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Old 24-Mar-2013, 10:19 PM   #1
Ynot713
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New Antenna No Signal - Need Help!

First, here is the link to my signal analysis:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...1ddae813d84d07

I recently canceled cable and decided to buy an antenna. I live on a hill and about 2 miles from our closest towers.

My house has 5 coaxial feeds all run (home run) to a main splitter in the basement next to my service box. This is where the old cable line fed in. I ran all the cable myself and used quad shield RG-6 cable. I currently only have 2 televisions hooked up in the house.

Originally I bought a cheap indoor/outdoor antenna with a built in preamp and set it up in the attic. I ran a coaxial from the attic, through a interior wall (in a gray conduit) and then into the basement and inputted into the splitter. I connected the preamp power injector in the basement, just before the splitter. The total cable run b/w the splitter and antenna is probably around 50', maybe less.

This setup initially worked great, I got the local tower channels and also channels 50+ miles away (to the west). After a while I started randomly having problems with the signal completely dropping and I'd have to go to the attic and adjust the antenna to get it working again.

I decided to buy a roof mounted antenna. After reading positive reviews I bought the RCA751 and the TVPRAMP1R. I used the same setup only ran my coaxial that was in the attic through my ridge vent to the roof. I mounted the antenna and preamp on the supplied J-Mount. I hooked up the power injector to the same location in the basement.

After I got everything set up I scanned the channels and got NOTHING, no signal at all, not even from the towers 2 miles away.

I did some research and found that there have been some issues with the matching transformer that came with the antenna so I purchased a new RCA matching transformer with gold leads and installed that today. Still nothing. It will not find one channel.

At this point I'm at a loss. I've done plenty of research on this and am fairly certain that I have everything hooked up correctly. I cannot figure out what is wrong.

I have attached pictures of my roof setup. If there are any other pictures needed, let me know and I will post them.

My only other thought is that there has to be an issue with the coaxial wire but it was previously working so I'm not sure. I figured even with some issues I'd still at least get the towers 2 miles away, but yet not one channel comes in.

Please, I need some advice on my next step to resolve this. I will provide any further information needed.

Thank you all in advance
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Old 24-Mar-2013, 11:09 PM   #2
elmo
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What direction are you aiming? 270ish? Not that it much matters for those that are so close to you.

First thing I'd do is try the most simple install, removing all other factors. If you can, run a single drop from the antenna to a single TV and scan for channels. Make sure you have the TV set to OTA & not cable. From there tweak until you get the best reception, then change out to the permanent cable run. See how that works for the same TV, then connect the splitter, and if the split is too much loss for reliable reception for all TV's, then connect the preamp.
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Old 25-Mar-2013, 12:49 AM   #3
Ynot713
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I have it aimed at 274 degrees.

Do you think if I removed the preamp and just ran the line I have fed into the basement directly into a tv in the basement that would work?

I don't have enough cable to run a new drop line to test. I could buy some if i had to.

If that works then I would assume there may be a problem with the preamp correct?

I will run the tests you suggested tomorrow afternoon and let you know what I come up with.

Thank You!
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Old 25-Mar-2013, 4:11 AM   #4
teleview
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I see a coil of coax at the antenna.

Connect the coiled coax to the matching transformer.

Disconnect and bypass the preamp unit at the antenna.

Disconnect and bypass the power injector.

Disconnect and bypass the power supply.

Bypass the splitter , connect one Tv.

Reception now??

_______

If not then install a New coax from the matching transformer to the 1 Tv.

As a Test to prove reception , connect a New coax from the matching transformer to 1 Tv.

No couplers of any type or kind , No splitters , No electronics , No nothing.

It is the , Antenna , Matching transformer , coax , Tv.

Thats it , Nothing else.

Reception Now??

__________________________

As always , the Tv Must Channel Scan for the Digital Broadcast Tv stations/channels , often 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.

Some Digital Tv's will automatic channel scan for cable tv channels.

DO NOT channel scan for cable tv channels.

Go into the Tv Setup menu and select the , 'Air Channels' / 'Antenna Channels'.

Digital Tv tuners can develop - Digital Glitches - that are not cleared out with simple channel scans.

Do a Double Channel Scan.

http://www.dtv.gov/rescan.html.

Here is how to aim antennas , http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing/pointing.html.

Last edited by teleview; 26-Mar-2013 at 1:22 AM.
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Old 25-Mar-2013, 9:58 PM   #5
Ynot713
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Thank you for all the suggestions.

I just got done troubleshooting and trying to isolate the issue.

