Confusing antenna reception difficulties

jonah

DTVUSA Rookie
#1
Opinions on what to try next will go a long way to helping me figure a way out of this maze of confusing OTA signal qualities.

With a Terk amplified antenna in the bedroom, signal quality as measured by a Tivo Series 3 is <70 much of the time for all stations except those within 15 miles and KKPX at 39 miles. The degree of pixelation and dropouts makes all but these channels unwatchable.

The tvfool link is TV Fool

The only stations I am interested in are all the green ones which are supposedly tunable with an indoor antenna.

Signal quality is all over the place, KRON and KBCW will be >60 and watchable then plummet to zero signal the next. It is not an instant dropout, it will last several minutes to an hour and then recover.

My assumption that a 4228HD mounted on the roof would solve everything only confused matters.

About half the stations in the green zone would come in at 90+, and the other half would be near zero. Re-orienting the antenna could reverse the situation, but there was no angle at which all stations gave a strong signal, it was either excellent or miserable, no middle ground.

In reading various posts, it seems like the FV-HD30 might work as well or better than the amplified Terk because the amplifier introduces noise.

Rather than experiment in ignorance, guidance from the members here will be much appreciated.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#2
First off, you shouldn't need an amplifier, and yes, it may be part of your problem. Is your bedroom on the side of the building toward or away from the broadcast towers (north side)? If not, you may have multi-path caused by the building. It kind of sounds that way. Do you have access to the roof or attic?

I take it you don't have a 4228HD?

As a point of reference this is my http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id=81a39e3a98a3e8 and all the green signals will come in anywhere in the house. But, in the north bedroom I can get multi-path.
 
Last edited:

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#3
Looking at the specs for the 4228HD, I do notice it has about a 25 degree beam width in the uhf. Your desired stations are about 60 degrees apart, thats a stretch for any antenna. You may just need a wider beam antenna - and I have no recommendation for a beam that wide, my Radio Shack U-75r has a beam of about 50 degrees, quite wide but not quite enough. Maybe two antennas would be the best solution here. OR... This may be a job for one of the Digiwave hinged 8 bays:

http://www.dtvusaforum.com/dtv-hdtv-reception-antenna-discussion/19926-digiwave-hinged-8-bay-bowtie.html

Picture:

The ANT 7288



And the ANT 7287

 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#4
:welcome: Jonah,

The tvfool link is TV Fool

My assumption that a 4228HD mounted on the roof would solve everything only confused matters.
As suggested above, I am inclined to think your indoor reception issues are caused by multipath, but It's not practical to move your refrigerator or kitchen sink to another room. I am a believer in outdoor antennas because their behavior is far more predictable than indoor antennas. The trick is to choose the right one (or two).

If you still have the 4228HD available to test, I'd "walk it in" to find the best location on your roof. This includes trying it at various heights above ground: five feet higher or a foot lower might be the key. I receive my NBC affilliate within a 'height window' of 20", about 10 feet off of my roof: no higher or lower. As I did, you also may be able to find a 'sweet-spot' to mount your antenna. I'm not convinced the beamwidth of a 4228HD is too narrow to receive all of the stations to the north, in fact it may be too wide and its catching multipath, confusing your tuner.

I don't have personal experience with the Digiwave hinged 8-bay Mr Pogi suggested, but it might be the answer because one bay could be dedicated to each the two antenna farms. Please keep us posted on your progress.

Jim
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#5
Jonah,

The theory of the hinged antenna Mr Pogi suggested can be seen here about mid-page under Example 1: Stacking multiple antennas If you are receiving multipath interference from somewhere between the two antenna farms, this antenna configuration can put the 'interference' in a null.

Another thought would be to test using a pad attenuator to reduce all signal levels. Example: If you have a primary signal strength peaking at 90, and there is a second reflected signal coming to your antenna (multipath) from a building or a mountain, you could reduce the primary signal strength very low, say to 20 or 30. The second signal would also be attenuated and it might drop so low into the noise floor that your tuner wouldn't 'see' it at all. However, your tuner would see the clean primary signal. Receiving HDTV OTA is a matter of clean rather than strong signals.

