Looking for Some Help in the Fringe..I think

#1
Ok everybody I just joined the forum. I've been lookin(Lurking) for awhile. Lots of knowledge being passed around, though I have to admit most of it makes my head spin. I like a lot or most of you am tryin to dial in the ever evasive digital signal. I live in the Pacific Northwest, and there just doesn't seem to be much talk on any of the forums I've come across about this area. I've read alot of your posts, and have concluded that I'm going to have to resort to Cowboy's(I hope you don't mind me calling you that for short) Deep Fringe scenario. But I just don't want to go out and just through more money at this. So I would please like to ask for your help. I'll try to include the info that I've read that you might need to determine if you can help out or not. So here goes..and Thank You in advance for any help at all. I have a Radio Shack HDTV Vhf/Uhf antenna with a 80" boom, on a 20' pole, not little mast pole, but heavy 1" pipe. I used right at 40ft of RG-6 coax,from antenna to splitter just plain old RG-6, brand new though. From the splitter to one Converter a Zenith 901 I think, is right at 8' of coax. To the other RCA 800 converter box is 15' of coax. I've gone to TV fool and gotten the info, but it's pretty useless in my hands. I'm a little better with a wench, or a shovel, then wires, and frequencies, and all this TV stuff. I'm gonna try to copy the TV Fool stuff on here, but in case this doesn't work, how about the coordinates, 45.518096,-122.164465....Thank you so much for anything you can offer.......Zip Code 97019:confused:

TV Fool
 

Trip

Moderator, , , Webmaster of: Rabbit Ears
Staff member
#2
So with all the work you've already done, do you receive nothing at all on digital? What about on analog, do you see anything on analog?

- Trip
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#3
ok everybody i just joined the forum. I've been lookin(lurking) for awhile. Lots of knowledge being passed around, though i have to admit most of it makes my head spin.
Welcome! Well a lot of us here are techie in nature and talking to each other we do get into a lot over the head stuff! But by posting what you did now we can go to work figuring out how to help and hopefully use terms easy to understand or explain terms not understood.

i like a lot or most of you am trying to dial in the ever evasive digital signal. I live in the pacific northwest, and there just doesn't seem to be much talk on any of the forums i've come across about this area. I've read alot of your posts, and have concluded that i'm going to have to resort to cowboy's(i hope you don't mind me calling you that for short) deep fringe scenario. But i just don't want to go out and just through more money at this. So i would please like to ask for your help.
From others on other forums and mail lists I have followed or helped in that area it is a little brutal. Another around Portland, Salem, Eugene and
Corvallis is plagued by mountains, unless you live right by the Portland antennas or up or down the valley there without a mountain in the way. Because all the towers in Portland are in one area, that eliminates the need for a rotor. I my opinion other stations farther down the list in TVFool are too weak to bother.

So you would point your antenna due west from your house. (sometimes a little turning will help, since all the maps aren't perfect).

I am not of persuasion there is a single solution for each situation. But there are only a handful of antennas where you get your money's worth for what you buy. So I do tend to quote a list of antennas over and over.

i'll try to include the info that i've read that you might need to determine if you can help out or not. So here goes..and thank you in advance for any help at all. I have a radio shack hdtv vhf/uhf antenna with a 80" boom, on a 20' pole, not little mast pole, but heavy 1" pipe. I used right at 40ft of rg-6 coax,from antenna to splitter just plain old rg-6, brand new though. From the splitter to one converter a zenith 901 i think, is right at 8' of coax. To the other rca 800 converter box is 15' of coax. I've gone to tv fool and gotten the info, but it's pretty useless in my hands. I'm a little better with a wench, or a shovel, then wires, and frequencies, and all this tv stuff. I'm gonna try to copy the tv fool stuff on here, but in case this doesn't work, how about the coordinates, 45.518096,-122.164465....thank you so much for anything you can offer.......zip code 97019:confused:

tv fool
Be nice to know the exact model of the antenna. But a V/U on a 80 inch boom should be in the just enough range for your TVFool numbers. I would have gone out to about 100 inch boom. Still you need to work with what you own, unless it's so so new you could fold it up and return it. Even then I am not sure it won't work just fine.

