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Old 25-Nov-2014, 2:18 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5
Exclamation TV Tuner: Poor Reception on Single Channel

Tv Fool Report:

Recently WCPO has been hard to tune with our Hauppauge 2250. All of the TV's can pick it up just fine, but the tuner struggles to pull it in.

We have a ClearStream 2V on the chimney facing southwest.
Back on the ground the signal is split to three different rooms in the house. In the family room it is split again to go into the TV and the TV tuner.

On a clear day the TV's can pull in most channels just fine, including some out of Dayton (reflector is installed). However, the tuner will struggle with WCPO and occasionally WLWT. Obviously when the weather is bad or windy the tuner struggles with additional channels and so do the TV's.

It seems like the tuner lacks some of the sensitivity that the TV's have and therefore requires a stronger signal to tune into WCPO.

To troubleshoot we tried a different 2250 tuner card to make sure that there wasn't any kind of hardware failure. No change.
We tried disconnecting the splitter in the family room to reduce signal loss, no change.
We disconnected the splitter outside and spliced the antenna feed directly into the line to the family room and into the tuner, again trying to reduce signal loss, no change.
We tried an amplified set top antenna hooked into the tuner, we were occasionally able to receive WCPO if the antenna was oriented just right.
We tried an amplifier at the end of the feed line before the outside splitter with no change, however it was hard to tell if it functioned correctly.

This leads me to believe that the antenna orientation may need to be adjusted to better receive WCPO, a powerful amplifier on the antenna mast to overcome any losses and produce a stronger signal, a more sensitive tuner card, or a larger antenna capable of pulling in a stronger signal.

We also contacted an engineer at WCPO who said that their towers were functioning at 100% and he recommended we try and reduce line and splitter loss with a distribution amplifier.
The antenna mast is grounded to the house grounding rod along with the casing of the splitter.
This was an issue before the season change however the changing weather has made the problem worse.

Due to light snow on the roof we were unable to adjust the antenna during our troubleshooting, however in a couple of weeks we should be able to get up there and make adjustments or install new components.

What do you recommend? What should we try first while on the roof? We were thinking start with an adjustment and perhaps add an amp. Any amp recommendations? Should we go with a distribution amplifier or inline amp on the antenna mast?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 25-Nov-2014, 3:16 AM   #2
Antennas Direct Tech Supp
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,942
When dealing with 2-edge signals, it is important to understand that the diffracted signals will not be of uniform density and quality and may actually be of various strengths and quality at any given point in space. It is a common fallacy to assume that any given convenient location will be perfect just because it might be easy to install the antenna in that spot.

In real life, it is often necessary to search for or to "probe" for an antenna location that offers a suitable compromise for the reception of all of the desired signals. That means that, when your local conditions permit you to do so safely, that the antenna's position and location may need to be adjusted, perhaps several times, in order to seek out and hopefully find a spot where everything plays nice.

As far as the tuners go, it has been demonstrated that all tuners are not created equally. Some are better at handling certain types of signal impairments while other tuners will perform better at other types of signals while failing at decoding impaired signals that another tuner handled well. Some times, it's just pot luck as to what will happen.

You shouldn't need an amp according to your signal forecast but the signal forecast cannot account for signal attenuation and impairment caused by trees or buildings, neither of which you mentioned one way or the other. However, installing a moderate gain, low noise, overload tolerant pre-amp can be done to see if it offers an improvement.
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Old 25-Nov-2014, 3:14 PM   #3
Tower Guy
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Delmar, NY
Posts: 1,236
I'd try adjusting the height of the C2 antenna. (You can keep the VHF dipole where it is.) It may be possible to find an optimum height for WCPO that's higher or lower than the existing height by a few feet.

Other choices are to move the antenna to a spot with fewer trees toward the SW, or raise the antenna enough to clear obstructions. By working backwards with your TVfool report, I notice that the signals become LOS with an antenna height of 30 feet.
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reception problems, sensitivity, tv tuner, wcpo

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