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Old 7-Feb-2011, 3:58 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1
Question OTA reception problem 40 miles NE Atlanta

I am an electonics virgin and received a crash course this past weekend when I installed a new blue-ray dvd player and an antenna into our existing system. I'd like to cancel satellite but need to get the antenna working better first. We have an older Bose 123 system that I'm using primarily for the speakers, a Sony blue-ray player, a DirecTV DVR box and a Visio VF550M TV that says it has an ATSC/QAM tuner.

My problem is that I get channels 2.1, 2.2, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 34.1 and 34.2 only. I'm interested in getting ABC (which I do), CBS, NBC and FOX (and I don't.) It seems weird to me that I would get 1 "green" channel and 2 "red" channels (based on my TVFool report) but no yellow channels which is where CBS, NBC and FOX are. Any suggestions? The report follows:
I have an Antennacraft U8000 mounted in our attic (2-story house) on an 8' pole about 2 feet above the attic floor. I did it all by myself. No major injuries and I didn't break anything or fall thru any ceiling either. There is no metal within 5 feel of the antenna except maybe joist connector thingies and the mast it's clamped to. Coax runs from the antenna to a diplexer, shared with satellite tv, then to an amplifier/splitter then down stairs to the first floor, to another diplexer. From there, the coax from the antenna side goes to the tv and the satellite side goes to the satellite box.

I have tried rotating the antenna, unplugging the cable, scanning (of course nothing shows up), plugging the cable back in, rescanning, and then I get as the 7 channels listed above. If I go too far to the west, I only get 34-1 and 34-1. If I go more WSW I get the 7 channels but 34-1 and 34-2 always come in the best. Figures. They're hispanic channels and I don't speak Spanish beyond ordering tacos and beer.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. If I get a longer mast I might be able to go a couple of feet higher. What about a preamp? Are the diplexer messing me up?

Thank you in advance...

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Old 7-Feb-2011, 5:09 PM   #2
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Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,773
It sounds like you are already aiming correctly but here is a link anyway...

The U8000 is advertised to have 12 dB of forward gain on real channels 14 and up (that's good). But, you may be loosing all that gain or more by mounting in the attic. Also, WGTV is on real channel 8 and WXIA is on real channel 10. The virtual channel numbers are of no help when considering which antenna is needed.

The U8000 is a good choice, but it needs to be mounted outside, high and free from trees, buildings or other obstructions or it's performance will be affected. You also need a high-VHF antenna designed to receive channel 7 through 13. In you situation an Antennacraft Y10713 would be a good choice. Again, attic mounting is going to cost you quite a bit of signal strength and quality, the H-VHF antenna also needs to have an unobstructed view to the SW in order to be successful. If you mount these antennas on the same mast, they need to have at least 4' of space between them, more would be better. When I put your report coordinates in, I can see the general neighborhood you are in, as well as experiment with higher antenna elevation. There is a clear advantage to mounting higher up. For example, the noise margin for WXIA channel 10 improves by 10 to 15 dB. You could spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on custom commercial grade antennas and not get that much gain in signal. (If I were your next door neighbor, you would see 10' of mast on top of my roof...)

Yes, a preamp is needed. You have a few powerful FM stations nearby so I would suggest an Antennacraft 10G221. It includes an FM trap filter (which you would option 'in') and also has separate inputs for the two antennas.

It does not sound like the diplexers are a problem. If they were, you would not see any OTA signals until you totally bypassed them, connecting the antenna directly to your TV tuner or DTV converter. If you drop satellite service, you will gain a small amount of signal strength if you remove the diplexers (1 to 3 dB I would guess).

By selecting the right antennas and then mounting in the right location you can hope to get good, usable signals. Then, choosing an appropriate preamplifier will ensure that your signals can survive the losses caused by splitters, diplexers and cable.
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; 7-Feb-2011 at 5:48 PM.
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Old 7-Feb-2011, 11:07 PM   #3
John Candle
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,697
Tv Antennas and Reception

A Tv antenna will not be in the attic , Atlanta Tv transmissions are to weak. To have a clearer understanding of using 1 antenna to receive from Atlanta with stronger signals the , networks , independents , PBS's , in other words , all of the channels you will like to receive with 1 antenna. Make 2 new radar plots with the antenna at 20 feet and 30 feet high to get stronger signals from Atlanta. Keep the old radar plot for a comparison of signal strengths. Post here so I can evaluate the convience of using 1 antenna. Read and understand this about Real Digital Tv Channels , Virtual Digital Tv Channels , Analog Tv Channels.

