Reaching Out For More Signal

Since the “Big Switch” to all digital television signals broadcast tv has become a thing of the past in my part of Northeast Arkansas. A situation that’s aggravated me no end. I did the right things, I got the converter box well ahead of the switchover and when it came time to use the thing the signal level was so low that it could not detect ANY signal from the ONLY tv station in this area.

I spent a lot of time arranging and re-arranging the set top rabbit ears, including the liberal use of aluminum foil to try to increase it’s effectiveness (a tactic that used to work wonders with analog tv signals), I also used another long time successful tactic of adding long lengths of wire to the antenna circuit. All of these efforts have yet to capture enough signal for he converter box to even decide there’s a station to receive signals from, never mind actually make anything available to the tv.

directional tv antennaThis most incredibly frustrating string of failures to come up with a way to get things working again without spending a boatload of cash has once again sent me browsing sale pages for a solution.

So far the best looking option I’ve been able to locate is an Audiovox TV38 Large Directional UHF/VHF/FM Antenna which, according to a calculator on, I would have to mount it on at least a 60 foot tower to maximize the available but still underpowered signal.

By the way, I did actually email the station and asked them about the power levels of the new digital only signal and they did confirm that the digital signals are allowed a LOT less power than the old analog signals. This explains why the switchover effectively moved my location from comfortably within the edge of the decent signal area to well outside of it. Obviously the nits at the FCC didn’t take rural areas into consideration when they decided how much power they’d allow tv stations to use. Personally, I think the power level needs to be doubled at least.

One good thing about only having one tv station in the area is that I wouldn’t need to shell out for a rotor system. There’s nothing else to point it at so it would just be aimed in the direction of KAIT in Jonesboro and left that way.

[Tags]tv signal, digital tv, no signal, analog tv, big switch, converter box, antenna, outside antenna, antenna tower[/tags]

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