Bay Area VOOMers? (1 Viewer)

Kaysadeya

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Apr 18, 2004
35
0
CA
I live in Belmont, CA on the eastern side of a hill with a clear view of the bay from about 60 to 140 azimuth. And an angle of 14 shouldn't be a problem. However, the hill blocks Sutro Tower to the north, so the OTA channels will probably be a problem.

Is there anyone else on this forum who lives in the bay area with a clear eastern view, but no line of sight to Sutro? Any problems or other issues that impact your satellite signal? How is your OTA reception?

Thanks....
 

FuSioN

Member
May 24, 2004
7
0
Well, I'll be getting VOOM installed on June 11th.

I'll post more as things develop.

Located South Bay. San Jose, South San Jose to be more specific.
 

sat4me

SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 19, 2004
110
0
Kaysadeya said:
I live in Belmont, CA on the eastern side of a hill with a clear view of the bay from about 60 to 140 azimuth. And an angle of 14 shouldn't be a problem. However, the hill blocks Sutro Tower to the north, so the OTA channels will probably be a problem.

Is there anyone else on this forum who lives in the bay area with a clear eastern view, but no line of sight to Sutro? Any problems or other issues that impact your satellite signal? How is your OTA reception?

Thanks....

There is no way for anyone here to tell you for sure and guarantee what your SAT and OTA reception will be, even other Bay area VOOMer's. There are many of us in the Bay area that have VOOM and some with OTA signal, so as long as you generally don't live in a forest or in an apartment on the west or north side, you should be fine for the SAT signal.

As far as OTA, you can have a neighbor a block away, with the same antenna and have completely different reception. All depends on the obstructions between the towers and your site. Building, hills, trees can all effect this.

The best advise anyone here can give you is to visit www.antennaweb.org
This will show you a conservative list of channels possibly available to your area. It will also show where/direction-compass the signal comes from, in your case you will be sutro tower is my best bet. Don't bet on receiving reception form multiple directions, like San Jose as well.

Your installer will have experience with what antenna should work best, but even he/she isn't a magician that can make a crummy-no-signal area work.

FYI, let the installer do their job, you will find posts about "don't let the installer use diplexers" FORGET that info, diplexers are necessary to make the antenna work as designed.

All will go well, have a little patience because there seems to be a product shortage for a few weeks, which is kinda good that so many NEWBIES are going to become VOOMer's.
 

415Scope

Member
May 3, 2004
11
0
San Francisco Bay Area
Question for any San Francisco / Outer Sunset area Voomer: Is there any chance of getting OTA NBC? Voom installed a DB8 antenna (giant square bbq grill looking thing) -- skip the sordid details, but I did have to adjust the antenna myself to actually get any OTA channels. I now get pretty much the channels being pumped out by Sutro at this point (2,5,7,9..). What's funny is I borrowed my brothers indoor Silver Sensor ant. and I got pretty much the same channels - with a little aiming here and there. I tried pointing the DB8 southeast for NBC, but nada. If there are any success stories in the S.F. / Sunset area for getting NBC, I would like to hear it (type of ant. & amp if used).
 

iceshark

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 10, 2004
533
0
Pacific Northwest
sat4me said:
There is no way for anyone here to tell you for sure and guarantee what your SAT and OTA reception will be, even other Bay area VOOMer's. There are many of us in the Bay area that have VOOM and some with OTA signal, so as long as you generally don't live in a forest or in an apartment on the west or north side, you should be fine for the SAT signal.

As far as OTA, you can have a neighbor a block away, with the same antenna and have completely different reception. All depends on the obstructions between the towers and your site. Building, hills, trees can all effect this.

The best advise anyone here can give you is to visit www.antennaweb.org
This will show you a conservative list of channels possibly available to your area. It will also show where/direction-compass the signal comes from, in your case you will be sutro tower is my best bet. Don't bet on receiving reception form multiple directions, like San Jose as well.

Your installer will have experience with what antenna should work best, but even he/she isn't a magician that can make a crummy-no-signal area work.

FYI, let the installer do their job, you will find posts about "don't let the installer use diplexers" FORGET that info, diplexers are necessary to make the antenna work as designed.

All will go well, have a little patience because there seems to be a product shortage for a few weeks, which is kinda good that so many NEWBIES are going to become VOOMer's.

Most of your information is great. However I would not agree with the diplexer statement. Sometimes if everything is perfect in the world they work as planned. But as a old time cband installer I can tell you that Channel plus boxes that cost tons more to do the same thing are even sketchy in performance at times.

