OTA complications

Discussion in 'Digital Over the Air Television Talk By RabbitEars' started by Gray Hair, May 19, 2013.

  1. Gray Hair

    Gray Hair Thread Starter Member

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    I am considering doing some things to my OTA antennae system, but there are many complications. I have a Channel Master combination antenna from the 70’s. It has 9 long pieces, 9 short pieces, and with a UHF piece on the end with V points out. I will attempt attaching a picture.

    Currently the Motorola rotator (Model# 9510A) is not functioning, possibly due to deteriorated wire. The former utility pole top part it is on has been used here for TV antennae for over fifty years, so I am concerned about breaking off if I put a ladder against it. I do not want to go any higher, it is above roof line

    CM antennae.jpg


    and a power line goes between antennae and house.

    Distance from house to pole takes 100’ package of 300-ohm flat wire.
    Probably another 20 ft to 30 ft of wire to TV.

    Antenna was raised many years ago and reception went to pot then. I believed I repaired one of the ends that had dropped down at a spot weld with a metal screw. I have read that by raising even a few feet is how that affects reception on this forum several times.

    I have also tried a CM4221 Antennae many years ago and could not get anything on it, and still have. Tried it with RG59 and flat 300 to no avail, and walked it around the area.

    I have some RG6D5 (maybe 30 ft) copper clad steel wire from Dish 500 setup that I no longer use.

    I have some utility poles here with the bigger bottom ends of utility poles, but they have been lying on the ground for around twenty years. I believe they would be difficult to get up into the air to get in a hole because of their size and weight. Having not attempted to check their condition, I am not sure of them.

    Keep in mind that this is WV and that 100 ft of distance may give me 15’ of lift from the hill. Though the pole is almost 15 ft and plus antennae mast height. Lots of concerns for reception with hills, and trees.
    Because of the power lines I don’t want to go any higher or bigger antennae.

    In the past with old system the 300ohm cable provided less signal loss.

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id=1ddad4df398da3

    I have considered building one of the twin type antennas, thinking they would not be as big or high, and better tuned.

    Channels Received: WNPB, occasional pixling, WTAE, occasionally able to watch: WQED, occasionally able to watch at various times. WPCW most generally pixilated. Antenna is presently pointed north.

    Zinwell Converter Model ZAT –970A (digital to Analog).
    RCA console type TV bought in 89, occasional picture dropout, unplug and restart.

    Needless to say with all these obstacles and located in a difficult to receive location.

    Possibilities?
     
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  2. boba

    boba SatelliteGuys Family
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    Your antenna looks like a Channel Master 3612 VHF only antenna which would be terrible for most digital transmissions seeing UHF has replaced most of the VHF broadcasts. Your Channel Master 4221 is a discontinued 4 bay UHF antenna and would probably work for you. Get rid of any 300 ohm flat lead and any RG-59. Use RG-6 for your downlead.
     
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  3. boba

    boba SatelliteGuys Family
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    You must be located in an optimum location using your zip code instead of exact address you get nothing from the north and very little from the south. Using antenna web you get nothing. As a gamble I would replace the VHF Channel Master with the 4221 aimed NORTH 360 degrees. If still poor reception add a Channel Master 7777 pre amplifier. By your TV fool you should be able to receive 33.1/4.1/40.1/2.1/11.1/22.12 and 53.1
     
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  4. FaT Air

    FaT Air HOA Free Zone
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    I'm actually surprised you're getting what you do get being it's a VHF only antenna.. (except for one channel - 5.1 which is to the SW.) All is UHF to the north.
    I'd put that 4221 up, removing existing antenna. Use RG6 coax. Also use a quality balun, one meant for outdoor use, Such as the CM 94444. Maybe mount the amplifier, if used, low on the pole??(for ease of servicing)
    If unsure about the pole, maybe it's time for replacement?? Hit with a bat. If it's a nice solid pole it should sound like a good hit (Pink) with some resonance maybe. If it's rotten, a dull thud will be heard.
    Could be only the top is rotted. Shorten the pole?? Rent a bucket truck(and operator??)
     
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  5. Gray Hair

    Gray Hair Thread Starter Member

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    Follow up

    As for the antenna I believe the old CM VHF has UHF, but very little. When I was attempting to upgrade many years ago to get more UHF a local electronics store told me what I had and showed me a picture. That is why they suggested the UHF antenna I bought. This was an electronic store that did business with commercial customers and not R Shack, but no longer locally. I can provide another picture.

    As for no VHF available, I don’t think so; WQED channel 13 is VHF out of Pittsburgh, PA. As on first post I do get this channel occasionally, my 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] best channel. It is a PBS station, I would prefer not losing it. I am guessing 13 would not be receivable on a UHF antenna. TV fool list channel 13 as VHF HI to the North. Also WPCW 11 (19.1) is listed VHF HI to the north, seldom receivable. To the south is WBOY 12 also VHF HI, not sure if still obtainable, had been receivable twenty plus years ago with rotor.

