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Need a little help with OTA TV reception issue...
Posted by: PeterB
Date: August 05, 2020 03:47PM
I'm just watching over the air TV with an indoor antenna, one of the types with a rotating UHF element and regular VHF rabbit ears.

There's one particular channel (or I should say set of channels) I'm trying to get, that I just can't seem to. So I've tried moving my antenna higher up indoors ... trying to see if I can get away without having to do an outside antenna mount. (I have high ceilings, so I'm able to get the antenna up pretty high.)

I'm not using TVFool, apparently they're not keeping things up-to-date any more ... there's an alternative though that works pretty well, here's my antenna map:

[www.rabbitears.info]

... the channel I'm really trying to get: 12-1 (11), the one highlighted in yellow. The question is, why can't I seem to get it, and should I try repositioning the antenna, or is it a waste of time? (I'm guessing that part of the problem of getting this station is that it's VHF, rather than UHF...)

TiA




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Need a little help with OTA TV reception issue...
Posted by: srf1957
Date: August 05, 2020 03:56PM
I have better reception. with a flat flexible antenna. It looks and feels like a placemat . It is powered . Have it taped to a window . All the transmitters are more than 10 miles ..
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Re: Need a little help with OTA TV reception issue...
Posted by: PeterB
Date: August 05, 2020 04:07PM
Quote
srf1957
I have better reception. with a flat flexible antenna. It looks and feels like a placemat . It is powered . Have it taped to a window . All the transmitters are more than 10 miles ..

Interesting. Channel Master's website has an interface similar to TVFool's and RabbitEars', which of course encourages you to buy their antennas, but when I plug my info into their website, it is indeed suggesting a flat antenna. That's odd to me, because I would think that having a rotatable element (as I have now) is a big plus ... I've had to rotate the UHF element in my current antenna a lot as a result of apparent interference in my area, I think mostly coming from trees and such. (Whenever we get a bad storm, the reception goes totally pixelly...)




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Re: Need a little help with OTA TV reception issue...
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: August 05, 2020 04:09PM
ERP: 104 kW on a 1000ft tower but the signal is very directional, East - West.

[www.rabbitears.info]
Average power:	38.8 kW
Minimum power:	5.99 kW	at 150°
Maximum power:	104 kW	at 260°
And yes, being on VHF Ch. 11 is a disadvantage.



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Re: Need a little help with OTA TV reception issue...
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: August 05, 2020 04:24PM
Some stations have given up their OTA signal in exchange for something, probably money. I think my local PBS station did it. I don't know what terms to use to search for news about it.
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Re: Need a little help with OTA TV reception issue...
Posted by: PeterB
Date: August 05, 2020 04:34PM
Quote
MrNoBody
ERP: 104 kW on a 1000ft tower but the signal is very directional, East - West.

[www.rabbitears.info]
Average power:	38.8 kW
Minimum power:	5.99 kW	at 150°
Maximum power:	104 kW	at 260°
And yes, being on VHF Ch. 11 is a disadvantage.

Translate into English, please. grinning smiley

... I'm guessing it means that it's very important how the antenna (rabbit ears specifically) is oriented?

Is there any way to do this other than by trial-and-error? (Unfortunately, my TV is one of those that doesn't allow you manually add a channel... you have to rescan in order to find channels... so no obvious way I can think of, to see whether the signal being received is better or worse UNTIL you are actually able to get the channel.)




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Re: Need a little help with OTA TV reception issue...
Posted by: SDGuy
Date: August 05, 2020 06:18PM
Quote
PeterB
...I'm guessing it means that it's very important how the antenna (rabbit ears specifically) is oriented?

Is there any way to do this other than by trial-and-error? (Unfortunately, my TV is one of those that doesn't allow you manually add a channel... you have to rescan in order to find channels... so no obvious way I can think of, to see whether the signal being received is better or worse UNTIL you are actually able to get the channel.)