I checked and there are no strong signals near you nor any FM transmitters so an amp maybe needed. Just DON'T go out to Radio Shack and buy one please!! They are terrible.

===

So before we start speculating a different antenna, an amp, etc etc. Try this.

Point the antenna due west. Remove the splitter and feed the RCA 800 direct, as they are a known good receiver, with as short of a coax as possible (your 40 feet piece should be fine).

Then tell the RCA to scan, and see what happens. If you receive, make note of the Call Signs of the stations and look at your signal meter and write it all down.

If nothing decodes, remove the RCA and plug the coax right into your analog TV and see what you can see and note if it's clear, light snow, heavy snow.

If nothing happens on analog, did you make the coax jumpers yourself? If you have never done it, it's not hard to mess one up with a short. If you have an ohm meter, with each piece unconnected at both ends, test for a short between the center wire and the shield. Even a test light should work. If that doesn't make sense just do the test above.

=======

I found the plot you posted was at 2ft above the ground

Here is the corrected one for 20 ft. Also look closely at the real channel your Portland stations will on after June 12th (some may have already moved). You will have 3 High Band VHF channels from Portland.
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id=61b47bb7c5d2ba
 
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Piggie

Super Moderator
#7
Would not it be best for the OP go through some trouble shooting tests first?

We need to form a basis of current reception. It could be as simple as the receiver was never put in scan with the antenna pointed the correct direction.

These steps would seem to be the best thing to try first to me. Then suggest upgrades based on the findings?

===

So before we start speculating a different antenna, an amp, etc etc. Try this.

Point the antenna due west. Remove the splitter and feed the RCA 800 direct, as they are a known good receiver, with as short of a coax as possible (your 40 feet piece should be fine).

Then tell the RCA to scan, and see what happens. If you receive, make note of the Call Signs of the stations and look at your signal meter and write it all down.

If nothing decodes, remove the RCA and plug the coax right into your analog TV and see what you can see and note if it's clear, light snow, heavy snow.

If nothing happens on analog, did you make the coax jumpers yourself? If you have never done it, it's not hard to mess one up with a short. If you have an ohm meter, with each piece unconnected at both ends, test for a short between the center wire and the shield. Even a test light should work. If that doesn't make sense just do the test above.

=======
 
#8
So with all the work you've already done, do you receive nothing at all on digital? What about on analog, do you see anything on analog?

- Trip
The digital signal strength on all the stations that we get thru the convertor box is 13-14%, not very good huh? And the analog reception is really good on all the stations that we normally get. Sorry it took so long to get back to ya, but I had a little truckin to do, and just got back home,:violin: hope ya haven't given up on me.....and Thanks
 
#9
Welcome! Well a lot of us here are techie in nature and talking to each other we do get into a lot over the head stuff! But by posting what you did now we can go to work figuring out how to help and hopefully use terms easy to understand or explain terms not understood.



From others on other forums and mail lists I have followed or helped in that area it is a little brutal. Another around Portland, Salem, Eugene and
Corvallis is plagued by mountains, unless you live right by the Portland antennas or up or down the valley there without a mountain in the way. Because all the towers in Portland are in one area, that eliminates the need for a rotor. I my opinion other stations farther down the list in TVFool are too weak to bother.

So you would point your antenna due west from your house. (sometimes a little turning will help, since all the maps aren't perfect).

I am not of persuasion there is a single solution for each situation. But there are only a handful of antennas where you get your money's worth for what you buy. So I do tend to quote a list of antennas over and over.



