High Def Forum - Your High Definition Community & High Definition Resource

Go Back   High Def Forum - Your High Definition Community & High Definition Resource > Local HDTV Info & Reception > Local HDTV Info and Reception
Rules HDTV Forum Gallery LINK TO US! RSS - High Def Forum AddThis Feed Button AddThis Social Bookmark Button Groups

Local HDTV Info and Reception Learn about your local HDTV stations, availability, reception issues, OTA antennas and any other local issues. RSS - Local HDTV Info and Reception

New antenna setup problems. Very weak signal.

Reply
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-28-2012, 01:16 PM   #1
My plasma is High Def.
 

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d0b86145e466e23
Posts: 5
Default New antenna setup problems. Very weak signal.

Ok, so I picked up an AntennasDirect DB4, and a PA-18 Pre-amplifier to overcome a long coax run. The idea was to get all the major networks in my area. (38006)

The plan is to remove my Dish Network dish and install the new antenna on the mast. But, since I have no means to re-align my dish if the new antenna didn't work for some reason, I decided to give it a trial run.

I mounted it to a 6' flood light stand, made sure all the hookups with the pre-amp were correct and connected the power injector inside the house.

I currently have an HDHomerun TV Tuner connected to a set-top indoor antenna which only receives the two closest channels to me. I connected the tuner to the correct side of the power injector and then scanned for channels.

I could only pick up one network.

The HDHomerun has a signal strength indicator application, so I did some testing with it connected to my indoor antenna, my outdoor setup, and disconnected totally.

The new outdoor setup provided no discernable difference in signal strength over being completely disconnected!

For the one channel that I got consistently, the signal strength was the following:

Indoor antenna: 90-100%
Outdoor: 28-35%
Disconnected: 26-32%

I have no idea what the problem could be. The power supply for the injector has no indicator of whether it is getting power or not.

Will the antenna still work if the pre-amp is not getting power?

I understand that the antenna was mounted to a 6' stand outdoors, but it was facing the direction of most of the local networks. Plus my indoor antenna is inside my house, hidden behind my TV in a cabinet and it was getting far better signal strength.

What can I do to try and test that everything is working?
Bad_Haggis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2012, 02:27 PM   #2
High Definition is the definition of life.
 

Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,821
Default

Go to radio shck and get a signal meter. The signals are directional
you need to do that or seek out a web site that wuill give you
compass alignments to use. a really good idea is a rotor to aim the ant. in different directions too. get it up high as you can also.
Often Tv towers will all be in one place, the highest area in your area.
and they will all set up there. but other cities will of course be another direction. If like 50-60 miles away from new stuff other than local, it may be worth while to get a rotor.
leevitalone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2012, 03:46 PM   #3
High Definition is the definition of life.
 

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 911
Default

It would be helpful is you'd take the time to specify which station you're receiving....

A DB4 isn't going to get you all the networks in that zip code. WMC out of Memphis os a low-VHF signal and you have a UHF antenna.

If the pre-amp is not receiving power, it will turn into a 30 dB attenuator, effectively wiping out all but the strongest, local signals. OTOH, if you have a strong local station, the amp will overload, effectively wiping out all but the strongest, local signals.

A DB4 is quite directional - it needs to be facing the direction of the signals.

Radio Shack does not have TV signal meters. Don't waste your time.

Start by removing the PA18 completely. Connect a KNOWN GOOD length of coax from the DB4 directly to the tuner, completely bypassing any existing cabling. Retest. If it fails, the circuit board balun on the DB4 is probably broken, a common occurrence. Call the manufacturer for a replacement.

If the DB4 by itself works okay, add the PA18 and its power supply and retest. Use the exact same length of coax. If it still works or works better, you have a cabling problem. in your original setup.
projectsho89 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2012, 04:05 PM   #4
My plasma is High Def.
 

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d0b86145e466e23
Posts: 5
Default

Did some spelunking under the house after I got home from work and discovered that the coax I THOUGHT went straight outside was actually connected to a "Multimax" splitter as part of what I'm assuming to be a multi-receiver DirecTV setup. So, I guess I'll be running fresh coax this weekend if the weather is decent.

All that aside, my tvfool analysis is to the left. (Apparently I can't post a URL yet)


I can get WJKT without an antenna. WBBJ with my indoor antenna. That gets me FOX and ABC.

I also would like to pick up WMC, WLMT, and WREG to get NBC, CW, and CBS.

Thankfully all of those except WBBJ are near 230 degrees azimuth. I was hoping WBBJ would be close enough to manage to pick it up anyway even though it's 106 degrees.

What do I need to do to get WMC? Piggyback a VHF antenna?

Last edited by Bad_Haggis; 02-28-2012 at 04:59 PM.
Bad_Haggis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2012, 04:47 PM   #5
How can anyone watch standard def?
 

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d67d9ae60ecf01b
Posts: 26
Default

If you are not able to post your Tv fool graph, just copy and past the URL and others can view it.
As for a VHF antenna, you will need to join both UHF and VHF before the preamp unless your pre amp has 2 ins like the CM7777. If not you will need a connector to join both antenna together so you have 1 input to the pre amp.
If you are fringe reception yo do not want to have splitters after the amp, they loose a lot of strength, you will need a distribution amp so you can feed several TVs.
Hope this helps.
asgard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-29-2012, 04:45 AM   #6
High Definition is the definition of life.
 

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 911
Default

Here's your TVFool plot. Clever putting it where you did. http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...0b86145e466e23

Do not use either the PA18 or a 7777. Both will overload from your strong, local Fox and ABC stations.


