TV Fool  

Go Back   TV Fool > Over The Air Services > Help With Reception

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 18-Feb-2015, 3:21 PM   #1
NapMan
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 24
Frustrated cord cutter here

Last year I decided to cut the cord and cancel my DirecTV service when the contract expired in November.
I started searching for options that would work for me. I definitely wanted a DVR so I settled on a 4-tuner TabloTV, which I love.

I began with an indoor Mohu Leaf antenna and it worked OK but I figured a roof-mounted antenna would give me a more reliable signal. So I bought a Winegard FreeVision FV-30BB and got it up on my roof about a month ago.
I used the Tablo iPhone app to to do channel scans and got the antenna positioned pretty well. I was getting all the major networks, plus a few others, so I was happy. Picture looked amazing.

Starting a couple of weeks ago I began experiencing occasional momentary pixelation but nothing too bad.

But, last night I was completely unable to watch the local ABC or CW stations, which are both owned by the same station here. The signal went from 5 green dots (excellent) to 1 red dot (terrible) in the Tablo app. I know there are many factors that can affect signal but this seems a bit extreme to me, right?

I sent an e-mail to the station engineer this morning to ask if they are having a problem but I haven't gotten a response yet.

By the way, here is my TVFool report:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...2c15ef25be2d0f

I'm having the problem with 40.1 and 40.2 (I don't know why 40.2 doesn't show up on the report).


I estimate my antenna is about 15 feet off of the ground.
Would a signal booster help me? Or would it hurt?

Any thoughts?
NapMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-Feb-2015, 3:53 PM   #2
ADTech
Antennas Direct Tech Supp
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,932
Quote:
(I don't know why 40.2 doesn't show up on the report
The charts only include stations. Secondary, or "sub-channels", are not separate stations, their data is part of the main station's signal.

KHBS transmits from Poteau Mountain which is in the opposite direction from most of the rest of the stations' transmitters which are sprinkled along the mountain pass along I-49 on the way towards Fayetteville.

That said, there are multiple possibilities:

1. Water ingress into a coaxial cable.
2. Defective matching transformer.
3. Localized electrical interference.
4. An odd reflection off something nearby that that is coming in stronger than the direct signal and is interfering with it (multi-path).
5. Tuner defect (try a different one, perhaps the one built into your TV set).

What direction is the "front" of your antenna facing? The front has the matching transformer connections, the back has the mast clamp.
__________________
Antennas Direct Tech Support

For support and recommendations regarding our products, please contact us directly at https://www.antennasdirect.com/customer-service.html

Sorry, I'm not a mod and cannot assist with your site registration.

Last edited by ADTech; 18-Feb-2015 at 4:43 PM.
ADTech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-Feb-2015, 4:01 PM   #3
NapMan
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 24
The antenna has only been up on the roof for one month. I can try scanning the channels with a TV later today.

The front of the antenna is pointed in a northern direction right now.


I'm just confused how it go from full-strength signal to nearly no signal so quickly.


**edit** the antenna direction. I was wrong.

Last edited by NapMan; 18-Feb-2015 at 4:04 PM.
NapMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-Feb-2015, 4:44 PM   #4
ADTech
Antennas Direct Tech Supp
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,932
Quote:
I'm just confused how it go from full-strength signal to nearly no signal so quickly.
Something in your system or environment has changed without your realizing it.
__________________
Antennas Direct Tech Support

For support and recommendations regarding our products, please contact us directly at https://www.antennasdirect.com/customer-service.html

Sorry, I'm not a mod and cannot assist with your site registration.
ADTech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-Feb-2015, 4:49 PM   #5
NapMan
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
Something in your system or environment has changed without your realizing it.
Or the station is having trouble. Back in December another local station went off (back when I was using the indoor antenna) and I contacted them. The engineer said they had been hit with a power surge and something blew.

We did have some ice and snow Sunday night and some rain last night.
When my friend and I installed the antenna we used the existing coax cable that the DirecTV installer ran. However, we decided to raise the antenna up a couple of feet so we had to connect a short extension to the coax up on the roof. I wonder if that could be the problem.

Sadly, I don't feel very comfortable on the ladder by myself so I will have to wait until I can get some help to check it out.
NapMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-Feb-2015, 6:21 PM   #6
GroundUrMast
Moderator
 
GroundUrMast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,758
Often, the least expensive and most reliable test of existing cable is to buy a new cable with factory installed connectors... Substitute the known good cable in place of the suspect cable.

If any moisture gets into the coax, you'll not be able to dry it out quickly enough to prevent permanent damage due to corrosion and contamination of the inner insulating material.

Connections that are exposed to the elements need to be protected. I have found that electrical tape by itself is never adequate. Mastic type product such as Coax-Seal® and Scotch® 2228 tape are designed to form a permanent water proof seal in applications like this. I apply a layer of electrical tape over the sealing tape only for protecting the mastic from dirt and UV.
__________________
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.)

