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My antenna wont pick VHF :( 4228HD

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Old 06-17-2010, 07:40 PM   #1
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Default My antenna wont pick VHF :( 4228HD

Gosh ,
I finally found a place where I can vent ! (and get help in the process too...)
I live on 185 Estancia Dr, San Jose CA 95134.


I have been through 4 antennas( channel masters/wineguard terk). Problem is my antenna picks up CBS FOX and TV36 fine and KQED (all UHF). ABC and NBC are on VHF and dont show up.

I have the Channel Master 4228HD Long-Range Outdoor Rooftop HDTV Antenna. It stuck with me since I couldnt return it

Is there any preamp sorta deal. I used antennaweb and tvfool, since I am in a highrise and there are apartments above me I dont have much of stick your neck in the clouds advantage!
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:42 PM   #2
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Add a real high-VHF antenna such as the Antennas Direct C5 or a 5-/6-element 7-13 antenna.

Also add either an FM Filter or a highpass filter to remove FM radio signals from your receiver.
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Old 06-18-2010, 01:23 AM   #3
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For the convenience of any others that may respond in this thread here's your tvfool for the address you supplied (with an arbitrary height chosen of 30 feet).

FWIW I live in the 95129 area so I guess I'm about 8 miles SW of you. You shouldn't need any FM trap for our area (I've never needed one) and I have to assume that for an apartment your feed line is not long enough to require a pre-amp (of course you could pick up a CM7777 at Fry's -- I saw a few still left in the Cambell's Fry's a few weeks ago -- try it and take it back if it isn't worth keeping -- got to love that Fry's 30-day return policy).

I'm not surprised the 4228HD can't get RF7 (ABC) and RF12 (NBC) since the 4228HD is not advertised as VHF capable. Of course there are plenty of reports of successful VHF-hi reception from CM4228's but I don't know how many of them include success with the newer CM4228HD's. It due to the fact that these antennas have wider reflectors. A wide reflector (32" to 36") increases the gain of 4 and 8 bays for VHF-hi (I used 32" on my 4-bay and get RF7 and RF12 as good as any of the UHF stations). Longer elements help too.

I don't know what degree of freedom you have in aiming your antenna from an apartment (balcony?). If it's north-facing you should point it approximately at Sutro. You should still be able to get RG36 (36.1) and RF50 (54.1) since they are over above Fremont and practically breathing down your throat!

projectsho89's suggestion about getting a separate VHF-hi antenna is a possible solution. If you go that route you either need to have two separate feeds and connect it to your TV with a A/B switch or use a vhf/uhf combiner -- not a 2-to-1 splitter (or, FWIW, the CM7777 pre-amp can be configured to accept separate VHF and UHF inputs).
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Last edited by Me!; 06-18-2010 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 06-18-2010, 03:53 AM   #4
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you can make the 4228HD a little better by performing some standard "hacks" on it
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/TemporaryPage.html
you need to remove the balun and the feedlines and put a separate 4:1 balun on either side of the antenna, then use a 2:1 splitter in reverse to join the two halves back together.
As to which 4:1 baluns to use, folks at another site I frequent suggest either winegard baluns or "philips outdoor baluns".
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Old 06-18-2010, 07:39 AM   #5
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Hi mbadhri
Not sure which other antennas you've tried, but there seems to be a chronic problem here...

Me!:
Assuming you're correct about there not being an FM issue, there's no need for a trap. But if the 8 miles is making a difference for our OP I hear an HLSJ is a cheap & easy way to knock down FM by >20 dB. (So long as you don't need VHF-Low. )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Me! View Post
I have to assume that for an apartment your feed line is not long enough to require a pre-amp (of course you could pick up a CM7777 at Fry's -- I saw a few still left in the Cambell's Fry's a few weeks ago -- try it and take it back if it isn't worth keeping -- got to love that Fry's 30-day return policy).
Looking at his tvfool, I would agree a preamp isn't necessary unless he's serving several TVs - but I suspect there may be a problem with overload using the 7777. An HDP-269 would be a better choice.

Quote:
I'm not surprised the 4228HD can't get RF7 (ABC) and RF12 (NBC) since the 4228HD is not advertised as VHF capable.
I'm actually quite surprised, and I beg to differ - look at the Channel Master site:
http://channelmaster.com/product-ove...D=137&catID=33
45 mile expectation for VHF-Hi... According to that tvfool he should be getting them fine with a 4228.

Quote:
I don't know what degree of freedom you have in aiming your antenna from an apartment (balcony?).
And this could be his problem - what kind of obstacles are you dealing with in the direction of the transmissions mbadhri?
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Last edited by aka.Hooper; 06-18-2010 at 07:46 AM. Reason: Deleted comment abt 4228 hack
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Old 06-18-2010, 10:27 AM   #6
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To mbadhri,

By my read of your TVFool report, your two stronger VHF station are predicted to come in so strong that even a non VHF antenna like a 4228 should easily pick them up.

The fact that you are not picking them up only tells us one thing, something else of going on but what? Lots of guesses have been submitted so far, and certainly some of them are cheap enough to be worth the gamble.

But to help narrow things down, giving this forum far more detail of how your antenna is mounted and pointed would help. Plus posting a photo taken from your your balcony, one centered at pointing due West and another centered pointing due north might also help.

The other thing to note, is that knowing exactly where in terms of NM(db), that your antenna set up craps out in UHF.
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:35 AM   #7
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im trying to delete this one ..

