Player Error - weak signal?

Yes one continuous length. But since this was an experiment for me, I took 3 hangers, fashioned them and then joined them together with crimp sleeves I had in a drawer (not intending to spend more than two bucks on a test). Just stuck 1/2" of each hanger into the sleeve and squeezed them together:

But then this put together contraption worked so well, I just left it at that without getting any wire to make a new antenna (leave well enough alone as they say…)

I also wound the balun around the antenna with many twists for an inch or two for solid contact rather than just having it touch the antenna at one place.

Wow … I was thinking I might have to solder them together - but this looks even more painless !

This story keeps getting better and better! :slight_smile:

Of course, we haven’t left much for the Tablo tech support to try - except maybe send me a new unit :slight_smile:

I would insist on a new unit because I do everything wired. The wired ethernet problem would drive me nuts!


“Wonder if a remote login by tech support will be able to tell if the sensitivity of the tuner is affected?”

I think that the support tech would only see lower signal levels on the 3 physical channels which you are currently receiving.

The’ tvfool’ chart which you posted predicts that the 3 channels you are receiving are 31.0dbm, 31.1dbm, and 33.4dbm. The next strongest signal is WLFT which is 40.1dbm.

These power levels are on a logarithmic scale. The difference in dbm is greater than 6db which is a factor of 4 on a linear scale. As an example, if WVLA is 1000 microvolts than WLFT is 250 microvolts.

  1. With this much difference, you could be picking up these stronger signals off a side lobe of your antenna. (Especially with your proximity to those transmitters) Look up in your attic and make sure all of your antennas are still pointed in the correct direction.

  2. There could still be something wrong with the coax cable running from the antenna to the Tablo. Move the Tablo to the location of one of the other tuners and use its cable. (After verifying that the other tuner can receive channels which the Tablo can not.)

If you are still only getting 3 physical channels, then it would seem that the Tablo front end has been damaged.

I have seen this sort of thing happen in an RF spectrum analyzer where it was connected to a receiving antenna. We get used to the idea that an antenna has only very weak signals but that is not true if it is close to a transmitter. (Even a WiFi router transmitter)

I see that you are discussing making antennas. Are you a ham operator?

Well, they ‘may’ send me a new unit for the loss of lower channels problem, but this is my 2nd unit and the wired Ethernet issue was the same on both units. I could almost write a book on all this stuff now! Dang!

What I did was where the ends of the hangers stick out from the crimp sleeves, I did add a touch of solder just in case… In other words joined the two hanger ends inside the sleeve but let the ends stick out of the sleeve and applied some solder. Not to get a strong connection but to ensure the two hangers have a common metal bond between them beside the sleeve. However a long wire avoids doing this rigamarole…:wink: But once it started working so well, I said the heck with making a new one out of wire.

That is one of the advantages of this antenna over a bowtie. Its receptors are also its feed line. Everything is continuous. The bow tie has eight different connections (plus two for the balun) to make whereas this one has only two (for the balun).


No not a ham operator - just want to make a new antenna that may satisfy the ‘picky’ needs of the Tablo tuner - not of my other TV’s (Samsung, Vizio, or EYE-TV on Mac laptop) have ANY issues picking up ALL the local stations - all 23 of them.)

I have tried all 4 antennas that I have - all with different cables. Just unplugged from the back of each different TV and plugged into the Tablo, and then did a re-scan - no stations picked up below ch. 27 … where as a week ago, all channels were coming in on the Tablo. (41-1 was weak, but I figured I could fix that too with a better antenna).

I am hoping that tech support can remote login tomorrow and see what is going on … but after spending the last few days trying all kinds of stuff, my guess is the Tablo tuner is hosed. I even offered to be a BETA Tester to try and fix these issues - the loss of channels and the no Ethernet cable use.

That soldering sounds like the right way to go. Solid connection !

After winding the balun around the antenna, I also applied some solder to the balun connection.

All those connections were one of my concerns too - hoping that the screws would hold everything together - solder and crimps or a solid piece of wire is probably much better.

I noticed that this antenna was more stable than my others - less interruptions or random pixelation. Probably because it had less connections to make and the signals flowed on one continuous form. The Gray Hoverman has this pattern. This one beats my GH because it packs twice as much metal in the same space. But its inspiration comes from the GH.

1 Like

Try the wire if you don’t mind the bending. I did what I did just to keep the cost to under $2 with scraps of things lying around the house. I actually tried to improve an antenna I had made from leftovers with “good” components and my trashy antenna still beat my “good” one.

That’s me too … wood scraps, screws, romex wire scraps - only had to buy the $2 balun 75 ohm to 300 ohm converter.

At one point I started suspecting my balun and intended to make my own after watching some balun making videos. That’s another point on an antenna that can be improved with a DIY balun.

I also went with the hangers because I had noticed that an FF6 I made out of coat hangers actually beat a 4 bay bowtie made from copper wire quite handily. Mike mentions in his last video that steel wire does just as well as copper regardless of the supposed “electrical flow index” of different metals.

1 Like

In the past I would have advised getting a different brand of DVR, but lately I’ve been reading the forums of other DVRs and they all have the same reception problems (and complaints). For some reason it’s a TV tuner that beats a DVR tuner…:confused: And so now, when I fashion an antenna, I always keep in mind that it has to satisfy the demands of a DVR first because it will always work with a TV.

Now that I think of it … we had ‘some’ reception issues with our 9-yr old TIVO (which finally died) … but not nearly as noticeable as with this new unit.

Man … it is a good day! Updated my antenna, got a dozen more channels including the New Orleans and Lafayette area stations. Whole bunch more choices and programming. Thanks MarkKindle for the Ultimate Tuxedo Antenna schematics! Works great!

1 Like

One of the advantages of DIY antennas is that they are inexpensive to make. One can make multiple antennas without spending a fortune and point them in different directions to get different markets.

Yes I SOOOOO agreee … antenna no. 2 is going to be built soon …

This first one I built was a ‘4 bay’ Tuxedo … didn’t you mention that you did a ‘6-bay’ one?

(I bought 100’ of wire, so ‘could’ build more).