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Old 29-Jul-2016, 9:58 PM   #1
ledude
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Talking Advise on replacing my outdoor antenna

Hi all.

I have been looking to replace my current outdoor antenna. Not sure what's wrong with it. The channels I used to receive clearly before, now its going in and out. I'm a bit puzzled with it. I used to have the original Direct Clear Stream 2 that I got from Costco. Price is pretty up there when I paid for it. But then I have to move a bit North to where I use to live and it doesn't work anymore after. So I replaced it with this RCA that I bought at Radio Shack for like 30 bux (Can't remember the part number). It was working great for a year or two but lately, the signal it receives was like in and out. I'm guessing the tree across the freeway grew taller and started to block the signal. Any suggestion on the antenna I can replace it with. Preferably not some old fashion giant antenna that I saw on someone else's house. :-) I live about 16-20 miles North of DT Seattle. Here is my tvfool link.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e2cb943c35ece9

Not sure what else I can provide. I'm a noob on this kind of stuffs even though I've been using OTA for quite some time. I'm just amazed at how some of you were able to see what's in front of the direct line just by looking at the map.. :-) I've a long way to learn. :-)

Also inside my house I use a 8-Port Bi-Directional Cable TV HDTV Amplifier Splitter Signal Booster with Passive Return to split the signals even though in reality, most of the time I only use it for 1 tv. I bought this spiltter for amplifying the signal.

Any suggestion? Many thanks everyone.
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Old 29-Jul-2016, 10:13 PM   #2
Jake V
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If you are only feeding the antenna signal to one television then I'd remove the "8-Port Bi-Directional Cable TV HDTV Amplifier Splitter Signal Booster with Passive Return". Unless you are someday going to feed 8 televisions there is no need for it. Try feeding directly from the antenna directly to the one television to see what happens.

I'd also check to make sure the connections are good.

Questions:

1. Where is your antenna located? Attic? Roof? I see it's at 15 feet above the ground.
2. What direction is it aimed? Does it "look" into trees or buildings?
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Old 29-Jul-2016, 10:36 PM   #3
ledude
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Thanks for the fast reply Jake.

I'll try to remove the amplifier to see whether that helps. The antenna is located on the roof outside pointing toward DT Seattle where majority of the big 3 channels located (ABC, NBC, CBS). I tried to point to between the tree across the freeway but it's hard. Especially when the wind is blowing. Connection is especially good when I'm touching the antenna but as soon as I'm down from the roof, the reception started to degrade again. :-(

So will replacing antenna to a better one solve the problem or it's not going to make any different because of the trees? Please advise?
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Old 30-Jul-2016, 5:07 PM   #4
rabbit73
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Quote:
Connection is especially good when I'm touching the antenna but as soon as I'm down from the roof, the reception started to degrade again.
When your body is near or touching the antenna, it can affect the reception in a negative or positive way. We see this often with indoor antennas too.



The location of the antenna is critical; you need to put it where the signal is strongest, which might not be where you want to mount it.
Quote:
It was working great for a year or two but lately, the signal it receives was like in and out. I'm guessing the tree across the freeway grew taller and started to block the signal.
Your guess is probably true. Trees do serious harm to TV signals.

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

Quote:
Any suggestion on the antenna I can replace it with.
There is no magic antenna that can "see" through trees.

Can you show us a photo of your antenna and a photo of what the tree looks like when your antenna is aimed in that direction?
Quote:
So will replacing antenna to a better one solve the problem or it's not going to make any different because of the trees? Please advise?
Maybe, but first we need to see your present antenna and it might be necessary to move it, or go higher.

What we would like to know is your exact location by address or coordinates so that we can draw the green signal lines on the satellite image. We don't expect you to give that information in the open forum, but you might be willing to give it in a PM (Private Message).

For example, a house in your area:



Besides the tree you also have a hill in the signal path.
The transmitter is on the left and your location is on the right.
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...ALLTV%26n%3d10

Attached Images
File Type: gif comic.gif (55.3 KB, 1186 views)
File Type: jpg ledudeTVFmap.JPG (108.8 KB, 1140 views)
File Type: jpg ledudeTVFgreenlines.JPG (86.3 KB, 1114 views)
File Type: jpg ledudeTVFp2KOMO.JPG (105.9 KB, 1063 views)
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Last edited by rabbit73; 1-Aug-2016 at 6:01 PM.
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Old 30-Jul-2016, 7:14 PM   #5
rabbit73
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You have some strong local FM signals that might interfere with TV reception, especially VHF-High real channels 7-13.

http://www.fmfool.com/modeling/tmp/f...9/Radar-FM.png
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Last edited by rabbit73; 31-Jul-2016 at 12:09 AM.
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Old 31-Jul-2016, 3:03 AM   #6
ledude
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Unhappy

rabbit73.

