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Old 14-Sep-2015, 2:05 AM   #1
sau818
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Chicago/south help

Looking for some help! I posted here about a year ago but gave up after trying some of the suggestions. Someone from Solid signal said I should be able to get either the HD8200xl or the HDB91x or the new HDHorizonX10. I really don't want to handle that huge HD8200xl. I have an old medium range Channel Master antenna, RCA 1r preamp on the mast now and after splitting 1 to main tv and 1 to a Archer 15-1113A and from there a Archer 4 way 10 db splitter. I can get CBS most of the time with this but drops off with a few other stations. The drop offs even happen on the first tv after the first antenna split but not nearly as often. Denny's suggested his stacker along with the 8780 preamp. How about some opinions????? Thanks
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Old 14-Sep-2015, 2:06 AM   #2
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Old 17-Sep-2015, 12:26 AM   #3
rabbit73
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The HD8200xl is not the right antenna for you. It covers VHF-Low real channels 2-6. which you don't have.

The HDB91x is also the wrong antenna for you. It would be OK for your UHF signals, real channels 14-51, but not so good for CBS on real channel 12.

I don't have any experience with the HDHorizonX10 antenna, and I find the advertising copy hard to believe. It's just another small inefficient antenna with integrated high gain amp that tries to make up for its poor performance. Some people find that type of antenna works OK for them, but don't get your hopes up.

Is this your test setup using one TV?

Ant > RCA TVPRAMP1R > 50 ft RG6 > power inserter > TV

If you have tried two antennas with that test setup for CBS with your antenna aimed at 41 degrees magnetic using a pocket compass, not a smart phone compass, and you still can't get CBS 100%, then there is something wrong with the equipment or it's the trees.

You can see you are on the fringe of coverage:



And you can see that the signal just makes it over the terrain:



Usually, a VHF signal can get over terrain like that better than UHF, so without any photos of your location, I think the nearby trees are the problem.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg sau818TVFprofile.JPG (112.1 KB, 1100 views)
File Type: jpg sau818TVFcoverage.JPG (94.2 KB, 1110 views)
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Last edited by rabbit73; 17-Sep-2015 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 17-Sep-2015, 1:54 AM   #4
sau818
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Thank you! The setup is Antenna-RCAPRAMP1R-50' RG6-power for RCAPRAMP1R-two signal splitter- Archer 15-1113A - Archer 4 way 10 db splitter-4 TV's and the furthest tv is 75' and the one that my biggest issue is with. The tv 1 occasionally will go out but really not that big of a deal. The furthest tv will also lose WGN and some others when it's bad. The trees probably are part of the problem and the also the old antenna with broken elements. Best way of getting better? I tried adding the picture of my antenna and couldn't get it to work.
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Old 17-Sep-2015, 2:46 AM   #5
Sorzy
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Hey Sau818,
Hope you get your issues/problems resolved and can get a ton of stations.

I'm in between Milwaukee and Chicago and the antenna I got is a multi-directional UHF.

Most stations, from what I can tell, our UHF. Other then a few with the main one being CBS/WBBM (Chicago), which is a hi-V (Hi-VHF) signal so you will need a VHF antenna.

I don't know how much you have invested already. But if I were you, I'd go through Antennas Direct. That's who I went through, as well as their stuff from them through Amazon. Buying Direct I was able to get a little off here and there.

If you don't have a pre-amplifier/amplifier I suggest you get one. Just remember, just like anything else, no matter what set-up you have, you split it between 2 TV's, the signal weakens. Add more TV's, it weakens even more. I've also read, heard and been told, if you have too long of RG-6 cable coming from the antenna, generally 50ft. or more, that too weakens your signal.

And I'm not sure if anything I've done/did or will do in the future will help you or not. But feel free to follow my threads as even though mine is up, I've got some questions, issues/problems and concerns of my own.

Lastly, I will say this. even though you're close to the broadcast towers, tall buildings, trees and other stuff, because the FCC allows it, can, does and will interfere with your signal. And I don't know if you've tried other sources for what channels you can get and what not, but I did 3 different ones. However, not being tech savvy ( I know enough to get me into trouble and know enough to fix struggle through some things). But I used three different channel finders.

The one offered here at TVFool (although I downloaded google earth and tried to use the stuff for my area like you did above, but like I said, I'm not tech savvy and couldn't get it to work).

