WJAR 10.3 in Natick, MA (1 Viewer)

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philhu

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 1, 2004
1,215
0
Cold Boston Area
Hi

Before I go out and spend $$$ to get WJAR-10.3 (RTN Feed), has anyone been able to get this digital station in Natick/Framingham area,MA?

Antennaweb says their transmitter is 191 degrees away 30.3 miles.

I was going to buy a CM4228 and pre-amp from Stark Electronics and point it to see if I could get it. The guy there said it should work and not to get a 'too good' pre-amp, since there are alot of stations in the Framingham area that can cause 'noise' to the preamp.

Anyone in the Boston area Digital DX'ing Rhode Island stations?
 
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Anole

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 22, 2005
11,819
12
L.A., Calif.
I'm only taking an educated guess from across the country, but ...
According to TVfool.com, and comparing to the signal levels I'm working with out here...
I'd say a modest outdoor antenna at 15 feet, aimed about 181º magnetic (due south on your compass), should do it, without an amplifier.

Of course, if you have local bumps, building, or other obstructions, your mileage may vary.
I can't see rabbit ears getting the job done, not 24/7.

What have you been trying so far?

...and if you did want to spend a little money, ya might check with our FTA department, as those shows are available over free satellite
 

philhu

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 1, 2004
1,215
0
Cold Boston Area
Well, I tried an indoor hdtv antenna, and a terk-hd55.

The indoor one got me the analog WJAR on 10, at about 60% strength sometimes.

The Terk looks like a pipe and I could not get how to point it at 191

MY HOUSE IS SURROUNDED BY TREES, 40+ FOOT PINES, WHICH IS WHAT MAKES IT MORE DIFFICULT. So, if I plce an antenna cm 2442 on top of the house, 30+ feet, facing 181, It should be easy to get?

Thanks!

And, about FTA satellite. I spent $200+ to get a dish to rcv G10 to get the rtn feeds, but, as I said, I am in the middle of the forest here, and could not get almost any signal strength. If I can get 10.3, I get RTN and my TivoHD can rcv it and record it! That's why I am going for OTA here
 

philhu

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 1, 2004
1,215
0
Cold Boston Area
Finally bought the cm-4228 and 777 preamp.

Tried it with and without the preamp. In slow increments with a signal meter.

WJAR 10.3 is 30.3 friggin miles away line of sight.

No go, no nothing, 0 strength, or just noise strength

I am telling you, if on Feb, 2009 you can't get a picture 30 miles from a transmitter, we are in serious TV troubles!

1/2 the people in the country will not be able to watch television without cable/sat anymore!!1

I smell a debacle coming on :)
 

philhu

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 1, 2004
1,215
0
Cold Boston Area
Update!!!!!

I tried this again, realized my compass setting was off 180 degrees...duh

With my old antenna, a 4 bay channel master, I pointed at Boston xmitters, got 85-95 sgnal strength on all Boston channels.

Reinstalled the new 8-bay CM antenna, pointed it at Providence, the Boston stuff should have gone away, but it still gets 80-90

I now get the WJAR digital channels 10.1 and 10.2 at 61-72 and Channel 6.1 and 6.2 at 61-70. The bad news is 10.3, RTN is not on the air, technical difficulties and won't be on until October.

It does fluctuate alot, and the signal meter on my tivo shows about 62 needed for a clean picture, so sometimes it pixellates a bit. It is definitely pointing thru trees so winter will be better.

I can also raise it another 6 feet, think that will help? It will still go thru the trees.

So are they broadcasting digital low power now? And will raise it in February? I read that somewhere. Cause if they are, that would explain the fluctuations and lower signal.
 

Don_M

SatelliteGuys Guru
Apr 30, 2008
128
0
Aurora, CO
So are they broadcasting digital low power now? And will raise it in February? I read that somewhere. Cause if they are, that would explain the fluctuations and lower signal.

The FCC's records for WJAR-DT show the station's transmitter is operating at 974 kW. They've applied to take it up to maximum power -- 1,000 kW -- by June 1, 2009. It's not really a significant increase. However, they will be raising their digital transmission antenna higher on the tower after they shut down the analog transmitter in February and remove its antenna. You may well see better signal strength once the station completes this work.
 

philhu

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 1, 2004
1,215
0
Cold Boston Area
I looked it all up and see that if I raise my antenna 7 feet, I get appro 1.7 db more signal

I will try that too......

Also, why does it fluctuate so much, sometimes down to 0 for 2-5 seconds? Do trees block it as bad as they do satellite signals? I ask because my antenna is pointing straight at huge trees.
 

