Question: No TV reception

Sailor39

DTVUSA Rookie
#1
After the initial change, we got poor reception and few channels, but for the last several weeks we only get PBS (tower is about 4 miles from here), and that is sporadic.

I live in a rural wooded area in a "river valley", with hills on all sides. Cable service is not available here. The satelite dish tv companies said that I can't use their services due to the fact that numerous 60 plus foot trees all around the house make finding a signal impossible. Cutting down trees is not an option as there are just too many to be an affordable course of action. I have an older tv with converter box and an old outdoor antenna on the roof, and we have climbed up there and made adjustments to no avail. No news, no nothing.... I'm frustrated and know that I can't be the only one in this situation. How can they make a "forced change" that makes my television nothing more than a giant paperweight.

From tvfool.com I got the following results:
TV Fool
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#2
What does your old antenna look like? Do you know the make and model?

You show very strong signals...a complete set of the major networks at 100 degrees, and another at 270.

Plus only one on VHF High.

If you werent having so much problems, my initial reaction would be to get a 4 Bay and remove the screen and then you would have 2 sets of networks to watch.

Maybe someone else can chime in.

Raleigh and Greensboro
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#3
If it were me, I would point a Kosmic SuperQuad at 300 degrees with an AntennaCraft 10G212 Amplifier, and try to get the stuff from Raleigh at 100 degrees off the backside.


You may need an antenna upgrade and amplfier.

Most of the old analog channels were on VHF Low and High, now they are on UHF, mostly...with a couple of VHF High generally.
 

BCF68

DTVUSA Member
#4
If it were me, I would point a Kosmic SuperQuad at 300 degrees with an AntennaCraft 10G212 Amplifier, and try to get the stuff from Raleigh at 100 degrees off the backside.


You may need an antenna upgrade and amplfier.

Most of the old analog channels were on VHF Low and High, now they are on UHF, mostly...with a couple of VHF High generally.
Geez can you help someone without hawking your own crap? And WTF do they need an amp for with those signal strengths?

Anyways since Sailor39 says it was an old antenna I would surmise that the cable connecting it the antenna to the inside of the house is also old and thus simply replacing it with some quad shield rg-6 coax FIRST then see what it does. Baby steps EscapeVelocity. Always advise to do the simplest cheapest solution FIRST before suggesting someone go out and spend lots of money. Replacing the balun on the antenna would be a good idea too. Make sure you get one rated for outdoor use.
 

cclc

DTVUSA Member
#5
If they are telling you a sattelite dish cannot be installed then you must have some real tree issue's, they can put and point a dish just about anywhere these days. So i think the tree's will be a big issue for you trying to pull in OTA signals. Only advice i can offer is go high and use a very good antenna, maybe even one with a rotor that you can turn and point, a good antenna is a must it is the most important piece of the system needed to pick up good OTA signals.

If OTA signals is your only option for getting TV, then i would not hesitate on spending the money for high quality equipment (antenna, cable, converter box, amplifier, etc.). I was in a similar situation (no trees a fringe issue) and buying cheaper equipment only added to my frustration! By doing your home work researching OTA signals, following the advice of some of the members here (EV is very knowledgable and one's who advice i would follow) hopefully you will be able to pull in more channels and enjoy your TV viewing, just hang in there i know it's frustrating alot of it is trial and error and time consuming but by following some good advice you should see results in reception.
 

BCF68

DTVUSA Member
#6
By doing your home work researching OTA signals, following the advice of some of the members here (EV is very knowledgable and one's who advice i would follow).
Listen I'm not saying he's not knowledgeable but when his first solution is "buy one of my antennas" that is a bit disingenuous to me. I mean that is part of every solution he has. There are situations where a new antenna is not necessarily the solution to the problem and also his antenna is not always the best antenna to use even if an antenna is needed. Sorry but when advice( in anything in life ) comes from someone that also has a profit motive, color me skeptical.
 
#7
After the initial change, we got poor reception and few channels, but for the last several weeks we only get PBS (tower is about 4 miles from here), and that is sporadic.

I live in a rural wooded area in a "river valley", with hills on all sides. Cable service is not available here. The satelite dish tv companies said that I can't use their services due to the fact that numerous 60 plus foot trees all around the house make finding a signal impossible. Cutting down trees is not an option as there are just too many to be an affordable course of action. I have an older tv with converter box and an old outdoor antenna on the roof, and we have climbed up there and made adjustments to no avail. No news, no nothing.... I'm frustrated and know that I can't be the only one in this situation. How can they make a "forced change" that makes my television nothing more than a giant paperweight.

From tvfool.com I got the following results:
TV Fool
As suggested, first check all lines for damage and replace the balun.

If you antenna is older than UHF (installed before the 70's) you may have a VHF only antenna. It will likely, not have components that differ from horizontal. If it looks like an arrow (with long elements flat and UHF elements angled up and down like the feathers) then you probably have a combo.

Let us know, we'll get you through this.
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#8
Greetings Sailor welcome to the Forum! :welcome:

Do you know exactly what kind of Antenna you have ?
If not, can you take a picture of it, and "attach" it to your post.
Look below one of your posts, it'll have "manage attachments" and you can upload a pick(s) via that function.

You might include "in the background" the Trees that are giving you problems.
That would be nice for us to see, just to let us know what that looks like.

