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Old 14-Aug-2014, 7:58 PM   #1
w1zofaz
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Trying to get back to OTA after eons help

Hello Everyone!

I am new here, so I wanted to tell everyone hello first before I got to my situation and questions.

Once upon a time many moons ago (don't try and count that many moons you will never make it) the wife and I did use OTA TV. It was in another home and the system was not grounded period. Due toi location or signals the snow was like blizzard conditions just about all the time, Not happy campers trying to watch TV through a blizzard.

Years later we moved and was introduced to the wonders of cable tv. Holy Poo! So this was what watching tv could be like! It was cheap! We were excited and fell into the trap. After a few years came bundling and service contracts. Deeper and deeper we went as the price started edging higher and higher. We finally jumped ship to go to supposedly cheaper satellite tv. To my dismay that also started rising higher and higher in price. NOT what they stated over the phone. Turns out that Satellite providers lie like dogs just like cable providers.

I have had enough. Though the wife is bemoaning the coming loss of the ID channel I simply refuse to pay $100+ a month just to watch a few channels out of almost 200 (which most are garbage).

Sorry for rambling but I am getting a bit closer to the meat of the matter. Please stand by for a little current back story before I get there.

To try and make things a bit easier on the wife to help wean her away from satellite TV I have taken a few steps. Got a Roku3 and with it activated accounts with Netflix streaming, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime. Plus on the PC side I got Plex and PlayOn. That way I can record shows with PlayOn and then stream to the Roku with Plex.

That still did not solve getting the local channels for news and alerts. So I also got a Roamio to record OTA shows. (heaven forbid if she can't record General Hospital to watch when she gets home from work)

Getting closer peeps I promise.

I bought I used Mohu Sky (we are out in the boonies) for old fashioned OTA signals. THANK YOU TV FOOL that I stumbled upon in a Google search allowing me to get station signal and direction info!

Anyhow, I put the Mohu Sky up the side of our double wide mobile home on four 5' sections of antenna mast. Our home has one of those newer style red metal roofs also. I did a temp test set up to find best location and ran RG-6 quad shielded coax. Ran it to the Roamio which is in the temporary spot in our sons room so the coax comes in a window and can be connected and disconnected during testing. (when done setting up it will be in the main room) Did the set up stuff and channel scan on the Roamio then tuned to live TV. I must say my jaw dropped! Where was the dreaded blizzard? Where was the double peoples? Where was the rolling? HOLY POO! I see a picture just as clear as cable ever was! Needless to say I was bowled over!

Now I will be replacing the antenna though. I HAVE to. For some odd reason the Mohu is not picking up Channel 6.1 very well. It will pixelate every few minutes. Why is that a problem? That is the channel that General Hospital comes on and if it is not solved my wife will put my head on a pike once we go total OTA end of next month.
So I have ordered an HD Stacker antenna. With a metal roof I did not want an antenna the size of a baseball field right over it. I am now broke and wife is pissed with the amount of money I have spent so far. (oh, I have gotten an 8' grounding rod)

Back story is done, sorry if I have bored all to tears. If so this will make good reading right before you go to bed.

My problem is grounding.

At great risk of my age and shoulder rebuilding I drove the 8' grounding rod to a depth of 7' a few feet from where the antenna mast will be concreted into the ground when all is said and done.

My problem is that the grounding rod for the service panel is located on the exact opposite side of our home. I have read that you have got to ground the rod that I just drove to the ground rod at the service entrance with #6 copper wire with no sharp bends. So that leaves out making a run around to the backside of the house.

So does that mean that I have to drill through the concrete block both front and back and run the ground wire under the home to make this connection?

Oh, another question. When I get the money do I need to buy enough #8 copper wire to run all the way up the 18' mast and ground it where the antenna connects to the mast? Or can I just use a grounding strap and attach the grounding wire to the base of the mast to hook to the ground rod I just drove that is a few feet away?

Another question involves the coax. I have bought a grounding block for it and the coax will be entering the home through one of those air vents used to help circulate air under a mobile home. I will have a drip loop made before it does this. The grounding block will also be able to be grounded to the grounding rod I just drove.

