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wellhilled 3-May-2012 4:57 PM

Mountains+Multipathing= Bad reception...HELP!
Our report:

Hi all,

First time poster, long time sufferer...of bad T.V. reception.

We are in Southwest Virginia at the bottom of the convergence of two mountains.We are in a valley at about 2100 feet and the high ridges just behind us are at about 3500 feet.The two mountains form a "V". We are just about in the middle of the narrow end of the "V".The majority of the signals come from the opposite direction from the point of the V and hit inside the mountains' geometry and (we assume) bounce around inside this "V".We assume this because we must point our old Radio Shack VU-190XR at about 225 degrees to receive any usable signal when we should be pointing at 96 degrees...where we receive ABSOLUTELY NO signal.We also assume that multipathing must also come from this bouncing/reflecting and be part of our poor reception problems?

With the 10+ year old VU-190XR, a Winegard 8275 pre-amp, about a 150 foot run of old RG6, two TV's, a Zenith DTT901 and a Magnavox TB110MW9 converter and a single two-way splitter we receive: channels 18, 30, & 36 on a fairly reliable and year around basis; channel 17 is pretty much fine during Fall and Winter but disintegrates about now; channel 3 is never a reliable signal, but can usually be watched at night year round with much breaking up...and then only if all the stars are properly aligned!; channel 13 is usually watchable during Fall and Winter, but went on vacation last week.Channel 8 is also a seasonal visitor only. We have watched at various times channel 5 WCYB in Bristol,TN/VA and channel 9 WSWP in Beckley,WV.

Our objective, however, is just to receive channels 3, 13, and 17 as well as we currently receive channels 18, 30, & 36.

We were considering replacing the RS antenna with a Winegard 8200 or the combination of an Antennacraft CS-1000 and a Winegard HD-9032. We will also be replacing the the RG6 with direct burial RG11. Any thoughts and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Joe & Kim

GroundUrMast 3-May-2012 6:17 PM

The HD8200U offers a bit of additional performance in the low-VHF range as well as the upper bands.

If you want to build a dual antenna system, consider the Antennas Direct 91XG and Winegard HD5030.

For slightly better noise performance I'd opt for an Antennas Direct PA-18 preamp.

Switching to RG-11 won't hurt, but I don't expect it to help either. The gain of your preamp already negates the down-lead and other distribution losses.

Obviously a tower capable of overcoming the terrain is not within the budget of many folks, but have you looked at the signal predictions for higher mounting elevations?

Electron 3-May-2012 6:39 PM

Tv Antennas and Tv Reception
Please make 2 more tvfool radar maps , 40 and 60 feet antenna height.

wellhilled 3-May-2012 7:26 PM

Additional Reports
O.K guys here are the two additional reports plus one. Probably should have pointed out that even though the antenna is only on a 20 foot mast it is already on a hilltop that probably constitutes at least another 10 foot rise from our home. So, we also added a report for 30 feet. Thanks so much for your help and we'll take a look at the Winegard HD5030 and the other amp(already looked at 91XG). Unfortunately at this time...and we bet you all have never heard this...we are on a pretty limited budget right now and that is why we were thinking more about the Winegard HD-9032. That, and an old post by someone called "Tigerbangs"!That being said, it looks like only a $20 difference between the 91XG and the 9032 at Solid Signal so we will revisit that if we go the two antenna route. Also, we probably will not be able to do the tower thing:( in the foreseeable future.

GroundUrMast 3-May-2012 9:10 PM

On paper, your situation clearly improves as you increase the antenna mounting elevation. The improvement is significantly greater than what you would gain from simply replacing the antenna, preamp and coax.

If I were in this situation, I'd be looking for ways to safely mount the antenna(s) at 60' AGL or higher.

A possible solution to consider would be a roof mounted guyed push-up mast. Example:

Electron 3-May-2012 9:55 PM

Tv Antennas and Tv Reception
The antenna needs to be no less then 40 feet above ground. I use 3 channels as references. WSET 13 ABC at 20 feet the NM(dB) is minus -18.4 [Bad] , at 40 feet the NM(dB) is minus -11.8 [better] , at 60 feet the NM(dB) is mimus -10.5 [not much of a improvement and and buy it's self not worth going from 40 to 60 feet for].

The next channel is WBRA 3 PBS , at 20 feet the NM(dB) is plus + 30.3 [good] , at 40 feet the NM(dB) is plus +36.9 [better] , at 60 feet the NM(dB) is plus+39.2 [more better].

The next channel is WXFR 17 Fox at 20 feet the NM(dB) is plus +.4 [not good] , at 40 feet the NM(dB) is plud +9.1 [better] , at 60 feet the NM(dB) is 11.3 [much better].

So the antenna should be not less then 40 feet and up to 60 feet above ground. 40 or 45 or 50 feet will be fine.

And yes I recommend using the RG-11 cable.

The antenna must be higher. Getting the antenna higher is the most important action to take now. And use the antenna and amplifier you have now.

wellhilled 3-May-2012 10:43 PM

Roof Mount
Wow, had no idea a mount like that existed for achieving that kind of height. Unfortunately we are not able to take advantage right now.Very old rental farmhouse and landlord will barely allow what we have tucked up in corner of the property. So, at this point we are limited(as frustrating as it is) to trying to improve cable, pre-amps, & antennas.We are most interested in channels 3 and 13 and figure a higher gain VHF antenna might be the place to start, considering the multipathing? We receive our internet through wireless using a parabolic grid(yeah, that had to be approved too!) and a kicking amp and any coverage map will tell you that we are in a "Dead Zone". Just hoping that we might accomplish the same with UHF/VHF since we are unable go any higher with our antenna at this point...

GroundUrMast 3-May-2012 11:24 PM

Because you mentioned the existing parabolic antenna, here's a wild idea:

(A real budget buster no doubt.)

wellhilled 4-May-2012 12:27 AM

Beautiful IDEA
INTRIGUING! But, at Ping: 192ms, Down: 0.35Mbps, Up 0.20Mbps(Pitiful? Yes, but compared to Dial-up it is FANTASTIC!!) not gonna happen!!

Electron 4-May-2012 12:40 AM

Tv Antennas and Tv Reception
You can try the HD8200U antenna at 20 feet high. Also the push up pole type antenna mounts use guy wires and can be can be ground mounted that way there is no atatchment to the house.

Dave Loudin 4-May-2012 1:21 AM

This is down to the splitting hairs department, but did you use the "start maps" option to place the receive location? It's best to place that red marker right on the tower location (this is a Google map) to let the model use the best data for determining the paths from each transmitter. You then do not have to artificially inflate receive antenna height.

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