This is what I did:

I ran a new coaxial line outside, through a bedroom window and directly into a TV. I bypassed the preamp and ran this directly to the antenna. I got reception. Not only my towers 2 miles away but also towers 50+ miles away.

I then ran the outside line into the preamp and connected the antenna to the preamp through the jumper cable I had. I kept the outside line run directly into the TV and plugged in the power injector right at the TV. NOTHING. Then I unplugged the power injector I got a signal again.

With that I figured I discovered my issue but I wanted to test the main line going through the ridge vent to the basement splitter.

So I hooked everything up as it was using the main feed through the attic to the basement (hooking everything up through the preamp as its shown in the pics). The only thing I didn't do was connect the power injector because that seemed to be where there issue was. I checked my TVs plugged into the main cable outlets in the house and found that I got all the stations from the towers 2 miles away but nothing more. I am attributing this to signal loss from the antenna run to the 5 way splitter to the run to the TVs in the house. I expected this. This is why I need a preamp.

So it seems that the issue either lies with the power injector, preamp or both.

Any opinions on other suggestions or is there agreement that I have found the issue at hand?

It stinks cause the preamp was brand new!

Thanks again and look forward to any further advice anyone has.

Also, attached is a pic of my splitter setup in the basement. This is how Time Warner did it. The line in the middle of the upper splitter is the main feed from the antenna. Disregard the grey preamp at the top, that's for my internet.

Thanks!
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Old 25-Mar-2013, 10:36 PM   #6
ADTech
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Forget the preamp. You are far too close to several towers and almost any pre-amp, but especially the one you have, will overload causing a "no reception" situation. You don't need one in any event.
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Old 25-Mar-2013, 10:47 PM   #7
Ynot713
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My issue is that without the preamp I only get like 7 channels after my feed goes through the antenna line, into the splitter and then out into my individual TV's.

I should be getting at least 26 stations. I would get 26+ stations with a cheap indoor/outdoor with a built in preamp mounted in the attic.

My neighbor, 2 doors down has a cheap preamp-ed indoor antenna that gets stations 51 miles to the west and some 67 miles to the east also. Of course I doubt his is directional.

Whether it makes sense or not, testing both with a pre-amped antenna and without, I get much better reception and more stations with a preamp installed.

In this particular circumstance it seems like my preamp and or power injector is bad.
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Old 25-Mar-2013, 11:49 PM   #8
GroundUrMast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
Forget the preamp. You are far too close to several towers and almost any pre-amp, but especially the one you have, will overload causing a "no reception" situation. You don't need one in any event.
Yes, I agree completely.

Signals with a noise margin (NM) in the air of 30 dB and greater should be able to drive a passive 8-way splitter with no amplification and still leave power to drive long coax runs. The signal from WFXV is far more powerful, enough to easily overload most preamplifiers.

You started your trouble shooting well. You've proven you have a usable signal at the antenna and at the end of a moderate length of coax. What you have not proven is the integrity of the coax from the roof to the basement.

I strongly agree with the suggestion of removing both the preamp and power injector. Then, connect a TV to the coax in the basement. You should have no trouble getting enough signal power there. If you don't get reliable reception on a single set in the basement, it suggests you have a bad coax or connector (or both).

I won't dispute that you see a change in the symptoms when you add the amp into the mix... I'm suggesting that there is an underlying problem that needs to be found and fixed... once you do that, the amplifier will not be needed or even helpful.

Last edited by GroundUrMast; 26-Mar-2013 at 3:36 AM. Reason: agreeing with sound advice
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Old 26-Mar-2013, 1:39 AM   #9
teleview
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I see 2 splitters. Remove them.

The input of one of the splitters has what looks like some type of double coupler. Remove it.

Remove ->ALL<-of the cable Tv hardware that is connected with the antenna system.

Remove ->All<- of the preamp , remove the preamp , remove the power injector , remove the power supply.

For 1 Tv connected use No splitter.

For 2 Tv's connected use a simple common 2 way splitter.

For 3 Tv's connected use a simple common 3 way splitter.

For 4 Tv's connected use a simple common 4 way splitter.

For 5 Tv's connected use a simple common 6 way splitter.
Leviton 47690-6 , 6 way splitter.

__________

Know this--> each time a splitter split takes place the signal strength Is Reduced.

Terminate unused splitter output ports with 75 ohm terminators. The 75 ohm terminators keep the system balanced and prevent ingrees and egress.

___________________________________________________

If you have cable internet service or any other type or kind of cable tv delivered service , the cable delivered service ->Must Not<- be connected to the antenna system in any shape way or form.

