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Old 15-Aug-2017, 9:42 PM   #1
Tvaddict17
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Northwest Washington reception

Glad this site exists. Fed up with Directv, I cancelled my service in May. I found this site was always being referred to whenever people discussed cutting the cord. After entering my info on the tvfool report I bought a 37 dollar amplified antenna off of Amazon, so if I couldn't get channels, I wouldn't be out much. I picked up 6 or 8. So it begins. I found a Winegard HD7698P on craigslist and I registered on the site but haven't been able to post until recently. I currently have 22 channels. Early on, I picked up a Winegard LNA-200, (which made things worse). Then I spent as much time as I could reading posts from here. Doing that sooner would have saved me time and money. I now have an Antennas direct 4 port powered dist. splitter, a ChannelMaster DVR+with ext. HD. I would like to get the Major networks. Here is my TVfool report http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e6a46846ff128e
Currently, I have the 7698 mounted in the attic, pointed towards Bremerton and Seattle. I get KCPQ 13 Fox real ch. 13 perfectly, KING 5 NBC real ch.48 all the time, KOMO 4 real ch. 38 ABC most of the time, KIRO 7 CBS real ch.39 almost never. I also get 11,16, and some 20's and 33's. I know there is a KIRO 7 Transmitter only 4 miles from me, but a different direction. Is there a way to get KOMO 4 (real ch.38) and the KIRO station near me better? Would the DB8e and a separate VHF antenna work better for me. Thanks for your time.
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Old 16-Aug-2017, 2:09 AM   #2
rabbit73
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Welcome to the forum, Tvaddict17



Quote:
Currently, I have the 7698 mounted in the attic, pointed towards Bremerton and Seattle.
Your channels are pretty weak for an attic antenna. Signal loss in an attic is difficult to predict.



Quote:
Early on, I picked up a Winegard LNA-200, (which made things worse).
That's odd; it should have helped.

Quote:
KING 5 NBC real ch.48 all the time....KOMO 4 real ch. 38 ABC most of the time
It is difficult to receive signals with a NM of less than -10 dB. If you are able to receive signals with a NM less than -10 dB, you have an excellent antenna system, or the tvfool report is wrong (often possible with weak signals), or they have been enhanced by Tropospheric Propagation, which is common at this time of year.



Interpreting Noise Margin in the TV Fool Report

http://www.aa6g.org/DTV/Reception/tvfool_nm.html


Quote:
KIRO 7 CBS real ch.39 almost never.
That one is also too weak.
Quote:
I know there is a KIRO 7 Transmitter only 4 miles from me, but a different direction.
Yes, that is KIRO real channel 28. There are four KIRO transmitters that have different real channel numbers, but the same virtual channel number (7.1) that is displayed on the TV. If you are going to use the virtual channel number, please use the decimal form to avoid confusion.
http://www.rabbitears.info/market.ph...&callsign=KIRO

Quote:
Is there a way to get KOMO 4 (real ch.38)
That is too weak for reliable reception, especially with an attic antenna.
Quote:
and the KIRO station near me better?
That one, KIRO real channel 28, should be easy. The antenna must be aimed at 285 degrees magnetic. The 7698 antenna is very directional.

There are often multipath reflections in an attic that make it impossible for the tuner to decode the signal, even if it is strong enough. Have you tried different locations in the attic?

Are there any trees in the signal path? Trees block TV signals.
Quote:
Would the DB8e and a separate VHF antenna work better for me.
Maybe; the DB8E has good gain at the low end of the UHF band where many channels are moving to after repack (14-36).



What VHF channels are you interested in?

It is the real channel number that determines what antenna is needed.

VHF-Low, real channels 2-6
VHF-High, real channels 7-13
UHF, real channels 14-51 (soon to be 14-36)