Yes - from the link in your original post, the station is 92 deg magnetic from you - so, get a compass and align your rabbit ears to be parallel to that direction (nearly pointing East).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/05/2020 06:18PM by SDGuy.
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Re: Need a little help with OTA TV reception issue...
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: August 05, 2020 06:40PM
sorry PB. But SDGuy is correct, point it to 92 degrees magnetic.

so, get a compass ...or use Compass on iPhone/iPad, it's very handy!
thumbsup smiley



39°36'17"N 75°44'43"W

The search engine that doesn't track you.





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/05/2020 06:41PM by MrNoBody.
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Re: Need a little help with OTA TV reception issue...
Posted by: PeterB
Date: August 05, 2020 07:01PM
Looks like I'm going to need a real compass ... the Compass app is not giving me consistent readings, apparently I live inside a Faraday cage...

By turning the antenna, at one point I got more channels than I ever have before, but of course... the one channel missing... 12-1 through 12-4.




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Re: Need a little help with OTA TV reception issue...
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: August 05, 2020 07:32PM
This may have more to do with the antenna design. [en.wikipedia.org]
'old school rabbit ears' consists of VHF sticks & a UHF loop element like so...



Where the newer 'aimable' designs give you more control over VHF targeting ...





39°36'17"N 75°44'43"W

The search engine that doesn't track you.

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Re: Need a little help with OTA TV reception issue...
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: August 05, 2020 07:51PM
Point it in the same direction of Earhart Expressway where it crosses Deckbar. You should have about 3 degrees leeway from due East.

I have heard about stations reducing their power output to reduce interference/distortion but it would usually not be lower than 50% of the power listed on their license. 11 miles should be an easy signal to pick up unless there are some big office buildings directly in the way. A huge building with metalized window film all over it works fabulous for blocking/reflecting electromagnetic signals.

If you have any spare/old ethernet cable laying around, you can make a simple dipole antenna out of a single pair of ethernet conductors. Channel 11 is almost exactly half the wavelength (double the frequency, 210 Mhz) of FM, so it would be 70 cm/27.5 inches long. Taping it to a yardstick would make an easily to aim assembly. On the other end (at the TV), one of the wires goes in the center of the cable connector, the other on the ground/shield.



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Re: Need a little help with OTA TV reception issue...
Posted by: PeterB
Date: August 05, 2020 08:10PM
OK guys, remember I (currently) have no way of knowing which is east, west, etc. -- have tried Google Maps, but apparently they've removed the compass. I certainly cannot see Earhart or Deckbar, I'm nowhere close to either of those.

The antenna I have now is normal dipole, amplified, with a rotatable UHF element. It generally gives excellent reception, and as I mentioned, the rotatable UHF is a must where I am. I did also buy an outdoor antenna of a design similar to what MrNoBody posted in his second pic, which also includes a rotor, but as I'd mentioned -- I was hoping to avoid having to install an outdoor antenna.

I also (somewhere) have a long "stick" type Radio Shack antenna, which is intended as an outdoor antenna but could probably be used indoor... it's basically a long rod, so presumably could be aimed east-west.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Need a little help with OTA TV reception issue...
Posted by: btfc
Date: August 05, 2020 11:15PM
Re: your compass issues; assuming there are no magnets or large metal objects close to where you are trying to use it, try resetting compass calibration. Settings>Privacy>Location Services (on)>System Services>Compass Calibration. Try turning it on and off.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/05/2020 11:16PM by btfc.
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Re: Need a little help with OTA TV reception issue...
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: August 05, 2020 11:20PM
.....comp......ass......??



