fighting with that outdoor Antenna

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Gizmo100

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We're visiting the MIL in Arkansas this week and one of my projects was to get the outside over the air antenna working right again.

She had recently had a 4 day power outage caused by a thunderstorm. It appears that she had a power surge when the power went out. When the power was restored  the TV worked but she couldn't get any stations to come in.

A little history she was using a indoor digital antenna and pulling in about 6 channels. We upgraded her to an outdoor antenna with a signal booster. In return for our troubles we were able to pull in 42 channels. Alas I was her favorite SIL....

The first thing I did was checked the signal amplifier power supply and it was DOA. I replaced it and it lite up. I re-scanned for channels and we got 16 of the channels back. Then I went and checked the antenna and it had got turned 45 degrees. I fixed that and re-scanned and got us up to 34 channels. The only problem was the CBS station and it's sub channels would not come in. These are our favorites so my mission was not finished.

My first thought was maybe the antenna was being block by the growth of trees so maybe we need to get it up in the air. It's only about 6 feet in the air. So I raised it by 10 feet and nothing. So I then raised it by 20 feet and also tried moving it to different spots trying to get a better line of sight and nothing.

It was then that the MIL said well I don't understand why they don't come in they were working just fine until the storm. This changes everything. I removed the amplifier and re-scanned the channels and what do you know we have our CBS channels. We lost a couple of the other channels but I think they were shopping channels so No loss. I reinstalled the antenna to it's original location. And all is good in the MIL's house

End of story The amp was blocking the higher VHF channels from working but letting everything else worked. What threw me was channels 2 - 7 worked but channels 11.1 - 11.4 would not come in.
We are up to 39 channels and I'm still the favorite SIL

So for those of us that have signal amps on our RV's this is something that may be worth knowing. On our TT I'm not sure where the amp is located but I think it's built into the antenna and not by-passable.
 

kdbgoat

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The amp in rv's is built into a small panel that generally has a connection for a coax cable, a 12 volt power port, a small push button, and a small green light. When the button is pushed, the green light comes on, and the amp turns on. Push the button again, the green light goes out, and the amp turns off. One must turn on the amp to use the antenna, and turn off the amp to use the park's cable. Though I've not tried to turn the amp off on purpose to get channels, I've never got any ota channels with it off.
 

lynnmor

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Sounds like you had a cheap amplifier.  All any amplifier can do is overcome signal loss in the cable downstream from it, the amplifier cannot put something in that is not already there.

Another post mentioned RV amplifier.  The typical Winegard has a wall plate that contains the switching for the amp that is in the antenna.  The power switch not only turns on the 12 volt power to the amp, it also selects the input cable that is either from the antenna or the park cable input.  If folks would understand that a disconnected antenna will not perform well then they would understand that the amp may be only a small help.
 

ChasA

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Kdbgoat, the amplifier is in the antenna. The box with the light is just a power switch and a splitter.
 

Gizmo100

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HappyWanderer said:
Remember, those "VHF" channels could actually be broadcasting on UHF frequencies.

The channels we wanted were not showing up anywhere...What's confusing me is why I could get channel 7 (Plus the sub channels) But not channel 11 and the sub channels.
 

Gizmo100

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IBTripping said:
Congrats Gizmo. With that many channels, who needs cable or streaming.

Got to take care of the MIL....Happy MIL means a Happy wife which means ......This is getting to be to much work just to have a happy life ;D ;D ;D
 

Larry N.

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Gizmo100 said:
The channels we wanted were not showing up anywhere...What's confusing me is why I could get channel 7 (Plus the sub channels) But not channel 11 and the sub channels.
With the advent if digital TV, the channel number you see may or may not correlate with the actual TV frequency (channel), so channel 6, 6.1, etc. might actually be on channel 32. Many VHF channels on analog, changed to UHF freqs with the change to digital, but wanted to keep their identity with the public (4News, PBS6, Radar 7, whatever), so the digital protocols allow a station to have a different "ID" channel assigned (and tuned and advertised) than the ACTUAL channel they are using.