Thanks for the detail explanation. I'm attaching the picture of my place including the location of the antenna. I also PM you my home address just now. FYI, The red dot on the roof is exactly where I placed my outdoor antenna. If you zoom the picture, you can actually see the antenna there. I pretty much used the old dish network pole that was there with the house. I just removed the dish and replaced it with my antenna.



Gosh, its so unfortunate that there's a strong local FM signals that's affecting the TV reception. I noticed it lately, when I watched the local PBS channel at 9-*. The strange thing is channel 11-* for CW is not affected at all.

The trees that blocked most of the signal are the trees across the freeway. Nothing I can do about it I guess.

Out of curiosity, is there anyway I can resolve this issue with different hardware without having the move the antenna? Like buying a different kind of antenna or I'm pretty much SOL on this one?

Thanks again for your help rabbit73. You are amazing. :-)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg mapledude.jpg (301.0 KB, 1143 views)

Last edited by ledude; 31-Jul-2016 at 3:07 AM.
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Old 31-Jul-2016, 7:42 PM   #7
rabbit73
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Thank you for your kind words; sometimes I can help and sometimes not. I too get frustrated if I am not able to help.

Thanks for the image with the green lines. It does look like the trees might be a problem.

Quote:
The red dot on the roof is exactly where I placed my outdoor antenna. If you zoom the picture, you can actually see the antenna there. I pretty much used the old dish network pole that was there with the house. I just removed the dish and replaced it with my antenna.
I can't see the antenna or the pole, but I will assume it is where the marker is located.



Quote:
The trees that blocked most of the signal are the trees across the freeway. Nothing I can do about it I guess.
I see trees across the freeway, trees on your side of the freeway, and trees behind your house. Also, the channels you want are not all in the same direction, so you need more than one clear path through the trees.



Looking SSW:



Quote:
Nothing I can do about it I guess.
I think you need to get your antenna higher.

We still don't know what your antenna looks like, so it is impossible to make a suggestion about a better antenna.

Can you show us a picture of your antenna, or as second best maybe give us a link to one that looks like it?
http://www.rcaantennas.net/outdoor/
http://www.walmart.com/ip/RCA-ANT702...tenna/34312397
http://www.antennacraft.com/Antennas/AntennasHBU.html
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ledudeTVFgreenlines2.JPG (202.7 KB, 1074 views)
File Type: jpg ledudeTVFmarker.JPG (43.5 KB, 1103 views)
File Type: jpg ledudeTVFlookingSSW.JPG (89.1 KB, 1057 views)
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Last edited by rabbit73; 31-Jul-2016 at 8:13 PM.
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Old 31-Jul-2016, 9:30 PM   #8
ledude
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Thanks rabbit73.

Here is the different angle of the antenna placement. The black cross is where the antenna location on the roof. As you can see, trees in front of the antenna (lower than antenna I think) and another tree behind it and its taller than antenna. But I tried to point the antenna to in between the trees as much as I could.



Here are pictures of the antenna from different angles. As you can see, it sit right on the edge of the roof to make it easier for me to readjust it when I have to.





At the time I purchased it, my research shown that, that antenna is the best antenna in the market and its cheap. I bought it from Radio Shack and I think it's an RCA antenna. Its only like 30 something bucks. Hope the pictures help a bit.

Many thanks again for all of your help rabbit73. You are awesome as always. :-)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg mapledude.jpg (448.8 KB, 1128 views)
File Type: jpg 20160731_140349.jpg (105.7 KB, 1234 views)
File Type: jpg 20160731_140628.jpg (70.8 KB, 1786 views)

Last edited by ledude; 31-Jul-2016 at 9:39 PM.
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Old 31-Jul-2016, 11:50 PM   #9
rabbit73
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Thanks for the excellent photos. Your antenna is an RCA ANT751 for UHF and VHF-High channels, which is what you have.

If you want to upgrade, you might consider the Winegard HD7694P aimed at 187 degrees magnetic.

But first, you might want to raise your RCA antenna by adding a 5 ft mast to the satellite mount. I wouldn't go any higher, even though the mount has braces.

If you want to try the Winegard HD7694P, I suggest a mast coming up from the deck supported at the base and supported near the roof by a wall bracket. If the antenna doesn't have a clear path there, move it.



Quote:
I noticed it lately, when I watched the local PBS channel at 9-*. The strange thing is channel 11-* for CW is not affected at all.
Not too strange with 2Edge signals and your location behind a hill. Channel 9 is running less power and its antenna is at a lower elevation.

