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Tuner sensitivity

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Old 12-12-2009, 03:08 AM   #16
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Personally, I'd say that antenna should work fine....the suggestion to get new coax and to clean the contacts on the antenna if a transformer is used (new transformer from RS, too), is good advise....you'd be surprised how much loss you might see with a 15 year old coax. Could have water in it, corrosion, lots of stuff...
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Old 12-12-2009, 01:19 PM   #17
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I'd replace the coax and start saving for either a Winegard 7698 or ChannelMaster 3671 to put up next spring.

That old antenna has missing parts and bent reflectors.
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:35 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheFringe View Post
Rick and NonMcTubber,
I've attached a picture of the antenna I'm using to receive distant stations. See what you think.
Chuck
Looking at your tvfool report I'd consider the following arrangement. It would get the maximum number of stations with no antenna rotor.

A Winegard HD-8800 aimed at 338 degrees. Feed it directly to the UHF port of the 7777 preamp. The HD8800 has the highest gain on the lower UHF channels that you have.

Decide which PBS stations you want, but ignore KUID on channel 12 because it's adjacent to ABC channel 13 KXLY. Get a separate VHF antenna for each of them. An Antennacraft Y5-7-13 is fine for KWSU. KXLY and KSPS require a Y10-7-13. KWSU should be added after the preamp using a channel 10 Jointenna. KSPS and KXLY would be added together before the preamp. I can't predict if you'd be better off with a channel 7 or channel 13 Jointenna. (One or the other of them just might allow reception of KUID.)

VHF Jointennas are available on closeout at amazon.com.

Four antennas might sound like a lot of trouble, but it makes reception of KAYU and KREM more likely than an all-channel antenna.
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Old 12-12-2009, 08:34 PM   #19
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Thanks for all the suggestions, guys.
Jim5506, you favor the Winegard 7698 or ChannelMaster 3671 over the Channel Master 4228 recommended by Tigerbangs (first sticky in this forum)? It appears similar to the Winegard HD-8800 recommended by Tower Guy.
Got my CM 7777 3 days early I won't get it up until the blizzard lets up
Here's what I know about reception before installing the CM 7777:
I can get 7, 13, 15, 20, and 28 (338 +/- degrees) and sometimes 10 off the side of the antenna using my digital to analog converter box. Thus, there is some signal, even if the HDTV can't find it. I'm hoping the booster amp will increase the signal enough that the TV can receive them all dependably. The HDTV plumbed directly to the antenna gets 13, 15, and 20, and infrequently 28. The rest that show up on the tvfool report are less important to me. I could live with the converter box signal passed to the HDTV, but I'd really like to watch the college bowl games in hi def.
Newbie question: with the CM 7777 installed, do I need a grounding block on the cable? If so, where do I put it?
Chuck
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Old 12-12-2009, 09:01 PM   #20
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Hi Chuck,

Based on your tvfool, you have high vhf and uhf stations. There is no need for a full range antenna such as the CM3671. The Winegard 7698 can acquire high vhf and uhf, making it a good choice if you only want a single antenna. Separate vhf and uhf antennas have higher gain than a combo antenna and are the preferred choice in a fringe location. Tower guy gave you an intriguing solution that will maximize received signal but uses multiple antennas. Jim gave you the best combo antenna solution.

Chuck, could you give us an exact address tvfool report? The one we have is a generic for your town but doesn't reflect the advantage you have with your home up on the hill. You may be able to use a Winegard 7698 for the Spokane stations and a small high vhf antenna for channel 10. We'll know more after seeing your exact tvfool. Make sure you enter the correct mounting height as well. BTW, if you use the tv maps option in tvfool, you can see an aerial view of your area and can fine tune to ensure that the pointer is located at the actual antenna mount site.

HTH,

Rick
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Old 12-12-2009, 10:22 PM   #21
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Rick, here's the link to the exact address report:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...7d5218560ac1df
Thanks for helping me narrow down the antenna choices. I'll try the booster first, of course. If not as good as I want, then start saving my nickels and dimes as Jim suggested I noticed after Jim's first post that indeed it appears I'm missing a couple of elements off the back end of the antenna
Chuck
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Old 12-12-2009, 10:48 PM   #22
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Thanks for posting the new tvfool results! I thought there might be missing elements on the existing antenna.... Look forward to reading your results with the CM7777! We're having light snow here in eastern Idaho.

