WTOO-CD & WJAC-TV in Johnstown, PA

RedPenguin

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SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 22, 2008
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I don’t know what is going on tonight.

I still am on my old antennas for now until I definitely get my new one very soon.

Yet randomly, the station has all but disappeared.

For days I got at least 60% signal even with my extremely basic antennas. Now other than a few seconds here and there, my HDHR sees nothing even trying with an amp.

Not sure how the signal lowered that severely overnight....
 

RedPenguin

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 22, 2008
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Oh nevermind, on a local forum in my area, another user has confirmed that for some reason WTOO-CD has actually gone offline since last night.

I knew something seemed strange as I figured how would I get like 70%+ signal for days then almost nothing.
 

RedPenguin

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 22, 2008
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I found out directly from WTOO-CD that they have a broken piece if equipment and will be offline for 7 days.
 
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RedPenguin

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Apr 22, 2008
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Well, I was able to get myself a GE Attic/Outdoor Pro 29884 for some testing and tonight WTOO finally is back on the air.

Even though I thought I was getting somewhere with the windows in the upstairs room with the HDHR, oddly it seems behind the TV and pointed behind at the wall is literally the place that it's picking up the best signal. Strange as behind the TV points to neighbor's wall.

Directly in to the HDHR, it's giving me like 83% signal strength, 70-71% signal quality, and 100% symbol quality.

At first I had to move it from the window, as it seemed my Alexa Smart Plug, when turning on, caused symbol quality to go crazy for a few seconds.

Glad that behind the TV is a good spot so far because it's very difficult to put this antenna anywhere if you only have an apartment but not attic or rooftop.

So far it's giving Continuity Errors every so often but TEI seems ok as long as I don't touch messed with the antennna at all or the area around it. It seems moving a lamp that was by it make it angry for a few seconds.

I'm leery to plug in my 950Q or TV yet until I know better what is going on.
 

RedPenguin

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 22, 2008
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Well it still doesn't make complete sense.

The HDHR is now at 82-83%, 79%, 100%.

It still gets TEIs at totally random times for some reason.

EDIT: I just got something that I never seen before. For a split second, the signal went extremely haywire then back to normal again.
 

RedPenguin

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 22, 2008
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I think I have to be getting interference of some kind.

Even when I get signal strength to 84% with signal quality 91-94% and symbol quality 100%.

How much more of a signal is needed? According to HDHR standards those numbers are all green so I don't understand why I am being flooded with TEI errors.
 

RedPenguin

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 22, 2008
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Well I tracked down the issue somewhat.

The issue seems to be that symbol quality randomly shoots down to 0% or red and then goes back up and it's so quick that if you blink you'll miss it.
 

907TECH

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 29, 2018
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Alaska
Set the antenna up outside on a pole facing west as a test and see what happens, extend the coax. And if you didn't get a good preamp, you should. Your GE is not amplified and what you have is not a preamp. The GE antenna is better than a flat indoor antenna though.
 

RedPenguin

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 22, 2008
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Set the antenna up outside on a pole facing west as a test and see what happens, extend the coax. And if you didn't get a good preamp, you should. Your GE is not amplified and what you have is not a preamp. The GE antenna is better than a flat indoor antenna though.
Well, I did get somewhere finally.

Doing the outside expirment, I decided to try and scan the room again, if there is any "sweet spot" like The Antenna Man on YouTube says, who funny enough used to be in my same DMA.

Anyway, I found on my desk across the room, a corner of the room where two walls meet, the actually faces the left side of the west window, actually seems to have an excellent signal.

It was a little bit of an awkward place to put the antenna and I actually had to take off the VHF loop, which luckily any antenna site basically says even with the best outdoor antenna, my ability to get my markets 2 or so VHF is basically impossible due to the valley effect.

Anyway, so far it actually got signal strength to about 91-92% but interestingly signal quality to 96-100% and symbol quality 100%.

Strangely, when I took the antenna past the window itself, it didn't seem to do that great, but the corner aimed at the window, it really likes.

If this fails, I don't feel like I have too many options open as I have an almost perfect signal now it seems like.
 

RedPenguin

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SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 22, 2008
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Well, I still don't really understand it.

No matter where I put the antenna and no matter if I have the signal bars virtually to 100%, it still has symbol quality issues.

