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Old 26-Sep-2011, 2:05 PM   #41
Turkaloo
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Phone man,

Thats correct, a 70 foot coax running to one TV. Are you suggesting it may be the tuner in the TV? I can certainly try a different TV no problem.
You dont think the height of the antenna is a factor?
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Old 26-Sep-2011, 2:56 PM   #42
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You said the antenna is on the roof, correct? Is there a clear view to the north, and to the SSE, 136 degrees? Unless you need more height to clear the neighbors house or some other obstacle, you should be OK.
Yes, I would try another TV just to eliminate the possibility of a tuner issue.
Just curious, is there more than one coax connection point on your TV?

Any chance you over torqued the antenna balun when you attached the coax? I assume you're using the balun that came with the U8000. Maybe double check the spade tip connections and coax connection at the antenna. And a stupid question but here goes... The front side of the antenna is the one with the bowties and that's the side you're aiming to the north, correct?
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Old 26-Sep-2011, 3:03 PM   #43
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Phone man,

Yes the antenna is on the roof. There is a clear view to the North and there are trees to the SSE. The lot next door is vacant and there are some tall pine trees there.
There is only one coax connection on the TV (its a newer Samsung 42'' LCD)

I dont think I torqued the balun as I took my time with it and was quite careful. Yes, Im using the one that came with the U8000.
And yes, I was pointing the bowties in the direction I was trying to pull signal from.
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Old 26-Sep-2011, 6:13 PM   #44
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Thank you for the detailed reply to my questions.

Because the connectors were installed in the field, I have to ask, is there any chance that there could be a poor shield connection in one or more of the connectors?

What type connector are you using? And, what tools were used to strip and crimp/compress?

phone man is asking a potentially relevant question about the balun. Some baluns can be damaged easily. If the female F connector turns in the shell of the balun when tightening the coax connector, wires can be broken inside the balun.
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Old 26-Sep-2011, 6:24 PM   #45
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GroundUrMast,

This is the crimper:
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053

These are the connectors:
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053

This is the stripper (that I broke yesterday)
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053
I used to work for a local cable provider and have done tons of connections. All of the connection looked pretty good. Also, I used my cable tester to confirm there was no 'open'.

Another reason I dont think its the cable is with the Phillips antenna connected, I get 8 channels that come in crystal clear.
Someone earlier mentioned trees near the house. I have tall pine trees to the SSE of the house thats the U8000 aims directly at. Maybe I need to find / make a clearing?
Also, I used to install cable TV and cable modems
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Old 26-Sep-2011, 6:42 PM   #46
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Thanks for letting me challenge the coax connections.

If you can find a 'test' location that gives the antenna a clear shot past the trees, yes, try it.

If you have a different ATSC tuner available, try that also. The signal levels shown on your TVFR would suggest that an unfolded paper clip should receive more than what you are presently seeing.
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Old 26-Sep-2011, 7:03 PM   #47
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OK, I will remove some branches to make a clearing and connect a different TV when I get home tonight! Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 27-Sep-2011, 12:51 AM   #48
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Connected the Visio TV in the other room and received the same channels. I will attempt to cut tree branches tomorrow I guess (if that will really make a difference)
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Old 27-Sep-2011, 1:33 AM   #49
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I took the liberty to reverse engineer the location of your neighborhood. (The mileage numbers in your report are enough to get within a few blocks.)

Based on Google Earth imagery, it looks like 40' to 60' trees cover much of the terrain in the 30 miles between you and the transmitters north of you.

I'm starting to wonder if you are experiencing more than the average vegetation attenuation. Shooting through a few trees will result in noticeable attenuation. Trying to see through more than 10 miles of dense vegetation could explain the tough reception conditions your facing.

Can you consider mast or tower options that would put the antenna near, at or above tree top level?
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Old 27-Sep-2011, 1:36 AM   #50
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What was antenna height on the TVfool report?

