Question: How to get CBS in Greece, NY

Lennocartney

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
I just installed a directional outdoor antenna in Greece, NY and cannot get the CBS affiliate in Rochester (WROC). My house is 7 miles from the transmitter and other stations at that point (several stations transmit from Pinnacle Hill) are at a 99% signal strength based on the readings from my tv. I called the station and they said that they have to use a weak signal to the northwest of Rochester, NY due to a signal from Canada (that I don't receive) and that many people have this issue. So, first questions - anyone else have similar issues in the area? How did you work around (the engineer I spoke with said get cable - defeats the whole point of antennas)? I thought about trying to get the CBS affiliate out of Buffalo, but the transmitter is 60+ miles away and it would need some work to get. The other series of questions I have is can I do something with the FCC or something to bring it to their attention and/or compel the affiliate to broadcast a greater strength? I know it's a long shot, but you miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

Also, just as an FYI, the antenna is an RCA antenna UHF/VHF receiver ranged at 40 miles. It is attic mounted, but the house is 2 story and the antenna is elevated approximately 25 feet above ground. Trees and houses average for the suburbs.

Thanks to any and all for your help,
 
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#2
I just installed a directional outdoor antenna in Greece, NY and cannot get the CBS affiliate in Rochester (WROC). My house is 7 miles from the transmitter and other stations at that point (several stations transmit from Pinnacle Hill) are at a 99% signal strength based on the readings from my tv. I called the station and they said that they have to use a weak signal to the northwest of Rochester, NY due to a signal from Canada (that I don't receive) and that many people have this issue.
I dunno! I pulled up a TVFool report for your zip code, and WROC is at NM = 61 dB. Hard to believe TVF could be that far off.
TV Fool

Maybe it's a tuning problem! WJOH has a retransmitter on channel 8. What can happen is this: your tuner goes through the "real" channel numbers from low to high. It catches a whiff of WJOH on RF 8, and gets it's virtual number (also 8, I think) and puts that in memory. When it gets to the much stronger RF 45, it rejects that because virtual 8 is already taken.

Can you tune stations manually on your TV?

Also, just as an FYI, the antenna is an RCA antenna UHF/VHF receiver ranged at 40 miles.
What model RCA? The range figure is just something to waste people's time, but if you're getting the other stations well -- almost has to be a tuning problem.

Rick
 

Jim5506

DTVUSA Member
#3
There is severe attenuation from 300 degrees to 40 degrees from the transmitter site.

At 300 degrees, there is about 1/2 signal, getting lower as you go toward the north from each side.

If you look at the relative field polar plot from the FCC database you can see the calculated transmission coverage.
 
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Lennocartney

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#4
Rick - thanks for the reply. I am actually getting no channels for 8 at all (including WJOH). I can tune stations manually, but at channel 45, it still doesn't pick up anything. The RCA antenna is an ANT751R Outdoor Antenna.
 

Lennocartney

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#5
Jim - can you link to that FCC database? I am having trouble seeing it.

As to a fix, what would it be? Is it just antenna placement (get it higher, avoid obstructions as best as I can?)

Thanks for the response.
 
#6
Jim - can you link to that FCC database? I am having trouble seeing it.
This is what he's talking about, Len...
TV Query Results -- Video Division (FCC) USA

Click on "Relative Field polar plot" and you come to this:
FM or TV Directional Antenna Polar Plot ********************Media Bureau (FCC) USA

But surely the TVFR takes this into account, right Jim? Maybe my zip code is a mile or two off -- would make a big difference so close to the transmitter. Len, can you go to TVFool and enter your exact address into the form? Copy the link that appears toward top of page and paste it in a message here. (No personal data is revealed.) TV Fool

As to a fix, what would it be? Is it just antenna placement (get it higher, avoid obstructions as best as I can?)
Never hurts to try. Sometimes a few inches up/down/right/left can make a huge difference. Talk to somebody on a cell phone who can rescan each time you move it.

Rick
 

Lennocartney

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#7
Rick -

The TV Fool link is here. I will take your advice into play as I am in one of the weaker points noted by Jim in the polar plot map. Again, from other sites at the same broadcast location, I have a 99% signal strength, so I don't think I am that far off in my orientation, but will try and move it to take out whatever obstacles I can, but trying to get a direct LOS over 7 miles in a residential neighborhood with trees, houses, and being on the wrong side of the city (downtown Rochester is right between us), is pretty difficult. TV Fool is giving me similar results from WROC to WHEC and WHAM, specifically in the NM, unless a 1 dB increase is pretty significant (I don't think so, but am a novice at this).

