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Old 11-16-2015, 07:23 PM   #1
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Newer Airstream, lost TV ant signal

I have a 2013 International with the directional antenna and factory option bedroom TV. We are in Zion National Park for a couple of days and last night we had about 6 stations coming in fine with the antenna. The antenna was left up since last night and the orientation has not been changed however we are now unable to receive any stations on either TV.

I know we are in a pretty marginal coverage area so I'm wondering if propagation could change this much or if something else is wrong. The light is illuminated on the signal booster under the dinette.

Any thoughts or suggested appreciated. I don't care so much about watching TV as I am wondering if I have another problem that will need to be fixed.

Thanks!
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Old 11-16-2015, 07:38 PM   #2
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It has been our experience that television signals in a single spot can vary widely based upon time of day and weather conditions.

Brian
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Old 11-16-2015, 07:39 PM   #3
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Ditto. Time of day, weather, almost anything can change reception from lots of channels to none.
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Old 11-16-2015, 07:52 PM   #4
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Antennaweb.org has a calculator that will tell you, based on your location, what stations you should be able to receive and what type of antenna would be required. If you answer the question about antenna height so as to claim your antenna is higher than it actually is you will see more stations. Zion NP is ZIP 84767. When I put that into the calculator and tell it that the antenna is over 30 feet high, it still says there are no stations available. This is based on an assumed location. If you go the the site and put in 84767, you can zoom the map out and drag the pointer to where you are. In some locations you may be able to get some signals. The calculator will tell you where the transmitters are and where to point your antenna. Maybe you just got lucky last night.

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Old 11-16-2015, 08:17 PM   #5
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Thanks all. I think I just got lucky with the reception last night. It is a pretty marginal area from looking at antennaweb. It was clear and dry air last night. Loads of rain and moisture in the air today and tonight.
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Old 11-17-2015, 08:44 AM   #6
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I experience similar when camping in fringe areas. I may get several stations at night but during the day, even if clear weather, the reception drops off.

I wonder if TV broadcast stations change there output levels during specific times?

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Old 11-17-2015, 09:12 AM   #7
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Going from clear and dry to wet/moisture is the issue. RF gets absorbed by the moisture and effectively reduces the range of the transmitter. With Digital this can mean the difference between a usable signal and a back screen. In the old analog days you would get a gradual roll off... Digital is not always best...
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Old 11-17-2015, 09:19 AM   #8
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Also make sure that the on/off switch for the television amp is is the correct position. We had to turn it on when the original WineGard crackup batwing antennas were on board and now with the WineGard Rayzar power antennas as well.

Night can do strange things to radio signals. Back in the ear 60s, I was in Tucson, AZ with a little pocket AM radio and was receiving loud and clear 890 Chicago WLS with tunes from the Vault at night, but not in the day.

We can have similar erratic results with the television signals.
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Old 11-17-2015, 10:17 AM   #9
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Going a little off topic, I have a story of broadcast radio waves in the night.

When I was a young teen in Miami, Florida in the early 1960's, all the rage was rock 'n roll. There were two AM radio stations that controlled the airways for the youth of south Florida. They were WQAM and WFUN at 560 and 790 on the AM dial. I am amazed that I can remember this as I can't remember the name of a person that I met this morning.

These stations signed off the air at midnight. Once WQAM signed off, we could hear another AM rock 'n roll station coming in weakly. It was KFYR, clear-channel radio in Bismarck/Mandan (North Dakota). KFYR was 550 on the AM dial, and a slight adjustment brought them in loud and clear. KFYR was a night time thing only.

I can remember many nights lying in bed with my little Motoraola transistor radio listening to KFYR coming in clear as a bell from two thousand miles away. Dion and the Belmonts, The Everly Brothers, and The Beach Boys all sounded great on that little radio coming into my bedroom all the way from Bismarck, North Dakota.

Brian
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Old 11-17-2015, 10:39 AM   #10
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Radio and TV signals generally travel further at night—bouncing off the E layer way up in the atmosphere is the reason Brian got to listen to a station in Bismark when he was supposed to be sleeping, but more locally I doubt the reason is that. But there's no doubt reception is better at night in fringe locations. Also, if a big 5th wheel or MH parked between you and the transmitter, it would be much more difficult to receive a signal. A 3rd factor may be if you are running on batteries alone, the available power may drop to a point where the TV and antenna booster may not perform very well.

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Old 11-17-2015, 10:58 AM   #11
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It must have been the moist air. Later in the evening when it dried out I had all the same channels back. I'm just thankful it is not something else that needs fixing.

I also loved getting distant AM stations at night as a kid. Very cool.
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Old 11-17-2015, 02:45 PM   #12
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WABC-COUSIN BRUCY NEW YORK....WLS CHICAGO...WBT Charlotte WAMO AND MORE...still love the music though. All at night and yes weather a big factor and signal travels more at night for AM when the "daytime only " stations sign off or reduce power. Same deal with TV especially before digital.
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Old 11-17-2015, 05:55 PM   #13
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One night in eastern Pa. around 1960, I picked up KLA on the car radio. That's the record for AM. Radio Havana was clear channel on 640 AM (so was KLA I think) so that was easy to get in Pa. along with WWVA, WLS, WCFL, WKBW, CBC from Toronto, and WLW. There were times we could get Mexico's 150,000 w. station near Del Rio (US AM stations limited to 50,000 w.). Got Australia once on short wave in the 1950's from NYC; Radio Moscow, BBC, Netherlands, Switz., were easy to pick up on short wave.

But I'm 10 or 15 miles from the TV towers here and it can be hard to pick up local digital TV with rabbit ears at our house. We also get it by satellite and most local TV is awful anyway.

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Old 11-18-2015, 04:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
I experience similar when camping in fringe areas. I may get several stations at night but during the day, even if clear weather, the reception drops off.

I wonder if TV broadcast stations change there output levels during specific times?

Kelvin
kelvin, i think you are correct about the output levels changing. in ny one station regularly drops off the radar at 1:50am within 2 or 3 minutes every night. sporting events seem to not pixilate like regular shows.
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