Last edited by phone man; 27-Sep-2011 at 1:41 AM.
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Old 27-Sep-2011, 2:04 AM   #51
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Default, 10'
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Old 27-Sep-2011, 2:05 AM   #52
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These pine trees are very tall. What would I need, a 40-50 tower? When I ran the report I quoted 25 feet if I remember correctly.
Right now the antenna is close to 25 feet and the some of the tallest trees are probably 65 feet but skinny.
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Old 27-Sep-2011, 2:34 AM   #53
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Are any of the trees safe options for mounting the U8000?

Regardless of whether Your TV Fool report is run at 10' or 500', the prediction does not account for vegetation.
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 27-Sep-2011 at 2:42 AM.
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Old 27-Sep-2011, 12:04 PM   #54
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Antenna tree mounting

If I was to mount the antenna on a tree, my coax run to the house would increase by 100 feet. Does that mean I would need an amplifier?
Also, any good ideas how I would mount an antenna up high on a tree? Has anyone done that before?
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Old 27-Sep-2011, 2:50 PM   #55
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A high input preamp such as a Winegard HDP-269 or Antennas Direct CPA-19 would be needed.

Each tree is unique and would require some fabrication. Satellite J-poles come to mind when thinking of panel antenna mounting. Stainless lag screws are less likely to injure a live tree than Zinc coated.

The most important question you'd need to consider is 'can this be done safely?'

Spotting an active TV antenna is a bit too rare in my opinion, but yes, I occasionally see tree mounted systems. Before you go to the trouble, do you have a neighbor with a successful OTA system, too 'compare notes' with?
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 27-Sep-2011 at 2:55 PM.
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Old 27-Sep-2011, 3:38 PM   #56
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Unfortunately, none of my neighbors in the close vicinity are using antennas. I have seen some around town that look like they have been professionaly installed probably before cable TV was offered in the area.
The guy I got the Phillips antenna from, had the antenna on a 20 foot mast and said he never even used it. I think most of the people that have these antennas moved into the houses that already had the antennas installed and never bothered to take them down.
Perhaps I could pick the mast I like and ask the property owner if they are using it; and if they arent, offer to dismantle it for them if I can have it.

I think at this point my best option is to make a clearing in the trees to the SSW and do a rescan to see if there are additional channels coming in.
Its only the trees are close by that I would need to worry about, right? I looked at a illustration of what a tree can do to UHF and VHF signals and it looks like the reception is vulnerable to change when the wind blows. That may explain pixelation I have seen on a couple of channels lately when strong storms with gusty winds have blown through the area.
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Old 27-Sep-2011, 11:48 PM   #57
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I cleared some branches and 2 trees but still get the same amount of channels theough the clearing to the SSW. The next step I guess is height unless there are other suggestions.
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Old 28-Sep-2011, 12:52 AM   #58
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My 'gut' keeps telling me that we have overlooked a basic connection or component.

I wish I could walk next door and hand you a known good coax and matching transformer just to test one more time.
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Old 28-Sep-2011, 2:10 AM   #59
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OK, here is the latest. I am very persistent trying to get things to work almost to the point of being obsessed with projects I do.
I couldnt give up on the U8000 so I yanked it back out of the box and stared at it for 5 minutes or so. I grabbed a 10 foot coax from the garage and connected it to the same TV I have been using. I put the antenna out on the porch and connected the cable. I rescanned for channels.......I got 14 digital and one 'Air' channel (whatever that is) with the antenna sitting at gound level in a chair at what I guessed to be about 130 degrees.
I will pull the outdoor cable run I was using from the attic and do the same test where the antenna is and rescan again. Im thinking I will most likely get between 4 and 6 channels.
With all of that said, I will probably do what John C recommended to do in the first place and point the U8000 to the North (347 degrees) and be able to pull channels from the back as well (after I replace the cable and test it FIRST)
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Old 28-Sep-2011, 2:25 AM   #60
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Glad to hear there's been a breakthrough. Please report back once the coax is sorted out and you've had a chance to aim that thing north.
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