9
Effective ERP: 21.700 kW (Adjusted according to your location)
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...dALLTV%26n%3d4

11
Effective ERP: 99.932 kW (Adjusted according to your location)
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...dALLTV%26n%3d3

9
http://www.rabbitears.info/tvq.php?r...ms&facid=33749
Antenna Height Above Average Terrain: 817' 249m
Antenna Height Above Ground Level: 524' 159.9m
Antenna Height Above Mean Sea Level: 934' 284.9m

11
http://www.rabbitears.info/tvq.php?r...ms&facid=23428
Antenna Height Above Average Terrain: 904' 275.7m
Antenna Height Above Ground Level: 609' 185.8m
Antenna Height Above Mean Sea Level: 1021' 311.3m

Attached Images
File Type: jpg ledudeTVFmast.JPG (61.8 KB, 1115 views)
File Type: jpg ledudeTVF9and11.JPG (98.0 KB, 1076 views)
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Last edited by rabbit73; 1-Aug-2016 at 6:04 PM.
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Old 1-Aug-2016, 4:04 AM   #10
bobsgarage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ledude View Post
Thanks rabbit73.

Here is the different angle of the antenna placement. The black cross is where the antenna location on the roof. As you can see, trees in front of the antenna (lower than antenna I think) and another tree behind it and its taller than antenna. But I tried to point the antenna to in between the trees as much as I could.

Here are pictures of the antenna from different angles. As you can see, it sit right on the edge of the roof to make it easier for me to readjust it when I have to.


At the time I purchased it, my research shown that, that antenna is the best antenna in the market and its cheap. I bought it from Radio Shack and I think it's an RCA antenna. Its only like 30 something bucks. Hope the pictures help a bit.

Many thanks again for all of your help rabbit73. You are awesome as always. :-)
I it possible to put a tripod up on the peak of your roof? That would get you 8 feet higher with out a mast, but with a 10-15 foot mast you would change the whole game.

3 foot tripods are cheap and easy to work with, but consider a 5 foot at Solid Signal, cheaper and heavier duty than most 3 footers and at 30 bucks, can't beat it:

http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=sky6046

The tripod has extra bracing inside. That and some schedule 40 mast could do the trick, without guy wires. Low budget fix. Just make sure that at least one mast leg goes into a rafter.

The satellite mast was put in the best place for satellite reception. Those trees are going to require some height.
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Old 1-Aug-2016, 5:21 PM   #11
ledude
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Wow the details rabbit73. That's awesome. Thank you. I'll definitely consider Winegard HD7694P. That's a good start.

bobsgarage, thanks for the suggestion with tripod and the answer is yes it is possible. One thing I'm thinking of is actually to figure out a way to extend that pipe mount I currently use for say another 3-5 feet if possible. There're already holes on the roof from that mounts and I hesitate to drill another holes to mount a new tripod. I'd rather figure out a way to extend the current mount if all possible.

rabbit73, yes it is possible to put another mast on the deck, it just makes it look a bit too crowded though and another challenge for the future is that I'm thinking of building some sort of roof to cover that deck. So that may not be an ideal solution.

So, any suggestion on how to safely extend the pipe on this satellite mount though?



Just curious.
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Old 1-Aug-2016, 6:15 PM   #12
ADTech
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The sat mounts with the two support legs are incredibly robust. Feel free to add a 5' mast extension (find a pipe that fits either inside or outside the existing mount tube). For that small of an antenna, a sturdy 10' extension wouldn't worry me, it still would be less force than the dish imparted due to wind loading.
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Old 1-Aug-2016, 6:23 PM   #13
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Please try to limit the width of your photos to 800 pixels; crop or resize. Any wider and it makes the posts too wide.

I added a terrain profile for KOMO which shows the hill; see post #4.
Quote:
So, any suggestion on how to safely extend the pipe on this satellite mount though?
I already answered that. (And I see that ADTech also answered that.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
But first, you might want to raise your RCA antenna by adding a 5 ft mast to the satellite mount. I wouldn't go any higher, even though the mount has braces.
Quote:
I'm thinking of building some sort of roof to cover that deck. So that may not be an ideal solution.
Understood. The ideal solution is the one that gives you good signals with the least effort. You haven't found it yet. Maybe a mast that comes up from the ground beside the deck, which would be better than making more holes in your roof.

You must be prepared to try a few experiments before you see any improvement.

No effort; no improvement.
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Last edited by rabbit73; 1-Aug-2016 at 7:45 PM.
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Old 1-Aug-2016, 6:36 PM   #14
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You might want to experiment with a preamp for the 751 before going to a larger antenna. Consider the Channel Master 7778, the RCA TVPRAMP1R, or the Antennas Direct Juice. The 7778 and the RCA have an FM filter, but the Juice does not. The Juice, however, is resistant to overload and does have a 4G LTE filter to attenuate cell phone signals that might interfere with TV reception.

The RCA is very inexpensive, and usually does well, but has a history of quality control problems, including a problem with the combined/separate switch. It sometimes doesn't make good contact with a VHF antenna when in the separate position, but you will be using it in the combined position.