    I also have some antenna amplifier’s, used only for testing, Magnavox, and Popular Mechanics. Neither showed any promise on UHF when testing twenty plus years ago.

    As for the pole, smacked it with the back of a round pointed shovel with a fiberglass handle. Still not sure of the sound I should be getting with a shovel compared to a baseball bat? The ants defiantly did not like the several smacks the pole got. They were moving.

    Took a drill hammer (1 to 2LB) smacked antenna pole (around six inches in diameter) several times, close to ground did not sound good to me. Compared antenna pole to a bigger utility (8” to 9”) pole that was in use and the sound was sounder, but was it because difference in condition or larger size?

    Is the updated CM7777 Pre-amplifier as good as the previous model CM7777 with UHF & VHF in connections?

    On CM4221 UHF antenna does the wires have to be in line? They don’t appear bent spots, but wire ends are not lined up.

    I had an unusual experience one night, I got 33, 51, 25, 11, 13, 42 all at the same time, good quality, and they stayed for a while.
     
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  6. FaT Air

    FaT Air HOA Free Zone
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    Channel master Crossfire VHF/FM example http://wd4eui.com/Channel_Master_3610_VHF_FM_Antenna.html On the page he's got a large UHF Yagi above the VHF/FM Crossfire.
    Key there is " but very little" Yeah, anything will get some UHF, if it's strong enough. (sorry, but I think whoever you talked to didn't know what he was talking about)
    I've done the same numerous times around the area with the digital conversion and many moving to UHF. Using CM4220HD's, CM4221HD's, one with a Winegard HD-9032.
    You could do the same. mount a UHF above yours.
    A CM4221HD should work, but I would probably opt for a 4228 or a yagi type, Winegard HD-9032?
    There's no such thing as putting up too much antenna(in my book). And being many of your signals are 2edge, and on the weak side, think larger is better. The 'cleaner' the signal to the amp, the 'cleaner' the signal to the TV.
    If the amplifier is single input use a splitter in reverse (as a combiner) Using two equal length jumpers* from the splitter to each antenna. (*Minimized ghosting in analog days. Think that could be a problem with digital also)
    Amps - not many 20 yrs ago were any good VHF/UHF from what I remember. Many just supplied an un-amplified 'pass-thru' of UHF. Others just blocked UHF. The only 'good' UHF amps I remember 'from back then' were UHF only. They blocked most VHF.
    My jury on the new CM7777 with the single input is still 'out'. But I've installed many of the older with the separate inputs. All worked great. Here the VHF is 90 degrees from the UHF. So separate inputs was a +.
    I would try the 'system' without an amp first. Sometimes they just add problems.
    If unsure of the soundness of the pole about the only option is a bucket truck rental. Don't have to rely on the pole holding your ladder, and you, up.
     
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  7. Blindowl1234

    Blindowl1234 Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member

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    I'd try the antenna you have with some good RG6 coax. As far as antennas go, a good 8 bay antenna or a 91Xg is a good choice too. I'd try it with an without the amp first and see if you get anything. A lot of times a good UHF antenna will bring in channel 12 or 13 just fine. We have a channel 9 here that comes in fine with my old style 4228.
     
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  8. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Family

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    If VHF 5 is part of the mix, a UHF antenna is probably not a good choice.
     
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  9. Blindowl1234

    Blindowl1234 Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member

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    Yeah wouldn't work for VHF5...maybe two separate antennas then. No easy way though
     
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  10. Gray Hair

    Gray Hair Thread Starter Member

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    RG6 question

    In developing a plan to improve OTA quality, I was wondering what kind of RG6 solid copper core to install. I am dealing with lousy receiving ability. I have a 4500-volt power line about 50 ft from house running parallel with house, according to electrician. Do I need anything special in the kind of RG6?

    Recently in FTA they had stated that power lines, and various other things affected OTA. I was just wondering if I needed something special in RG6 with all these Issues.

    Thanks.

    Respectively,

    Gray Hair
     
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  11. primestar31

    primestar31 SatelliteGuys Family

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    That might be tough to beat. I'd start with quad-shield coax, and good compression connectors made for that. Hopefully you won't need an amplifier, and hopefully you don't have any noisy power transformers ("buzzers") close to where you'll have your antenna. You can't know anything else until you install it and see what happens. Then you can deal with any additional issues at that point.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
  12. andy_horton

    andy_horton Member

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    Try a VHF/UHF newer antenna. I agree without the pre-amp first because of the noise that it can add. If you can't channels reliably, then try the pre-amp. Good luck!--Andy
     
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    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2013
  13. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Family

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    Solid copper probably isn't necessary unless you use a monster preamp. It doesn't conduct RF any better than CCS. As primestar31 points out, quad shield is where you'll get the best protection.

