OTA Signal Strength Change in SoCal (Sort-Of?)

Reception, channel detection, network issues, CableCARD setup, etc.
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Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:50 pm

OTA Signal Strength Change in SoCal (Sort-Of?)

Post by martink »


Just thought I'd share in case someone observes similar issues. TL;DR: Taking the amp out fixed it.

All used to work well for almost a year. Had about 120 stations coming in, mostly without a hitch, but occasional quality issues existed. All in all my reception was well enough. At the time of initial setup, the reception without an amp provided much fewer stations and overall was not as good as with the amp. My location is in Southern California about 30 miles southeast of LAX, right by South Coast Plaza.

Antenna: Mohu Leaf Glide
Amp: Antop Smart Boost Amplifier
HDHomeRun Connect Duo HDHR5-2US
Wire run lengths: About 4 feet between antenna and amp, about another 4 feet between amp and HDHomerun.

During the past few days, I observed a loss of over-the-air (OTA) reception quality, or loss of stations entirely. I was down to some 60 stations the HDHomerun could find. The stations that I could receive were pixelated beyond recognition.

Today I finally had some time to look into the issue.
The HDHomeRun signal statistics showed high signal strength (mostly 100%) on all stations I checked, but signal quality was low, less than 50%. Dialing down the amplification on the antenna amplifier did initially nothing much, and only when turned down all the way reduced the signal strength to slightly below 100%, and slightly also reduced signal quality.

Taking the amplifier out of the equation brought back all the TV stations (except for six of them, but those weren't on my watch-list anyways). Checking a few stations quickly after removing the amp, I found:
- Signal strengths are now in the high 60s at a minimum, some are in the high 80s.
- Signal Qualities are mostly in the high 80s or 90s.
- Symbol Qualities is mostly equal to 100%.
Note: The above is from spot checking a few stations. I did not go through the effort of tabulating _all_ stations I can receive.

Ultimately, whether this is an issue solely related to a change in signal strength, or something else is going on, I do not know. All I know is that now with the amp gone, it works again.

Long story short, anyone else in the Southern California Area experiencing issues, give taking your amp out of the picture a try. Obvious for some, but thought I would share anyway.


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