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    by Published on 04-27-2017 01:55 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Misc. Gadgets
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    An atomic clock is probably the most accurate way to tell time known to man. Even in this day and age of cell phones, you can still use an atomic clock.

    So, what is an “atomic clock?” This question comes up here at Solid Signal, particularly when we’re doing product descriptions. Atomic clock… The name alone conjures up a variety of ...
    by Published on 04-26-2017 03:10 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Commercial,
    3. Cell Phones,
    4. TV Antennas
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    Imagine perfect peace and quiet. A quiet day outside isn't quiet at all; even in the country you can hear wind and animals and other things around you. If you're in a suburb or city you've probably never experienced true peace and quiet; in fact most people haven't.

    An anechoic chamber is a room that is designed to absorb ...
    by Published on 04-26-2017 01:42 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. TV Antennas

    Maybe, probably, but why would you?

    Personally, I would not paint an antenna. It's possible that it wouldn't do any harm, but it's very hard to know what's being used to give paint its color. Often times, a metal like chromium, iron, cobalt, or copper is used for bright, sharp colors and the flakes of metal inside the paint can make an antenna less effective. On the other hand, if synthetic or vegetable pigments are used, they're going to have very little effect on an antenna. As I said, how would you know?

    You may have noticed that some antennas like our Televes line have bright orange plastic in places, and I suspect that if you didn't like that particular part, you could paint those and you'd probably be fine. If you're really an expert on antennas and you can tell which parts are actually used for reception and which parts simply direct the signal to the receiving elements, you could probably paint the parts used there. Again though this seems like a lot of work and you would probably end up guessing wrong at some point and ruining something.

    If you have an antenna encased in a white "radome" you are best off not painting at all because the actual antenna is encased in plastic and there's no guarantee that the color you've chosen would let signals in. In the case of larger antennas that have brand names on them, the brand name is either located somewhere that it won't make a difference, or the paint or decal that's used has been extensively tested to make sure that it won't negatively affect reception.

    Here's the difference between painting a dish and painting an antenna. When people talk about painting a dish, they're usually talking about painting the reflector, which means it doesn't really matter what color is being used as long as the surface just bounces the signal to the front of the dish. With an antenna, you're talking about the signal having to make it through the paint and there's a very good chance it's not going to.

    Rather than painting an antenna, I'd almost always recommend buying a new one, or if the problem is that it has developed an unsightly black patina, you can use a metal polish to remove that. Just keep in mind that it will return and that it's not hurting your reception.
    by Published on 04-26-2017 10:53 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite

    You don't often reboot your DIRECTV box... but when you do you always see a blue screen with white letters saying "Running receiver self check." It can take up to 20 seconds for that screen to go away, while you stare and fret and worry that the DVR that holds hundreds of hours of programming is going do disappear. And then the screen gives way to another one, and everything is fine.

    The first thing you need to know is that this receiver self-check is perfectly normal. By itself, it's not a sign that anything is wrong with your DIRECTV box. It's part of the regular startup process.

    Remember that a DIRECTV satellite receiver or DVR is basically just a computer. When you boot up your regular PC, or even a tablet or phone, it does some simple hardware checks to make sure everything is just where the device thinks it should be. The processor, the memory, the input and output ports are all checked. That's what's happening here. In addition, the hard drive is checked for errors (yes, if you're a Linux person, it is actually running a fsck) and if there are minor errors they're identified and dealt with. Again, this is perfectly normal and every hard drive develops these minor hiccups from time to time and these corrections help things work better.

    If there really was a hardware or hard drive problem, it would be noted on screen immediately and you would be told to call DIRECTV for service and given a code. If the hard drive is damaged, the receiver will try to recover it, a process which can take several hours and sometimes results in a loss of programming. This is very rare.

    Bottom line folks, this is a normal part of the DIRECTV experience and not something you should worry about.
    by Published on 04-25-2017 09:09 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. TV Antennas,
    3. Auto/Marine

    Of course you can. TV antennas work the same whether they're at home or on the road. In fact your home TV antenna will work in Canada, Mexico and most Caribbean nations too. There may be some issues with importing US electronic equipment into those other countries, but that's the subject of a completely different article.

    TV antennas, as complex as they are, are not able to tell what signals they're receiving. They can't tell a digital one from an analog one, they can't tell a US one from a Canadian one and they certainly can't tell a Nebraska signal from a Washington signal.

    Most smaller antennas will pick up UHF and VHF signals, so you're also all set there. Of course, smaller antennas have a more limited range so you may or may not be able to get those distant signals if you're out in the great outdoors, but if you're traveling to a local RV park, why not bring an antenna with you for the best possible TV experience?

    The best antennas for traveling, especially if part of your flight is on a plane, are our HD-Blade flat antennas. They weigh practically nothing, fit in most luggage, and work great practically anywhere. They're also very durable, with almost nothing to break. They fit in your luggage so easily that you'll probably want to just leave one there.

    Of course, you could bring an even larger antenna, that's up to you. I can't imagine anyone traveling with a large roof-mounted antenna, but hey, if you're packing up the RV, I guess why not. It's your TV... watch it your way.
    by Published on 04-24-2017 11:04 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Commercial,
    3. TV Antennas,
    4. Satellite
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    Some of our antennas look downright confusing. One look at this Winegard MetroStar and you might think it was a satellite dish, with its round shape and center posts. It's not... it's a television antenna.

    The reason satellite dishes and over-the-air antennas can look similar is that at their ...
    by Published on 04-24-2017 10:44 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. TV Antennas
    Article Preview

    If you look at a modern yagi antenna like our Televes DAT790 Mix, something odd will begin to occur to you. If you really begin to look closely, you'll see the cable is connected to a small chunk of metal in the middle, which is isolated from everything else by a lot of plastic. Almost all of the antenna that you see isn't ...

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