Is it possible for reception to get worse over time on 2 bay antenna used indoors?

ufquack

DTVUSA Rookie
#1
Hello,

I am using the 2-bay Eagle Aspen DTV2BUHF outdoor antenna for a small secondary TV, I was very pleased with performance when I first got it a few years ago, I was really surprised at the great reception for such a small footprint antenna. I'm using it indoors and have it perched on top of a tall bookcase propped up with something under the front so it doesn't topple and take out an eye.

Here's the problem, as time has passed I have noticed a change in reception, a couple to a few channels which I routinely view I am no longer receiving, I'm gettting the dreaded NO SIGNAL screen now, but there was no problem originally for many months, I've tried repositiong the antenna, I've repositioned its wire, I've scanned and rescanned using the Magnavox DTV box which I use as a tuner.

I've tried changing its cable, there is no difference, I've inspected the balun (not that I put a meter on it or anything) but I've examined it visually and felt to see if it feels intact and it seems to be and is still working for most of the channels so I see no reason it could be bad if my picture is not dropping when you move it on a channel that is coming in. I've considered changing the balun (looks just like new) but I hate to drop one more single dime on buying more junk. God knows I've done that plenty of times and usually end up feeling somewhat like a jackass because of it.

Also, this didn't happen all at once, it wasn't like the channels were there one day and then one day just disappeared, no they came in originally steady, then started dropping out gradually, coming in occasionally still after moving/repositioning, but then finally no amount of repositioning works and the channel is gone.

I am wondering if it is possible that the antenna or its parts have either become slightly loose or if perhaps somehow that the aluminum elements have become coated between the rivets where they are attached either by dust or--worse--a slight oxidation of the metal? (I probably don't know enough of the science of it to even be suggesting that--however I'm just putting it out there as a possible reason for this loss of reception). I was wondering if this might just mean that this sort of thing would happen under normal conditions for this antenna to everyone. Is anyone else using a similar antenna indoors? Have you noticed your reception change over time like of a period of 24 months or longer?

Now here's the thing I've inspected the antenna itself but there is largely no noticeable difference in the way it looks and feels from when it was new, all the construction is tight (so to debunk my own theory I don't really see how dust could get in between where the elements shaped like 4 Vs are attached by rivets to the two vertical straight aluminum pieces), the only noticeable difference (and it is still not that noticeable) is perhaps the aluminum of the elements has lost a tiny bit of its shine (but again it can't be that much because come on! this is supposedly an outdoor antenna! I'd hate to see what it would be like installed outside!) This antenna has been largely pampered for the most part sitting in a single spot and hasn't been dropped or bent.

What would explain loss of nearby channels that by all reason it should easily receive. I still get channels that are further away than the ones that have dropped. Can anyone explain what's going on here?

The oddest part of this is that I can hook up a lesser quality 2-bay antenna which I made out of coat hangers and hook it up and get one of the channels which its dropping and yet the coat hanger antenna cannot receive as many of the other channels as the professional made one can! Or is the DTV tuner box the problem? But if so then how can that be? What would cause that?
 
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Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#2
:welcome: ufquack,

Thanks for the detailed explanation of your setup and I doubt it is the problem. Most likely, something has changed in the path between you and the transmitting antennas such as trees growing larger or new building construction. If a close neighbor replaced their asphault shingle roof with a metal roof, it could be reflecting signals to your tuner, confusing it.

The NO SIGNAL screen can be caused by three different issues: lack of signal, too much signal and the same signal being received from more than one source, such as the reflection I mentioned above, and the only way to know for certain is to view the signal on a professional meter to see its waveform.

The channels you lost may have changed their output power (up or down) or their physical antenna location (up or down) or to an entirely different antenna tower.

If you share your free antenna survey available here: TV Fool with us, we may be able to research changes and make recommendations. It would help to know the particular channels that you have lost.

Jim
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#3
The DB2UHF is a decent little antenna - I use it to check reception at new install locations. I doubt it is the antenna. It's not complex, not much that could be wrong with it. It could be the balun - a new one is less than $5. But I more suspect some of the things Jim suggested. Also - have you or close neighbors added any new home electronics - computers, routers, fridge, etc? These things can wreak havoc with indoor antennas. Try unplugging things one at a time, and also try running the coax out a window and placing the antenna outside to see if your reception improves.
 
