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post #1 of 30 Old 10-28-2018, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Brooksville, FL - OTA

My brother lives in Brooksville, Fl, and had a professional supplier/installer, install an antenna for him, a week or so ago. It is on a 20' mast that goes from the ground up past a little higher than his roof line. He is getting very frustrated, because some of his channels are dropping out while he is watching them. He has resorted to rotating the mast, and it works for a few hours.

I really don't have a lot of information on what brand or model the antenna is, he says it is about 5 feet long and 3 feet wide. It does have a signal booster at the antenna, according to him.

Any advice?? To be noted, he hates technology and learning something new. He is 68 and I am 71, so it is blind leading the blind...... He gets angry if I offer any advice on what to do.......

Also, my brother said the installer told him, he did not need to ground the mast, because it is buried 4" into the ground, and is less than a foot from the service entrance ground rod. Is this true??

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post #2 of 30 Old 10-28-2018, 10:20 AM
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Gonna need more information. See this thread and supply as much as you can. A picture of the existing antenna would help, but Brooksville is kinda out there w/r/t OTA. What are his neighbors using, successfully?

I ran a generic TVFool report for Brooksville: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...90387017d8a28a
If you can do one with his exact address, it'll help.

I'm assuming he's trying to get Tampa stations. Which way is he rotating the mast? On a compass, where is he pointing it and where is he moving it to?

WTSP and WTOG have translators, but they're north of him and directional the other way. WFLA, WTSP and WTVT are Vhf, which means any weather system between him and Riverview is going to be an issue.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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post #3 of 30 Old 10-28-2018, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by clarkss12 View Post
Also, my brother said the installer told him, he did not need to ground the mast, because it is buried 4" into the ground, and is less than a foot from the service entrance ground rod. Is this true??
I don't think 4" in the ground qualifies as grounded. Connect a wire from the mast to the ground rod.
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post #4 of 30 Old 10-28-2018, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Gonna need more information. See this thread and supply as much as you can. A picture of the existing antenna would help, but Brooksville is kinda out there w/r/t OTA. What are his neighbors using, successfully?

I ran a generic TVFool report for Brooksville: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...90387017d8a28a
If you can do one with his exact address, it'll help.

I'm assuming he's trying to get Tampa stations. Which way is he rotating the mast? On a compass, where is he pointing it and where is he moving it to?

WTSP and WTOG have translators, but they're north of him and directional the other way. WFLA, WTSP and WTVT are Vhf, which means any weather system between him and Riverview is going to be an issue.
Thanks for the quick response. I will try to get more information from him tomorrow. He text me a couple of hours ago and said that his reception on his TV was working good all day until 6 p.m. and then most of the stations would not come in.
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post #5 of 30 Old 10-29-2018, 08:12 AM - Thread Starter
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TV fool location data
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...90382c392d87d6

Talked to my brother this morning, he said all the channels that he watched yesterday, came in flawlessly. He watched the Tampa Bay Bucs on TV and it was fantastic (the reception). Later, around 6:30 he lost most of his channels, TV said "no signal". This morning, around 9 am, all the channels came back online, so he could watch them. He said their were no clouds last nigh, and the weather was clear.

He said, there were only around 4 channels that did NOT loose signal. From his memory, it was channels, 32 and 38 that did NOT loose signal.....

Same thing seems to happen every day.

Dr. Don, I think you are correct with this statement about the VHS channels.

"WTSP and WTOG have translators, but they're north of him and directional the other way. WFLA, WTSP and WTVT are Vhf, which means any weather system between him and Riverview is going to be an issue."

He lost, Fox, CBS, but not sure about ABC or NBC.


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post #6 of 30 Old 10-29-2018, 09:30 AM
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Assuming he took that photo, this morning, he's pointing roughly south, but directly into his roof. Can't tell if the antenna clears the roofline or not, but even if it does, multipath from the roof construction could be an issue.

Is that a pre-amp part-way down the antenna?

