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Old 7-Feb-2014, 12:24 AM   #1
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Antenna Help/recommendation in NC - Additional Help Needed

I need to get rid of Dish. I've been trying to get OTA channels with some success but I'm gonna need help putting it all together.

Here is my TV Signal Analysis:

I would like to get the following channels:
WSPA Channel 7 CBS
WNTV Channel 9 PBS
WHNS Channel 21 Fox
WLOS Channel 13 ABC
WYFF Channel 36 NBC

My house is a single story ranch and I plan on attaching the antenna to the Brick Chimney that goes through the roof at its highest point. I'm estimating it will be 25 feet off the ground. I have one TV and will have some sort of DVR or VHS recorder. (I think that's the biggest thing about Dish I'm going to miss.) I do not have any way to get power into the attic so any pre-amp will need to go at the TV.

WLOS channel 13 is going to be the difficult one. Its over 36 miles and VHF.

I have tried a Leaf Ultimate inside the house. I got 3 of the channels i'm trying for plus a few extras. The TV found 27 channels when I did a search.

I tried a Terk OMNITVO on the roof and I got 4 of the 5 channels i'm trying for plus a whole lot of extras. The TV found 36 channels. but not 13.

Can anyone recommend an antenna or multiple antennas and a way to join the signals so that I can receive my desired channels?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Last edited by ncfj40; 27-Jun-2014 at 2:15 PM. Reason: Additional Help needed
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Old 8-Feb-2014, 9:45 AM   #2
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Greetings ncfj40,

Glad to help you out. Looking at your TVfool plot, I think you are in good shape to receive the channels you want.

WSPA CBS RF 7: excellent signal strength
WNTV PBS RF 9: excellent signal strength
WHNS FOX RF 21: 1-edge moderate signal strength
W05AC RF 32 (retransmission of WLOS ABC): Good signal strength
W11AH-D RF 11 (retransmission of WYFF NBC): moderate signal strength.

You have a mix of excellent signal strengths and some moderate signal strengths to contend with. You also have a mix of high VHF and UHF channels. Further, you'll notice you aren't getting ABC and NBC from their originating stations. Instead, you are getting them via translators. These are small retransmissions of the above signals to fill in their signal where the originating stations aren't receivable. Also, W05AC lists as a construction permit on RF channel 32. It may or may not be on the air. The construction permit was issued in 2012. A call to the engineering department at WLOS might we wise to confirm if that translator is broadcasting. I am going to for the sake of this write up proceed that W05AC on RF 32 is operational.

In regards to the signals above, you have two bands to contend with: high VHF which is real channels 7-13 and UHF which is real channels 14 and above. This is important because this affects what antenna you purchase.

I am glad you are mounting this on a chimney mount outdoors. This will especially aide in your reception of FOX and W11AH-D.

A single antenna I would suggest would be an Antennacraft HBU33. This antenna supports high-vhf and uhf reception. It is also recommended for it's ability to have a wide beamwith of reception. Orientate antenna to about magnetic 270 to perform initial tests. Look for "sweetspot" where all desired signals are reliable. Your trickiest signals I would estimate will be FOX and the retransmission of NBC due to weaker signal strength. Patience and testing, and I think you'll get them.

Don't forget once you get the system hooked up for tests to do a over the air scan for broadcasts on your tv. Further, when testing system run single coax from antenna unsplit to one tv and perform scan. This sets base line for system performance. If system is fine off one coax and starts having problems once you start splitting, it gives you a starting point for fixing the problem.

I don't recommend a preamp due to signal strengths of WLOS and WNTV.

You ought to be able to split the antenna signal twice and not have too much problem unless you have a very long run of coax. I use an eagle aspen splitter that has worked nicely for me.

Any other questions, please ask!

Last edited by StephanieS; 8-Feb-2014 at 9:49 AM.
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Old 11-Feb-2014, 3:05 AM   #3
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Thank You.
I give it a try.
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Old 27-Jun-2014, 2:14 PM   #4
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Additional Help needed

Some history:
I installed the recommended antenna and worked for several days on tweeking it to get the best signals. I got the following results.

WYFF 4 or 36 (CBS) Some quality issues. de-pixels 10-20% of the time
WSPA 7 (NBC) Excellent quality
WLOS 13 (ABC) lots of quality issues. de-pixels 50% of the time
WHNS 21 (Fox) Excellent quality
WNTV 29 (PBS) Good quality
WUNF 33 (PBS) Some quality issues. de-pixels 30-40% of the time

W05AC is not broadcasting at this time

I realize it wasn't recommended but I installed an adjustable pre-amplifier to try to help the poor signals. This one from Radio Shack.
I had to adjust it to somewhere in the 60-75% of max. any higher and I lost some of the good signal stations.

