New to OTA assistance requested

#1
Hi everyone. I've been following the guidance for getting started with this website. Sorry if I stepped on any toes the other day. I've read the how to get started sorts of posts too. I've returned with some data. Here's my situation...I moved here and there is an antenna already hooked up to the house. I couldn't get it to work, so I ordered an antenna from ChannelMaster.com (model is below). After receiving it, I tried something else with the cables in my house and eureka, I pick up 20-25 channels. I am trying to determine if I need this new antenna or not. What makes me wonder if I need it or not is that I am not receiving the local CBS affiliate, which cuts down access to football a lot. I'm trying to pick up WDBJ in addition to what I already have. What do I need to do to get this channel?

Here's my TVFool analysis:

TV Fool

Next, I tried to get a model number off my antenna currently installed, but it is old and what appears to be a sticker has been wiped clean by time, so no data on that except for pictures that I have attached. Here are 3 pictures:

20201007_133016.jpg
20201007_133005.jpg
20201007_133148.jpg

You might be able to see in the 3rd picture that there is some sort of box on the antenna with a wire coming out of it that is cut. I have no idea what this is, so if anyone knows, I'm all ears.

My type of wiring is coax. My general set up is the coax from the antenna goes to a splitter which runs coax to 2 TVs in the home. The coax outside looks pretty worn by the sun. I have new coax, but would love to get away with not having to rewire. But if I have to, I will.

The channel I am trying to receive is WDBJ, which is the local CBS affiliate on channel 7.1. My neighbor across the street uses OTA and receives it loud and clear. His house is also a bit more elevated than mine and he uses a 180 degree antenna. However, when I was on the phone with ChannelMaster, they insisted that the model they sold me was best for my location. Here is the model (Advantage 45):

UHF/VHF/FM Digital HDTV Outdoor TV Antenna-Channel Master CM 3016 (CM3016)

Additional information: my house sits down a little bit in comparison to other houses on my block. I am in a neighborhood on a small mountain with several trees around.
 
#2
Just curious... can you get WFXR 27-1 (17) Fox ? According to TVFool it comes from nearly the same place as CBS.

I'm not an antenna expert but I think your old antenna is highly directional. Might that box below the antenna contain a motor for rotating the antenna to point it directly at various towers? That cut cable might have been for controlling which way the antenna points.

Might TVFool's info for your CBS station be out of date? I looked up Roanoke, VA at RabbitEars.info which includes repack info and found that CBS comes from nearly the same direction as NBC. If you can get NBC 10‑1 (34) then seems like you should be able to get CBS 7‑1 (30). Perhaps ignore what I typed earlier about Fox.
 
#3
Thanks for getting back to me. Interestingly enough I get both WFXR 27-1 AND NBC 10-1 clear as day. I don't understand why I wouldn't WDBJ too.

That's an interesting idea bout a potential motorized box to rotate it. That would make sense to me, but I'm still not sure.

When you say my old antenna is "highly directional" do the think the same applies to the one I bought? Or do you think that any updated technology would make it work better? I'm trying to determine if I should return the new antenna and save $100.
 
#4
I don't understand it, either. Have you rescanned for channels? I know that most likely you have done that but I'm out of ideas. Does your TV let you manually add a channel? If it lets you do that then you could try manually adding RF channel 30 to see if you get CBS. TVs often let you block specific channels, too, but seems unlikely you would have accidentally blocked the channel you want. In my area there have been a couple stations that stopped broadcasting for weeks because of technical issues and they announced the tech issues on a Facebook page or website but I went to WDBJ | Virginia Local News, Weather, Sports | Roanoke, VA and saw no mention of that.

It is the beam width of the antenna that tells you how directional it is, I think. I have no idea what your old antenna is but usually when you see elements that are straight and 90 degrees from the spine then it is a highly directional antenna. My old antenna looks a lot like your new antenna. It is directional but I'm not sure how much. If you emailed Channel Master and asked they might tell you the beam width. I couldn't find any beam width specs (both UHF and VHF) for your new antenna just by Googling but looks like your two VHF stations (PBS 15.1 and ABC 13.1) are almost 180 degrees away from each other. Considering how all your stations with a good signal strength are within 18 miles I'm not sure the directionality of the new antenna would be a big deal. Sorry, I don't know if you should return your new antenna.
 
#5
I spoke to Channel Master, since I bought from them. They told me that the WDBJ tower is having some maintenance and is sharing with another tower temporarily. I also think that I am using the wrong tower and am going to get up on the roof and mess with the antenna further this weekend, weather permitting. They also think that my current old antenna is likely good enough, but suspect I will need a pre-amplifier.
 

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