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Old 28-Apr-2014, 5:03 PM   #11
Antennas Direct Tech Supp
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,941
The pre-amp and distribution amp were added because Russ specifically asked for them.

I didn't work up that inquiry, but I'd drop the PA18 and maybe keep the distribution amp (depending on the distribution network). You have multiple signals that are too strong for most pre-amps and most of your signals are plenty strong so as to not need amplification.

WGAL operates multiple transmitters, two of which should be readily receivable at your location, depending on where you've put your antenna (you didn't say). Their primary transmitter near York operates on VHF 8 at almost 60 kW transmit power which places it into the "very strong" signal category in most places. However, you do have a 200' ridge in the signal path about 5 miles away, so the VHF signal that makes it to your location has been diffracted "bent" over that hill. The diffraction does two things: It weakens the signal somewhat and it often causes the signal to form into separate alternating layers of weak and strong signal zones. Because of the wavelengths of high-VHF, you might find that these layers might be several yards apart. Moving your antenna is the best choice to try to get it.

WGAL's second transmitter operates at 15 kW on UHF 49 from Harrisburg with a directional transmitting antenna that puts about 10 kW in your direction. On terrain obstacles, but the signal is still calculated to be of moderate strength at your distance. TG's suggestion to move the antenna is the best one.

has a signal level of 85 but still goes to 0 for a few seconds and then back to 85. This happens in both when it's clear raining. Any ideas on how to keep the signal steady?
This symptom is of interference, not weak signal. Usually the interference will either be from multi-path (reflections, etc) or from local electronic sources which *might* include cellular or 4G wireless services, if you have any cell towers very close by.

To combat multi-path, the usual remedy is either relocation of the antenna or using a more directional antenna.
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