Will an amplifier help a fringe channel?

Reception, channel detection, network issues, CableCARD setup, etc.
Cranky64
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:40 pm

Will an amplifier help a fringe channel?

Postby Cranky64 » Sat May 11, 2019 10:31 am

Hello!

I have a channel that my HD connect can see in the scan but it will not play. TVfool says we should be able to get it. I have about 50 feet from the antenna to my HD, do you think an amp would help?

Thanks

ACraigo
Posts: 464
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Device ID: 1062E8EE
Location: Deep Canyon in WV (by God)

Re: Will an amplifier help a fringe channel?

Postby ACraigo » Sat May 11, 2019 11:27 am

Probably not.

An 'Antenna' may help. If you think you have one provide it's make and model with your zip code (or the image/report you got from tvfool) and we'll explore a reasonable alternative together...

lol

Cranky64
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:40 pm

Re: Will an amplifier help a fringe channel?

Postby Cranky64 » Sat May 11, 2019 1:28 pm

I don't know how to embed the image link but here it is

I have had great luck pointing at the green channels with a Winegard HD7694P . If I point this to 270 I can get WRC 4.1 to list but not play. I have also tried the Clear Stream 2 wich is all around worse than the Winegard

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Aj7gU-E0dUdhgrIHfIwBV2orxeno9w

ACraigo
Posts: 464
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:32 pm
Device ID: 1062E8EE
Location: Deep Canyon in WV (by God)

Re: Will an amplifier help a fringe channel?

Postby ACraigo » Sun May 12, 2019 6:20 am

I don't know how to embed the image link but here it is (edited):

Image
That is the 'Maps' portion, Satellite view with the footprint overlay... You can see WRC starts falling apart drastically once you leave the city. DC is the original stomping ground for me - the difference being I was working it from 70 miles in the other direction from deep inside the Shenandoah Valley. We had to use insanely large antennae and rely basically on Tropo - cause there was no hope of an LOS signal from down in the Valley. Now with digital, The Valley is probably no-man's-land. You aren't in no-man's-land, but you're close. WRC comes out of DC a little better to the West, than it does the East (apparently). There's a LOT of concrete between you and WRC and as you can tell, concrete works just as well as a signal killer than that large mountain range to the immediate West. There's hope that you can overcome this condition with either height, or aluminum... read on.
I have had great luck pointing at the green channels with a Winegard HD7694P . If I point this to 270 I can get WRC 4.1 to list but not play. I have also tried the Clear Stream 2 wich is all around worse than the Winegard.
The good news is you have a real antenna and you have discovered the difference between a real antenna and high-priced, new age junk. You can attack the problem in one of two ways, IMO. 1): give up on DC and go to Baltimore for NBC. That's the cheapest solution. You can also 2): add the maximum amount of aluminum and see what that does:
https://www.amazon.com/Winegard-Platinu ... FS4BI?th=1
Then start moving it up varying sections of free-standing tower until you reach your goal.. at that point - and when the transmission line gets to be over 100', that line amp will come into play. Here's the skinny on line amps: If you've got a signal down in the dirt (noise) a line amp will raise everything - desired signal, noise, big bang echos, etc. That won't help yank a signal out of the mud. You first have to get the signal out of the mud with an antenna, or height, or both, then when signal loss through the coax starts being an issue, you add the amp... first things first.

WRC is coming out of there at over 3/4's of million watts (so everyone in the metro area can see them on their dental work), but that does nothing for burning through mountains or concrete. Yea, it might be best to just go to Baltimore, unless you're like me when that 'almost' signal starts creating an itch that just must be scratched. It'll be expensive and the movie could end happy, or badly, time, expense and success rate to be calculated at a later date, when you really do give up.

At the very least I'd put up more aluminum - you may need two antennae anyway - and after you lay down $150+ for the magnum Wineguard you may have satisfied your itch/scratch mechanism and can let it go without too much personal drama.

:)

Cranky64
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:40 pm

Re: Will an amplifier help a fringe channel?

Postby Cranky64 » Sun May 12, 2019 6:40 am

ACraigo, Thanks for the very informative reply! To tell you the truth the only reason I want WRC was for one of their subs Cozi TV on 4.2. My wife is hooked on it and the only way I can get it now in on PS VUE.

