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Old 24-Sep-2012, 2:30 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Atlanta signal strength help

Yesterday I moved my Wingard 8200U from my attic to my roof in hopes of picking up more stations. While in the attic, it was pointed toward downtown Atlanta at about 122 degrees. On the master bedroom TV (upstairs, 3rd level and almost directly wired into the atenna), we picked up NBC, Fox (sometimes), PBS on a really clear day, ION, and qubo. CBS may as well not have come in the signal was so bad. We NEVER picked up ABC. I had a Wingard AP-8275 preamp hooked up on it. After moving it to the roof, we now get Fox, NBC, CBS (pretty weak signal at times so it comes and goes), 3 different GPG stations, qubo, Ion, Ion Life, PeachtreeTV (really spotty signal), and several others that we'll probably never watch. This is on our main TV on the main/middle level of the house (TV is a Samsung for what that's worth). I was really hoping that by moving it to the roof that we'd get all of the above listed channels PLUS finally get ABC. It does come in at times but the signal is so weak and at times doesn't come in at all. The rest of the stations typically seem to get around 30%-100% reception, most are around 50%-60% I believe. Before moving the antenna to the roof, we only received NBC on this TV. The master bedroom now doesn't get any channels.

The antenna is approx. 20' up on the roof of our back porch and pointed toward downtown Atlanta at about 120 degrees. This area of our roof is the easiest to access and is in safest location, in my opinion. There are higher areas but I refuse to go there because our roof is extremely steep and is almost 45' feet high in some spots. I tried using the Wingard amp but that seemed to make the signal worse so I removed it. The cable (RG6U coaxial) runs 50' from the antenna to a grounding block and then into the house (in the basement) where is it is connected to an RCA 4 way Amplifier/Splitter ( Without this amp, I can definitely see a drop in signal strength in most of the above listed channels. In other words, it does seem to help some. Both TVs use a Zinwell ZAT-970A Converter. Back to the antenna, I have not grounded the mast or the coaxial yet. That's on my to-do list in the next couple of days. Thankfully the weather forecast looks clear in my area for the next week (now storms, phew!).

It really baffles me that we still don't get ABC. It is shown as being 25 miles away. Fox is 25 miles away too and that comes in fairly strong (50%+ signal strength at times). My main goal was to receive ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, the GPB stations, Qubo, and Ion. So we're really just missing ABC from that list. My guess is that ABC just has a weaker signal from the tower than others. I guess if I can't get ABC, is there a way that I can at least increase the signal strength on some of the stations and possibly get a few channels to show up in the master bedroom?

I'm a novice at all of this so it is highly possible that I'm doing something incorrectly. Can anyone help?

Here is my signal analysis:

Thanks in advance!
sethpb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-Sep-2012, 4:48 AM   #2
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A few quick comments/questions:

1) With the long cable runs and 4-way split, a pre-amp is definitely recommended. The Winegard AP-8275 is a good choice for this, since it will overcome all the losses caused by any downstream cables and splitters. Just make sure the amp body installed up close to the antenna (within a few feet) to optimize performance. The power supply part of the amp should be installed indoors, and it's best to keep a straight shot between the power supply and the amp body (no splitters or other components in between to interfere with power delivery to the amp).

I would have expected the Winegard amp to make things better, rather than worse, so it makes me wonder if the amp was getting a clean power feed at the time you tested it.

2) With the Winegard pre-amp installed, you don't really need an amplified splitter (passive or active splitter will work). If you want to use your amplified splitter, it should go after the power injector for the Winegard amp to avoid interfering with the pre-amp's power delivery.

3) Does the antenna path toward the TV stations clear your own roof? It wasn't clear if the installed location was sufficiently high enough to clear all nearby obstructions. Ideally, the antenna should be high enough to clear the roof by at least a few feet (~4-5).

4) With a properly installed pre-amp and a downstream splitter sharing the signal to all TVs in the house, I would expect all of the TVs to get roughly the same set of channels.
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Old 24-Sep-2012, 2:31 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.