Did he have trouble at night before the temperatures came down? Does he use any CFL bulbs? Either can cause interference or a loss of adequate signal.

What antennas are his neighbors using?

Were it me, I'd move the mast to the other side of the house and put up a separate VHF-Hi yagi. (here's one similar to mine)

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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post #7 of 30 Old 10-29-2018, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
Assuming he took that photo, this morning, he's pointing roughly south, but directly into his roof. Can't tell if the antenna clears the roofline or not, but even if it does, multipath from the roof construction could be an issue.

Is that a pre-amp part-way down the antenna?

Did he have trouble at night before the temperatures came down? Does he use any CFL bulbs? Either can cause interference or a loss of adequate signal.

What antennas are his neighbors using?

Were it me, I'd move the mast to the other side of the house and put up a separate VHF-Hi yagi. (here's one similar to mine)
Yes, he took that picture this morning. Yes, that is a pre-amp on his mast. That was the first question I asked him when he had it installed, he said it cleared the roof line. Guess he has issues from day one. He has left message for the installer, but no reply back yet.

I will have to ask him about CFL bulbs.

He does not know anyone that has a terrestrial antenna in his neighborhood.

I doubt, he will relocate the antenna to the other side of the house.

What do you mean a "seperate" yagi antenna?? You mean replace his existing one?

BTW, thanks for you help.

Edit: I think you are talking about adding that Yagi antenna and using a signal combiner??.

BUTT, why does his channels work great during the day???

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post #8 of 30 Old 10-29-2018, 10:49 AM
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I have separate UHF and VHF-Hi antennas combined. However, if he doesn't plan to relocate the antenna, that could be moot. There are single antennas with bigger VHF-Hi segments. Might work, might not if he's shooting through the roof. Since he paid an installer, I'd advise leaning on that guy to fix it or come up with alternatives. If the guy's local, then he should have some clue as what's happening.

All kinds of things could be causing his nighttime issue. A lot of things change in the atmosphere from day to night that affects VHF signals. CFL bulbs indoors could cause enough interference to cause things to glitch. He's on the outside edge of a decent signal to begin with. I've seen bad connections present at sunset. Moisture in connectors can do it, too, though we rarely hit a good dew point around here until the wee hours.

The fact nobody else near him has an antenna is a big clue. He's probably going to need more antenna and a clearer line of sight to Riverview (relocating the antenna or going higher) to get a good VHF lock.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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post #9 of 30 Old 10-29-2018, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I have separate UHF and VHF-Hi antennas combined. However, if he doesn't plan to relocate the antenna, that could be moot. There are single antennas with bigger VHF-Hi segments. Might work, might not if he's shooting through the roof. Since he paid an installer, I'd advise leaning on that guy to fix it or come up with alternatives. If the guy's local, then he should have some clue as what's happening.

All kinds of things could be causing his nighttime issue. A lot of things change in the atmosphere from day to night that affects VHF signals. CFL bulbs indoors could cause enough interference to cause things to glitch. He's on the outside edge of a decent signal to begin with. I've seen bad connections present at sunset. Moisture in connectors can do it, too, though we rarely hit a good dew point around here until the wee hours.

The fact nobody else near him has an antenna is a big clue. He's probably going to need more antenna and a clearer line of sight to Riverview (relocating the antenna or going higher) to get a good VHF lock.
Again, thanks for your input, I just text him and he said already heard about those and street lamps......., he says not to his knowlege that he has any CFL's.

Edit: my brother wants to know, if you know if they reduce power at night?

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post #10 of 30 Old 10-29-2018, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Would a signal meter help him??
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post #11 of 30 Old 10-29-2018, 02:28 PM
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Edit: my brother wants to know, if you know if they reduce power at night?
They do not, unless there are technical issues.


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Would a signal meter help him??
Probably not. He'd really need a more advance piece of gear called a "spectrum analyzer". There are handheld signal meters that include a spectrum analyzer function but a basic meter would do much for him.
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post #12 of 30 Old 10-29-2018, 02:31 PM
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Would a signal meter help him??
The money would be better spent on a bigger antenna, IMHO. The installer should have a spectrum analyzer or something he could rig up to take a look. I'm not going to be up that way anytime soon or I'd swing by.

