TV Fool  

Go Back   TV Fool > Over The Air Services > Help With Reception

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 25-Jun-2012, 12:40 AM   #81
ant
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 83
Thumbs down

OK, I am back again. Today's early afternoon hours were rough and somewhat disappointing. I think today's soft winds were messing up my OTA feeds there. I can't imagine was hard winds would do! I don't remember any winds on Wednesday night too.

With that new CM 4228HD antenna outside on the non-slope patio in front of the kitchen window instead of the slope grass I did with RCA ANT751 antenna almost a couple months ago, I got scanned channels from over 80 to 104 channels in the same area. I tried tilting a little back/front, changing angles a little, etc. Also, this was about 5' (CM 4228HD's center where the coax cable connector is) above the ground like my height. Note that the garage's left wall, AC unit, cement patio, low wall, and low metal gate door were still around it even far. I wanted to try it on the slope grass area, but the wooden easel (finally figured out what those art painting canvas holders were called) would be unable to hold the heavy and big CM 4228HD antenna (I had a hard time lifting both items separately due to my disabilities and height!). From what I saw, I had some issues with KCBS2, KTLA5, KCAL9, etc. Nuts. Just for kicks, I went to the grass slope front lawn to try RCA ANT751 antenna over my head (5') again and noticed less channels. What the frak?

Also, my father/dad/pa was willing to put an antenna outside in front of the kitchen outside mounted under the roof. Ugh! NO! This will not work well because I tested this already by myself with RCA ANT751 antenna near the walls, AC unit, wall, etc.! The best spot is in the open area like above the tiled brick roof! We got into a verbal fight too. He said it is too dangerous up there. Well, get someone who can then even though I could search for someone! Argh!! I gave up and let him try it in the wall corner adjacent to the garage and kitchen's sink window sides. It didn't get all the channels we wanted, and some were unstable like KCET28. Well, DUH! I knew that already from my previous tests! It looks like he will get a very long coax cable (25'?), from a local Radio Shack store, to connect from the attic with previous owners' coax cable setups with his Dish service, to the front to this mounted antenna (most likely RCA ANT751).

Also, I finally took my old 2005's DB2 bowtie antenna. Amazingly, it didn't too bad. It got many channels we wanted, but some were not receivable and stable. I'd rank this one under RCA 751 antenna. This was in the outside corner spot and in the kitchen as well.

I updated http://zimage.com/~ant/MiCasa2/FormerOwnerKitchen1.jpg to show the locations.

Oh another bad day was he dropped the portable DTV. It still mostly works, but the channel+ button (next channel) is busted (mostly doesn't respond OR thinks it wants to rescan for channels which is the right button). Also, he got a big leg cut on the short ladder from the shrubs when fiddling with an antenna on the corner near AC unit, garage, and kitchen sink's window. He also said he is going to return that huge CM antenna to Fry's Electronics (hope they don't ban him like Best Buy did to that one guy a few months ago) too. Um, he was the one who wanted to try it even though I was surprised by its feed results! [sighs]

Last edited by ant; 25-Jun-2012 at 3:33 AM.
ant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-Jun-2012, 2:25 AM   #82
GroundUrMast
Moderator
 
GroundUrMast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,760
If we go back to your TV Fool report, http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...0b86cb35bdb459 you'll notice that there is a mix of both UHF and VHF channels listed.

The signal strength is low which indicates the need for a large, high gain antenna which has both UHF and VHF capability. @Dave Loudin's post http://forum.tvfool.com/showpost.php...4&postcount=51 addresses this in a rather comprehensive manner.

If you are limited to using an ANT-751 and a CM4228, try combining the two using a UVSJ. you'll get fairly good UHF performance and at least some VHF. The CM4228 has little VHF capability. The ANT-751 has some UHF capability but not nearly as much as the CM4228.
__________________
If the well is dry and you don't see rain on the horizon, you'll need to dig the hole deeper. (If the antenna can't get the job done, an amp won't fix it.)

(Please direct account activation inquiries to 'admin')
GroundUrMast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-Jun-2012, 3:20 AM   #83
ant
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
If we go back to your TV Fool report, http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...0b86cb35bdb459 you'll notice that there is a mix of both UHF and VHF channels listed.

The signal strength is low which indicates the need for a large, high gain antenna which has both UHF and VHF capability. @Dave Loudin's post http://forum.tvfool.com/showpost.php...4&postcount=51 addresses this in a rather comprehensive manner.

