No DTV signal! What happened?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by StudioRat, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. StudioRat

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 22, 2014
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    I live in the sticks and I'm running about 150' of RG6Q up to an antenna on the ridge behind my house (about 35' is underground). I was getting pretty decent DTV reception until about a week ago. All of a sudden, I'm getting nothing. Zero. Nada. 0% on the signal strength meter. I replaced the cable, re-did all the connections. I re-scanned a hundred times. Still nothing. I'm at a total loss.
     
  2. StudioRat

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 22, 2014
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    I have the signal going through a small GE amplifier. I double-checked the power to the amp and it's fine. Still nothing. Aaauugh (already missed the second half of the Olympics)
     
  3. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    This is a OTA signal I assume?
    Did you check at the antenna end?
    Max.
     
  4. inwo

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013
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    Try it without the amp.
    You should get something thru 150' of cable.
    Is amp at antenna end?

    Bad amp?
     
  5. StudioRat

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 22, 2014
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    Yes, it is an OTA signal. I climbed up yesterday and checked all the connections at the antenna and everything looked fine (disconnected and re-connected them just to be safe) The amp is not on the antenna because I don't have power running up the ridge, so I have it installed at the point where the cable comes into the house. For what it's worth, I already bypassed the amp to see if that might be the problem and still got a 0% signal.
     
  6. KJ6EAD

    Senior Member

    Apr 30, 2011
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    Has the TV input selection been inadvertently set to something other than antenna?

    Another possibility; the tuner on the TV is dead.
     
  7. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
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    Perhaps your TV had a failure on the input circuit. Do you have another TV you can try?

    Note: Antenna amplifiers are available where the DC power is send up the coax to the antenna from a power supply located at the TV.
     
  8. StudioRat

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 22, 2014
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    Good suggestion but I checked that too. (It's set to the "antenna" input)
     
  9. StudioRat

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 22, 2014
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    Also, I checked it on a couple different TV's. I'm also using a small HD radio with coaxial antenna input as a simple way to check whether I'm picking up a signal.
     
  10. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
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    Perhaps there was a failure with the antenna itself (shorted insulation for example). How old is the antenna?
     
  11. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
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    How far are you from the nearest transmitter? Why dot try a different antenna right at the TV?

    And DTV usually means Direct TV.
     
  12. StudioRat

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 22, 2014
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    The antenna is probably about 4 months old. It's a newer DTV antenna (specifically designed to pick up stations far away)
     
  13. StudioRat

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 22, 2014
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    Sorry about the DTV thing. I thought it meant Digital TV. So if I've confused anyone, I'm trying to pick up a digital OTA signal. Transmitters are about 30 miles away. Like I said, I was getting fine reception until about a week ago.
     
  14. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
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    It does but not normally used that way. It is probably better to refer to it as HDTV.

    And just because the antenna is new does not mean it is working.
     
  15. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
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    Did you replace the cable from the amplifier to the TV also?

    Have you tried connecting the TV to the antenna cable at the amplifier input?
     
  16. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    Did you try the signal meter at the antenna, Is it possible the local station is working on the transmitter or are off the air for some reason?
    30 miles is getting up there for a OTA transmitter, which I guess is your reason for the long run and amp, is there more than one station you pick up?
    Max.
     
  17. StudioRat

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 22, 2014
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    I'm retracing all my steps from yesterday and I found one connection that was a little suspect. I'm about to find out how suspect it really is. (BTW, I am getting signal from the antenna itself)
     
  18. StudioRat

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 22, 2014
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    Looks like one of the connections I replaced yesterday was bad. That still doesn't explain why it disappeared a week ago, but for the time being I have my reception back! Thanks for all the excellent suggestions.
     
  19. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
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    Congratulations! Now you can watch Gilligan's Island . :)

    Nothing says that the connector that you replaced was bad too.

    This was my biggest challenge when I used to work in computer repair as senior tech. I had a lot of trouble getting the jr techs to understand that the replaced part and new part could both be bad.
     
  20. KJ6EAD

    Senior Member

    Apr 30, 2011
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    I've seen amplifiers drop out due to internal thermal limits being exceeded. They have to be powered down and allowed to cool to reset. Sometimes this is the result of a temporary overload, a shorted output for example, or just a defective unit.
     
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