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Old 30-May-2015, 11:17 PM   #1
skatingrocker17
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Crazy Signal Levels - Metro Detroit

I have an apartment in Canton, MI where I have been experiencing some strange signal issues. Nearly every day is fine, and I have no issues. I'm using a DB4e with the VHF reflector kit. I have a single TV off the antenna.

My issue is, on some days, the signal strength is will be all over the place. It'll be at 100% for a minute or so then sharply drop down to 70%, pixelate, then shoot back up. It happens on almost all the channels, sometimes it's every few seconds and sometimes it's less often. It seems less often on Fox 2, which is a VHF station.

I've also been playing around with a pre-amp there, which seems to make the issue worse. It's the Winegard LNA-200 which I assume is overloading the tuner. But the problem also happens without it. But it's maybe 1-2 days a week I have the issue.

For the direction my antenna has to face, it's on my balcony but facing a wall (there's nothing on the other side of the wall). Signal strengths are very good for all of the normal stations, but some of the lower power channels like 14, 18, 38, 48 and channel 9 and 32 out of Canada are sometimes weak or don't come in. But the transmitters for those stations are also not located in the same area as ABC, CBS, FOX, PBS, and NBC.

Anyone know what's going on? Repositiong the antenna doesn't seem to fix the issue. Even when I face it in any other direction, the signal levels are still all over the place.

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Old 31-May-2015, 3:33 AM   #2
mikelessard
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I had a similar problem and it sounds like FM interference. Generic report for Canton, MI says WMUZ 103.5 is 13 miles away. My FM problem was closer at 5 miles and it affected channel 11 (RF10). I was advised to put an FM trap between the antenna and the pre-amp. It worked like a champ for me. I got mine at Radio Shack for $2 and some change.

Last edited by mikelessard; 31-May-2015 at 3:36 AM.
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Old 31-May-2015, 3:38 AM   #3
skatingrocker17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikelessard View Post
I had a similar problem and it sounds like FM interference. Generic report for Canton, MI says WMUZ 103.5 is 13 miles away. My FM problem was closer at 5 miles and it affected channel 11 (RF10). I was advised to put an FM trap between the antenna and the pre-amp. It worked like a champ for me. I got mine at Radio Shack for $2 and some change.
I hadn't thought about that. But, wouldn't the FM signals only affect the VHF channels. I think the only VHF channels I have are WJBK and CBET.
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Old 31-May-2015, 3:49 AM   #4
mikelessard
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You would think. For $2 something it's worth a try. I have a LNA 200 as well and it does have a built in FM trap. In my case it wasn't enough. You got nothing to lose but $2 and a drive to Radio Shack.
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Old 31-May-2015, 10:39 AM   #5
No static at all
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Can you hear or see any aircraft when you are outside the apartment? You may be experiencing airplane flutter.
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Old 31-May-2015, 9:30 PM   #6
skatingrocker17
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Originally Posted by mikelessard View Post
You would think. For $2 something it's worth a try. I have a LNA 200 as well and it does have a built in FM trap. In my case it wasn't enough. You got nothing to lose but $2 and a drive to Radio Shack.
True. I can give it a shot.

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Can you hear or see any aircraft when you are outside the apartment? You may be experiencing airplane flutter.
Yes I can. I live about 8 miles from metro airport.
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Old 1-Jun-2015, 1:14 AM   #7
No static at all
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skatingrocker17 View Post


Yes I can. I live about 8 miles from metro airport.
Then airplane flutter is the likely culprit IMO. If true your good & bad days will be dictated by the changes in flight pattern which is determined by wind direction.

See the same thing here.

NORTHERLY FLOW=more frequent interruptions due to VERY low flying aircraft APPROACHING the airport in front of the antenna.

SOUTHERLY FLOW= very few interruptions because aircraft is MUCH higher while DEPARTING the airport by the time the plane crosses in front of the antenna.
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Old 1-Jun-2015, 2:03 AM   #8
skatingrocker17
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I'm not sure which situation I'm in. But that must be the cause. It's a very busy airport. Most of the major stations are about 15 miles from me at 47 degrees, so about North East of my location. While the airport is almost 8 miles away between 130 and 155 degrees.
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