Computers & Electronics

Any TV Antenna Guys here?

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  • Oct 8th, 2019 10:46 am
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[OP]
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Any TV Antenna Guys here?

My OTA TV Antenna has stopped working. The antenna is from 2001, I upgraded to a 30ft tower and a Channel Master pre-amp in 2007 to overcome some Digital dropouts I was having. I had a guy come over and say my pre-amp is dead and is trying to sell me an outdoor antenna I never heard of and can't find even one review on, without a pre-amp.

I live in Windsor, ON and my stations are 15-20 Miles away in Southfield, Michigan. I'm partially blocked by a Hospital that's 2 blocks away, hence the tower and the pre-amp was necessary to bring the stations in reliably without dropouts.

I'm not in the greatest shape and don't really want to climb the tower, I've found out few do this job anymore and the one guy who came here is hawking no-name antennas.

Any advice?
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Apr 30, 2014
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It could be that the power supply to the pre-amp is no longer working. If so, then it should be easy to replace since it is normally installed inside the house.
[OP]
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TeateaM wrote: It could be that the power supply to the pre-amp is no longer working. If so, then it should be easy to replace since it is normally installed inside the house.
How do I know it's the power supply that's not working? First thing I did was check the breaker and the outlet it's plugged into, which are functioning properly.
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Gibsons wrote: My OTA TV Antenna has stopped working. The antenna is from 2001, I upgraded to a 30ft tower and a Channel Master pre-amp in 2007 to overcome some Digital dropouts I was having. I had a guy come over and say my pre-amp is dead and is trying to sell me an outdoor antenna I never heard of and can't find even one review on, without a pre-amp.

I live in Windsor, ON and my stations are 15-20 Miles away in Southfield, Michigan. I'm partially blocked by a Hospital that's 2 blocks away, hence the tower and the pre-amp was necessary to bring the stations in reliably without dropouts.

I'm not in the greatest shape and don't really want to climb the tower, I've found out few do this job anymore and the one guy who came here is hawking no-name antennas.

Any advice?
It going to be really hard to find someone willing to climb up your 30 ft tower. Can you call the guy that put it up originally?

I found I was getting problems with new 700MHz cell towers.

These are where UHF Channels 52-69 used to be. These channels were taken away from TV broadcasters and sold to the cellphone companies. The strong cell signals were overloading the TV and wiping out reception. I installed a new amp with a built in 700MHz cell filter to fix the problem.

Is it possible that there’s a new cell site on top of the hospital that your antenna is pointed directly at?
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Apr 26, 2012
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VERDUN
The easiest thing is to buy the same model preamp power supply and replace the old one.

This part is inside the house so it should be fairly simple to do. The actual preamp is normally mounted right at the antenna so it might not be easy to replace, but chances are it was only the power supply that failed.
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alienzed wrote: The easiest thing is to buy the same model preamp power supply and replace the old one.

This part is inside the house so it should be fairly simple to do. The actual preamp is normally mounted right at the antenna so it might not be easy to replace, but chances are it was only the power supply that failed.
How do I find out if it's the power supply (below)? My assumption was that it was the Pre-Amp at the antenna, as it gets all the rain, snow and ice...

Image
Last edited by Gibsons on Oct 3rd, 2019 9:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
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l69norm wrote: It going to be really hard to find someone willing to climb up your 30 ft tower. Can you call the guy that put it up originally?

I found I was getting problems with new 700MHz cell towers.

These are where UHF Channels 52-69 used to be. These channels were taken away from TV broadcasters and sold to the cellphone companies. The strong cell signals were overloading the TV and wiping out reception. I installed a new amp with a built in 700MHz cell filter to fix the problem.

Is it possible that there’s a new cell site on top of the hospital that your antenna is pointed directly at?
I doubt it as my 20 year old rabbit ears is picking up 4 stations. Guy who originally put up the tower has passed away. The guy who came over said he'd install a new no-name antenna for $300. Seems steep to me seeing as it's probably just the pre-amp that's gone.
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Gibsons wrote: I doubt it as my 20 year old rabbit ears is picking up 4 stations. Guy who originally put up the tower has passed away. The guy who came over said he'd install a new no-name antenna for $300. Seems steep to me seeing as it's probably just the pre-amp that's gone.
Do you which pre-amp was installed? Was it a cm-7777 or cm-7778?

Edit - looking at your photo, its likely a bad connector - those crimp-on connectors are known to go intermittent. Unfortunately, its likely one of those at the top of the tower
Last edited by l69norm on Oct 3rd, 2019 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
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l69norm wrote: Do you which pre-amp was installed? Was it a cm-7777 or cm-7778?
I'm not sure.
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Gibsons wrote: I'm not sure.
looking at your photo, its likely a bad connector - those crimp-on connectors are known to go intermittent. Unfortunately, its likely one of those at the top of the tower
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Yeah, crimp connectors suck. Hopefully they’re not used at the top if the tower as well.
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Why not bridge the 2 connectors to see if you can pull in any channels without the pre-amp, easiest thing to do and the first thing I'd do to trouble shoot it. If you do pull in some channels you know it's the pre-amp, simple replacement.
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night blade wrote: Why not bridge the 2 connectors to see if you can pull in any channels without the pre-amp, easiest thing to do and the first thing I'd do to trouble shoot it. If you do pull in some channels you know it's the pre-amp, simple replacement.
Tried it, main line from antenna pulls in nothing. Must be the pre-amp 30 feet in the air or the RG6 is cut or...
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Gibsons wrote: Tried it, main line from antenna pulls in nothing. Must be the pre-amp 30 feet in the air or the RG6 is cut or...
Got it, no other choice but to go up there and look yourself, any neighbors have a 30 foot ladder sitting around? :).
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So instead of climbing my tower, I bought a $33 knockoff screen type antenna on Amazon. Surprisingly it gets 80% of the channels I want and I just have it inside next to the window. Unfortunately, my 2 stations that are on the VHF band - Fox 2 out of Detroit (this is my NFL station and is important to me, broadcasting on channel 7 VHF) and CBC 9 (not as important Ch 9 VHF) are absent and don't show up at all. Channel 9's signal is the opposite direction where it transmits from McGregor, ON so it stands to reason why I'm not getting it. I'm under the assumption that this antenna's only one VHF element isn't doing it's job very well. Basically, it's a UHF antenna.

I'll see if I can mount it outside, higher in the attic or just deal with it as is.
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Apr 26, 2012
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VERDUN
You will not get any signal out of the antenna if the pre-amp is not powered (speaking from experience). It could be a bad cable connection or it could be a dead power supply... I don't really know what voltages these things output but maybe you can verify with a multimeter if you get any, and this will help you figure out whether it's a bad wire or a dead power supply.

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