Cutting the cord

Keith

DTVUSA Member
#21
I have gone through the detail and taken measurements of the antenna(s). I'm getting 43 separate channels, not counting the duplicates. It seems that the low band UHF are weak, and I was having problems with channel 6.1 ABC; but after changing antenna's and making a better connection, I'm getting everything I should from the tv fool list plus 20+ more not on the list. Then I tried to connect two antennas into one line and I lost a few, so for now using just one at a time. Next, I need to connect to the whole house coaxial and see what I lose. Did you say that this old Amphenol antenna specs indicate a low signal compared to new antenna's? I'm wondering if I should look into an amplifier and if so what I'd be looking for. As for the dimensions of the antenna, the small loop is 28" long (side to side), the large loop is 78" and the long reflector rod is 110". I also took more photos to confirm the rods intersect into a rubber like connector to keep each component separate. 01aa523bfbac356f44abfdc781a2a5d52668a6eb8a.jpg 01f0404519cb0805a5cc11b497afea55446f364080.jpg 01d4f71aee410c5063ef2a94d56c38bc0e48f4159a.jpg 01338f6535316cb3d9b0e389cd9a48a0dbfbeb8cb8.jpg
 
#22
I have gone through the detail and taken measurements of the antenna(s). I'm getting 43 separate channels, not counting the duplicates.
Let's get clear on the difference between stations and channels. Each separate pre-dot number on your TV represents (almost always) a different station, associated with one transmitter. The after-dot numbers represent subchannels. Take an example: Let's say you get WPPX Ion on 61.1 . That means you should also be getting 61.2, 61.3, 61.4, 61.5 and 61.6 -- a kid's channel and a bunch of shopping channels. These all come in on the same signal sent by the transmitter owned by WPPX. Please count this as one station.

Forget channels. If you could just tell us how many stations you receive, we'd know much, much more about your situation. It would be even more helpful if you could list all the stations you get, either by their call letters, or by the "Real" channel numbers (the ones with no dots in the TV Fool Report.) We really need that level of detail if we're going to recommend anything about an amplifier or substituting a modern antenna.

It seems that the low band UHF are weak, and I was having problems with channel 6.1 ABC; but after changing antenna's and making a better connection, I'm getting everything I should from the tv fool list plus 20+ more not on the list.
If you really get 20+ stations, or even channels, not listed on the Fool report, that's really unusual! Could you please list them by their call letters, so we can look them up to see how far you are from the transmitters?? If you could also get their real channel numbers, that would also be helpful. Need input!! (Remember Number 5 in "Short Circuit"?) ;)

Next, I need to connect to the whole house coaxial and see what I lose.
Will you be connecting to more than one TV? That's where most of the signal loss would come in.

Did you say that this old Amphenol antenna specs indicate a low signal compared to new antenna's?
It certainly looks that way from the spec sheet, but you have the real goods! If you're really getting 20+ channels not even on the report, from inside an attic no less, then maybe you shouldn't mess widit! Can't advise without More input! :hungry:

Rick
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#23
Let's get clear on the difference between stations and channels. Each separate pre-dot number on your TV represents (almost always) a different station, associated with one transmitter. The after-dot numbers represent subchannels. Take an example: Let's say you get WPPX Ion on 61.1 . That means you should also be getting 61.2, 61.3, 61.4, 61.5 and 61.6 -- a kid's channel and a bunch of shopping channels. These all come in on the same signal sent by the transmitter owned by WPPX. Please count this as one station. ... "

Rick
Rick,

That's a good explanation and here is another: an FM Stereo broadcast has two different channels (left and right) coming from the same station or transmitter.

Jim
 

Keith

DTVUSA Member
#25
I understand the symantics error, so here's the deal. I get all the channels on the tv fool report until 6.1, which comes in depending on the weather. In addition, I get 34.1 wqav-cd, 44.1 wmcn-hd, 62.1 wwsi-dt. 2.1 ect also comes in weak, which is on the list. When I hook up the antenna to the whole house, driving 3 or 4 tv's, I lose all but 3, 23 and 65. I will either need to run one antenna at a time to three primary tv's or get an amplifier. Another choice would be getting new technology for my antenna and then maybe wouldn't need an amplifier. So, based on that, what would you recommend? Scraping my old school antenna, running different lines off each antenna or getting an amplifier?
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#26
Keith,

Right now, I would update the feedline to eliminate any and all 'twin-lead' open wires to block secondary RF reception: the open wires (also acting as an antenna) may be influancing your current reception.