Thank you again for the help
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#8
Hard to believe you can't pick up WROC from Pinnacle Hill in Greece. You may just need to move your antenna a bit, or try a different antenna, or a bit of both. If you have any neighbors with an antenna, check with them to see what they are using for antennas.

I would offer to drive over and check your situation out, but I moved from Rochester about 10 years ago. (I used to play on Pinnacle Hill as a kid)
 
#9
OK, your TVFR puts the WROC transmitter at 144 degrees from you , so from their point of view, you're at 180 + 144 = 324 degrees -- right in the belly of that polar plot. Looks like it's just under 0.3 relative strength, which you have to square (guessing, mostly) and multiply by the maximum ERP which is 1000 k watts, for WROC. That gets you to a little under 90 k Watts. Maybe 85 k watts? then you still have to adjust for the 7.2 miles.

Anyone know if I'm on the right track? I thought TV Fool used the FCC data... ?

I guess they're doing something deliberate to attenuate the signal and avoid interference, like your engineer said. Some other stations from that location have no FCC plots. One does have a similar pattern, but in a different direction, so wouldn't affect you nearly so much. But I wouldn't give up without moving the antenna to several different spots.

Yeah, 1 dB is almost nothing in terms of signal strength or Noise Margin (NM). Ordinarily, you should be able to get anything "in the green" (above NM = 34 dB or so) on your report fairly easily. It's on a log scale where 3 dB about DOUBLES the strength, so 59 dB is over 300 times the minimum for green. Even if you have to multiply by 0.085 ... Like Pogi said, hard to believe. I could spend the night checking my numbers against different web sources, but hopefully someone here knows how to do it right off the bat.

R.
 

Trip

Moderator, , , Webmaster of: Rabbit Ears
Staff member
#10
Don't forget that the antenna is probably side-mounted on the tower, and so the tower itself could be knocking the signal strength down more than the antenna pattern would suggest.

- Trip
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#11
Don't forget that the antenna is probably side-mounted on the tower, and so the tower itself could be knocking the signal strength down more than the antenna pattern would suggest.

- Trip
Quite possible, or one of the other towers is blocking it. I'm not sure of the orientation of this pic, but it's probably from the South or West.


Man, it's changed since the 60's when I used to play there. All those houses are new... As city kids, we considered Pinnacle Hill "Wilderness"
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#12
Lennocartney,

You said your antenna is installed in your attic. Be aware, anything metallic near the antenna can reflect TV signals and confuse the data-stream to the point your tuner cannot decipher it. This includes foil-backed insulation, HVAC ducting, steel chimney and vent pipes etc.

I suggest you walk (literally) your antenna outside on top of your roof while a helper rescans repeatedly for new channels. You may find a 'sweet-spot' for your antenna where that channel magically appears.

Jim
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#13
This really doesn't look like it should be much of a issue. It may be simply a matter of antenna placement as others have suggested. I'd move the antenna around the attic. Mounting it outdoors may be your best bet. The RCA ANT751R only has 5 dB of gain across the TV ban. Getting a stronger antenna may be another option, but I'd move the antenna around before I went to the expense of getting a different antenna.

You have to understand that TV stations get retransmission fees from the cable companies (approaching $1 a month per subscriber) for everyone who receives the station through cable or satellite, which they don't get if you get it free over the air. That's one reason that they're so "helpful." You should have told him that you would be happy to get cable if he would pay for it. ;)
 

Lennocartney

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#14
Thank you everyone for the help and suggestions. I have moved the antenna all over the roof and there is nothin metallic in the way, but with no luck. I even tried slightly different orientations. Before I spend the $20/month to get from cable the same thing I can get for free, I am thinking about a UHF only preamp. I was told that the preamp would swamp over the other signals I had, but the other signals I really care about are in the VHF range so, even if it does swamp the other UHF, I don't really mind. Any thoughts on this?

Thank you all again and sorry I just got the chance to post, but I only just got the chance to try and after a couple of hours and every possible location, I had to change tactics.
 
