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Old 5-Dec-2017, 7:09 PM   #101
blackstone
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I have 11 VHF channels that fit that criteria but only 1 on UHF.
KDKA is my only 100% reliable UHF
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Old 5-Dec-2017, 7:25 PM   #102
jrgagne99
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This thread has me so confused. Maybe it's upthread somewhere, but can you restate which stations (call signs) you are shooting for, and maybe rate each one with a "must have", "would be nice", and "stretch goal". Also, is the TVFool report on Post #1 accurate, or has it been superseded somewhere downthread? (if so, in what Post number). Thanks
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Old 5-Dec-2017, 8:16 PM   #103
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I understand, jrgagne99.
I have several 100+ page threads on a coal furnace forum.

The TV Fool report at the beginning should be accurate, still

2 KDKA Must have ***
4 WTAE Almost a must have
6 WJAC Would be nice
8 WWCP If I don't get WTAE then must have This is VHF
11 WPXI Would be nice but not major
16 ION Doesn't matter to me but wife would watch
19 WPCW Must have ***
22 WPNT Would be nice but a stretch
53 WPGH Must have

*** means I get those almost regardless of what I do.
I get other VHF stations reliably.
My challenge is with UHF stations with the exception of WWCP.
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Old 5-Dec-2017, 9:06 PM   #104
blackstone
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Quote:
Your goal should be for reliable reception of your strongest channels in all kinds of weather
With a couple exceptions, I mostly had that when I started.

My goal is to get the stations I should get.

The DB8e has given me a fleeting glimmer of hope that I may achieve that.
Otherwise I've wasted my time and money.
And your time, too.

In general, as far as reliability, the DB8e hasn't gained me anything yet.
It's not due to anything you all have done.

You have been generous and patient with giving me your help.

I'll see what the preamp does.
The signals seem to be here
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Old 5-Dec-2017, 9:33 PM   #105
jrgagne99
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I think the DB8e aimed at 225-magnetic is your best chance for good reception of the UHF stations on your list. You may even be able to aim it at 206 magnetic to pull in WTAE on real ch-51, while still getting the 222/226/228 UHF stations. If not, your ABC will need to come from WWCP on VHF at 167-magnetic. Your can use your old CM UHF/VHF combo antenna for this, but I would buy a Stellar Labs 30-2476 for around $30. I think it will have more VHF gain than the old CM. In either case, combine the signals from the VHF antenna and the DB8e with a UVSJ at the mast, then amplify at the mast. I recommend the RCA TVPRAMP1 at the mast which serves as both a UVSJ and an amplifier because it has separate inputs for UHF and VHF. I don't think the Antennas Direct PA18 has separate inputs, so you'll need to use a functioning, good quality UVSJ upstream of it to combine the VHF and UHF signals before feeding into the preamp. Any UHF component being picked up by the old CM antenna should be stripped off by the UVSJ when you input the CM into the VHF side of said UVSJ.

If it is logistically too difficult for you to combine and amplify at the mast, you can do it at ground level, but be sure to minimize the coax length between the antennas and the amp.

You should do all of these things with only one TV in the signal chain and no CM-3414. Only after you have done your best to optimize reception should you worry about distributing signal to multiple TVs.

Last edited by jrgagne99; 5-Dec-2017 at 9:36 PM.
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Old 5-Dec-2017, 10:14 PM   #106
blackstone
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Thanks for those suggestions.

Right now, the DB8e is @215-218 (best guess because it's hard to be sure)
The CM and DB8e are @ 40' apart now and have separate coax.
I moved it to eliminate the chance that my metal roof was interfering

If I used a common preamp, I'd have to do this inside near where I put them into the CM 3414 splitter/amp.

Except for WWCP, all my VHF are strong on the CM.
I get these strong:
(Virtual)
9 WTOV
13 WQED
19 WPCW

WWCP comes in decently 80% of the time.
That's aimed at 215-220.
Not much else out there.