(Please direct account activation inquiries to 'admin')
GroundUrMast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-Feb-2015, 6:44 PM   #7
NapMan
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 24
The station engineer replied and they are not having any problems.

I ran another channel scan right before lunch and now both stations are showing a perfect signal strength. I tuned them in and everything looks great.

So now I'm more confused.
NapMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-Feb-2015, 2:10 AM   #8
GroundUrMast
Moderator
 
GroundUrMast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,758
Intermittent reception problems can be frustrating.

Pay attention to the weather. If it's windy, moving tree limbs often cause signal strength to fluctuate rapidly, causing the tuner to loose it's lock on the signal due to it's need to adjust to the new conditions. If this is the cause of your trouble, moving the antenna to a location that has less trees to contend with is indicated.

If the weather has been wet a day or two earlier, moisture in the coax is a possibility. A sudden drop in outdoor temperature can also cause moisture to condense inside the coax.

Is one or more appliances or other electrically powered devise causing interference? Sometimes you have to turn off all the power in the building except for the TV, then turn things back on one step at a time to isolate and identify the problem causing devise(s). CFL and LED bulbs, phone chargers and nearly any other electrical devise can cause interference.

Patience and persistence is often tested to it's limits...
__________________
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.)

(Please direct account activation inquiries to 'admin')
GroundUrMast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-Feb-2015, 4:04 PM   #9
NapMan
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 24
I wanted to post an update. Over the weekend I discovered that the threaded stud on the back of my Tablo had come loose and just spun freely when I tried to disconnect the coax from it. At this point I was getting zero signal from the antenna. I contacted Tablo and they are send me a warranty replacement.

I connected the antenna directly to my TV and everything seemed so much better so I began to think this connector had been loose for a while and maybe it was causing my problems.

Last night I was watching my local ABC channel, the one I had all the signal problems with. I watched it for about 90 minutes with barely any glitches and then, I started having frequent "loss of signal" errors on my TV. I noticed that every time this happened I heard an airplane flying overhead loudly. We have an Air Guard base in my my city and they are always flying C-130s around for training. It was dark but I think this was the plane that was flying around last night.

Is that possible that the plane was causing momentary signal loss? It was almost like clockwork...I would start to see the picture break up, then the screen went black with the signal loss error and then I heard the plane go over. Then, as the plane's sound began to fade, the picture came right back on.
NapMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-Feb-2015, 4:20 PM   #10
ADTech
Antennas Direct Tech Supp
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,932
Quote:
Is that possible that the plane was causing momentary signal loss?
Yes. It's called "aircraft-induced multi-path" or "airplane flutter". Signals are bouncing off the aircraft and are arriving at your antenna in such a fashion that they are interfering with reception of your primary signal.

Comprehensive engineering example: http://2003.iccas.org/Full_Paper/air...2003_5(19).pdf

On analog systems, such signal impairment would usually cause either ghosting or picture rolling, depending on the severity of the impairment. On digital systems, once the impairment crosses the threshold of viewabilty, reception failure, characterized by anything from mild pixelization/audio blips to a complete loss of audio and video, will occur.

Four and 8-bay UHF antennas seem to work about the best since they have a narrow vertical beamwidth. Much depends on the elevation angle of the aircraft (relative to your location) as to whether or not the reflected signals can be sufficiently nulled.
__________________
Antennas Direct Tech Support

For support and recommendations regarding our products, please contact us directly at https://www.antennasdirect.com/customer-service.html

Sorry, I'm not a mod and cannot assist with your site registration.

Last edited by ADTech; 25-Feb-2015 at 4:25 PM.
ADTech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-Feb-2015, 4:25 PM   #11
tomfoolery
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by NapMan View Post
Is that possible that the plane was causing momentary signal loss? It was almost like clockwork...I would start to see the picture break up, then the screen went black with the signal loss error and then I heard the plane go over. Then, as the plane's sound began to fade, the picture came right back on.
Since I was born in the 1950's, interference from airplanes had been a way of life. But with analog tv signals, you'd see ghosting on the screen. With the recent changeover to digital signals, you don't get ghosting - you get some pixelation at best, but usually a full drop-out with black screen, as the same signal coming from different directions, and arriving at slightly different times, is enough to confuse the tv tuner, or cancel enough of the signal to where the tuner can't maintain a lock.

The antenna, IMO at least, is a bit light for your TV Fool report. An antenna system with a bit narrower beam height, vertically stacked (like the DB4e) might help prevent that.

Edit: Too slow, and too incomplete. ;^)

Last edited by tomfoolery; 25-Feb-2015 at 4:40 PM.
tomfoolery is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-Feb-2015, 4:58 PM   #12
GroundUrMast
Moderator
 
GroundUrMast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,758
Thanks for getting back to us with your observation/report. It's good to be reminded that aircraft and moving vehicle induced multipath is a problem to be considered.
__________________
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.)