Be nice to know the exact model of the antenna. But a V/U on a 80 inch boom should be in the just enough range for your TVFool numbers. I would have gone out to about 100 inch boom. Still you need to work with what you own, unless it's so so new you could fold it up and return it. Even then I am not sure it won't work just fine.

I checked and there are no strong signals near you nor any FM transmitters so an amp maybe needed. Just DON'T go out to Radio Shack and buy one please!! They are terrible.

===

So before we start speculating a different antenna, an amp, etc etc. Try this.

Point the antenna due west. Remove the splitter and feed the RCA 800 direct, as they are a known good receiver, with as short of a coax as possible (your 40 feet piece should be fine).

Then tell the RCA to scan, and see what happens. If you receive, make note of the Call Signs of the stations and look at your signal meter and write it all down.

If nothing decodes, remove the RCA and plug the coax right into your analog TV and see what you can see and note if it's clear, light snow, heavy snow.

If nothing happens on analog, did you make the coax jumpers yourself? If you have never done it, it's not hard to mess one up with a short. If you have an ohm meter, with each piece unconnected at both ends, test for a short between the center wire and the shield. Even a test light should work. If that doesn't make sense just do the test above.

=======

I found the plot you posted was at 2ft above the ground

Here is the corrected one for 20 ft. Also look closely at the real channel your Portland stations will on after June 12th (some may have already moved). You will have 3 High Band VHF channels from Portland.
TV Fool
Hey Piggie....Ok so I did what you were sayin about removing the splitter, and nothin much cahnged til a plane flew over and things started digitalizing and dropped some. On the analog side everything looks good, like normal, actually better with the new pole antenna.

Sorry I messed up the plot thing, I was playin around with it, changing heights, and musta forgot the 0 last time. Sorry for the misinformation!

So I for sure need the VHF antenna. As I said it's Radio Shack one, I've looked all over the box and there isn't like a model number or whatever, you know like on normal things it usually stands out. So I'm gonna go with this one V 972 ??? I can give you some details from the box though, so here goes.
Impedance 300ohms
Freq range VHF 54-108 and174-216MHz UHF 470-806MHz
Average gain 1.1dB (low band) 6.2dB (high band) 6.9dB UHF band)
Average beamwidth:
80 degree(s)
35 degree(s)
39 degree(s)

Average front to back ratios:
6.9dB (low band)
10.3dB (high band)
9.9db (UHF band)

Range Spec's
Digital:
VHF low channels 2-6 Up to 45 miles
VHF high channels 7-13 Up to 45 miles
UHF channels 14-69 Up to 40 miles

Ok there's a little more info on the box, but I'm hoping(guessing) that's what ya want
Thanks for responding Piggie, sorry it took me so long ta get back at ya:D
 
#10
Pink is very very weak but it's by no means impossible. You have to get your antenna higher so it shoot over the mountain/hill.
I understand what your sayin here, I do. But lookin at that plot thing, I think I understood it to need to go 60 ft, or 80ft or something, and that wouldn't work here, well maybe til the 1st storm from the South, or I get lucky enough for it to last til winter and our first good storm then. But that would for sure be the end of the guide wires and the pole and stuff.:(......So if I could work around that somehow, I'll give some more effort, otherwise I'm gonna give that satellite guy a call that's so positive he can fix me up, says he can put us on a showroom account or something, but with the hole(valley) we're in here, I don't know. Guess the angles are a little different with the dishes?? If that don't work I guess it's surfin the internet for hot DVD deals, and haunting the library for books. I do thank you for the thought though.
 
#11
for UHF use the 91-xg from antennas direct and tilt it 15 degrees to shoot over the hill
it may also pickup the two high VHF, maybe
You won't believe how happy that makes me to hear ya say that Cowboy. I mean, yeah I gotta spend some more money, but I got a shot....right???
With the 91-xg, at the angle. So should I get the amp you talk about in your fringe prescription, or wait and see if just the that antenna does the trick.
Thank you sir!!:usa2:
 
#12
Just want to say sorry it takes me so long to respond to you all. I drive and sometimes it takes a while ta get back to the computer.

