Question on recent decreasing signal quality (1 Viewer)

kanjigirl

Thread Starter
Member
Oct 18, 2020
8
4
Fort Collins, CO
We are in Fort Collins, CO and have a ClearStream 4V mounted on the roof about 25' high. We've had antennas in the same position since around 2016 and generally have very good signal quality on the main stations we watch - PBS, CBS, ABC and NBC and a few others (6.1, 4.1, 7.1, 9.4).

RabbitEars Report: RabbitEars.Info

But in the last few months signal quality has really decreased on all channels, but not all the time. It seems spotty - it can be okay at one time then so broken up it's unwatchable at others. This is on channels that are rated as good or fair. It doesn't seem to be any particular time of day.

We have had lots of smoke and particulates in the air since the fire near us started in mid-August. I'm not sure if this reception issue started before then, but could that be the cause?

We do have an FM Band Rejection Filter on the line, without it the reception is worse across the board.

Any help appreciated - not sure what to do, if it's not the smoke...
 
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rabbit73

SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 17, 2020
56
38
S.E. VA
We have a ClearStream 4V mounted on the roof about 25' high....we watch PBS, CBS, ABC and NBC and a few others (6.1, 4.1, 7.1, 9.4).

RabbitEars Report: RabbitEars.Info

But in the last few months signal quality has really decreased on all channels,
Hello, kanjigirl; welcome to the forum. Thank you for the signal report.

It is possible that thick particulates can affect OTA signals, but I think that it is more likely trees that are growing in the signal path. If it is worse when the wind is blowing or the trees are wet, that would confirm the trees as the cause.

An FM filter is probably a good idea at your location.
http://www.fmfool.com/modeling/tmp/2462996439/Radar-FM.png

Another possibility is a problem with the coax connections.
 
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kanjigirl

Thread Starter
Member
Oct 18, 2020
8
4
Fort Collins, CO
We have a big tree in the front yard, but it was trimmed heavily this summer, and it's no worse in wet conditions or windy conditions.

We already have an FM filter on the line, but we'll check the coax connections.
 
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MartyDe

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Oct 28, 2019
15
7
CT
We have a big tree in the front yard, but it was trimmed heavily this summer, and it's no worse in wet conditions or windy conditions.

We already have an FM filter on the line, but we'll check the coax connections.
If you run out of things to try with the antenna system try a different TV, if possible. You never know.
 

MartyDe

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Oct 28, 2019
15
7
CT
We'll keep that in mind. Our TV is about 3-4 years old and probably needs replacing. Are there any guides to replacing TVs with OTA in mind?
I don't think 3 to 4 years is very old for a TV. If you can borrow a small tv to try I'd give it a go as a last ditch effort. If you ever buy a new TV make sure it has an OTA tuner. I heard it was eliminated on some models. Good luck
 

kanjigirl

Thread Starter
Member
Oct 18, 2020
8
4
Fort Collins, CO
I don't think 3 to 4 years is very old for a TV. If you can borrow a small tv to try I'd give it a go as a last ditch effort. If you ever buy a new TV make sure it has an OTA tuner. I heard it was eliminated on some models. Good luck

Thanks. My husband corrected me, it may be from 2012. So we may look for a new one for Christmas even if the coax cable fix works.
 

kanjigirl

Thread Starter
Member
Oct 18, 2020
8
4
Fort Collins, CO
So - we did check the coax, cleaned the connectors and retaped them. It didn't make a noticeable difference in the signal quality, it still skips and breaks up all times of the day on any given channel.

We are planning to buy a new TV for Christmas. But it seems odd that this degradation would happen so quickly, since about August, when we've never had these problems before and have about 1/2 the tree blockage in the line of the antenna that we did in August.

Anything else we can try?
 

primestar31

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So - we did check the coax, cleaned the connectors and retaped them. It didn't make a noticeable difference in the signal quality, it still skips and breaks up all times of the day on any given channel.

We are planning to buy a new TV for Christmas. But it seems odd that this degradation would happen so quickly, since about August, when we've never had these problems before and have about 1/2 the tree blockage in the line of the antenna that we did in August.

Anything else we can try?

I'd highly suggest you contact the engineers at your local tv stations, and ask them IF they are running at lower power than normal, due to the recent repack. Several of mine did that for a period of time due to issues, and at least one of them MOVED their tower a long distance away from their original one. Luckily, this actually improved their signal for me.

Google the stations call letters, and see if they list the engineers email address, and email them. If not, just call them on the phone and ask.
 

MartyDe

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Oct 28, 2019
15
7
CT
At this point I would also re-aim the antenna. I've seen a lot of weird stuff with my tv reception. Right now my main channels are being received off the side of my antenna. I gave up thinking about why.
 

kanjigirl

Thread Starter
Member
Oct 18, 2020
8
4
Fort Collins, CO
At this point I would also re-aim the antenna. I've seen a lot of weird stuff with my tv reception. Right now my main channels are being received off the side of my antenna. I gave up thinking about why.

I talked to the engineer at one of the stations and we came to the same conclusion - it's slightly off and we'll re-aim it this week. The reception is strongly affected by moisture in the air, and it was extremely dry here most of the time from about August to a few days ago.
 
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spongella

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May 12, 2012
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Central NJ
Welcome to the forum!

I experience signal loss daily when the sun rises and some channels disappear completely, but they're the weaker ones. Has to do with noise generated by old Sol. But your problem is different so I suggest you
check out antennamanpa's Youtube videos on OTA reception: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCySjheRcVJ21B3Jo3HcWMTQ

He's very knowledgeable on OTA reception.

I hope you find the cure.
 

kanjigirl

Thread Starter
Member
Oct 18, 2020
8
4
Fort Collins, CO
Welcome to the forum!

I experience signal loss daily when the sun rises and some channels disappear completely, but they're the weaker ones. Has to do with noise generated by old Sol. But your problem is different so I suggest you
check out antennamanpa's Youtube videos on OTA reception: Antenna Man

He's very knowledgeable on OTA reception.

I hope you find the cure.

Thank you!
 

rabbit73

SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 17, 2020
56
38
S.E. VA
I talked to the engineer at one of the stations and we came to the same conclusion - it's slightly off and we'll re-aim it this week.
That is worth trying. The beamwidth of that antenna is very narrow, so aim is critical.

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