Signal troubleshooting

Okay, I’ve been doing this for a year now and am, for the most part, satisfied with what I am getting, but I could use some help with fixing signal issues with a few (three) stations (one is VHF).

I’m in a small dip, about 100’ below the hill. I get most stations well all the time, how do I figure out what is causing the other three stations from coming in all the time? I get them well in the morning and over night, but during the daytime they go anywhere from breaking up to too weak to receive. I’m not sure if I should try raising the antenna, getting a stronger antenna (current is Antop Big Boy), adding an amplifier, or if it is directional. The antenna is on the chimney, so going back-and-forth to make small (whatever that means) changes is more than a bit of a pain. I’ve seen signal meters on eBay and Amazon, but that’s an overall strength and not granular, for that matter I’m not sure if they’re really any good ($25?). Any help here?

You didn’t say if the antenna is a BV model. What the spread is of the various channels - highest degress to lowest degress. What direction the antenna is pointing. The channel distance.

I use(d) an actual compass. I have stations only coming from 2 directions with 75% spread. I compensated between magnetic north or true north based on my zipcode and picked the appropriate 50 percent difference. What is really important is the S/N ration. For me once the S/N falls below 17-18 I get breakup. But if the stations are all in the same direction even small adjustments can help.

You can’t assume that the transmitter broadcasts in a perfect circle. The FCC has a stations transmitter contour maps.

You can use RabbitEars.Info to get an idea of your locations and signal strengths. It looks like your antenna is already amplified so adding one won’t help as it will usually cause the antenna to not be powered. The Antenna Man on youtube has some useful tips on his videos that might help you out. . He does make recommendations for a fee ( never used him so can’t speak to accuracy).

I tried his video, the commercials are longer than the videos, and you can’t skip them. I gave up after the one ran over 5 minutes about avoiding federal scams.

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FCC contour maps don’t help me, I enter my zip code and address and the place me 20 miles from where I am.

How do you get your SN ratio?

They do sell a number of antop models and these models also don’t always have VHF antenna.

You don’t use your zip code for contour maps. You use the station ID. You just google “fcc stationid”.

Depending on the brand of TV, most TV’s will display signal strength and S/N. Before I attached the antenna to tablo I took a TV close to the antenna and used a direct connection to verify signal strength and S/N.

Many people use because it outputs direction and distance from your house location.

Okay, never been to that page. According to it I should be able to receive every channel with no problem. Apparently it doesn’t really take geography into consideration.

Went to and it lists two stations that I can’t receive, and makes no mention of the ones that I do.

My TV doesn’t have a SN display, it either gets the stations or it doesn’t.

There is a number different information output by There business is to sell antennas. So of course they might imply you can get all the channels.

Antennas have a different RF collection spread. That is why knowing that information is important. Why point the antenna directly at a station(s) that is close, UHF, and has a strong signal. You would bias the antenna direction toward a weaker station.

Tried RabbitEars, like it better than the ones I’ve been using, but even with a 70’ antenna I shouldn’t be able to get the stations I am getting.

Yeah it is helpful, but none seem totally accurate my parents are in the same situation if you followed any website they shouldn’t get anything over the air , but can just have a very large antenna.

The “daytime” thing makes it sound like you’re dealing with “skip” due to a temperature inversion in the atmosphere. During the summer, especially during daytime, TV signals can be redirected by an inversion, resulting in interference hundreds of miles away. That can cause your reception to break up. The farther south you live (I’m assuming you’re in the Northern Hemisphere), the worse it tends to be.

Unfortunately for us, the FCC decided that with digital TV, stations on the same channel didn’t need to be so far away from each other. So inversion interference is more common than it used to be.

So, no way to address it?

A more directional antenna might help, but if you’re picking up towers in multiple directions, it’ll make things worse for the other stations.