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Old 2-Apr-2011, 8:20 PM   #21
GroundUrMast
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The ZAT970 can connect to your TV with RCA Video/L/R cable(s). If your TV has the inputs for that type connection, you should expect a slightly better quality signal when viewing digital sources. You could leave the coax connected between the ZAT970 and the TV to support analog reception, but it needs to be in serviceable condition.

JC is correct to wonder if there is a problem with the coax between the ZAT970 and TV. Poor shielding (caused by a faulty connector for example) may allow the strong RF in your area to interfere. Use of the V/L/R connection would eliminate the RF link between the ZAT970 and your TV, thus eliminating a complex process that may be interfered with.
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Old 2-Apr-2011, 11:33 PM   #22
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Thanks for the advice everyone.

I did try running the Zinwell ZAT-970A D2A converter box from it's RCA outputs directly to Input Video 1 on my TV, and voilą, no interference at all. It seems that the Toshiba DVD/VCR introduces some noise during its input > output route; so by running directly to the TV (Video 1) and the DVD/VCR to Video 2 on the TV, and the Ouput on the TV back to L1 on the VCR, I can watch clear TV and still record it, and use pass-through for the next 5 months. Of note, even pointed at Mt. Seymour N/E direction, I can easily get KBCB and KVOS to the South with the side lobes of my 20 year old Antennacraft "RS VU-160XR VHF/UHF/FM" antenna- they're about 48 miles away in Bellingham, WA.

I put in a new piece of copper RG6 from the Converter box to TV, for analogue pass-through, replacing the push-on patch one used from the VCR to TV, which wasn't copper, or very thick. I should run new RG6 from the antenna to the grounding block, because it is old, but it does look to be in good shape.

And again, thanks for the friendly advice and good suggestions.
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Old 2-Apr-2011, 11:44 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yaguy View Post
...I can easily get KBCB and KVOS to the South with the side lobes of my 20 year old Antennacraft "RS VU-160XR VHF/UHF/FM" antenna- they're about 48 miles away in Bellingham, WA... And again, thanks for the friendly advice and good suggestions.
KVOS is a treat... lots of stuff no one else will carry. I get it on the back side of one of my antennas too.

Glad to hear of your success.
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Old 4-May-2011, 10:03 PM   #24
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Antenna options

I have discovered that my outdoor antenna is an RS VU-160XR. An Antennacraft VHF/FM/UHF made for Radio Shack. I see that the wing nuts look rusted for the balun connection but the feed lines on top look pretty clean. Strangely, it doesn't pick up K24IC-D which is close to KVOS that I easily pick up, but K24IC-D is at -54.9dB vs. KVOS -41.4dB. I'm wondering if this is the current limit for my reception, -41dB.

Has anyone used this antenna in the past and what are their opinions? It looks to be in pretty shape, just one VHF element near the front came a bit loose so I secured it. I was thinking of maybe getting an Antennacraft U8000 because all of my post transition stations are UHF, but I haven't heard of many people using it.

I was also thinking because I have my VU-160XR on a rotator that I could use the U8000 on that or have a fixed mast with a 4 bay pointing to my 63-65 degree transmitters and one 4 bay, or an 8 bay, pointed towards the 145 to 160 degree stations to the south.

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Thanks again.
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Old 4-May-2011, 10:17 PM   #25
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K24IC is a translator for KBTC a PBS affiliate. They carry three virtual channels , PBS in HD, MHz, and TVW a State government information channel.

A 4-bay panel should have no trouble with the three US stations 47 miles south of you. An 8-bay will offer gain you don't need and a narrow forward beam, which is also going to work against you. You might get lucky with a 4-bay and find a compromise aim point that lets you watch all channels but I won't be surprised if you need a rotator or a two antenna system.

The RS VU-160 should have been quite capable also. It sounds like it has problems though. The attached file indicates UHF gain similar to what you would expect from a 4-bay panel.

