using RF scan

vader

Thread Starter
Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
May 28, 2004
33
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I played with OTA scanning last night and found no new channels even though I should have. I live in the middle of CT and have a rotator. I know I should be getting signals from all over the place.

How do you use the RF scanning screen? What numbers are to be placed in the yellow box. I punched in some numbers and rotated the antenna until I got a signal over 80 but nothing happened.

So how do you use that?
 

jnardone

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 20, 2004
376
0
Hi:
I spent hours doing this last night. You need a pen and paper as well. Go to the web site wasch 24 suggested and pick out a station you think you should get. Type that rf into the antenna alignment screen and rotate the antenna arround until you optimize the signal for that RF (it should be above 85) Then go to the OTA scanning screen and scan for channels. You should get the channel you are looking for plus a few more. Write down the RF's of the channels that your scanning picked up (because there is no way to get these numbers back after you leave the scanning results screen). Then push the green button to save the scanned channels and go see if you get a picture for them. If you don't get a picture for the channel that you tuned to the RF for you are not going to get it. If you get a picture for that channel but not for another channel that your scan picked up then go back to the antenna alignment screen and type in the RF for that channel (from your piece of paper) and rotate the antenna and repeat the process. Keep track of the channels that don't come in even when you optimized the antenna so that you can hide them when you are all done. Hopefully your antenna rotor is programmable so you can save the headings for each channel number as you go or you should write down the antenna headings as well.

I am in NJ and I picked up 25 additional channels using this method with a large directional antenna on a rotor. I also scanned up an additional 15 channels that I could't get a picture for.

Joseph
 

riffjim4069

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Apr 7, 2004
35,131
217
SatelliteGuystonfieldville, U.S.A.
Please remember RF is nothing more than a radio frequency - it is analog by definition. However, RF signals carry encoded information, which can be Digital (ATSC) or Analog (NCTS). The 8-VSB/OTA module in your VOOM box is only capable of tuning Digital TV (DTV) signals. Since almost all broadcasters are transmitting both analog and digital signals, your antenna may be picking up a fair amount of interference from as far away as 100 miles. IMO, short of purchasing an RF spectrum analyzer or a decent RF signal level meter, the best way to research RF in your area is to:

1. Plot your location (latitude and longitude) at the following site: http://www.geocode.com/modules.php?name=TestDrive_Eagle

Example:
Lat: 37.253327
Lon: -078.594939 (your longitude will be expressed as a negative number)

2. Conduct a Broadcast DTV search based on your location: http://www.2150.com/broadcast/ - cut and paste your Lat/Lon from the above link (note: delete trailing spaces when pasting).
  • Input range of 100 miles
  • Sort by channel
  • Select the "List Analog Stations" option
3. You will then need to sort through the list in order to validate potential DTV stations in your area. There may be a number of low-power stations and you may discover that an analog station 70 miles away may interfere with one of your local DTV stations. In my case, DC is basically 50 miles to my north and Richmond VA is 50 miles to my south. The Richmond analog 35 is interfering with my reception of DC digital 35.

4. You can further validate stations of interest at the FCC website: http://www.fcc.gov/mb/video/tvq.html

I hope this helps...
 

Augurr

SatelliteGuys Family
Jun 16, 2004
65
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Good information, but .... how do I use it? I'm thoroughly confused. I figure I should be picking up other channels, but can't make heads or tails out of this information.

Augurr
 

riffjim4069

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Apr 7, 2004
35,131
217
SatelliteGuystonfieldville, U.S.A.
Augurr said:
Good information, but .... how do I use it? I'm thoroughly confused. I figure I should be picking up other channels, but can't make heads or tails out of this information.
Augurr,

Offhand, it sound like you may have an inadequate antenna and/or a botched OTA install. Too early to tell.

However, you can plot your lon/lat and send me in a PM...oh, and please include your antenna make/model too. I will look into it as soon as possible, but I'm heading out of town tomorrow and 4am and won't be back 'till Saturday. Wasch_24 and several others are quite knowledgeable and may be able to provide immediate assistance.

Riff...<EOT>
 

Ilya

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HERE TO HELP YOU!
Lifetime Supporter
Feb 16, 2004
20,254
4,615
NE OH
You can also go to www.antennaweb.org, enter your street address and it will tell you the RF numbers of your digital stations.
 

gutter

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
May 26, 2004
1,510
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The channel number NOT in ( ) is the RF number of the station. You input that in the yellow block that asks for RF number.
 

pmalve

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 6, 2003
219
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vader said:
I played with OTA scanning last night and found no new channels even though I should have. I live in the middle of CT and have a rotator. I know I should be getting signals from all over the place.

How do you use the RF scanning screen? What numbers are to be placed in the yellow box. I punched in some numbers and rotated the antenna until I got a signal over 80 but nothing happened.