But besides here, I used these two channel locators...

http://transition.fcc.gov/mb/engineering/dtvmaps/

http://antennapoint.com/

If you've only used the one channel locator, try these other two and get a good comparison. On one, and I forget which, you can click the call letters and it'll show a line from where you are to where the tower is.

As for a real compass to one on your phone, I used both and both are susceptible to metal and magnetic interference and can go all screwy. This is the one I used on my hone and confirmed/compared with a real compass. Both linked below for your convenience.

The manual one I borrowed from a friend who's son is in the Boy Scouts and it's what he used for that. It's like the one linked below and it's plastic...

https://www.camping-gear-outlet.com/...ar-391979.html

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d....gamma.compass <<<

Believe it or not, for me anyhow, it worked pretty darn good. But then I'm in a somewhat rural area. Although at times I did have some magnetic interference. And again, as I said, I used the app one and a manual one and compared the results. Both worked fine for me. And neither worked fine when I got them close to the antenna. I had to stand away from it and eyeball it. First try to check it out before I actually installed it, I got 81 digital channels and one analog. Which if you follow my thread/s, you'll see is one issue I now have. :/

Good luck.
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Old 18-Sep-2015, 9:37 PM   #6
sau818
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Ok, for anyone reading. I got another antenna given to me. It is bigger and I think a true UHF-VHF. It has one broken element instead of three. It performs the same as the other one. I bought Channel Master 3414 and it did not do as well as my old Archer 10 db 4 signal splitter and I tested several times switching back and forth. I also tried a Winegard LNA200 instead of the RCA TVPRAMP1R I already own. The results were RCA 41 channels and the Winegard 18 and tried it several times and Winegard never matched the RCA. So at this moment I am exactly were I was two days ago with no CBS on my furthest TV and sometimes pixelating signal on main TV. I would have no problem buying any antenna that would actually work!
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Old 18-Sep-2015, 11:09 PM   #7
rabbit73
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Quote:
I would have no problem buying any antenna that would actually work!
It is entirely possible that there is no antenna that will work at your location for CBS, even on a 100 ft tower.

If you are willing to try more tests, I can suggest some things to try, but it will cost you time and money with no guarantee of better reception.

If you want to upgrade your system, I suggest the Winegard HD7698P, and a Channel Master 7777 preamp. The 7777 is a high gain preamp only for fringe areas that is easily overloaded. I did an FMFOOL report for your estimated location that doesn't show any strong FM signals that might cause a problem with the reception of CBS that the FM filter in the 7777 can't handle. See attachment. You can do your own FM report here:
http://www.fmfool.com/index.php?opti...pper&Itemid=29

I still haven't seen any photos that show what it looks like in that direction (41 degrees magnetic). If you have a picture I can try to help you add it.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg sau818TVF FM est.JPG (112.5 KB, 476 views)
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Last edited by rabbit73; 18-Sep-2015 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 19-Sep-2015, 12:28 AM   #8
sau818
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Thanks rabbit73! I called both Winegard and Channel Master after doing tests. Winegard will be calling back. Channel Master suggested the Masterpiece 100 after telling him my issues. I couldn't get photo's to post when I tried but I can tell you for sure there are trees directly in front of my antenna location about 75 ft away. Nothing I can really do about that! With the current, I think Winegard 13 ft long antenna, CBS on first TV is there but breaks up some. It is currently raining and the other Tv's do not have CBS at all.
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Old 19-Sep-2015, 12:29 AM   #9
sau818
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Oh, he also said that the high gain preamp wasn't recommended.
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Old 19-Sep-2015, 1:48 AM   #10
rabbit73
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Quote:
Oh, he also said that the high gain preamp wasn't recommended.
Yes, I understand. Channel Master is very cautious about the 7777 because many users bought the 7777 and were upset when it overloaded. The new 30 dB gain 7777 overloads more easily than the old 24 dB gain 7777. They should have left well enough alone instead of redesigning the 7777. What really irritated us techs was that they kept the same model number as if to trade on the good reputation of the old 7777.
http://www.channelmaster.com/TV_Ante..._p/cm-7777.htm
Quote:
The Titan 2 High Gain Preamplifier is recommended for professional installers only. Due to the high gain output of this product, it can result in over amplification if not used in the appropriate scenario. Over amplification can cause issues with the television tuner’s ability to receive and display some or all channels.
MikeBear was using a 7777 with his antenna that was just below the tree tops, and it was working OK. When he raised his antenna for CH 12 to just above the tree tops his 7777 didn't work. He thought it was broken, but it was just overload and was OK.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBear View Post
Turns out my new model CM7777 pre-amp is actually fine. Raising the antennas higher caused the signal level to go high enough that it got swamped out. I'll keep it for a spare, and use attenuators in front of it if need be.
post
http://forum.tvfool.com/showpost.php...2&postcount=49
page
http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.p...2742#post52742