I see KVOS has started to carry 'ME' network programing instead of local production and locally selected syndicated oldies.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Radio Shack antenna specs.pdf (48.7 KB, 802 views)
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Old 5-May-2011, 1:58 AM   #26
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RE: Antenna options

Thanks GroundUrMast

I think my antenna could benefit from newer outdoor RG6 and a balun. The nice thing about the VU-160XR is that you can have it pointed at Mt. Seymour, 64 degrees, and the side lobes pick up KVOS at about 145 degrees. You're probably quite right that a big, heavy 8 bay isn't going to be as useful in my situation as a quality 4 bay. I had been looking at an 91XG but there seems to be differing opinions as to what it's beam width is. My current Antennacraft 160XR lists a 30 degree beam width, but I think that takes into account the VHF because I have found the corner reflector yagi part is much more directional with the digital channels.
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Old 5-May-2011, 2:44 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yaguy View Post
I had been looking at an 91XG but there seems to be differing opinions as to what it's beam width is.
I'm seeing about a 30-35° beam width on my 2 weakest channels according to the TV Fool report. The 91-XG is hard to beat for picking up weaker channels when surrounded by powerful locals.
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Old 5-May-2011, 4:08 AM   #28
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My personal experience with the XG91 is that it has a relatively narrow forward beam. Don't count on a lucky side lobe, it's inherently very directional. I'm using mine to deal with some tough 2-edge weak signals while being hit hard by strong locals. My XG91 terminates in one of several network attached tuners so I don't have to deal with a rotator or A/B switch.
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Old 5-May-2011, 5:36 AM   #29
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RE: Antenna options

Thanks No Static at all and GroundUrMast

How weak a powered signal can say a combo antenna like an RS VU-160XR be able to pick up without a preamp? Right now, I'm having difficulty with stations below -41 to -45dB. I'm running about 50' of coax to the grounding block outside, another 10' to the 2-way splitter inside, then 15' to the basement TV, and about 25' to the upstairs one. Total: 100'

Can the 300 Ohm to 75 Ohm balun on the antenna go bad over time? It's the stock one that came with the Antennacraft antenna. Age: 20 years.

I'm trying to sleuth my way through it all.
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Old 6-Jun-2011, 6:56 AM   #30
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Multipath

I am on the side of a mountain and the 2 local transmitting towers are about 10 miles east on the mountain, about 1500' further up, so there is the real possibility of multipath- trees, buildings, varying topography. (Analogue does have some 'ghosting' issues that the rotator usually mostly cures.) Would that preclude the Channel Master 4221HD because it has a wide 45° receiving beamwidth? And, of the newer outdoor antennas, which ones would be best for local 9 to 10 mile reception on the leeward side of a mountain and yet still be good for Bellingham, WA, 48 miles south of me. For me, it looks like almost all the stations I will receive will be UHF.
Thanks.

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Old 17-Jul-2011, 5:54 AM   #31
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When would the 91XG be specifically recommended over vs. say the Channel Master 4221HD? I can accomodate either one on the roof, and I have a rotator that works. I suppose my concern is that the 91XG just looks a bit lighter in build quality, but I've read a lot of happy people using it to pull in both local and distant signals. - I could get a few local ones with an indoor antenna, but I like to sometimes try to get the further ones- it's fun. A local store has the Channel Master 4221/4228HD's but not the 91XG- or any other Antennas Direct products. Thanks.
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Old 17-Jul-2011, 7:11 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yaguy View Post
Thanks No Static at all and GroundUrMast

How weak a powered signal can say a combo antenna like an RS VU-160XR be able to pick up without a preamp? Right now, I'm having difficulty with stations below -41 to -45dB. I'm running about 50' of coax to the grounding block outside, another 10' to the 2-way splitter inside, then 15' to the basement TV, and about 25' to the upstairs one. Total: 100'

Can the 300 Ohm to 75 Ohm balun on the antenna go bad over time? It's the stock one that came with the Antennacraft antenna. Age: 20 years.

I'm trying to sleuth my way through it all.
A good quality receiver should be seeing signals at predicted levels in the -60 dBm range (and even lower).

Coax and balun left in the weather for 20 years are ready for some R&R. Yes, they can go bad.