Do you have good Cable, do you know that is is RG-6, and the Balun (the thing that's on your antenna, that you connect your Cable to) is in good shape. Eliminating these simple fixes are good advice as others have mentioned.

Just for kicks, do you have a Ohm Meter ?
You could disconnect the Cable from your TV/Box, and see if you have continuity. With a simple Meter, it should look like a direct short (actually it's 75 ohms) that that would be hard to see on a simple analog meter. Just put the meter on the Ohm's scale and touch the leads together. That will be about the same response you'll see, if you DO have continuity to your Antenna.

Unless there's some major problem, I just can't see any reason for you not getting a few of those strong channels your Chart shows.

One other thing...
Are you sure you've got your Antenna pointed right.
Get a Compass and make sure you're right on your 66, 115 or 282° Azimuths.
Your existing Antenna may be rather directional, and accurate aiming may be an issue.

Have a good Day. :)
S.W.
 
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Sailor39

DTVUSA Rookie
#9
Thanks to all for some good advice...I don't know what kind of antenna, but it is very old. I put a couple of pictures in my album that show the antenna and some of the tree issues. I guess I'll start by replacing balun and cable, and go from there.....
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#11
Now it's time to "Name That Antenna"!
Master of Dissaster?

Im sticking with my original recommendation. KSQ pointed at Greensboro, and pick up Raleigh off the backside, with an mast mounted preamp.

Should bring in most stations from both DMAs, reliably, with perhaps some problems on windy days because of the trees.

 
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EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#12
Let me defend my recommendation, and then I leave it to others to decide if I was mindlessly promoting the Kosmic SuperQuad.

TV Fool provided, 2 DMAs. One due West and the other just South of Due East...in opposite directions....but strong signals.

Problems with reception, lots of trees, river valley, hills. In other words Eastern North Carolina (where Mulder was from). Eastern North Carolina can be tricky but is generally a breeze, however its the foothills of the Appalachians in Western North Carolina that is the real difficult terrain.

So he has one VHF high in Raleigh NC, due East. Everything else in Raleigh is UHF, and everything from Greensboro is UHF.

Now he says he has an old antenna, and back in the day, most major TV stations were on VHF Low and High. So I suspected he had a VHF only or an antenna with lackluster UHF section. Furthermore it's ancient.

And here comes the kicker, this antenna is in Hurricane Alley....and the later supplied pictures shows what hurricanes do to big long VHF yagis.

So what he needs is to up his UHF performance, but also has one VHF High to get, plus if he puts another large combo yagi up, he will likely have a similarly damaged antenna by years end.

That leaves 3 Choices.

Channel Master 4228HD
AntennaCraft U 8000
Kosmic Antennas SuperQuad

All high gain UHF antennas with good VHF High performance.

Now the 8 bays have tighter beamwidths which could be helpful with his trees. The Channel Master is better made than the AntennaCraft to stand up to hurricanes. However both have larger profiles (wind loading) than the Kosmic SuperQuad(which is also of superior build....plus higher gain than either on UHF and similar performance on VHF).

Furthermore the Kosmic SuperQuad screen is also easily removed (and replaced)...so that the screenless manuveur can be tried, to see if the VHF High station comes in satisfactorily and can be used like that. If not the screen can be replaced and the antenna pointed at Greensboro and get Raleigh off the backside. Which is where the amplifer comes into play. 20 dB F/B - 14 dB gain leaves about -6 dB gain on UHF off the backside. You might can get by with that, but almost certainly you will have better results with an amplifier (which also lowers the noise floor of the system as a bonus). The screen also is very helpful with VHF High. The amplifier will also be beneficial if he goes screenless, as gain drops precipitously....but is equal in both directions.

I realize that a quick short answer, may seem like shameless self promotion to some. But there are reasons for my recommendations.

This system should give him most of the high power majors from 2 DMAs, Raleigh and Greensboro, or about 30 channels give or take counting sub channels....plus, most likely, WXII NBC and WUNL PBS at 75 miles and 300 degrees if used with the screen(and amplifier). As well as give a high(er) probability of weathering yearly hurricanes.

EV
 
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EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#13
I thought of one more solution that may work well for you, though I continued to like the KSQ & Mast Mounted Amplifier combo as your best solution.

The Philips MANT940 may provide satisfactory reception for you, from both DMAs - Raleigh-Durham and Greensboro. It may even get that VHF High from Raleigh.

Orient the antenna so that the pointed edge is skyward. This is the "sideways" orientation, long side parallel to the ground.

You might also have success with some indoor units, like the Terk HDTVa, Radio Shack 1892 UFO or QuantumFX ANT102, however are those metal roofs?

I think you should try mounting something on that nice mast up on the roof though.

Hope that helps.
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#14
Q

EV,
MINDLESS !, there's nothing mindless about it, you flat push your stuff ! :D

Sailor,
If the pic that EV posted is your Antenna, I'm confused about which direction it's pointed. Given the position of the Sun, it seems like you have it pointed South. There are NO stations in a southerly direction for you !!!
Or am I just not seeing it correctly ?

Have a good Day ! :)
S.W.

PS:
I forgot to add something to my "Continuity Test" procedure.
The check is to be done between the Center Conductor and Shield of the Coax that leads to the Antenna.

PPS:
I could see Sailor using...
Two AntennaCraft DB4's back to back. and a..
Winegard CC-7870 Combiner
with new RG6 of course.
 
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