Well, that is my story. Got a lot done, but need help/advice to be able to finish the job. Running out of time and money and need to keep the lady happy and safe.

Oh, I know the obvious answer is to just put the Antenna on the backside of the home. Unfortunately, with the next door peoples property trees and home this is not an option. That was one of my test areas and got almost no signal on all channels.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...ec2f0027565776


Thank You

Last edited by w1zofaz; 15-Aug-2014 at 6:10 PM.
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Old 14-Aug-2014, 8:14 PM   #2
w1zofaz
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Dang it! Forgot to add other info

Cable runs; 20' RG6 Quad coming off Mohu to ground block. 50' RG6 Quad from ground block to Tivo.

Here is what the Tivo signal meter says on the channels I am pulling in. Not including the sub channels, just the main one.

Antenna aimed at 45 degrees.

6.1 freq 26 30-47% pixal badly sometimes unwatchable.
7.1 freq 7 63-70% nice pic
8.1 freq 30 62-67% nice pic
10.1 freq 10 67-72% nice pic
15.1 freq 17 50-52% nice pic
20.1 freq 20 72-83% nice pic
43.1 freq 34 55-60% nice pic
53.1 freq 42 35-37% unwatchable most times but sometimes comes in nice
54.1 freq 23 40-45% nice pic

Can NOT do a rotor as we will be recording OTA from both Knoxville and Chattanooga.
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Old 15-Aug-2014, 6:01 AM   #3
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To see if signal strengths of weaker signal strength Tv stations improve with higher antenna heights.

Stronger signal strengths will help with antenna/s recommendation and flexibility of antenna aiming.

Providing better and reliable reception.

Providing reception of more Tv stations and channels.

Please make and post 2 more tvfool reports , 25 and 40 feet above ground.
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Old 15-Aug-2014, 3:48 PM   #4
w1zofaz
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Per request;

At 25'
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...ec2f7d004daa35

At 40'
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...ec2f1c7ebd47bd

But sorry to say I am already about as high as I can go safely. I am not using guide wires because there is no where to anchor the third wire.

Any help with my grounding questions section anybody?

"My problem is grounding.

At great risk of my age and shoulder rebuilding I drove the 8' grounding rod to a depth of 7' a few feet from where the antenna mast will be concreted into the ground when all is said and done.

My problem is that the grounding rod for the service panel is located on the exact opposite side of our home. I have read that you have got to ground the rod that I just drove to the ground rod at the service entrance with #6 copper wire with no sharp bends. So that leaves out making a run around to the backside of the house.

So does that mean that I have to drill through the concrete block both front and back and run the ground wire under the home to make this connection?

Oh, another question. When I get the money do I need to buy enough #8 copper wire to run all the way up the 18' mast and ground it where the antenna connects to the mast? Or can I just use a grounding strap and attach the grounding wire to the base of the mast to hook to the ground rod I just drove that is a few feet away?

Another question involves the coax. I have bought a grounding block for it and the coax will be entering the home through one of those air vents used to help circulate air under a mobile home. I will have a drip loop made before it does this. The grounding block will also be able to be grounded to the grounding rod I just drove."

Thank You.
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Old 15-Aug-2014, 8:18 PM   #5
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Here's a general summary re. basic grounding of an antenna system, http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=901 (post #20)

Quote:
My problem is that the grounding rod for the service panel is located on the exact opposite side of our home. I have read that you have got to ground the rod that I just drove to the ground rod at the service entrance with #6 copper wire with no sharp bends. So that leaves out making a run around to the backside of the house.

So does that mean that I have to drill through the concrete block both front and back and run the ground wire under the home to make this connection?
'Sharp bends' is a rather ambiguous term, most installations will require some bends. The point is that a 6" radius bend has less inductance than a 4" radius bend, making the 6" radius more desirable than the tighter bend. I would avoid kinking the wire and would absolutely avoid coiling the grounding wire. These kinks and coils have virtually no effect on DC current but provide substantial impedance to AC current. As the frequency increases so does the impedance (the AC version of resistance).

