lost channels on antenna

rbf18270

DTVUSA Member
#1
I have a WA-2608 antenna and have been pretty happy with it but all of a sudden, last week I lost about 5 channels. Not sure what happened. I did a channel scan a few times and still nothing. I have lost the channels on 2 different TVs so I know it has to be something with the antenna. Anyone on here have any ideas? Even a suggestion for another type of antenna would be great. Like I said, I had been happy with the channels I was getting. Now I lost a few that the kids really enjoyed like QUBO.
Much appreciated.

thanks
 
#2
More information would be helpful. Post a TV fool report for your location. It can be found here.
TV Fool
A quick search reveals a WA-2608 to be a poorly built type antenna that is not likely to last any length of time in real world conditions. It's probably time to purchase new antenna of better quality, and selected for signals available in your area.
Steve
 

rbf18270

DTVUSA Member
#3
TV Fool
Above is the link to the report.
I am new to the antenna game. What type of antenna would work in my area to get the same uhf and VHF channels without being a huge antenna. I was very happy with the over 40 channels I got with the WA-2680. Why would it only loose certain channels?
Thank you for any help.
 
#4
I did jump to a rapid conclusion on your channel loss problem based on the known short life expectancy of the type of antenna being used, and that may not be your problem. Your TV fool report shows a good chance at two different television markets. If it were me I'd use a dual band antenna and a rotor, or a UHF antenna pointed at Boston, a dual band antenna pointed at Providence, and an A/B switch. Both of those options come with their own problems. The Antennas Direct C2-V is a wide beam width compact single antenna, but you have a 78 degree spread between markets. If only the Boston stations are needed you do not need a VHF antenna. A quality UHF antenna is all that is needed.
 

rbf18270

DTVUSA Member
#5
I'm a little confused. Bare with me. I'm new to this whole OTA stuff. Was like all the rest and sick of cable hiking the bill.
I thought if I get a UHF only antenna, I would not get the lower channels like my local station?
How about one of those omnidirectional antenna I have seen? Any experience with those?
Thank you for your help
 
#6
Take a look at the real channel numbers in your TV fool report those are the ones that matter when selecting an antenna. The virtual numbers are the channel numbers displayed on the TV but are meaningless when selecting an antenna. I don't like this confusing system, but I've learned to live with it. Example WBGH transmits on channel 19 UHF, but it displays as channel 2.1-2.2. WNAC transmits on channel 12 VHF but it will display on the TV as 64.1.
An omnidirectional antenna will receive equally poorly from all directions, and is not the right antenna for most locations. There is no right antenna for all locations. I've read of places where a paper clip will work. At your location more than 20 miles from the transmitters, and none of them line of sight a directional antenna is likely to be needed.
Keep in mind antenna mileage claims are mostly marketing department fantasies.
Antenna marketing is a bit of a mind game some companies will point out that the majority of US broadcasters are using UHF. That is true. Another company has been known to point out that the majority of US television markets have a mix of VHF and UHF signals. That is also true.
TV fool is a good signal prediction tool, but know one can predict exactly what will work at your location.
 
#8
The only way to really know is personal use... or unless you can find a trust worthy site like "us". But like RF steve said... some use paper clips lol and I have actually done this to get a clearer picture on my old tube. But depends on location! location! location!
 
#10
I think you are learning fast. I don't think a C2-V would do that job reliably. I made mention of that antenna because of it's broad beam width, and dual band capability. Out of simplicity I would suggest a 4 bay UHF antenna pointed toward the Boston market.
Solid Signal Xtreme Signal HDB4X High Definition Blade 4 Bay Xtreme VHF/UHF Antenna (HDB4X) from Solid Signal
I like the antenna you suggested. I've certainly read a lot about it. I can not be certain that your signals are strong enough for that to work with the panels aimed two directions.
To give you an idea of the kind of time, knowledge, and experimentation that is sometimes needed to put together a working antenna system for more than one television market read through this tread.
http://www.dtvusaforum.com/dtv-hdtv...nument-co-ota-results-3-antenna-solution.html
No one sitting here at a key board can guarantee success at your location.
Some but not all televisions will take direct entree of real channel numbers. Example in my area if I press 35 on the remote the TV will land on channel 2-1. I've programmed TVs, converter boxes, and dish network receivers with OTA module with out ever doing a channel scan. That does not work on all of them, but it can be helpful on the ones that will do it.
 
#14
I now feel that I did jump to a rapid conclusion on your channel loss problem based on the antenna being used. You did give a clue in your first post by mentioning QUBO. On some follow up research I realized that the loss of one transmitter WBPX 32 channel 68-x would result in the loss of 5 channels including QUBO. I live in an area that is sparse on channels, and frequent on transmitter loses.
I once read a product positive review on the antenna you have been using that stated replacing the antenna every three to six months, and keeping a spare one on hand was still cheaper then paying the cable company. A disposable antenna philosophy. I'm not one who thinks highly of that idea. Cheaper then cable, but more expensive then an antenna built to last longer.
Steve
 
#15
How does a transmitter just go down for days? That happens? Weird thing is that the channels have come back now so it must have been something like that. I would like to upgrade to a sturdy antenna though. Just don't want something giant to hang up. You would think that today's technology would have come up with a great small and sturdy antenna. I am very happy with the quality of OTA channels. I want to never go back to cable and give them any satisfaction. Wish I could get rid of them for my internet but not yet.
 