#4
ufquack said:
Is anyone else using a similar antenna indoors? Have you noticed your reception change over time like of a period of 24 months or longer?
Yes. I have. I have a similar setup to yours, except I have a 4-bay bowtie (4221HD) propped high on a desk close to a window. Signals occasionally go out for an hour or two -- even three, just due to weather. Not necessarily bad weather either. Last night we had a thunderstorm that knocked out my internet but reception continued unabated. Other times weather is fine, yet reception flails. I can find no reason other than some atmospheric condition in the 40 some miles between me and the transmitters. For example, the other day it happened at 4:30 AM, and I can't imagine a fellow tenant turning on an appliance at that hour, or an air conditioner going on when it was 61° outside. A lot of stuff can happen in 40 miles -- temperature inversions, flocks of birds, thick fog, etc.

Your coat hanger was a neat experiment in "resonance." No antenna is tuned perfectly to every station. The coat hanger just resonated better to those one or two stations than the DTV2BUHF.

I seriously doubt there's anything wrong with the tuner, balun or connecting wires. Does your reception vary day by day? This summer might just be worse at your location than the two previous summers. Or maybe you or someone else in your building got a new appliance that's wreaking havoc, like an old, electrically noisy air conditioner. Things might get better in the fall. Or you might want to consider a stronger antenna like a 4 bay or a tri-boom.

Please get us that TV Fool report. Enter your best estimate for height of the antenna above ground level, and also describe how many obstacles (walls, roofs, outside buildings or trees) there are between the antenna and transmitters. Imagine a straight line, at a 20° angle above a horizontal plane at the top of your antenna, stretching toward the stations. Does it hit the ceiling? A roof? Neighbors' apartments? A building next door?

Rick
 
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Jim1348

DTVUSA Member
#5
Is It Possible For Reception To Get Worse Over Time On 2 Bay Antenna Used Indoors?

You might want to also consider checking your coaxial cable. I assume that you have a very short run, since this is an indoor installation, but still it is worth checking to make sure it is good quality RG-6, or better, with no damage to it. You can have a great antenna, but if you don't have good feedline to get the signal to the receiver, it is of little value.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#6
It's also possible the converter box you're using is failing. The older ones have a reputation for poor quality and failure.
 
#7
a couple to a few channels which I routinely view I am no longer receiving, I'm gettting the dreaded NO SIGNAL screen now, I've repositioned its wire

I've tried changing its cable, there is no difference,

it seems to be and is still working for most of the channels so I see no reason it could be bad if my picture is not dropping when you move it on a channel that is coming in.

this didn't happen all at once, it wasn't like the channels were there one day and then one day just disappeared, no they came in originally steady, then started dropping out gradually

The oddest part of this is that I can hook up a lesser quality 2-bay antenna which I made out of coat hangers and hook it up and get one of the channels which its dropping and yet the coat hanger antenna cannot receive as many of the other channels as the professional made one can!

--- [emphasis added] ---
Jim1348 said:
coaxial cable
MrPogi said:
converter box
Very, very unlikely. Don't you guys ever have a station or two drop out on a bad day? Channel 58 dropped out on me last summer for one solid month.

ufquack said:
I am wondering if it is possible that the antenna or its parts have either become slightly loose or if perhaps somehow that the aluminum elements have become coated between the rivets where they are attached either by dust or--worse--a slight oxidation of the metal? ... This antenna has been largely pampered for the most part sitting in a single spot and hasn't been dropped or bent.
It's not a change in the antenna.

ufquack said:
I hate to drop one more single dime on buying more junk. God knows I've done that plenty of times and usually end up feeling somewhat like a jackass because of it.
Speaking personally, I'd much, much rather spend 50 bucks on "junk" than keep paying the cable company $10 ... $20 ... $60 EXTRA dollars (rate increases) EVERY MONTH, while service and quality continue to decline.

Rick
 
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