Reliable ATSC Signal Meter?

Discussion in 'Over the Air TV By RabbitEars.Info' started by cpalmer2k, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. cpalmer2k

    cpalmer2k Topic Starter SatelliteGuys Pro

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    Are there any reliable (and reasonable) ATSC signal meters out there to help with antenna alignment based on strength? I realize the Solid Signal Digiair Pro is out there, but I wondered if there was anything else more reasonable or better? I did see the Winegard RFL-332 on Amazon as well, but it is for RV use. Several on there mention using it with home antennas with some modification, but I haven't been able to actually find a post that illustrates how to connect a battery to it instead of the hard-wire it is intended to use.
     
  2. comfortably_numb

    comfortably_numb Dogs have owners, cats have staff
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    Here's what I do: I bought a SiliconDust HD Homerun HDHR-3 US off of Ebay for $50. Then, I connect my coax to it, download the app for my phone, then take my phone with me up on the roof. The app lets you see signal strength and signal quality for 2 channels at once. That's how I aim my antennas.

    302 antenna benchmark 1- TVPRAMP1Z.PNG
     
  3. primestar31

    primestar31 SatelliteGuys Master

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    I only wish there was. The cheapest is around $350.
     
  4. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    How responsive is the reading to changes in aiming? I tried this with a couple of different TV tuners and the reaction to changes was painfully slow.
     
  5. comfortably_numb

    comfortably_numb Dogs have owners, cats have staff
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    When your wifi signal is strong, it’s fast. I bought a router with external antennas to make sure I had good coverage up on the roof. I’ve been able to make minute adjustments easily.

    The iPhone / iOS app is called Signal GH.
     
  6. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    That's what is likely to set it apart from meters with a handful of LEDs and cheap TV tuners.
     
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  7. mr.crane

    mr.crane SatelliteGuys Pro

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    Was just wondering, did you find a reliable ATSC signal meter?
     
  8. cpalmer2k

    cpalmer2k Topic Starter SatelliteGuys Pro

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    Unfortunately I didn't. There is one meter on Amazon designed for RV use that several posters said would work with a battery pack or adapter but I tried that and couldn't get it to power up. I might just have had a dud, but I returned in. I'm planning to go the HDHomeRun route for OTA soon anyway and use both of my TiVo's for cable, so I picked up one of them. Best Buy has been selling the 4 tuner Connect Quatro for $99 recently on a rolling sale. It is back up now, but if you watch it a week or so it likely will drop back down.
     
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  9. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    Don't hold your breath on that. The BB deal was a special exclusive that ended New Year's Eve. The Duo that sells pretty well at $99.

    Further, since Amazon sells the HDHomerun products at MSRP, I would imagine that Silicon Dust is participating in price fixing.
     
  10. mr.crane

    mr.crane SatelliteGuys Pro

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    Price Fixing Sucks! I am in process of getting a used one, on Ebay.
     
  11. comfortably_numb

    comfortably_numb Dogs have owners, cats have staff
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    While we're on the topic of HD Homerun devices (which I'm a big supporter of), I emailed them earlier and asked what their plans are (if any) for developing an ATSC 3.0 tuner. Here's their response:

    "We are monitoring the developments relating to ATSC 3.0. Currently, there are a small number of test broadcasts on the air, with a few others scheduled to launch in 2018. There have been a couple broadcasters that have expressed interest in migrating to the new standard, but no concrete plans have emerged yet. The new standard requires special hardware that is not yet available for consumer products."

    - Silicondust Support
     
  12. spongella

    spongella SatelliteGuys Pro
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    I looked at some of those OTA TV signal meters and wonder how they can detect TV signal levels accurately without being set to the TV channel's specific frequency. The TV band runs from about 54 megs up to about 700 megs, that's a pretty wide range.

    Some years back I tried looking at TV signals using an SDR dongle. TV signals are 6 megs wide, with an ATSC spike at the front of the tracing. You definitely could see differences in signal as the antenna was turning towards and away from the TV station, but interpretation of the tracings were difficult due to the width of the signal.

    The average SDR dongle shows at most a sliver of the spectrum about 1.5 - 2 megs wide. More expensive units like the HackRFOne can display wider swaths of spectrum.

    If you had a scanner with an S meter, that might be another way to do it.

    Feel free to shoot these ideas down, am throwing these out to stir up the pot of ideas.

    Good post!
     
  13. spongella

    spongella SatelliteGuys Pro
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  14. primestar31

    primestar31 SatelliteGuys Master

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  15. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

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    It would work (assuming it is functional), but only for VHF channels as it appears to tune only 2-13.
     
  16. comfortably_numb

    comfortably_numb Dogs have owners, cats have staff
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    And of course it wouldn’t show Signal Quality, which is the most important factor today. Nevertheless, it’s pretty cool!
     
  17. pamajestic

    pamajestic SatelliteGuys Pro
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    I use a Leader LF-941. A couple of years ago these things were all over Ebay for about $40 delivered. As primestar pointed out they display the digital signal about 10db lower then what you receive, but they are great for pointing an antenna. They also help in determining if you have any overwhelming LTE signals in the 700 MHz channels.
     

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