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Old 1-Jul-2017, 11:28 PM   #1
mjcarpino
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TV signal dilemma

We have moved to a new home this weekend and would like to continue OTA TV without cable. However, I have a dilemma in determining what I need to pull in at least the 4 major networks, i.e., ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX. Based on the report, see link below, I have 3 weak signals....NBC, CBS and FOX.

To complicate matters, NBC and FOX come from transmitters at 50 deg while CBS come from transmitters at 332 deg.

The dilemma is what antenna's and preamplifiers I will need to receive all 4 networks. I could get an omnidirectional, but never dealt with one, and feel they won't give me the gain for the weaker networks. Or, I could get 2 directional antenna's and one preamplifier.

I would greatly appreciate any insight into translating the report into a guide in determining the equipment needed. Thanks in advance .

Mike

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e6a4e05779359f
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Old 2-Jul-2017, 1:01 AM   #2
JoeAZ
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Welcome!

Congratulations on your new home!
It is rare to see such weak signals from such
close distances. I can only surmise that your area
is in a valley or surrounded by obstructing hills.
I cannot imagine any omni directional or bi directional
antenna working in your situation. You could try
a bow tie or similar antenna aimed at the 3 major
networks in your area. MCM electronics makes some
inexpensive 4 bay bow tie antennas or you could opt
for an 8 bay, two panel antenna directed for CBS,
NBC and Fox with the other panel aimed for ABC.
You might also consider getting an antenna to
receive the NYC market stations. That would be
a Winegard 7698P available at walmart.com for
just over $100 including shipping. I would certainly
start slowly and make sure you can return anything
that doesn't work well....
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Old 2-Jul-2017, 4:48 PM   #3
mjcarpino
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Thanks for your input. Just tried a small directional antenna from Wal-Mart. Actually the best outdoor antenna for $40 in stock at closest store. Tried tuners in a TV as well as a TiVo. Getting no signal at all, even on ABC.
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Old 2-Jul-2017, 5:11 PM   #4
JoeAZ
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Surprised you didn't even get ABC. That signal, while less
than 25 miles away, should have been viewable. What kind
of cable were you using and how long??? RG6 is the best
option to use. Keep your cable runs 50 feet and under.
Did you try the antenna from your roof or elsewhere???
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Old 2-Jul-2017, 6:16 PM   #5
mjcarpino
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My test setup was on my roof (approx 30'). Brought up small tv and a TiVo. Anttena to device was 4' rg6 coax. Seems improbable not to see even a hint of signal. Can't imagine a bad antenna. I may play around some more, but if I can't see any signal, I will forget OTA
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Old 2-Jul-2017, 8:36 PM   #6
Jake V
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What model "small directional antenna from Wal-Mart" are you using for testing? Some (like the little flat panel ones) have very little gain on VHF.

Your situation is a difficult one.

The best you can do is to experiment. Others will post, but if this were my plot I would likely try something like this:

For UHF channels I'd try an Antennas Direct DB-8e with one panel aimed northeast and one aimed southeast.

Your northeast channels come from about 60 degrees on a compass (WCCT-20/CW, WVIT-35/NBC, WFSB-33/CBS, WTIC-31/FOX) and your southeast channels come from 120 degrees (WCTX-39/MyN) and 192 degrees (WEDW-49/PBS). The DB-8e works best when aimed in two different directions if the directions are 90 degrees apart. So you'd have to experiment, and may have to aim at 45 degrees and 135 degrees.

If that doesn't get you the channels from both the NE and SE you can aim both panels at about 60 degrees.

Also, an amplifier might be useful.

For your VHF-HI channel (WTNH-10/ABC) I'd try a Stellar Labs (30-2476) MCM Part #30-2476 aimed at 120 degrees.

Antennas Direct has one of the best VHF/UHF Combiners. And if you need to amplify the UHF signal you can also try an amplifier (there are a few good options, but several not-so-good ones).

I hope others also post to give thier thoughts on this. There are other possibilities, including a large all-channel antenna and a rotor. But the downside of that is not being to use a DVR.

Last edited by Jake V; 2-Jul-2017 at 9:01 PM.
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Old 2-Jul-2017, 9:59 PM   #7
mjcarpino
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The antenna is GE Pro Outdoor Antenna
https://www.walmart.com/ip/GE-Pro-Ou...&wl13=&veh=sem

Thanks for your suggestions..... I haven't given up yet, but based on what I've seen so far it isn't looking good. My previous experience has been to see some indication of a signal using Tivos signal strength function even on channels with no chance of getting a picture. Now its like there is nothing connected to the TiVo.
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Old 2-Jul-2017, 10:16 PM   #8
JoeAZ
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The antenna you tried doesn't have the gain required
in your situation. An FYI, both Jake V and I suggested
you try an 8 bay antenna for your "local" stations. His
suggestion will cost more than twice the price and not
perform better. The MCM 30-2430 costs just $55.00.
With one panel aimed NE and the other towards SE,
in addtition to NBC, CBS, Fox, etc. you have a good
chance of getting WCTX and WEDW.
It might just also work on WTNH, ABC.

