

27-Sep-2012, 3:19 AM
Replaces existing coax with new coax. Replace the matching transformer with a new outdoor/outside type matching transformer.