So how do you use that?
I also live in CT. Western side. I picked up NY channels and PBS from Bridgeport. What channels are you missing? To get NY channels I used aim antenna screen to get the strongest signal and then ran the scan again. After you rotate antenna to get over 80 run scan again. I think that will help yo.
 

vader

Thread Starter
Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
May 28, 2004
33
0
I am in the Haddam area and i can easily pick up NBC, CBS FOX from Hartford, another CBS from Springfield. PAX and WB are coming in at 95 no matter which way the antenna is pointing.
The trouble ones are ABC and UPN form New Haven. I need to change the antenna height to get them. Either one or another, never both.
I also have a rain fade issue. Service call is set for Monday. Bigger dish and better (than Stealth) antenna. We'll see.
Thanks for all for tips.
 

Augurr

SatelliteGuys Family
Jun 16, 2004
65
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Ok, I know there are at least 3 or more channels that I think I should be getting, Fox for one, WB for another and a few others. But OTA scanning doesn't pick them up. Now I don't know if they are digital or not, do they have to be? Regular rabbit ears pick up the channels, does that mean they are ananlog?

Augurr
 

Sean Mota

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
18,932
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New York City
Augurr said:
Ok, I know there are at least 3 or more channels that I think I should be getting, Fox for one, WB for another and a few others. But OTA scanning doesn't pick them up. Now I don't know if they are digital or not, do they have to be? Regular rabbit ears pick up the channels, does that mean they are ananlog?

Augurr

Go to www.antennaweb.org and select digital only and see which channels are transmitting digitally in your area.
 

Augurr

SatelliteGuys Family
Jun 16, 2004
65
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red - uhf WGMB-DT 45 FOX BATON ROUGE LA TBD 197° 26.0 45
* red - vhf WBRZ-DT 13.1 ABC Baton Rouge LA 185° 26.9 13
* red - uhf WAFB-DT 9.1 CBS BATON ROUGE LA 187° 16.8 46
* red - uhf WBTR-DT 19 IND BATON ROUGE LA 02-05 188° 16.3 19
* blue - uhf WLPB-DT 27.1 PBS BATON ROUGE LA 188° 21.8 25

Out of those I get WBRZ, WAFB, and the WLPB channels, 3 actually. I don't get FOX or WBTR, which is the WB affiliate around here.

Augurr
 

voomvoom

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Lifetime Supporter
May 18, 2004
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Lizella, Georgia Republic
Augurr said:
red - uhf WGMB-DT 45 FOX BATON ROUGE LA TBD 197° 26.0 45
* red - vhf WBRZ-DT 13.1 ABC Baton Rouge LA 185° 26.9 13
* red - uhf WAFB-DT 9.1 CBS BATON ROUGE LA 187° 16.8 46
* red - uhf WBTR-DT 19 IND BATON ROUGE LA 02-05 188° 16.3 19
* blue - uhf WLPB-DT 27.1 PBS BATON ROUGE LA 188° 21.8 25

Out of those I get WBRZ, WAFB, and the WLPB channels, 3 actually. I don't get FOX or WBTR, which is the WB affiliate around here.

Augurr
Augurr... just because antennaweb.org is showing them, doesn't mean they're on the air yet... also, maybe they have been on the air, but are having problems or they're at low power and you can't get them yet from your location... they have probably been granted a construction permit, but may not be on the air yet... and if you notice in your post, just after Baton Rouge La for Fox 45 it says TBD, which should mean To Be Decided (about what, who knows)... also, I checked tvradioworld.com and WGMB is licensed on analog 44, has a construction permit for digital 45 and has been granted a special temporary authority permit for testing at 1 kilowatt (effective radiated power) which is definately low power... and it doesn't list WBTR, but I notice on your post, just after Baton Rouge LA for IND. 19 it says 02-05, which probably means they "intend" to go on the air on that date... hope this is some help... I also found WVLA DT on 34 has a temporary permit, have you tried it...
 

Augurr

SatelliteGuys Family
Jun 16, 2004
65
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thanks for making heads or tails of that mess. No I hven't tried 34 ... that would be CBS i think ... i'll check.
 

riffjim4069

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Apr 7, 2004
35,131
217
SatelliteGuystonfieldville, U.S.A.
Augurr said:
Good information, but .... how do I use it? I'm thoroughly confused. I figure I should be picking up other channels, but can't make heads or tails out of this information.

Augurr
Augurr,

I sent you 3 PMs. I hope these will answer most of your questions. :)

Riff...<EOT>
 

compson

SatelliteGuys Family
Supporting Founder
Dec 12, 2003
77
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Augurr said:
Good information, but .... how do I use it? I'm thoroughly confused. I figure I should be picking up other channels, but can't make heads or tails out of this information.

Augurr
That was my reaction initially. Fortunately, it's a lot easier than it sounds. Finding channels for dummies (like me):

1. Point your antenna where you think a channel should be. Run "scan local channels." Save the locals.

2. If you don't find your channel, go to "point off-air antenna" and enter the RF code. Move the antenna around to get the best signal. Then repeat step 1.

3. If you need the RF code, look here:http://www.nab.org/Newsroom/issues/digitaltv/DTVStations.asp

That's it, and you don't even need a compass.
 

Finch106

New Member
Jul 13, 2005
2
0
Yesterday I scanned and picked up my local channels, today I keep getting a no signal message, so I go to manually type in the RF to one of the stations, and it gets a 99 on the indicator. I continue and go to scan local channels and don't get any, not even the ones I had yesterday. What gives?
 

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