S. Fla long range reception

Nimrod

DTVUSA Rookie
#1
Hello All,
We dropped the cable about six moths ago, loving it! My wife doesn't want the antenna outside because of the sometimes tropical winds. Have plenty of room in the attic so mounted it there.
Looking to improve on the OTS set-up I have. I have a Channel Master 4228 HD in the attic with a RCA TVPAMP1. Connected to 2 TVs with about 75 ft total RG6 cable. Most all of the channels here are UHF, the 2 Hi-VFH channels in WPB come in clear wit this set-up.
Really impressed with the reception we have but trying to get some long range channels out of Miami. All the local channels come in amazingly clear. Ft. Pierce & West Palm Beach are really good. Looking to get WSFL 39.1 about 81 miles away according to TVFOOL.
http://www.tvfool.com/modeling/tmp/1dda/ff0/dcf210e/getall.php
I receive WSFL sometimes but receive channel WLRN, 17.1 routinely (also 81 miles). Wife would really like to watch the Stargate SG1 re-runs on WSFL. Can't even find that one on the ROKU box.
Would a better pre-amp help? I bought the RCA as a trial and it really made a difference on the far away channels.
Thank you for your input.
 

Attachments

#2
Unfortunately at 81 miles, the only way those signals will be received is with favorable atmospheric conditions. Look at the web site here & you will see that South Florida sees favorable activity almost daily which would explain what you are seeing. Looking at TV FOOL, looks like you would need an antenna height of at least 150 feet to overcome the curvature of the earth in your neck of the woods.
 

nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#3
Tropo is never 100% reliable, but there is some relatively consistent tropo down (well, actually up for me!) there which explains why it is viewable by you (Props to No Static), and if it was 2edge it might be worth a shot at that power level (incase TVFool is out by a few points). Its a shame its UHF, VHF diffracts better (check out ABC and FOX from the same site up in the red section).

Ideally outside is the way to go, and you can expect a decent improvement for UHF channels. Cyclone (aka. Hurricane) prone areas up in Nthn Oz have outdoor antenna systems, just make sure its well secured (ie. staybars/guy wiring) and use good quality antennas (not chinese!). Seek professional help if you need to!
 
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Nimrod

DTVUSA Rookie
#4
Thanks for the quick replies. I thought I was reaching too far for this one.
Never hurts to ask. I am impressed with all the channels we do receive.
Thanks again
 

Nimrod

DTVUSA Rookie
#6
I was surprised by that also. My antenna is very direction but I don't need a rotator. Not complaining one bit! I also receive a couple of FT Peirce channels to the north of me too.
Thanks again
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#7
:welcome: Nimrod,

I receive a 2-edge channel from 76 miles away and it is rock solid ... in fact, I am watching Batman on MeTV from it right now! However, to make this happen I had to build my own 'cut-to-channel' Yagi antenna and you can see photos in my albums here (Project-35). A channel 19 antenna will be somewhat larger and I strongly suggest it should be mounted outdoors.

In other words, dependable reception is not impossible but it will take some work and it will be a second system not combined with other antennas but switched to when needed. Still, at that range there are no guarantees ... sorry.

Jim
 

nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#8
:welcome: Nimrod,

I receive a 2-edge channel from 76 miles away and it is rock solid ... in fact, I am watching Batman on MeTV from it right now! However, to make this happen I had to build my own 'cut-to-channel' Yagi antenna and you can see photos in my albums here (Project-35). A channel 19 antenna will be somewhat larger and I strongly suggest it should be mounted outdoors.

In other words, dependable reception is not impossible but it will take some work and it will be a second system not combined with other antennas but switched to when needed. Still, at that range there are no guarantees ... sorry.

Jim
You misunderstood, i never said 2edge was unreliable, just tropo. Even with a cut-to-channel yagi its unlikely you will get equivalent reliabiility to a local station in this case (though it may still be watchable a reasonable amount of the time). Your cut to channel antenna on the other hand will fair alot better as the 2edge path is less variable than a tropo one.
 
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Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#9
Nbound,

Nimrod wrote: I receive WSFL sometimes but receive channel WLRN, 17.1 routinely (also 81 miles).

That suggests to me it is not necessarily Tropo, but edge.

Jim
 

nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#10
Possibly, but there are many other factors at play.

