Sparkman, my 811 OTA results


SatelliteGuys Pro
Original poster
Dec 11, 2003
Las Cruces, NM
I did a quick hookup of an outside antenna yesterday evening and had good results. It is a very old, 10 element job I cleaned up and put new terminals on it.

As I posted before, I had been using a cheapie Phillips amplified, set top antenna and was getting CBS, FOX and our local PBS station. The ABC signal was very weak and the NBC signal non existant. The majors are located 40+ miles to the south, all on the same mountain top. The LOS is fairly clean but there are some hills in between.

Set top antenna:

CBS - ~ 62% strength
FOX - ~ 82%
PBS - ~ 60%
ABC - ~49%
NBC - 0%

Outside antenna:

CBS - ~ 82%
Fox - ~ 88%
PBS - ~ 66%
ABC - ~ 66%
NBC - 0%

The PBS signal is still weak due to their temporary antenna and gets interference at times and is ok at other times. The ABC quality is pretty good, I get occassional interference but is not a problem at all. The others are very good. When I spoke to the NBC engineer, he told me they are transmitting the minimum signal as did ABC. Apparently, the NBC guy either lied or does not know his equipment is not working. (But he didn't seem to care)

I still getting a bouncing signal of around +/- 3-5% when it is below 70-75%. Above that, it is pretty stable. Below that, it bounces around quite a bit.

The DTV broadcast quality has really surprised me. It is so much better than the analog, which is pretty bad here, no matter what you use. It is on par with my Dish output and the HD is excellent.

I guess the moral to all of this is, if you're not getting decent reception then check with your local station. Some are cutting corners while others are complying with the FCC. If you are within 50 miles, you should get a decent signal with a not real expensive antenna.
If you are within 50 miles, you should get a decent signal with a not real expensive antenna

You must be living in fantasy land . Cause 50 miles is a long way . I'm 15 miles south of Mobile AL and have to have a preamp and and rotator to get everything .
Granted, living in the desert gives me clean LOS. But still, if you are within 15 miles, you should be getting a good signal. If I was within 15 miles, I'll bet my SOS would be in the nineties. Maybe you will have to raise your antenna but it seems to me you should be getting decent reception.
Rolltide, give us specifics of your situation.

Bearing and power of antennas, your antenna installation details such as type and location, topography etc.

I am 50 miles and 37 degrees to one bunch of antennas, 30 miles and 310 degrees to the others. I can get them all at strengths of 75-85% One is at 700,000 watts ERP and another is at 60,000 watts ERP. I use an Antennacraft antenna (37 degrees) MXU-59 and Radio Shack's 15-2160 (310 degrees) mounted in the attic with no splitters or amps.
I have the top of the line radio shack attenna and Channel Master Preamp up 37 feet in the air. Mobile AL is very flat and located right next to the Gulf Of Mexico. We have huge pine trees everywhere so they do knock down lots of my signal . Our Local ABC station out of Pensacola has no plans to broacast any HD stuff so I am forced to get WLOX ch 13 out of Biloxi MS. I am one of a very few number of people in this area that can get WLOX all the time . Thats with turning the rotator and looking west. NBC has been having some problems but I can usually get 70% signal on them with my 811. CBS and Fox are very strong with 90% along with the WB.
So I guess with the qualifications that a broadcaster is putting out a decent power level (not the bare minimum) and you have the antenna pointed in the proper direction, it doesn't take a real expensive antenna to get very good reception.

Which antenna are you using? Dp you know the part #?
I am within 15-20 miles, couldn't get crap until I put an outside antenna up, my stations are all in the same basic direction. Now I get 85% cbs, PBS, 82% NBC, and the fox/abc station is 30 miles away and I can't get it to lock in. It goes to 56%, then drops to 49% then goes out. Digitals seem alot more sensitive. And the 811 seems to think if it can't have 80%, it won't work.
Sounds like most of your problems were antenna related. I'm glad fpr you. Mine is definately 811 related. I pick up my PBS statation on my 6000 and my Samsung 151 box with 85% signal strength. But on the 811, using the same outside antenna, on the roof of my two story house, it locks @ 49% & will not get a signal. Ironic thing is that it will pick up & lock into our CBS station & the other two will usually not. Depends on weather. I'm going to be doing some moving around of stuff in a couple of weeks & will see what happens then. I may not even need my 811 after that until May or so, so I think I'll deactivate it & give DISH a chnace to work the bugs out.
That 49% problem better be fixed next software update . I have the same problems with PBS here. On my 6000 I get 94%

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