HD antenna installation

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On 11/7/14, 10:05 PM, micky wrote:

For analog TV, I was amazing, as good as a rooftop antenna with an amplifier. Then I got a DTV. That antenna was terrible. I guess it wasn't good at rejecting multipath distortion, which can wreck a digital signal.
It worked better with the amplifier power supply unplugged. DTV can do fine on a weak signal.

A splitter will mean 3dB attenuation. That may be OK with DTV, but 2 antennas seems to ask for multipath distortion.
When we first got a TV antenna, there were 3 weak stations 3 directions. Rotators were expensive and prone to trouble. Our mast had 3 fixed antennas and 3 transmission lines leading to a switch on the back of the TV.
I've considered using 2 fixed antennas. I'd use 2 coax lines and a coax switch.

DTV, he bought a balun at Radio Shack to connect his cable to a 300-ohm antenna. He couldn't get anything. I unscrewed the cable and put my finger on the center conductor. He got several channels.
I gave him a spare balun that cost about 1/4 of what he'd paid. It worked. With baluns and splitters, it might pay to buy a spare of a different brand.
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Per Peter:

That makes me feel lucky.
We are West of Philadelphia in a town called Paoli (zip 19301).
http://www.antennapoint.com/ says we are about 13 miles from our major stations - and I suspect they all use the same antenna farm, or at least antennas close to each other in a place called Manayunk.
Our rooftop antenna has been working well since summer of 2008. We get the major channels (3, 6, 10, 12, 17) plus a few others.
--
Pete Cresswell

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BTW., my large multi-arm antenna in the attic is just sitting on one or two large empty cartons. That's just as good as a mast, isn't it?
When I had a small round remotely-rotatable amplified antenna in the attic, I screwed a 2 foot piece of metal tubing to a rafter and attached the antenna to that. but since this big one doesn't rotate, I saw no reason to use a mast. Yes?

I meant to say that it worked fine this way**, but maybe the amp power supply broke because the attic gets fairly hot. The old amp power supply smells burnt now, and the other half doesn't.
**People with antenna on masts don't do it this way, because they have no AC receptacles on the roof or at the top of the mast!

Sometimes. Before the amp, I got a lot of feeze frame for 1 to 5 seconds, or sound on/off/on/off.
Now I get all these stations from 50 miles away, but one of the channels in Baltimore, whose antenna is on "television hill" maybe 12 miles away, has the sound on/off/on/off and blotchy picture much of the day. It does this no matter where I set the amp adjust knob on the antenna amp.
I think without the amp it worked better, but all the other stations work better with it.

I saw it recommended somewhere. Maybe at solidsignal.com, but maybe not. But multipath is another reason to take a tv into the attic to aim antennas there.

Talking about a co-ax switch reminds me. I haven't been using one much lately, but I have two antennas myself. One is the one I've been talking about and the other is a 6 or 8 foot piece of single strand (insulated, fwiw) wire that just lies on the floor in the bedroom, or maybe it's run across a dresser. It plugs into the center hole of a co-ax switch, and when the antenna amp was broken, sometimes gave a picture on more stations than the large, multi-arm attic antenna.
Now I think it's plugged into the input co-ax connector for the digital to analog converter set-top box that feeds my VCR. The set-top box has a better tuner than the Philips DVDR with Hard Drive. I use the vcr for tapes and its settop box when I want to record one station and watch another. That's rare.

But you're not saying they're designed for lower or higher frequencies? Just that the quality can be bad?
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On 11/8/14, 11:39 PM, micky wrote:

...unless the cartons hold metal. :)

I have an omnidirectional FM antenna hanging from the rafters by strings.

I once took an ion generator to the attic because it was great for settling the dust I stirred up pushing the rock wool insulation around to do wiring. I forgot it. When I remembered, the heat had wrecked it.

I'd unplug the amp for that channel. An adequate signal may pass through the amp.

I ended up using a 4-bay bowtie that I used to have 10 feet above the chimney with an amp for analog UHF. When I got a DTV, I hoisted it to that height and scanned with it pointed in various directions. I listed the channels and found that I could get them all indoors on the ground floor.
I may rotate the antenna depending on weather. With a distant transmitter, the strongest signal can bounce off the sky. In some weather conditions, it's erratic, and I do better turning the antenna 45 degrees to catch the bounce off a building.

By "switch" I mean a thing that looks like a splitter, with fittings to screw on three cables. With a splitter, the three circuits are on the same transformer. With a switch, one antenna won't interfere with the other.

adequate for DTV. If it's not designed well or quality control is poor, an impedance mismatch could cause reflected energy. That could make a mess of reception on some or all digital channels.
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You can try the outdoor type IN the attic. Even a pretty big one.

So you think it was the aircraft themselves, and not all the radio transmissions they were having?

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wrote:

I know about Paoli. It's in Pennsylvania.

My friend who lived in Reisterstown MD could get channel 50 in Lancaster.
I live about 5 miles south of her and can never get it. I used to be jealous, but now I get enough stations.

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On Fri, 7 Nov 2014 21:49:13 +0000 (UTC), "badgolferman"

Two things come to mind:
1) Some roofing materials are worse than others for blocking signals, especially metallic radiant barriers.
2) Is the antenna for both VHF and UHF -- check antennaweb to see if you need both ("RF channel" 13 or below). I've seen some antennas advertised as "digital" (there's no such thing; they're all just hunks of metal) that were UHF-only. In my area at least, during the transition period all of the "temporary" channels were UHF, but several stations moved back to VHF after the cutover, disappointing some who bought the UHF-only ones from companies that should have known better.
As others suggested, it may be worth taking the TV outside with a ladder and trying there, to see if it's the roof interfering. FWIW, we're about 25 miles from the transmitters, no mountains in the way, and get all of the local affiliates with a pretty compact cheap antenna I got from Home Depot.
Josh
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On 11/08/2014 10:55 PM, Josh wrote:
[snip]

True. There's no such thing as a "HD antenna" either. HD refers to display resolution, and the antenna has nothing to do with that. However, I was SURE that advertisers would make both claims.

Here, most stations used (and still use) UHF channels. The ABC channel was an exception (temporary channel = 10, regular channel = 7). I have a UHF-only antenna that picks up NBC and CBS, but not ABC.
[snip]
--
46 days until the winter celebration (Thursday December 25, 2014
12:00:00 AM for 1 day).
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Not a good idea. The cartons may alter the dynamics of the signal you are trying to receive. If you have any reception problems, that may be a cause.
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http://www.antennaweb.org/ is helpful for this.
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