When I tried the pre-amp before, it was installed on the mast approx. 2-3' below the antenna. The power supply was plugged in on my covered and screened in back porch to an outdoor outlet. That coaxial run was probably 30'. My only guess is that there were probably too many turns and too far of a distance. Plus maybe the connection wasn't so good (flush) on the outdoor outlet. Aside from drilling holes all the way through my porch roof, I don't know how else to get it to an outlet on a shorter run. Even then, it would still have to make at least two turns, maybe more. Also, would an outlet on the covered porch be sufficient or does it need to be inside the house?

As for the amplified splitter, it is currently hooked up in the basement where the coaxial enters the house. Should this be moved further away from the pre-amp or is it fine where it is? With the pre-amp installed, there would be at least 1-2 connections between them (from power supply-grounding block-amplified splitter). I honestly can't remember if I tried the pre-amp with or without the amplified splitter. That is worth exploring again.

The antenna, in it's current location does clear my house/roof by at least 4', maybe a littel more. On the mast, it's about 5 1/2' up and pointed directly between the edge of my roof and the edge of my neighbors roof. My neighbors roof is a good 40' away and at least 5' feet or more to the right of the antenna (if looking down the length of the antenna). There are some leyland cypress trees directly in front of the antenna but those are probably 30' away.

There is one other area of my roof that I tried out. It was about 15' higher and definitely cleared my roof and completely cleared my neighbors house. However, the above mentioned cypress trees are a lot closer in this area plus there is a huge oak tree directly behind those. When I tested my reception in this location, I did get ABC but it was a pretty weak signal. The signal that I received on NBC, CBS and Fox was extremely weak and didn't even come in most of the time. With that in mind, I moved the antenna back down to the lower area. At least there I receive NBC, Fox and for the most part, CBS.

It sounds like giving the pre-amp another shot is really my only other option aside from having the antenna professionally installed on a steeper, higher area of my roof.

Any thoughts/comments on the length of the pre-amp power supply run and the location of the power outlet?

Thanks again for the help!
sethpb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-Sep-2012, 7:25 PM   #4
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For what it's worth, I hooked up the pre-amp again. It is on the mast about a foot below the antenna. I ran the coaxial downlead from the pre-amp to the grounding block and then into the house. Directly inside the house, it hooked into the power injector. The power supply was plugged in just below this and ran to power injector. The TV/tuner box was hooked directly into the power injector (removing the amplified splitter that I mentioned in my other post all together). After hooking all of this up, I got no signal on any station. With that in mind, this obviously isn't the correct way to set it up. I'm guessing it has everything to do with the coaxial down lead running to the grounding block first, then into the house. For reference, here is a quick sketch of the setup I'm describing.
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Old 25-Sep-2012, 7:54 PM   #5
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Go to the http://www.winegarddirect.con and select the HD8200U antenna and look and read the directions to make sure the Phasing lines And connections are connected correctly so the antenna connections are connected correctly to the connections of the coax connection.

Disconnect and or Remove All amplifier parts , the preamp part , the power injector part , the power supply part.

Connect a NEW long coax to the HD8200U antenna and run the coax through a open door or window and connect the other end of the coax to a converter box , No amplifiers , No splitters , No couplers , No grounding blocks , No nothing.

Here is how to aim antennas , http://www/

As always , trees and tree leaves do a real fine job of reducing or blocking Tv reception and so do buildings and other obstructions including your own house.

It is best to locate the antenna at a location that has the least amount to no amount of obstructions of any type or kind in the directions of reception.

The Tv/s Must Channel Scan for the Broadcast Tv Channels , some times named the 'Air Channels' or 'Antenna channels' in the Tv setup menu because the Tv transmissions travel through the air from the transmitting antenna to the receiving antenna.

DO NOT channel scan for cable tv channels.

What is reception like now??

If possible , Test reception with a late model or new digital Tv. No converter box.

Last edited by teleview; 30-Sep-2012 at 4:23 AM.
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