If you are limited to using an ANT-751 and a CM4228, try combining the two using a UVSJ. you'll get fairly good UHF performance and at least some VHF. The CM4228 has little VHF capability. The ANT-751 has some UHF capability but not nearly as much as the CM4228.
Would combined RCA ANT751 and CM4228 still need to be put outside on the roofs? If so, then the problem is my folks don't want them on the roof and in the kitchen behind the window patio door. They don't mind them in the attic, but the attic did not work well due to too many interferences (metal/mesh parts in the walls?) with various antennae. And they don't want that CM antenna anymore for being too big and heavy [why did he buy it then?].
ant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-Jun-2012, 7:24 AM   #84
GroundUrMast
Moderator
 
GroundUrMast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,760
Your best hope for receiving the maximum possible stations involves mounting outside, high, clear of obstructions. I understand there are several reasons that may not be a viable option in your case. You and your family are able to understand those limiting factors far better than I.

That said, I'm suggesting that if there is an acceptable mounting location, you compare the list of received channels, when using the CM4228 and then the ANT-751. I think you'll find that the CM4228 receives channels the ANT-751 can not, and that the ANT-751 in turn, receives signals the CM4228 does not. If that's the case, combining the two would provide the more viewing options than either lone antenna could.

You had posted a photo of the back yard. How high was the antenna off the ground when you tested there? There are 10' mast sections available, I've even used the 'top rail' designed for chain-link fence systems... (got it @ Home Depot as I recall) If you have an acceptable location in the back yard, that can accommodate an elevated antenna (or two) you may find that just a few feet higher in the air gets signals that were unavailable the last time you tried in that area. Tripods intended for roof mounting can be used in ground mounted applications also.
__________________
If the well is dry and you don't see rain on the horizon, you'll need to dig the hole deeper. (If the antenna can't get the job done, an amp won't fix it.)

(Please direct account activation inquiries to 'admin')

Last edited by GroundUrMast; 25-Jun-2012 at 7:28 AM.
GroundUrMast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-Jun-2012, 7:36 AM   #85
ant
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 83
Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
Your best hope for receiving the maximum possible stations involves mounting outside, high, clear of obstructions. I understand there are several reasons that may not be a viable option in your case. You and your family are able to understand those limiting factors far better than I.

That said, I'm suggesting that if there is an acceptable mounting location, you compare the list of received channels, when using the CM4228 and then the ANT-751. I think you'll find that the CM4228 receives channels the ANT-751 can not, and that the ANT-751 in turn, receives signals the CM4228 does not. If that's the case, combining the two would provide the more viewing options than either lone antenna could.

You had posted a photo of the back yard. How high was the antenna off the ground when you tested there? There are 10' mast sections available, I've even used the 'top rail' designed for chain-link fence systems... (got it @ Home Depot as I recall) If you have an acceptable location in the back yard, that can accommodate an elevated antenna (or two) you may find that just a few feet higher in the air gets signals that were unavailable the last time you tried in that area. Tripods intended for roof mounting can be used in ground mounted applications also.
The only mounting spots they approve is in the attic or outside under a tiled roof in front of the kitchen, hidden. They just don't want them outside to make their house ugly. For me, I don't care about the looks!

The sloped hill backyard was above the roof for sure when I was standing up with that RCA ANT751 antenna with a portable ATSC HDTV. I am about 5' so it was over my head to move around and test. I thought it was weird/odd that it did poorly up there. I guess the house's tiled roof was reflecting badly? Or maybe the trees behind me and on the sides? I would expect it to be better than the front yard!

Last edited by ant; 25-Jun-2012 at 7:39 AM.
ant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-Jun-2012, 8:06 AM   #86
GroundUrMast
Moderator
 
GroundUrMast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,760
Sadly, the roof construction produces too much loss and/or signal reflection.

Could you experiment with a 'long-wire' antenna? http://www.iw5edi.com/ham-radio/?ins...re-antenna,116 If constructed from the right material it can be close to invisible. I'm straining hard here... trying to think of some solution given nearly impossible limitations.
__________________
If the well is dry and you don't see rain on the horizon, you'll need to dig the hole deeper. (If the antenna can't get the job done, an amp won't fix it.)

(Please direct account activation inquiries to 'admin')
GroundUrMast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-Jun-2012, 8:11 AM   #87
ant
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 83
Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
Sadly, the roof construction produces too much loss and/or signal reflection.

Could you experiment with a 'long-wire' antenna? http://www.iw5edi.com/ham-radio/?ins...re-antenna,116 If constructed from the right material it can be close to invisible. I'm straining hard here... trying to think of some solution given nearly impossible limitations.
Is it because of the tiled roofs or something else like in the walls like those metals, meshes, etc. that people mentioned? That looks complex. We're not constructive people. The antennae were complex enough. Do they have one that already exists from local retail stores?
ant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-Jun-2012, 8:28 AM   #88
GroundUrMast
Moderator
 
GroundUrMast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,760
Tile, concrete, stucco and similar materials are to one degree or another, opaque to RF.

A long-wire antenna is one of the oldest types of antenna designs... from the early days of radio. There are some commercially produced kits intended for the HAM radio market but I would go to the hardware store myself...

