Digital TV Antenna Reception

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Old 08-02-19, 08:18 AM
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Digital TV Antenna Reception

I have a max Daddy Winegard HD8200U antenna on top of my roof with a Winegard LNA 200 Boost XT preamp bringing the signal to my TV's. This summer I've noticed one of my channels drops out during daylight hours some days but comes in fine after dark.

Do stations change their output power at different times of the day? Do atmospheric conditions differ day and night affecting the radio waves? I guess there's maybe less signals after dark?
 
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Old 08-02-19, 08:54 AM
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Weather conditions do play a part in both radio and tv signals. I know some AM radio stations cut their power down after a certain time each night. I think [but don't know] that it's a FCC mandate.
 
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Old 08-02-19, 08:49 PM
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HDTV signals can be very finicky to pick up. Sometimes an amplifier will actually be overloaded and not pass the signal thru. Sometimes just a slight turn of the antenna is all that's needed. With HDTV reception.... bigger is not always better.

Do stations change their output power at different times of the day? FM and TV stations do not change power. Only certain AM radio stations are required to reduce power at night or to go off the air.

Do atmospheric conditions differ day and night affecting the radio waves? Yes.... absolutely.
 
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Old 08-04-19, 08:06 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I've been doing research also and it looks like I'm far enough from the transmitter tower to where the signals have to "bend" enough to reach my location. Apparently it is more difficult for the signal to reflect/propagate enough to reach my antenna during hotter weather.

Most of my signals come from towers NE of downtown Atlanta, GA and I live SW of the city. So, the signals also have to make it past a lot of skyscrapers, maybe that attenuates the signals somewhat also?

I think I have the correct "power" antenna and amp combo for my location. Most of the time, reception is fine across all my channels except the local NBC affiliate. All my channels are listed at a 34 degree azimuth from my location except NBC(WXIA) which is 38 degrees according to AntennaFool. So I'm thinking of installing a rotor to better zero in on all the signals and maybe pick up some new stations.
 
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Old 08-04-19, 03:06 PM
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A rotor is a good idea and may help.
 
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Old 08-04-19, 03:30 PM
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I just installed an antenna at the family cabin and used the RCA app to help get the antenna lined up. It is a free app so it is worth a try. Rotors are a bit pricy
 
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Old 08-04-19, 03:32 PM
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I got my start in radio in 1982. We were a small market AM & FM station. In accordance with FCC rules, We signed off our AM side at specified times depending on sunset. I think 6:00 pm was the earliest we were required to sign off the AM side. After that it could be as late as 8:00 pm depending on the time of year or daylight saving time etc. (As a side note: we just kind of made it a station policy to sign off at 6:00 om every day no matter the time of year etc.) We could sign back on at 6:00 am.
 
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Old 08-05-19, 11:59 AM
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Could be the skywave phenomenon, what old school radio operators call "running skip." When the air cools, the radio waves are more likely to be reflected (or "skip") off the upper atmosphere. This is why most AM radio stations have to lower their transmission power at night, because there aren't enough discrete frequencies to accommodate all the stations, so they could be interfering with other stations using the same freq if they didn't dial it back at night. I don't know this is still the case but that's originally why only a few AM radio stations (WOR, WLS, WSM, etc) had a 3-letter call sign. Theirs were the only stations in the country broadcasting on their specific frequencies, so they were "clear channel coast to coast."
 
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Old 08-05-19, 01:05 PM
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WABC/NY 770 AM is also a clear channel station and runs 24hrs at 50kw.

Every station east of the Mississippi River has a W in front of it.
Some early radio stations were not required to use the first W.
 
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Old 08-05-19, 02:52 PM
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Agreed PJ..... and just for clarity for others, all stations west of the Mississippi start their station ID with a "K" in front of it. As far as I know, this is still the case & no station east has anything other than a "W" & no station west has any letter except a "K" in front.

.... and as far as I know, this also applies to TV stations etc.
 
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Old 08-06-19, 01:52 PM
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Dixie2012, there were a few early stations west of the Mississippi that somehow ended up with "W" beginning their call letters. Two local station near me that ended up branded as "W's" are WIBW AM 580 in Topeka, Kansas and WHB AM 810 in Kansas City, Missouri. Both are still on the air. I know WIBW AM in Topeka also eventually added WIBW-FM and WIBW Channel 13 TV.
 
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Old 08-06-19, 07:41 PM
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Im in myrtle beach. I use the channel master 7777.

https://www.channelmaster.com/TV_Ant..._p/cm-7777.htm

Antenna is in the attic. RCA 751 r

https://www.rcaantennas.net/outdoor/?sku=ANT751R

I get 22 channels. ( Some repeats)

I have it aimed toward fayetteville NC. Seems the best. towers about 32 miles away.

https://www.fcc.gov/media/engineering/dtvmaps

When I was in NJ and due to the mountains and buildings, I had same set up aimed at NY. 42 miles. About 11 channels. Philly was too far..

My main objective is local programming.. I get better HD then a family member with cable. They have a real crappy picture.
 
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Old 08-12-19, 10:07 AM
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I've been trying to get the RCA antenna app to work. I get my addy info loaded and the stations selected, but when it gets to the map screen, the app seems to freeze? It shows a red cone north of my location but does not change when I repoint phone?

Wondering also if a simple spring loaded mast might be the solution for aiming my antenna to receive the one station that is 4 degrees apart from the ohers?
The default location could be 34 degrees, then use a simple cable to hand pull the antenna mast to 38 degrees for the others, putting slight tension on the spring, so it would retract to 34 when released? No costly rotator needed?
 
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Old 08-13-19, 09:28 AM
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Note: Some rotators are not accurate to the degree. So if you have stations that are just 4 o 5 degrees apart, you might want to try the spring idea (or a rope and some pulleys so you can reach out a window and pull the rope to the desired tension.

Based on defacto and empirical conditions, today's digital TV does not carry as far as the analog signal broadcast from the same tower by the same station in years past.
1. Digital signals become unwatchable when the signal strength is at a greater level (read: lesser distance) compared with analog signals.
2. Many stations currently broadcast (in digital) at a lower power compared with previous broadcasting (in analog).
(more, not mentioned here)

Although a few TV stations broadcast on channels 7-13, a "digital" antenna is optimized for channels 14-51. Today the actual channel broadcast on is usually not the same as the number in the station's logo.

So a rough rule you can use is that an antenna rated for so many miles in the past (analog) should be good for 2/3 that mileage today (digital). Or, an antenna called digital is the same thing as an antenna rated with 50% more range sold 50 years ago.

There are a few (U.S.) K--- stations east of the Mississippi, KDKA in Pittsburgh PA being one.
Apparently a few small AM radio stations are grandfathered with full power sign on and sign off times, although limited by sunrise and sunset, may be a few hours before sunrise and a few hours after sunset. Others have no nightitme operation but a somewhat reduced power from 6 AM to sunrise in winter.

Long ago, commercial radio stations were given W or K callsigns with two more letters. Call signs were at one time issued "sequentially" i.e. WAA, WAB, WAC, ..., WAY, WAZ, WBA, WBB, etc. Some stations kept those call signs to this day; if they wanted to change after 4 letter call signs were introduced, then they had to choose a 4 letter call sign,.
 
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