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Old 29-May-2015, 4:24 PM   #1
lspecski
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Do I need to go to the roof or is there a fix?

I went the cheap route with an Antenna,

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o01_s00

I installed it in my attic 80% of the time the picture is crystal clear and perfect and the rest of the time it is either slightly or heavily pixelated.

Here is the signal report, I am about 29 miles from the towers in Philadelphia and I am mainly concerned about ABC, CBS, NBC Fox, and PBS. I get the NJ PBS so I do not need the Philly PBS. My main problems seem to come from ABC and CBS. My antenna is in the attic estimated at about 25 feet. We have some heavy trees and the antenna is at or slightly below the tree-line.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...f1f0d475eb3aeb

I tried adding an RCA amplifier but my signal cuts out completely when I add it. One TV run is about 25 feet and the other is about 75 feet. The picture is similar on both TVs.

Based on the signal report, I was expecting no issues. Do you think I have to go to the rooftop or should I try to find better spots in the attc? Should an amplifier help, I can't understand why my picture cuts out when I add an amplifier unless it is defective. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 29-May-2015, 5:09 PM   #2
Jake V
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What direction is your antenna aimed at? Your strongest stations are all at 222 degrees on a compass (roughly southwest). CBS and ABC and some of your weaker stations are at 316 degrees (roughly northwest) and are 1 and 2 edge. If you have not already tried, try pointing your antenna northwest, towards the weaker stations. And try several locations in your attic, "looking" not through the roofing materials but "looking" through the siding if possible.

Attics on average lose roughly half the signal. Attics in houses with a metal wrap or in a stucco house can loose much more of the signal.
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Old 29-May-2015, 5:30 PM   #3
lspecski
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I get the stations on 222 fine unfortunately the major networks are at 316. I am currently pointed at 304, I don't fully understand True north versus magnetic north. if I point the antenna at around 340/350, I can avoid the stucco which is only on the front of the house. Also, I put the antenna as high as possible in the attic which means it is near the peak of the roof, is it better for it to be 5 feet lower. I believe the house is wrapped with Tyvec wrap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake V View Post
What direction is your antenna aimed at? Your strongest stations are all at 222 degrees on a compass (roughly southwest). CBS and ABC and some of your weaker stations are at 316 degrees (roughly northwest) and are 1 and 2 edge. If you have not already tried, try pointing your antenna northwest, towards the weaker stations. And try several locations in your attic, "looking" not through the roofing materials but "looking" through the siding if possible.

Attics on average lose roughly half the signal. Attics in houses with a metal wrap or in a stucco house can loose much more of the signal.
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Old 29-May-2015, 5:38 PM   #4
Jake V
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The "Magnetic" readings (last column in the TV Fool Report) correspond to what you will see on a compass. 304 is probably close enough, but you can try to better aim at 316.

You can also try different spots in the attic. If possible, stay as far away from anything metal (heating ducts, wiring, plumbing and exhaust pipe). You might just find a sweet spot. If that doesn't work, you may need to move it outside or get a better antenna.
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Old 29-May-2015, 6:31 PM   #5
Tower Guy
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The antenna that you bought is not designed for channels 2-6. WPVI is on channel 6. You need a large conventional antenna. Once you have that you can try the attic with the amp that you have. If it doesn't work then you must go to the roof.
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Old 7-Jun-2015, 11:57 PM   #6
lspecski
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VHF-LO Reception

I live in a Philadelphia suburb around 29 miles from the tower. Here is the signal report:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...82309f356ad8c6

I get all of the stations I wan't except channel 5 and channel 12 (I don't need 12 because I also get NJ PBS fine). I understand both of those stations are VHF-Lo. They come in occasionally by almost always pixelated. I was informed previously on this site that my antenna really isn't the right antenna for VHF.

Is there a cheap solution. I don't want to buy and set up a second antenna and I prefer not to do a rooftop installation. As a simple fix could Rabbit Ears with a diplexer.

My cord cutting is almost complete. Channel 6 and the NFL network are the only things I am missing with Hulu, Sling TV, and Netflix.
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Old 8-Jun-2015, 12:05 AM   #7
Billiam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lspecski View Post
I live in a Philadelphia suburb around 29 miles from the tower. Here is the signal report:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...82309f356ad8c6

I get all of the stations I wan't except channel 5 and channel 12 (I don't need 12 because I also get NJ PBS fine). I understand both of those stations are VHF-Lo. They come in occasionally by almost always pixelated. I was informed previously on this site that my antenna really isn't the right antenna for VHF.

