Houston Voom - No OTA Signal Running "Aim Outdoor Antenna"

Airwaves

Member
Original poster
Nov 2, 2005
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:confused:
I'm in Houston and I've bought 2 Vooms that won’t register any signal when I run “Aim Outdoor Antenna” and plug in any of the RF channel #’s listed through antennaweb.org (just a beeping noise) and, since this doesn’t register, won’t pick up any channels when “Scan Local Channels” is run.
I have 3 other HDTV Receivers (Zenith, Hughes and Accurian) that work fine with both the outdoor antenna and a Terk HDTVi powered indoor antenna. The antennas are both aimed at the towers (within 10-12 miles) in the best position possible. I've tried both the OTA module and diplexer. From reading through your forums, the Voom software versions are recent enough on both receivers. What else am I missing in trying to troubleshoot this?
Thanks,
Richard
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Airwaves, what kind of software is your voom box running? I think 6.20 was the last version they sent us. I would also remove the diplexer and wire it directly into the antenna input. I'm guessing yours is an activated box since you have gotten to the scan for channels menu. Have you tried adjusting your antenna? If so have your numbers improved any? One last thing, when you put in your stations rf # be sure to hit ok on the remote.
 
Here's a picture of the back hookup.
 

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:confused:
Hi Snaggerbob. I really appreciate your reply. On both of the Voom boxes the sellers said they were picking up local channels after Voom went dark which helped me believe the firmware and software versions were adequate. I only tried the diplexer when nothing happened with the OTA module antenna input. The antenna position for both the outdoor and Terk indoor antennas work fine for the Zenith, Hughes and Accurian HDTV receivers. I did hit OK on the remote after entering the stations RF #'s. I do have a concern that the previous owners' stations are still in the channel listings and I haven't found a way to clear them out in order to start from square one.
Both Voom boxes are Firmware V16. Software on one is 02.4C. The other box shows 3 software listings: 01.98.08, C0138A, 00.06.10. Any ideas what to try next?
Thanks,
Richard
 
I would think the boxes would be active so the problem must be something your not doing. Have you tried taking out the OTA module and reseating it? As far as deleting the old channels, not sure what you would do. Maybe you could PM Ilya. he was the Voom expert on this site. Hope you get it figured out. The picture is really good using the voom box.
 
:confused:
Hi Snaggerbob. I have tried taking out the OTA module and reseating it and swapping between the 2 units. By your suggestion, I'm emailing Ilya and, in searching for him, I found the Post-Voom Edition thread: http://www.satelliteguys.us/showthread.php?t=7178&highlight=Ilya
This raised a new concern. Here is part of the email to Ilya:
Just now, after reading your "Post-Voom Edition" thread, I'm now concerned that the predefined Super-DMA map of channels for each location (where it was activated) would mean that any Voom box purchased on Ebay from another area would never work. Is that correct? Am I (and anyone else who buys one on Ebay) out of luck?
If I hear back from Ilya and have more information, I'll post a message. Again, Snaggerbob, I appreciate your continuing help.
Thanks,
Richard
 
Airwaves, welcome to the forum!
Both of your boxes have firmware that supports channel scan: One has version 6.10, another one has version 7.37.
So, the fact that they came from a different Super-DMA should not be a problem. Something else must be wrong with your setup.
First of all, what kind of antenna do you have? Is it amplified or not? Are there any splitters involved? tell us more about your configuration so we could help you.
So what happens when you do a channel scan? Does it find any channels at all? Does it even pause at those RF#'s during the scan?
 
:confused:
Hi Ilya. I had mentioned in my first post that I have 3 other HDTV Receivers (Zenith, Hughes and Accurian) that work fine with both a standard tall outdoor antenna and a Terk HDTVi powered indoor antenna. The antennas are both aimed at the towers (within 10-12 miles) in the best position possible. The boxes won’t register any signal when I run “Aim Outdoor Antenna” and plug in any of the RF channel #’s listed through antennaweb.org (just a beeping noise) and, since this doesn’t register, won’t pick up any channels when “Scan Local Channels” is run. And no, it doesn't pause at any RF #'s when I run channel scan. There are no splitters involved.
In case you don't get a notice when I post to the thread, I'm copying this email to the thread. After the: http://www.satelliteguys.us/ then you should add: showthread.php?p=433044#post433044
My other replies in the thread may have more info you can use to troubleshoot. Is there any other info I can supply that would help? I really appreciate your help.
Thanks,
Richard
 
Richard,

Ok, since the channel scanning does not even pause on any RF channels, then this is not a PSIP issue.
Also, since you were able to change channels and go to all menus, looks like the boxes have been activated.
It really sounds like an electric/wiring problem to me or as bad boxes/tuners, though it is strange that two boxes would have the same problem. Did they both come from the same seller?

Double-check the wiring first:
1. Make sure the diplexer is removed from the back of the box.
2. Make sure you are connecting to the right-most connector (looking from the back), exactly as shown in the snaggerbob's picture above, not to the UHF remote antenna connector, which can be easily confused for the OTA antenna connector.
3. Make sure all connections are tied.
4. Make sure you have a power supply (power inserter) for your amplified antenna properly connected. Note, that unlike some other OTA receivers, VOOM box does not supply any voltage over the OTA antenna input to power the built-in antenna pre-amps.
5. Run the channel scan again, see if it will find at least one digital channel (remember that the box cannot tune to analog channels, only to digital).

If you are absolutely positive that the wiring is correct and there are no electric problems outside the box, then I would strongly suspect bad boxes. I don't see what else can be wrong.

Good luck!
 
