Need help with antenna and pre-amp choices

#1
I just got the Antennas Direct Clear Stream 4 antenna and seem to be having some troubles getting my signals. I have the RCA DTA800B1 Digital converter box, you know the really cheap one. I don't have a pre-amp at the moment but am certainly considering getting one. I can get a few DTV stations but only with a very low signal rating that seems to go in and out(2.1, 4.1, 4.2, 4.4, 5.1, 5.2, 30.1, 30.2, 30.3, 30.4, 50.1, 50.2, 50.4, 54.1, 56.2, 56.3). I really only care about getting 2, 4, 7, 9, 11 and 13.

Here is the image I got from TVFool.com after inputting my location.


It seems that any signals that I can get go in and out and are never for certain.
I'm about 50 miles away from the transmitters in Los Angeles and would love to get some input on what anyone thinks might help me. I've been using and still am using rabbit ears to watch 11, 9 and 7 in analog. These stations don't really come in very clearly with the rabbit ears but enough for me to watch. I'm on the second story of my apartment complex and am pretty limited on what I can do.

Currently my Clearstream(C4) is on my balcony pointing towards L.A. and I'm just hoping things will change or get better when the full digital switchover goes into effect, but I'd love to hear everyones input since I'm not that technically savvy with this stuff. I'm not sure if its my antenna choice, converter box causing the problems, not having a pre-amp yet or if its a mix of things. Any help is very much appreciated.
 

Jason Fritz

Administrator
Staff member
#2
2Edge, ouch. I plugged your info into TVFool raising your antenna height to 15' and it still showed 2Edge.

Here's Transmitter Profile Detail for KVTU-LP

Channel: 3 (3.1)
Network:
Maximum ERP: 0.300 kW
Coordinates: 34.226476 -118.066930

Effective ERP: 0.198 kW (Adjusted according to your location)
Distance: 52.5 miles Azimuth: 337 degrees Compass: 324 degrees


ptgraphix: Is there a large mountain or hill near you?​
 

divxhacker

DTVUSA Member
#3
Looks like you'd need a converter with Microtune chip, but I haven't had that tested against bad "weather fade" that occurs here. Channel 30 sometimes loses reception. I wonder exactly what would cause the connection to drop like that. Hopefully the Microtune system has a better lock.

Here, we use an ordinary Color TV antenna, pointed at Mount Wilson, the reception here has been boosted with the amplifier salvaged out of this antenna: ANI-AV Didn't need to use the rotor anyways, so...

For those who don't have a mast, here's a tip: I had mounted mine on an old I.V. stand, stretched way up, with the hooks removed.

It had good reception, but we got better reception throughout the house when I patched in the booster to the color TV antenna in the attic, splitting the signal to 3 TVs.
 
#4
Jay: There are some small to mid-size hills or mountains I guess you could say that run along the left side of the 5 freeway when traveling northbound when heading towards L.A. where the transmitters are and there also is the 73 toll road that is right behind my complex and crosses through the path that my antenna is pointed in. To get the picture go ahead and Google map Mazuelo Ct 92677 and you can see exactly where I'm at.

I'm not following what the 2Edge reference is referring to, can you clarify on that?

And I should have mentioned that I'm using an older tube TV that was bought in 1999 and I wasn't sure if a newer flat screen DTV would help my reception since they all seem to have the digital converters already installed in them. Since it does sound like the RCA converter box I have is most likely THE worst one out there.

divxhacker: Are there any specific Microtune equipped converter boxes that you would recommend if I do end up getting another box?
 
#5
use the antenna direct 91-xg with the wineguard ya-1713 for VHF combine with a channel master 7777 pre amp, place about 30 ft tilt 91-xg to 15 degrees up and then point both antennas to 335 degrees should solve the problem. the only other thing would be to set a 40-50 tower and place the antennas above on it.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#6
I just got the Antennas Direct Clear Stream 4 antenna and seem to be having some troubles getting my signals. I have the RCA DTA800B1 Digital converter box, you know the really cheap one. I don't have a pre-amp at the moment but am certainly considering getting one. I can get a few DTV stations but only with a very low signal rating that seems to go in and out(2.1, 4.1, 4.2, 4.4, 5.1, 5.2, 30.1, 30.2, 30.3, 30.4, 50.1, 50.2, 50.4, 54.1, 56.2, 56.3). I really only care about getting 2, 4, 7, 9, 11 and 13.
Your problem is two fold. First all the ClearStream antennas are not that good, in particular when you judge their price. If you can return the thing, tell it good bye.