Best,

Rick
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Old 12-13-2009, 02:56 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheFringe View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions, guys.
Jim5506, you favor the Winegard 7698 or ChannelMaster 3671 over the Channel Master 4228 recommended by Tigerbangs (first sticky in this forum)? It appears similar to the Winegard HD-8800 recommended by Tower Guy.
Unfortunately the 4228 recommended by Tigerbangs has been replaced by the 4228HD. The original model was better.

http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/TemporaryPage.html

The best data to compare antennas is here.

http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/comparing.html

With DTV signals, the signal quality is just as important as signal strength. The 7777 preamp may not fix reception of off axis stations.
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Old 12-13-2009, 07:42 AM   #24
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Chuck,

Does your converter box have both signal strength and signal quality meters? I use an Apex 502 which has both. In IF, I can aim 90 degrees off axis without lowering signal quality but that is not always the case. If your box has both meters, is signal quality 100% for all channels?
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:31 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IDRick View Post
Chuck,

Does your converter box have both signal strength and signal quality meters?
Rick,
No, only a rudimentary signal strength meter.
There's a bunch of good info in the link provided by Tower Guy. Now I'm confused again...
I hope you're right, k2yi. When I install the booster I'll check the conditions of the balun and connections. It's well taped with electrical tape, but that was likely 15 years ago.
<according to NOAA, it's gonna snow all week >
Chuck
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Old 12-17-2009, 04:05 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IDRick View Post
Look forward to reading your results with the CM7777!
Rick
Got the amp installed--didn't help at all I connected the antenna to the combined terminal and left the switches in their default (and verified) settings. Is that correct? I also aimed the antenna with the tvfool radar plot to 337 degrees, but it was very close before.
If this is as good as it gets I'll wait until spring to replace the antenna, and in the meantime contemplate if it's worth the expense to get HD OTA*. My receiver does a rather good job of upconverting the standard def analog signal from the converter box.
Chuck
* I used to work for DOE contractors and learned to love acronyms
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:13 PM   #27
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Hi Chuck,

Sorry to hear no response... On the CM 7777, the vhf switch should be set to "combined" and the FM switch should be set to "in". Sounds like you installed it correctly. You would lose your vhf channels if the antenna was set as "separate". I take it you have the same channels as before since you say no change.... Did signal strength change on the converter box? I thought at least signal strength on the converter box would increase....

Older generation digital tuners are not as sensitive as those installed in the converter boxes. You could consider buying a external digital HD tuner for your tv. I've read good things about the Centronics Zat502 tuner. The market for external HD tuners is drying up so they're getting hard to find.... You may be able to find HD tuners on ebay.

HTH and have a Merry Christmas!

Best,

Rick
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:08 PM   #28
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Hi Rick,
I can't see any difference in the weaker channels with the amp connected--at the moment, the Pullman station, ~90 degrees off the direction the antenna is pointed, is MIA; channel 28 Fox in the same line as the other Spokane stations is flaky at best. Earlier today 28 came in fine. I'm apprehensive about reconnecting the Motorola amp with the 7777 above it.
I see Summit Source has that external tuner for ~$100--cheaper than an antenna. My HDTV is a brand new Panasonic, but that doesn't mean they're not using 20-year-old technology in the tuner
BTW, Panasonic tech support finally did respond (the question was why does a $50 converter box work better than a $1500 Panasonic). Their answer: I need an amp or a converter box--duh!
And to you too, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Chuck
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:27 PM   #29
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Hi Chuck,

Wow, some help from tech support! Sadly, the tv companies do not provide tuner information with their tv specs. LG makes sensitive tuners (both my converter boxes have LG tuners plus the LG HDTV does too).

If you converter box picks up the stations that you want, I'd seriously look trying a Zat502. The Panny should be able to do it but....

Take care!

Rick
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:18 AM   #30
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I hope you're right, k2yi. When I install the booster I'll check the conditions of the balun and connections. It's well taped with electrical tape, but that was likely 15 years ago.
Did you replace the coax? It doesn't matter if you have a NASA grade quality Hubble telescope type pre-amp....if that old coax is carrying water, the amp won't make a damned bit of difference...garbage in, garbage out...ASK ME HOW I KNOW THIS!!!
I can almost guarentee a 15 year old coax is very probably going to cause a high loss condition. If it's been "taped", you know somebody was trying to "fix" an issue. Before you go off hell bent buying this or that, do yourself a cheap favor...replace ALL the coax.
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