I did also assume by routinely he meant- more often but not reliably. If he gets it all the time, Ill happily reconsider my position. :)
 
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#11
Welp, as usual I gotta a wild theory! :becky: According to Wikipedia, WLTV and WSFL both come from the same transmitter (exact same coordinates), yet TVFool says WSFL is Tropo and WLTV is 2Edge. Only difference between them is that WSFL is transmitting at almost twice the power of WLTV -- so more power launched the signal into the troposphere.

My theory: WSFL is coming in both ways -- from Tropo and from a double bounce. So we have multipath messing with the tuner. WLRN -- the station Nimrod gets routinely -- is almost the same direction and distance, but actually a different transmitter. My guess is that WLRN is Tropo only.

Rick
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#13
Welp, as usual I gotta a wild theory! :becky: ...
My theory: WSFL is coming in both ways -- from Tropo and from a double bounce. So we have multipath messing with the tuner. ...
Rick
Rick,

I think you are confusing terms. "Edge" refers to something like a hill blocking a signal, but the signal still can 'find its way' to a receiver. No bounces. Line of sight is easy to understand but refractions, reflections and tropo happen as well.

Edge or multi-edge reception is an entirely different situation, where the transmitted signals fill in an empty area behind the hill or whatever blocks a signal as is seen here: Siting the antenna That's how it works and capturing it is the challenge.

Tropo is defined here: Tropospheric propagation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ... and here: VHF Signal Propagation

Jim
 
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nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#14
Fringe's link above shows simplified versions of whats happening with your signals as they strike objects, but is definately good to help understand rf propagation theory. (for example; trees arent spherical, buildings reflect over the top AND the sides, and of course the real world is much more complicated)

It also gives a perspective on that "sweet spot" crap we are always on about, and the fact it can vary for multiple channels.

The best way to visualise tropo, is that someone has put a massive big temporary RF mirror in the sky. Depending on the transmitter and your relation to this temporary mirror (or for rarer long distance tropo, multiple mirrors bouncing RF well over the horizon). Because of this a location 200miles away can suddenly become LOS as far as RF is concerned. The pics in the VHF signal propagation link may help.

VHF usually has the best propagation characteristics, and by the top end of UHF is getting much closer to purely LOS (though still a long way off). VHF is affected by Tropo (and other weird propagation effects) more than UHF, and as such much more intense tropo needs to occur to reflect CH51, than CH2.

Large bodies of water and temperature inversions in the atmosphere can have interesting effects too.
 
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Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#15
Been there, done that! LOL!

I suggest one fact to you: low-band channels 2-6 actually propegate even better than high-band VHF or UHF. I don't currently have an appropriate antenna (gigantic) available now, but in the analog days I received a bunch of distant stations and it never crossed my mind to try to record them on a VCR. Yikes! A VCR?

Jim
 

nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#16
Indeed, (Im sure you are aware, but for others) they are actually seperated by a significant amount from the VHF-High Channels.

Back in the analog days, it wasnt completely unheard of to occasionally receive New Zealand VHF-Low stations along the East Coast of Australia. (2200km/1400mi). This was back in the days of tall masts on every home aswell though.

And beyond this theres even more weird stuff out there: TV and FM DX - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Maybe I'll get some US channels by moonbounce :p
 
#19
I think you are confusing terms. "Edge" refers to something like a hill blocking a signal, but the signal still can 'find its way' to a receiver. No bounces.
Well I think there has to be millions of bounces at the quantum level to make diffraction possible. But I'll try to remember to say "double bend" in the future.

But none of this discussion impugns my theory about multipath causing the problem, due to the signal traveling two separate paths.

Rick
 

nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#20
But, how would WSFL being lower on the tower make it more likely to reach an inversion layer? My understanding is a temperature inversion is more likely to be above a tower -- sometimes as high as 6 or 7 miles above ground.

Rick
Its not about likelyhood, TVFool just tells you the easiest path. being lower on the tower in this case is making tropo WSFL's strongest path, as the more direct route in this case is more than 2 edge diffracted as it is either blocked by terrain or if the intervening area is flat, the 60ft drop means the radio horizon is closer for that station.

If tropo is the easiest path, then the direct signal is very very very weak, i doubt very much multipathing is the issue if the OP is receiving the signal via tropo.

Of course there is always the chance that TVFool is wrong, and its a 2edge signal, TVFool is not perfect by any means.
 
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