Most of all, I just want to THANK YOU ALL for responding to my issues, and so far, answering in language I can grasp. Thanks again, and enjoy your day!!!:bolt:
 
#13
all of your stuff is high VHF no UHF so the YA_1713 from wine guard is the antenna with a good pre amp. you need to get high so I would look around for a use tower maybe a ham radio tower about 50 ft or more then put the antenna 20ft above the tower cause the antenna is real light. ok at 70 ft you get 1 edge so you could maybe get some UHF with the 91-xg as well so both antennas stacked UHF over VHF 4ft then combine with the channel master 7777 pre amp you should get something.
 
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Piggie

Super Moderator
#14
all of your stuff is high VHF no UHF so the YA_1713 from wine guard is the antenna with a good pre amp.
He has ION, MyNet, CW, ABC, CBS, PBS on UHF from the same tower farm as the VHFs.


you need to get high so I would look around for a use tower maybe a ham radio tower about 50 ft or more then put the antenna 20ft above the tower cause the antenna is real light. ok at 70 ft you get 1 edge so you could maybe get some UHF with the 91-xg as well so both antennas stacked UHF over VHF 4ft then combine with the channel master 7777 pre amp you should get something.
Running his coordinates as TVFool, things start to get very usable at 60 to 70 feet in the 30's range on NM (db). He goes Line of Sight (LOS) at 75 feet, which is a mighty tall TV tower.

His antenna is rated at about 10 db on VHF Hi and UHF. But that is a Radio Shack rating so one could quickly remove 3 db.

I think a two antenna solution would be your fringe prescription.

A one antenna solution would be a 7698P or at least a 7696P.

=======

But height is the answer. If he is getting 15% or so an do decoding on that Radio Shack at 20 ft, adding 3 to 6 db more gain won't buy a picture.

I ran the numbers and until you get up to at least 40 to 50 ft, much better at 60 to 75 ft, the odds of a solid signal are slim.

His test with 40 ft of coax, is not much loss. So unless he has a high noise figure in his receiver an amp won't change things much on that short run of coax. They will on a 50 ft tower due to looses in coax and splitter.

Chances are though a CM7777 would lower the noise floor over this receivers, which short of buying and antenna or tower would be the next thing I would try.

Punting and getting a Dish would solve things with a monthly payment. A new Rohn 25 tower at 70 ft would be the best with a 5 ft mast. By the time it's all done with install it's a $5000 TV antenna.

About an 8 year payback with not as many channels with the tower. If he went with a tower, I would say put a 7696P up there as the signals are great at 75 feet, but still use a preamp to overcome loose.
 
#15
UHF signals travel differently then VHF. They have to bend over obstacles most commonly hills, mountains, buildings, ridge lines, and the like. The higher the frequency the less it will bend over, VHF usually has no problems getting over terrain.

it's harder to dial in with digital because of multi-path and there is no middle ground to it. With analog you could adjust accordingly and tolerate the ghosting but digital is less forgiving.

Like when your signal meter bumps up and down in huge chunks of the bar, thats a multi-path indicator.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#16
UHF signals travel differently then VHF. They have to bend over obstacles most commonly hills, mountains, buildings, ridge lines, and the like. The higher the frequency the less it will bend over, VHF usually has no problems getting over terrain.

it's harder to dial in with digital because of multi-path and there is no middle ground to it. With analog you could adjust accordingly and tolerate the ghosting but digital is less forgiving.

Like when your signal meter bumps up and down in huge chunks of the bar, thats a multi-path indicator.
UHF doesn't have the range of VHF that is for sure. It's even reflected correctly in my most defended antenna site tvfool.com

If you look me up TV Fool and you have to use post transition as the Jacksonville VHF stations already switched antenna and even though they haven't all go to full power, it's more accurate what I really see.