Quote:
What do I need to do to get WMC? Piggyback a VHF antenna?
Quite possibly. Since you already have the DB4, get it aimed at Memphis and see what you get. If you can get the UHF stations out of Memphis, then a 2-13 antenna, if you can still find one, will be needed. Otherwise, you may need to revert to an all-channel antenna.

Quote:
yo do not want to have splitters after the amp, they loose a lot of strength
It is perfectly fine to use splitters after an amp as long as you manage the total gains and losses in the system.

If any pre-amp is to be used, it must be a nigh-input, medium gain amp that won't go into overload. The CPA19, HD269, 10G201, and old 7778 are all potential candidates. Only the 7778 has separate inputs, the rest would need a UVSJ.

Let's see what a properly connected DB4 can pull in first.
projectsho89 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2012, 06:52 PM   #7
My plasma is High Def.
 

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d0b86145e466e23
Posts: 5
Default

Got everything up. without the pre-amp I can get everything I'm interested in, except for WMC. Even though it shows 70% signal strength and I'm picking up all the other stations in the same direction.

Is this because of the DB4 and WMC being VHF?

Should I scrap the DB4 and replace with something that supports VHF and UHF, or is there something I can bolt up with it and add a signal joiner so I can WMC?

Would adding the preamp make any difference?

Last edited by Bad_Haggis; 04-08-2012 at 07:06 PM.
Bad_Haggis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2012, 09:36 AM   #8
My plasma is High Def.
 

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d0b86145e466e23
Posts: 5
Default

The preamp just makes things worse. I lose about half of my channels.

I guess I'll be buying a VHF low antenna and a taller mast.

I'm tempted to pick up a DB2 as well so I can point it towards Jackson as the channel from there has some artifacts and audio issues at times.

I know I need a VHF-UHF combiner for the VHF antenna, will I need something special to connect the DB2 signal to my DB4 signal?
Bad_Haggis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2012, 12:05 PM   #9
High Definition is the definition of life.
 

Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 246
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad_Haggis View Post
The preamp just makes things worse. I lose about half of my channels.

I guess I'll be buying a VHF low antenna and a taller mast.

I'm tempted to pick up a DB2 as well so I can point it towards Jackson as the channel from there has some artifacts and audio issues at times.

I know I need a VHF-UHF combiner for the VHF antenna, will I need something special to connect the DB2 signal to my DB4 signal?
This should do the trick for Channel 5. I've used Antennacraft antennas for years and they seem to do quite well with VHF signals. My Y7-10-13 actually is better than the Winegard YA 1713.

This antenna is the smaller cousin of the now defunct CS 1100 which I also own.

http://www.antennacraft.net/pdfs/CS600.pdf
Billiam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2012, 01:11 PM   #10
My plasma is High Def.
 

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d0b86145e466e23
Posts: 5
Default

Definitely going to pick up a low-band VHF.

What can I do to improve my signal from WBBJ to alleviate artifacts and audio drops?

My DB4 is pointed southwest, but WBBJ is to the east.

Some googling turns up that combining different antennas can be not-so-good, so should I pick up a second DB4, point one southwest, and one to the east and combine them?

All of this is only going into one receiver (a tivo box)
Bad_Haggis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2012, 02:53 PM   #11
I like big Antennas
 

Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Delmar, NY
Posts: 1,265
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad_Haggis View Post
Definitely going to pick up a low-band VHF.

What can I do to improve my signal from WBBJ to alleviate artifacts and audio drops?
Your situation is tricky.

The signal strength of WJKT makes your antenna decision more of how to avoid overload than picking up a strong signal. Except for a carefully crafted array, combining antennas will make it worse. Read here for a few examples of how ganging antennas can help.

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

Ultimately you may end up with separate antennas for WJKT, WBBJ, and WMC plus a fourth antenna for the remainder of the stations at 227. The WMC antenna can be a Y5-2-6 combined with an HLSJ to a Y10-7-13 for WHBQ, or you can use an HD5030 for WMC and WHBQ plus a UVSJ. I'd consider a 91XG for the UHF stations at 227 as it will reduce the strength of WJKT more than other off-the-shelf antennas. Next, get an A/B/C switch to select the right antenna.

Last edited by Tower Guy; 04-10-2012 at 02:57 PM.
Tower Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2012, 09:14 PM   #12
My plasma is High Def.
 

Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 6
Default

Thanks for sharing.
charles47 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2012, 09:22 PM   #13
High Definition is the definition of life.
 
JB Antennaman's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,411
Default

The problem is the person bought the wrong equipment and then decided to ask for help after it did not work.
It is obvious that the install should have been left for a professional - but the OP decided to install it themselves with no previous experience.
Even if you had a overload type condition - if you would have used a hi gain type antenna and no preamp - you would not have suffered from overload.

Change the post to give a street level address and ask for help instead of coming after the mistakes have been made.
Going the cheap route bit you on the butt on this one.

The J Pole mount is not robust enough to hold a real antenna and most installers do not mount the dish above the roof of the dwelling.
You want that antenna 10' above everything in the neighborhood to get it to work properly.
__________________
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction.
JB Antennaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Go Back   High Def Forum - Your High Definition Community & High Definition Resource > Local HDTV Info & Reception > Local HDTV Info and Reception
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads to New antenna setup problems. Very weak signal.
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dish HDTV picture quality? nittfan DISH Network Forum 41 12-18-2009 08:05 AM
Picking up local HDTV in Santa Clarita valley. GSMnow Local HDTV Info and Reception 15 05-26-2008 11:42 PM
HD Not Showing Up- NEW Installation MonsonWeather DirecTV Forum 37 11-27-2007 03:55 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:32 AM.



Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2004 - 2008, High Def Forum