• # Guest Bloggers

### How to Estimate your Signals

by Published on 12-22-2017 11:14 AM
1. Categories:
2. TV Antennas

I said I wasn't going to give you equations for calculating gain, loss, and Noise Figure/margin but I will explain how I estimate the Noise margin (NM) of the antenna system.

I've worked in a number of engineering and physics positions and very early on came up with a quick and dirty way to estimate the things we were interested in. I was able to boil it down to one very simple rule:

Estimating Rule: Always estimate for the worst case.

What do I mean by worst case? Well, perhaps a few examples in the RF world will help with understanding ...

### If my phone is getting smarter, am I getting dumber?

by Published on 10-10-2017 04:19 PM
1. Categories:
2. Cell Phones

Marty Silbernik is the author of I'm Too Old To Do This, a tech blog for folks who remember when none of this stuff existed. This article appears with permission.

When I was growing up, our phone looked like these…

Then, as the years went by we saw a progression like this….

Next, we were all ...

### Understanding Amplifiers, At Least a Little.

by Published on 08-11-2017 10:18 AM
1. Categories:
2. TV Antennas

If you browse through this site, you'll find a number of articles that tell you that amplifiers cannot amplify that which is not there but that they can help you get your signal to your TV. I have been asked on occasion why a certain TV channel was lost after adding an amplifier when the station was intermittent before. Shouldn't the amplifier have amplified the poor signal into a good usable signal?

When I went through school, I didn't love to push numbers at first, but somewhere around learning algebra, I started seeing connections and really ...

### Bow Tie Antenna Angle Tests

by Published on 06-20-2017 10:01 AM
1. Categories:
2. TV Antennas

This is the last article in the series of bow tie (BT) antenna tests. In this test, the angle used, or put another way, the separation distance between the two ends of the BT "V," was changed to see what effect this had on the signal levels of the various TV channels.

The approximate separation distances and approximate angles used were:

Each pair of elements was attached to the BT antenna mount and all tests were run for that antenna. First, a set of readings for the standard angle of approximately ...

### 7 Things to Try if Your Stream Keeps Buffering

by Published on 06-13-2017 01:02 PM
1. Categories:
2. Misc. Gadgets,
3. Data/Networks,
4. Online/MobileTV

There are not many things more frustrating than constantly dealing with a buffering stream. It’s an awful experience to sit and watch a show, but it ends up taking twice as long as expected due to constant buffering. No one has the time or patience for that.
The good news is there are plenty of ways to deal with this problem. You shouldn’t ...

### The StealthHawkAntenna vs The 8" Bowtie & Pennyloop Antennas

by Published on 06-08-2017 11:24 AM
1. Categories:
2. TV Antennas

The Stealth Hawk Antenna Gedanken (Thought) Evaluation

The Stealth Hawk Antenna is made from a single 60” (5’) long piece of wire. The design I used as my template was:

[VHF-UHF07-51]

The top section was 30" long. Essentially, this is simply a 30" full-wave loop, so the full wavelength is 30", which is for about 394 MHz.

This is between channels 13 & 14, which are frequencies of 210 - 216 MHz and 14, 470 - 476 MHz respectively. This is a bit longer than that needed for the UHF frequencies ...

### 6 Ways to Improve Your Indoor Antenna Reception

by Published on 05-18-2017 11:31 AM
1. Categories:
2. TV Antennas

Antennas are crucial to any cord cutter’s setup.
With the right antenna for your location, you can get the big four broadcast networks (FOX, NBC, ABC, and CBS) for free in uncompressed HD TV. That gives you the majority of the top programs on TV.

And while using an antenna will fail to get you cable channels like ESPN, you’ll be surprised just how much live sports you’ll get on the four major broadcast networks. ...

### Is a headend system right for you?

by Published on 03-09-2017 11:55 AM
1. Categories:
2. Commercial,
3. Satellite

Right off the bat I will tell you this article isn't for everyone. (Do I have you curious?
...

### Simple Dipole and Bow Tie Antennas

by Published on 02-28-2017 10:51 AM
1. Categories:
2. TV Antennas

Let’s go over a few things about dipole antennas that I have picked up while being an amateur radio operator. I will start with what is known and go from there. I will then apply this to over-the-air TV and simple Bow Tie TV antennas.

