KOAA chief engineer Quentin Henry posted this in comments, but it's much too interesting not to pull out to the main page:
Too large of an antenna is a common problem...
Gone are the days (and practices) of analog Television. "Back in the day" (of analog) More antenna was better, no longer is that the case.
TOO LARGE of an antenna can cause the stronger signals to cancel out themselves due to "reflections" of it's own signal coming in 180 degrees out of phase from the side gain of the antenna.
Digital is NOT as forgiving on "Ghosts" (reflections) as analog was. Analog "Ghosts" used to look like echos, or shadows in the video. In Digital the signal just kills it's self.
Flat antenna wire will cause problems too. It is NOT shielded and it DOES act as an additional ANTENNA picking up signals (reflections) out of phase killing the digital signal. Too high of a signal into the receiver can cause the digital receiver to NOT demodulate (receive) the Digital signal, a $2 20db attenuator can help in some cases.
SOME RABBIT EAR antennas have a built in amplifier and that amplifier can cause MORE problems that it solves. MANY cases we have the viewer "un-plug, or by-pass" the amplifier to get perfect signal on ALL digital channels.
Rabbit ear antennas have performed very well in Black Forest, Monument and other areas we have had difficulty with analog in the past.
SUMMARY: Old analog antennas WILL work IF they are not TOO LARGE, and do not have flat antenna wire more than 3 inches on the system.
StationsIn order of strength:
Here are some actual case studies:
1.) Black Forest can get KOAA and many others using a straightened paper clip instead of an antenna.
2.) Trinidad (120 miles away) gets us with a small 19"X22" panel antenna that is mounted in the rafters with no amplifier.
3.) Limon gets us with a small 3' antenna no amplifier, and can not see Cheyenne Mt., just the top of Pikes Peak.
4.) La Junta gets us with a small 12"X12" panel antenna no amplifier.
1.) Do NOT use any flat wire longer that 3 inches.
2.) Do NOT use any amplifiers with in 60 miles.
3.) You can Reduce Rabbit ear gain by making the rods as small as possible.
4.) If you can receive channel 30 ANALOG, even a weak signal with sound, you should be able to receive all the digital channels.
5.) An out side antenna MIGHT be needed IF you can not see Cheyenne Mt. due to local terrain, hills, mountains, but not due to vegitation, trees etc...