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Wind and over-the-air TV signals

Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:14 pm

Cable never made it to my semi-isolated residence. Never had satellite either-- long story for another time, perhaps. I have two antennas, each feeding different TVs. One of them is in the attic since Mrs. Bus Driver had words to say about the suggestion that two antennas should be on masts above the roof. The attic antenna is a Winegard omni-directional amplified unit. Probably would be great if up on the roof since I know the attic location diminishes it's effectiveness. But it gets about 7 stations very reliably-- unless the wind is blowing. The antenna is not moving-- not in the slightest. So either the wind affects the digital signal as it travels from the originating antenna or the wind affects the transmitting antenna by shaking it. Such shaking would change the angle from there to my antenna far less than any angle that could be calculated.
But the signal does break up frequently during strong winds. Any knowledgeable ideas why?

Re: Wind and over-the-air TV signals

Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:47 pm

I've noticed poorer signals associated with "bad weather" in general. I have never seen any explanation. However, wind has to correlate to both clouds/moisture and dust in the air. I assume that either moisture or dust wil tend to disperse amd break up the TV signals.

Re: Wind and over-the-air TV signals

Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:36 pm

I thought I was the only one who thought wind affected the signal quality. Didn't mention since I was sure people would think I was crazy. We're 30 miles from the nearest transmitter and use a fixed rooftop antenna. Cable is available but I'm too cheap to pay for it for 45 minutes of tv a day. Vern

Re: Wind and over-the-air TV signals

Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:00 pm

I have the same problem. Cable isn't available (wouldn't pay for it if it was) and I'm 45 miles from any TV station antenna. I have two boosters to transmit any signal I get until storms or high winds comes along.

Everybody around here has satellite TV to get basic TV…for $30 a month.

Re: Wind and over-the-air TV signals

Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:12 pm

"but I'm too cheap to pay for it for 45 minutes of tv a day." A man after my own heart. Actually, my rooftop antenna, the biggest I could find plus an amplifier mounted directly on the antenna, with rotor, performs better than I expected. I get reliable reception on several stations at least 125 miles away. I have bought several devices that purport to permit remote operation of the antenna rotor from several locations within a house. None worked reliably for me. So I use the big antenna for the more distant stations and just go to the basement to set the antenna direction as needed. The attic antenna gets stations within about 50 miles without a rotor and I use it for those in that range. And can record at 3 different locations from three different channels simultaneously if desired. It all cost less than a years worth of satellite charges.
With the "subchannels" now offered, I probably get 50 channels.
For a number of years of my life, there was no TV. And for most of the other years I was working long hours. If I have not seen it before, any program is "new".

Re: Wind and over-the-air TV signals

Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:41 pm

Cars driving by on a bad reception day cause my signal to "digitize".
Thanks to the goverment for fixing broadcast TV.

Re: Wind and over-the-air TV signals

Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:37 pm

I did a serious amount of research when installing our Over-the-air TV setup. There are many factors that interact with your reception. But my main question since things get worse with wind is do you have trees near by?

Your single reception is greatly affected by stuff right around it. Wind moving branches can seriously affect this. in fact, I pick up on my my main channels by not pointing directly at it. (there is a large tree directly in front of mine)
How to determine tv station location
http://www.antennaweb.org

Also, you may be able to increase your quality. If your quality is just barely good enough to maintain a signal on a sunny day it may suffer with bad weather... making it a great signal may help... hard to do where you are sounds like.

Things to think about in no particular order:

1) height of your house in relation to surroundings (trees/mountains, tall buildings, etc)
2) Distance from your antenna to the TV.
3) cable. use RG6 quad shielded.
4) nearby metal stuff... especially the other antenna... are they directly below each other? depending on the wavelength of the largest wavelength channel you want you need to be future apart than that from other metal things... mine is 3 ft vertically. More than that horizontally.
5) You may be getting too much interference... static in the old days. Using a preamp does not fix interference... just makes it amplified like the signal, which could make matters actually worse.
6) Asphalt and large structures can bounce signals too. When choosing to point to the side of my large tree, I pointed to the left of it because to the right I lined up perpendicular to the road in front of my house... so I was receiving signal in the air straight from the tower then milliseconds later receiving signal from bounce off my road -AKA: interference.
7) i don't think wind affects signals too much. I've had strong winds with good reception. Bad weather on the other hand can. cloud coverage without bad weather can actually improve far away signals... Mine has also done fine with snow on it.
8) You may consider a directional antenna. They improve signal reception by not trying to hard... I have a directional antenna that has a 45 degree pickup range... so it's not too directional. Also, you'll pick up channels from the back too (ex: my antenna points at about 2Oclock to most of my channells and picks up PBS from about 7 Oclock.
9) you might consider not using a pre-amp, but using an amplified splitter or a amp later half way if your cable distance is long.
10) Higher is almost always better. Mine is on roof on 2nd floor about 10 ft above roofline. :-)
I have this feeling there is more... but... can't remember