#15
Thank you everyone for the help and suggestions. I have moved the antenna all over the roof and there is nothin metallic in the way, but with no luck. I even tried slightly different orientations.
Just to be sure -- until you actually get a picture from the station in question, you MUST do a rescan on your TV every time you move the antenna or else you've learned nothing. Even if the virtual channel is in memory, it's very possible it's from a completely different station. Sorry if I repeat myself, but many people have the idea that a station is a station is a station. But it isn't, cause of the virtual/real channel dichotomy the FCC rammed down our throats. :mad:

Before I spend the $20/month to get from cable the same thing I can get for free, I am thinking about a UHF only preamp. I was told that the preamp would swamp over the other signals I had, but the other signals I really care about are in the VHF range so, even if it does swamp the other UHF, I don't really mind. Any thoughts on this?
More money has been wasted on pre-amps than anything except cable bills. Amplification normally doesn't help. Most people don't realize the first thing the signal hits in your TV is an amplifier. A pre-amplifier only makes sense if you have an exceptionally long cable run (over 30 feet) or you're splitting the signal (are you?). Even then, you need a very low noise (read: expen$ive) amplifier or you'll do more harm than good. Amplifiers add their own noise to a system, and then amplify it right along with the regular signal. Then it travels down the coax and hits the amplifier in the TV. See the problem?

Thank you all again and sorry I just got the chance to post, but I only just got the chance to try and after a couple of hours and every possible location, I had to change tactics.
Please keep us posted! Everyone loves a good mystery. :fish2:

Rick
 
G

Guest

Guest
#16
WROC weak signal

I am seconding the concern over WROC channel 8-as the picture shows, all of our Rochester stations broadcast from the same location, so why is WROC so lame? It completely disappeared this weekend on us, while the other 3 stations, and outliers all continued coming in as usual. They have always been weaker, but this is ridiculous. Mr. Technical Helpful at the station said nothing had changed, my antenna must have blown off its pointing direction (NOT). Must have been that spring leaf budding! Not so sound too left wing, but SAY NO TO CABLE!
 
G

Guest

Guest
#18
Hello, I am sorry to respond to this so late. I have had the same problem with channel 8. I live in North Greece and am about 11.8 miles from the Pinnacle hill transmitters. I originally had some cheap high amplification rabbit ears. I then bought a Clearstream 2 Antenna at BJs Club and put it in my attic aimed toward Pinnacle Hill. I found I had good reception on high UHF but variable reception on 8 and on VHF 10 and 13. I added the VHF option (so the antenna became a Clearstream 2V) and then had good reception except sometimes on Channel 8. I bought a low noise preamplifier and installed it right at the antenna. The amp I bought was a Kitztech 20 dB amp with 1 dB noise made in USA. With that I had really good reception including channel 8 on one TV. I added a splitter and still had good reception on 2 TVs (one family room and one finished basement). I added another splitter to the Basement TV and ran another line up to the 2nd floor bedroom. I still have good reception in the basement but have marginal reception on channel 8 in the bedroom (some days it will freeze up). The system has about a 30 foot run to the 1st splitter then 10 feet to the family room TV and 40 feet to the 2nd splitter. From the 2nd splitter it goes 15 feet to the basement TV then 40 feet to the 2nd floor TV. I think the antenna is a good antenna but at my range and going through the attic, I need the amp for channel 8. I recommend the high quality amp but am considering upgrading to the Kitztech 24dB amp for more reliability in the longest run. With this set up I get about 28 channels including the 51s out of Batavia. By the way, my mother lives a mile further from Pinnacle Hill with an attic antenna and gets great reception on all channels without a preamp. She, however, lives near a pond and has no obstructions for the 1st mile in the path to Pinnacle Hill!
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#19
You have somewhere around 13 dB of loss between the amp and the 2nd floor bedroom. Is there anyway to get the signal from the attic to the bedroom without going through the basement? Minimize your cable runs, and split early. I've had both the Kitztech 20 and 24dB amps, and I had better results with the 20 than the 24.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#20
About the cable in your house - did you install it or was it already there? Many times older cable is RG59, or it has been damaged over time. While RG59 works for stronger cable signals, it is not good enough for OTA use. You should only be using RG6 coax.
 

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