The virtual channel number (like 5.1) is a holdover from the analog TV days to maintain the identity of the station, and is what the TV displays.
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File Type: jpg Tvaddict17TVFmap.JPG (205.9 KB, 412 views)
File Type: jpg TVFOOL Signal Analysis_1.jpg (98.8 KB, 28 views)
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Last edited by rabbit73; 12-Sep-2017 at 6:32 PM.
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Old 16-Aug-2017, 3:31 PM   #3
Tvaddict17
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Thank you very much for your response. I really appreciate it. When I hooked up the Winegard preamp, I only received 6 channels. When I added a passive splitter it went down to 3. I removed the preamp, went to the 4 way powered splitter, which is so far the best. I know attic installation isn't ideal, and I am worried about Tropospheric Propagation this time of year like you mentioned. I have no idea what will happen when it rains (believe it or not we have had record dry weather here). My neighbor has a huge shop to the south of me, but I can aim just to the right of it. The 7698 is 14' long and I have tried (through a couple of weekends) every range from east to west in my attic. It is just long enough that I need to take it apart to move it more than two attic rafters at a time. (that is one of the reasons I am interested in the DB8e). The only VHF I want is Fox 13 towards Bremerton.
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Old 16-Aug-2017, 10:22 PM   #4
Tvaddict17
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I did have another question. Maybe I missed it, but when you input your address or coordinates for the tvfool report, is height above sea level figured out somehow? I entered 25' for antenna height, but my house sits on a hill, and it is at 300'.
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Old 16-Aug-2017, 11:54 PM   #5
ADTech
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That's height above ground level at the coordinates.. No need to worry about elevation above sea level in your input numbers, that's already know from the elevation database.
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Old 19-Aug-2017, 12:35 AM   #6
rabbit73
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The hill is blocking the KIRO 28 signal:



so the signal gets weaker as you go down the hill:



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Last edited by rabbit73; 19-Aug-2017 at 1:38 AM.
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Old 19-Aug-2017, 2:31 AM   #7
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The Seattle signals have an even more difficult path:



and there is no coverage shown in your area:



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Old 19-Aug-2017, 2:52 AM   #8
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I suggest a DB8E with both panels aimed at 169 degrees magnetic for Seattle and an MCM 30-2476 or 2475 aimed at 187 degrees magnetic for Fox. Combine them with a UVSJ UHF/VHF combiner.
https://www.antennasdirect.com/store...Combiners.html
Avoid the MCM 33-2230 which has a higher insertion loss.

As a test, temporarily aim the DB8E at 285 degrees magnetic for KIRO 28 CBS. If you are able to receive it, you will need a separate UHF antenna for KIRO.

If you want to try a better preamp, I suggest the Antennas Direct Juice. A cheaper preamp is the RCA TVPRAMP1R. Its quality isn't quite as good, but it is better than the Winegard LNA-200.
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Old 19-Aug-2017, 3:49 AM   #9
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The TVFOOL server is loading pages VERY SLOWLY for me.

Anyone else having that problem?

Tvaddict17

I sent a PM to you.
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Old 19-Aug-2017, 1:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
The TVFOOL server is loading pages VERY SLOWLY for me.

Anyone else having that problem?

Tvaddict17

I sent a PM to you.
Yes!!!!!!!! The site is having some serious problems. Loading slowly, if
at all.............
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Old 19-Aug-2017, 3:45 PM   #11
Tvaddict17
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The site was really crawling for me yesterday morning. Seems good now.
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Old 19-Aug-2017, 4:17 PM   #12
Tvaddict17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
I suggest a DB8E with both panels aimed at 169 degrees magnetic for Seattle and an MCM 30-2476 or 2475 aimed at 187 degrees magnetic for Fox. Combine them with a UVSJ UHF/VHF combiner.
https://www.antennasdirect.com/store...Combiners.html
Avoid the MCM 33-2230 which has a higher insertion loss.

As a test, temporarily aim the DB8E at 285 degrees magnetic for KIRO 28 CBS. If you are able to receive it, you will need a separate UHF antenna for KIRO.

If you want to try a better preamp, I suggest the Antennas Direct Juice. A cheaper preamp is the RCA TVPRAMP1R. Its quality isn't quite as good, but it is better than the Winegard LNA-200.
Thank you for all of your research and advice. I am just about ready to pull the trigger on your recommendations above. We having been watching both NBC(real Ch.48), and Fox(real ch. 13) error free for the last several weeks. ABC(real ch. 38) sometimes drops out in the early evening. No real CBS(real ch. 39) pointed south. I do get a strong signal on CBS (real ch. 28) when pointing my cheap amplified antenna towards 285 magnetic.
My question now is, if I go with the setup you are recommending above (the DB8e, MCM 30 2476 or 2475, and combiner), and I want to add a separate UHF antenna for CBS (real ch. 28). what is the correct way to combine all of them? Would it be to combine the two UHF's first the go to the UHF/VHF combiner?
p.s. in response to your pm, the point on my house in the picture is just about where my antenna is, and the realtor description of my siding is incorrect, I actually have cedar siding. The neighbor's shop however is a steel building.
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Old 19-Aug-2017, 7:12 PM   #13
rabbit73
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Quote:
and I want to add a separate UHF antenna for CBS (real ch. 28). what is the correct way to combine all of them? Would it be to combine the two UHF's first the go to the UHF/VHF combiner?
I was afraid you were going to ask that question; it's not easily done. The problem is that when the same signals from the two antennas aimed in different directions arrive at the combining point they will interfere with each other if they are not in phase (arrive at the same instant). You must try it to see what happens when you combine the two UHF antennas with a splitter in reverse. Sometimes it works; sometimes not.