It helped reduce my signal issues but did not fully eliminate them. 4, 13, and 33 still de-pixeled 10% + of the time. especially when the wind was blowing.

Where I am Today:
A lightning strike took out my TV and the pre-amp. As I replace the TV I want to find the best way to improve my signal.

Should I just buy the same pre-amp again?
Is there a better pre-amp for my situation?
Should I use a different antenna? Or add one and combine the signals?

Thanks for any guidance you can provide as I certainly don't know what I'm doing.
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Old 27-Jun-2014, 3:09 PM   #5
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Sorry to hear of your struggles. I would call WLOS engineering department @ 828-684-1340 and ask about W05AC and if there is any timeline for it to be operational. You can say you are eagerly awaiting it going online because WLOS main signal is a extremely difficult catch for you. Ask them to keep you up to date and when they plan to do testing so you can provide that you are receiving.

WLOS may be a case of waiting until that translator is operational. You could spend the money on a big VHF beam for it and get semi-reliable reception from it, but eventually the local translator will be broadcasting and the beam will be nothing but a big bird perch.

Doing a quick piecing together of your signals I came up with:
W11AH-D NBC (WYFF retransmission)


I want you to conduct an experiment. For this please remove the preamp and have antenna lead unsplit going to one TV. Aim the HBU33 to magnetic heading 270. Test if WSPA, WNTV and W11AH-D (NBC) are all good to excellent signal strength. I'm setting a baseline on one heading. I want to know that all these VHFs are solid. You should be able to test that if you are indeed receiving WYFF on channel 11 simply by on your remote entering channel 11. It should then flip to read "4.1" and WYFF programming should appear. If that is the case, you are receiving the translator.

Don't forget to run a complete rescan on your tuner for over the air signals.

If during this test you also receive FOX WHNS as well with excellent quality I would do no more. When W05AC comes online, it should pop right up and be visible along with everything else. You might be without ABC though for a spell. If you see CW, that's a bonus.

How is your pathway to 270? Do you have trees or other obstructions to contend with?

Last thought, WLOS main signal at 9.6 db field strength will have the potential to be touchy. When you start getting below 10 db of signal strength, the signal is so weak atmospheric conditions or weather can cause drop outs. This is why when I gave my original suggestion, WLOS' main signal I ignored in favor of the off-the-air W05AC translator. If going for WLOS RF 13 signal a much more robust VHF beam or combo would be desired.

Last edited by StephanieS; 27-Jun-2014 at 3:25 PM.
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Old 28-Jun-2014, 5:06 PM   #6
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Test Results

I tested the stations with the following results:

4.1 WYFF
Signal Strength = 90
Signal Quality = 100
Network Id = 11

7.1 WSPA
SS = 100
SQ = 100
NI = 7

29.1 WNTV
SS = 67
SQ = 100
NI = 9

And the other 2

13.1 WLOS
SS = 27
SQ = 17
NI = 13

21.1 WHNS
SS = 50
SQ = 100
NI = 21

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Old 29-Jun-2014, 3:36 AM   #7
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Thanks for the test. Those results look good for CBS, NBC and PBS. These are stable and breakup free yes?

As to FOX, your signal quality is at 100 and the strength is at 50, which ought to reflect reliability. Are you break up free on FOX?

WLOS main signal (channel 13) is going to require different and stronger measures. If I were chasing it, I'd run a separate antenna with a separate lead dedicated for it then use a A/B switch to use when I wanted to watch ABC. The HBU33 isn't the ideal antenna to chase signal digit strength VHF broadcasts. The antenna I'd use would be an Antennacraft Y10713 VHF beam. The Y10713 is a strong enough antenna that'll give you the best chance at recieving WLOS steadily. That said, be aware WLOS is in 2-edge conditions, which means you have two geographical obstructions between you and the transmission site. Even with a Y10713 you might have drop outs due to the geographical pathway.

If you are satisfied with CBS, NBC, PBS and FOX with this test with no preamp I would leave it alone. Next week call WLOS and inquire on the status of W05AC, then you will have some additional info. Ideally, you can leave things alone and be without WLOS for the short term until the translator is back on the air. Once it is, a simple rescan ought to yield you WLOS via W05AC. W05AC ought to put a healthy signal in line of sight conditions to you.

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