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Old 25-May-2013, 12:11 AM   #18
Pete Higgins
Pete Higgins's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: California, 58 miles @112 degrees from Mt. Wilson
Posts: 83

I made up both of the 17’ cables going to the antennas just to simplify testing. Since I still had both white & black rolls of coax, I arbitrarily used white for the UHF run & black for the VHF run. I installed the boot that came with the YA-1713 on the black cable & new Channel Master (PCT) compression connectors on both. I doubt that I have a bad connection on the black cable but that’s why I want to swap them.

The original black cable that runs into the garage is probably 30 years old with crimp on connectors. It is the one I originally used to compare both antennas so I’m pretty sure it is still Ok. The “new” cable I pulled is a 50’ “factory” Magnavox M61210 roll of white RG-6 with molded ends that my son gave me. I have swapped the antenna feeds between both of the garage runs and can’t tell any difference so I’m pretty sure both of those are Ok.

The 4 cables from the garage to my office are new RG-6 runs with compression connectors that are routed between the downstairs ceiling and the upstairs flooring through PVC conduit, then down through the office wall to a metal plate with 4 F-81 barrels.

The YA-1713 balum looked like it could install either of two ways so I checked online with Winegard and found that it didn’t make any difference. I didn’t pay a lot of attention to it but as near as I remember it just looked like a clip-on microstrip line matching transformer. It should have been foolproof. If I can get it apart without destroying the plastic housing I’ll inspect it for any signs of damage or missing parts.

I think the most informative test will be dropping the tower and swapping the VHF antenna locations. That will put the YA-1713 in a known good signal location with plenty of amplifier gain and all new end-to-end proven cables.

Of course I want to compare the HDB8X to my 40 year old Channel Master CM-4228. That may not sound fair, but last summer I compared the 4228 to a brand new 91XG and in the same location both antennas provided about the same SNR +/- ~1 dB on most channels. I also want to see how it does on channel 36 (4.1 NBC) & channel 43 (2.1 CBS) since the 91XG has trouble with NBC & the 4228 has trouble with CBS (from the same location).

My San Diego UHF stations arrive from ~169 deg. and seem pretty strong. One of the things I also want to try with the HDB8X is pointing one panel towards San Diego and the other towards LA (292 deg.) and see how the 4-Bays do through the combiner and/or individually. That’s assuming that they will swivel through 123 deg. Fortunately, I have the rotors so if I don’t get the angle set to exactly 123 deg. I can “bump” align each panel for best signal.

I’ll be waiting to hear how you climbed “above the top of the tower”.
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