If you don't receive all the channels after combining that you had when the antennas were separate, then combining doesn't work for you.

Since you haven't tried combining yet, the possible solutions are perhaps premature, but you might want to do it because of the DVR+.

Any method of combining will make the Seattle signals even weaker, and you already have the handicap of an attic antenna with no preamp.

Possible solutions if combining two UHF antennas aimed in different directions doesn't work:

1. Two antenna systems and an A/B switch to select which one you want to use. It might be necessary to rescan after switching antennas unless your tuner can add a channel after scan.
2. Connect the main antenna to the TV antenna input and connect the second antenna to a separate tuner with its output connected to an aux input of the TV. This is my favorite solution.
3. If a DVR is needed for both antenna systems, have two DVRs, one for each system.
4. Order a custom filter from Tin Lee Electronics that will insert KIRO 28 CBS into the main system. The filter will be expensive and might cause some signal loss.
http://www.tinlee.com/MATV_headend.p...IGNALINJECTORS

http://www.tinlee.com/PDF/AC7-custom...kup%20Info.pdf

Forum member mulliganman used an AC7 to insert a UHF channel into his system for his TiVo:
question regarding overamplification
signal readings before:
http://forum.tvfool.com/showpost.php...8&postcount=15
signal readings after:
http://forum.tvfool.com/showpost.php...6&postcount=21

Thanks for answering my PM. I find the green signal lines produced by the TVFOOL Interactive Map Browser very helpful when aiming an antenna.
http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?opti...pper&Itemid=90
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Last edited by rabbit73; 19-Aug-2017 at 7:44 PM.
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Old 20-Aug-2017, 2:59 AM   #14
Tvaddict17
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Again, thanks for all the advice. This has actually been a fun journey from being clueless about OTA antennas to learning from people who know what they are talking about. I'm pretty excited to try the ideas that have been presented. It will cost a little more, but hey, I'm saving by not not giving my money to the satellite company. (my wife points out, after the DVR, we are about even, right now)
I have to share a quick story about a little added cost to my project. When I was moving that Huge Winegard 7698 around in the attic, I slipped and knocked a hole in my ceiling above my second story staircase. My wife was not amused. How big was the hole? Roughly, a size 11 shoe. Luckily, drywall is cheap. It took me an extra weekend because I needed the sand in between coats of mud, then letting the texture dry. Home Depot does a great job of matching paint colors when you bring in a sample of what i broke out
i have one more story, but I am going to save that for another post.
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Old 20-Aug-2017, 7:56 PM   #15
Tvaddict17
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If you want to try a better preamp, I suggest the Antennas Direct Juice. A cheaper preamp is the RCA TVPRAMP1R. Its quality isn't quite as good, but it is better than the Winegard LNA-200.[/QUOTE]

I have the DB8e and MCM-30-2476 antennas and the antennas direct combiner on the way.
I'm hesitant on another preamp due the fact that only 11 and 13 would come in. (both VHF) with the Winegard preamp. What are the differences between the Juice, the RCA, and the Winegard? Is it something that would benefit my situation? What makes the first two better?
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Old 20-Aug-2017, 11:26 PM   #16
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Northwest Washington reception

The TVFOOL server is loading pages VERY SLOWLY for me.

Anyone else having that problem?Yes rabbit73, TVFool server has been loading very S-L-O-W-L-Y for about a couple of weeks now out here on in SoCal LA. It seems a bit quicker the past several days now, but not up to its usual quick loading.

Where can you send issues like this to the webmaster? Enjoying your posts, OTAFAN
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Old 21-Aug-2017, 12:34 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTAFAN View Post
Yes rabbit73, TVFool server has been loading very S-L-O-W-L-Y for about a couple of weeks now out here on in SoCal LA. It seems a bit quicker the past several days now, but not up to its usual quick loading.

