SF Bay Area fringe reception

Discussion in 'Local Reception' started by cybertoad1, Nov 27, 2019.

  1. cybertoad1

    cybertoad1 New Member

    Nov 27, 2019
    Hello guys, I live about 48 miles directly east of San Francisco (as the crow flies), on the west edge of the Central Valley, and I'm trying to pick up the SF stations via antenna. I installed one of those cheapy amplified units with the built-in rotation feature from Amazon on my second-story rooftop, and I'm able to pick up KTVU 2, KRON 4, KPIX 5, and KBCW 44 with varying degrees of reliability depending on the conditions. From the transmitter's location on Sutro Tower to my location near Tracy, I have both the East Bay hills west of Dublin and the Diablo Range blocking the signal, so it is definitely a 2edge signal.

    Sometimes the signals will be perfectly watchable, while other times one or all channels will pixelate or drop out. I noticed that often there is a signal oscillation that rapidly alternates between strong and zero -- almost as if I'm receiving LTE interference on UHF.

    I'm thinking of updating my cheap-o antenna to a high quality unit such as a Televes Datboss LR Mix, which has a built-in amplifier with LTE filter and an amplified gain of 36.5 dBi and 46 dBi on VHF and UHF respectively, (8.5 and 18 dBi in non-amplified mode.)

    Being that I am receiving signals on these channels, albeit weak, does it sound plausible that upgrading to a much larger antenna would turn out to be a good purchase?

    The VHF capability of the Televes unit would be quite beneficial next year once KRON moves to VHF channel 7, and KGO moves to VHF channel 12.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.
    caloxide likes this.
  2. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

    Jul 25, 2002
    W.Mdtrn Sea
    I would go for new antennae... without any warranties ;)
    Just for test - will it works as I want or not ?
    Other very important point is (for your case especially) - install good antenna's must or a supporting construction with higher height what you could afford !
  3. Michael H..

    Michael H.. Member

    May 31, 2007
    A friend of my wife lives less than 5 miles east of the Sutro tower and she can't get a decent VHF-hi and UHF signal due to topography, house on the east-facing Bernal Heights hillside.
    When she walks her dog up the hillside steps, the Sutro tower is staring at them.

    Other friends of my wife live east in (not the O.J.) Brentwood and have the same situation as you, Diablo range, and another 40 miles of distance from Sutro, that eliminates SF station reception (SF/OAK/SJ DMA).
    The latter are able to pick up the Sacramento stations from the Elk [incorrect] [corrected] Walnut Grove towers, and are able to do so using only an HOA-friendly Winegard 3000 pre-amp series mid-range omnidirectional OTA antenna. They alternate between deal-driven DirecTV and cable subscriptions, which provide the San Francisco stations, in addition to the Sacramento OTA stations. [edited after cybertoad1 post #4]

    Just curious, have you attempted to acquire the Elk Grove (Sacramento) signal, or do you prefer the San Francisco stations?
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
  4. cybertoad1

    cybertoad1 New Member

    Nov 27, 2019
    I can definitely see how Mt. Diablo would totally block reception in Brentwood. (The should be required by law to put translators on Mt. Diablo in my opinion, or lose the unserviced DMA viewers entirely.)

    I gave up on trying to get reliable Sutro reception. Even testing out a big 91 element UHF antenna, which I ended up returning, the Altamont hills are just causing too much signal distortion to allow for consistent reception here at my location, although others in the area are apparently are having better luck. The only interest I have in SF stations is some news programming, which I can receive via IPTV (by lying about my DMA) but have to pay for it.

    As to the Walnut Grove stations, my small Amazon amplified antenna mounted to old DBS pole gets all of the Sac stations perfectly with 100% signal strength.
  5. caloxide

    caloxide New Member

    Apr 15, 2020
    Did you try to rescan recently? I am located at San Ramon (~30 miles from Sutro) and both ABC KGO7 and NBC KNTV has been coming in strong recently as phase 3 of the mandated FCC repack is coming to completion. By the way, did you try pointing towards the south at Fremont? Those stations have a repeater tower at Mt Allison broadcasting UHF signals on RF35 for ABC (moving to RF19) and RF49 for NBC.

    By the way, I am very intrigued with the antenna you are using. I read great reviews about it and was wondering if you are going to receive KGO7 and KNTV 11 from your location after you re-scan.

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