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Old 13-Jan-2010, 9:45 PM   #1
Witty1
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Join Date: Jan 2010
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Reception & Antenna Assistance

Here is the link to my radar diagram http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...b32bb44e1b6c8b

While I am close to some of the broadcasts, I am slightly worried about elevation (hill between me and the towers), trees, and the two different directions of the towers.

Today I have satellite that I would like to get rid of and will do so if I can get the top 9 channels on the list.

Are there any other steps I can take to validate I will have good reception before buying an antenna? Any antenna recommendations based upon the radar/description?
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Old 14-Jan-2010, 2:02 AM   #2
mtownsend
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Hello and welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Witty1 View Post
While I am close to some of the broadcasts, I am slightly worried about elevation (hill between me and the towers), trees, and the two different directions of the towers.
Assuming that you got the right location in your tvfool report, then it looks like things are pretty good. You are right that there is a hill between you and the towers to the east (the "1Edge" and "2Edge" labels indicate that the signals must bend over a peak or two to reach you). However, there is still enough signal strength left over to give you something very usable.



Quote:
Any antenna recommendations based upon the radar/description?
Since your signals are so strong and coming from two directions, I'm thinking that a relatively small/simple antenna like the Winegard HD1080 would work. If you put it on your roof and point it at a compass heading of 87 degrees, you will probably have a strong enough signal coming from KCPQ and KTBW that they can be picked up through the "back" of the antenna.

How long do you think the cable run would be from your roof to your TV(s)? Do you plan to split the signal to multiple TVs?

I honestly don't think it will be that difficult to get the channels you want. In fact, I suspect that you will probably get most of the channels down into the "yellow" channels on your list.
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Old 14-Jan-2010, 2:34 AM   #3
Witty1
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Good news...

That is good news, was not sure if the signal was concidered strong or not - thanks for the feedback.

I plan to run 2 TVs. The cable run is a good question. I would like to utilize the cable in the walls (home is < 5 years old so I believe it will be higher quality cable), but this will give me longer cable runs. Best guess is both runs will be 50-75'. My plan is to mount the antenna and have a short run directly to a smaller TV which I can move outside during installation. See what channels I get at that point and then start playing with different cable lengths to ensure I do not lose any channels (or at least know why I am losing them).

Great site, thanks for the feedback!
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Old 14-Jan-2010, 3:49 AM   #4
mtownsend
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Witty1 View Post
I plan to run 2 TVs. The cable run is a good question. I would like to utilize the cable in the walls (home is < 5 years old so I believe it will be higher quality cable), but this will give me longer cable runs. Best guess is both runs will be 50-75'.
OK. Just so you know, you will lose some signal over long cable runs, and you will also lose some signal when you split it (because only a portion of the signal power goes down each branch of the split).

A 2-way split and ~75 feet of coax seems doable because your signal strengths are so high to begin with. However, if the signal gets divided even more ways (maybe a 1:4 or 1:8 splitter is used to reach every room of the house) or if the cable loss start to become too great, you may need to consider adding a distribution amp to the setup just before the splitter.

Simple thing to do is to try it without the amp first. If you discover that you're losing too much signal for some of the channels, you can always add the amp later.
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Old 14-Jan-2010, 4:24 PM   #5
Witty1
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Splitter & Cable Runs...

The cable setup in the house is very clean and currently has an 1:8 splitter and a distribution amp left over from the original cable installation. I will exchange the 1:8 splitter with a 1:2 or 1:3 and then try the amp is needed.

I will report back in a few weeks once I am able to work on the install and let you know the results!
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Old 18-Jan-2010, 7:06 PM   #6
Witty1
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Join Date: Jan 2010
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Almost There!!

I ended up buying an AntennasDirect C2 antenna this weekend from Best Buy to give it a try. I now get 24 stations but I am puzzled as to why I cannot get by local ABC (KOMO) station (once I can get this one, I am good to go).

I have a PC with a tuner card, so I used it to monitor the signal strength as I adjusted the antenna. I was able to pick to pick up a weak signal when I pointed the antenna down towards the ground (20-30 degrees), but this compromised the quality of the other stations.

Also, when I moved the antenna from one location to another, I had it sitting on the ground and it was able to receive KOMO… I thought elevation was my friend, but not quite certain with the results I am seeing!

Any thoughts or suggestions based on my location would be appreciated!
Thanks
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Old 18-Jan-2010, 11:08 PM   #7
mtownsend
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Witty1 View Post
I am puzzled as to why I cannot get by local ABC (KOMO) station (once I can get this one, I am good to go).
That is strange considering how strong that signal is.

You may want to try pointing the antenna in very different directions to see if the station ever comes it. Perhaps you are getting a signal reflection off of another object (e.g. building/hill/trees) in the environment. Extra signal "echoes" or "ghosts" can interfere with the correct decoding of the digital channel. This "multi-path" effect is a form of self-interference that can make life difficult for your receiver.

The C2 antenna has a pretty wide antenna beam width, so it might be gathering signal from the "main" and "echo" paths simultaneously. If you try turning the antenna to other directions, you might be able to get the antenna to "turn a blind eye" to some of those extra unwanted signal paths. If turning the antenna off-axis reveals a different sweet spot for receiving this channel, then your problem may very will be multipath.

Multipath can affect each channel differently because the wavelength of each channel is different. The various distances between objects can cause the signal to constructively or destructively interfere with itself at different places based on the frequency. This is why you might see this behavior on one channel, but not another, even if they are broadcasting from the same tower.

If you problem is indeed related to multipath, then one of the ways to combat multipath is to use a more directional antenna. The C2 antenna has a pretty wide beam width. An antenna with a narrower beam width will be more "selective", and will tend to filter out extra unwanted signal paths more effectively. Or, you might just be able to find a sweet spot for your current antenna that fixes KOMO without messing things up for all the other channels. This part will take some trial-and-error.



Quote:
when I moved the antenna from one location to another, I had it sitting on the ground and it was able to receive KOMO… I thought elevation was my friend, but not quite certain with the results I am seeing!
This may be related to multipath. Some locations might avoid an unwanted signal echo that makes this channel fail.

You may also find that some receivers are more robust against multipath than others. A TV's built-in tuner vs. a converter box vs. a PC tuner card may yield different results from the same signal feed. More recent ATSC chipsets have made significant improvements in their ability to handle multipath signals.
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