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Old 4-Nov-2015, 4:32 PM   #1
lets go red
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Western WI
Posts: 21
Need help with some questions

Just a few questions:

Current signal plot: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...8e039018d29295

We currently have an HBU-55 + RCA TVPRAMP-1R mounted in the backyard about 13 feet up.
(previous thread for reference: http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=14839)

1. Recently the woman of the house expressed her need for KSTP news (rf 35) is there a effective way to make that happen (with out going too crazy)? (Avoiding city hall to get a building permit is a non-negotiable, as is attaching anything to the house's exterior or attic.)

2. With the coming FCC re-pack would it be prudent to look into an antenna with VHF-lo capabilities?

3. WCCO (rf 32) was coming in about 70% of the time through the summer and fall but now that the leaves are mostly gone the signal has become quite hard to receive at all despite the Indian summer this year. Does anyone have any ideas on why?

4. How is the local cable co. (http://www.ntec.net/NtecCable.php) allowed to get away with not offering a OTA replacement package, per FCC?

Thanks

Last edited by lets go red; 4-Nov-2015 at 5:57 PM.
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Old 4-Nov-2015, 7:00 PM   #2
rabbit73
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Location: S.E. VA
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Quote:
We currently have an HBU-55 + RCA TVPRAMP-1R mounted in the backyard about 13 feet up.
Any trees or buildings in the signal paths?

Quote:
Recently the woman of the house expressed her need for KSTP news (rf 35) is there a effective way to make that happen (with out going too crazy)?
We don't know yet. Your signals are very weak. You would need an antenna facing 299 degrees magnetic. Why don't you just aim it there for everything?

What channels do you get now? Where is the antenna aimed?

Does she want that ABC station for local news instead of WQOW?

Quote:
(Avoiding city hall to get a building permit is a non-negotiable,
The FCC says you can install it as high as 12 ft above the roof peak; who says you can't?:
https://www.fcc.gov/guides/over-air-...n-devices-rule

Quote:
With the coming FCC re-pack would it be prudent to look into an antenna with VHF-lo capabilities?
Hold off on that. VHF-low antennas are very big. Wait until after the FCC auction.
Quote:
How is the local cable co. (http://www.ntec.net/NtecCable.php) allowed to get away with not offering a OTA replacement package, per FCC?
The Ntec price for the basic package is waaay too much. Our basic is $26 per month.

The FCC changed the must-carry rules:
http://www.cnet.com/news/fcc-allows-...le-tv-signals/
https://www.fcc.gov/document/commiss...on-prohibition
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Last edited by rabbit73; 4-Nov-2015 at 7:46 PM.
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Old 5-Nov-2015, 3:57 PM   #3
lets go red
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Location: Western WI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
Any trees or buildings in the signal paths?
There are trees, but the ones that matter are mostly on my neighbors property.

Quote:
Your signals are very weak. You would need an antenna facing 299 degrees magnetic. Why don't you just aim it there for everything?
It usually is aimed in that direction.

Quote:
What channels do you get now?
From MSP: KARE & KMSP- stable, WCCO & WUCW- 70% stable until the leaves fell, and the rest only come in when the weather is just right. RF 23.7 (an artifact of KTCI's datacasting) seems to always pop up in most channel scans done, even when the antenna is facing away from Shoreview. KTCI itself rarely ever comes in.

From EAU/LAX: WQOW & WHWC- LOS'esq stable, both are usually received when aimed in any direction (WHWC can be caught with a pair of set top bunny ears), WEUX- stable, WEAU- stable (despite the plot saying it is nearly impossible to receive), and WKBT- unstable, only seen when it is below freezing.

Quote:
Does she want that ABC station for local news instead of WQOW?
Yes.

Quote:
The FCC says you can install it as high as 12 ft above the roof peak; who says you can't?:
https://www.fcc.gov/guides/over-air-...n-devices-rule
I am aware of the OTARD rules, but we would really prefer to have the antenna remain in the backyard and not be attached to the house itself. There are low, active utility lines and trees close to the home. As well as tight property borders and the roofing and siding are fairly new.

Last edited by lets go red; 5-Nov-2015 at 4:26 PM.
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Old 5-Nov-2015, 6:42 PM   #4
rabbit73
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: S.E. VA
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I'm running out of ideas. There are few more things you can try; no guarantee:
1. Raise the antenna higher
2. Try another location in the yard with a temporary mast; you might find a hot spot if you are able to monitor signal strength
3. Try another preamp like the Channel Master 7777
4. Make sure the coax shield is grounded to reject any electrical interference

If the antenna is outside, the coax shield should be grounded with a grounding block that is connected to the house electrical system ground with 10 gauge copper wire for electrical safety and to reject interference. For further compliance with the electrical code (NEC), the mast should also be grounded in a similar manner to drain any buildup of static charge, but the system will not survive a direct strike.

__________________
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Last edited by rabbit73; 5-Nov-2015 at 6:45 PM.
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Old 11-Nov-2015, 1:20 AM   #5
StephanieS
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Posts: 442
Greetings,

This is a tough situation as Rabbit articulates. If I were in your position, I would raise the antenna as high as I could and take a two antenna tact separating the bands out. Being Minneapolis is so weak and in 2 edge conditions, especially on UHF I would purchase an Antennas Direct DB8e and point it magnetic 299 for UHF. For VHF, I'd continue with HBU55 at the same heading.

The HBU55 was a nice antenna, but when it comes to 2-edge UHF with very weak signals the most aggressive UHF only design is best employed. The HBU's UHF ability is somewhat less than the DB8e, especially if the signal bounces around a bit.

I would combine both signals at the mast, then feed the combined lead into the already suggested Channel master 7777. The RCA preamp is good, but you need the most aggressive on the consumer market.

If the trees are in your path, anything you do to get above them or reduce their blockage will increase chances of better reception. UHF especially is prone to being reflected by branches and foliage. It's not unusual to see trees obliterate strong signals to the point of non-reception. You might also call and ask to speak to WCCO's engineering staff. It is possible they are operating at reduced power. It's always a wise step to make sure they aren't experiencing issues before you tear your system apart.

In short:
Antenna 1: Antennas Direct DB8e (UHF) mounted at top of pole
Antenna 2: HBU55 (VHF) 3 - 4' below of DB8e
Combine signals via EU385CF VHF/UHF combiner
Channel Master 7777 preamp.

With this said and you signals being in the single digits to negative digits, don't expect perfect reception. Atmospheric fluctuations may make these signals come and go. My weakest signal is at -82dbm it fluctuates in strength during the day. I keep it in my Samsung 99% of the time. Yours are even weaker that that. Thus, some pixellation and drop outs the UHF signals I would expect.

KTSP would fall under the paragraph above with this setup. In theory, you could get it up to a decodable level. However, I wouldn't expect it to be 100%.

Go wave the clause the FCC says you can install a roof antenna without repercussions. Challenge the Association on this.

Bottom line you must elevate the antenna(s) to improve your chances. Your weak signals require every bit of assistance they can get.

Cheers.

Last edited by StephanieS; 11-Nov-2015 at 1:35 AM.
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