    If induction is the problem, running your cable at right angles to the transmission line may help.
     
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  14. Gray Hair

    Gray Hair Thread Starter Member

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    RG-6 Quad shield with copper conductor?

    In looking at this from a standpoint of using it for OTA. How hard is it to work in wall cavity do to its stiffness? Straight drop down inside wall through a diagonal fire block (hole is drilled) and 90 degree to back of wall plate.

    The reason of thinking of using RG-6 Quad shield with copper conductor was it seems to recommended to used on FTA satellite, ku which is next project. FTA satellite will probably start out farther from electric lines and end up about the same distance where TV is.

    Am I better off just getting enough for this job only of the Quad-shielded coax?

    Solid signal has 1000 ft. reel of the RG-6 copper center conductor for around $100. http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=ULPVRG6SCBLK

    F connectors for RG-6 Quad-shielded. pkg 100 $13,
    Without o-ring. Presently out of stock.
    http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.as...tor--Bag-of-100-(WCR6Q03443)&c=Connectors&sku=



    I usually borrow a crimper from a friend for regular RG6.

    I also see it in cut various lengths with ends, 100ft running around $28.
    I would believe it would be a challenge to get the correct length measurement.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks.
     
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  15. primestar31

    primestar31 SatelliteGuys Family

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    Quad shield is no harder to run than any other coax, it's not that much larger. My suggestion is to do 4 runs MINIMUM, as long as you need one, it's just as easy to run a few more. If you DON'T, you'll regret it later when you decide you'd really like a second receiver, OR, the original cable might develop a problem (rare, but could happen). You might also want to consider running some 7 strand sprinkler cable out to where your dishes will be, in case you ever feel the need to install a c-band dish with actuator.

    Buy the roll of coax and run it yourself. If you feel challenged in putting on the ends, you can probably find a dish or cable tv installer that would do it for a few dollars.
     
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  16. Gray Hair

    Gray Hair Thread Starter Member

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    RG6U coax compared to RG6 Quad-Shield coax.

    RG6U coax compared to RG6 Quad-Shield coax.

    True or False?

    RG6 Quad-Shield solid copper at SolidSignal.com has only specs that does not have a way to compare RG6U to. When I go to other brands specifications seem about the same to me.
    http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.as...QUAD)&c=Bulk RG-6 Coax Cable&sku=610370580943

    Confusion has arrived from hidefforum with Tigerbangs, which says something like for OTA use RG6u only. That it does not have the loss that Quad- Shield does and easier to flex. I am in such a bad place for OTA I need all the advantage I can get.

    http://www.highdefforum.com/local-h...s-new-prescription-deep-fringe-reception.html
    Post #1

    Solid Signal does not even list a RG6U coax.
    I was wanting to order a reel of the coax since it is less expensive that way. I am also in the process of installing a FTA Ku setup. I can get the coax in different ways to get two kinds if needed.

    I am also dealing with electric line of around 45 000 volts.


    Thanks for your support.
     
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  17. Bob2011

    Bob2011 Active SatelliteGuys Member

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    Depending on the brand and build quality there might be a half dB extra loss over 100 feet in the TV frequencies with quad shield versus regular RG6. If you're using an amp then the loss is of no importance. The deciding factor will be if you believe the power line is close enough to be causing you trouble. If you have the tools to install ends on quad shield cable then you might want to look for a partial roll of quad for antenna installs near the power line.
     
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  18. Jim5506

    Jim5506 SatelliteGuys Family
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    Your current antenna is a VHF only, any UHF received on it is purely coincidental.

    You need to add an UHF antenna - a big one the 4221 is probably too small - look at an 8 bay cat-whiskers or a large UHF yagi like the 91-XG.

    You do not need quad-shield unless there is something nearby that is injecting interference into the cable itself - extra expense and the line loss is the same!

    You will probably need a pre-amp because all but a very few of your stations are in the negative on the NM dB (very weak) - get one of the new RCA pre-amps that have UHF and VHF inputs, scuttlebutt is they are pretty good.

    You must realize that your situation is very difficult, only 3 of your channels are in the positive on noise margin and one of those is barely above zero.

    All those weak channels require extraordinary measures for reception, so don't expect to get by with midrange antennas.
     
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  19. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Family

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    Shouldn't be a big issue unless electrolysis rots the material the antenna or its mount is made of. A car radio antenna isn't very far from a 40,000 volt HEI module (assuming the car radio is in a gas-powered vehicle).

    If you were situated near a 45kW broadcast tower, that might be a problem.
     
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  20. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Family

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    Using a combination VHF/UHF/FM antenna may be a lot less trouble as long as all the signals come from the same direction.
     
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