Some mechanical aptitude (or at least interest in building things from scratch) would be needed. (There's no shame in knowing your gifts, talents and limits. If you honestly know such a project is more than you should take on, you're a better person than someone who is unwilling to be honest with themselves.)
__________________
If the well is dry and you don't see rain on the horizon, you'll need to dig the hole deeper. (If the antenna can't get the job done, an amp won't fix it.)

(Please direct account activation inquiries to 'admin')
GroundUrMast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-Jun-2012, 1:46 PM   #89
ant
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
Tile, concrete, stucco and similar materials are to one degree or another, opaque to RF.

A long-wire antenna is one of the oldest types of antenna designs... from the early days of radio. There are some commercially produced kits intended for the HAM radio market but I would go to the hardware store myself...

Some mechanical aptitude (or at least interest in building things from scratch) would be needed. (There's no shame in knowing your gifts, talents and limits. If you honestly know such a project is more than you should take on, you're a better person than someone who is unwilling to be honest with themselves.)
Yeah, I would have to find someone to do it. I think it is just way easier just to put it on the roof which my parents refuse. [sighs]
ant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-Jun-2012, 2:20 AM   #90
ant
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 83
I forgot to share this information over the weekend. I only seem to mention them in my newsgroup post. Oops! These will probably add support that I won't be able to get OTA fully:

Elevations according to Google Earth (GE):
1. About 956 ft. in the front yard and kitchen's ground levels where the best feeds are.
2. Highest blocked hill/small mountain to Mt. Wilson in a straight line is about 1,254 feet (never knew GE had this feature!):
http://i.imgur.com/A6yEe.gif ... So there's about a 300 feet height difference.

FYI after 6/26/2012 8:50 AM PDT for about 15 minutes: I was at the other house again. I noticed that RCA ANT751 antenna was remounted on the kitchen and garage corner facing NW (can't go north more due to the garage wall like I did in front of the kitchen patio, grassy lawn, and inside the kitchen). Here is what Zeinth converter box picked up (60-63 channels scanned multiple times [3 were added after the first one from scratch]): 2 (actually stable!), 4, 7, 9, 11, 13, 18 (unstable), 22, 31, 44, (unstable), 50, 54, 57, and 58 (unstable). Also, no winds I felt outside like on Sunday's early afternoon. I also CM 4228HD antenna has not been disassembled to be returned to Fry's yet.

Last edited by ant; 26-Jun-2012 at 8:30 PM.
ant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-Jun-2012, 9:00 PM   #91
ant
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ant View Post
25 ft.: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...0b86cb35bdb459

40 ft.: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...0b86ddb20485e8

Still bad. It looks like I need to be at least 188 ft. have green color for the channels/stations I want.
Crap. I just realized I entered the wrong zip code. Updated URLs:

5 ft. height entered: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...1349e1250c5c04
10 ft. height entered: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...134986774edc54
25 ft. height entered: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...1349a677fb8dec
40 ft. height entered: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...134957beda0fe2

Not much different. :P
ant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7-Jul-2012, 7:23 AM   #92
ant
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 83
Post More work and tests tonight...

More attempts done to get better OTA feeds at the new house with photos. tonight:
http://zimage.com/~ant/MiCasa2/RCAan...tioWindow1.jpg
http://zimage.com/~ant/MiCasa2/RCAan...tioWindow2.jpg
CM 4228HD antenna managed to get over 100 channels again tonight and recently in this position. RCA ANT751 was OK tonight, but we moved it to where CM was sitting (took it down) and it got decent (70, 107, and 111 [big jumps in numbers]). We are trying to get the unreturnable RCA ANT751 in a better spot so we can return that huge CM antenna before its return date arrives. No winds tonight. I am still suspicious since a few channels are sometimes unstable and/or unlockable like KSCI18, KTLA5, KABC7, etc.). This was after 8 PM PDT.

Questions: Does it matter what vertical angle and RCA ANT751 supposed to be upside down or not for optimal feeds? It doesn't seem to matter? I know someone said CM one should be tilted back about 10% degrees or so, but does that apply to RCA ANT751 too? Is it worth trying to see if combining both antennae give the best feeds?

Last edited by ant; 7-Jul-2012 at 7:46 AM.
ant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7-Jul-2012, 6:07 PM   #93
GroundUrMast
Moderator
 
GroundUrMast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,760
Tilting an antenna a few degrees can help in some situations. Don't expect dramatic results, just fine tuning the last bit of performance available.

Most antennas will perform the same if you turn them upside down, so long as they are still pointed toward the transmitter. A few designs may collect water if mounted upside down, be careful to avoid that situation.
__________________
If the well is dry and you don't see rain on the horizon, you'll need to dig the hole deeper. (If the antenna can't get the job done, an amp won't fix it.)