By the way WBAL Baltimore is one of the main stations we watch and with the Wiengard HD reports
Signal Strength 86%
Signal Quality 90%
Symbol 100%

On the Clear Stream
77%
74%
100%

I'm half tempted to box it up and send it back

ACraigo
Posts: 464
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:32 pm
Device ID: 1062E8EE
Location: Deep Canyon in WV (by God)

Re: Will an amplifier help a fringe channel?

Postby ACraigo » Sun May 12, 2019 6:49 am

ACraigo, Thanks for the very informative reply! To tell you the truth the only reason I want WRC was for one of their subs Cozi TV on 4.2. My wife is hooked on it and the only way I can get it now in on PS VUE.

By the way WBAL Baltimore is one of the main stations we watch and with the Wiengard HD reports
Signal Strength 86%
Signal Quality 90%
Symbol 100%

On the Clear Stream
77%
74%
100%

I'm half tempted to box it up and send it back
Which?

Well... WAF dictates the largest Wiengard, does it not?
Just make sure she knows how much that antenna costs. If it works, fine. If it doesn't ask her if she wants you to start dippin' into ya'lls retirement/college funds/nest egg - and be sure she knows the solution could take a big bite out of nest eggs and such - and still not be very successful.
(I think the magnum Weingard will work, but I'm not there to deal with the little lady if it doesn't)

:)

Also, this is serious - you live near sea level. You'd be putting up a great way for Mother Nature to pipe The Anger of God directly into your home via a bolt of lightning that won't see much around you, but will see that nice big path to ground. Make sure most of that ground runs down the side of the house, not through all your electronics. [removed by moderator]. Be safe, above all else.

If you have an attic under a non-metal roof (metal roof - forgetaboutit), putting the magnum Weingard in there will virtually eliminate lightning as a possibility, but it will knock the crap out of most of the benefits you'd get from the larger antenna. Try it outside, try it in the attic. If you get WRC outside, but not in the attic - you know what has to happen. If you get WRC from in the attic, you're golden.

jasonl
Silicondust
Posts: 13513
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:23 pm

Re: Will an amplifier help a fringe channel?

Postby jasonl » Sun May 12, 2019 2:30 pm

The HD7694p is a good antenna, but it's more of a good 30-40 mile antenna. 50 is beyond what I would reasonably expect from it. Stepping up to something bigger like the ChannelMaster CM2020 or Winegard HD7698p would be the best option. I would not recommend the HD8200U as most of the (huge) size is wasted on low VHF elements. There's only one low VHF station in the area and it primarily carries shopping and infomercial channels, so it's pointless to get an antenna twice as big as what you need to receive it (the CM2020 and HD7698p are about 5 feet wide, the HD8200u is over 9 feet wide).

sspell
Posts: 398
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2015 1:58 pm

Re: Will an amplifier help a fringe channel?

Postby sspell » Sun May 12, 2019 5:41 pm

Here's one I been thinking about good reviews on it.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071ZBKBGC/?c ... _lig_dp_it

ACraigo
Posts: 464
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:32 pm
Device ID: 1062E8EE
Location: Deep Canyon in WV (by God)

Re: Will an amplifier help a fringe channel?

Postby ACraigo » Mon May 13, 2019 12:21 am

The HD7694p is a good antenna, but it's more of a good 30-40 mile antenna. 50 is beyond what I would reasonably expect from it. Stepping up to something bigger like the ChannelMaster CM2020 or Winegard HD7698p would be the best option. I would not recommend the HD8200U as most of the (huge) size is wasted on low VHF elements. There's only one low VHF station in the area and it primarily carries shopping and infomercial channels, so it's pointless to get an antenna twice as big as what you need to receive it (the CM2020 and HD7698p are about 5 feet wide, the HD8200u is over 9 feet wide).
I'd agree with that. Good catch on the VHF Low, that I never look at. Too many years enjoying tropo - and yes there's still some of that to be had for people like me, but probably totally wasted on Cranky (unless the wife enjoys infomercial/shopping channels - lol).
Here's one I been thinking about good reviews on it.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071ZBKBGC/?c ... _lig_dp_it
Yea... no.... these guys aren't impressed... and neither am I:
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/25-hdtv- ... -yagi.html
If you live in Spain buy a Spanish Antenna... just not that one.
Last edited by ACraigo on Mon May 13, 2019 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

Rickt1962
Posts: 131
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2015 2:17 pm

Re: Will an amplifier help a fringe channel?