Since you seemed to be willing to take a gamble for improvement, I made a judgment call after looking at your tvfool and fmfool reports, hearing that just a little more gain helped, and thinking that your signals might be weaker than shown in your tvfool report because of the trees.

It's your time, money, and antenna system. You get to make the final decision. The fact that the wet trees blocked the signals even more confirms my estimate. You can always insert an adjustable attenuator between the antenna and the preamp to find the optimum point between not enough and too much gain.

MikeBear was having power line noise that interfered with his channel 12 reception, and found the source. Interference from power line noise is very common on VHF-High.

You might want to read his thread because your problem is very similar to his. It might give you some new ideas.

You can show us a photo by putting it in an attachment.
Go Advanced > Manage Attachments > Browse > Click on photo > Open > Upload > close attachment window > Save Changes
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Last edited by rabbit73; 19-Sep-2015 at 2:45 AM.
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Old 19-Sep-2015, 2:00 AM   #11
sau818
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How confident are you that the 7777 would be ok? The 7778 is available near me and could get tomm. Do you think there is any real difference between the RCA,Winegard or Channel Master as far as the medium gain units? Like I reported the RCA was better in my tests.
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Old 19-Sep-2015, 2:40 AM   #12
rabbit73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sau818 View Post
How confident are you that the 7777 would be ok? The 7778 is available near me and could get tomm. Do you think there is any real difference between the RCA,Winegard or Channel Master as far as the medium gain units? Like I reported the RCA was better in my tests.
I'm not exactly confident, it's more like it's your only choice left if you can't get your antenna above the trees.

The 7778 is very similar to the RCA in performance. Your test that shows the RCA is a little better than the LNA200 matches what I have read. The newer LNA200s don't seem to be as good as the early ones. I think it's because they were redesigned to meet the price point of the big box stores.

Instead of going for more antenna or preamp gain some users with tree problems have switched to a preamp with a lower noise figure for a better SNR. Sort of like when a ship is too tall, don't raise the bridge, lower the river.

MikeBear switched to his Kitztech preamp.
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Last edited by rabbit73; 19-Sep-2015 at 2:56 AM.
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Old 19-Sep-2015, 3:29 AM   #13
sau818
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Ok, attaching still not working for me. I will read some of that thread tomm. What do you think of those amplifiers you mentioned, never heard of them. Thanks for the info, probably giving up for the night!
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Old 19-Sep-2015, 1:56 PM   #14
rabbit73
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Quote:
What do you think of those amplifiers you mentioned, never heard of them.
There are some preamps that have a lower Noise Figure than the average preamp. The lower NF is important because the preamp adds its own noise which reduces the SNR of weak signals. So, the lower the NF, the better to receive the weak signals. The disadvantage of low NF preamps is that they are more sensitive to static damage, and fail more often than the average preamp like the RCA, Antennas Direct, and Channel Master.

Kitztech is one brand of low NF preamp:
http://kitztech.com/

Another from the UK; expensive:
http://www.researchcomms.com/hdtv.html

AbilityHDTV:
http://abilityhdtv.com/info/antenna-...nd-all-abouts/
http://www.abilityhdtv.com/product-l...pg1-cid42.html