And that's also the major reason you have to scan for local channels each time you set up in another location, so the computer in the TV set can correlate those IDs.
 

SeilerBird

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IBTripping said:
Congrats Gizmo. With that many channels, who needs cable or streaming.
I do. I have a perfectly good digital antenna and it picks up 60 local channels, about 50 of them are totally worthless. I cannot pick up one major league baseball game with it. I have YouTube TV which is 35 a month and fabulous. Kicks the crap out of my OTA antenna. Picks up MLB.
 

John From Detroit

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kdbgoat said:
The amp in rv's is built into a small panel that generally has a connection for a coax cable, a 12 volt power port, a small push button, and a small green light.

That is because the amp is not there.. NO that is not the amp. that is the power inserter for the amp. it is also a switch (With the thing turned OFF the source is park cable not OTA)

The amp is in the antenna head where it belongs.. and without power it does not work in fact it works "The other way around" (attuentator).

Now if you have a Sensar PRO (Additional amp) then ONE of the amps is the wall plate (Sensar Pro) but it's different from what you describe and it still is the power inserter (source) for the mast head amp.

As to why they have to choose which stations to watch.

The antenna is directional.. the higher the forward gain of the antenna the more directional.  and the stations they can not see are outside the "Field of view"

Think of looking at a stage from the back of the theater.. You can't see much.. Break out a set of "Opera Glasses" (Low power binoculars) and you can see more.. Break out a set of military grade "Field Glasses" (High power binoculars) and now it's like you were sitting front row center.. but you can only see about 1/3 of the stage.  Same with TV antennas. in fact that is EXACTLY how they work.
 

kdbgoat

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John From Detroit said:
That is because the amp is not there.. NO that is not the amp. that is the power inserter for the amp. it is also a switch (With the thing turned OFF the source is park cable not OTA)

The amp is in the antenna head where it belongs.. and without power it does not work in fact it works "The other way around" (attuentator).

Yes John. Read all the posts above, and you will see this has been discussed, and I admitted my mistake.
 

rbTN

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I had a similar problem with my home antenna and channels that would be detected without my amp but not with it. I had to turn down the amp some to get them to come in. The amp boosts the signal, noise included so I was boosting the noise to a point the channel would not come in.

may not help if your amp is not adjustable.
 

Gizmo100

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Larry N. said:
With the advent if digital TV, the channel number you see may or may not correlate with the actual TV frequency (channel), so channel 6, 6.1, etc. might actually be on channel 32. Many VHF channels on analog, changed to UHF freqs with the change to digital, but wanted to keep their identity with the public (4News, PBS6, Radar 7, whatever), so the digital protocols allow a station to have a different "ID" channel assigned (and tuned and advertised) than the ACTUAL channel they are using.

And that's also the major reason you have to scan for local channels each time you set up in another location, so the computer in the TV set can correlate those IDs.

I would guess that this would explain the problem I was having.

Bottom line the MIL has all the channels that she wants and has no clue what channels are missing. I'm guessing either home shopping or Spanish channels.

rbTN said:
I had a similar problem with my home antenna and channels that would be detected without my amp but not with it. I had to turn down the amp some to get them to come in. The amp boosts the signal, noise included so I was boosting the noise to a point the channel would not come in.
may not help if your amp is not adjustable.

In this case I was getting the channels before the storm knocked out everything. I'm pretty sure the amp took a jolt and quit working correctly. It was letting most of the channels pass though but was blocking the 4 channels that we wanted.

SeilerBird said:
I do. I have a perfectly good digital antenna and it picks up 60 local channels, about 50 of them are totally worthless. I cannot pick up one major league baseball game with it. I have YouTube TV which is 35 a month and fabulous. Kicks the crap out of my OTA antenna. Picks up MLB.

For the MIL it works out great she love all the old shows,,,Murder she Wrote...Mattlock. She has no interest in sports. One of the stations I enjoy shows reruns of the Johnny Carson show. IMHO one of the best talk show host.

Besides cable's not a option out here in the boonies. We are lucky to have a LTE hot spot.



 
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