Last edited by John Candle; 8-Feb-2011 at 1:57 AM.
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Old 5-Mar-2012, 7:30 PM   #4
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Posts: 1
I actually had a great deal of success with an attic antenna in a similar location (30 miles NNE of Atlanta), but not without investing a fair amount of time and money. I am in a slightly better situation from a signal standpoint, but my antenna is the attic of my single story ranch house, pointed directly into a 20' hill behind my house.

For reference, here is my TV signal report for my location:

Here is the setup I found success with:
  • Two antennas
    • Channel Master CM-2020
    • Winegard YA-1713 (VHF only)
  • Two amplifiers
    • Channel Master CM7777 Preamplifer (separate UHF/VHF inputs, gain of 23db VHF and 26db UHF)
    • Channel Master CM-3414 4-port distribution amplifier
  • High quality cable
    • Quad shield RG6 throughout
    • Custom made cables to be shortest possible length
  • Power conditioner
    • Installed power outlet in attic on separate circuit
    • Added Monster Cable MP-HTS200 2-Outlet Home Theater PowerCenter to minimize electrical noise to amplifiers

I have both antennas mounted on the same mast, along with the preamp. The cable lengths to the preamp are both less than 2', the cable to the preamplifier power inserter is roughly 3', and the cable to the distribution amplifier is less than 6". From there, it is a 15' run to one TV and a 25' run to the other TV.

I found that, in order to receive WXIA (NBC), I actually had to point the VHF antenna several degrees to the right of the compass direction to get the best signal. I assume that this has something to do with the 2 refractions between me and the tower, but YMMV.

Below is a list of the channels I am able to receive with this setup. As you can see, a lot of them are not even listed on the tvfool signal analysis, but they are coming in clear for me!
  • 2.1 (WSB-HD) [39]
  • 2.2 (WSB-SD)
  • 5.1 (WAGA-HD) [27]
  • 8.1 (GPB-HD) [8]
  • 8.2 (KIDS)
  • 8.3 (Knowled)
  • 11.1 (WXIA-TV) [10]
  • 11.2 (WXIA-WX)
  • 14.1 (ION) [51]
  • 14.2 (QUBO)
  • 14.3 (IONLife)
  • 16.2 (WYGA-LD)
  • 17.1 (WPCH-DT) [20]
  • 18.1 (WNGH-DT) [33] <same as 8.1>
  • 18.2 (KIDS) <same as 8.2>
  • 18.3 (Knowled) <same as 8.3>
  • 26.1 (News 24)
  • 26.2 (LWN)
  • 26.3 (Biz TV)
  • 26.4 (JTV)
  • 26.5 (Shop 1)
  • 26.6 (Shop 2)
  • 26.7 (Legacy)
  • 26.8 (TUFF TV)
  • 26.9 (Untamed)
  • 26.10 (Outdoor)
  • 30.1 (WPBA-TV) [21]
  • 32.1 (APGuide) [24] <scrolling tv guide of Atlanta OTA broadcasts>
  • 32.2 (RTV)
  • 32.3 (This TV)
  • 32.4 (MOXiE)
  • 32.5 (Oldie)
  • 32.6 (My Fam)
  • 32.7 (PBJ)
  • 32.8 (LATV)
  • 32.9 (VIDA-TV)
  • 32.10 (Estrell)
  • 32.21 - 32.30 (digital rebroadcast of local radio stations)
  • 34.1 (WUVG-DT) [48]
  • 36.1 (WATL-TV) [25]
  • 36.2 (Bounce)
  • 36.3 (Antenna)
  • 40.1 (Wire D1)
  • 40.2 (Wire D2)
  • 40.3 (Wire D3)
  • 40.4 (Wire D4)
  • 42.1 (WTHC)
  • 45.1 (W45DX-D)
  • 46.1 (WGCL-TV) [19]
  • 47.1 (KTNDT)
  • 47.2 (KTND2)
  • 47.3 (KTND3)
  • 47.4 (KTND4)
  • 53.1 (WDTA-LD)
  • 57.1 (WATC-DT) [41]
  • 57.2 (WATCTOO)
  • 63.1 (TBN)
  • 63.2 (Church)
  • 63.3 (JCTV)
  • 63.4 (Enlace)
  • 63.5 (Smile)
  • 69.1 (WUPA-DT)
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antennacraft, diplexer, preamp, u8000

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