Although I don't feel a need to amplify the VHF, I just ordered this
Winegard LNA-100 Boost TV Antenna Amplifier, HDTV Signal Booster, HD Digital VHF UHF Amplifier, Indoor HDTV Ultra Low Noise Amp (USB Power Supply) - USA to see if it may help with WWCP.

My main concern is seeing if I can amplify the UHF.
The only consistently strong UHF signal is KDKA.
Probably WPGH is my second best and it's nowhere as consistently strong.
Or WJAC from Johnstown which is, usually, pretty good.
Other than those 3, anything else is by pure chance.

Earlier today I ordered the PA 18 for my UHF.

The RCA that I am returning was the only preamp to be found within 30 miles of me.
Once I get these pieces, I'll try with only 1 TV as you suggest.
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Old 7-Dec-2017, 10:31 PM   #107
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Some new preliminary results.
If they hold, it's great.
I'm making this report with cautious optimism.

The first preamp to get here was the Winegard.
The Pa 18 may not arrive until tomorrow..

First, I hooked it to the DB8e and bypassed the CM 3414 and connected to only one TV.
Every station came in as either "Normal" or "Good"

Here's what I got: (Only UHF)
Virtual channel Call Letters
2 KDKA
3 WPSU
4 WTAE
6 WJAC
11 WPXI
22 WPNT
40 WPCB
53 WPGH

Subsequently, I hooked everything back up through the CM 3414 with 4 TVs.
No loss of signals or quality on any of the sets.

Weather was snowy and cloudy.
Next, I plan to hook the VHF only to see if I can get WWCP in addition to my usual reliable VHF stations.

After that, I'll try the preamp between the combiner and the CM 3414 with both VHF and UHF connected.

Wish me luck and I'll report back
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Old 8-Dec-2017, 1:24 PM   #108
blackstone
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So far, all those channels are holding.

I need to tweak my VHF antenna direction.
Night before last, the wind turned it.
I must not have had it clamped firmly enough.

WWCP and WTOV aren't coming in real good.

Other than that, it seems good.
(So far)

Thanks, rabbit73, for all your patience and showing me what a preamp can do.
And jrgagne99 for your instructions, too.

And TV Fool for making this great resource available to me.

I have a second preamp coming.
I was thinking of using it on the DB8e mast for UHF and the second on the VHF line at ground level.

Does that make sense or overkill?
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Old 11-Dec-2017, 3:40 PM   #109
jrgagne99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackstone View Post
I have a second preamp coming.
I was thinking of using it on the DB8e mast for UHF and the second on the VHF line at ground level.

Does that make sense or overkill?
I don't think that's a bad idea. It sounds like you're talking about amplifying the VHF at ground level, upstream of the UVSJ. If you put the wall-wart and power inserter outside, you would probably want to build some weather protection/enclosure for them since they are not designed for outdoors. I guess you could put the wall wart and power inserter inside, but you'd need another hole in the house, or need to make your current hole bigger.
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Old 11-Dec-2017, 3:51 PM   #110
blackstone
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Thanks for your reply.

My thoughts are to keep the Wingeard on the inside for VHF and use the PA 18 outside near the DB8e for UHF.
The PA 18 has weather protection.

I am amazed at how much the preamp has helped.
I consistently get a decent signal from WTAE and WPNT; two stations I couldn't pick up at all before.


Thank you, again, and rabbit73!!!!
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Old 11-Dec-2017, 6:30 PM   #111
jrgagne99
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The mast-mounted components of each pre-amp should both have weather protection, it is the wallwarts and power-inserter that you'll need to evaluate. Plus, I think only UHF side of your UVSJ passes power, hence the need to insert power for the VHF pre-amp upstream of the UVSJ.


Quote:
I am amazed at how much the preamp has helped.
When done properly, a pre-amp makes moot all of the downstream losses, at the expense of a small hit to SNR at the beginning of the signal chain.
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Old 11-Dec-2017, 7:17 PM   #112
blackstone
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The Winegard and it's power are completely inside.

I believe the power component of the PA 18 is inside and the connection and preamp are enclosed.
It just arrived a little bit ago but I haven't opened it yet.
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