OTA Newbie

Wesro

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 10, 2008
273
1
Eufaula, Alabama
I have just installed my Channel Master 4228 and CM 7777 Pre-Amp. I can get two CBS's, PBS and an ABC all digital with no problem no matter which way I aim the antenna.

I cannot however, even though I only live about 50 miles from the towers, get FOX or NBC. I have pointed the antenna in every direction possible and nothing. The only thing I got for about an hour last night was an NBC out of Albany, GA. about 100 miles away. I also got an FOX out of Dothan for about an hour last night. Then they just disappered and no matter which way I point the antenna I can't get them back.

My zip is 36027. I have went to tvfool.com and antennaweb.com and that really hasn't helped. I also wikied every local station to see how strong their signal is and in which directction their tower is and even though I point that way I get nothing.

Figured I would see what everyone says before taking it down and calling it a fail.

Thanks.
 

boba

SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 12, 2003
11,350
1,033
Dorchester, TX.
Your biggest problem is a shortage of Digital stations.edit: Boy what a difference in listings between antennaweb.org and TV fool.
 
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No Static At All

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 18, 2008
268
0
Northern Va
What kind of readiings do you get with TV FOOL? You should have no problem with anything @ -110dbm or stronger.

You also have a few stations going back to VHF in February; so you may need to invest in some type of VHF-HI antenna if the 4228 does not receve them.
 

Voyager6

*Cancelled*
Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Nov 30, 2005
17,097
5,323
Wokeville
I have just installed my Channel Master 4228 and CM 7777 Pre-Amp. I can get two CBS's, PBS and an ABC all digital with no problem no matter which way I aim the antenna.

I cannot however, even though I only live about 50 miles from the towers, get FOX or NBC. I have pointed the antenna in every direction possible and nothing. The only thing I got for about an hour last night was an NBC out of Albany, GA. about 100 miles away. I also got an FOX out of Dothan for about an hour last night. Then they just disappered and no matter which way I point the antenna I can't get them back.

My zip is 36027. I have went to tvfool.com and antennaweb.com and that really hasn't helped. I also wikied every local station to see how strong their signal is and in which directction their tower is and even though I point that way I get nothing.

Figured I would see what everyone says before taking it down and calling it a fail.

Thanks.
I think the problem with Fox and NBC is their transmit power. Fox (WXTX 54.1) 79.75KW and NBC (WLTZ 38.1) 50KW
Not much of a chance of picking these two up at those power levels at your distance from them. Hopefully, they will increase power after 2/17/09.
 

Wesro

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 10, 2008
273
1
Eufaula, Alabama
So would it help at all to raise the antenna higher? Right now it is on the eve of my house on a five foot pole. It doesn't really clear the roof. Is there any chance at all of begin able to get the NBC that is 100 miles away permanently or was that just a fluke thing?

You also have a few stations going back to VHF in February; so you may need to invest in some type of VHF-HI antenna if the 4228 does not receve them.

How do you know that?
 

No Static At All

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 18, 2008
268
0
Northern Va
So would it help at all to raise the antenna higher? Right now it is on the eve of my house on a five foot pole. It doesn't really clear the roof. Is there any chance at all of begin able to get the NBC that is 100 miles away permanently or was that just a fluke thing?



How do you know that?
You need to get that antenna up at least 10 feet above the peak of the roof. That should give you a noticable improvement.

As for the VHF stations; you can go to www.tvfool.com and obtain your "post transition" results. They are showing WTVM, WACS, & WFSA as being on VHF-HI after 2-17-09. There is also 1 PBS station going to VHF-LO channel 6; but I doubt it would be worth the extra investment required to get it.
 
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boba

SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 12, 2003
11,350
1,033
Dorchester, TX.
TV fool shows you are closer than you posted. All 4 major networks and PBS & CW are about 40 miles away from you with a compass heading of 30-46degrees except PBS at 275 degrees. My suggestion with a CM4228 is remove the pre amp and see how well your channels come in. The fact that ABC is coming in from VHF CH8 indicates you will probably OK after 2/17/09 when it moves to CH9. I think you might just have too much signal with the pre amp.
 

Wesro

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 10, 2008
273
1
Eufaula, Alabama
Ok I will try removing the pre-amp. Right now I have all the channels except for NBC. All are digital and in HD. So I am getting somewhere. I am pointing it Southwest.

I am getting CBS, CW, Mynet and Fox from Dothan. I am also getting a CBS and ABC from Columbus. I think that WLTZ (NBC from Columbus) transmit power is so low no matter what I do I may not be able to get it. I wished I could grab that NBC out of Albany, Ga. that came in last night for a while.