It can be sometimes 5-10 with no issues then symbol quality goes all the way to 0 and back or it could be 20 minutes with no problem.

If it's my actual antenna, how could I go up to 20 minutes with no errors?
 

Jim5506

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Are others having the same problem with this station.

It could be the station is putting out a defective signal or there could be a fluorescent or LED ballast or some other RF source that intermittently disrupts your signal.
 

RedPenguin

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 22, 2008
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Are others having the same problem with this station.

It could be the station is putting out a defective signal or there could be a fluorescent or LED ballast or some other RF source that intermittently disrupts your signal.
Well that's the issue. I can't seem to find any viewers in my area that actively watch WTOO. I tried my local DMA's AVSForum page but it doesn't really seem like anybody watches or if they do, they haven't been active for a week or so.

I know some local irl OTA folks, but they only have cheap indoor antennas that can only pickup WJAC and don't even see WTOO.

The fun also is that WTOO has only been on the air for two months and already had some downtime for a broken equipment piece. It seems nobody really knows they exist andI can not find any website except they are owned by HC2 but management is done by the old owner of The Video House/Fifth Street Enterprises.
 
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RedPenguin

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Apr 22, 2008
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Well I do have a radio scanner setup with amp and I tried turning that off just to be safe.

It still got the TEI errors, so I at least know it's not the scanner amp.
 

RedPenguin

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Apr 22, 2008
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Well I did find some folks locally who claim they are watching WTOO for 2+ hrs and not seeing any issues.

They seem to be regular users though, not ones who have access to stuff like TSReader.

Anyway, I tried turning entire power strips off in the entire room that the antenna is in and didn't seem to notice anything with EMI/RFI there.
 

RedPenguin

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SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 22, 2008
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Well it looks like I may have made some progress.

I noticed originally that if I even jiggle my 3-splitter even a little, it throws so many errors in TSReader....

At first I thought it was the splitter itself and replacing splitter helped a little, but it seems there was some sort of defect in the antenna feed line, so I replaced that coxial.

One thing I do find strange is, I figured let me verify the feed line completely, so I removed the splitter and put it directly in to the HDHR's feed line with a coupler. Oddly that seems to be keeping the TEI errors at bay even though Continuity are still counting at times. Not sure how I will feed TV & 950Q though if this proves TEI-error free.

I never really thought that getting a 2 mi away channel would be this difficult.

EDIT: Well that is at least some progress, the antenna directly in to HDHR took like twice as long to show any errors like 20 min vs 10 min.
 

907TECH

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 29, 2018
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Alaska
You are chasing your tail. Splitters reduce signals substantially. You lose 50% in a 2 way splitter, 75% in a 4 way. With a weak low power station, small antenna with no preamp and then further signal reduction in a splitter you have a recipe for frustration. Get a Clearstream Juice Preamp, Kitz KT-500, or similar overload protected preamp. Then you can see if you need further work on a possible interference issue. Stay away from Walmart. With a preamp you should have the power to drive your devices.
 

RedPenguin

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 22, 2008
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Well I guess I finally got my actual answer.

It looks like the entire time, it wasn't even on my end.

I was just contacted by a user who has two HC2 owned stations in their DMA and both of their stations have the exact same issue as I am having.

They believe HC2 is having issues with their internet feeds of the subchannels.
 

907TECH

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 29, 2018
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Alaska
"Well I did find some folks locally who claim they are watching WTOO for 2+ hrs and not seeing any issues.", that may cast doubt on the theory, good luck I am not convinced it is from their feeds. If you try the suggestions let us know what happens.
 

RedPenguin

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 22, 2008
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"Well I did find some folks locally who claim they are watching WTOO for 2+ hrs and not seeing any issues.", that may cast doubt on the theory, good luck I am not convinced it is from their feeds. If you try the suggestions let us know what happens.
Ok, I will have to try when I get a chance and can get my hands on a pre-amp.

The confusing part is, the people who said no issues seem to be in the suburbs but after that a person who is in my neighboorhood said they are having the issue.

It seems people claiming to be closer to the tower are saying issues but people further are saying it's good.
 

RedPenguin

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 22, 2008
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Well I did find out something new today.

It seems that I am covered in EMI.

I was just turning an incandesant lamp on and noticed the signal going haywire. Then I noticed unplugging/plugging in a weather radio did the same. Then turning off/on a small nightlight-like lamp also caused it.
 
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