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Old 11-Apr-2017, 11:18 PM   #1
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Four stations from same location - one doesn't come in

In a suburb northeast of the greater Seattle area, I'm trying to set up an indoor antenna in an apartment that's about a mile closer to the same towers I've been accessing solidly from our house for many years.

The problem I'm running into is that the major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) come from [a] tower(s) (perhaps the same one) 8.9 miles away at 229 deg, but they don't come in equally. ABC and CBS come in rock solid and NBC is very difficult to lock onto a signal at all, fluctuating between virtually no signal quality (per a TiVo) for minutes at a time to a signal quality of about 60 for minutes at a time.

The antennas I've tried are the SolidSignal HDBLADE100CA and a rectangular 1byone 50-mile antenna (both came with amplifiers, which, when used, only made things worse).

Any ideas regarding what may be causing this discrepancy and what things I might want to try to resolve it? Is the fluctuation between 0 and 60 a multipath symptom, or is it something else?

Last edited by tluxon; 11-Apr-2017 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 12-Apr-2017, 1:01 PM   #2
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Your location behind a large hill that is in the direction of the towers on Queen Anne Hill. That means that the signals are going to be sharply diffracted and greatly weakened as that pass over that hill into your lower elevation location.

It's a common occurrence for the signals to become very scattered with pronounced dead and hot spots on a per channel basis. you might find one spot for the antenna where certain channels work but others don't and a different location with a difference combination channels.

An amplifier will NOT help as the signals from the towers downtown are unobstructed and their very strong signals will overload most indoor amps or the tuner itself. I tested the amp that comes with the SS Blade and found it overloaded very easily.

Most likely, if you can't find a sweet spot, you'll probably need to step up your game from the flat antennas to something with some real forward gain. That means something a LOT bulkier than what you've been trying. Our ClearStream 4V would be the maximum upgrade, the ClearStream 2V might do okay.

Good luck!
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Old 12-Apr-2017, 7:50 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 383
Any indoor antenna is a band-aid to reception. Construction materials,
wiring, plumbing, HVAC all create havoc with signals. If your apartment
faces towards the majority of towers, I would suggest using a two bay or
possibly a four bay bow tie antenna on your patio. The few VHF signals
are line of sight, close and strong so the bow tie antennas should be fine
with the Hi-VHF and do a much better job than any antenna located indoors.
I suggest you check out MCM electronics, Winegard and Channel Master
for their antennas.....
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Old 12-Apr-2017, 11:18 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.

Following the advice of installer Dan Kurtz, I installed a CM-4221 (4-bay bowtie) antenna on a chimney mounted mast at my house back in 2001 and it has done a great job with these defracted signals. Eventually it lost effectiveness - likely due to corrosion of the bowtie rods - and I've replaced it with a Xtreme Signal HDB4X that is working much better.

I have no doubt that a similar 4-bay bowtie antenna (perhaps even the aforementioned 4221 after cleaning the bowtie rods or maybe a ClearStream 2V) would work from the balcony (3rd/top floor - vaulted ceiling) of the apartment, but I'm fairly certain it would be unacceptable to the tenant and I'm not sure about the landlord, either. I'll have to ask.

Regardless, it seems that I may be out of luck trying to get a rock solid signal for the NBC channel out of one of these nice little flypaper antennas, so it may come down to a how-bad-do-you-want-it decision by the tenant.
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Old 13-Apr-2017, 12:21 AM   #5
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I had the same problem. Got three channels from the same compass reading and location but a 4th wouldn't come in. Moved my antenna a few feet to the east and it solved the problem. Location often makes all the difference.
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