Choosing the route for your grounding system connections will be a compromise of ideals. If access to the crawl space is difficult, I would look at running around the house.
Quote:
...can I just use a grounding strap and attach the grounding wire to the base of the mast to hook to the ground rod I just drove that is a few feet away?
Yes, if the new rod is bonded (using #6 AWG copper and approved connectors per NEC art. 810) to the existing electrical service grounding system. The connection from the mast to the grounding system can be made with #10 AWG copper. Though #8 AWG is not excessive if you can afford it.

Quote:
Another question involves the coax. I have bought a grounding block for it and the coax will be entering the home through one of those air vents used to help circulate air under a mobile home. I will have a drip loop made before it does this. The grounding block will also be able to be grounded to the grounding rod I just drove."
The ideal location for the coax grounding block is near the grounding connection point used by TELCO and CATV services (usually near your electrical service). This helps keep voltage differences between these systems as close to zero as possible. The connection from the grounding block to the electrical service ground should be made with #10 AWG cooper or better... and ideally the total wire used should be no more than 10 feet.

Connecting the coax ground block to the new rod is a 'second best' option. Any impedance to current in the bond between the new rod and the existing grounding system will produce voltage differences if any current flows in the grounding system.
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 16-Aug-2014 at 4:02 AM. Reason: sp.
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Old 15-Aug-2014, 10:01 PM   #6
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To Improve and Stabilize Reception and Receive more Digital Broadcast Tv Stations/Channels.

-------------------------------------------------

Install a , Antennas Direct , DB8e , current UHF Tv channels 14 thru 51 antenna.

http://www.amazon.com.

Aim the DB8e antenna at about 50 degree magnetic compass direction.

--------------------------

Here is how to aim antennas.

http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing/pointing.html.

Use a Real and Actual magnetic compass to aim antennas , do not trust a , cell phone , tablet and etc. compass.

Most Digital Tv's have a Signal Strength Meter and some Digital Tv's also have a Signal Quality Meter.

---------------------------

Also install a.

http://www.antennacraft.net.

Y10-7-13 , VHF high band channels 7 thru 13 antenna aimed at about 242 degree magnetic compass direction.

---------------------------

Install the Y10-7-13 antenna about 3 feet below the DB8e antenna on the same antenna mast.

---------------------------

Install a.

http://www.antennacraft.net.

10G221 preamplifier.

Connect the DB8e UHF antenna to the UHF connection of the 10G221 preamplifier.

Connect the Y10-7-13 VHF high band antenna to the VHF connection of the 10G221 preamplifier.

----------------------------

For 1 Tv connected use No splitter.

For 2 Tv's connected use a , Holland Electronics , HFS-2D , 2 way splitter.

For 3 Tv's connected use a , Holland Electronics , HFS-3D , 3 way splitter.

By the , HFS-2D , HFS-3D , splitters at.

http://www.hollandelectronics.com , or , http://www.amazon.com.

----------------------------

Here are some above the roof antenna mounts.

http://www.ronard.com/909911.html. Install the , ronard(911), 5 foot triopd antenna mount.

http://www.ronard.com/34424560.html.

http://www.ronard.com/ychim.html. Measure around the chimney and use a , ronard(2212) , ronard(2218) , ronard(2224) .

http://www.ronard.com.

----------

Home Depot has , 10 foot 6 inch length , 1 and 3/8 inch diameter , TOP RAIL , chain link fence , PIPE , that makes good antenna mast/pipe , the price is low at about 12 dollars.

----------------------------

Also know this.

As always , trees and tree leaves , plants and plant leaves , have a Negative Effect on Broadcast Tv Reception and so do buildings and other obstructions including your own , attic , roof , building.

Some and not all Negative Effects are.

Absorbing and Blocking Reception.

Multi-Path Reflecting Tv Signals Bouncing All Around.

The Best Practice for Reliable Reception is to install the antennas at a location that has the least amount to no amount of obstructions of any type or kind in the directions of reception including your own , attic , roof , building , in the directions of reception.

The directions of reception at your reception location are , North East , North , East , South West.

----------------------------

The Y10-7-13 VHF high band channels 7 thru 13 antenna is aimed to the South West for reception of.

