Rain fade and attenuation due to foliage are real, but are much more of a problem in the GHz region than around 650 MHz. I believe he said the channels were all digital, so if he has a marginal signal on a good day, maybe just a little bit more attenuation is enough to trip the all-or-nothing barrier.
Reminds me of the time I went up a tuna boat mast to see why the VHF radio was only receiving signals from the boat tied up next to it. When I looked for the antenna, it wasn't even there. I guess a bird had hit it and it was weakened from the sun and sheared off.
Look before you leap. I could have spent hours checking out the radio when it was nothing more than the antenna- or lack thereof...
Darned if I know. Its effect seems to be worse on one channel than the other, but all are in the UHF 40-50 range and all digital. I have suspected that translator antenna might be flaky, but I'd have thought it would have been fixed if it were a problem. It used to be at a different location but I moved it since it looked into two trees in my yard on the other side of the house.
This is a retirement town though, so maybe they just think there is something wrong with their setup, or they are working with a better antenna than mine: a corner reflector that fell off the house in the a windstorm, then had a tree limb hit it when the neighbor was taking down his tree! I am afraid the mast still has a bit of a up tilt.
Since I get nervous on a step ladder, I am glad there are people like the author willing to do the high wire stuff. Oh yeah, we just had some trees trimmed around our lake house and imagine or surprise when we now have 7 over the air channels instead of 2.
I have not climbed the big towers. I've been up towers to the 300 foot level.
I usually had the luxury of choosing when to climb and I usually take a water bottle and a snack with me.
You never know what you'll find when you climb, so stay in shape and be prepared to get off the ladder.
I've been on the side of the tower on step bolts too.
That was 20 years ago. I don't think I can do so well today...
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