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nickgalliart 16-Aug-2016 6:33 PM

Having trouble receiving VHF signals.
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I recently cut the cord. I installed a Winegard FlatWave FL6550A in in my attic with approx 60 feet of RG6 cable, the amp that came with it, and a 3-way splitter. With this setup I was able to receive all channels but KSNW-DT, it would go in and out.

After talking with Antenna's Direct, I purchased a DB8e, VHF retro Kit, and CDA4 Distribution amp. After this was set up, I now get all UHF stations with no issues (70-90%) however, all VHF stations are unwatchable (KAKE-DT, KPTS, and KSCW-DT). I have the DB8E hooked up into a VHF/UHF combiner, VHF retro Kit, approx 60ft RG6 cable to the Winegard amp that came with the FlatWave, then to CDA4 distribution amp. I use 3 outputs on the distribution amp and have one terminated. I have tried the set up with none of the amps, all of the amps, both of the amps, and with either the Winegard or CDA4 hooked up individually. I get the best gains with both the distribution amp and the Winegard connected. 23.xxDB vs. 26.xxDB. (these numbers are coming from the signal analyzer on my TV.

The DB8e is pointed at 204 degrees SW and I have tried the VHF kit in several locations and directions with no luck. The first VHF kit was thought to be bad after some testing with Antenna’s direct and they sent me a replacement. I hooked that kit up and now the channels, at times, try to come in a bit but are still unwatchable. After talking with the tech last night, she suggested that I try a FM bank reduction filter from their site. She said that I have 3 FM antenna’s within 2 miles of my location that could be causing the problem. My goal is to get the 3 VHF channels I listed above with my antenna staying in my attic with all my current UHF channels. The antenna has to penetrate plywood, and siding (nothing reflective that I know of) and a large oak tree about 30 yards from my house. Do any of you have a recommendation if the FM trap does not work? Any help and expertise would be appreciated! I will report back after I install the FM trap.

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ADTech 16-Aug-2016 6:59 PM

Try the FM trap first. No use in speculating until that has been question has been resolved. I would agree that FMI is a probable suspect along with other, less easily identifiable RF noise sources. Hopefully, you were hooked up with one of our FM filters and not left to acquire one on your own as both of the potentially available alternatives aren't very likely to help much in your location. Hook the FM filter anywhere between the output of the U/V combiner and the input of the CDA4 that is conveniently accessible.

Skip whatever you're calling the "Flatwave" amp. As best I recall, it's amp is internal any they provide you with a power inserter that has to be plugged into a USB port or power supply.

FWIW, I'd skip ALL amplification, your signals are already calculated to be VERY strong and you may simply be overloading your tuner.

rabbit73 17-Aug-2016 11:31 AM


have the DB8E hooked up into a VHF/UHF combiner,VHF retro Kit
What combiner is that?

Doesn't the VHF Kit also contain a combiner?

Are you using two combiners, when only one is needed?

What is connected to what?

nickgalliart 17-Aug-2016 12:14 PM


Originally Posted by rabbit73 (Post 55881)
What combiner is that?

Doesn't the VHF Kit also contain a combiner?

Are you using two combiners, when only one is needed?

What is connected to what?

Sorry for the confusion, I am only using the combiner included with the VHF kit. One model of VHF kit has an integrated combiner which was defective when I received it. Antenna's Direct replaced it with another model that actually has a separate combiner and I am currently using that one.

nickgalliart 17-Aug-2016 12:24 PM

LED bulbs?
Last night one of the VHF stations was coming in clearly and I was watching it (KPTS). I noticed that it became unwatchable when my wife turned on the lights in the kitchen. I had her turn them off again and picture became instantly clear and channel was watchable again. My antenna is in the attic above my kitchen and I have 8 LED pot lights in that ceiling. This seems to be an interference problem with LED lights. Do LED lights interfere with just VHF signals? How far does the antenna need to be away from an LED light source not to get interference?

rabbit73 17-Aug-2016 12:44 PM

Good detective work, Nick! You have found the source of the problem.

LED lights and CFL lights can cause interference.

They raise the noise level on VHF which reduces the SNR of the signals to less than the minimum of 15 dB required.