Quote:
Ok, attaching still not working for me.
What part are you having trouble with? Is the photo from the camera in the computer yet? Maybe I can guide you through it step by step.
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Last edited by rabbit73; 19-Sep-2015 at 3:51 PM.
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Old 19-Sep-2015, 6:54 PM   #15
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I'd try a passive 4 way splitter instead of the Archer 10 db splitter. The preamp that you have will make up for the losses is the splitter plus the line loss.
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Old 20-Sep-2015, 2:48 AM   #16
sau818
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Ok, this is the latest. I bought the available Channel Master 7778 and tested it, The results were after coming home and the storm is gone and clear outside. RCA preamp 80 channels and the Channel Master 24 with not much on the furthest TV. So then I hooked up a Channel Master Extreme 75 stood it on the deck and received 86 channels the most ever. I then put the Extreme antenna on the pole below other old antenna and removed the RCA preamp and connected to Extreme antenna and to TV. The furthest TV just scanned 74 channels including CBS Chicago. The main TV scans 79 with RCA amp. We will see what tomm brings but for now I have CBS on every TV in the house. If I have a problem with the far TV again and the first TV still works good with this Extreme antenna I will just buy another Extreme antenna and eliminate some of the cable runs and splitters. In fact if this works during the rain I will buy another one for my detached garage!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 20-Sep-2015, 11:06 PM   #17
sau818
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Back to the same problem today. Hooked the old antenna back up and it seems I am back to the same old problem. I get CBS today on main TV OK and some pixels and fading in and out on the furthest TV. So I tried again to post pictures and it said missing security token.
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Old 22-Sep-2015, 2:30 AM   #18
Sorzy
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Man I hate it, I truly hate it when I get my post all typed up and post it only to find I've been automatically logged out and lost everything. Because it just happened. And I'm not about to re-type it all again. But I'll re-type the main parts.

How old is your antenna? How old are the cable/s? Splitter/combiner? Are you running cable longer then 100ft'?

Even if a new splitter/combiner, you can get a bad one. Or one that doesn't work 100%.

When was the last time you checked the antenna? Anything broken or missing?

Have you considered seeing how far you are, just asking out of curiosity, how far you are from any of Indiana's broadcasting towers? Odds are, the CBS station/s there, like for me in Milwaukee, is broadcast in UHF?

I don't know if you can or if it's wise to use more then one amp or not. I'll post and let rabbit73 or anyone else let me and you know if it's a good idea or not.

But first let me ask, how many TV's are hooked up to the antenna? I ask because, each TV weakens the signal. Look at it as if it were a stereo. Let's say, for example, you have a 100watt stereo and you have 2 speakers hooked up to it. Each speaker will get 50watts. Hook up 2 more speakers, now each speaker will get 25 watts. Don't know the signal split, but I'm sure it's similar with a TV signal? Again, if I'm wrong, rabbit73 can correct me.

But maybe try a amplified splitter. If you have a UHF/VHF/FM antenna, you'll obviously then need one for that. The one I linked is just an example. But I did also link (2nd one, another, different UHF/VHF amp (didn't check if it's also for FM?)

https://www.antennasdirect.com/store...amplifier.html

https://www.antennasdirect.com/store...e_amp_kit.html

Good luck Sau818. I'll continue to follow your thread and see how things are going and offer help/suggestions when and where I can.

P.S.
Might I also suggest calling Antenna's Direct. The person I spoke with, on several occasions I might add, was very helpful to and for me. Maybe they can help you?
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Old 22-Sep-2015, 3:32 AM   #19
sau818
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Wow!!!! Sorzy, you must be really good on the keyboard! If you read my thread I think you will see most of those answers. Really though, thanks for any input you have as something may work out. Today I am still on my second antenna that was given to me, the #6 post. We watched CBS tonight and all TV's have CBS. I really have tried just about every option available locally and no preamps or distribution amp splitters I have mentioned have done any good. I am probably gonna see bad tv as soon as it rains again.
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Old 28-Sep-2015, 5:58 AM   #20
Sorzy
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Hey Sau818. Don't know where you're at with your situation or if you've given up or what. But in looking for things to rectify an issue I['m having and to help my reception be the best it can be, I ran across this little bugger. Maybe it is just what you need? For $12.99, it might not hurt to try it?

https://www.antennasdirect.com/store...ttenuator.html

And without going back and re-reading everything, it's easier to just do it this way. Anyhow, with that said, I can't remember if you said/were the one who's thread/post I read that stated you also had FM? If so, maybe you need or can then also try this/one of these. Or another type of filter maybe?

https://www.antennasdirect.com/store...on_filter.html

Just offering suggestions.
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