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Old 14-Jan-2014, 6:50 AM   #1
bobdole888
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Help with reception in south bay

I'm a newie here and I really need some help to get started.
I'm in San Francisco area, in the south bay.

This is my TV analysis report:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...5b942696150f4f

I would like to be able to receive the major stations, CBS, ABC, NBC, WB, ION, PBS.

Is there any chance based on these results that I can get those stations with Antenna in the attic of a 1 story building?

I did try the report with 100ft high instead of 12ft and didn't really see much difference. So I think height won't help.

The other thing that I don't understand is that there seem to be 2 ABC stations with the stronger station not having any channel number assigned to it. What does this mean?

What hardware would you recommend to be able to pickup the stations that I mentioned.

Thank you very much!
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Old 19-Jan-2014, 2:48 AM   #2
bobdole888
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Different San Jose Location

Hi,

I tried posting a request for help, but it's been sitting in moderator's queue for >1week.

So I'm posting it here instead since it's a similar topic.

Here's my analysis report:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...5b942696150f4f

I tried using 100ft also and didn't see anything change in the report so I think the mount height won't be relevant.

What I'm looking for is to get the major stations, CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, ION, PBS.

I see that quite of few of them shows 2edge. What type of antenna would better capture 2edge signal? (directional or none?)

There is a great sale on clear stream C4 extreme for only $23 free shipping.
So I order that hoping that it might do it for me.
Any predictions on how it will do?

If you don't think the C4 would do it, I'm open to try some other setup that has a good chance of picking up the major stations.

Another question I have is that there seems to be 2 KGO ABC stations listed, but one doesn't have a virtual station...what does mean?
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Old 19-Jan-2014, 6:05 AM   #3
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Oops, It looks like your first post simply got no response and 'fell off' the 1st page of threads. I've moved your second post from the similar thread by guitarfish, http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=14090

Your situation is different in that you appear to be blocked by more terrain than guitarfish.

KGO operates a primary transmitter from the Sutro Tower complex and a lower power 'translator' closer to your location. Not all the major network outlets do the same unfortunately.

To see all of the major networks will require that you pursue the signals from the Sutro Tower complex. There is some tall terrain between you and San Fransisco though. Are you willing to consider a large antenna, outside, above your roof?

I would opt for a Winegard HD7698P or, the combination of an Antennas Direct 91XG + Antennacraft Y10713 + RCA TVPRAMP1R preamplifier. I'd have no shame using a 5' tripod and 10' mast at the roof peak if that's were I found reliable reception during initial testing.

I can't offer much hope re. the success of any attic mounted system in this case.
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 19-Jan-2014 at 6:06 AM. Reason: sp.
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Old 19-Jan-2014, 12:02 PM   #4
StephanieS
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Hi Bob,

Your question about KGO TV's lack of virtual channel in your report on real channel 35 from Mount Allison I would chalk up to just to a TVfool database issue. Rabbitears identifies RF 35 as a fill in signal or translator as GUM pointed out specifically targeting San Jose. Thus, there will be no difference between real channel 7 and what you see on real channel 35. Virtual channels will be the same from a viewer standpoint.

RE: Attic installation. Anything you want from Sutro will not be received with an attic antenna (CBS, ION, PBS). As a general rule red shaded signals and attics don't mix. Those signals are just too weak to penetrate the solid materials of your roof.

You'll have to go with a strong system. GUM's suggestion of the two antenna system is the one I'd favor. I might lean more towards an Antennas Direct DB8 instead of the 91xg in this case. The Y10-7-13 would be excellent for NBC.

You'd need then a combiner, the Antenna's Direct EU385CF has a good reputation.

Of note, KQED PBS, is available on KQEH RF 50 as digital sub-channel 54.2 in standard definition if Sutro reception proves unreliable.

I would expect with the DB8/Y10-7-13 combo, you would have a good chance at reliability for signals down to about ION/KQED level of signal strength.

Best of Luck!
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Old 19-Jan-2014, 4:06 PM   #5
bobdole888
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Thank you all for your great suggestions.

I am a bit confused by the antenna choices.
I looked at Winegard HD 7698P and on paper it doesn't look good. It has only 60 mile range on UHF.
The DB8 looks promising with 70 mile range.
Although I think I tried it in my living room and got bad results. (yes, sounds stupid, but I just hung it on the wall instead on putting in up on the roof)

How about the clear stream c4 extreme? I have that on order and it has a 65+ mile range. Would that be close to what DB8 would get me?

I am also puzzled in general if a directional or a non directional would be better.
The db8 is non directional, but others being recommended are mostly directional. But for my situation, I'm guessing I'll be getting reflected signals instead of LOS, does that call for a directional or non directional?

