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Old 26-Aug-2013, 3:44 AM   #21
SoTired
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Thank you!

Another question: I tried watching Fox (11), and ran into some issues. We get great signal for a few minutes at a time, then a complete dropout for a few seconds. Then it's back to a perfect picture for another minute. Is this a multipath problem? Anything we can do about it? Fox is pretty unwatchable this way.
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Old 26-Aug-2013, 6:08 AM   #22
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It could be multipath, or it could be interference generated by any number of sources. Again, as in the case of the signal from the CW affiliate, experimentation with antenna height and location is in order.
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Old 26-Aug-2013, 6:50 AM   #23
SoTired
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Thanks.

We tinkered with height, and there is no difference.

As for location, we tried two different spots, and had the same problem with CW in both places. We are now stuck in the location it's in -- the holes have all been drilled in the roof!

If it might be FM interference, my preamp has an FM trap on it; I can try tinkering with that. Any other suggestions?
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Old 26-Aug-2013, 5:59 PM   #24
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The FM trap should be 'IN'.

Can you add more mast? The terrain between you and the LA transmitters is quite close as I look at the path profile and photo you posted earlier.
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Old 26-Aug-2013, 6:13 PM   #25
SoTired
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Yes, I can. How much more mast should I go for? At what point would I need guy wires?
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Old 26-Aug-2013, 7:04 PM   #26
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I have used chain link fence top rail which comes in a single 10.5' length. The wall thickness is slightly thicker than the 18 ga. product sold as antenna mast.

If mounted on a chimney, you would need to assess the integrity of the masonry. I have installed the top rail on wall mount brackets with about 2' separation between the upper and lower brackets. The last install provided about 7' of mast above the roof peak. I have a tripod on order for an install here, I intend to use a full length of top rail and no guy wire.

As soon as you join two sections of mast, you would want to consider using guy wires.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/YARDGARD-...2#.UhumfH-S-nc (I see the reviews include other antenna applications also.)
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 26-Aug-2013 at 7:14 PM. Reason: sp.
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Old 26-Aug-2013, 10:11 PM   #27
SoTired
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Great idea! I'll try the HD mast.

A couple quick questions:

1) On CW, the Hauppauge utility shows SNR of "0." Complete nothing. If I raise the antenna up 5-10 feet, TV fool suggests that would increase the SNR by somewhere between 2-4 db. Is that enough to take the SNR from nothing to the 16-17 I seem to need to get a consistent signal?

2) On Fox, the Hauppauge utility shows a SNR of 16-18 most of the time, but every few minutes, it drops to 0 for a few seconds, then shoots back up to 16-18. What does this mean? I could see it dropping to 14 or 15 here and there, and maybe that's poor enough not to get a picture, but a complete 0? I'm not sure how to interpret that. Again, if I increase the mast height by 5-10 feet, that might get me a typical SNR of 18-20 rather than 16-18, but is that going to stop whatever is making it drop completely to 0 every few minutes?

I'm happy to keep tinkering as long as there is hope.
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Old 27-Aug-2013, 12:13 AM   #28
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There is much more to reliable reception than signal strength. I don't know how Hauppauge arrives at the signal strength/quality value. But many manufactures report some sort of error rate based value. If the error rate is such that a signal can not be recovered, that does not mean that the raw signal strength has gone to 0, but it would be fair to report '0' as the quality of the signal. My hope is that moving the antenna to a higher location will place it in an area with less signal reflected off of the ground or you'll experience less affect from your neighbors . I believe you need to find higher quality signal more than you need raw signal power.

I still have hope, but you're facing the task of experimenting with the antenna location. Hopefully, the cost of the mast is not a huge hit to your budget.
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