You will need to experiment and move the antenna away from the interference source to find out how far away is needed.

That type of interference affects VHF signals more than UHF signals because it is usually weaker as the frequency increases for the higher channels.

It can be radiated through the air, conducted through the power lines, or both. I suspect it is mostly radiated through the air in your case. When it is conducted through the power lines, a power line filter can help when placed on the AC line to the lights or on the TV reception equipment.

Sometimes you can use a battery operated portable radio tuned to a vacant frequency on the AM broadcast band to listen for interference. Try the low 550 end first, and then the 1600 end. The antenna in the portable radio can act as a direction finder. You can also listen on a portable radio that can tune the VHF Aircraft band, which is also AM. An FM radio doesn't work as well.

Forum member MikeBear had a similar VHF interference problem that was caused by a battery charger; he listened on his car AM radio.

One channel issue, high VHF


Originally Posted by MikeBear (Post 52500)
Ok, I did find heavy interference (buzzing) on AM band at 530. It starts as I drive into my 220' long driveway, and stays as I get into my garage. This parallels the power line wires going to my house.

Anyway, I read on Denny's antenna site (he's only about 35 miles from me) about another person that unplugged a "power tender" charger, and got rid of the interference. I also have a $20 Harbor Freight power tender charging a battery in my garage. I unplugged it, and the AM interference stopped IMMEDIATELY!

My wife is watching tv right now, so I can't check VHF 12 to see if this did anything for that issue. However, since my car radio could pick this up from over 200ft away, I'm betting (I hope!) it might now be cured.

Does/can interference like this actually BROADCAST itself along the incoming utility power cables?

nickgalliart 17-Aug-2016 1:50 PM

The LED bulbs I have are probably 3 years old and I am guessing are not shielded very well. This website suggests Cree bulbs for low EMI using LEDs.

I will have trouble moving the DB8e but can easily move the VHF kit to a different location and test

If all else fails, I will move the kitchen back to incandescent bulbs. Incandescent bulbs should take care of the problem if the antenna move does not, correct?

rabbit73 17-Aug-2016 1:52 PM


Good research.

Please let us know what works on this same thread.

rabbit73 17-Aug-2016 2:11 PM

More research

nickgalliart 18-Aug-2016 12:07 AM

I put Incandescent bulbs in the kitchen and still the same result as with the LEDs when I turned on the switch. I pulled out an AM radio and put it on the 530 and 1600 bands as suggested and there is a large buzzing noise when the switch gets turned on. I have 3 dimmer switches just like the one in the kitchen and buzzing happens when any of them are on. I will try moving the VHF antenna later this week and check back.

Dimmers and antennas don't mix well:

Here are the dimmers I have:

rabbit73 18-Aug-2016 12:32 AM

Ah, yes; dimmers.

More good detective work, Nick.

Glad the radio tip helped.

I used to use a Variac, a variable autotransformer; no switching noise from them like with triacs. They are big and expensive, but no noise.

Thread: Dimmer switches
good post

his article:

Nascarken 18-Aug-2016 1:20 PM

Hi everyone and don't for get about the. Outdoor !!street lights !!on the poles in front of your house or down the street,LOL VHF don't like that!!!That's WHY you put the outdoor tv antennas up higher, dam THEM light's LoL,well everyone have a good day

nickgalliart 21-Aug-2016 1:45 AM

Update: Changed out the dimmer for a basic switch and still had the same problem. It turns out it was a 2 fold problem and the LED bulbs were also causing the interference even with the basic switch. I put some incandescents in and everything seems to be working pretty good. I had a few newer LED bulbs, Great Value from Walmart, and they even worked with out issue. My 3 year old Lighting Science bulbs from the Home Depot were not shielded like is required by the government now, probably why they were discontinued. I plan on replacing all the bulbs with newer LEDs.

rabbit73 21-Aug-2016 2:11 AM

Thanks for the update, Nick.

Good job, well done!

nickgalliart 21-Aug-2016 10:20 PM

Not sure if this is helpful for others....I purchased Great Value BR30 LED non-dimmable bulbs (since no dimmer) and everything is still functioning with out interference. I also ended up moving the VHF retro kit higher and away from the BR8e and received much stronger signal.

Here is the link:

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