But worse and nothing to do with my opinion, the ClearStream series is a UHF ONLY antenna.

Post Transition most of the channels you list above will be or already gone back to VHF.

Does the balcony face NNW ? if not then that is a problem.

You need a VHF/UHF antenna. One of the big problems seeing your antenna is on a balcony to mount a VHF antenna.

The smallest thing that would even come close to working is a 7694P or a HBU33. The 7694P is a better antenna for the money, and 65 inches long

You could also use a preamp to lower the noise into the RCA converter. Your coax is short from a balcony to the apt I assume so something like a Winegard HDP 269 SquareShooter Pre-Amplifier for SquareShooter SS-1000 (HDP-269) | HDP-269 [Winegard] would lower the noise in the system.

The big question is can you put an antenna with a boom on the balcony (one that looks a lot like a regular outdoor antenna but because it's only ch 7-51 it's only about 34 inches wide).
 

TonyT

DTVUSA Member
#7
use the antenna direct 91-xg with the wineguard ya-1713 for VHF combine with a channel master 7777 pre amp, place about 30 ft tilt 91-xg to 15 degrees up and then point both antennas to 335 degrees should solve the problem. the only other thing would be to set a 40-50 tower and place the antennas above on it.
Combining 2 antennas might be a little tough for him on a apartment balcony? Especially with the Antennas Direct 91-XG at 93" of depth. At least I've never seen it done. :)
 
#8
take a look a the the LAVA antenna in the outdoor antenna review section is small has built in rotator, and pre amp is UHF VHF is cheap but works pretty good I have installed 2 of these and they have preformed well, only draw back is rotator has no direction indicator so you just turn it till you get the signal.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#9
take a look a the the LAVA antenna in the outdoor antenna review section is small has built in rotator, and pre amp is UHF VHF is cheap but works pretty good I have installed 2 of these and they have preformed well, only draw back is rotator has no direction indicator so you just turn it till you get the signal.
He would not need a rotor, the first 26 channels are all at 335 degrees. With a total of 31 channels per TVFool at 335 degrees. Granted a few may not be on the air but have active licenses. Andy tries but can't keep up with ever single station is correct.

Another question is have you ever installed a Lava where the VHF was in the 20 NB (db) [in the -60s on dbm]?

There some low band stations in the list but in general no one is having any luck with low band digital unless they live under the tower, so I don't even look at low band. The noise factor at low band just kills the digital stream with errors.
 
#10
divxhacker: Are there any specific Microtune equipped converter boxes that you would recommend if I do end up getting another box?
The top pick would be the Sansonic FT-300A , as that one has a proprietary dual tuning system that pairs the Microtune with an Auvitek chip to make a dual-stage system that locks in hard to reach channels. That one is rare to find as its market life has ended.

The other choices are the DTVPal Plus and the Zinwell-950A.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#11
The top pick would be the Sansonic FT-300A , as that one has a proprietary dual tuning system that pairs the Microtune with an Auvitek chip to make a dual-stage system that locks in hard to reach channels. That one is rare to find as its market life has ended.

The other choices are the DTVPal Plus and the Zinwell-950A.
I took a chance today and bought a DTVPal Plus on E-Bay today since I had used all my coupons. It was about $35 less than solidsignal (hope it works!).

Does it us the circuit you mention above? I need something bad for my bedroom TV who's built in ATSC inhales canal water. It's an SD TV so no loss in quality in it. It's just an old generation I presume, first hit the market Christmas of 2005, and I bought it in Feb 2007 on a close out, to replace my aging 4:3 tube set. It's a good TV for SD, 26 inches, widescreen tube, that looks surprisingly good for SD.

I can hear the wife now when it gets here. 3 remotes now? Funny the Toshiba's UHF ATSC works fine, but on VHF it can't reject the slightest noise spikes. The Ölevia in the living room will lock a channel and I can watch it with tiny tiny bit of pixelization, no audio drops, and the Toshiba can't even lock, but only on VHF. Funny though it's analog tuner blows the better digital TV away, which I won't need much longer except for W29AB that I watch for Orlando news and weather.
 

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