TV Fool  

Go Back   TV Fool > Over The Air Services > Help With Reception

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 5-Jan-2010, 4:55 PM   #1
fishguy
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 3
reception issues

My current setup is an antenna purchased at Menards 8 yrs ago and a phillips pre-amp booster that I cannot remember the model number. I do not have a rotor on the antenna either. Lately I can have strong signals on 6.1 and 10.1 in my area and then within hours I will go to a poor signal or no signal at all for these channels. I get up on the roof and adjust the antenna angle and regain signal strength and again can loose the strength the next day. I am ready to upgrade to a better antenna, but I am looking to get one that will bring in the signals for 6.1, 10.1 & 10.2 and anything else possible for my area. Here is my locator information
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...b32b50e971070c
fishguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5-Jan-2010, 7:39 PM   #2
mtownsend
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 632
Hello and welcome!

Quote:
I get up on the roof and adjust the antenna angle and regain signal strength and again can loose the strength the next day.
Is your antenna moving on its own from one day to the next? Do the mounts need to be tightened or do you need to add a set-screw to prevent things from twisting in the wind?

Your signal strengths are pretty good and the top six channels in your area are grouped closely together, so if your antenna is pointed at a compass heading of about 63 degrees, your antenna should be able to pick up the stations just fine.



If all you need is the top six channels in the list, then an antenna like the Winegard HD7695P or Antennacraft HBU33 is about the right size to handle this. No pre-amp would be needed.

If you want to split the signal to multiple TVs or have pretty long cable runs, then you might want to go up one step in antenna size to make up for the extra losses (e.g., the Winegard HD7696P or the Antennacraft HBU44).



There are also a bunch of translator/booster stations at compass heading 316 degrees. Do you know if any of them are important to you? Since these transmitters are in a different direction and are weaker, going after them means getting an even larger antenna and adding an antenna rotor (or have two antennas plus an A-B switch).



If your current antenna is already about the same size as the antennas mentioned above, then you probably already have enough antenna for the job and just need to figure out why your reception is not stable. Approximately how big is your antenna now?

If you antenna is already big enough, here are a few things to check to see if something is causing the signal to be unreliable:
  • The pre-amp might be hurting things more than helping. Try completely removing the pre-amp from the setup to see if things get any better/worse.
  • Make sure all the outdoor connections are protected from the elements. If any water/ice is getting into the connectors or coax, it will block a lot of signal.
  • What kind of cable are you using? RG6 is usually recommended. If you have RG59, it will cause more signal loss over distance, and it is not shielded as well, so it may be more susceptible to local interference (e.g., microwave ovens, power tools, electrical noise, etc.).

There may be other reasons why the signals are varying over time, but I'll wait to hear back from you to better understand what your current setup looks like (antenna size, length of cables, type of cables, number of signal splits, etc.).
mtownsend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6-Jan-2010, 6:48 PM   #3
fishguy
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 3
It is a large roof antenna with 6-8 foot horizontal length. The elements have a series of long lengths on the main piece and two sets that angle slightly upward and downward on what I will call the tail end. For this type of antenna, I have never been sure what end to point toward the transmitters for digital reception. I have tried both ends and it doesn't seem to matter, either end will still loose the signal!
I think I have the RG6 cable. I am splitting the signal to three tv's. I am confident that the antenna is not moving, it just looses the signal strength on these channels to the NE 50-65 miles out.
The connectors appear to be fine for protection to the elements. The only exposed ones are the screws that connect right to the antenna itself.
One thing I forgot to mention was I have a large wind tower field between me and the transmitter towers. Before digital conversion (analog), I heard people were having reception issues closer to the field. Would these electricity generating towers create the inconsistancy in the digital signal as well? I never had signal problems with the analog broadcasts. The tower field lays 15 miles NE of my location.

Thanks!
fishguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6-Jan-2010, 8:00 PM   #4
mtownsend
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 632
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishguy View Post
It is a large roof antenna with 6-8 foot horizontal length. The elements have a series of long lengths on the main piece and two sets that angle slightly upward and downward on what I will call the tail end. For this type of antenna, I have never been sure what end to point toward the transmitters for digital reception.
The long elements should be at the "back" of the antenna and the short elements should be at the "front" (pointing toward the transmitters). The angled pieces above and below the boom form a "V" shape. The open mouth of the "V" should be pointed toward the transmitters.

Those elements in the "V" are signal reflectors. If you imagine the signals coming toward you over the horizon, the open end of the "V" helps the antenna "catch" more of the signal.

A 6-8 foot boom length is what I would consider to be a "medium" size antenna and should be good enough for your situation (assuming nothing is broken). Let's think about how we might diagnose why it's not working reliably...



Quote:
I think I have the RG6 cable.
Good. RG6 is usually about 1/4 inch in diameter. You might also be able to find the cable type printed on the outer jacket of the coax.



Quote:
I am splitting the signal to three tv's.
Splitting the signal will cause signal levels to drop a little. If this is the case, it may be worth considering a slightly larger antenna or adding a pre-amp near the antenna.

