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Old 22-Aug-2016, 1:40 PM   #1
lviperz
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Help with reception improvements

I'm looking for some help with improving my reception. First off, here is my signal report.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e2cb943bbbeca1

The station I'm having trouble with is WTVW. Best I'm getting is a 65% signal and fluctuates lower causing pixels and audio loss.

I had the channel master stealth antenna about 30 feet high aimed at about 93%. Worked great until spring when the tree tops grew leaves. So I recently swapped out the antenna for the channel master extreme 80. I also kept it aimed at 93%.

The new antenna improved the 3 channels I did not have a problem with but actually slightly degraded WTVW. I choose this antenna mainly for the high gain to hopefully help with the leaves on the tree tops.

I have RG6 cable run from the antenna and connected to a grounded terminal outside. It then enters the house and goes to channel master 8-port signal distribution amplifier so I can send it to my multiple HDhomeruns and TV's. The total cable run is less than 50'.

I do not notice any drop outs on TV but I do on the HDhomeruns which makes me think the tuners in the HDHR's are of lesser quality. These are the original HDHR Duals that use 2 cable connections.

I thought about moving the antenna on top of the house strapped to the chimney. That would actually get me maybe an additional 5 to 10' but probably won't totally clear the tree tops which would probably grow higher next year anyway. Currently the antenna is mounted to a 2 section tower and a 10' mast. So about 30' high.

I do also have a scanner antenna, the Antennacraft ST2 scanner antenna. It is mounted just below, within a foot of the Extreme 80. Is it possible the scanner antenna is causing some interference?

My other thought for improvement was to try a pre-amp but with the other channels so strong, I thought the pre-amp would actually hurt those signals.

My last thought was to get newer HDHR's but don't know if the tuners in the newer models would be better than the older model I have.

Thanks for your time everyone.
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Old 22-Aug-2016, 1:48 PM   #2
ADTech
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Try aiming your CM4228HD directly at the problem channel instead of trying to split some difference. Fix the evident problem first, then adjust for best overall results. Repeat as needed, adapting each time. Repeat next year when the trees leaf out again.
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Old 22-Aug-2016, 2:01 PM   #3
lviperz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
Try aiming your CM4228HD directly at the problem channel instead of trying to split some difference.
I forgot to say that I did actually try aiming the antenna at WTVW (80 degrees) but then the 3 other stations almost completely drop out. So since I record more off of the other stations, I kept it aimed in the middle.

It would be real simple if WTVW was VHF, then I could point a VHF at it and UHF at the others. But is it possible to combine 2 UHF antennas?
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Old 22-Aug-2016, 4:01 PM   #4
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I think that you stumbled on to your answer inadvertently when you aimed at WTVW and lost the other stations: the bandwidth of the 4228HD is narrow enough to exclude signals that are that far off-axis. Since the signal strength of the stations in your area should be sufficient, my best guess is that you have chosen the wrong antenna. It looks as if you are facing a multipath issue that is preventing you from getting all your channels with one antenna direction.

I believe that the answer to this issue is to get an antenna like an AntennasDirect DB8e, whose 2 panels can be aimed in different directions to get signals that lie in different axes. The DB8e has 2-four bay arrays than can be split on a built-in hinge to be aimed in different directions. Get one, aim it according to your compass at 100 degrees and 75 degrees, and your problem should be solved. If you then have a problem with VHF channel 7, ABC (WEHT) and Channel , PBS, (WNIN), consider adding a Stellar Labs 8 element VHF yagi (model 30-2475) aimed at 95 degrees to pick up those stations. Good Luck!
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Old 22-Aug-2016, 4:23 PM   #5
lviperz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerbangs View Post
I think that you stumbled on to your answer inadvertently when you aimed at WTVW and lost the other stations: the bandwidth of the 4228HD is narrow enough to exclude signals that are that far off-axis.
Really!?, I assumed that since channel master states the antenna has a 180 degree radius that it would be perfect for my situation. Guess maybe I was wrong to assume. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerbangs View Post
I believe that the answer to this issue is to get an antenna like an AntennasDirect DB8e, whose 2 panels can be aimed in different directions to get signals that lie in different axes. The DB8e has 2-four bay arrays than can be split on a built-in hinge to be aimed in different directions. Get one, aim it according to your compass at 100 degrees and 75 degrees, and your problem should be solved. If you then have a problem with VHF channel 7, ABC (WEHT) and Channel , PBS, (WNIN), consider adding a Stellar Labs 8 element VHF yagi (model 30-2475) aimed at 95 degrees to pick up those stations. Good Luck!
I will look in to this solution. I'm just not sure if the double in price is worth it just for the one station. WTVW is actually now the CW, not Fox as the database says. THere is only one show I record, maybe 2 this coming season, but I can catch them on Hulu 1 week after the season ends. I don't watch a show till the season ends anyway.
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Old 22-Aug-2016, 5:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Really!?, I assumed that since channel master states the antenna has a 180 degree radius that it would be perfect for my situation. Guess maybe I was wrong to assume.
You weren't wrong, you are just the victim of "creative marketing." They are wrong with their claim:
Quote:
Long range multi-directional (180-degree range) outdoor antenna up to 80 miles
The 4228HD, AKA EXTREMEtenna 80, is not multi-directional, it is VERY directional. Your hopes were raised by their inaccurate claims to sell antennas, only to have them crash down on the rocks of reality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerbangs View Post
the bandwidth of the 4228HD is narrow enough to exclude signals that are that far off-axis.
He meant beamwidth, not bandwidth. The proper way to state beamwidth is between the half-power points, which are 3 dB down from max. The original Channel Master company would never make such a wild claim. PCT International bought out Channel Master, fired its best engineers, closed down the NC plant, and had antennas made overseas.