I'd also agree that the MCM 30-2476 could be used if
the above does not work for WTNH. It is going to take
a good deal of trial and error. Rarely does everything
fall into place.............
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Old 4-Jul-2017, 12:59 PM   #9
mjcarpino
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After taking another look at the tvfool report, it looks like I might be able to receive CBS, NBC and FOX pointing the UHF antenna JoeAZ suggested. By directing both panels to 50 deg would hopefully have the most gain. If it works, I'll try adding a VHF antenna to get ABC pointing at 107 deg. I plan to get the MCM 30-2430 antenna first and if this fails I guess I have to forget OTA tv. If it works, the next step is to add a VHF antenna with a combiner/amplifier which bring up the next question. Is a separate combiner amplifier better than an all-in-one like the Channel Master 7777. I would like to purchase/install the MCM 30-2430 and combiner/amplifier in preparation to adding the VHF antenna. Any suggestions regarding what devices I should consider to combine/amplify these weak (or non existent) signals.
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Old 4-Jul-2017, 4:50 PM   #10
JoeAZ
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I am sure "Ad Tech" or some others can recommend what else
you may need electronically. The MCM combiners, splitters, etc,
etc, are mediocre at best. I believe some of the other posts
contain scientific measurements of performance for combiners,
splitters, etc, etc. You may want to review some of the more
recent posts for the last couple of weeks.....
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Old 5-Jul-2017, 1:21 PM   #11
jrgagne99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjcarpino View Post
After taking another look at the tvfool report, it looks like I might be able to receive CBS, NBC and FOX pointing the UHF antenna JoeAZ suggested. By directing both panels to 50 deg would hopefully have the most gain. If it works, I'll try adding a VHF antenna to get ABC pointing at 107 deg. I plan to get the MCM 30-2430 antenna first and if this fails I guess I have to forget OTA tv. If it works, the next step is to add a VHF antenna with a combiner/amplifier which bring up the next question. Is a separate combiner amplifier better than an all-in-one like the Channel Master 7777. I would like to purchase/install the MCM 30-2430 and combiner/amplifier in preparation to adding the VHF antenna. Any suggestions regarding what devices I should consider to combine/amplify these weak (or non existent) signals.
I have a similar situation. See "Reception Help in NH" thread. I would try the cheap UHF antennas first as others suggest. Not jump straight to the DB8e. Try either the MCM30-2430 8-bay or the 30-2370 yagi. Both of these are also sold by Solid Signal under different names (HDB8X and HDB91X). I have had reasonable deep fringe performance from both of these. I would also recommend the RCA TVPRAMP1R, which I have had good luck with. (buy from walmart.com, not amazon, due to high failure rates from amazon). It has separate UHF and VHF inputs, so when you add your VHF yagi (I recommend the MCM-30-2476), you will be ready to go. NM of -3 is tough, but not impossible, and you will likely need to "walk the roof" to find the hot-spot(s). In my situation, mere inches actually matter. Hopefully you can find a hot-spot that satisfies all four major networks.

You also might want to check rabbitears.com. They list all of the subchannels for each channel. Sometimes major networks are actually on subchannels.
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Old 5-Jul-2017, 1:44 PM   #12
rickbb
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Most likely you are out of luck. I doubt that you will get CBS at all, and NBC only when the weather is "right". (Tropospheric effect.)

If you click on the channel in your report you will see the terrain profile showing what is between the tower and your house. On CBS you are in a deep RF shadow and NBC is not much better.

At 90 miles, a NM of only 3.1 for both, 30k power, (at your house), for CBS and 300k for NBC you will have to go to extreme measures to receive them reliably, if at all.

Whatever you buy, make sure of what the return policy is, you'll need it.
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Old 5-Jul-2017, 5:26 PM   #13
Tower Guy
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In your case I would consider the AD 91XG or one of its clones for your UHF antenna. This is because your hardest network is CBS with both WFSB and WCBS on channel 33. They will interfere with each other unless you have an antenna with significant front to back ratio. The 91XG beats the DB-8e by 10 db. I agree with the suggestion of the MCM VHF antenna and the TV-PRAMP-1. The antenna location should be as clear as possible toward Hartford.