There is definate problems if a cheap diplexer is used and that is what alot of installers are using. They are pocketing good ones in favor of 15.00 Home depot specials. So first make sure it is channel master diplexer or from sealed voom box. Also there are gain and seperation problems with even the best diplexer. sometimes they are constant problems, sometimes sporatic.
My nieghbor as an example went from getting a OFA signal very low 20's with good diplexer and only getting 3 channels here in Seattle area. To high 50-60s and getting 15 OFA channels just by me putting in a second cable run and removing the diplexer. So if it works for you that is great. However If I was getting Voom put in I would offer the installer 20 bucks on the side to dump another cable run and also let him keep the diplexers.

MyTwoCents. :rolleyes:
 

styxfix

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Oct 7, 2003
631
29
Pacific Coast
It will probably be easier to get digital 49 (48.1 & 48.2) which has NBC on the second sub channel and spanish on the main channel. This channel is comming from San Bruno I believe. Check out this website that a fellow member of this forum created for more info.
 

sard

Member
Nov 26, 2003
5
0
Voom in the east bay

Just got Voom installed. The satellite is very low on the horizon so it took some hunting to find a line of sight between the neighbor's trees. The OTA is an ugly cross between a sea gull and the terminator, and worse yet the only signals available are 2 minor stations being beamed out of the San Jose area (i knew this going in, thanks to antennaweb). For now, I'm keeping basic cable for local stations although switching inputs is a pain. Here's my question: Can I disconnect the OTA from diplexer on the antenna pole, run my basic cable up to it and connect it to the diplexer? If it works, this would have all stations coming in through the same input. I'm going to give it a shot anyway, but I wondered if there were any obvious reasons not to try.
 

styxfix

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Oct 7, 2003
631
29
Pacific Coast
SARD:

I would give VOOM a call on tell them you want your OTA antenna upgraded for free. You live in a poor area (valley) for HD as you know for OTA reception, but with the upgrade you may be able to get some OTA HD from Sac. It may be easier to get a good signal from there than from Sutro (SF).
 

Kaysadeya

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Apr 18, 2004
35
0
CA
sat4me said:
There is no way for anyone here to tell you for sure and guarantee what your SAT and OTA reception will be, even other Bay area VOOMer's. There are many of us in the Bay area that have VOOM and some with OTA signal, so as long as you generally don't live in a forest or in an apartment on the west or north side, you should be fine for the SAT signal.

As far as OTA, you can have a neighbor a block away, with the same antenna and have completely different reception. All depends on the obstructions between the towers and your site. Building, hills, trees can all effect this.

The best advise anyone here can give you is to visit www.antennaweb.org
This will show you a conservative list of channels possibly available to your area. It will also show where/direction-compass the signal comes from, in your case you will be sutro tower is my best bet. Don't bet on receiving reception form multiple directions, like San Jose as well.

Your installer will have experience with what antenna should work best, but even he/she isn't a magician that can make a crummy-no-signal area work.

FYI, let the installer do their job, you will find posts about "don't let the installer use diplexers" FORGET that info, diplexers are necessary to make the antenna work as designed.

All will go well, have a little patience because there seems to be a product shortage for a few weeks, which is kinda good that so many NEWBIES are going to become VOOMer's.


I live about halfway up the side of a hill, so there's the rest of a big hill to the west and somewhat of a hill to the north. I have a straight line of sight east across the bay to Fremont, however. I suspect I'm SOL when it comes to receiving a signal from Sutro; but my main concern is getting a good sat signal, which, last I checked, should come from the east. As best I can calculate, it appears I should get a good sat signal. Am I making the correct assumptions here?
 

mitpdub

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jun 13, 2004
22
0
To reply to the original poster of this thread, I live in Redwood Shores, which is just across Hwy 101 from you. My install was done on 6/11 and when it was first completed all my satellite channels were great getting over 93's but the OTA channels were hit or miss. The installer told me that I probably would need an antenna upgrade and that I would have to call voom to request one. He knew something could be done, but wouldnt without some authorization, and probably he gets some extra compensation from voom for going out again later... The antenna they originally provide is a stealth model which gave me reading from below 10 to 60 depending on which channel I was watching. Channels below 30 would digitally pause, pixelate or just turn black being un-watchable.

