Need advice on improving reception

DJFerris

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
Hello,

I'm trying to improve the reception I currently receive. Current results are satisfactory in good weather, but degrade markedly when weather is wet. Because I watch most programs time-delayed (Tivo Premiere HD), use of an antenna rotor is not practical. I suspect my answer may be higher elevation of the antenna - in that case suggestions on how to find an installer would be welcome. Most of the local folks want to sell me satellite, and lose interest immediately when I tell them I'm looking for an OTA install. Here is info per Jason Fritz's questionaire:

What is your primary objective:
I want as many as I can reasonably get: X

Main Assembly:
What kind of Terrestrial Antenna do you presently have:
(Make/Model/None): Denny's TV Antenna Service . EZ-HD

Is the Antenna to be/or installed: Garage Attic.

How high above ground is your Antenna installed: 12 ft

Do you have an Antenna Rotator: None

Are you presently using a Pre-Amplifier: Winegard . HDP-269

Interior:
How many linear Cable feet is it between your Antenna and the most far TV:
.75 ft.

How many TV sets will be/are presently being used, on this system:
1

How many Splitters are in use in your system: None

Are you using a Distribution Amplifier: None.


Additional Information:
Are you/do you plan to integrate Cable or Satellite Services with this system: No.

Is there anything else you would like to provide concerning construction, obstructions or geographical issues?
Aimed approximately 90 degrees magnetic, optimized exact direction for channel 44 (62.1) with Tivo’s signal strength display.
Do you have a current Chart for the Free Local TV Channels in your Area?
TV Fool link

Thanks for any advice!
Dewayne
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#2
DJFerris,

Welcome:welcome:
Some questions:

  • Are there any specific channels that you're having trouble with?
  • Is there any metal in your attic roofing, ductwork, or insulation that may be interfering with your reception?
  • Can you get your antenna outside, or
  • Can you get it higher?
  • Have you tried your antenna WITHOUT the amplifier?
  • Are there any trees, houses, or other obstructions directly between your antenna and the transmitters?

I'm sure we can get you better reception. At the very least, 12 ft high and inside is not the best place for dependable reception.
 

DJFerris

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#3
Hello MrPogi,

Thanks for your reply!
  • My main "problem channel" is 44 (62-1), 41 (7-1) isn't too good either.
  • There is no metal ductwork in the roof, no metal layer in the roofing, and only incidental metal brackets where the joists are joined.
  • Moving outside or higher is possible, but not DIY. I'm willing to invest in a professional install if needed, but wanted to check and see if there's something I'm missing first.
  • I have tried with & without the amplifier, it's marginally better with.
  • The worst obstacle is the house next door. It's a 2-story, so definitely this is hurting signal quality.

Your comments sound like you're focusing on moving the antenna. That's likely correct, although I'd like to try any other DIY solutions first. As mentioned in my original post, any advice on finding an OTA antenna installer in Oakland County, MI would be appreciated. The people I've tried from the yellow pages lose interest quickly when I tell them NO, I don't want satellite :-( I'd also like feedback on my EZ-HD antenna - my impression is that this probably isn't the problem.

Thanks,
Dewayne
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#4
Your problem seems to be mainly UHF reception.

First thing I'd try (if you haven't already) is moving your antenna around within the attic. With digital TV, sometimes a few feet makes a world of difference.

If that doesn't work, I'd try adding a dedicated UHF only antenna using a UHF/VHF splitter/joiner, like this: Blonder Tongue ZUVSJ Band Separator/Combiner (Z-UVSJ) from Solid Signal

Your antenna is generally pretty good, but not a real powerhouse for UHF, try something like this: Amazon.com: Channel Master 4221HD 4 Bay Ultratenna Outdoor Tv Antenna: Electronics
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#5
I'd have to go back to this question:

•Have you tried your antenna WITHOUT the amplifier?
Too much signal can be as much of a problem as too little, and in theory both of those channels are really strong at your location. When you try it without the amp are you bypassing the amp or simply turning the power off. An unpowered amp attenuates (decreases) signal strength.
 

DJFerris

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#6
Hello dkreichen,

I completely removed the amplifier, using an in-line coupler to join the coax cables that otherwise went to the "in" and "out" connections of the amplifier. I chose this amplifier specifically because it is supposed to be fairly tolerant of excess signal strength.
 

DJFerris

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#7
Thanks MrPogi,

I'll try moving the antenna this weekend and see how that works out! The signal strength (as reported by the Tivo) goes up & down periodically, so perhaps changing the signal path will help.
 

ghz24

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#8
same problem

I had a similar problem wet landscape caused sudden drop in signal from 70+% to 0 for just a part of a second but made viewing frustrating to imposable.

First suggestion make sure your antenna is grounded right even though it's in an attic.
Lots of pavement, traffic and stronger signals than you have is what I think caused my problems.
I tried lots of things and I ended up needing to go 23 or more feet high to get a clear signal with no drop outs.
But +-3 feet may be your answer as MrPogi pointed out. All the suggestions I've seen so far are good try all you can.
Second suggestion is less amp more antenna, higher gain antennas have narrower beam so they reject more off center( multi-path ) signals. Overly strong signals ( not including amplified signals) are a problem because of the environment they cause not that they are to strong for the tuner to process.

Your antenna has 3 directors so it's basically a 5 element yagi in regards to uhf. Denny doesn't release specs but I'd bet modeling would give it less than 10 dBi average on UHF and less on VHF.
 

DJFerris

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#9
Oops - I inadvertently left out a very important element of the signal path. My house has aluminum siding - and the signal path goes right through the east side of the house (including the siding). After realizing this, I'm fairly certain I need to relocate the antenna in some fashion, either mounting it on an outside wall, or pole mounting it to get over the obstacle of the 2-story house directly to the east of mine. Given the short distance (6.8 to 13.8 miles) and good signal strength (-24.0 dBm to -33.6 dBm), I think the EZ-HD should do the job, once I have a clear signal path.

Thanks to all for your help! I'll post again when I get the antenna relocated, but it may not happen until Easter weekend.

Best Regards,
Dewayne Ferris
 

DJFerris

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#10
Hello,

My existing EZ-HD antenna (Denny's TV Antenna Service) was relocated today, from the garage to an east-facing eaves mount on the 2nd story. To recap, I was getting unsatisfactory reception with the antenna mounted in the garage, where it was shielded by aluminum siding, and had obstruction from the house next door. I also dropped the amplifier, it apparently wasn't working, and wasn't needed with the relocated antenna.

The reception is now excellent! As a bonus, I don't have to listen to my wife complaining about how the signal was breaking up on rainy days :dancing:

Best Regards,
Dewayne Ferris
 
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