Zip , Zero , Zilch.

_____________________________________________________________

Antenna system amplifiers , preamplifiers / distribution amplifiers Are Not the Cure All for antenna system problems.

Amplifiers Are Not the alpha/omega.

Amplifiers Will Not fix bad coax.

Amplifiers Will Not fix bad connections.

Amplifiers Will Not fix multipath/reflections.

Amplifiers Will Not fix all reception issues.

Know this --> Automatic reaching for and installing a amplifier is automatic reaching for trouble.

Last edited by teleview; 26-Mar-2013 at 3:35 PM.
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Old 27-Mar-2013, 1:47 AM   #10
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Rereading your posts , I see that you said that at one point that you disconnected the Power Injector but left the preamp unit at the antenna connected.

With out power and with out the power injector connected , the preamp will not function.

If the actual preamp unit is not functioning because it has no power for the electronic circuit of the preamp that is out by the antenna , Then the preamp will not pass much if any signal.

With out power the Actual Preamp Unit that is out by the antenna becomes a -->Attenuator<-- and actually stops signals from getting through.
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Old 30-Mar-2013, 1:46 AM   #11
Ynot713
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
Yes, I agree completely.

Signals with a noise margin (NM) in the air of 30 dB and greater should be able to drive a passive 8-way splitter with no amplification and still leave power to drive long coax runs. The signal from WFXV is far more powerful, enough to easily overload most preamplifiers.

You started your trouble shooting well. You've proven you have a usable signal at the antenna and at the end of a moderate length of coax. What you have not proven is the integrity of the coax from the roof to the basement.

I strongly agree with the suggestion of removing both the preamp and power injector. Then, connect a TV to the coax in the basement. You should have no trouble getting enough signal power there. If you don't get reliable reception on a single set in the basement, it suggests you have a bad coax or connector (or both).

I won't dispute that you see a change in the symptoms when you add the amp into the mix... I'm suggesting that there is an underlying problem that needs to be found and fixed... once you do that, the amplifier will not be needed or even helpful.
Thanks for all the suggestions as I am still trying to troubleshoot the issue.

I did hook a TV directly to the line going into the basement with no preamp attached. I got most of the stations very well, but not everything I know I could and should get. As soon as I hooked the preamp and plugged in the injector through the same connection I got nothing at all.

I then tried to run the same TV in the basement through the open splitter connector and again my signal automatically dropped to just the stations off the local tower which is about 7 stations. With the preamp connected and injector plugged in (before the signal is split) still takes away the signal for all stations.

The confusing part to me is that I used this same basic setup before with a cheap indoor antenna w/ a built in preamp mounted in the attic and injector in the same location. With that I got like 26+ stations on 3 different TV's in my house at once. This was all coming off of the same splitter and coaxial that I am currently using.

Really I am trying to figure out if this preamp is a defective unit. If that's the case, I can at least start by returning it. Should I really be losing ALL signals when the injector is plugged in even with running it through the splitter?

I am now confident that my coaxials and connectors are all functioning properly.

Again I'm not arguing with any of the advice put out there. I'm merely stating what I have seen actually happen with regards to my reception and the use of a different preamp.

As of right now I'm only pulling a signal from local towers when the signal is run through the splitter. I'm pulling a better signal but not the best I've seen when I run it direct to a TV. Through the preamp with power injector plugged in, ALL signals fail no matter what the setup.

I understand that I am close to several towers and I agree that I do not need a preamp for these towers. But this only gets me like 7 stations. I should be getting all of the stations 50mi + to the west. I cant seem to get these through a splitter at this time.

Again, this exact same setup originally worked great with a cheap indoor antenna w/ a built in preamp in my attic. I can't understand why it is not working with an upgraded antenna and amp on my roof.

My internet setup is completely separate from my antenna setup.

As for the splitters, I'd rather not buy brand new ones, but will as a last resort. Especially because I've seen them previously working as they are.

Again I thank everyone for taking the time to read these long posts and for all your help and advice. I will continue to try different options to troubleshoot.

I would like to know is there any way to actually test this preamp to be certain whether it is working properly or not?

Thanks Again.
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Old 30-Mar-2013, 3:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
I did hook a TV directly to the line going into the basement with no preamp attached. I got most of the stations very well, but not everything I know I could and should get.
If you don't see everything you know you should, stop... figure out why, fix it, then move on to testing more of the system. Any trouble shooting done after this point is futile and confusing unless you resolve the problems already present. Did you fine tune the location and aim of the antenna? How many pieces of cable were between the antenna and TV? How many feet of cable was between the antenna and TV? Now would be a good time to try a new coax, directly from the antenna to the test TV. It would also help us a great deal to know what signal you thought you should get, but did not. Did you do a new scan for channels? Call sign and real channel number is the ideal way to identify the signal.

