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Old 23-Jun-2014, 8:39 PM   #1
LynnOnTheWeb
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Austin, TX Reception Questions

Hi All,

I've got an OTA setup and have problems with my channels cutting out intermittently. I'm hoping someone here can help me fine tune my system so I have fewer drop-outs.

First, here's my TVFool report. I'm only trying to receive the network channels from Austin, which are all in the green zone.
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e1c6b8df654f9f

Here's my report at a 20ft antenna height (which is how it is now):
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e1c6180938916a

Now, for my setup:

I have this antenna mounted on a 5 foot mast on the ridge line of my metal roof on a one story house. My best guess puts this total height at 20 ft:
Winegard MS 1000 Metrostar Omnidirectional Non-Amplified TV Antenna (MS-1000)

I have this signal amplifier:
Winegard ANWI8700 Winegard AP Signal Amplifier

All runs are RG-6.

The challenges that I have:
* metal roof
* large/tall trees to the S and SE. These trees are about 10-15ft from the antenna. Cutting them down is not an option. I can trim some limbs, but not enough to create clear paths through them. All channels I'm interested in seem to be clustered to the NW.
* Multiple TVs (5), though I'm usually only watching one TV at a any given time if that makes a difference.

I superimposed my TVFool diagram over my house and notice the crepe myrtles directly in the line of the stations. Before I did this, it didn't even cross my mind that they could be the problem! Could my solution be as easy as either getting the antenna up higher or trimming the crepe myrtles?



Thoughts?

Lynn
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Old 25-Jun-2014, 6:06 PM   #2
GroundUrMast
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Trimming the trees is certainly worth doing. Moving foliage causes the passing signals to be reflected and attenuated which makes it hard for a TV tuner to maintain a lock on the signal. Added height is also worth trying.

An omni-directional antenna will receive both the direct path signal and reflected path signal if present. When this happens, the signals can cancel each other. This is referred to as multi-path interference. A Directional antenna tends to receive less of the reflected path signal and can help if you are having trouble with multi-path.

If you were starting from scratch, I'd suggest a directional antenna such as the Winegard HD7694P or Antennacraft HBU-33. The signals at your location are strong enough to make me a bit concerned that the AP-8700 could be overloading... which would make reception less reliable. The passive gain offered by the two antennas I've suggested would provide plenty of signal to drive up to six TVs. If the need for an amplifier was proven, I'd suggest a Channel Master CM-3410 just before the splitter.
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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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Old 25-Jun-2014, 10:04 PM   #3
LynnOnTheWeb
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Thanks for the information.

Would changing to a directional antenna make the need to trim the crepe myrtles unlikely?
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Old 27-Jun-2014, 5:00 PM   #4
GroundUrMast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnOnTheWeb View Post
Thanks for the information.

Would changing to a directional antenna make the need to trim the crepe myrtles unlikely?
I simply can not guaranty the final result... Trees can be quite problematic and they can have a varied impact on the signals. You may need to trim the trees and replace the antenna.

Which step is the least costly from your perspective? If you are equipped to trim the trees, have the time and desire, then do that first. If you have to pay someone to do all the work, that may change the order of steps.
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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-Jun-2014 at 4:54 PM. Reason: sp.
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Old 27-Jun-2014, 7:32 PM   #5
LynnOnTheWeb
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Makes sense. Thanks again for the input.
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