Postby Rickt1962 » Mon May 13, 2019 7:28 am

You are not to far from my back yard ! https://www.tripleplayantenna.com/default.html

jasonl
Silicondust
Posts: 13513
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:23 pm

Re: Will an amplifier help a fringe channel?

Postby jasonl » Mon May 13, 2019 4:22 pm

Yeah, I agree with skipping the triple boom yagi. I can't remember ever seeing positive reviews of any that style of antenna from anyone who actually knew what they were talking about. The high VHF performance might be a bit weak as well in an area where 4 major stations are high VHF.

ACraigo
Posts: 464
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:32 pm
Device ID: 1062E8EE
Location: Deep Canyon in WV (by God)

Re: Will an amplifier help a fringe channel?

Postby ACraigo » Tue May 14, 2019 1:50 am

Yeah, I agree with skipping the triple boom yagi. I can't remember ever seeing positive reviews of any that style of antenna from anyone who actually knew what they were talking about. The high VHF performance might be a bit weak as well in an area where 4 major stations are high VHF.
Yes, many modern-day antennae are designed to capture customers - not TV signals.
Physics never changes, but cleverly designed snake oil packages are constantly on the move...

;)

Cranky64
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:40 pm

Re: Will an amplifier help a fringe channel?

Postby Cranky64 » Tue May 14, 2019 8:51 am

Thanks everyone very good advice for sure. I have applied to send the Clear Stream back to Amazon. I did not mention that I'm working in my attic. It is a very tall home and we are all very flat around here. In the link below is my current setup pointing directly at Baltimore. It is from this mount the Clear Stream under preforms compared to the Winegard. I moved this antenna to a part of the attic that points 270 to DC and it is from there that I can see 4.2 WRC but no lock. The rafters up here are another 8 feet up, I may move this up there and try again. Ether way I am limited to shoot through than an outside mount.

WRC 4.2 is not shopping BTW it is retro TV like meTV.


https://1drv.ms/u/s!Aj7gU-E0dUdhgrIVCLuBnS-b9T-FAw

ACraigo
Posts: 464
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:32 pm
Device ID: 1062E8EE
Location: Deep Canyon in WV (by God)

Re: Will an amplifier help a fringe channel?

Postby ACraigo » Tue May 14, 2019 9:10 am

Image

Shooting out a dormer is a good idea. I doubt if 8 feet will make any difference, in fact it may be worse if the roof material is more dense than the walls. Let's just hope it's not a metal roof - in that case out the dormer is the only hope and you'll need to stay as far below the roof as is possible.

I really prefer attics these days, but it does require massive gear - and sometimes you just have to go outside if all else fails.

If you are able to gain 4.1/4.2 you'll probably have to aim directly at it and then you'll need to employ two antennae, one aimed at Baldermur (born there - speak the language) and one at Washington. A backwards splitter fed with equal lengths of coax should suffice.

I like your installation, but lose that coil of wire * hanging over your reflector. <--- bad juju... If you want to destroy the effectiveness of an antenna - do that. Otherwise, don't. An antenna works when all it's bits can talk to all it's other bits and that can't happen when you've added a big ol' inductance coil to your reflector.

;)

* Coils of Wire are generally considered a bad thing as they can futz with Standing Wave Ratios and all sorts of other complicated and random conditions. Pulling electrical waves out of the air is, no matter how you look at it - magic - so it's best not to try to improve on the trick. Coax should be cut to length or just laid out randomly - never coiled.

Cranky64
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:40 pm

Re: Will an amplifier help a fringe channel?

Postby Cranky64 » Tue May 14, 2019 9:37 am

Thanks. The photo is deceiving the coil is just to the left Velcroed to another cable. Balmer is 318 and DC is 270. To get direct to 270 I can mount the antenna further to the center line of the roof and shoot through a wall that is nothing more than vinyl siding and plywood instead of an oblique through the roof. If I have room, which I do up there would you recommend the 7698 or the CM 2020 to point to DC?


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