Where can you send issues like this to the webmaster?
Go to the TVFOOL main page
http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?opti...tpage&Itemid=1

Click on Contact Us in the Main Menu on the left. Hold the left click down longer than usual.

If that doesn't work, try this one:

http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?opti...d=12&Itemid=43
Quote:
Enjoying your posts, OTAFAN
Thank you for the kind words. I keep trying and learning.
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Last edited by rabbit73; 21-Aug-2017 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 21-Aug-2017, 1:39 AM   #18
rabbit73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tvaddict17 View Post
I have the DB8e and MCM-30-2476 antennas and the antennas direct combiner on the way.
I'm hesitant on another preamp due the fact that only 11 and 13 would come in. (both VHF) with the Winegard preamp. What are the differences between the Juice, the RCA, and the Winegard? Is it something that would benefit my situation? What makes the first two better?
I can tell you about the preamps, but I can't understand why a preamp isn't helping you when it should.

The Juice is a high quality preamp that is resistant to overload and has a low noise figure that improves the reception of weak signals. If there is a problem with it they will fix it, even if you have had it for a long time. If you buy it, and it doesn't help you, they will accept a return.

The RCA TVPRAMP1R is an inexpensive preamp that performs well, but has a history of quality control problems. In particular, when using it in the separate mode for a UHF and a VHF antenna, the switch doesn't always make good contact with the VHF antenna. The fix is to set the antenna switch to Combined and use a UVSJ before the preamp input.

I'm using the RCA TVPRAMP1R with my indoor antenna, and it works well for me.

When the Winegard LNA-200 first came out, it was a pretty good preamp. Then, they redesigned it to meet a lower price point, which degraded its performance. It doesn't have good internal shielding to reject interference, and doesn't tolerate overload very well.

The theory and practical experience tell me that a preamp should help you with the Seattle signals because it improves the system noise figure, making it possible to receive weaker signals that have a more negative noise margin.



It could be that the improvement is masked by the fickle behavior of signals received with the enhancement of tropospheric propagation at this time of year. You will need to wait until winter when that type of propagation is rare.
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Old 4-Sep-2017, 8:21 PM   #19
Tvaddict17
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Update on new antennas

I ordered the DB8e and MCM 30-2476 off of Amazon along with the combiner. The first DB8e came with no hardware, cables, or instructions. I did my first return to them and ordered another. Within a few days i had everything installed. Pretty surprised at the results. The DB8e actually picked up fewer channels than the Winegard 7698 that i already have. The MCM 30-2476 picked up my two VHF channels fine. Again, I tried the Winegard LNA-200 and only the VHF channels showed up. I am wondering if the preamp is defective. I hooked up the original 37 dollar amplified antenna for the channels on the hill next to me and it pulled in twice as many as the DB8e.(including, and especially CBS real channel 28) I think the last thing i will try is a different preamp. I will try the Juice. I don't want to give up on the new antennas just yet.
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Old 4-Sep-2017, 9:41 PM   #20
rabbit73
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Sorry to hear you are having trouble with the DB8e. They must have sent you a return without checking it. I have also heard that they are sending "warehouse specials" of the RCA TVPRAMP1R that have a DOA power supply. It's gotten to the point where I only order from them if I have no other choice. I would rather pay a little more to avoid the hassle of a return.

Recently I ordered three books for a book signing and paid extra for one day shipping, even though I'm a Prime member. They sent the books Printed Matter rate and missed the signing. Has Amazon gotten so big it isn't able to do good customer service anymore?

Was the DB8e aimed at 285 magnetic when you tried for KIRO 28? It has a very narrow beamwidth.

Did you try different locations in the attic for the DB8e? It is often necessary to hunt for a hot spot.

If there is a problem with the DB8e, Antennas Direct will make it good.

The only other thing I can think of is that the KIRO signal is coming down from the hill top. The 4-bay and 8-bay antennas have a narrow Vertical beamwidth because of the vertical stacking of the bays.

I have helped other people who also lived below a peak who had good success with tilting the front of their antenna up above the horizontal. They used an 91XG or an HDB91X, both of which have a tilt adjustment. The DB8e doesn't have a tilt adjustment; it would be a custom mod.

When I was doing antenna tests at one of my LOS test sites, I found it necessary to tilt the top of my DB4e back a little for MAX gain, even though I was aiming across a river at the towers.

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Last edited by rabbit73; 4-Sep-2017 at 9:47 PM.
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