Also, another quick question. I thought this antenna only got UHF so it can also pick up some VHF too?
 

No Static At All

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 18, 2008
268
0
Northern Va
Also, another quick question. I thought this antenna only got UHF so it can also pick up some VHF too?
It can pick up some VHF; but your stations look a bit weak. It may or may not work; you will just have to see what happens.

I like Bobas suggestion for bypassing the pre-amp. You have an FM station right in town that may be causing problems for you. Some analog TV stations are also suspect in overloading that 7777. You will have to bypass both the pre-amp and the power supply to perform the test.

Raise the antenna to clear the roof as much as you can. The 4228 doesn't deal with obstructions or reflected signals very well.
 

Wesro

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 10, 2008
273
1
Eufaula, Alabama
Ok, I will try that tomorrow. Also where do I go to get a pole long enough to raise it above the roof? Any good places online?
 
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Don_M

SatelliteGuys Guru
Apr 30, 2008
128
0
Aurora, CO
... You have an FM station right in town that may be causing problems for you.

A stand-alone FM trap might help in addition to earlier recommendations. Winegard's FT7500 runs about $20. If you have a channel 6, though, this trap will attenuate that signal as well as FM.

... where do I go to get a pole long enough to raise it above the roof? Any good places online?

Shipping fees for masting are prohibitive. Radio Shack stores carry 5- and 10-foot masts with a good reputation for strength and durability.
 
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delta_charlie

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
May 12, 2008
716
152
Ok, I will try that tomorrow. Also where do I go to get a pole long enough to raise it above the roof? Any good places online?

Hi, shipping costs would exclude any online sources.

Check with your local fence supply company and see if they carry uncut galvanized fence pipe. One common size is 21 feet long by 1 5/8 Dia. Makes a great antenna mount. Or you might try Home Depot and telescope some of the shorter sections they offer in the fence department.

Here are some pictures to help give some ideas on ways to mount the pipe.

pollmount1.jpg


pollmount2.jpg


pollmount3.jpg


pollmount4.jpg


Hope this helps, DC
 

Wesro

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 10, 2008
273
1
Eufaula, Alabama
Thanks for all the suggestions. I tried taking the Pre-amp off and all of my channels went away. So, I am guessing a pre-amp is a must. I did a little fine tuning and I can get the Fox out of Columbus but I have to give up CW and MyNet as it comes from South of me and I am pointing North to pull the Fox. No matter what I do I don't think I will be able to pull an NBC around here. I guess my next step is a longer pipe for the antenna. Would that actually make much of a difference?
 

Wesro

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 10, 2008
273
1
Eufaula, Alabama
I have a quick question. Do signals come in better at night than during the day? As at night I can pick up an NBC out of Columbus but during the day it goes away.
 

No Static At All

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 18, 2008
268
0
Northern Va
Do signals come in better at night than during the day? As at night I can pick up an NBC out of Columbus but during the day it goes away.
Yes they can. 100-200+ miles is very common for many with a good outdoor antenna. "Tropospheric ducting"(enhanced long distance reception) can at times also make some of your weaker, regular channels unreceivable. I have a weak channel that comes in fine during the day; but a distant channel(200 miles) on the same frequency causes it to dissapear on many nights.
 
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No Static At All

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 18, 2008
268
0
Northern Va
. I tried taking the Pre-amp off and all of my channels went away.
Did you just unplug the power supply? You need to completely bypass both the power supply "and" the pre-amp to properly perform this test. You shouldn't lose everything. I receive signals much weaker than you do with no pre-amp at all.
 

Wesro

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 10, 2008
273
1
Eufaula, Alabama
Yeah, I bypassed the power inserter and the pre-amp. I couldn't really get anything. I am hoping I can get a waiver for NBC because I can't really get it at all.
 

ziggy29

SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 13, 2007
79
0
Austin DMA
"Tropospheric ducting"(enhanced long distance reception) can at times also make some of your weaker, regular channels unreceivable. I have a weak channel that comes in fine during the day; but a distant channel(200 miles) on the same frequency causes it to dissapear on many nights.
This is similar to what happens to AM radio. There are AM stations I get strongly during the day, but at night there is so much interference from more distant signals at the same frequency that AM radio is basically unusable at night in my location. In fact, the best AM reception I get at night is from distant stations hundreds of miles away (or more) from places like Denver, LA and St. Louis.
 
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