Is there a cheap solution. I don't want to buy and set up a second antenna and I prefer not to do a rooftop installation. As a simple fix could Rabbit Ears with a diplexer.

My cord cutting is almost complete. Channel 6 and the NFL network are the only things I am missing with Hulu, Sling TV, and Netflix.
What antenna are you using right now? You have a number of VHF Lo stations on that list and you will definitely need an all channel antenna to get them.

Can't find Ch. 5 though. What are the call letters?
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Old 8-Jun-2015, 12:17 AM   #8
lspecski
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billiam View Post
What antenna are you using right now? You have a number of VHF Lo stations on that list and you will definitely need an all channel antenna to get them.

Can't find Ch. 5 though. What are the call letters?
Sorry, it was a typo it is channel 6, WPVI. This is the Antenna.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o01_s00

All I really need/want is 3, 6, 10, 17, 29. All are great except 6.

Would good old-fashioned rabbit ears pointed in the right direction do the trick for channel 6?
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Old 8-Jun-2015, 12:20 AM   #9
Billiam
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Is the Ch. 3 you mention KYW virtual Ch. 3 or a real Ch. 3?

Looks like you mean KYW. All of the channels you watch are UHF except for WPVI. Not sure about an indoor antenna that can pick that up. You may have to find an outdoor antenna for this.
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Old 8-Jun-2015, 12:26 AM   #10
lspecski
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billiam View Post
Is the Ch. 3 you mention KYW virtual Ch. 3 or a real Ch. 3?

Looks like you mean KYW. All of the channels you watch are UHF except for WPVI. Not sure about an indoor antenna that can pick that up. You may have to find an outdoor antenna for this.
Channel 3 is CBS, KYW. I do not have any reception issues. Would mind explaining to me how you read the report to know than an indoor antenna won't work. When I decided on the antenna the report showed green and yellow which by the TV guide suggested that an indoor attic antenna would work.
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Old 8-Jun-2015, 12:30 AM   #11
Billiam
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Originally Posted by lspecski View Post
Channel 3 is CBS, KYW. I do not have any reception issues. Would mind explaining to me how you read the report to know than an indoor antenna won't work. When I decided on the antenna the report showed green and yellow which by the TV guide suggested that an indoor attic antenna would work.
Yep. Indoor antennas and in fact most antennas being made right now either don't have the ability to pick up VHF Lo channels or if they can, don't have very much gain at all.

Perhaps one of those disc shape antennas (look like a flying saucer) from Winegard or Channel Master might work. I have one from Antennacraft that can be used inside or outside and it has a built in pre amp and that might pick it up. But finding one is going to be tough now that Antennacraft is out of business.
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Old 8-Jun-2015, 12:37 AM   #12
Billiam
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I just took a look at both the Winegard and Channel Master websites. No indoor only antennas can pick up VHF Lo channels. Only VHF Hi and UHF.

See if you can find one of these somewhere. Even though Antennacraft is now out of business there still may be a few kicking around at some online retailers or perhaps in a store in Philly. Using something like this is your best bet.

http://antennacraft.net/Antennas/AntennasAmplified.html

Also, call any Radio Shack stores that might still be left and open in your area to see if they have any antennas left in stock. They may have something that will work and won't cost much. They carried Antennacraft which was their store brand of TV antennas.
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Old 8-Jun-2015, 12:49 AM   #13
lspecski
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billiam View Post
I just took a look at both the Winegard and Channel Master websites. No indoor only antennas can pick up VHF Lo channels. Only VHF Hi and UHF.

See if you can find one of these somewhere. Even though Antennacraft is now out of business there still may be a few kicking around at some online retailers or perhaps in a store in Philly. Using something like this is your best bet.

http://antennacraft.net/Antennas/AntennasAmplified.html

Also, call any Radio Shack stores that might still be left and open in your area to see if they have any antennas left in stock. They may have something that will work and won't cost much. They carried Antennacraft which was their store brand of TV antennas.
Thanks for your help.
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Old 8-Jun-2015, 12:56 AM   #14
Billiam
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Originally Posted by lspecski View Post
Thanks for your help.
You're welcome. It's getting tougher and tougher to find a antenna to receive VHF lo signals.
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Old 8-Jun-2015, 1:28 AM   #15
mikelessard
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The Terk LOGTVA and HDTVA will get VHF-Lo -- http://www.terk.com/indoor-antennas/
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Old 8-Jun-2015, 2:25 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by mikelessard View Post
The Terk LOGTVA and HDTVA will get VHF-Lo -- http://www.terk.com/indoor-antennas/
Warning!