Others here are concerned about only using 'state-of-the-art' RG-6 quad shield coaxial cable and I don't buy into that, but having open, completely non-shielded twin-lead as well as an open coaxial cable (port) is of concern to me (your 2nd and 4th photos). Fix that, rescan and get back to us.

Jim
 
#27
Keith, we now know approximately a thousand times more about your reception. The one station you've mentioned that's not on the TV Fool report is WQAV-CD, which is 24 miles from you at Makepeace Lake. I don't know how TVF missed it, but it should be very strong at your location. ALL the green on your report should be strong, down through WFPA RF28 and even lower. Best guess at this point is there's something in the attic or roof interfering with RF signals. You may need to look into installing an antenna on the roof. But certainly you want to get rid of any open wires, and make sure everything is hooked up as in the spec sheet here.

Rick
 
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Keith

DTVUSA Member
#28
I am using the rg6 quad, but need help with my "weakest link" in the connection. What type of device do I need to connect the coaxial to this old antenna? The specs on the antenna don't reflect current technology (as we know how old they are). What is the specific name of the connector I should buy? I do have other gizmos in my old school box; they are barrel shaped coaxial female with two rf wire connectors. Is there some way of shielding the connection by wrapping the connecting wires where they attach to the antenna?
 

Keith

DTVUSA Member
#29
But certainly you want to get rid of any open wires, and make sure everything is hooked up as in the spec sheet here.

Rick
Keith,

Right now, I would update the feedline to eliminate any and all 'twin-lead' open wires to block secondary RF reception: the open wires (also acting as an antenna) may be influancing your current reception.

Jim
As I research the coaxial rf adapters, the new shielded type rf's do not have wires. The antenna has the two wire points separated by about five inches (either side of the mount). How will I make that connection without using/exposing wires?
 
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Keith

DTVUSA Member
#30
There are so many variables, testing different configurations is driving me crazy. I've tested different wires, antenna's, even tried connecting two of the three antenna's together. When I did that, I gained 1 channel but lost three others. So, I am changing one thing at a time. The best antenna (based on previous tests) and the best wire connection (Homemade shielded coaxial to RF antenna, see pic) gives me the following results.
Going direct to one TV only, I get 12 Broadcast Stations. When I connect to the whole house, I lose 5 stations. The wierd thing is that the stations I lose are among the strongest according to the tv fool report. Here is the list based on my new wiring:
Primary channels: 2,3,4,6,10,12,17,23,29,35,62,65, if only one tv connected.
If whole house connected, I lose 10,17,29,35,65. I'm not sure how much effect my attempt to shielding the RF wire had, I gained some and lost some. But, it was fun trying--see the pic. IMG_1341.jpg IMG_1342.jpg IMG_1346.jpg IMG_1349.jpg IMG_1356.jpg
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#31
Look at the similarities between the antennas that you have and the loop dipole antenna in this thread: http://www.dtvusaforum.com/dtv-hdtv-reception-antenna-discussion/47526-my-antenna-system.html I already know that a reflector added at 18 inches will add substantially to the forward gain of the antenna. I'm of the impression that "old tech" will work better for digital reception than "new tech."

Notice the set screws. Seems the antenna was designed to be adjusted for the best reception.
 
#32
Keith, you're driving yourself crazy with all these different configurations. I think you're assuming if you just get the right configuration you're going to get reasonable results. Unfortunately, at this point, there's NO REASON to think an attic installation is going to work for you! In fact, the previous owner might have been spinning his wheels just like you, by buying all those antennas.

Here's an idea: Get a simple UHF loop/dipole antenna for $10 from Walmart. Something like this: RCA Basic Indoor Antenna - Walmart.com . No hanging wires, no configurations, just a coax that hooks right up to your TV, which you are going to bring right up into your attic. Point the loop/dipole toward the stations, and if you don't get much better reception than you have now, it ain't gonna happen. Not in the attic. You might have to go up on the roof. For some people, there's no other way.

Rick
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#33
Keith, you're driving yourself crazy with all these different configurations. I think you're assuming if you just get the right configuration you're going to get reasonable results.
How many channels has he been getting with the old school antenna in the attic? Unless there are primary network stations that he isn't getting, he should just chill. ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CW, and PBS. Everything else is simply toppings on the ice cream.
 