Still need that exact TVFool link so we can check terrain. You might have a look here and note the areas with difficulty around Brooksville.

No, stations do not lower power unless they're working on something. And then, it's generally in the middle of the day or overnights and not prime time.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.

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post #13 of 30 Old 10-29-2018, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
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The money would be better spent on a bigger antenna, IMHO. The installer should have a spectrum analyzer or something he could rig up to take a look. I'm not going to be up that way anytime soon or I'd swing by.

Still need that exact TVFool link so we can check terrain. You might have a look here and note the areas with difficulty around Brooksville.

No, stations do not lower power unless they're working on something. And then, it's generally in the middle of the day or overnights and not prime time.
Isn't that the correct tvfool link I posted at top of post #5 ?? I ran his address using that tool.

The back of his house faces the Sherman Hills Golf Club, actually the golf course.

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post #14 of 30 Old 10-29-2018, 04:13 PM
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I think that is an exact address report. I ran two when he first showed the address before it was deleted.

At first, I also thought his report was wrong because the list of channels didn't match. But then I noticed he had run it at 25 feet instead of the mast height of 20 feet previously stated. That difference of 5 feet made a difference in the channel list because the signals from the south graze the surface of the terrain and are scattered.



mine at 20 feet
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d9038ef38e213d d

mine at 25 feet
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d903866897483e 3

his at 25 feet
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d90382c392d87d 6

It also threw me off when he put Tampa at the top.
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post #15 of 30 Old 10-29-2018, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I think that is an exact address report. I ran two when he first showed the address before it was deleted.

At first, I also thought his report was wrong because the list of channels didn't match. But then I noticed he had run it at 25 feet instead of the mast height of 20 feet previously stated. That difference of 5 feet made a difference in the channel list because the signals from the south graze the surface of the terrain and are scattered.



mine at 20 feet
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d9038ef38e213d d

mine at 25 feet
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d903866897483e 3

his at 25 feet
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...90382c392d87d6

It also threw me off when he put Tampa at the top.
What do you recommend?
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post #16 of 30 Old 10-29-2018, 06:18 PM
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I don't have a good answer yet, because I don't know what is making the signals weaker at night. Does his TV have a signal strength indicator?

A higher antenna would be better, but that isn't going to happen. A different antenna location might be better, but that isn't going to happen either.

That antenna and preamp should be sufficient, but they could be defective. He might need to hire a good installer that has a signal level meter to diagnose the problem.
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post #17 of 30 Old 10-29-2018, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't have a good answer yet, because I don't know what is making the signals weaker at night. Does his TV have a signal strength indicator?

A higher antenna would be better, but that isn't going to happen. A different antenna location might be better, but that isn't going to happen either.

That antenna and preamp should be sufficient, but they could be defective. He might need to hire a good installer that has a signal level meter to diagnose the problem.
I asked about a signal meter on his TV, he gets frustrated trying to find it.

He was going to tell me if he lost his signal tonight, but he never responded to my text. He is probably sleeping by now.
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post #18 of 30 Old 10-30-2018, 07:59 AM
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I asked about a signal meter on his TV, he gets frustrated trying to find it.

He was going to tell me if he lost his signal tonight, but he never responded to my text. He is probably sleeping by now.
Signal meters on televisions aren't actual signal meters, in most cases. They're a mathematical representation of the amount of error-correction needed to display a picture. And actual signal meters don't tell the whole story, either. A meter could show supurb strength on a particular channel. But your set can't decode it because half of that received signal is a reflection off of something (multipath). Your set sees plenty of actual signal but can't do anything with it.