Just because they say that, doesn't actually mean the antenna can deliver. Both models noted include a simple set of rabbit ears but the listings fail to say how long they actually are, information that would provide a clue as to how well the lengths can be adjusted to actually resonates at low-VHF frequencies.

I've tested several Terks in the last two years. One of their outdoor antenna performed reasonably well while the other was so poor it would have been an embarrassment to call it an antenna. Now, neither supported VHF-low so neither would be considered for that role, but I wanted to caution you about "specifications" that are so incomplete as to be useless.
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Old 8-Jun-2015, 10:48 PM   #17
rabbit73
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It is the real channel number, not the virtual number, on your tvfool report that determines what antenna is needed.

VHF-Low: Real channels 2-6
VHF-High: Real channels 7-13
UHF: Real channels 14-51

The frequency of Real channel 6 is 82 to 88 MHz; center frequency 85 MHz.

A simple folded dipole antenna for channel 6 can be made from 300 ohm twin lead. Its length can be determined by formula:



5540/85 = 65.2 inches (rabbit ears would need to be the same length, and horizontal)

If you have trouble finding 300 ohm twin lead, you can use heavy gauge solid copper wire, bare or insulated. Support it at the center; the ends are sensitive to being touched by other objects. See attachment 2.

The noise level on VHF-Low is high. It might interfere with the reception of channel 6.

You can combine it with a UVSJ, UHF/VHF Separator Joiner.
http://www.hollandelectronics.com/ca...-Diplexers.pdf
http://www.3starinc.com/uvsj_uhf_vhf...or_joiner.html
http://mjsales.net/products/tru-spec...ant=1198505857
http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=zuvsj

Code:
UHF antenna > coax > control box > 
                                  \
                                   UVSJ > TV
                                  /
CH6 folded dipole antenna > coax >
If it doesn't work, come back and let us know. The only other ABC I see is WABC on real channel 7. The curvature of the earth starts to interfere with TV signals at 70 miles.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Folded Dipole.jpg (59.4 KB, 1270 views)
File Type: gif folded dipole2 (2).gif (2.3 KB, 247 views)
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Last edited by rabbit73; 9-Jun-2015 at 12:19 AM.
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Old 16-Jun-2015, 4:01 AM   #18
lspecski
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WPVI Channel 6 in NJ

Can I get suggestions on 2-3 antenna options to get WPVI in Philadelphia. It is VHF-Low.

Here is my report.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...8230d475eb3aeb
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Old 16-Jun-2015, 12:36 PM   #19
Billiam
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For VHF you can use something like the Antennacraft CS600 which can still be found in a couple of places even though Antennacraft is now out of business. An all channel option would be something like the Channel Master 5016, Channel Master Advantage 45 or maybe the 60 for more gain.

Unfortunately there are few VHF lo options left and no antennas that cater only to Ch.2 through 6. Unless you can find a CS600 you will likely need an all channel antenna.
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Old 16-Jun-2015, 5:09 PM   #20
rabbit73
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Summit Source still has some. Combine with your present antenna with a UVSJ like the code diagram in post #17.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AntennaCraft...-/221387209204
http://www.summitsource.com/antennac...00-p-6310.html

Spec sheet for Antennacraft CS600:
http://www.antennacraft.net/pdfs/CS600.pdf

Disclaimer: I can't guarantee this will work, but it's worth a try. Antennas don't always survive shipping; about half of the antennas that I have ordered arrived damaged. Some sellers charge way too much for shipping. I wouldn't mind paying extra for shipping if they packed it carefully, but don't count on it.

If you can't get one from them, you are left with a custom made (expensive) antenna for channel 6, a DIY like the folded dipole I suggested, or an Hourglass Loop antenna designed by holl_ands, who is an RF engineer that does computer design of antennas.

The CS600 has 2.3 dB gain on 6. You could get that much gain from a DIY folded dipole antenna with an added reflector element, which is 5% longer than the dipole.
http://users.wfu.edu/matthews/misc/dipole.html

DIY Hourglass Loop for CH 6:
http://imageevent.com/holl_ands/loop...lassloopnorefl
http://imageevent.com/holl_ands/loop...ssloopreflrods

Custom antenna:
http://www.abilityhdtv.com/product-l...pg1-cid49.html
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Last edited by rabbit73; 16-Jun-2015 at 6:49 PM.
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