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kirsti 14-Mar-2014 1:06 AM

Discouraged by instability of channels
2 Attachment(s)
I'm on the West Island of Montreal, Beaconsfield (Canada). It was SO EXCITING to go cableless with an antenna 2 years ago. I picked up 15 stunning quality channels. Trouble started very soon after. The channels would come and go. For no obvious reason, any given moment, I would have any number of channels from 0 to 15 in any random combination. Often, the higher numbers would be first to go but I could have further-away US channels and not have the local ones. The installer changed antennas. I have changed the height of the antenna many times. I have theories about the lake in front of the house, the moon, etc. Winter seems especially bad (I spend a part of my winter in Florida). No US stations, just 3 local ones. What irks me is that the channels always come back, whenever they feel like it. What can explain this kind of on-and-off behavior? I'm adding a couple of pics of my setup. Also, my antenna is not grounded (planning to do it when snow melts).

dmfdmf 14-Mar-2014 1:36 AM

You need to run a TV Fool report and post the results. Also, it looks from the pictures that the antenna is aimed right into trees or other vegetation.

teleview 14-Mar-2014 1:37 AM

The Tvfool report please.

Go to the Tvfool home page and click on >>StartMAPS<<

Enter the Exact address of the reception location.

Make the antenna height in the Tvfool report 25 feet.

Post Tvfool radar map and channel list.

kirsti 14-Mar-2014 1:57 AM

Here's the report
Sorry about that:

It's true that there are large trees towards the direction of all of my stations. The curious thing is that winter is worse and yet all those leaves are gone in the winter. Do you think I have to raise my antenna 30 feet because of the trees?

Why are there stretches of time when I have all the channels gloriously. If it's the trees, shouldn't it be consistently bad?

It's the on and off that drives me berserk.


teleview 14-Mar-2014 5:35 AM

I will like to see pictures in the directions of the Tv stations.

East North East , East , South East , South , South South West.

dmfdmf 14-Mar-2014 7:10 AM

I see the following issues or possible problems;

1) That antenna is good for picking up real channels 14 and above or UHF band. Real channels 13 (VHF) and below don't work well with that type of antenna. I count 4 or 5 VHF stations... Are most of your problem channels on 13 or below (not the virtual channels that show on the TV but the actual broadcast channel).

2) The aim. Your broadcast towers bunch at 68degT and 140degT that's a spread of 72deg and usually too wide for a single antenna. If your installer split the difference then you'd get crappy reception from both antenna farms. See if you can tell which direction the antenna is aimed. You probably need a two antenna system but its much more difficult to design properly. As an interim solution and test you could pick one direction or the other then rezero your tuner and rescan your channels.

3) The trees. I can guess that leafless but ice or frost covered branches (this is Canada after all :-) can really mess with radio waves but I don't know. A 30 ft mast to clear the trees seems a bit extreme, might be easier to move it to a different location on the roof. The installer might have just randomly picked a bad spot but the signal is fine 30ft to the left or wherever.

4) The lake. Again, this is outside of my experience or education but if you are very close to a lake I suppose its possible that you are seeing some weird interference patterns due to reflection off the surface and it could be random due to season, weather, diurnal, etc. I'd think it would have to be a fairly large lake though. It is safe to rule out the moon.

5) I'd check the installer's work or have someone with experience with coax check his work. A sloppy or loose crimp-on connector (or god forbid he used screw-on connectors), a stray braid wire touching the core wire, bad balun, etc could cause random problems you described.

I'd do #5 and get the current aim first.

nkirkley 15-Mar-2014 1:16 PM

What you could do is put a rotor on your setup. I have a similar antenna, db8. As you can see from my report,, most of my channels are in the north to west range, but there are a couple that are Northeast that I like as well. Like you, some of these fringe channels are 55-80 miles away. My set up is the db8 on a rotor and a Channel Master CM-3414 amplifier. I receive all my Charlotte stations, most of the stations from Greensboro, and, the PBS station out of Rock Hill. The rotor has made the big difference. Before I put that in, I didn't even get all the Charlotte stations. Of course, I am the one who put in the antenna with some friends. Didn't know what I was doing. When I finally cut cable, I had an installer come out, put the rotor on and raise the antenna a few feet. After some playing around and tweaking, I was able to pull everything I wanted in and have very strong signal strengths for Charlotte and 60-95 range strengths for the out of town stations.

Anyhow, just thought I would throw that out there for you. Something to think about. Get a rotor.

nkirkley 15-Mar-2014 1:25 PM

One other note, and this might be irrelevant now, but, back in the 70's, my father had an old style antenna mounted on the roof of our lake house (north of Charlotte) and it seemed as though the lake was an amp or signal booster for TV stations. We received all Charlotte channels, all Greensboro stations, two or three out of Greenville-Spartanburg, Asheville, NC, and occasionally, Knoxville, Tenn. It was wild. Of course, not all came in crystal clear, but, we could, at least, get some of these signals.

teleview 16-Mar-2014 7:30 AM

The pictures in the directions of reception would be nice.

Any way here is my recommendation for reception.

Remove the UHF panel antenna and in it's place install a , ANT751 antenna aimed at about 130 degree magnetic compass direction.

Here is how to aim antennas ,

Use a Real and Actual magnetic compass to aim antenna , Do Not trust the compass in the cell phone.

Connect a NEW Continues Length of Coax to the matching transformer that is connected to the ANT751 antenna and run the New Continues Length of Coax through a open door or window Direct to 1 Tv.

Digital Tuners can develop - Digital Glitches - that are not cleared out with simple channel scans.

To clear tuner do Double Rescan.

What is reception like now??

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