Still need that exact address TVFool link and other info from the link at the top of the section.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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Signal meters on televisions aren't actual signal meters, in most cases. They're a mathematical representation of the amount of error-correction needed to display a picture. And actual signal meters don't tell the whole story, either. A meter could show supurb strength on a particular channel. But your set can't decode it because half of that received signal is a reflection off of something (multipath). Your set sees plenty of actual signal but can't do anything with it.

Still need that exact address TVFool link and other info from the link at the top of the section.
I ran the TV Fool again using his EXACT address, here is the link.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...9038bc37912c04

He has 3 TV's (I think) that he is connected to, possibly 4. They are all directly connected to the tuner inputs on the TVs, nothing in between, in other words, no AVR or media player, etc. Very simple setup, just like the old days of rabbit ears on the TV.

Don't know the brand of the TVs, but the one in his living room is an older 4k smart TV. I have texted him twice this morning and a couple of times last night, asking him if he lost his signal, but no response..
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post #20 of 30 Old 10-30-2018, 09:32 AM
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Looks like he's east of town and behind some topography. If you click on, say, WTSP in that link, you'll see he's lower than terrain to his south. Puts all of Tampa at 2Edge for him. Definitely going to need more aluminum and altitude, I'd think.

Unless one of our OTA gurus disagrees, that is. And they generally chime right in if they do.

Splitting the signal four times doesn't help. Ask him to take all the splitters out and just run it to ONE television. Preferably the one with the shortest cable run to the antenna.

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post #21 of 30 Old 10-30-2018, 09:41 AM
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You are correct about the terrain. My wild theory is that the foliage in the signal path gets wet at night, which attenuates the signals from the south.



Removing the splitter loss for a test is a good idea. If it helps, he needs a distribution amp like the CM3414.
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post #22 of 30 Old 10-30-2018, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
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He just texted me..

"It seemed to work pretty good, I just got through playing golf, I'll call you in a little bit last night"

I am sure the problem has not gone away. I will pass on this information. Perhaps, I can get him to come to this forum, so he can give first hand info. BUTTT, he hates computers...... hahaha.

He really wants this to work, because it is saving him around $100/month. That is a lot of $$$ for him, because he is retired and on """"" fixed income""""" ,
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post #23 of 30 Old 10-30-2018, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Had a long conversation with my brother just now. He says, it appears that he only loses his reception on weekends. He has had his antenna less than 2 weeks, and from his recalculation, he lost his signal the first Sunday he had the channel, because he wanted to watch 60 minutes, but it would not come in. Same for most of his other channels, they disappeared. So, he thinks this only occurs on weekends, since he hasn't lost any signals since Sunday. Last night, he left on 3 TVs all night, and as far as he knows, they never lost signal. He said his wife, who stays up later, says the show she was watching became pixelated (not his word) for while.

He is going to do the same thing tonight, leave 3 TV's running all night.

His house is about 14 or 15 yeas old. The co-axial wiring was pre-installed when they built the house, so all the co-axial wiring is inside the walls. There is no basement, so there is a box on the outside of the house that has an input for the cable coming into the box, and two cables leaving the box and going into the attic. The TV installer used one of the two cables that was not being used as his feed into the attic. He has 3 bedrooms and there is one "cable" outlet in each bedroom. He is not sure how many outlets there is in the living room, since he is only using one. He had another cable run from the attic to his lanai a couple of years ago for a TV outside. So, he has for TVs that are actively using the antenna.

I read him your statements, and guesses, but he can't understand why the signal would be good **MOST** of the time using the existing setup, but not at night and only on weekends....
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post #24 of 30 Old 10-30-2018, 04:11 PM
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Loss of FOX (Ch12), CBS (Ch10) and maybe (you said "not sure") NBC (Ch11) are ALL in Hi-VHF Band [so is one of the two PBS stations on Ch13+34]....which is much more susceptible than UHF to Man-Made Interference [e.g. CFL/LED/Fluorescent Lights, Dimmers, anything with a Motor and perhaps a dirty Switching Power Supply used to recharge SmartPhones and power Laptops, etc.]. So try turning various lights and appliances (e.g. Dishwasher) OFF AND ON to see if you can identify the culprit. You also might want to shut down ALL Circuit Breakers except the one feeding your TV to see if the problem goes away....perhaps it's HVAC Fan, Pool Pump or Well Pump??? And don't rule out your Neighbor(s)....