Their 180 degree claim just means it will receive signals from the front and not the back.

Winegard and Antennas Direct have more integrity, they state beamwidth and show antenna patterns of gain vs azimuth.

Here are the patterns of the original 4221 and 4228:





You can see that the 4228 beamwidth is much more narrow, AND there is a null each side of center where the other direction (about 22 deg difference) falls to make the other signals much weaker.

You would have been better off getting the 4221HD or the Antennas Direct DB4e, and aiming between.
Attached Images
File Type: gif cm4221az.gif (9.5 KB, 847 views)
File Type: gif cm4228az.gif (10.0 KB, 850 views)
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Last edited by rabbit73; 22-Aug-2016 at 5:57 PM.
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Old 22-Aug-2016, 5:47 PM   #7
lviperz
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Rabbit73, thank you very much for your detailed explanation. I guess I will get back on the roof and put my old stealth antenna back up while I return the Extreme 80 and get the DB8E.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 22-Aug-2016, 6:01 PM   #8
lviperz
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Hey Rabbit, where did you get those images? I'd like to find one for channel master's stealth antenna.
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Old 22-Aug-2016, 6:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
But is it possible to combine 2 UHF antennas?
Yes, it is possible to combine two UHF antennas aimed in different directions, but I must caution you that it doesn't always work because when the same signals from each antenna reach the combining point, they will interfere with each other if they don't arrive in phase (at the same instant).

This also applies to the two sections of the DB8e. ADTech, who works for Antennas Direct and gives good advice here, says it is most likely to work when the two directions are at right angles (90 deg apart). You must consider it a trial-and-error experiment. If you don't get all the channels after combining that you had when the antennas were separate, it does not work at your location.

The DB8e patterns are here:
https://www.antennasdirect.com/cmss_files/attachmentlibrary/Technical%20Data%20PDF's/DB8E-TDS.pdf

Quote:
here did you get those images?
I got them from hdtvprimer.com as it says in the credit line on the image.

http://www.hdtvprimer.com/antennas/comparing.html

4221
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/cm4221.html

4228
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/cm4228.html

temporary page for 4228HD
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/TemporaryPage.html
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Last edited by rabbit73; 22-Aug-2016 at 6:25 PM.
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Old 22-Aug-2016, 6:12 PM   #10
lviperz
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Rabbit, so would you also recommend the DB8e for my application? The furthest towers are 27 degrees apart.

Edit:

After looking at Antennas Direct, I'm wondering if I wouldn't be better served by the Clearstream 2V. Opinions, thoughts anyone?

Last edited by lviperz; 22-Aug-2016 at 6:34 PM.
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Old 22-Aug-2016, 6:36 PM   #11
rabbit73
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Quote:
I'd like to find one for channel master's stealth antenna.
I don't know where to find it. That is a VHF/UHF antenna with low gain but wider beamwidth. If you are looking for a combo antenna, I suggest the Winegard HD7694P for the strongest channels on your report.

The two antenna solution that I suggest is the DB4e for UHF and the MCM 30-2475 as suggested by Tigerbangs combined with a UVSJ.
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Old 22-Aug-2016, 6:43 PM   #12
lviperz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
I don't know where to find it. That is a VHF/UHF antenna with low gain but wider beamwidth. If you are looking for a combo antenna, I suggest the Winegard HD7694P for the strongest channels on your report.

The two antenna solution that I suggest is the DB4e for UHF and the MCM 30-2475 as suggested by Tigerbangs combined with a UVSJ.
I like the single antenna solution mainly because the more components used equals more points of failure. Besides it's also cheaper.
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Old 23-Aug-2016, 1:17 PM   #13
lviperz
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So I'm trying to learn more to make the right decision. I was researching the Winegard HD7694P rabbit suggested and found this link.

http://www.winegard.com/kbase/uploads/HD7694P.pdf

Am I safe in assuming the chart at the end of the pdf is showing me the beam-width I can expect for the given channels? So considering if the widest width between UHF channels 45,46 and 28 is 21 degrees, I would look at the chart for channels 14 and 50 and see that I would have a beam-width of 61 to as little as 46 degrees?

I'm also assuming the gain is more than sufficient for the distance? Is the gain something I can use to help with distance? Or will that just help with signals being blocked by leaves?