You may not get everything with this setup, but the most critical networks will have the best chances.
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Old 5-Jul-2017, 5:37 PM   #14
jrgagne99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickbb View Post
If you click on the channel in your report you will see the terrain profile showing what is between the tower and your house. On CBS you are in a deep RF shadow and NBC is not much better.

Is that cliff and the corresponding shadow from the terrain report real? The topography databases sometimes include trees, which although bad, probably aren't nearly as dramatic an effect as the terrain profile plots suggest.

Also rickbb, I think he's after WVIT (NBC, ch35, 24 miles) and WFSB (CBS, Ch33, 28.7 miles) not WRGB (CBS, Ch6, 90 miles)
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Old 5-Jul-2017, 7:06 PM   #15
mjcarpino
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rickbb: "If you click on the channel in your report you will see the terrain profile showing what is between the tower and your house. On CBS you are in a deep RF shadow and NBC is not much better."
Not sure where my location is on the terrain profile? Assume its at the very end of profile opposite the transmitter.

Tower Guy: In your case I would consider the AD 91XG or one of its clones for your UHF antenna
DARN....I placed an order for the MCM30-2430 about 2 hours ago!!!

jrgagne99: Is that cliff and the corresponding shadow from the terrain report real? The topography databases sometimes include trees, which although bad, probably aren't nearly as dramatic an effect as the terrain profile plots suggest.
Not sure I am reading the profile correctly...see above reply to rickbb

jrgagne99, I think he's after WVIT (NBC, ch35, 24 miles) and WFSB (CBS, Ch33, 28.7 miles) not WRGB (CBS, Ch6, 90 miles)
Correct....WFSB because transmitter is same direction as NBC and FOX (WTIC) since a rotor is out of the question.
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Old 5-Jul-2017, 7:27 PM   #16
jrgagne99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjcarpino View Post
rickbb: "If you click on the channel in your report you will see the terrain profile showing what is between the tower and your house. On CBS you are in a deep RF shadow and NBC is not much better."
Not sure where my location is on the terrain profile? Assume its at the very end of profile opposite the transmitter.
Yes, your location is all the way on the right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjcarpino View Post
Tower Guy: In your case I would consider the AD 91XG or one of its clones for your UHF antenna
DARN....I placed an order for the MCM30-2430 about 2 hours ago!!!
If you act quickly before it ships, you can probably change to the AD 91XG clone (MCM 30-2370)
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Old 5-Jul-2017, 9:41 PM   #17
JoeAZ
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The difference between the 8 Bay and the yagi is that the yagi is
more directional and may be better with your CBS situation.
However, As was recently demonstrated in another blog on this
site, UHF yagi antennas favor the higher UHF frequencies which
are no longer in use. With the repack coming soon, the Yagi
will be at an even greater disadvantage......UHF TV will end at
Rf 36....
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Old 5-Jul-2017, 9:52 PM   #18
mjcarpino
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Bit the bullet and ordered the MCM 30-2370. As soon as i receive antennas I will report results. Thanks to everyone for the help....I'm learning to make better use of tvfool as well.
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Old 6-Jul-2017, 2:00 PM   #19
rickbb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrgagne99 View Post
Is that cliff and the corresponding shadow from the terrain report real? The topography databases sometimes include trees, which although bad, probably aren't nearly as dramatic an effect as the terrain profile plots suggest.

Also rickbb, I think he's after WVIT (NBC, ch35, 24 miles) and WFSB (CBS, Ch33, 28.7 miles) not WRGB (CBS, Ch6, 90 miles)
The closer CBS has a worse NM -1.2 which will make it harder to get than the further one. My bad on the NBC, it is close, but still a low NM and Kw at the antenna will make it hard to get.

The terrain profiles are real but the elevations are exaggerated in the graph to make them easier to read. They DO NOT include trees or buildings, just topographic data from the USGS.

They also do not include tropospheric effects. Sometimes you can get a signal from very far away as it's "bounced" off of the ionosphere. It's how I used to listen to Chicago radio stations late at night here in North Carolina back in the AM radio days. But it only came in at night when the atmosphere was in the shadow of the suns RF interference.
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Old 6-Jul-2017, 2:04 PM   #20
rickbb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjcarpino View Post
rickbb: "If you click on the channel in your report you will see the terrain profile showing what is between the tower and your house. On CBS you are in a deep RF shadow and NBC is not much better."
[COLOR="Magenta"]Not sure where my location is on the terrain profile? Assume its at the very end of profile opposite the transmitter.
Correct, the transmitter is on the left and your location is on the right.
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