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Old 22-Jan-2011, 1:03 AM   #1
chloe
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Help with reception

Hi,
We have poor reception on several channels (2,6 and 12) most of the time. Channels 8 and 10 usually have good reception unless there is heavy rain or
wind. There is a row of fir trees about 120 ft. from the antenna and a row of pine trees about 70 ft. beyond the firs. Both are between the antenna and the tv towers.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...3cf4658af730bd

Our antenna is Radio Shack 150-0264 installed 5/2009, but the cable is much older. The antenna is about 5 ft. above the roof, a total of 19 ft. above the
ground. Cable run is 55 ft. Indoors we have a Channel Master amplifier
model 3043 with gain of 22dB and a Philco converter box model TB100HH9.
Reception is even worse without the amplifier.

Would you recommend replacing the older cable? Would a different amp be
advised? We'd appreciate any suggestions to improve our tv reception. When the signals were analog, we had excellent reception of channels 2,6,8,10 and 12.

Thank you!
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Old 22-Jan-2011, 2:19 AM   #2
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The report you have posted strongly suggests that an amplifier should not be needed, certainly not one with over 20 dB of gain. That leads me to be suspicious of the condition of the old coax. As a test, I would substitute a known good coax, running directly from the antenna to the tuner, bypassing the amplifier. Wet, moving tree limbs can cause reception problems but so can old wet coax. If you take a connection apart, look carefully for signs of moisture and corrosion. If you find either, replace the coax and the part it was connected to.

If you are near a Home Depot, their return policy is incredibly generous, which means you could purchase a 100' cable with connectors, while taking little risk.

I'm not sure if I found the antenna you listed, one web site gave a description of a fairly large UHF / High VHF antenna. If your existing antenna has no UHF section, you would still receive quite a few stations, but not as reliably. If I were to recommend a new or replacement antenna in your situation, I would suggest an Antennacraft HBU-22 or similar UHF + high VHF antenna. http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp...0Antennas&sku= That is because all but three of the digital stations are transmitting on UHF "real" channels. KGW, KOPB and KPTV transmit on channel 8, 10 & 12 respectively. The type of antenna I referred to, includes elements designed to cover all of the UHF channels and VHF channels 7 through 13.

Also, if I were to making a recommendation for a new install, I would not suggest an amplified splitter such as the CM-3043. Instead I would recommend a simple passive splitter. An antenna such as the HBU-22 should receive enough signal to drive one to four receivers using the appropriate passive splitter.
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 22-Jan-2011 at 2:51 AM.
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Old 22-Jan-2011, 10:27 AM   #3
John Candle
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Tv Antennas and Reception

Point the Tv antenna at 60 degrees magnetic compass. This how to point Tv antennas. http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing/pointing.html

Last edited by John Candle; 23-Jan-2011 at 2:18 AM.
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Old 22-Jan-2011, 1:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chloe View Post
Hi,
Reception is even worse without the amplifier.

Thank you!
Did you completely remove the amplifier, or did you simply unplug the power supply?

You should not need an amplifier at all.
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Old 22-Jan-2011, 2:52 PM   #5
ADTech
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GUM must have missed the low band digital channel KRCW-LP 5 low band channel listed in pending applications included , only digital. So I recommend the Winegard HD7082P all channel antenna
KRCW-LD is a VHF-5 translator for KRCW on UHF-33 (31.2) which he is probably already receiving since he didn't mention it as a problem channel. Since the owner of KRCW is (or recently was) in bankruptcy, the CP has so far gone un-built. Low-band capability is unnecessary anyway for the Portland stations.

A high-VHF/UHF antenna is all that is required.