WTVC , Real VHF high band channel 9 , ABC and This Tv. http://www.thistv.com

WRCB , Real VHF high band channel 13 , NBC and Antenna Tv. http://antennatv.tv

And also receive the stronger signal strength Tv stations to the , North East , East , at/through the back and back angles to the Y10-7-13 antenna.

WBIR-DT , Real VHF high band channel 10 , NBC and Me-Tv.

WKNX-Tv , Real VHF high band channel 7 , Independent and Daystar.

WJDP-LD , Real VHF high band channel 11 , Religion.

Last edited by teleview; 16-Aug-2014 at 5:19 PM. Reason: Clarify information and typos.
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Old 15-Aug-2014, 10:18 PM   #7
w1zofaz
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Thank You GroundUrMast,
That did clear things up a bit and am glad that I do not have to run a ground wire all the way up to the antenna.

On the coax I will be forced to take that "second best" option as everything is on the other side of the house and that would add waaaayyyy to much coax into the loop.

One other thing that I have thought of... was wondering if this is a possibility.
Being that I am in a doublewide that was put on site in 1997 I think it was a requirement to ground a mobile home.

So if I can verify by crawling around under it that there is indeed a grounding wire grounding the mobile home to the ground rod at the back service panel...
would running a ground wire and from the rod I just drove and grounding it to the underside of my mobile home serve the same purpose as bonding the new rod to the original rod on that backside at the electrical panel? If possible it sure would make it a lot easier and less expensive.

Oh, and also the waterline runs about 6' (from the newly driven ground rod) away into the home. The waterline run to get to my home is like 75 yards and all underground. I have no idea what shape it is in because I have never gone under the porch and dug gently down to it to take a look. But, is this worth looking into for grounding something with a strap if it is in good shape?

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Old 16-Aug-2014, 4:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
... would running a ground wire and from the rod I just drove and grounding it to the underside of my mobile home serve the same purpose as bonding the new rod to the original rod on that backside at the electrical panel?
It's unlikely that your local electrical code would consider that an acceptable option. But regardless, I wouldn't want to intentionally lead fault current into or through my home.

Quote:
Oh, and also the waterline runs about 6' (from the newly driven ground rod) away into the home. The waterline run to get to my home is like 75 yards and all underground. I have no idea what shape it is in because I have never gone under the porch and dug gently down to it to take a look. But, is this worth looking into for grounding something with a strap if it is in good shape?
If you can be certain that the water line is all metal and will never be repaired with non metallic parts, then it may provide a solid connection to earth. However, the primary goal of grounding the antenna system is not the making of a good connection to earth... The goal of grounding the antenna system is to ensure that minimal voltage differences between the antenna system and the rest of the systems in your house, if a fault current should occur. Connecting the mast and / or coax to a separate ground system (such as an isolated rod) or even to a remote part of your electrical service grounding system (remote from the connection point used by the other utilities such as TELCO and CATV) sets you up for significant or even dangerous voltage differences if you have an electrical fault or nearby lightning event.

I applaud your desire to properly ground your antenna system. However, I can't recommend the options you've described.

As an aside, I have heard others question the use of the words 'ground' and 'grounding' in this context. I agree with their observation that the words may mislead people into thinking that making a connection to ground is the ultimate goal. In some parts of the world, the term 'earth' and 'earthing' are used. These words may also be misunderstood by some to imply that a connection to earth is the end goal. However the terms 'bond' and 'bonding' are a bit better at describing the most important goal, that is; To prevent dangerous voltage differences from developing between objects that have a chance of being energized in the event of an electrical fault. If I were to try to pick a word or phrase that describes the intent behind 'grounding' an antenna system, I might choose the phrase, "protective bonding".
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 16-Aug-2014 at 7:08 PM. Reason: post script, sp.
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Old 16-Aug-2014, 1:28 PM   #9
w1zofaz
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teleview, wow, I'm sorry I do not know how I over looked your informative post. I am so sorry. I knew the Mohu needed to be replaced as soon as I could not bring in channel 6.1 reliably all the time. In fact it is for some reason horrible on most accounts. But I had already ordered and paid for an HD Stacker which will be here on Monday. Sadly they are calling for a 60% chance of rain/thunderstorms that day. But, I will be putting it up asap and I will post the read outs from it using the same exact direction and cabling. If it fails to be up to snuff it will be boxed up and shipped back. Then I will start saving towards your recommendation.

