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Old 27-Mar-2012, 6:30 PM   #1
jimmylittleman
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Reception inconsistency

Hello,

My location is

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...0b864b01f44ea7

I know I am on the fringes of reception from the Seattle metro area but I have been able to consistently get the 4 local networks, public TV and a number of other digital channels.

Lately my TV has been "dropping" these channels like crazy. Usually I can bring them back in through the manual programming option on my TV - and re-add them to the list - then the next day, they are gone again. Sometimes I cannot bring them in - but will turn off the TV and turn it back on and then the channel comes in. I have a Winegard 8200 antenna, a power booster and an electronic rotor - I have no idea why we are having so many problems of late - no changes in our internal set up - weather sometimes plays a role but that has always been a factor..........is there someting in my TV set up that could be changed to remedy this situation? Any ideas would be helpful - I am being drawn reluctantly to satellite because this is soooooo frustrating - and we don't even watch a lot of TV

tx
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Old 27-Mar-2012, 6:49 PM   #2
Electron
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Tv antennas and Tv reception

http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=6836
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Old 27-Mar-2012, 6:55 PM   #3
jimmylittleman
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Reception inconsistency

I understand the problems with digital broadcasts from Canada - your previous post was clear on that - my question now pertains to channels to the south that I used to get fine keep dropping and its a pain to bring them in manually almost everytime I turn the tube on??
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Old 27-Mar-2012, 7:39 PM   #4
Electron
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Tv antennas and Tv reception

The only information I provided was the slingbox info.
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Old 27-Mar-2012, 7:42 PM   #5
GroundUrMast
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Do you know the make/model of "power booster" you're using? If not, is it located on the mast, near the antenna or is it in the building nearer the TV?

(There is no problem if you continue an old thread or start a new one... certainly this is a different issue.)
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If the well is dry and you don't see rain on the horizon, you'll need to dig the hole deeper. (If the antenna can't get the job done, an amp won't fix it.)

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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 27-Mar-2012 at 7:45 PM.
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Old 27-Mar-2012, 7:48 PM   #6
jimmylittleman
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I honestly cannot remember the brand and model of the booster - I ordered in on the advice received from Denny's TV service out of Michigan I think - that is where I was recommended to get the Winegard HD8200 for my specific situation. It is locate on the mast, just below the rotor pole. I have the receipts somehwere and can find it if that is important.

What I don't understand is the change in reception! It has worked pretty well for almost 2 years and then all of a sudden, channels start dropping??

tx
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Old 27-Mar-2012, 8:08 PM   #7
GroundUrMast
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If you were using a distribution amplifier I would have suggested you could eek out a slight improvement by moving the amplification closer to the antenna. You are describing a preamplifier as opposed to a distribution amplifier, and because it has worked well for some time makes me turn my attention away from the question of system design for now.

Your description makes me think of the long wet winter we have been having here in the NW. Any water in connectors or coax will change the electrical properties of the coax in a negative way. Can you inspect the connections up at and near the antenna?

Often the most practical way to prove coax and connectors is to substitute known good parts. (I can't afford a $15K to $60K Time Domain Reflectometer when trouble shooting RG-6 or other consumer grade coax and connectors.)

It's been a while since anyone has mentioned the use of coax seal on connections exposed to the weather. Moisture can be drawn into the coax over time the temperature is low enough to allow condensation, a frequent occurrence here in the NW and elsewhere. Coax-Seal is a brand name with a long standing reputation. I believe it's available through Amazon and other online retailers. Scotch #2228 is a competing product, available at Home Depot and elsewhere. I apply vinyl electrical tape over the Coax-Seal or similar product to protect from UV rays and prevent buildup of debris on the sticky surface of the Coax-Seal material. Vinyl tape alone will not seal moisture adequately.
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If the well is dry and you don't see rain on the horizon, you'll need to dig the hole deeper. (If the antenna can't get the job done, an amp won't fix it.)

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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 28-Mar-2012 at 8:41 AM. Reason: Grammer and Coax-Seal
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Old 28-Mar-2012, 3:41 PM   #8
jimmylittleman
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Thanks for that tip - most coax connections are inside under cover but there is definitely one or two at the antenna and amp - I will disconnect, dry, reconnect and then try the seal and tape idea

tx for the input - btw, channel 5 (NBC) out of Seattle, came in great last night for the first time in several days - and the weather was crap.......so I think there may be OTA demons flying around the trees at my place

jimmylittleman
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Old 28-Mar-2012, 5:04 PM   #9
GroundUrMast
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Connectors can be dried and cleaned. But coax... if water has gotten in, needs to be replaced, that's the only reliable fix.

Are the trees evergreens (Douglas fir, Cedar or Hemlock for ex.) or are they a species that's now have sap running and leaves about to 'pop'? Have the trees grown significantly in the two years since you installed the antenna?

If they're evergreen and have not grown or changed much, it's not too likely they're to blame. A fast growing stand of alder, birch, etc. on the other hand is going to be high on the list of suspects when trying to explain the recent changes to reception.
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If the well is dry and you don't see rain on the horizon, you'll need to dig the hole deeper. (If the antenna can't get the job done, an amp won't fix it.)

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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 28-Mar-2012 at 8:23 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 28-Mar-2012, 9:29 PM   #10
signals unlimited
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If your difficult channels happen to be 9, 11, or 13, the problem could be FM interferrence. It could be that a nearby station increased their power. What happens is that these strong FM signals can get past the trap in the amplifier and mix into frequencies that fall on any high VHF channel. This will show up just as you described.
I would first of all be sure that the internal trap in the amp is on, then if the problem is indeed on the VHF channels, pick up a FM trap and install it in front of the amplifier. I buy my traps from Cumberland Electronics at 888-501 9658. Ask for Ken. Another thing it could be is electrical interferrence either in your house. Try powering your equipment from different circuits, or a faulty power transformer near by. Another cause of this problem can be an arc in a near by electric fence. If you are in farm country this is worth looking into.
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