Thanks again for all you suggestions. I'm hoping to learn from you experts!
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Old 19-Jan-2014, 4:25 PM   #6
ADTech
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Mileage ratings are mostly irrelevant. They're simply suggestions upon which gauge signal gathering capabilities and the focus of the antenna's reception pattern.

Quote:
The db8 is non directional
No. See http://www.antennasdirect.com/store/...v-Antenna.html

You're shadowed from Sutro by the foothills. You're going to need patience, the right equipment, and luck to pull off a reliable installation.

Patience in trying multiple mounting spots and, if necessary, antennas.

The right equipment in that you will need a good UHF antenna that can capture whatever week signals diffract over the hills. If you want NBC, you will need a good high-VHF antenna. You'll need a good pre-amp that it doesn't overload from the much stronger signals from the northeast.

If you had a DB8 in the living room, where is it now? Have you installed it up in the air aimed at Sutro to see what it would pick up?
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Old 19-Jan-2014, 10:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post

No. See http://www.antennasdirect.com/store/...v-Antenna.html

If you had a DB8 in the living room, where is it now? Have you installed it up in the air aimed at Sutro to see what it would pick up?

Ok, so 35 degrees is considered directional. I thought directional would be something like 10 degrees.

So the C4 that I will have has 43 degrees, that's somewhat directional then.
I guess the problem with that one is lower gain compared to the ones others have suggested.


I tried the db8 an year ago. At that time I compared it to rabbit ear indoor antenna and didn't get any difference in # of stations. So I returned it.

I've always had cable, so OTA hasn't been a must have. Though this time I'm going to try harder to see if it's possible to make it work.
It sounds like if I get the right equipment and do it right, I might get Sutro tower to come in on UHF. NBC is on VHF so I'm not sure if I want to spend the extra money and effort to get that. As I understand it VHF antenna are usually huge!
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Old 19-Jan-2014, 11:21 PM   #8
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Did you try the DB8 or DB8e?

Indoor mounting, including attic mounting is very unlikely to yield satisfactory results based on your report.

Have you tested reception outside, in the clear? If so, what antenna and accessories were used and what were the results?

Mileage estimates are not as accurate a tool as the gain specification. Mileage estimates are usually good faith estimates based on some unspecified assumptions... Gain values provided by the reputable antenna manufactures are based on repeatable measuring methods. You need as much passive antenna gain as you can get... Less gain is the wrong direction to be headed in.

Yes, the Y10713 is larger than many other antennas. It boils down to, do you want to have a chance at seeing the H-VHF signals from the Sutro Tower Complex?
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 19-Jan-2014 at 11:46 PM. Reason: H-VHF
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Old 19-Jan-2014, 11:47 PM   #9
bobdole888
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
Did you try the DB8 or DB8e?

Indoor mounting, including attic mounting is very unlikely to yield satisfactory results based on your report.

Have you tested reception outside, in the clear? If so, what antenna and accessories were used and what were the results?

Mileage estimates are not as accurate a tool as the gain specification. Mileage estimates are usually good faith estimates based on some unspecified assumptions... Gain values provided by the reputable antenna manufactures are based on repeatable measuring methods. You need as much passive antenna gain as you can get... Less gain is the wrong direction to be headed in.
I tried DB8, not DB8e.

Last time was a half hearted attempt so it was only indoors. I didn't try anything outdoors.
The only tool I have is my Tivo receiver, which has a signal strength meter.

I'll be sure to pay attention to the gain number instead of mileage rating for future antenna selection.
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Old 20-Jan-2014, 10:11 PM   #10
bobdole888
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Just got an email from solidsignals saying that they will not be shipping out the clear stream 4 to me for $23. They're saying it was an error on their part but is not making up for the mistake. Anyway, I guess now I can start fresh.

I started looking at more antenna options again. Now I'm comparing them based on gain. We have:
DB8 15.8 db
HDB8X 17.5 (23 when parallel)
DB8e 17.4
HD7698P 13.7
91XG 16.7

Based on gain, seems like HDB8X at 17.5 has the best gain. They claim that with both antenna face parallel, the gain is 23db !!! I find that hard to believe.

So other than gain, what else should be considered in my case?

Most of my channels are 2edge, do I need to worry about multi-path? or if I'm getting reflected signals, would I be better off with a narrow beam or wide beam antenna? I'm trying to maximize 1st try success.

On a separate topic. Is the problem with attic installation partly due to roof having flashing, which is probably a sheet of metal?
What if I can place it at a gable where it's just wood between signal and antenna(no metal). Any idea how much signal loss through wooden wall?
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Old 20-Jan-2014, 11:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
HDB8X 17.5 (23 when parallel)
That's a phony number.

It's likely around 16-16.5 or so up on old channel 69 (which is pretty worthless unless you want it for 4G service).

The DB8e will have the greatest amount of gain in the 14-51 channel band.
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