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.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ledude View Post
Gosh, its so unfortunate that there's a strong local FM signals that's affecting the TV reception. I noticed it lately, when I watched the local PBS channel at 9-*. The strange thing is channel 11-* for CW is not affected at all.
I don't consider your FM signals strong enough to be a serious threat to TV reception, but I did say they might be a problem. If they are a problem, the FM filter in the preamp should be sufficient. The FM signals are not strong enough to cause fundamental overload. It is, however, possible that the second harmonic of a strong FM signal might interfere with a VHF-High signal.

http://www.fmfool.com/modeling/tmp/f...9/Radar-FM.png

Channel 9 is 186 to 192 MHz

KMPS-FM is on 94.1 MHz

Its second harmonic is 188.2 MHz, which falls in the middle of Channel 9.

Grounding the coax with a grounding block will reduce the chance of interference.

I hope your TV has a signal strength indicator to tell you if you are making any progress.
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Last edited by rabbit73; 1-Aug-2016 at 7:41 PM.
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Old 1-Aug-2016, 6:48 PM   #15
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That mast doesn't look like it's vertical. In fact, in the bottom pic, the camera is almost aligned with the topmost part, where the antenna is connected, but the bottom of the gutter, which is normally flat and horizontal, looks to be very much not square with the camera. Is the antenna horizontal, or nearly so?
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Old 1-Aug-2016, 10:04 PM   #16
ledude
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Thanks everyone for the suggestion. Let me find a pipe that will fit into the mast to extend it up another 5ft if possible per AdTech suggestion.

I'll also try the pre-amp per your suggestion rabbit73. Hopefully that helps a bit. and yes my tv has the signal strength indicator so that kind of help a bit but it's still a pain just because I have to go up and down the ladder to readjust it. I'll also find a Coax grounding box to help out with the static and perhaps find a way to ground the mast in case of lightning. I guess I need to find something to put in between so if lightning ever strike directly, at least my TV won't blow up.

tomfoolery, I angle the antenna up a bit like around 10 degree because I was hoping that it can avoid the tree in front a bit. Doesn't look like it's working.

Thanks everyone for all of your help. You are all very helpful and I really appreciate it.
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Old 17-Aug-2016, 3:23 AM   #17
ledude
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Hi AdTech.

I'm wondering whether you would mind answering one more question. What's typically the size of the pipe that you would suggest that will fit into the mast that's already installed?



Preferably the one that can slip tightly in the middle of the mast instead of outside? Any suggestion? Please advise? Many thanks.
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Old 17-Aug-2016, 2:13 PM   #18
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Could I answer this also?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ledude View Post
Hi AdTech.

I'm wondering whether you would mind answering one more question. What's typically the size of the pipe that you would suggest that will fit into the mast that's already installed?



Preferably the one that can slip tightly in the middle of the mast instead of outside? Any suggestion? Please advise? Many thanks.
Just a supplemental answer, some of the other guys will have some suggestions here.

Looking at your sat mount, It looks as if the lower mast is almost vertical and adjustable? The top half angle looks too severe to sleeve in a pipe.

I would go up with a level and see If I could level the mast and if so, lop off the top angle and sleeve in a pipe on what is left of the leveled mast. Measure the "stub" ID and go to a hardware store and see what fits inside somewhat tightly (enough to slide in with tapping or at least no wobble).

Try to get a heavier wall pipe like Schedule 20 or better yet 40. Sleeve it and either clamp it or drill a bolt hole though to keep the inner pipe from slipping and twisting.

Look for water pipe, electrical conduit or fence pipe. Galvanized pipe only, as other pipes can rust making a orange mess streaking on your shingles, and possibly your gutter.


If you cant find a pipe to fit inside snugly, try to slide one on the outside of your existing pipe. If you cant find a pipe that slides in or on snugly, you could Crush the two together by overtightening a proper sized muffler clamp on the outside. you can paint it afterwards because most commonly available clamps rust quickly. Some fencing clamps are galvanized. .


Look for water pipe, electrical conduit or fence pipe. Commercial grade antenna mast at Ace hardware is thin and you could bend it over your knee!

As AD Tech stated, at least 5 feet, 10 feet would not be out of the question, as your antenna is very small representing low wind load.

Try it, it is cheap and quick. And, if that doesn't work, you will select a physical larger antenna that will need roof clearance anyhow.

Last edited by bobsgarage; 17-Aug-2016 at 2:15 PM.
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Old 17-Aug-2016, 2:50 PM   #19
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Have you measured the OD and ID of the mount tubing?

Have you tried a 5 ft section of ordinary TV mast that is tapered at the lower end?
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Old 17-Aug-2016, 6:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
What's typically the size of the pipe that you would suggest that will fit into the mast that's already installed?
That would depend on the ID of the pipe you have, you'd have to measure it. It appears to be a common 2" OD DirecTV mount, so the ID is likely 1 7/8".
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