Note there are several Jax (short for Jacksonville FL) UHF's have higher NM numbers than the VHFs.

It shows WJXT-DT coming in stronger than WJXX, then it shows WJCT way down the list.

But in fact all I get from Jax (stuff at 25 degrees) is VHF, WTLV, WJXX and WJCT.

Despite the fact I have tried with my UHF pushed up to 30 ft that had 10 db of gain, almost what I have on VHF which is a little over 12 db.

And it's all because of hills. VHF gets over them, UHF doesn't.

And no a better antenna would not allow me to watch Jax at 30 ft. Not enough gain, as those stations, UHF, don't even wiggle my meter.
 
#17
my experience over here surrounded by hills is totally different, out of the 12 or so channels I can get (1 PBS in tropo condition - 3 sub-channels) the rest are all pretty good for the most part. All UHF. VHF on the other hand there is a PBS station up in Durham NH on channel 11 that DID in fact reach down here when they still had analog signals running, now they are on VHF 11 for their digital signal and my meter gives me a 0. I haven't watched them since. I know I shouldn't be complaining about that one because its not even in this market but it's sad to see it happen.

We have WHDH (nbc station) over here going back to VHF after june 12th, pre-transition UHF channel 42, comes in great for the most part. I hope it doesn't suffer the same fate as that PBS station in NH did for me.

Like i said before, VHF digital sucks for me and I won't hold my breath for it at all. At least for this location. UHF is gold here. It must be bending pretty good because once our FOX went full power my meter sky rocketed.
 
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Tim58hsv

DTVUSA Member
#18
Someone on here said, maybe it was Piggie or Trip, that a lot of vhf stations cut their power way down on digital in order to save lots of moolah on the electric bill. Now they find almost no ones getting their signal so some of them have re-applied with the FCC to raise their power levels higher.

WCPO channel 9 out of Cincinnati runs their analog signal at 200kw but their digital signal is a measly 16.3kw. Even the folks in Cincinnati complain about not being able to get that station. Hope WCPO has wised up and requested to raise their power since very few people are able to see them on digital.

Ah, but several months back WCPO did acknowledge that there was a problem with people receiving their digital signal and part of that response was this...

"WHY IS CHANNEL 9 ON VHF?

Before you say "why would Channel 9 do such a dumb thing as be the only station on the VHF band?" I will answer that question:

In MOST cities, most HD stations are VHF, like Ch 9. For some strange reason, most HD Cincy stations are on UHF. VHF --which we use -- is the national standard".

Wow. WCPO thinks their audience is a bunch of idiots.

Anyway, here's a link to that WCPO whitewash job...
http://www.wcpo.com/content/news/lo...ou-get-Ch-9-in-HD/Qyywc2oGqEmedDuNczngKg.cspx
 

Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#19
"WHY IS CHANNEL 9 ON VHF?

Before you say "why would Channel 9 do such a dumb thing as be the only station on the VHF band?" I will answer that question:

In MOST cities, most HD stations are VHF, like Ch 9. For some strange reason, most HD Cincy stations are on UHF. VHF --which we use -- is the national standard".

Wow. WCPO thinks their audience is a bunch of idiots.

Anyway, here's a link to that WCPO whitewash job...
HD 101: Why can't you get Ch 9 in HD? - Cincinnati breaking news, weather radar, traffic from 9News | Channel 9 WCPO.com
lol, nice find, you can tell that article was written by someone not technical in the field of television broadcasting.
 
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#20
So I'm Fornicated...aye?

Well I can't afford a $5000+ ordeal, that I know wouldn't last. Winter gets pretty nasty up here. So I guess I call Joe the satellite guy.......yes??
I like the guys post from another thread DTV=Disaster TV, what a mess this has turned, or will be turning into. Thank-you, you government morons!!!


But To all the folks that tried to help us out......I SINCERELY SAY THANK YOU!!
Keep up the effort, you're good guys, and the people are gonna NEED your help.
 

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