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Old 4-Apr-2015, 12:59 AM   #1
chris1379
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Why can't I receive this station?

I live in Ironton, Ohio 45638. I moved from here before the digital transition and have recently moved back. I have an old Archer indoor rabbit ears/loop antenna in the attic of a single story house and I only receive 8 channels from 4 transmitters.
WSAZ
WVAH
WKAS
WQCW
I have looked at AntennaWeb and AntennaPoint and I'm just confused. Both of them say I can get WOWK but I don't. I also can't receive WCHS. I can barely get WVAH, which I believe is on the same tower with the same power. That would cover the major networks. An amplifier helps the stations I do receive but no new ones.

Chris
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Old 4-Apr-2015, 2:13 AM   #2
ADTech
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Neither Antennawen nor Antennapoint are going to be useful for your situation.

Please follow the directions in the stickied post to run an exact location TVFool plot, then post the LINK to it. You will need to post several "dummy" posts to get to the five post threshold for posting links.

Based on a generic analysis for Ironton, you're very lucky to be getting what you are with what you're using (not much of an antenna in a lousy antenna location).
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Old 4-Apr-2015, 2:56 AM   #3
chris1379
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Should I use the 25 ft antenna height or estimate how high it is now? I thought about moving the antenna closer to the corner of the attic that it's pointed at. It couldn't hurt.
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Old 4-Apr-2015, 4:40 AM   #4
chris1379
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Actually, it did hurt. I couldn't receive WVAH at all. Here is the TVFool plot you requested. I hope I did that right
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Old 4-Apr-2015, 10:43 AM   #5
timgr
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Use the actual height of the antenna for your TVFR.

Effectiveness of indoor placement (ie attic) is hard to predict. There are too many variables to account for - building materials, local obstructions outside the building, loading/coupling/noise from anything conductive in the building - wires, pipes, etc. - and just the distance from the surroundings to the antenna. Typically you lose about half the signal in the air by simply being indoors and surrounded by a big box.

If you are doing ok with an indoor antenna, you will probably do much better with a proper outdoor antenna, located high outdoors in clear air and free of any obstructions between it and the horizon in the direction of the transmitters you are interested in.

Your TVFR is not very encouraging. Notice that WOWK is in a different band (VHF high) from the rest of the stations (UHF). You might be able to get it with rabbit ears if you are lucky and you aim the antenna properly. Rabbit ears can be made a little more sensitive to VHF with the addition of capacitive hats - http://www.hdtvprimer.com/antennas/RabbitEars.html and http://www.kyes.com/antenna/rabbitear.html

Last edited by timgr; 4-Apr-2015 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 4-Apr-2015, 12:55 PM   #6
ADTech
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All capacitive hats do is to make the antenna elements behave as if they were electrically longer. It's a technique used to reduce the size of an antenna structure, not increase relative performance.

The TVFool analysis uses a topographical cell size about 1/3rd the size of a football field. Moving the marker may cause the simulator to use an adjacent cell with a different calculated signal path. All in all, remember it is only a simulation based on available data which may be used as a guide in analyzing reception, it is not a definitive predictor of reception as there are numerous sources of imprecision. In my experience, if a location is very close to the back side of a steep elevation grade, its close to useless as a signal predictor due to it over estimating signals. The simulator only calculates a straight line path.

In a valley such as this one, without a direct way for signals to get to a given location, much of any reception is due to the signal entering the valley at some point and basically "echoing" up or down the valley until it finally reaches the receiving location with whatever signal strength and quality it might have.

Your location is likely going to encounter a mix of those signals, so it's going to be pot luck as to how well it turns out.

Your best bet is to treat the UHF and VHF signals separately as you may find that those signals make themselves available at different spots on your rooftop.

I wouldn't carry high expectations into this experiment, but I'd counsel you to be happy with whatever does come in reliably.
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Old 5-Apr-2015, 4:33 PM   #7
chris1379
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Thank you for the help. I may know someone with an outdoor antenna but not sure yet. I was outside looking and noted that there is a huge hill on the other side of SR 52 that is in the path of the signal. I'm sure that doesn't help. I have experience in CB and a little Amateur radio (friends) so that helps. I just don't have practical experience with TV in weak signal areas. Hopefully I can get the outdoor antenna.
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