No amp, it will probably overload. Passive only.
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Old 22-Jan-2011, 8:14 PM   #6
chloe
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Thank you all. Will try new coax cable and no amp on Monday. Radio Shack antenna specs: HDTV/VHF/UHF for channels 7-69. 31 elements, 85 " boom, W x H x Turning radius: 43.5 x 23.5 x 48", impedance 300 ohms.
Thanks!
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Old 22-Jan-2011, 8:28 PM   #7
chloe
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Thank you all. Will try new coax cable without amp on Monday. Radio Shack antenna specs: HDTV/VHF/UHF for channels 7-69. 31 elements, 85 " boom, W x H x Turning radius: 43.5 x 23.5 x 48", impedance 300 ohms.

We have tried completely removing the amp. We have 1 TV. Not concerned
about receiving KRCW (32.1). Moisture at the transformer/F connector may
be a problem--there is no weather boot. Will inspect when installing cable,
replace F connector and seal with tape.
Thanks for the advice!
Chloe
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Old 22-Jan-2011, 8:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Moisture at the transformer/F connector may
be a problem--there is no weather boot.
It sounds like you should pick up a new matching transformer / balun when you are shopping for coax.

The antenna you describe matches what I found on a non-Radio Shack web site. It is slightly larger that the HBU-22 I mentioned earlier and if its in good condition, it should provide excellent signal for several receivers. It sounds like a very good choice for your situation.
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 22-Jan-2011 at 8:58 PM.
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Old 23-Jan-2011, 1:45 AM   #9
chloe
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I will try to replace the transformer also. How/where can one get a matching transformer?
The info that came with the antenna doesn't mention the transformer specs.
Thanks!
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Old 23-Jan-2011, 2:15 AM   #10
John Candle
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Matching transformers are also known as baluns. The transformer/balun has 2 wires that connect to the antenna on one end and on the other end is where the coax cable connects. The transformer/baluns come in 2 flavors , indoor and outdoor. You can get them local at radio shack or a big box store like Home Depot. If you have only one converter and Tv to connect then do not use a splitter.

Last edited by John Candle; 23-Jan-2011 at 2:23 AM.
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Old 23-Jan-2011, 7:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chloe View Post
... Moisture at the transformer/F connector may
be a problem--there is no weather boot. Will inspect when installing cable,
replace F connector and seal with tape.
Thanks for the advice!
Chloe
A common mistake is to use vinyl electrical tape as a seal against moisture. From my 27 years in the telecom industry, I can guaranty it will eventually leak, then hold the moisture in. I would recommend using coax seal http://www.amazon.com/Universal-Elec...5814331&sr=8-1 or dielectric grease http://www.amazon.com/Permatex-81150...5814435&sr=8-5 (Radio Shack might be a source, maybe the home improvement centers too. Auto parts stores commonly stock dielectric grease, sometimes calling it 'tune-up grease')

Some folks have reported observing some signal loss when using dielectric grease. I have not, but I respect the source. When I choose dielectric grease, I use it as a filling compound for the weather boot. To get 100% fill of the weather boot, I slide the boot a few inches back from the connector, apply a bead of the compound to the coax between the boot and the connector. Then as I slide the boot back over the connector, all of the air is displaced from inside the boot.
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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; 23-Jan-2011 at 8:38 PM.
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Old 25-Jan-2011, 4:15 AM   #12
chloe
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Installed new matching transformer and coax cable, covered joint with coax seal, and removed amp. Seeing good reception on 2 (signal strength 22), 6 (ss 19), 8 (ss 26), 10 (ss 48). Slightly improved reception of 12 (ss 17), but still not viewable. Tried repointing the antenna, but couldn't get better than signal strength of 17. Weather is dry with some high clouds and no wind--pretty much the best we get in the winter! Happy to be able to watch 2 and 6! Any ideas for improving the reception of channel 12? Thanks for the advice!
Chloe
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Old 25-Jan-2011, 9:04 AM   #13
rickcain
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Radio Shack brand antennas are known to have subpar reception quality. I used to have a monstrous VU-190 and found that it was very inferior to offerings by Winegard, Antennacraft, etc...
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Old 25-Jan-2011, 10:29 AM   #14
John Candle
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Read and understand this about Real Digital Tv Channels and Virtual Digital Tv Channels , http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=695. The digital channels at the top of the list are Strong and should be booming in not wimping in. Might be a bad Digital to Analog converter box . If New RG-6 coax from the Antenna DIRECTLY to the Converter Box , by passing every thing else. And a New coax from the converter box to the Tv by passing Every Thing between the converter box and the Tv and the antenna is pointed in the correct direction does not produce strong channels then somethings fishy here. I am narrowing my eyes. This does Not pass the smell test.