When I called voom the rep told me that I lived between San Jose and San Francisco and I would have to chose which way I wanted to point the antenna. She explained that I would be chosing the NBC(San Jose) or Fox,CBS,ABC(SanFrancisco) and would not be able to get all the channels. I told her that if I couldn't get all the major networks then call the installer to remove the whole thing because its not worth it!!! After the threat to return the whole thing, 3 days later the installer came back, put on a bowtie square antenna and the readings jumped up from 60-80's on all my channels. The San Francisco and San Jose channels all came in, and the crap the voom rep told me about chosing a direction didn't matter since the new antenna picked up everything crystal clear. So for now the pictures don't stutter, pause or have digital dropout.

I'm actually quite happy with Voom after I had the OTA fixed!
 

Kaysadeya

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Apr 18, 2004
35
0
CA
Thanks. I suspect I'll have to go through the same exercise with my OTA reception. One of the benefits of the receiver "rental" plan is that it doesn't lock us into VOOM and they have an "incentive" to be responsive to our issues.
 

Kaysadeya

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Apr 18, 2004
35
0
CA
Thought I'd provide an update on the status of a Bay Area Voomer. So far, my SAT signal hovers around 90, so I'm pretty happy about that. It being July in CA, I haven't had a chance to detect any changes when it rains.

My OTA is another story, however. As I indicated earlier in this thread, my site is difficult. Also, the installer obviously wasn't serious about finding a good location for my OTA antenna (he mounted it low and pointed into the side of my neighbor's house). The result is that I'm only getting a few channels; none of which are the networks. I have a service appointment for an upgrade, which I hope will improve the OTA signal.

Overall I'm really very happy with VOOM.

(Now if I can just get ahold of the discrete ON and OFF codes for the receiver...)
 

barth2k

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 14, 2004
592
0
My brother lives in SJ. He has to install 2 antennas and combine them. 1 antenna for nbc and 1 for the rest,
 

arachide

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Dec 15, 2003
32
0
I live in South San Francisco (near 280 and Westborough) and don't have a line of site to Sutro. San Bruno mountain blocks my view of Sutro. That said, with a Channelmaster antenna and a rotor, I am able to pick up OTA in all directions.

As for the Outer-Sunset resident: To get NBC you're going to need an antenna that picks up VHF. There is a yahoo groups HDTV-in-SFbay that is a fantastic resource. Chris Rempel is an antenna installer in the Bay Area and can tell you if you can receive OTA based on your location, as well as what antenna to use. I took a chance on mine and just headed down to Schad Electronics in San Jose to get the Channel Master. Schad is very helpful and have been doing this for 40 years I think.
 

fugu

Member
Jul 1, 2004
10
0
Hopefully coming online July 12th

Hopefully I shouldn't have too much trouble with my install - I am located very close to the cliff house and I believe I have LOS to Sutro tower (where most of my OTA channels will come from).

NBC of course comes out of San Jose and Voom ihas already told me its not on the list.

After I get my setup, I will circle back with reports on its success (hopefully) and begin working on how to pull in NBC (second antenna?).
 

Kaysadeya

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Apr 18, 2004
35
0
CA
fugu said:
Hopefully I shouldn't have too much trouble with my install - I am located very close to the cliff house and I believe I have LOS to Sutro tower (where most of my OTA channels will come from).

Have you checked the LOS to the VOOM satellite to the east? I've heard this is sometimes a problem in SF and may be a particular challenge at the far western edge of the city. I'm on the peninsula, high on a hill overlooking the bay with a clear view of Hayward and my dish points DOWN.
 

fugu

Member
Jul 1, 2004
10
0
One of the few flat landers of San Francisco

Well,not exactly accurate but my house is not on a bad side of hill. My azimuth is 93 and elevation is 14 degrees. I think I am going to be ok looking out my back window but wish me luck.

Coincidently that also happens to be the direction and azimuth to Sutro Tower (OTA for me).

Interesting side question here (pardon my ignorance). I have sprint fixed wireless for my internet access which basicaly consists of a small dish on my roof that is doing 2-way transmissions with a station on San Bruno mountain. This lies in the same general direction as the voom sat. Should I be concerned with interference?
 

Kaysadeya

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Apr 18, 2004
35
0
CA
Regarding your question, I don't know, but highly doubt it.

Best of luck with your installation.
 

jmhunter83

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 26, 2005
104
0
Prunedale (salinas) install

Hey, so im scheduled for the 28th. Hopefully theyll sell the customers to Dish as well, and maybe give us a deal to keep them. I have LOS to fremont peak for NBC and FOX, but no LOS to CBS on mt toro. SHould this be a problem because of UHF needing LOS?
 

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