:confused:
Hi Ilya. The boxes are activated. The diplexer is removed. I've tried swapping the OTA modules and they do snap into place. The absolute need for powered antenna does mean the old standard tall outdoor house antenna would not work, but the powered indoor Terk HDTVi should. I've also just tried adding an old Radio Shack power booster splitter, but it made no difference running "Aim" and channel scan. I did notice on a couple of my other brand HDTV receivers, that it didn't make a difference in signal strength whether I had the antenna switch turned on or off, although they were getting strong enough signal anyway. I guess this could possibly mean the power inserter on the Terk could be bad and it's really only working as a passive antenna on the other receivers. The A/C adaptor is slightly warm, so there is some power at least making it that far, but maybe it's not doing anything at the actual power inserter. The passive Zenith Silver Sensor works fine on the Hughes receiver.
The Vooms came from separate sellers on Ebay with high or perfect feedback ratings and both said they worked for OTA after Voom went dark. On that basis, it looks like the last chance to salvage these 2 boxes would be to try another powered antenna. Would you recommend the Terk powered antenna again or do you have another favorite?
Thanks,
Richard
 
:confused:
Hi Fayrich. I just noticed your reply after I replied to Ilya. Yes, I guess that could be possible about there being 2 bad OTA modules. When I got the 2nd Voom, one of the first things I did when it didn't work was to swap them just in case. Both of the sellers said they were working as OTA after Voom went dark, but it's still possible. It looks like the first thing to try may be the common thread of the powered antenna and the possibility of the power inserter being bad as I mentioned in my reply to Ilya. I'll wait to see what he and/or others think. Again, I really appreciate everyone's time and help.
Thanks,
Richard
 
Airwaves said:
The absolute need for powered antenna..
What do you mean by that? Do you mean that your antenna requires a power source and you don't have a separate power supply? Or do you have an antenna without pre-amp and you think it may not be powerful enough for this box?
I guess this could possibly mean the power inserter on the Terk could be bad...
Very well could be. That would explain it. Also make sure you haven't switched input and output connections of the power-inserter by mistake.
The Vooms came from separate sellers on Ebay with high or perfect feedback ratings and both said they worked for OTA after Voom went dark.
In this case it is rather unlikely that both boxes have the same problem. It is more likely that the problem is on your end: something is wrong with your wiring.
Would you recommend the Terk powered antenna again or do you have another favorite?
I am not an expert in antennas. Check antennaweb.org for antenna type recommendations for your location and post your antenna question in the OTA section of the forum. Not too many people are checking the Houston VOOM thread these days. ;)

Good luck!
 
:confused:
Hi Ilya. I assumed you were saying a regular outdoor antenna wouldn't work because of one of your points: "Make sure you have a power supply (power inserter) for your amplified antenna properly connected. Note, that unlike some other OTA receivers, VOOM box does not supply any voltage over the OTA antenna input to power the built-in antenna pre-amps."
On the Terk antenna, the connections are correct. The power inserter is clearly marked which end is connected to the antenna and which goes to TV or set top box. I'll try doing some more research on amplified antennas and maybe pick up another one. Right now, this seems to be a more likely source of the problem than 2 Voom boxes being bad.

Thanks,
Richard
 
Airwaves, I would think that either your outdoor or indoor antenna would be good enough to pull in a solid signal being only 12 mi. away. Do they still do a good job with your other receivers? Do you have line of sight problems, trees or tall buildings blocking your signal? Are you near the airport? I pulled in most of my stations without a pre-amp and picked up a few more after I added one. I am twice as far as you away from my towers and have several large trees to contend with.
 
:confused:
Hi Snaggerbob. Both the regular old outdoor antenna and the Terk and Zenith indoor antennas do great on the other brand receivers. The indoor antennas have a problem picking up the local PBS station, but the rest come through. If the pre-amp isn't needed on your Voom, maybe I'm back to square one and the problem may not be a bad power inserter on the Terk. I'm always open to suggestions.
Thanks,
Richard
 
Airwaves said:
:confused: Hi Ilya. I assumed you were saying a regular outdoor antenna wouldn't work
No, I wasn't saying that, sorry for the confusion.

"Make sure you have a power supply (power inserter) for your amplified antenna properly connected. Note, that unlike some other OTA receivers, VOOM box does not supply any voltage over the OTA antenna input to power the built-in antenna pre-amps."
What I meant to say is the following:

If you have an amplified antenna (one of those with a built-in preamps), then you need to provide power to it. The way you usually provide power to the antenna is by applying voltage via the RG6 cable. For that you either need a standalone power inserter, or you need a receiver that supplies voltage to the OTA antenna input. The DSR-550 does not supply voltage over the OTA input. In a typical VOOM installation with diplexers the voltage was taken from the satellite receiver input via the attached diplexer - the same voltage that powers the LNB. Since you have removed the diplexer, the voltage is not supplied and you need a power inserter.

If you have a non-amplified antenna, then you simply connect it to the the OTA input of the DSR-550. You cannot use power inserter with it, as it may short-circuit it. You cannot connect this type of antenna to the diplexer either. For the same reason.
 
:confused:
Hi Ilya. Thanks for clearing that up. That does mean that it should have worked with either old outdoor antenna or Terk powered antenna that work fine on my other brand receivers. As I replied to Snagglebob, maybe I'm back to square one. Is it possible I ended up with 2 fried 8VSB Tuner modules or fried them by hooking them up to the powered Terk antenna first? I'm looking for something incredibly simple that I missed, but I'm hooked up exactly as pictured, the modules snap into position and I can get through the menu functions easily which means they are activated. Still looking for options.
Thanks,
Richard
 
Really don't know what else to suggest here. It sounds like you are doing everything correctly and it really should all work the way you are setup. :(
Hope you can figure it out. Good luck! And happy New Year!
 

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