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Old 21-Jan-2010, 12:29 AM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 632
Hello and welcome!

Originally Posted by dbbriggs5 View Post
Last summer I installed a Philips TV antenna SDV2940 high on my chimney outdoors and got great reception on my 40" plasma---about 14-16 channels. However, winter reception has deteriorated and is quite unpredictable. Today is a cloudy day. I can only receive 38-1, 41-1, 41-2; nothing else.
Have you tried turning the antenna for better reception? Philips does not publish antenna radiation pattern data, but almost all antennas have some degree of directionality to them. There may be an orientation that puts better sensitivity in the direction of the transmitters.

One of the problems of antennas like this is that there is very little technical data on them. Just based on its appearance, it does not seem to be a very sensitive UHF antenna (the size and shape will limit what it can do). The antenna has a built-in 18 dB amp, but that doesn't help much if the antenna itself is under-performing.

I'd bet that you'd get much better performance out of an antenna like the Channel Master 4221 (4-bay bowtie), which does a wonderful job with UHF channels.

1. Bearing in mind my neighborhood doesn't allow anything more visible than the compact style antenna I have, are there any (cheap/easy) improvements I can make that will stabilize my signal reception in preparation for the Super Bowl?
FYI, the FCC has put out an Over The Air Reception Devices rule ( which states that everyone has the right to put up a reasonable OTA antenna, and that no landlord, HOA, city, county, or state regulation can stop you from exercising that right (there are a few exceptions, so please read carefully). Perhaps just knowing that the federal law is on your side in this matter can help you reach a compromise that everyone can live with.

I'd first try experimenting with your existing antenna. Turn it a few times to see if there are any better sweet spots. If you're lucky, that's all it will take to improve your channel stability.

If not, I'd recommend going with a 4 bay bowtie antenna in place of the Philips antenna. Your situation is perfect for the type of performance that a 4 bay antenna provides. Yes, it's bigger, but at least it looks more "dish-like" rather than "antenna-like".

Or is it just cross your fingers day to day and wish for the best? None of the towers are very far away and, as mentioned, during summer, everything was beautiful. Why the problems with an outdoor mounted antenna and close towers?
Maybe your antenna has moved or the connections/cables have been affected by the environment. Be sure to check the weatherproofing of all your exposed cables/connectors. If any water has gotten inside a cable/connector, it will block some of your signal. It doesn't take much moisture in a cable to condense and form droplets that interfere with signals.

Or maybe the surrounding environment has changed enough to alter the way the signals are reaching your (leaves falling off the trees, more water in/on the ground, changes in the hilltops that the signals must pass through, etc.).

In any case, inspect your local setup and play around with it a little bit to see if it gets any better.

Last edited by mtownsend; 21-Jan-2010 at 12:38 AM.
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