Last edited by John Candle; 25-Jan-2011 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 25-Jan-2011, 11:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chloe View Post
Installed new matching transformer and coax cable, covered joint with coax seal, and removed amp. Seeing good reception on 2 (signal strength 22), 6 (ss 19), 8 (ss 26), 10 (ss 48). Slightly improved reception of 12 (ss 17), but still not viewable. Tried repointing the antenna, but couldn't get better than signal strength of 17. Weather is dry with some high clouds and no wind--pretty much the best we get in the winter! Happy to be able to watch 2 and 6! Any ideas for improving the reception of channel 12? Thanks for the advice!
Chloe
A few questions:

What is the roof under the antenna made of? Wood shingles, Fiberglass/Asphalt, Metal...

Does your antenna look similar to this? http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp...0Antennas&sku=

Are there any bent, broken or missing parts on the antenna?

Was there any significant corrosion on the terminals that the matching transformer connects to?

Do you have family, friends or neighbors who could loan a known good converter box or digital ready set to test with?

Can you find some old fashioned rabbit-ears to test with? (The signal strength should be easily enough to allow for great reception with a non-amplified indoor antenna provided the building does not have metal in the insulation or siding.)

Just to confirm, when you checked the aiming, were you getting the best signal when the front of the antenna pointed toward Portland? http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing/pointing.html
__________________
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; 26-Jan-2011 at 6:31 PM.
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Old 26-Jan-2011, 3:57 PM   #16
clayton
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can you cross the wiring to the bowtie from back to front would this still receive reception like that or have to be straight out to the bowtie directional antenna i have had to rewire it
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Old 26-Jan-2011, 7:06 PM   #17
John Candle
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clayton you are posting in some else post again , are you Ok ?
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Old 28-Jan-2011, 3:01 AM   #18
chloe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
A few questions:

What is the roof under the antenna made of? Wood shingles, Fiberglass/Asphalt, Metal...

Does your antenna look similar to this? http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp...0Antennas&sku=

Are there any bent, broken or missing parts on the antenna?

Was there any significant corrosion on the terminals that the matching transformer connects to?

Do you have family, friends or neighbors who could loan a known good converter box or digital ready set to test with?

Can you find some old fashioned rabbit-ears to test with? (The signal strength should be easily enough to allow for great reception with a non-amplified indoor antenna provided the building does not have metal in the insulation or siding.)

Just to confirm, when you checked the aiming, were you getting the best signal when the front of the antenna pointed toward Portland? http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing/pointing.html

The roof is asphalt.
Yes, the antenna looks the same as the one in your link. There are no bent,
broken, or missing parts. There was a small amount of corrosion on the terminals that the transformer is connected to, and we removed the corrosion.
We agree that the converter box might be the problem and will buy a new
one--sometimes they are even on craigslist.
Tried rabbit ears initially (about 2 yrs. ago) and had no reception.
No metal siding on the house and no metal in the insulation in the living area
of the house. Insulation in the garage walls has the foil layer on the bats,
but the roof-top antenna is at the opposite end of the house and is not pointed towards the garage.
Yes, the best signal was obtained when the front of the antenna was pointed
toward Portland.
Thanks for the help!
Chloe
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Old 28-Jan-2011, 4:34 AM   #19
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If you can not borrow a known good receiver to test with, a replacement set-top converter box is a logical next step.
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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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