On a good day, are you getting all of the top six stations of your tvfool report?

It almost sounds like your current setup is near the borderline of working. On some days, there might be enough signal fluctuation (e.g., from stormy weather, trees, seasonal changes, atmospheric effects, and other natural variations) to cause you to lose channels that are too close to the edge. If that is the case, a larger antenna and/or pre-amp can help.

As an experiment, can you try connecting the antenna directly to just one TV (take the splitter out of the path completely) and see if the channels become any more stable?



Quote:
I am confident that the antenna is not moving, it just looses the signal strength on these channels to the NE 50-65 miles out.
If you have the correct end of the antenna pointed at a compass heading of about 63 degrees, there should be no reason to move it.

You might be experiencing the rise and fall of the signal strength that happens naturally in the real-world. Effects such as "tropospheric enhancement" (due to changes in temperature and humidity in the air) can cause radio waves to "bend" over the horizon better during certain times of the day. In many places, on an average day, TV signals can travel further during the evening/early morning hours than they can during the middle of the day. This might be on top of other effects that are influencing your signals (e.g., leaves being off the trees, snow/rain on the ground, etc.).

Again, if you had a bigger antenna and/or a pre-amp, you would have a larger signal strength "buffer" that would allow you to enjoy uninterrupted TV reception in spite of the natural signal fluctuations. Your signal margin might be too low right now, and that would explain why you actually see the channel drop-outs from time-to-time.



Quote:
One thing I forgot to mention was I have a large wind tower field between me and the transmitter towers. Before digital conversion (analog), I heard people were having reception issues closer to the field. Would these electricity generating towers create the inconsistancy in the digital signal as well? I never had signal problems with the analog broadcasts. The tower field lays 15 miles NE of my location.
The generators in the wind power field do create electrical noise, but at 15 miles distance, it should not be enough to impact your TV reception. I wouldn't worry about it.



Please do try the test of directly feeding just one TV. If things do get noticeably more stable, then I'd say your problem is simply that you're too close to the edge of working.

The 3-way or 4-way splitter is probably dropping your signal levels by about 8 dB. Feeding just one TV means the signal will be that much stronger, and another 8 dB of margin is significant. 8-10 dB of extra margin is usually enough to mask 99% of the signal fluctuations that might occur.
mtownsend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-Jan-2010, 9:50 PM   #5
OTAMAN2010
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 9
Amp at 15 miles

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishguy View Post
My current setup is an antenna purchased at Menards 8 yrs ago and a phillips pre-amp booster that I cannot remember the model number. I do not have a rotor on the antenna either. Lately I can have strong signals on 6.1 and 10.1 in my area and then within hours I will go to a poor signal or no signal at all for these channels. I get up on the roof and adjust the antenna angle and regain signal strength and again can loose the strength the next day. I am ready to upgrade to a better antenna, but I am looking to get one that will bring in the signals for 6.1, 10.1 & 10.2 and anything else possible for my area. Here is my locator information
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...b32b50e971070c
Mtown don't you think a amp at 15 miles is to strong. Amps are for distance and long cable run 60 feet and better. But again an old amp could be bad. Most amp are 2 parts do you have both part.

I have 4 tvs and 2 converter boxs all work fine. Placed the amp above the splitter.

Also stablize your antenna, if the tip raise due to wind it will loose the siginal

Try that and see.
Hope it help.

Last edited by OTAMAN2010; 11-Jan-2010 at 9:52 PM.
OTAMAN2010 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-Jan-2010, 10:16 PM   #6
mtownsend
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 632
Quote:
Originally Posted by OTAMAN2010 View Post
Mtown don't you think a amp at 15 miles is to strong.
You're right, that in many cases, the signals might be too strong for an amp at 15 miles.

However, in this case, the OP's tvfool report indicates that the closest channel is 31 miles away (blocked by some terrain), and the strongest channels at the top of the list are 42 miles away. Based on the dBm values I'm seeing, I do not think that amp overload is a problem for fishguy.



Quote:
But again an old amp could be bad. Most amp are 2 parts do you have both part.
Also a good point. Amps and power supplies can go bad, especially if there's ever been nearby lightning strikes or any deterioration of the housing for the outdoor part of the amp.
mtownsend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-Jan-2010, 3:30 AM   #7
OTAMAN2010
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 9
Fixed or not

Fish Guy where are you. Did you get it fix
OTAMAN2010 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-Jan-2010, 9:45 PM   #8
fishguy
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 3
Still having issues with channel 10.1 and 10.2. I put the v pointed towards the transmitters and that seems to create poorer reception than having the v pointed away. The other night I worked to get good reception for 10.1 and couldn't find any antenna angle that would get a clear signal. The signal strength is bouncing all over the place on this channel.
I think I am going to order a new antenna and try that. It is very cold up on the roof in Iowa's freezing temps. I have been up there enough in the last 2 weeks!!!
fishguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Go Back   TV Fool > Over The Air Services > Help With Reception


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT. The time now is 12:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright © TV Fool, LLC