Reception help in San Diego

SoCalMike_

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I'm having issues with HDTV reception in Northern San Diego County.

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Current set up is attic mounted Clearstream C5 for VHF and Clearstream 2 for UHF going to an RCA TVPREAMP1R combiner/preamp.

UHF channels come in great all the time, however VHF channels 8 and 10 only come in during the day. At night or even during rain, they die completely. What's the best thing to do in this situation? Better VHF antenna? Better preamp? The signal strength is 100% on those channels when they work using the pre amp, and around 70% without the pre amp when they work.

Thanks for any advice.
 

Jim5506

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VHF signals travel further over the horizon (diffract easier) but do not penetrate building materials as well as UHF does.

If possible put your antennas up on the roof in free air.

Your VHF signals are two edge and are further reduced by having to penetrate the wall of your house.
 

primestar31

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Your channels 8 & 10 are "2 Edge". That means they bounce off TWO ridges before they get to you. That's not good. My first suggestion is to put your VHF antenna OUTSIDE, and as high up as you can get it.

Chainlink fence top rail comes in 10ft lengths, and it's swaged to fit together for longer lengths. Makes a good cheap mast pipe.
 

SoCalMike_

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Feb 21, 2019
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San Diego, CA
I have an existing satellite mast I could re-use probably... however I also have an HOA I'd prefer to not have to do battle with. I know that the FCC has made it illegal for them to deny my request. However, I'm also looking at the Stellar Labs 30-2476, which appears to be a very capable VHF-Hi antenna. Would this be worth a shot in the attic maybe? I could also return the C5 and save a few bucks...
 

Jim5506

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I presume you know that the HOA CANNOT prevent you from putting an antenna where it will work - by federal regulation.

your attic antenna is not working, so it needs to be on the roof..

A different antenna might improve signal a little but you will still be close to the digital signal cliff and may not have stable reception.
 

SoCalMike_

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San Diego, CA
I'll be honest, I'm trying to avoid climbing a ladder... but I realize that doing things outside is definitely better.

Is there any hope of a better antenna resolving the problem given that I do receive these channels in the attic during the day already? What is the digital signal cliff? I really appreciate your input!
 

Jim5506

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Stellar Labs 30-2476 VHF antenna might be worth a shot. I've seen them for as low as $35. https://www.newark.com/stellar-labs/30-2476/deep-fringe-directional-antenna/dp/71Y5462

There are very few VHF only TV antennas left in the market. With the FCC moving channels around, more VHF channels are being brought into use, hopefully that will bring more VHF antennas into the market.

Digital cliff is the behavior of ATSC TV's that if they do not receive enough signal to properly assemble a digital picture, they simply do nothing on that channel. Analog TV you would get a fuzzy picture and as the signal got better, the picture got clearer, with digital it's all or nothing. If your signal drops below the needed level the picture goes away - falls off the digital cliff.
 
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SoCalMike_

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San Diego, CA
That's a pretty good price. Do you know anything about its little brother, the 30-2475? It's a couple of feet shorter which may make it easier to get up into the attic... it looks like it still has higher gain than the Clearstream.
 

SoCalMike_

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San Diego, CA
So it turns out I think my issues are with my LED bulbs. Does anyone have any idea how to rectify this issue? I'd like to keep LED bulbs in the sockets, but I would be fine with buying different/better bulbs.
 

primestar31

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So it turns out I think my issues are with my LED bulbs. Does anyone have any idea how to rectify this issue? I'd like to keep LED bulbs in the sockets, but I would be fine with buying different/better bulbs.
The best solution is to replace the led bulbs with ones that don't cause the issue. What brands and types those are, is something you'll have to do some research on. I'm using "CREE" brand from Home Depot, for 5 years now with no issues. They don't sell the same exact models anymore, so I can't give you exact part numbers.

You could donate your old bulbs to someone that doesn't do OTA antenna.
 

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