How well do the signal meters work with digital OTA?

spongella

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May 12, 2012
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Central NJ
Great post, and lots of great responses, definitely inspiring.

This method may be out in the weeds a bit but I use a HackRF One that I attach to my TV antenna's output on the rotor control box. Then I set the HackRF One it to the frequency range of the channel I am interested in, then I rotate the antenna for the strongest signal on the spectral scan.

Right now I am evaluating one of those "150 mile" antennas and having this setup lets me see the whole 6 MHz TV signal. I am seeing weaker channels on the spectral scan that the TV will not decode along with stronger channels.

I think you could also use a much less expensive RTL-SDR dongle but you would only see about 1.2 MHz at most of the 6 MHz TV digital signal. It still would work just as well, and you can use a laptop or perhaps a SmartPhone with the appropriate app to get a spectral scan.

Attached is the HackRF One's scan of the 6 MHz signal of TV station WFMZ, channel 69.1, 662-668 MHz from Allentown, PA, nice spectral scan. 32 miles to the West as the crow flies. Turning the antenna while watching the scan for max signal brings the station ITC on the boob tube.

Okay, give me an "A" for anal retentiveness, but like I say this one's out in the weeds hi hi. But it also will help when figuring out if your signal is from the station or a translator.
 

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mr.crane

SatelliteGuys Pro
You can spend hundreds but are you really getting a better reading than with a $60 TV?

I realize that customer won't be impressed with such a cheap tool, but the proof is in the pudding.
Yeah, that is what I did, took my Insignia 19 inch tv, that I use for my security cameras, very light weight and just adjust antenna for best Quality.
 
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