#34
Unless there are primary network stations that he isn't getting, he should just chill. ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CW, and PBS. Everything else is simply toppings
He doesn't know how to complain properly. Here is all his green, in TV Fool order, using the virtual channels like he did:

62 TEL Yes
23 PBS Yes
61 Ion No??
3 CBS Yes
10 NBC Not when split
17 MyN Not when split
29 Fox Not when split
65 Uni Not when split
35 Ind Not when split
57 Cw No?
4 Ind Yes 68°
48 Ind No?
51 Ind No?
2 MeTV Yes
12 PBS Yes
6 ABC Yes
----------
8 Mfx No
53 Ind No
8 Mfx No
14 Classic Arts No
28 Uni No, analog

So we have Tel, 2XPBS, CBS, MeTV, ABC and one independent station. No NBC, no Fox, no CW, no Ion (which should be blasting through). No ice cream soda. :whoo:

Rick
 
#35
Just had a thought. :duh: Maybe he should get rid of the two huge antennas that aren't hooked up. Maybe they are causing all kinds of multipath. What do you think Pogi/dkr/Fringe???

Don't know why that didn't dawn on me before.

R.
 

Keith

DTVUSA Member
#36
How many channels has he been getting with the old school antenna in the attic? Unless there are primary network stations that he isn't getting, he should just chill. ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CW, and PBS. Everything else is simply toppings on the ice cream.
Yes, those are the most important, all the other channel info is for diagnosing my antenna. Let's look at two specifics. Th e signal meter on the tv connected directly to the antenna tells me a lot. When I review all the stations I lose after I split the signal, before I split the feed they are already below SNR (db) 21 and have a signal strength below 50%. Ch. 10 WCAU (NBC) should be one of my strongest signals, but it reads 19/20 db and signal strength of 46%. Ch 6 WPVI (ABC) is among the weakest on the report, but registers as 31 db and max strength. I believe it is my wiring causing the problem, so if someone could look at those pics of my homemade coaxial jumper, I'd appreciate some wiring advice.
 
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#37
Those are well built High/Low band VHF antennas you have. You live in an area where one major broadcaster is using low VHF WPVI Real CH6 (ABC). WCAU (NBC) Ch 10 is transmitting on Real channel 34 UHF. The antennas you have were never designed to receive UHF signals. You live in an area where UHF signals are strong enough that you have some reception of them using VHF antennas. When looking at channel numbers and choosing antennas real channel numbers listed on TV fool are the ones that are of importance. Real channels 2-6 are low VHF. Real channels 7-13 are high VHF. Real channels 14-51 are UHF. When selecting an antenna virtual channel numbers are useless.
The antennas you have are quite useful for receiving real channels 2-13. In your area you do still need the large antenna for channel 6.
My advice is to purchase a small UHF antenna and combine it with one of the old Amphenol antennas using a UVSJ.
Solid Signal Xtreme Signal HDB2X 2 Bay UHF HDTV Antenna (HDB2X) from Solid Signal
Pico Macom UVSJ UHF VHF Band Separator/Combiner for Antenna (UVSJ) from Solid Signal
I included the links as an example of what I am suggesting.
Steve
 

Keith

DTVUSA Member
#38
Thanks Steve; That's the best explanation I've seen regarding the TV fool report ie, real vs. virtual channels. How do you know the Amphenol antenna I'm using is only VHF? I've seen many digital antennas on the market today that don't even specify UHF, as if it doesn't matter. If I add an antenna like the UHF antenna you linked, based on my signal strength, do you think I could attach it to the Amphenol in the attic or would it have to be mounted on the roof?
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#39
You could put the UHF antenna in your attic.

Antennas that are designed for VHF-lo are hard to find these days. Maybe you should try selling the other two.
 

Keith

DTVUSA Member
#40
Antennas that are designed for VHF-lo are hard to find these days. Maybe you should try selling the other two.
Perhaps I will once I'm sure I don't need them. Are they more valuable as actual hardware or as vintage/antique?
After my homemade wire job using coaxial to connect directly to the antenna, I'm getting 16 broadcast stations when wired direct to one tv and only lose two channels when I hook up the whole house. Can't wait to see what happens when I add the UHF antenna.
 

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