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Old 16-Mar-2014, 12:14 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 12
Need some help in Denver

I'm hoping you kind folks can help with a frustrating situation. Here's my analysis report, and the details of the problem:

I'm in Denver, and the few OTA channels we're interested in - just the major networks - have their transmitters conveniently clustered together on a ridge above the city, only about 15 miles away. We have five TVs in various rooms.

TV 1 gets its signal from an inexpensive GE Futura antenna mounted outdoors about 20' off the ground, delivered through about 30' of RG6. All available channels are crystal clear.

TVs 2, 3, 4, and 5 get their signal from a single Winegard FL6500A FlatWave antenna mounted a few feet above antenna 1; the signal goes first to a Channel Master multi-pole distribution amp, and then through the home's existing cable wiring to the four sets (tried it with a non-amplified splitter but nothing worked).

TVs 2, 3, and 4 get good signals from the FlatWave on all available channels, but TV 5, the farthest downstream, was only getting good picture from KUSA/NBC and a couple of obscure channels we don't care about; the set's built-in signal strength meter said the strength for the missing channels (all of them are major networks) was too weak. I wondered whether that might be because TV 5 was the last set downstream in the wiring sequence; so, because TV 5 is in an upstairs bedroom with an outside wall it was easy to provide its own dedicated outdoor antenna. I chose the same model that was working so well for TV 1, and mounted it in roughly the same place as the other two antennas, with about 35' of RG6. Suddenly, TV 5 went from getting ONLY KUSA/NBC to getting most of the other major stations... and a POOR picture from KUSA/NBC (which the set advised now had too weak a signal)!!! I tried various equipment combinations, including attaching TV 5's dedicated cable (by itself) to the actual antenna that delivers KUSA/NBC so well to TV 1, but TV 5 still said KUSA's signal was too weak. HUH??? How can the signal be too weak to one set and not another, using the same actual antenna and the same length of cable?

I even tried attaching TV 5 directly to the FLATWAVE antenna - remember, this is the antenna that delivers good signal to multiple sets - but the signal meter for KUSA/NBC still read TOO WEAK. Arrrgh. I wondered if TV 5 had a tuner defect preventing it from getting KUSA...but that doesn't make sense because that TV previously got KUSA/NBC just fine when it was part of the multi-set chain.

Why does TV 1 get KUSA/NBC from its own, cheap dedicated antenna - but that very same antenna WON'T deliver a strong signal when connected only to TV 5? (FYI, the brand new cable I ran directly to TV 5 tests at 75ohm, with good quality compression fittings.)

Any thoughts about what's going on here...and how I might fix it? Thanks so much...

Last edited by Mike4565; 16-Mar-2014 at 12:26 AM.
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