I'm just tired of climbing on the roof and want to make the best choice. I don't mind the two antenna solution if I would get better long term results. Just didn't want to spend that much more if the HD7694P would be more than enough.
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Old 23-Aug-2016, 5:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
I was researching the Winegard HD7694P rabbit suggested and found this link.
That is the correct spec sheet for the 7694.
Quote:
Am I safe in assuming the chart at the end of the pdf is showing me the beam-width I can expect for the given channels?
yes
Quote:
I'm also assuming the gain is more than sufficient for the distance?
The gain should be sufficient for the signal strengths listed on your report, BUT the report assumes your antenna is mounted outside and in the clear with no trees or buildings in the signal path.
Quote:
Is the gain something I can use to help with distance?
Yes, signals are weaker as the distance increases, but I pay more attention to the signal strengths listed than mileage claims. What good is a "50-mile" antenna when you are behind a hill or trees that block a signal?
Quote:
Or will that just help with signals being blocked by leaves?
More antenna gain SOMETIMES helps with trees, but there is no magic antenna that can see through trees.

Quote:
I'm just tired of climbing on the roof and want to make the best choice.
I understand, but there is no way I can offer you a guarantee from Virginia. You haven't even shown us photos of what the trees look like in front of the antenna or what the antenna mounting looks like.

At least we have convinced you that the 4228HD has a beamwidth that is too narrow for the two directions at the same time.
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Last edited by rabbit73; 23-Aug-2016 at 5:38 PM.
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Old 23-Aug-2016, 6:07 PM   #15
lviperz
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Rabbit,

Thanks. I understand you can't give any guarantees. I put the channel master stealthtenna (cm-3010hd) back up last night. I wanted to get the 4228hd down and back in the box while I wait and hopefully get an rma.

Signal is good with that antenna, just wtvw sometimes drops out. It's aimed at about 93 degrees and approx 30 feet in the air on a tower. There are some trees in the way. I will try and get a pic tonight when I get home. I won't be able to get a pic from the actual antenna view, but the tower is up against a flat roof and I can get a shot from about 20 feet. The top of the tower is chest height, almost 20 feet at that point. From there I have a 20 foot telescope pole extended maybe 15 feet.

Thanks again and I will post a pic tonight.
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Old 23-Aug-2016, 10:47 PM   #16
lviperz
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Attached is a pic showing the direction the antenna is pointing. The antenna is about 30ish feet high. The trees are about 100 feet away.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20160823_173244.jpg (403.1 KB, 123 views)
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Old 24-Aug-2016, 2:54 PM   #17
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Thank you for the photo; it helps a lot.



I was wondering about that wire. Is it a power line wire? If it is close to the antenna and you have a high level of power line noise, it might affect TV reception, but it is more likely to affect VHF (ABC) before it would affect UHF.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg lviperzTVFant2_1.jpg (187.2 KB, 686 views)
File Type: jpg lviperzTVFsnip.JPG (114.8 KB, 689 views)
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Last edited by rabbit73; 24-Aug-2016 at 3:02 PM.
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Old 24-Aug-2016, 2:59 PM   #18
lviperz
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FYI. The small clearing just to the right of the antenna is WFIE, WEHT and WEVV. THe tree tops to the far left is WTVW.
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Old 24-Aug-2016, 3:14 PM   #19
rabbit73
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Quote:
FYI. The small clearing just to the right of the antenna is WFIE, WEHT and WEVV. THe tree tops to the far left is WTVW.
Yes, that would make a difference in reception.

When you put the STEALTHtenna back up it had the beamwidth needed, but not enough gain for a location below the tree tops.

Quote:
My other thought for improvement was to try a pre-amp but with the other channels so strong, I thought the pre-amp would actually hurt those signals.
Your thinking is correct. If you used a preamp, and if the antenna was in the clear, you would probably have tuner overload.

Forum member MikeBear had a similar problem with trees. When he raised his antenna above the trees, he lost reception of all channels. He thought his CM7777 preamp had gone bad, but it was just overloaded. He replaced it with a lower gain preamp and he was then OK.

http://forum.tvfool.com/showpost.php...6&postcount=45
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Last edited by rabbit73; 24-Aug-2016 at 3:33 PM.
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Old 24-Aug-2016, 3:28 PM   #20
lviperz
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That is a powerline that went to a house next door. That house is gone and that powerline goes to a pole on the opposite side of my yard but is disconnected. There won't be another house there.

Yes, the stealthtenna picks up WFIE, WEVV and WEHT just fine. Using the HDHR tuners, those stations run at 85% or greater with 95% to 100% signal quality and symbol.

The problem is with WTVW which is to the left. It gets about 65% to 68% strength and drops out often. The antenna is aimed about 90 to 95 degrees, give or take a few degrees.

I thought about going higher, I do have another 10 foot tower section, but I would have to use some guy wire which I'm trying to avoid. No good place for the west guy wire. Plus it's already too close to the old powerlines. Right now if the tower fell in that direction it would barley clear the lines.

The other choice is moving the antenna to a chimney mount on the house. But the house is about 100 years old and has the old style rounded bricks. It's only about 3 feet from the ridge so maybe best I can do is a 10' pole, but probably safer with a 5' pole. That would put me at about 30' high also but maybe 30' further North.
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