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Old 9-Feb-2010, 4:08 PM   #1
WazzuGrad
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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Reception Issues - Different Antenna Needed?

We're using a ClearStream 2 antenna w/pre-amp, feeding a 50" Sony HDTV (A2000 series)

Here's our report: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...72433d3ff4ec64

We've reduced our cable run to the minimum, and it didn't help our signal strength at the TV.

Would a different antenna help? I've attached a listing of what we should get, along with the detail below about signal strength at our TV:

KWPX - Strength 92
KUNS - 92
KPST - 95
KWDK - 89
KCTS - no signal; Strength 41
KMYQ - 59
KUSE - 81
KSTW - no signal; 41
KOMO - no signal; 41
KIRO - no signal; 36
KING - no signal; 41
KCPQ - no signal; 41
KBTC - 67
KTBW - 62

The rest of the stations, we don't care about. Is there anything we can do to get the "no signal" stations better? Most of those are the major networks, which are the ones we'd want to get. Our antenna is approx. 30-33ft above ground level, using the stand provided with the package.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 9-Feb-2010, 11:20 PM   #2
mtownsend
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 632
Hello and welcome!

It looks like you're up against at least two issues:

1) The CS2 is really a UHF only antenna despite what their marketing brochure might say. KCTS (ch 9), KSTW (ch 11), and KCPQ (ch 13) are all in high-VHF and are not being picked up well by the CS2.

2) The transmitters on West Tiger Mountain are pretty close and strong. They might be strong enough to cause overload on your current amp. If so, this can create distortion (corruption) that might be making things worse rather than better.



The first things I would recommend is to try running without the pre-amp and see how things look. You should physically disconnect the pre-amp rather than just turning off the power supply because an un-powered pre-amp does NOT simply allow the signal to pass-through.

If things seem any better without the pre-amp, then there's a good chance that there was too much signal for the pre-amp to handle.



To address the high-VHF channel issue, you can either add a high VHF to your current one, giving you a 2-antenna setup, OR your can replace your current UHF only antenna with a single VHF/UHF combo antenna.



If you want to add a VHF antenna to your existing one, I suggest something like a Winegard YA-1713 or Antennacraft Y10-7-13. These antennas cover channels 7-13. Join the VHF antenna with your UHF antenna through a UVSJ combiner/splitter for optimum signal preservation. The UVSJ is a "diplexor" and will do a much better job of combining different-band antennas than a regular 2-way splitter would.



If you want to replace the CS2 with a combo antenna, I recommend something like a Winegard HD7696P or Antennacraft HBU-44.



Either of these antenna setups should be pointed at a compass heading of around 295 degrees. The channels from Tiger Mountain are off-aim, but they are so close and so strong, that they should come in anyway.

If aimed this way, it might be safe to include your pre-amp in the setup because the strong signals would be coming in through the weak side of the antenna. You should probably try it with and without the amp to make sure the amp is not making things worse. I do expect the amp to improve things slightly if the antenna is aimed away from Tiger Mountain.
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Old 10-Feb-2010, 12:55 PM   #3
WazzuGrad
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Thanks!

Thanks for the suggestions; I'll try disconnecting the pre-amp. I do have the compass at around 300d.

I'm less concerned about channels 9, 11, and 13. Our setup allows us to get KMYQ 25, which on their .2 channel is a feed of 13 in standard def (OK if it's all we can get).

I just feel like we're so close to getting what we wanted, that I'd hate to give up now.

I may end up returning the Clearstream and getting one of your suggested antennas. Thanks again for your help; I'll reply again once I try the suggestions.
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Old 11-Feb-2010, 5:42 PM   #4
mtownsend
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WazzuGrad View Post
I'll try disconnecting the pre-amp. I do have the compass at around 300d.
Did taking out the amp have any effect?

If you have your CS2 pointed at Seattle, you shouldn't be having that much trouble receiving channels like KING, KOMO, KIRO, and KONG. They are all UHF stations that are well within reach of the CS2's sensitivity.

This seems to imply that something else is wrong. If it's not due to amp overload, then I would suspect that multipath may be the problem. The CS2 has a pretty wide beam pattern, and if there are significant sources of multipath around (reflections off tall buildings, mountains, etc.), then the CS2 is going to deliver a lot of that to your receiver (making the signals hard to decode).

Have you ever watched analog channels with this antenna? If so, were there any visible ghosts?

A more directional antenna can cut down the amount of multipath being delivered to your tuner. What you want is an antenna with a narrower (side-to-side) beam width.



Quote:
I'm less concerned about channels 9, 11, and 13. Our setup allows us to get KMYQ 25, which on their .2 channel is a feed of 13 in standard def (OK if it's all we can get).
If you're going to change antennas, then you might as well get a combo antenna capable of high VHF like the Winegard HD7696P or Antennacraft HBU-44.

If you really want to limit yourself to UHF-only stations, then a Antennas Direct DB8 or 91XG will give you a narrower beam width to reduce multipath.
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Old 11-Feb-2010, 5:59 PM   #5
WazzuGrad
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtownsend View Post
Did taking out the amp have any effect?

If you have your CS2 pointed at Seattle, you shouldn't be having that much trouble receiving channels like KING, KOMO, KIRO, and KONG. They are all UHF stations that are well within reach of the CS2's sensitivity.

This seems to imply that something else is wrong. If it's not due to amp overload, then I would suspect that multipath may be the problem. The CS2 has a pretty wide beam pattern, and if there are significant sources of multipath around (reflections off tall buildings, mountains, etc.), then the CS2 is going to deliver a lot of that to your receiver (making the signals hard to decode).

Have you ever watched analog channels with this antenna? If so, were there any visible ghosts?

A more directional antenna can cut down the amount of multipath being delivered to your tuner. What you want is an antenna with a narrower (side-to-side) beam width.
I haven't had a chance to change yet; it's been wet outside, so I haven't made it back up on the roof.

No buildings for reflections, but quite a bit of hills and a valley toward Seattle that may be causing it. Most likely overload from the Tiger Mtn transmitters.

I will try it; haven't given up on the CS2 yet, but I agree about the wide beam path. I thought that would be better to have a shot at the high-VHF KCPQ, though I now know that isn't possible with the CS2.

Thanks again for the help.
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