Quote:
I would like to know is there any way to actually test this preamp to be certain whether it is working properly or not?
Yes, take the antenna, preamp and TV to a location with weak signals and try it there. The signal power shown on your TVFR strongly argues against the use of any preamp, especially one prone to overloading. The signals in the air at your location are too powerful to test that type preamp with.

BUT....
Quote:
As soon as I hooked the preamp and plugged in the injector through the same connection I got nothing at all...
...Really I am trying to figure out if this preamp is a defective unit. If that's the case, I can at least start by returning it. Should I really be losing ALL signals when the injector is plugged in even with running it through the splitter?
It does not matter whether it's defective or overloading... it's not needed or even useful. It's adding to your problems. Get your money back, get rid of it. It's stopping you from focusing on obtaining a clean signal from the antenna at the end of a reasonable length of coax.

With the preamp and power injector totally removed from the system, it sounds like there are still two or more pieces of coax between the antenna and the basement distribution point where you split. Is that because there are splices or because there are additional splitters or other accessories? I'm not as convinced as you are that the cables and connectors are free of trouble. Every connection is a point that can go open due to corrosion, wear due to repeated assembly/disassembly, water intrusion, etc.
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Old 30-Mar-2013, 3:47 AM   #13
Ynot713
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
If you don't see everything you know you should, stop... figure out why, fix it, then move on to testing more of the system. Any trouble shooting done after this point is futile and confusing unless you resolve the problems already present. Did you fine tune the location and aim of the antenna? How many pieces of cable were between the antenna and TV? How many feet of cable was between the antenna and TV? Now would be a good time to try a new coax, directly from the antenna to the test TV. It would also help us a great deal to know what signal you thought you should get, but did not. Did you do a new scan for channels? Call sign and real channel number is the ideal way to identify the signal.

Yes, take the antenna, preamp and TV to a location with weak signals and try it there. The signal power shown on your TVFR strongly argues against the use of any preamp, especially one prone to overloading. The signals in the air at your location are too powerful to test that type preamp with.

BUT....
It does not matter whether it's defective or overloading... it's not needed or even useful. It's adding to your problems. Get your money back, get rid of it. It's stopping you from focusing on obtaining a clean signal from the antenna at the end of a reasonable length of coax.

With the preamp and power injector totally removed from the system, it sounds like there are still two or more pieces of coax between the antenna and the basement distribution point where you split. Is that because there are splices or because there are additional splitters or other accessories? I'm not as convinced as you are that the cables and connectors are free of trouble. Every connection is a point that can go open due to corrosion, wear due to repeated assembly/disassembly, water intrusion, etc.

- When I say I don't see everything that I should I mean I don't have all the channels that I had when I used the cheap indoor antenna with the built in preamp in the attic and the injector located just before my splitter. I still get like 22 channels when going direct from the antenna to a TV in the basement. Though some of them are duplicates.

- The antenna is aimed at 277 degrees.

- Between antenna and TV in the basement there is one solid length of cable connected directly into the antenna and the TV. It is approximately 50 ft of cable

- I already ran a new coaxial directly from the antenna to a test tv. I just dropped a line off my roof and through a window. I got the exact same results.

- I did a new scan. I was getting 5 or 6 more channels. I will try to get exact call sign information for you.

Lets just assume that I ditch the preamp. How do I solve my problem with the issues with the signal dropping to the approximate 7 channels from the local towers after the signal is split?

Right now I have a http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2
antenna hooked up inside my living room directly to my main TV with the power injector connected and I am getting more channels than I did with my roof antenna directly connected by a single coax to a single TV in my basement. I don't understand that at all.

Without the preamp, there is only one length of quad shield rg6 running from the antenna, into my attic, to the basement and into the splitter.
Thanks again for your patience and help.
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Old 30-Mar-2013, 3:53 AM   #14
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Connect a NEW as in --> NEW loooong coax to the matching transformer that is connected to the antenna.

Run the NEW loooong coax -->directly<-- through a open door or window and connect 1 Tv.

NO amplifier , NO power injector , NO power supply , NO couplers , NO splitters , NO nothing.

It is the , Antenna , the matching transformer , the coax , the Tv.

Scan for Digital Broadcast Tv channels , Not cable channels.

Reception Now??

If not then install a NEW matching transformer.
And Yes I know you installed a new matching transformer , install a NEW one anyway.