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Re: Need a little help with OTA TV reception issue...
Posted by: Randalls
Date: August 06, 2020 07:26AM
As far as compasss being ineffective on phone or iPad I was trying to use Starwalk app to find the comet Neowise and could not get a consistent direction. Found out that both of the cases for iPad and iPhone have magnets that threw off the internal compass. Remove the iPhone or iPad from the case, reset the compass as previously posted. This should give you consistent readings again (until you put it back in the case).
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Re: Need a little help with OTA TV reception issue...
Posted by: rz
Date: August 06, 2020 08:58AM
Quote
PeterB
OK guys, remember I (currently) have no way of knowing which is east, west, etc. --

Which direction does the sun rise? smiley-excited001
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Re: Need a little help with OTA TV reception issue...
Posted by: PeterB
Date: August 06, 2020 09:33AM
Quote
rz
Quote
PeterB
OK guys, remember I (currently) have no way of knowing which is east, west, etc. --

Which direction does the sun rise? smiley-excited001

Good question. In the room where the antenna is, I've blocked out the windows ... the sun interferes with my vampiric ways. grinning smiley




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Re: Need a little help with OTA TV reception issue...
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: August 06, 2020 10:20AM
Welcome to PeterB's lair...


devil smiley



39°36'17"N 75°44'43"W

The search engine that doesn't track you.

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Re: Need a little help with OTA TV reception issue...
Posted by: PeterB
Date: August 06, 2020 12:04PM
In all seriousness, I think I've got the north-south-east-west thing figured out, by way of MapQuest. (Google Maps seems to have taken the compass away... at least, I couldn't figure out how to get it on there.)

So ... I've tried orienting the dipoles in the east-west direction, and am still not getting this channel. (Or should I be orienting both dipoles in one direction?) ... I'm beginning to think this is a lost cause, or at least with this antenna. Since I can get everything else OK by reorienting the antenna, I'm guessing the problem is really because this station is VHF.




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Re: Need a little help with OTA TV reception issue...
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: August 06, 2020 12:45PM
Which direction does the sun rise?


Yes, sunrise, sunset...

They're fairly consistent.

Topology certainly affects receptions.

'Flat' antennas probably work because of where they tend to be located, and are in a strong signal strength area, and tend to work best or only with UHF stations.

Some stations share an antenna or antenna location so an antenna aimed in that one direction works.

But a station may not lie in the same direction and/or be VHF when all the other are UHF.

Knowing the direction and freq of a troublesome one is a big help.

Sometimes it takes mounting two antennas on the same mast, and aiming each in a different direction for one's desired reception.

It's not an option or everyone, but works very well when it is.




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Re: Need a little help with OTA TV reception issue...
Posted by: S. Pupp
Date: August 07, 2020 10:18AM
Our nearest ABC affiliate is 60 miles away. No indoor antenna could bring it in.
An Antennacraft antenna from Radio Shack attached to an antenna preamplifier is what it took to bring in the signal.

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Re: Need a little help with OTA TV reception issue...
Posted by: PeterB
Date: August 07, 2020 02:16PM
Quote
S. Pupp
Our nearest ABC affiliate is 60 miles away. No indoor antenna could bring it in.
An Antennacraft antenna from Radio Shack attached to an antenna preamplifier is what it took to bring in the signal.


Interesting ... I've also considered an attic installation, though the area where I'm currently putting my indoor antenna is about the same height as the attic. (I'm in a double shotgun, where the attic is in the middle of the house lengthwise, and the major TV for which I want the antenna is in the room the furthest back of the house.)

The problem I can see with doing an attic install: I will probably need to be able to rotate the antenna, and the wiring for that would then have to run practically the full length of the house...

In the meantime, I've ordered from Bezosland a flat-type antenna, just to make sure it doesn't make any difference. If that doesn't work, I'm tempted to set up my outdoor antenna indoors ... it is super-fugly, but if it avoids my having to do an outdoor install, then it might be worth it.

Edit: whoops, I forgot to say -- I did figure out east, west, north, south where I am, and tried reorienting my current dipole antenna to the east-west orientation -- and it made no difference whatsoever.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/07/2020 02:18PM by PeterB.
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