A word of warning: One of the things I learned when I was a boy was that if you have an idea, give it a try, and see what happens. In school, I learned that sometimes what you don't know can kill you (think about Madam Curie and radiation). So, please think about what you're going to try and ...

### The Porcupine Antenna

by Published on 02-21-2017 08:05 PM
1. Categories:
2. TV Antennas

This antenna was an extension of an idea I had back in 2002, and had an article published about the precursor antenna in Popular Communications, in January 2003: "Phil's Easy Way To Improve Your UHF TV Reception."

The next article published shows this antenna completely as I still use it today. This article was published ...

### An Amplified Indoor TV Antenna

by Published on 02-15-2017 02:39 PM
1. Categories:
2. TV Antennas

I was given an antenna by a family member who didn't want it any longer: It is the RCA, ANT 140. The label said: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Deptford NJ 08096-2088. I don't know who the real manufacturer was, but it was made in China.

Looking on the Internet I found:
THOMSON Consumer Electronics Inc./RCA
10330 N Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46290-1024
P: 317-587-3000
F: 317-587-6765

I don't know if they are one and the same company who designed this small amplified indoor TV-FM antenna. My guess is that it was ...

### SL1000, SureLock Digital TV Signal Finder (SL1K), by King Controls

by Published on 11-16-2016 11:58 AM
1. Categories:
2. TV Antennas

Description:
The device is sold for ~ \$32 at Solid Signal without any coax.
King Controls SureLock SL1000 Digital TV Signal Finder (SL-1000) from Solid Signal

The claims are:
LED lights indicate where DTV signal is strongest
Variable sensitivity adjustment
Foolproof antenna pointing in both strong and weak signal areas
Also compatible with HD for DTV
Pinpoint the location of local DTV towers
Point the antenna before scanning for channels
Saves time and frustration
Eliminate the need for multiple channel scan
Takes the guesswork out of finding the towers
Simple to use, plug-n-play design
Connects to the antenna TV output or in-line
Positive signal identification

Specifications:
Dimensions: 3.5"L x 3.2"W x 1"D
Weight: .25 lbs

VHF/UHF Frequency: 40-862 MHz (Ch 2-69)
Signal Range: 60-90 dBuV

Power Requirement: 5V DC, 40mA

Battery: 9V PP3 Type (included)

Warranty: 1 year - limited

Kit Contents:
Signal Meter
9V PP3 Type ...

### That Bird Don't Tweet!

by Published on 07-17-2016 11:27 PM
1. Categories:
2. Cell Phones

There are a great many mysteries in the universe: The mysteries of Stonehenge, Easter Island, why people watch TV shows about the Kardashians, is there extraterrestrial life out there, and if there is, do they watch “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”, etc.
...

### Cord Cutting 101: Mounting and Tuning a TV Antenna

by Published on 07-13-2016 08:52 AM
1. Categories:
2. TV Antennas

Future cord cutters must learn to mount and tune their TV antennas.
Solid Signal makes this process easy for anyone who wants to cut the cord.

One of cord cutting’s biggest appeals is that it can be 100 percent do it yourself. When you cut the cord, there won’t be some strange cable TV installer poking and prodding around your home. You’ll save money by mounting and aiming ...

### Get Free Hulu for Two Months!

by Published on 07-11-2016 11:07 AM
1. Categories:
2. Online/MobileTV

Are you a cord cutter who’s considering streaming?
If you act before July 18, you could get two free months of the popular Hulu streaming service.

Hulu is one of the three streaming service options available to anyone who wants to cut the cord on cable TV. Like its competitors, Amazon Video and Netflix, Hulu has been adding new content from a variety of sources including Discovery, Disney, FX, and Spike. Following ...

### Warner Bros. Movies Coming to Amazon Prime Video

by Published on 07-07-2016 12:05 PM
1. Categories:
2. Online/MobileTV

If you’re a cord cutter who enjoys streaming Amazon Prime Video, we have some good news. Warner Brothers just gave you 33 more reasons to enjoy Amazon Prime streaming.