Don_M

SatelliteGuys Guru
Apr 30, 2008
128
0
Aurora, CO
Also, why does it fluctuate so much, sometimes down to 0 for 2-5 seconds? Do trees block it as bad as they do satellite signals? I ask because my antenna is pointing straight at huge trees.

Given your part of the country, I'm betting they're big old oak trees. :D

A signal meter behaving in this way is detecting short-delay multipath interference. In UHF reception (10.x is actually broadcasting on channel 51), trees are a notorious source for this interference, particularly in the presence of a breeze or wind. Light breezes rustle the leaves, while wind moves entire branches. Either way, you get temporary interruptions in the signal. Some say this issue is worse with deciduous (leafy) trees than it is with coniferous ("evergreen") species.

Tilting the antenna a few degrees toward the sky *might* help capture signals from above the trees, but your mileage will probably vary, and this isn't easy to do with a 4228.
 

No Static At All

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 18, 2008
268
0
Northern Va
Those kind of signal fluctuations usually indicate multipath. The 91-XG is usually a better antenna choice in a moderate to extreme multipath environment. Bowtie antennas have excellent signal gathering ability; but don't tolerate excessive multipath well.:)
 

philhu

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 1, 2004
1,215
0
Cold Boston Area
Given your part of the country, I'm betting they're big old oak trees. :D

A signal meter behaving in this way is detecting short-delay multipath interference. In UHF reception (10.x is actually broadcasting on channel 51), trees are a notorious source for this interference, particularly in the presence of a breeze or wind. Light breezes rustle the leaves, while wind moves entire branches. Either way, you get temporary interruptions in the signal. Some say this issue is worse with deciduous (leafy) trees than it is with coniferous ("evergreen") species.

Tilting the antenna a few degrees toward the sky *might* help capture signals from above the trees, but your mileage will probably vary, and this isn't easy to do with a 4228.

Yes, huge oak trees, 50+ feet. I bought a mount that I think could be pointed up
for testing. If it works, I will jury rig a better mount. What degree facing up should I start? And how far is too far? Or is it all try it and look at signal strength with each movement?

Barring that, I will try a 91XG..Is that a winegard?
 

Don_M

SatelliteGuys Guru
Apr 30, 2008
128
0
Aurora, CO
Tilt degree is going to involve trial and error. No one-size-fits-all recommendation is going to work every time. Sorry, but this may mean multiple trips up onto the roof to try out new angles.

91-XG is from Antennas Direct. It and the 4228 are regarded as the best mass-market UHF antennas out there. The 91-XG gets recommended frequently in situations like yours because, unlike the 4228, it has a secondary boom bracket that allows the owner to tilt the front end upwards. That sometimes helps it to grab signals from over the treetops. I hesitated mentioning it to you in the last post because it's somewhat more directional than your current antenna. In other words, you might succeed in getting reliable reception from WJAR-DT, only to lose your Boston affiliates in the process, unless you put it on a rotor. Another consideration: Your 4228 can be used to receive VHF-high stations (particularly channels 9-13), but the 91-XG is strictly for UHF.

Here's what I'd do: Table any action that costs more money until after Feb. 18, when the transition to DTV ends. Another purchase may not be necessary by the time WJAR moves its antenna higher on the tower next spring. By all means, try tilting your current antenna to see if that helps. But if you decide you really want to check out the 91-XG, Amazon has them right now at a really good price.
 

No Static At All

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 18, 2008
268
0
Northern Va
It is made by Antennas Direct. You can get it for $58.00 plus tax if you do a google search. The unit will require assembly; but it isn't too difficult. It is well constructed, and has a weatherproof balun. Tilting is very easy also; as this antenna is designed to be used for either vertical, or horizontally polarized signals.

I tried a 4228 at my location; but because of the extreme multipath; it performed miserably. The 91-XG works quite well even when surrounded by many full power UHF stations. It is pointed directly into a hill and many large trees. It also provides excellent selectivity, and doesn't introducing excessive overload into my tuner.
 
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philhu

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 1, 2004
1,215
0
Cold Boston Area
ok

Just got a call from WJAR about RTN

It is now delayed to 12/15, due to technical problems.

And their 10-2 (Weatherplus) will move to 10-3 and 10-2 will be RTN

If it wasn't tv, it sounds like a bandwidth problem, wheich actually could be since it *IS* digital tv.

I'll keep you informed

I actually like the Providence channels better than my local Boston ones and find myself watching chnls 6/10/12 instead of local 4/5/7
since my Tivos can now tune them in perfectly in full hd digital!!
 
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