Last edited by mbadhri; 06-18-2010 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:49 AM   #8
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Wow guys!
you are good, you really are:


I do have a 25 feet cable running from my balcony to the bedroom, is that long or short ?

Im not sure about the raw capabilities of Channel Master either - I spoke with a channel master rep. He defended his product for a little while and immediately started giving out suggestions for VHF antenna ;o). - The link for tweaking just about confirms my suspicion.

Me!, I am a lot like you!, I tried different antennas at Fry's, but settled down and accepted fate since they were no different from one another in VHF reception.

Im a little wary of cluttering the space with another antenna, ( also that this is something I cant pick/return at a local store, has to be antennas direct).

Got to try the CM7777, the HLSJ and HDP-269 one by one.

The link about tweaking the baluns is very interesting. Im itching to find out what comes out of the tweak. Will keep you posted.

any other antennas youd like to suggest? Or any signal analysers that I can borrow to find out what the SNR is in a certain direction etc?
I do face another building if thats what youre asking..should I point toward the sky?

Last edited by mbadhri; 06-18-2010 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:06 PM   #9
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Here is my two cents.

First off , if he / she is on the wrong side of the building and the signal just can't pass through the building or is being re reflected or re radiated off something in the local area and if the tuner is receiving two of the same signal - just as different intervals, maybe the tuner cannot see those channels due to the fact that even strong reception that is corrupt - is sometimes worse then poor reception - where you can just use a bigger antenna and some amplification to get the signal down the wire.

My next question would be - who was the idiot who told this person to buy a suburban antenna for an apartment dweller? You definitely have the wrong antenna..

PPauper is another one that is going in the wrong direction, because this person doesn't need to modify this antenna, they just need to buy the right antenna and put it in the right place. Even if it means getting the apartment complex to allow them to move to the other side of the building where they might or might not have a clear field of view in the direction that they need to be in.

The only other thing that could help would be to move to the top floor and then get permission to install your antenna's on the roof and drop the wire down the side of the building to your apartment.

Or, maybe the building was already wired and all it needs is a better antenna set up and some sort of distribution amplifier to provide free service to the entire building.

At the same time, if you are in a downtown environment, and if there is other buildings just as tall as your building or even taller, they could be blocking the signals. This is the reason why I ask for a street level address and not just a radar fool report.

Without getting into the mathematics's, a full wave antenna for your 7, 6 or 4 /2 is going to have to be in the area of 13 feet wide or a combination of smaller elements to make up that amount of area, to receive VHF. On the other hand, if you added up all the surface area on the 4228, you wouldn't have one fourth the surface area.

So when a antenna is only one fourth the size it gives up something like 80 percent of it's capabilities, when you understand that a full wave is best and a half wave throws away more then half, its no wonder why after a bunch of idiots makes a post that tells everyone that the 4228 does pick up VHF - in their situation, that it would lead people to believe that it will pick up VHF in everyone's situation.

With channel 7 being your strongest station in the report, and it is 37 miles away, that leads me to believe that the other stations, although closer, are transmitting with less effective radiated power and that there is something that even the fool report see's is in your way - between you and the transmitters.

So here you have 2, 3 ,4, 6,7, 8,9, 12, 13 and no antenna to receive those channels and a limited space out on your balcony to put up a antenna. Probably limited room inside of the apartment and besides that, you don't want a ugly antenna cluttering up your room.

Unfortunately, to get all of those channels and at those distances, you would need a Winegard 8200U antenna. A antenna rotor and a lot of good luck!

So the other half of the reason why you do not get everything in your report with one general aim of your antenna is due to the fact that the digital signals are still LOS - where if you do not point the antenna in the right direction or if there is something between you and the signal - you will get no signal. And that is the problem that you are having.

My only advice is to buy the right antenna and stick it up on the roof or move!
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:09 PM   #10
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mbadhri,

If you want to try another antenna (BTW, exactly which antennas have you tried? And were they VHF-Hi capable?) I would think you could get by with an HBU-22, HD-7694P, or the RCA ANT751 (aka: EZ-HD from Denny's.)

And looking at your tvfool I still think a CM7777 will overload - you're basically flushing $50+ ...
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:39 PM   #11
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JB,

Of those VHF-Lo transmissions 2, 3, & 6 are analog (And two of them are off aim, hardly worth recommending a rotor for, even for you.) which leaves KTVJ, RF 4... To which I again ask: Can we in good conscious recommend the apartment dweller OP get a huge full band antenna just for this station???

I do think you have it right with:
Quote:
First off , if he / she is on the wrong side of the building and the signal just can't pass through the building or is being re reflected or re radiated off something in the local area and if the tuner is receiving two of the same signal - just as different intervals, maybe the tuner cannot see those channels due to the fact that even strong reception that is corrupt - is sometimes worse then poor reception - where you can just use a bigger antenna and some amplification to get the signal down the wire.
And he is either blocked, or it is multipath that's destroying his signal. (I do find it a little odd that he has no problems with any of his UHF if this is the case though.)

You also make a good point about the OP possibly being in better shape by mounting on the roof, if the building will permit. (Don't know why he has to move to the top floor tho, can't he just run coax down the side of the building? )

But you've got to stop talking as if the 4228 is VHF-Hi blind - it has been modeled to have 3-6 dB of gain out of the box, and this has been proven out many times in the real world.
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