Hi-VHF Band propagation is also affected DIFFERENTLY than UHF Propagation, esp. over WATER to Tampa/StPete stations, as thermal inversions refract radio signals differently close to sunrise and sunset.

And finally, those Hi-VHF Stations MAY be reconfiguring their PRIMARY Transmitter/Antenna Systems....or trying various Signal Sharing techniques in anticipation of upcoming Channel Reshuffling and/or operating SOME Transmitters in ATSC 3.0, while still operating on SHARED ATSC 1.0 Transmitters. While they do this, the "Second Shift" Engineers may be taking over the Primary for Testing, forcing the use of the (probably lower power) Fallback Transmitter/Antenna System.

TVFool is typically a bit out of date, so fol. is rabbitears.info report for TAMPA DMA....I tried various Street Addresses in Brooksville [per Google Map], but was unsuccessful in getting a Signal Strength Analysis Report:
http://www.rabbitears.info/market.p...=74116#station
Note that THE CW "should" be on Ch44....if you can receive it at all from StPete. I was very surprised to see only W26DP (Ch26) station from nearby (26.5-mi) Panama City area....so I guess the Florida Panhandle isn't as FLAT as I thought.....

Since TVFool is typically a bit out of date, rabbitears report is more current and shows the upcoming Channel Changes.
It might help if you entered your ACCURATE Address and ran another "SEARCH" [check the STRENGTH SEARCH box]...and post the Results URL (Address at top of your WebBrowser).

Last edited by holl_ands; 10-30-2018 at 04:48 PM.
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post #25 of 30 Old 10-30-2018, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is the information I got when I inputted his exact address.

http://www.rabbitears.info/search.p...pe=dBm&height=

He says some of his stations are:
8.2 MeTV
10.1 CBS
13.1 Fox
20.1 NBC
28.1 ABC
32.2 This
32.3 Spanish channel
38.2 Cozi TV

Last edited by clarkss12; 10-30-2018 at 04:31 PM.
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post #26 of 30 Old 10-30-2018, 04:50 PM
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20.1 is WARP-CD, not WFLA. WFLA (NBC) is 8.1

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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post #27 of 30 Old 10-30-2018, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
20.1 is WARP-CD, not WFLA. WFLA (NBC) is 8.1
What does that mean?? Did I write the numbers down wrong?
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post #28 of 30 Old 10-30-2018, 05:25 PM
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clarhss12:

Are there any markings on the power inserter for the preamp that would give us a clue about what preamp is being used?
Quote:
Had a long conversation with my brother just now. He says, it appears that he only loses his reception on weekends. He has had his antenna less than 2 weeks, and from his recalculation, he lost his signal the first Sunday he had the channel, because he wanted to watch 60 minutes, but it would not come in. Same for most of his other channels, they disappeared. So, he thinks this only occurs on weekends, since he hasn't lost any signals since Sunday.
It does sound like interference.

There could be a lot of loss in the distribution wiring that was already in the walls. A single set test directly from the power inserter, as suggested by DrDon might help.

This TVStudy report from rabbitears.info is based on the coordinates of the exact address with the antenna at 20 feet



The FM report shows no threats.

The Repack Plan for Tampa shows the channel changes:
http://www.rabbitears.info/repackch...h=&lss=&status=
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If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.
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Last edited by rabbit73; 10-30-2018 at 05:51 PM.
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post #29 of 30 Old 10-30-2018, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I just text him to take a pic of the injector and send it to me. He is probably in bed by now..... I will know more as the week goes on, if he looses the signal on his TVs.
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post #30 of 30 Old 10-30-2018, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
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BTW, really appreciate all your help on solving his issue. TV signal loss issue, I mean, not his PERSONAL issues....
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