Jim
 

jonah

DTVUSA Rookie
#6
> Is your bedroom on the side of the building toward or
> away from the broadcast towers (north side)?

If standing in the bedroom and facing the window, the primary cluster of antennas is 45 degrees left. The Terk receives best on that angle.

> Do you have access to the roof or attic?

Attic yes, through a tiny access hole.

Roof, not normally. I was lucky yesterday.

> Your desired stations are about 60 degrees apart, thats a stretch for any antenna.

There is no issue with the close stations, they are are so strong that they come in no matter which direction the antenna is in. The only stations I am trying to receive are those in the north. If push came to shove and the close stations could not be received it would not matter. One is independent with little I am interested in and the other is a subsidiary of PBS north.

> If you still have the 4228HD available to test, I'd "walk it
> in" to find the best location on your roof.

The only suitable location for an antenna is the chimney shared with the unit next door. We have had issues with roof leaks and when the roof was redone a couple of years ago it was agreed that only the chimneys would be used for dishes and antennas.

> If you are receiving multipath interference from somewhere between
> the two antenna farms, this antenna configuration can put the
> 'interference' in a null.

Being in a condo is limiting, we have to live within the 1 meter diameter limitations for an antenna so stacking is not feasible.

> Receiving HDTV OTA is a matter of clean rather than strong signals.

The FV-HD30 draws praise for making improvements over indoor antennas that are pulling in almost-watchable signals.

That's kinda the situation here, so am I wrong in thinking that this implies it is good at handling multipath?
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#7
Being in a condo is limiting, we have to live within the 1 meter diameter limitations for an antenna so stacking is not feasible.
The link I offered was to help explain the behavior and unusual capabilities of the single antenna Mr Pogi suggested. I do not know the physical size of the unit, but if it is close to the 3 meter limit, I'd take a shot and try it.

Jim
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#8
we have to live within the 1 meter diameter limitations for an antenna so stacking is not feasible.
Your condo may have such a restriction, and it is valid for satellite dishes. However, when it comes to OTA antennas, the FCC OTARD rules have no limit to the size and / or number of OTA antennas you can put up, AFIK. The condo rules can not supersede OTARD rules:

(1) A "dish" antenna that is one meter (39.37") or less in diameter (or any size dish if located in Alaska) and is designed to receive direct broadcast satellite service, including direct-to-home satellite service, or to receive or transmit fixed wireless signals via satellite.

(2) An antenna that is one meter or less in diameter or diagonal measurement and is designed to receive video programming services via broadband radio service (wireless cable) or to receive or transmit fixed wireless signals other than via satellite.

(3) An antenna that is designed to receive local television broadcast signals. Masts higher than 12 feet above the roofline may be subject to local permitting requirements.

In addition, antennas covered by the rule may be mounted on "masts" to reach the height needed to receive or transmit an acceptable quality signal (e.g. maintain line-of-sight contact with the transmitter or view the satellite). Masts higher than 12 feet above the roofline may be subject to local permitting requirements for safety purposes. Further, masts that extend beyond an exclusive use area may not be covered by this rule.

FCC Fact Sheet on Placement of Antennas
 

jonah

DTVUSA Rookie
#9
> An antenna that is designed to receive local television broadcast signals.

I get along with my neighbors and don't want to create friction, so will delay until the next get-together to get a reading before acting on that news.

Thanks
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#11
Jonah,

If your concerns are that a traditional Antenna would be objected to, much like situations in a Homeowners Association (HOA), there are several Antennas which you could use, which are very "sneaky". They don't look much like Antennas, and are frequently mistaken as Satellite Equipment. Many HOA's readily accept a Satellite Dishes.

Here is a comparison collage, of eight "sneaky" antennas...
As you can see, some can be mounted on "J" Posts like a Dish.
Several have rather wide beamwidths, and a wider distribution of transmitters can be reached.
Several can be flush mounted on a outside wall, facing the transmitters.

Why don't you do a lookup on these, and see if one meets your needs as far as it's appearance. Then tell us which one that is, and we can see if it fits your reception requirements.
.


.
Have a good Day ! :)
S.W.
 

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