Improving my reception... or just out of luck? (1 Viewer)

slappy

Thread Starter
Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jun 5, 2004
24
4
Hi all,

First, let me say, I'm not all that knowledgable on the OTA antenna process, besides just a rudimentary understanding. I'm hoping some of you that frequent this forum may be able to share some wisdom and info with me. Let me share my setup and question with you.

My location: 39° 8' 28.3294" -83° 14' 24.891"
My equipment: XG91 antenna (mounted on a gable mount - sits maybe 18-20 ft in air), CM7777 pre-amp
Channels I receive: WSAZ (Huntington, WV), CW (Portsmouth, OH), PBS (West Portsmouth, OH)

TVFool basically tells me "sorry about your luck" on available channels. I pulled up my location on antennapoint.org then, and did an advanced search to show me all towers within 100 miles of me, so I used that data as a guide for pointing my antenna.

Columbus, OH stations look like they "should" be receivable to me, but I cannot pull them in when I point toward their tower coordinates. However, WSAZ out of Huntington, WV comes in very solid for me, despite it being further away.

Now, to the strange part... the CW station, out of Portsmouth, OH, comes in almost no matter where I point my antenna. I can turn it a completely different direction than it's source, and I still get it.

My question... could the reason that I can't get Columbus stations, and can receive the CW from off directions be indicative of some strange issue where the hills around me are causing problems? The CW issue, is that what's referred to as multipath? Also, is there any way I might be able to pull those Columbus stations in, or should I just be happy for the handful of channels I *can* get, and quit worrying about it? :D

Thanks for any help... and I'd be glad to share any other relevant information if I left anything out.

-Slappy
 

Kraven

Resident Bozo
Jun 2, 2012
11,912
2,930
Northern, VT
Hi..

It would help if you post your TV FOOL results (or at least the name of your town). The long/lat you provided gives me J B Camping.

Your antenna is UHF and directional which might be your problem. Again, without all the info its the blind leading the blind.

Cheers, K
 

Trip

RabbitEars Webmaster
Staff member
HERE TO HELP YOU!
Jun 21, 2008
1,284
687
Alexandria, VA, US
Can you show us what TVFool told you? The coordinates you gave show you as being down between several mountains. I'm rather surprised you get anything at all other than WPBO.

- Trip
 

slappy

Thread Starter
Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jun 5, 2004
24
4
I take it I should just be thankful for what I *can* get, and enjoy living in the beautiful country-side between two hills? ;)
 

Iceberg

The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
282
34
None Your Business
pretty much. If you look at the report everything is grey which means
These channels are very weak and will most likely require extreme measures to try and pick them up
 

Jim5506

SatelliteGuys Master
Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Oct 19, 2004
7,203
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Lubbock, Texas
It is going to take extraordinary measures to get much more signal from down in this valley.

Even placing a passive repeater on top of one of the hills around you still may not get you a strong enough signal to make it worth the trouble.
 

. Raine

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Aug 6, 2013
2,690
946
North America, CT.
Sorry to say it, but that Tv Fool report is about the worst I've ever seen. It looks like you're lucky just getting 43, with a noise margin of -10 or so. I'd say that the other stations would be very hard, if not impossible, to receive.
 

Trip

RabbitEars Webmaster
Staff member
HERE TO HELP YOU!
Jun 21, 2008
1,284
687
Alexandria, VA, US
As I thought from your coordinates, you are lucky to see what you see. I suspect you're actually getting knife-edge diffraction over the tops of the mountains, which is not something that is captured in the Longley-Rice model used by TVFool or RabbitEars (or the FCC). It can vary significantly with the weather, but can deliver reasonably reliable signal to you.

If you're seeing WSAZ and WQCW, if you added an antenna with upper-VHF reception capability, I wouldn't be surprised if you also saw WOWK-13 (CBS). But that wouldn't get you ABC or Fox.

Is your antenna level with the ground? If so, have you tried tilting it up toward the tops of the mountains? That may help too, especially if you are receiving knife-edge diffraction. You may want to experiment with that and see if it brings you anything else.

- Trip
 

DRCars

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 16, 2010
322
59
Southern USA
With 2 edge refraction, like I have, the solution was to try many different locations for the antenna until finding a hot-spot. Just moving an antenna up/down/left/right as little as 2-3 feet can make or break reception. When I was searching for optimal height for signal reception at my antennas current location (which is better than any other place I've found) I lowered the antenna down to just 4 feet off the ground so I could work on it. Bingo, the signal there was the best I have found and there it sits today. A 12 foot antenna almost on the ground looks rather ... unexpected.

DRCars
 

KEVIN_224

SatelliteGuys Family
Pub Member / Supporter
Dec 3, 2013
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New Britain, CT
This may be a strange question...but do you remember what you used to get there in the analog days...IF you've been there that long? (Pre-2009)
 

slappy

Thread Starter
Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jun 5, 2004
24
4
Sorry for the delay in replying. I've been researching FTA since you mentioned it, Kraven. I'd enjoy it just for the RetroTV, PBJ, etc channels if nothing else. Maybe something I'll consider in the future.

Kevin_224... I'm trying to think way back. I didn't have an antenna up here in the analog days, but I lived very near to where we're at now when I was a kid, and it seems like we mostly got West Virginia stations at the time. WSAZ (3), WVAH (11), WOWK (13) and WCHS (8). This was back in the 80's and early 90's.
 

Stargazer

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 7, 2003
16,561
337
Western WV
I have used the end of the antenna that looks like an arrow to pick up channel 3 which is on the vhf range. It seems to work best with that station. For the others you need something that is more like a bow tie antenna for best results. I just helped a friend pull in four network stations plus their subchannels in what TV Fool called fringe areas (purple) with rabbit ears. I got them all in at one sweet spot pointing sideways with a booster (antenna outside of course). He is down in a valley that connects to another valley which I think helps him. Can't wait to get the usb tuner next week to use it's spectrum analyzer to see where and how these signals are coming in to help tune them in better.
 

primestar31

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Mar 15, 2005
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I have used the end of the antenna that looks like an arrow to pick up channel 3 which is on the vhf range. It seems to work best with that station. For the others you need something that is more like a bow tie antenna for best results. I just helped a friend pull in four network stations plus their subchannels in what TV Fool called fringe areas (purple) with rabbit ears. I got them all in at one sweet spot pointing sideways with a booster (antenna outside of course). He is down in a valley that connects to another valley which I think helps him. Can't wait to get the usb tuner next week to use it's spectrum analyzer to see where and how these signals are coming in to help tune them in better.

What usb tuner are you buying?
 

slappy

Thread Starter
Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jun 5, 2004
24
4
Quick follow-up question for everyone that helped me with this...

I just realized that there is a VHF channel broadcasting COZI-TV from the same tower that my PBS stations are on.

Here's the info: http://www.rabbitears.info/tvq.php?request=items&facid=68009

Is it likely I could get this station with a VHF antenna? If so, what size antenna are you talking about? Keep in mind, this would be in addition to my XG91 antenna.

Thanks for any additional help!

-Ryan
 

jayn_j

Press On Regardless
Supporting Founder
Sep 29, 2003
10,631
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Sheboygan, WI
Well, the notes say "soon" and it is a construction permit, so it may not be there yet. A fair number of these construction permits never pan out.

Even if it is there, it is a low power station, so that may affect reception. Further it is a UHF signal on real channel 50. Need a UHF antenna.
 

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