Variety reports that Amazon has signed a deal with Warner Bros. for 33 of the film giant’s movies. Under the agreement, Prime Video currently is the exclusive streaming source for these Warner Bros. movies:

The American President
Barcelona
...

### Netflix Founder Joins MoviePass

by Published on 07-07-2016 09:33 AM

Are you a cord cutter who’s tired of waiting for Netflix to release new movies? The company’s subscription service lets you see as many new movies as you want for \$30 per month.

Two decades after helping to launch Netflix, one of its ...

### Cord Cutters to Get More Free TV Programs!

by Published on 06-22-2016 03:47 PM
1. Categories:
2. TV Antennas

More than 80 cities get a programming upgrade next year! Whether you’re in Peoria, Panama City or somewhere in between, you’ll soon find new channels that you only can get with a TV antenna. Best of all, these channels are free!

Nexstar Broadcasting recently announced its plans to make Bounce TV, Escape, GRIT, and Laff available to 130 channels in 81 areas across the country. This means more programming for nearly every viewer living in these media markets. For example, Bounce TV is the first African American broadcast network, while Escape appeals to women, and GRIT is aimed toward men. As its name implies, Laff is for anyone who loves comedy. These stations are owned by Nexstar, Mission Broadcasting, and White Knight Broadcasting.

Are you a cord cutter who’s wondering if you’ll receive these TV programs? We won’t keep you ...

### Cut the Cord, Keep the DVR

by Published on 06-13-2016 04:11 PM
1. Categories:
2. Data/Networks,
3. Online/MobileTV

Cord cutters cannot depend upon the Xbox One as a DVR device. The good news is that Solid Signal has a DVR solution for every cord cutter out there.

Microsoft really blew it with this one! A company spokesperson recently issued a statement to The Verge, saying that Microsoft is dropping its plans to provide DVR capabilities ...

### Free Movie Friday: Prophecy

by Published on 06-10-2016 09:09 AM

In the mood for a free movie? I have one I recommend and it might just scare the living daylights out of you! Like most of the free movies I watch, this one is found in the Paramount Vault at YouTube.

Remember Prophecy? It was a terrifying horror film from 1979 that ...

### Netflix Announces 58 New Originals for Streaming!

by Published on 06-09-2016 12:29 PM
1. Categories:
2. Online/MobileTV

Good news for cord cutters who love streaming movies – Netflix has committed to nearly 60 new original shows! This means great streaming opportunities for you and your entire family!

For those with streaming devices, Netflix already is an amazing ...

### Cut the Cord: Streaming and TV Antennas

by Published on 06-08-2016 08:22 AM
1. Categories:
2. Online/MobileTV

Streaming is a part of cord cutting, but hang on to your over-the-air TV antenna. This device continues to provide cord cutters with the programs they enjoy.

Are you ready for Orange is the New Black? The fourth season of this smash hit Netflix series airs on June 17, 2016. True fans will likely binge watch the entire season over the course of a weekend. (I know my wife and I are planning on it!) This is one of the huge benefits of streaming – you get some of your favorite programs all at once, with no commercials. So much freedom of choice can tempt ...

### Satellite TV: Five Reasons to Get DIRECTV

by Published on 06-06-2016 02:34 PM
1. Categories:
2. Satellite

Thinking about getting satellite TV? Satellite TV offers many advantages over cable, including the big five – accessibility, variety, quality, installation, and satisfaction.

When you’re paying for cable TV, you paying a lot to get a little. Cable just can’t compete when it comes to the ...

### Cut the Cord: The Top Six Reasons

by Published on 06-06-2016 10:44 AM
1. Categories:
2. TV Antennas

Ready to cut the cord and give up cable TV?
Cord cutting is growing more and more popular for many reasons, and here are six of them.

You hear the term “cutting the cord,” but have ever thought about what that means? It speaks to severing the connection to expensive, unreliable cable TV, but there’s more to ...

### Free Movie Friday: Sword of the Valiant

by Published on 06-03-2016 09:23 AM

You like free movies? I love a free movie, especially if it’s a hard-to-find classic that I want to see once more. Check out free movies on YouTube if you want to enjoy some free films this weekend!
...

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