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Bigbear 25-Apr-2015 2:07 PM

Still have reception questions
Ok, so I replaced my connections at my grounding block ( compression vs crimped), replaced the grounding block and weather proofed with silicon tape that someone suggested.
So now most of my channels come in with at least 80% signal strength. I do get occasional slight pixellation, What should I check next? I have an old antenna and am using a pole mounted amp. As I remember the 3 connections at the antenna are crimped ( or factory) and have weather boots on them. The bauln was changed when I installed the amp about a year ago.

As I was checking signal strength this am I found some strong signals without content. Any idea why this is?


rabbit73 25-Apr-2015 3:44 PM

When you spread your reception problem over three threads, you make it hard for us to help you. You should at least give us a link to your last thread and your tvfool report.

Do antennas "wear out"?

Your report:

StephanieS 25-Apr-2015 3:55 PM

Thanks Rabbit for linking the prior thread. :)

Bigbear, are you running the preamp still?

How many TVs are you feeding? Are you using a distribution amp? How long is your coax? Are you aimed towards nearby trees?

That antenna if operating normally should be more than sufficient to receive your locals. It seems your addressed many of the components that were due for replacement.

Much to unpack here. The bottom line is your TV fool report is pretty good for signal access. It's the immediate vicinity around the antenna I'm interested in.

Bigbear 25-Apr-2015 7:34 PM

Yes I'm running a preamp.
3 tv's using a distribution amp.
Co ax length? From where? In total I think I have about 30' to my distribution amp. No real clue as to the length in my house.
I am surrounded by trees. I have my antenna pointed to the NNW ( towards Montreal) so I can get the CBC channels. I get my locals from the back side of my antenna, as I do not like messing with my rotor.

StephanieS 25-Apr-2015 10:24 PM

Trees. A-ha. This is the kryptonite of even the best antenna. See the story below as posted by ADTech. The moral here, with trees present you can completely destroy your chances for reception.


Several springs ago, I did a courtesy call to a residential location in South St Louis County (Affton) that was within a stone's throw (less than 2 miles) of most of the St Louis transmitters. One of the towers was visible from the home's sidewalk out at the street, but by the time I walked 40 feet back to the house and checked again for the signal with the portable analyzer, it was down by 40 dB (and barely visible on the screen) from the reading out at the street. The culprit? A pair of 70' silver maple trees in the neighbor's yard, one behind the other, that were wet from a rain shower earlier in the day, that were now directly in the signal path and were blowing in the breeze. I gave the folks a C2 antenna, wished them luck, and took my leave.
There is really no advice to overcoming tree related reception issues than to say get above them, cut them down or relocate the antenna to a better unobstructed area. In more southern locations during the winter they get away with trees due to the leaves being dropped When spring hits however, they experience reception loss due to signal reflection by the budding foliage.

What channels from Montreal do you receive? Real 10 and 12? Any of the UHF?

I'm concerned about your double amplification. A preamp and distribution amp in tandem can easily result in overloading to where your reception worsens. Even off the back 60db is a lot of local signal to contend with. If I owned your set up, I'd pull the preamp and test. If no improvement, I'd pull distribution amp. I'd chase down all aspects of amplification so I had a comparison of scenarios from full amplification to distribution amp only to no amplification.

But as ADTech's example of trees above points out, it may not, amplification issues aside, may not fly no matter what you do. If you enshrouded in trees the signal flutters depending on the trees and there isn't much you or your antenna can do to compensate for that loss of signal.


Bigbear 25-Apr-2015 10:46 PM

So there's too much of a good thing? I was under the impression that using splitters was a no no.
For the Montreal stations I get 2,6,10 and 12. Without the pre amp I don't get 6 or 12 (the only English ones). I'm unsure of the frequency bands they use.
As for trees, I'm stuck with them. Too many to cut, as for getting above them I would need 100+ foot set up. At least my locals all come from the same location no more than 20 miles as the crow flies.

StephanieS 25-Apr-2015 11:13 PM

People use non-amplified splitters all the time. I am using a 2 way non-amplified splitter on my 91XG. My preamp is up on the mast and that's where I let the amplification work from. My backup RCA ANT751 is completely non-amplified. It runs through 150' of coax and the same non-amplified splitter. The ANT751 gives me barn burning strengths on my local signals.

Distribution amps are best installed when you have 3 or more splits over long runs of coax 100'+. Members here have combined preamps and distribution amps in the past with success. It is considered tricky though. Maybe the ones who've been successful might jump in on this thread.

In short though, yes, amplification can be "too much of a good thing." I consider myself very fortunate to be able to run my preamp. I am line of sight to my local broadcasts almost due east. In selecting the 91XG I wanted to nullify those powerful signals for a CBS translator throwing 400watts my way at 55 miles. That signal I wanted is in the 7db signal range. I am able via the 91XG to see that distant CBS as well as pick up my locals at about 50 - 75% off the side. If I had an antenna that had a wider beamwith grabbing more signal from the strong locals, I could easily go into an overload situation.

Amplification is an aid, not a cure for poor signal access. It helps to quote a wise member here, keeps the hose pressure up. You put too much pressure on you overwhelm the hose (IE - tv tuner).

When I was visiting family in 2012 in eastern Indiana, it was common to see 50' or even 75' towers next to homes to get over the trees. This was in the city too. The folks that spent the money on these towers gave themselves the best possible chance for the market they wanted. On those towers were massive channel master all band antennas - 12' to 16'ers.

Montreal is extremely weak according to your TVfool plot. The fact you see signals from that market is indicative of your antenna is outperforming this plot. They are extremely weak and reliable reception will likely be elusive due to trees and the susceptibility extremely weak signals have to atmospheric variances.


Bigbear 26-Apr-2015 12:39 PM

Thanks guess I'll keep things as they are.
At least there are no trees close to me in the Montreal direction, and their transmitters are on top of Mount Royal!

Bigbear 31-May-2015 7:57 PM

A follow up question regarding baulns. I know water is the enemy to reception, but what about the antenna/bauln connection. It's out in the open, dielectric grease?

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