#16
Hey rbf18270, :welcome: to the forum. :thumb:

When I first tried cutting cable TV, I looked seriously at the WA-2608, but the pros here cut that down right away. It's a Chinese antenna of a type with a terrible reputation. They advertise something like 125 mile range, which is ridiculous (65 miles is maximum in most locations, due to the curvature of the earth), and the rotors are very poorly made. They tend to break with any little wind, plus which the remotes are just silly -- there's no way to tell which way the antenna is pointing unless you can see it.

However, until they break those Chinese wonders should actually pull in good reception. There's a guy on YouTube who uses a similar model as an indoor antenna, which actually makes sense. Rotor less likely to fall apart indoors, and you can see which way the thing is pointed. However, I'm sure it looks ridiculous in the middle of the living room. :clown:

If you are using the WA-2608 outdoors, I would just plan on it breaking within a year. Might as well get something sturdier now, to avoid any down time. You probably do need an outdoor antenna, with that TV Fool Report.

I feel most people are better off without a rotor, and without any amplification if at all possible. Those two electrical parts are the first things to break in bad weather, plus a) amplification often does more harm than good, and b) turning the rotor constantly puts a crimp in the modern art of channel surfing. It's usually possible to eliminate the need for both devices. (E.g. I have a two antenna, two tuner setup that works fine.)

WBPX could have gone out for a day or two, or your WA-2608 might have rotated on its own a little, to the point a scan no longer picks it up. It's a 2 edge signal (it has to refract around two hills in your area) and it's a ways down in the chart, so it actually makes sense that station might flake in and out. Any little temperature inversion in the atmosphere can turn the 2 edge into a 3 edge -- which is basically hopeless.

A couple more questions for ya: Is the WA-2608 outside? Are there any major obstacles (trees or buildings?) blocking line-of sight to your main transmitters north-east and south-east? Do you use the rotator a lot? Are you splitting to more than one TV? I see you have it set at 20 feet. Any chance to get an outdoor antenna up higher, like 30 - 40 - 50 feet? Would you please list the stations you currently receive reliably (call letters, if possible)?

Reason I ask about the height: on the transmitter profiles, it looks like a little more height might get you line-of-sight over one of those hills. That could change the 2edge to 1edge, and improve stability tremendously. It might improve some other stations too, and maybe get you lower in the chart. You can test this out by trying greater heights on TV Fool.

Reason I ask for a station list, is I'm curious whether you are getting stations from one - two - or three different directions. If you don't care about WUNI (Spanish station), then it looks like you should get everything else in the green and yellow areas on your report. You only need a 39 degree beam width, which is pretty common. If you don't care about WNAC or WPRI (Fox and CBS are duplicated on other stations) then you don't need to worry about VHF, which would save a few bucks. So we need answers to these questions before recommending a specific antenna.

Best,
Rick
 
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#17
When something breaks down there is often a wait for parts, or even a need to come up with the money for repairs. I will often recommend a larger antenna then might actually be needed not knowing the real world signal strengths at a location. TV fool is a good signal prediction tool, but does not take into account trees, or buildings, and can have other prediction inaccuracies.
If the Boston signals are all you need I would still recommend a 4 bay UHF antenna, or a C2. You could probably get by with something smaller, but having a bit of extra signal is not a bad idea. On the smaller side there is the C1, or the Solid Signal HDB2X.
On price point some small UHF antennas that have caught my attention.
Stellar Labs HDTV 30 Mile Bowtie Television Antenna | 30-2420 (302420) | Stellar Labs
Stellar Labs HDTV 40 Mile Yagi Television Antenna | 30-2410 (302410) | Stellar Labs
Lacking any real world test or reviews I have been hesitant to point any one toward the stellar labs antennas. It's a pretty safe bet that they are from the same manufacturer as some of the Solid Signal line of antennas.
 
#18
I will make a list of channels tonight.
I do have it outside mounted up 20 feet on a tree. It is not directly pointing at a tree but there are trees off in the distance.
I try not to use the rotor but on occasion I catch myself tweaking the direction.
I would love to get it higher but tough to go up the tree any higher on an extension ladder without it getting hairy. For the most part I have been happy with the 38 plus channels I get.
I have it set at around 55 degrees but not too sure. I am using a compass on my smartphone and seem to get different reading all the time. I do pull in the stations around the 55 degrees mark but also pull in those Spanish stations above me that I would rather not get. I wish I could pull in the stations at the 125 degree area but as soon as I move the antenna to the right more, I lose the Boston stations. So why am I getting the Spanish stations to the left? Sometimes my signal has been weak and I tried adding a signal booster but it interfered with the antenna built in one and I got no signal. I then moved the booster to the line running into my living room TV and the signal was too strong and I lost channels. How come? I then ran it through a splitter before it reached the TV and it knocked the signal down some and seems to work better. Forgot to mention that I have the cable wire coming into the bedroom and then feeds the TV there and then on to the living room. I have a Vizio TV in bedroom that gets more channels than my Samsung in the living room. The tuner on my bedroom TV works great even though it is a cheap TV. Crazy! I ended up buying a iview 3500II converter box which I really like and that has helped the signal to my Samsung. I use that as my tuner. Still does not get all the channels my Vizio TV gets. Weird.
Anyway. You guys have been great on here and I appreciate all the input and would love to learn more about the world of OTA. Wish I had all kinds of money to try different antennas. Would love that.
 
#19
I enjoyed reading your last post. It's not that much different than some of the things I've done and tried, and some of the things I've used out of budget necessity, or other practicalities. It has not been an everything I try works the first time experience. It has been a slow continuous learning process. Reading forums, hands on experience, and a bit of study helps. My latest adventure into OTA television reception has been very low budget often times working with recycled parts. I do a bit of volunteer helping people in my area receive the few local channel that are available here. At times these have been very low budget projects.
 

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