Even still... bad weather rolls though and you get pixelation...
the new system the gov settled on dhtv requires enough strength for picture and sound at the same time so you'll need a 65-70% strong signal to keep a clean picture.... not sure why they didn't let though just the sound... at least in the old days if you have a bad signal you could get a fuzzy picture and sound... No It's not just the way it is.... It was a standards decision regarding software. Europe can lose picture and still have sound.... oh well.. I'll stop rambling...

Hope that helps! good luck.

Re: Wind and over-the-air TV signals

Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:44 pm

Very interesting. The rooftop antenna is above the trees and power lines. There are numerous trees between the attic antenna and the station that we typically watch. So that seems to me to be the explanation. My two antennas are at least 40 feet apart, at different elevations, and do not seem to interfere with each other.

Re: Wind and over-the-air TV signals

Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:01 pm

I am 70+ air mils from the transmitters with an amplified 8 bay bow tie on a 20 foot mast on the end of the house. no problems with wind, an very little with weather.

Re: Wind and over-the-air TV signals

Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:30 pm

Bus Driver wrote:Very interesting. The rooftop antenna is above the trees and power lines. There are numerous trees between the attic antenna and the station that we typically watch. So that seems to me to be the explanation. My two antennas are at least 40 feet apart, at different elevations, and do not seem to interfere with each other.


Not exactly. Antennas that are tuned to the same frequencies will interact with each other causing RFI/BCI problems. The only reason why I can group my dipoles, verticals, Sinclair and the tri-bander beam is because they operate on different bands. However I do have to be careful for harmonics, that can really mess up my shack. I have two 1930's superheterodyne receivers on a long wire antenna. If I am close with my recievers to my transmit freq it really messes up my brain and ears, and if I happen to run over a harmonic frequency same thing happens. I run a Yaesu FT 101 series shack and I have UHF and VHF gear as well. Same holds true for my Yaesu FRG-7.

Shielding is extremely important. RG6 is pretty good cable and pretty much the only thing better is hard line. Close proximity of your antennas will cause problems, interference, degraded signals and difficulty retaining good signal quality. One antenna should be sufficient so I would choose the one that works the best - the indoor attic antenna will definitely not be exposed to the elements such as wind. The yagi is probably the best for high loss signals but being outside you will have to contend with the vagarities of Mother Nature.

Oh yeah, CME's will do a real number on you BC TV Signal. It also affects Digital as well but usually only for milliseconds at a time.

Re: Wind and over-the-air TV signals

Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:43 am

I think my biggest problem is the tree branches moving by the wind, not the wind as Joel stated.

Re: Wind and over-the-air TV signals

Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:34 am

We're at the top of a hill. There is no tree in front of the antenna. Lead in is 50 feet of coax. Channel 3 seems to be the worst and uhf almost never bothered. Mother used to have a rotor and mast amplifier and could draw a lot of channels but we get cbs,nbc, abc, fox and pbs. Not much left over the air. Vern

Re: Wind and over-the-air TV signals

Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:34 am

I used to work in a tv sop when VHF and UHF were the normal. There were a lot of antennas out there, but we found the DB8 bow tie antennas to be the best choice for the UHF signals. The digital channels that we now get are UHF signals, so the antennas with the long arms, etc. are pretty much wasted money unless you live in an area that still has the low powered normal (VHF ) channels. I later worked in commercial 2 way radio, etc., and checking with some friends that are still in the tv business they tell me that you can buy a lot more expensive antennas, but they still cannot find anything to beat the DB8. The best part is that you can buy them for around $60 on Amazon.com.
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Re: Wind and over-the-air TV signals

Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:50 am

John,
How high do these need to be to work best?

Re: Wind and over-the-air TV signals

Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:48 pm

Too cheap for cable here too.
Makes me feel good with a good ole folded dipole. That I am line of sight to the Empire state building where the transmitters are now and was in line of sight of the WTC when that had the transmitters gives us good signals all the time. The rabbit ears in the bed rooms work well too. Since the digital TV we don't get the PBS on long Island any more. Nor do we get Philadelphia. We still get more than we can watch.
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