Reception Now??
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Old 30-Mar-2013, 4:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
- When I say I don't see everything that I should I mean I don't have all the channels that I had when I used the cheap indoor antenna with the built in preamp in the attic and the injector located just before my splitter. I still get like 22 channels when going direct from the antenna to a TV in the basement. Though some of them are duplicates.
Please don't presume that the preamplifier in the Monoprice antenna is helping you. The signal levels shown on your TVFR indicate you should be seeing many stations with an unamplified antenna. Your 'tests' continue to make me question the integrity of the ANT-751, and/or the matching transformer.


Quote:
If not then install a NEW matching transformer.
And Yes I know you installed a new matching transformer , install a NEW one anyway.
Good call.

It's not hard to over-tighten the connector on some of the matching transformers currently available. If the connector twists, the internal connections in the transformer can break. If that happens, you can be left with the equivalent of a short paper clip for an antenna. In the presence of strong signals, that may be enough 'antenna' to do a mediocre job.

On a separate note, in the photo of your splitters, do I see an attenuator between the coax and input to the 4-way splitter?

Last edited by GroundUrMast; 30-Mar-2013 at 5:12 AM. Reason: More questions
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Old 30-Mar-2013, 5:20 AM   #16
Ynot713
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teleview View Post
Connect a NEW as in --> NEW loooong coax to the matching transformer that is connected to the antenna.

Run the NEW loooong coax -->directly<-- through a open door or window and connect 1 Tv.

NO amplifier , NO power injector , NO power supply , NO couplers , NO splitters , NO nothing.

It is the , Antenna , the matching transformer , the coax , the Tv.

Scan for Digital Broadcast Tv channels , Not cable channels.

Reception Now??

If not then install a NEW matching transformer.
And Yes I know you installed a new matching transformer , install a NEW one anyway.

Reception Now??
I did that already with a NEW cable. I did a broadcast scan. I do get reception, but about 6 channels less than I do with the indoor monoprice amp connected directly to the TV.

I am going to buy another matching transformer to see if it works any better.

Thanks Again for your continued help.
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Old 30-Mar-2013, 5:27 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
Please don't presume that the preamplifier in the Monoprice antenna is helping you. The signal levels shown on your TVFR indicate you should be seeing many stations with an unamplified antenna. Your 'tests' continue to make me question the integrity of the ANT-751, and/or the matching transformer.


Good call.

It's not hard to over-tighten the connector on some of the matching transformers currently available. If the connector twists, the internal connections in the transformer can break. If that happens, you can be left with the equivalent of a short paper clip for an antenna. In the presence of strong signals, that may be enough 'antenna' to do a mediocre job.

On a separate note, in the photo of your splitters, do I see an attenuator between the coax and input to the 4-way splitter?

If you mean the red thing in the middle, yeah I guess that is a attenuator. I have since removed that and nothing has changed with my signal through the splitter.

As I said in my previous post, I will try a new transformer and not over tighten.

Should I still be getting stations over 50 mi away with no preamp?

GroundUrMast, I really appreciate your continued help and for not making me feel like an idiot through this process. I do try to do my homework with this stuff. Mostly for me its all self taught thought I am getting beyond my level of knowledge with this particular issue. So sincerely, thank you for your help and patience.
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Old 30-Mar-2013, 5:27 AM   #18
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What stations are you missing?



Thanks, please let me know if I or any other member makes you feel anything other than welcome.
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If the well is dry and you don't see rain on the horizon, you'll need to dig the hole deeper. (If the antenna can't get the job done, an amp won't fix it.)

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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 30-Mar-2013 at 5:47 AM. Reason: bumping part of post
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Old 30-Mar-2013, 5:29 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
What stations are you missing?
I will get exact call signs for you tomorrow. Thank You.
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Old 30-Mar-2013, 5:46 AM   #20
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Quote:
Should I still be getting stations over 50 mi away with no preamp?
That depends on the signal levels in the air, at your antenna's location. Can you give us the call sign and real channel number of the station(s) you're referring to? Based on the path profiles shown in your TVFR, you are on the side of a hill with line of sight toward Syracuse, you should have no trouble with signal levels at that distance. Any signal on your report with a NM value of 40 dB or greater is powerful enough to drive 100' of RG-6 (6 dB loss), an 8-way splitter (12 dB loss) and another 100' of RG-6... (40 dB NM - 24 dB distribution losses still leaves you a net NM at the TV of 16 dB.) And that assumes no antenna gain. http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=109
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 30-Mar-2013 at 7:39 AM. Reason: punc. formatting
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