(Please direct account activation inquiries to 'admin')
GroundUrMast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9-Mar-2015, 8:33 PM   #13
NapMan
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomfoolery View Post

The antenna, IMO at least, is a bit light for your TV Fool report. An antenna system with a bit narrower beam height, vertically stacked (like the DB4e) might help prevent that.
Is that particular brand and model your best recommendation or would another vertically stacked model work as well (such as the Channel Master CM-4221HD)?
NapMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9-Mar-2015, 9:04 PM   #14
tomfoolery
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by NapMan View Post
Is that particular brand and model your best recommendation or would another vertically stacked model work as well (such as the Channel Master CM-4221HD)?
I recommended it both as an example of the type (4-bay 'bowtie' in a vertical array), and because it's probably the best example of that type, since it's designed for channels 14-51 rather than 14-69 (52-69 are no longer used for tv), so the gain is likely to be slightly higher overall. And because I have that one and it works well for me, though that's hardly enough to make a buying decision on. And you can get support from the manufacturer, including here.
tomfoolery is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-Mar-2015, 12:58 AM   #15
NapMan
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomfoolery View Post
I recommended it both as an example of the type (4-bay 'bowtie' in a vertical array), and because it's probably the best example of that type, since it's designed for channels 14-51 rather than 14-69 (52-69 are no longer used for tv), so the gain is likely to be slightly higher overall. And because I have that one and it works well for me, though that's hardly enough to make a buying decision on. And you can get support from the myanufacturer, including here.
I've ordered the DB4e. Hopefully I'll be installing it Saturday.

Any thoughts on the best direction for me to point it based on my report?
NapMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-Mar-2015, 1:38 AM   #16
Jake V
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Virginia!
Posts: 328
Start by aiming it at 9 degrees on a compass (you can get one for about $5 at WalMart or any sports store). Then do a scan on your tv (making sure your scanning for either "OTA" or "Antenna"). Make a list of what you get and don't get. If that doesn't get you everything you want move the antenna a little bit towards the direction of the station you want but don't get. Be patient. You may need to make several adjustments, and even move the antenna up and down on the pole. [Come to think of it, I'd try it in several different places on the roof before mounting it, if you don't have only one place to put it.]
Jake V is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-Mar-2015, 3:50 PM   #17
NapMan
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 24
Well I got the DB4e installed yesterday and it was more difficult than the Winegard install.
I couldn't find a position where I got the exact same stations as I had gotten with the Winegard. Maybe the DB4e is more "directional" than the Winegard?

I was using my iPhone and the Tablo app and found a position where I got excellent signal on all the major networks. I started streaming each station to my phone to make sure it looked good then we locked it down.

Unfortunately last night, watching TV, on the CBS and FOX stations I was experiencing periodic picture break-ups. I'd say about every 10 minutes or so the picture would breakup, sometimes bad enough that I was missing a word or two.

So I suppose I will have to climb back up there and do some tweaking. I'll wait a day or so just to make sure it wasn't atmospheric last night or something.

We did use Coaxseal on the one joint up there this time.
NapMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-Mar-2015, 9:24 PM   #18
GroundUrMast
Moderator
 
GroundUrMast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,758
Quote:
...So I suppose I will have to climb back up there and do some tweaking. I'll wait a day or so just to make sure it wasn't atmospheric last night or something.

We did use Coaxseal on the one joint up there this time.
I would continue to explore alternate antenna location, height and aim options.

If water has gotten into a section of coax, replace it. Sealing wet cable won't restore it to a reliable state.
__________________
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.)

(Please direct account activation inquiries to 'admin')
GroundUrMast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-Mar-2015, 11:49 PM   #19
NapMan
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 24
I moved the antenna over the weekend but I'm still having intermittent problems on the CBS, NBC and FOX stations. This stuff is just driving me crazy! When I was up on the roof I did a channel scan with my phone (via the TabloTV) and all the major networks showed excellent signal. Now NBC/FOX show weaker signal.

I don't think any moisture got into the cable because the one joint exposed had a rubber gasket thing over it.

I don't really have an easy to move the antenna on the roof or raise it.

Would an amplifier help reduce the picture breakups?
NapMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4-May-2015, 8:51 PM   #20
NapMan
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 24
Nobody ever responded to my question about the amplifier. I have tried adjusting the antenna but I'm still with most of the stations occasionally breaking up.

I think either this antenna (DB4e) might not have been ideal for my location.
My next step will be to try and raise the height, I guess. Currently in is about 3 feet off of my roof.
NapMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Go Back   TV Fool > Over The Air Services > Help With Reception


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT. The time now is 9:46 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright © TV Fool, LLC