A 4-bay panel antenna (such as the 4221) will have moderate gain and directivity. More gain than you need, and I expect, more than enough directivity (unless you have neighbors who have proven the presence of difficult multi-path interference.

An XG-91 is most often used when dealing with weak (-70 dBm down to -90 or so). The XG-91 is occasionally needed when there is a problem with multi-path, adjacent or co-channel interference. I see none of these in your situation.

All that said, you can hope for an aim point that receives all channels simultaneously but don't bet on it. If your rotator works, you should have no trouble seeing real channels 19, 24 and 35 from Mt. Constitution (Orcas Island, WA) when the antenna faces that direction.
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 17-Jul-2011 at 7:35 AM.
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Old 17-Jul-2011, 8:24 AM   #33
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Tv Antennas and Reception

I know that you know that the American stations that are in the gray and are very weak signal strength are not all UHF stations. Like KCPQ-DT 13 Fox and KSTC-DT 11 The CW and others. You can use the all channel antenna you have to go after the very weak American stations or you can install a Winegard HD7698P antyenna , http://www.canadapost.ca/shopper/ite...7698P?local=en . There are TV DX web sites on the internet , and you can entertain us with how you received KSTP-DT 11 FOX for 3 hours with no dropouts and signal strength meter was at 90% and signal quality meter was at 80%.

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Old 17-Jul-2011, 8:39 AM   #34
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Tv Antennas and Reception

Here is more inflammation about Canada digital and analog Tv , http://www.user.dccnet.com/jonleblan...da_TV_Stations , http://www.tvtechnology.com/article/117022 , http://www.tvtechnology.com/article/105426 , http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum , http://www.saveandreplay.com , http://www.trentondistributors.com , http://www.friends.ca , http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/home-accueil.htm , http://www.kijiji.ca is a interesting Canada web site that has sellers with new and used Tv antennas and other Tv related stuff.

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Old 17-Jul-2011, 6:26 PM   #35
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Thanks GoundUrMast and John Candle

Very good and helpful information.

I suspect I should buckle down and redo the whole antenna setup and hope it lasts as long. I think there could be water getting in the cable or balun area, as after a rain the VHF, particulary VHF 2 (CBUT), has prounounced diagonal lines and the colours seem too bright- almost like when one could manually fine tune a signal on their tv and it was just a little off in one direction. But the next day it's fine. Oddly, this 'water effect' has no effect on the digital channels. It would be nice to get the odd grey area channel. And I would announce here if I did. - Thanks again.
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Old 17-Jul-2011, 9:10 PM   #36
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Tv Antennas and Reception

The digital signal has built in information that corrects reception problems up to a certain point.
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Old 19-Jul-2011, 9:51 PM   #37
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Tv Antennas and Reception

As you already know by searching the internet. Here are some but not all DX websites that you can get involved in. Entertainment and knowledge to keep you going and thinking. http://www.frontiernet.net/~jadale/TVFM%20Dxing.htm , http://www.dxfm.com , http://www.wtfda.org , http://www.dxing.com/tvfmdx.htm , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TV_and_FM_DX , http://www.otacanada.com/cgi-bin/ota_forum.pl , http://www.w9wi.com

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Old 26-Jul-2011, 7:26 AM   #38
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Antenna System

I just thought of this. What about the small grounding block? Do these have a limited lifespan? If so, about how long? I bought mine at Radioshack when I installed everything. I don't think water is getting into it. And I did tape it, but with electrical tape that has stuck on pretty well to this day.
If I put on a new one, I would have it in a weather-proof box, even though it doesn't get rain on it, where it is tight to the house, on the north side.
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Old 5-Aug-2011, 6:01 PM   #39
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Combining Antenna Masts

Can two 10' mast sections (without the tapered end) be combined by other means? I thought that U-Bolts and clamps over a 1' or so overlap area would be sufficient if the lower 12' is below my porch roofline, but there could be a better and safer way, so I'm asking. - There has to be a good way of doing this, short of making a small tower.
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Old 5-Aug-2011, 6:21 PM   #40
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Lacking the swedged ends implies that the material may not be TV antenna mast. What material are you using? Without precise dimensions it's hard to offer any helpful advise.
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