(Please direct account activation inquiries to 'admin')
GroundUrMast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7-Jul-2012, 6:10 PM   #94
ant
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 83
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
Tilting an antenna a few degrees can help in some situations. Don't expect dramatic results, just fine tuning the last bit of performance available.

Most antennas will perform the same if you turn them upside down, so long as they are still pointed toward the transmitter. A few designs may collect water if mounted upside down, be careful to avoid that situation.
Thanks!
ant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8-Jul-2012, 5:54 AM   #95
ant
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 83
More again today. It looks like we're going to keep that CM 4228HD antenna since we still failed with RCA ANT751. Also, I took and added several more photo(graph)s to share: http://zimage.com/~ant/MiCasa2/ ...

Both Zeinth DTT900 converter box and Digital Prism portable DTV can get about 110 channels (including KFMB's channel 8 and KGTV's channel 10) in the best room -- still need to fix the other rooms with weaker signals [lose about 30 channels and more unstable feeds [probably need preamps or new coax cables from the previous owners with their Dish service]). We'll see how long "stable" OTA feeds this will last. The weather was nice and no winds. I hope it doesn't get worse than what we got! :P

I also discovered that Digital Prism loves to pick up those encrypted Airbox (channel 30-xxx) and analog (e.g., snowy channel 12) channels. Zeinth never shows those, but it did show a few radio channels (on screen, it says audio only).
ant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9-Jul-2012, 10:09 PM   #96
ant
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 83
Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ant View Post
...Questions: Does it matter what vertical angle and RCA ANT751 supposed to be upside down or not for optimal feeds? It doesn't seem to matter? I know someone said CM one should be tilted back about 10% degrees or so, but does that apply to RCA ANT751 too?...
FYI from RCA on its ANT751 antenna:

"... Response Via Email(Trudy Holden) - 07/09/2012 04:41 PM
Dear Ant,

The mount bracket and pipe can be arc down or up.

There is a top and bottom for the antenna. The elements snap out and lock into position.

The top elements mounts are designed to work with gravity to lock and support the element. The top elements mounts/locks are plastic and to take the load from ice build up and birds landing on the element.

The bottom elements mounts/locks are designed to take the down load, most of them are metal.

If the antenna is mounted upside down, the top elements would lock and be supported and would break off over time.

Even indoors be sure the top is up..."
ant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-Jul-2012, 11:20 PM   #97
ant
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 83
Just a follow-up that a possible resolved issue with my OTA in the new house. http://zimage.com/~ant/MiCasa2/ for the current photos. (will be removing them later for disk spaces and bandwidth) of CM 4228HD antenna in the front yard. Previous owners' internal coax cables are still there and used for OTA. Two new Samsung HDTVs (20" and 55") were added to the family room and bedroom recently. Old CRT+Zeinth converter box moved to my folks' bedroom. Couple non-screw coax cables were replaced between coax cable outlets and the new HDTVs, but we used those before! Old CRTV uses the screw types. Attic uses General Electrics (GE) four-ways (RMS' two way didn't make any differences from testings so it can't be the splitters) splitter.

I hope OTA stays stable and don't need to redo the coax cables inside the walls, get a pre-amp, etc.! I am still suspicious... :P
ant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5-Aug-2012, 12:44 AM   #98
ant
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 83
Post

I'm back again, but with good and bad news... I went back this to the new place early morning. OTA was still good with an overcast cold weather (nice change from the crazy hot summer weather lately), it was about 90 to 100 channels (similiar like before). It was also when cable technicians came over to hook up cable stuff (yes that $89.99 bundled promotion for a year) in case OTA doesn't work in the future. We can always remove products and features if needed.

The bad news is my room and folks' master bedroom had to be sarcified for cable and lose OTA since my folks did not want to add another cable line. It would also be a lot of work (technician only had about 1.5 hours before the next appointment). I tried to argue that I still wanted OTA, but I lost awesome OTA battle. The other two rooms were not touched for its OTA. While setting up the cable line in my room from the attic (disconnected one from a splitter for OTA), the cable technician found another hidden dusty splitter in my room behind the cable outlet cover. Woah. We totally missed that during that OTA madness! It was splitted into my room and the master bedroom. That's crazy.

After he set it up, I went to test the OTA rooms and they even got more channels (120 and 122 each room! That was the highest ever!)!! Wow. Bummer I will be on cable TV. I am so spoiled by the free price and picture clarity with OTA. Cable digital isn't impressive on a new 22" HDTV. Or maybe it is the composite cables that the technician used (didn't even give me HDMI cables!). Oh well, my folks will be paying for the crazy high cable prices and enjoying their OTA channels. At least Internet is still fast with its standard 10/1. That's all I care for.
ant is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Go Back   TV Fool > Over The Air Services > Help With Reception


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT. The time now is 2:01 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright © TV Fool, LLC