GroundUrMast, Thank You for the advice. That saved me the trouble as now I will not try and locate/dig down to the water line. I will also forget about the underside of the home. Rats, that would have been so much closer and easier. What gave me that idea is that I noticed that is how the Sat dish is grounded. Now I see that they were either to lazy to run a proper ground or to cheap.

So here is how I will be doing the grounding/bonding. Posting it here for it to be looked at to make sure I have understood everything.

1) TV antenna mast - at base of mast attach a grounding strap and run #8 bare or sheathed solid copper wire from grounding strap to grounding rod that I just drove.

2) RG6 Quad Coax - antenna lead out terminates in grounding block which is grounded with #8 bare or sheathed solid copper wire from ground block to grounding rod I just drove. (i understand that was second best option)

3) Grounding Rod I just drove - using #6 bare or sheathed solid copper wire run to original grounding rod that is on backside of home near the service panel. This is what "bonds" the two systems together. But if I have to run around the home it will be a very very long run with two 90 degree bends in the wire of approx 100'.

Is the above correct?

Thank You

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Old 16-Aug-2014, 7:12 PM   #10
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When all is said and done, let's hope your grounding leads never have any work to do.
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Old 16-Aug-2014, 9:09 PM   #11
w1zofaz
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Thank You GroundUrMast. Not looking forward to all this ground wire running. But as long as it is the correct way of doing it then I guess it has to get done.
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Old 16-Aug-2014, 9:53 PM   #12
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Holy POO! I just got a look at how much #6 solid copper wiring is! Holy Poo! My wife would skin me alive!

Okay, I am just spitting in the wind here. But lets say that HD Stacker is able to pull a usable signal from the backside of the house and I was able to put the antenna up about 8' from the service panel grounding rod.

That would eliminate the need for that #6 copper wire correct?
All I would have to do then is:

#8 ground wire from the rg6 grounding block to the service panel ground rod
and
#8 ground wire from grounding strap attached to the base of the antenna mast to the service panel ground rod

Is the above correct?

I hope so. But on the down side that increases the coax run to a 20' rg6 quad from the antenna to ground block, then out to a 75' run (minimum) to the Tivo. **sigh**
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Old 16-Aug-2014, 10:12 PM   #13
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A picture of the thick wire running from the service panel to the home ground rod. It looks like all the old cable systems (i bought this place used a few years ago) and even the phone box ties in using that thick wire. That is where I was thinking of doing also with the rg6 and mast ground.


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Old 17-Aug-2014, 12:59 AM   #14
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The TELCO and CATV shown in your photo are connected at the ideal point in your electrical service grounding system. The big box home centers will have split bolt connectors similar to the type used to make the connection for the CATV grounding block. Simply clean all the paint and corrosion off the surface of the electrical service grounding conductor at the point you make your connection.
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Old 17-Aug-2014, 2:19 AM   #15
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Thank You so much GroundUrMast! When I get the Stacker I will test the backside and I hope hope hope it does the job. Can not believe how expensive this is getting just to put up an antenna. I just keep thinking ahead, it will save us money in the long run, it will save us money in the long run.

You should see under the home. It looks like a cable graveyard under there. I think Charter cable has been installed twice, dish network once, and I have Direct TV. It looks like anytime anybody new came in they just cut the cable of the previous provider and let them lay. I guess I need to get under there and gather up all the dead coax and toos it. That way it will be easier to tell which cable I am running.
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Old 19-Aug-2014, 10:58 PM   #16
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Okay, got the HD Stacker up and connected. I did make a mistake on how long the cable is coming off the antenna for the Mohu Sky. It is

30' RG6 Quad from antenna to ground block and then 50' RG6 Quad from Ground block to Tivo. I did not run signal tests as the day I got it had bands of storms coming in with some pretty hairy. But today I ran the tests using the Tivo signal meter, same thing I did with the Mohu Sky with weather situations pretty close. In fact the HD Stacker had a little bit more cloudiness to contend with.

This is a reminder how the Mohu Sky did:

Antenna aimed at 45 degrees.

6.1 freq 26, 30-47% pixal badly sometimes unwatchable.
7.1 freq 7, 63-70% nice pic
8.1 freq 30, 62-67% nice pic
10.1 freq 10, 67-72% nice pic
15.1 freq 17, 50-52% nice pic
20.1 freq 20, 72-83% nice pic
43.1 freq 34, 55-60% nice pic
53.1 freq 42, 35-37% unwatchable most times but sometimes comes in nice
54.1 freq 23, 40-45% nice pic

Here is how the HD Stacker did under the very same things.

Antenna aimed at 45 degrees.

6.1 freq 26, 51-55% We can watch it now! YEAH!
7.1 freq 7, 71-72% nice pic
8.1 freq 30, 67-72% nice pic
10.1 freq 10, 72-73% nice pic
15.1 freq 17, 61-62% nice pic
20.1 freq 20, 72-78% nice pic
43.1 freq 34, 67-72% nice pic
53.1 freq 42, 31-32% no picture or sound now
54.1 freq 23, 52-55% nice pic

As you can see the Stacker did do better adding roughly 10% to the signal, plus it held steadier. The odd thing is that it lost for channel 53.1. That Chattanooga channel had no picture or sound, but was giving off a signal. In fact the Stacker was picking up signals from a lot of channels (that the mohu did not) that were hitting between 30-35, but also did not have picture or sound.

Would a preamplifier help in that kind of situation? Is that what they are for?

Oh, the system is still not grounded. I disconnect the antenna outside every night before retiring to bed. Just in case a storm comes up.

I still have to move it around back and do a test, but will need a longer RG6 Quad run before I do that.

Thank You.
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Old 20-Aug-2014, 11:28 PM   #17
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Preamplifiers are only able to deal with the losses that are connected to the output of the amp. They do not improve the performance of the antenna.

Your TV Fool report shows moderate to weak signal levels. A preamplifier such as the RCA TVPRAMP1R would be indicated. If you are splitting the signal and/or have over 50' of coax to push the signal through, then a preamp may help.

I'd suggest this test before spending money on a preamp, http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=13646
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Old 21-Aug-2014, 3:00 AM   #18
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Thank You GroundUrMast. I will run that test tomorrow and post the results.
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Old 21-Aug-2014, 7:44 PM   #19
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Location: East TN.
Posts: 16
This first one is directly to TV using just the 30' RG6 Quad with the Stacker now moved around back for testing. This is using the signal meter on the TV.
Antenna aimed at 45 degrees.


3.1 46-47
6.1 92-93
7.1 100
8.1 100
9.1 40-44
10.1 100
14.1 70-71
15.1 92
20.1 100
24.1 68
39.1 92-97
43.1 100
45.1 79-81
48.1 75-77
54.1 90-92


Here is what happened when I added the grounding block, 50' RG6 quad, and the Tivo Roamio (4 tuners) I had to use the Tivo signal meter, but same TV was used. The Tivo does show 0 signal if nothing is there

3.1 ----- no picture but Tivo meter showed 32 signal
6.1 70-72
7.1 72-80
8.1 70-72
9.1 ----- no picture but Tivo meter showed 32 signal
10.1 72-80
12.1 ---- no picture but Tivo meter showed 32 signal
14.1 35-36 lots of pixelation, unwatchable
15.1 65-67
20.1 70-72
24.1 45
39.1 ------ no picture - I have no idea what happened
43.1 70-72
45.1 ------ no picture but Tivo meter showed 32 signal
48.1 45
53.1 ------ no picture but Tivo meter showed 32 signal
54.1 70-72
61.1 ------ no picture but Tivo meter showed 32 signal
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Old 22-Aug-2014, 2:07 AM   #20
GroundUrMast
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Location: Greater Seattle Area
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It sounds like you're in the market for a preamp. But be sure to question the integrity of any added part or cable... One or more bad connections won't be fixed by an amplifier.
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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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