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corson6 11-Jul-2017 2:52 AM

help with antenna selection
 
Great to be on this very cool forum! I am in the middle of 8 acres of woods and tired of paying Dish Network $$$! What would be my best choice for an outdoor antenna in my spot? Indoors I can get about 6 channels but many of them freeze up and drop out. One tower is about a mile away and others are back SW. Is a rotor the best way to go? Or multiple antennas? Lots of trees, but I'm kind of on a ridge. Thanks in advance! Here is my report: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e6a4da002f235f

jrgagne99 11-Jul-2017 1:31 PM

Welcome to the forum Corson!

Quote:

Originally Posted by corson6 (Post 58417)
What would be my best choice for an outdoor antenna in my spot?

Difficult to answer "best choice" without more details on how you define that.

Are you targeting specific stations in the lower part of the yellow and red regions in your report? Or are you only after reliable reception of the major networks? Do you care about antenna size, cost, aesthetics, etc?

You have a nice report with pretty strong signals on the major networks. What are you using for an indoor antenna? I would expect an indoor antenna like the Mohu Leaf would pull in all the major networks if you hung it on a west-facing wall. Mine reliably pulls in a UHF station on real-Ch-25 with a Noise Margin of 27 dB. Others will no doubt chime in with additional ideas.

corson6 11-Jul-2017 2:04 PM

Thanks for the reply. I currently have a RCA 360 flat square white antenna that claims a 40 mile radius. I'm looking to get as many channels as I can. With the exception of the tower that I can see out my window, all the other stations freeze intermittently.

jrgagne99 11-Jul-2017 2:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by corson6 (Post 58420)
I'm looking to get as many channels as I can.

In that case, I suggest the Winegard 7689P. Available at Walmart.com for $101, including shipping. Get a high quality mast-mounted preamp such as the KT-200 (kitztech.com) and a rotor. Use new RG-6 coax.

If you're not happy with that, a two-antenna solution may pull in a few more channels, such as combining the MCM 30-2476 VHF-Hi yagi and Antennas direct 91XG. Combine with the Antennas Direct UVSJ diplexer, then feed to preamp.

Avoid antennas with VHF-lo elements (e.g. Channel Master 5020), as these are not useful in your situation (no VHF-lo channels in range).

rickbb 11-Jul-2017 3:07 PM

You have very close towers, so close that a pre-amp will do more harm than good. It will over power those close stations so much that you tuner will overload and you won't get any channels.

Start with a small roof/eave mounted antenna aimed north west, short cable run to just one TV, and go from there.

ADTech 11-Jul-2017 3:52 PM

rickbb is correct, do NOT use a preamp (especially the KT200 which will overload very easily) with a tower less than 2 miles away. Our Juice could be used as it won't overload, but it will likely increase the odds that your tuner will overload instead.

Start without any amp at all and evaluate reception barefoot.

jrgagne99 11-Jul-2017 4:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rickbb (Post 58422)
You have very close towers, so close that a pre-amp will do more harm than good. It will over power those close stations so much that you tuner will overload and you won't get any channels.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ADTech (Post 58423)
rickbb is correct, do NOT use a preamp (especially the KT200 which will overload very easily) with a tower less than 2 miles away.

Quite correct. I was blinded by the OP's desire to pull in "as many channels as [he could]", plus my own (limited) personal OTA experience with no strong signals nearby.

Tower Guy 11-Jul-2017 8:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jrgagne99 (Post 58421)
In that case, I suggest the Winegard 7689P.

If you're not happy with that, a two-antenna solution may pull in a few more channels, such as combining the MCM 30-2476 VHF-Hi yagi and Antennas direct 91XG. Combine with the Antennas Direct UVSJ diplexer, then feed to preamp.

In my opinion all of those UHF antennas are too directional. I'd consider a 4 bay UHF (or C2) and a ANT 751 (used as a VHF only antenna) coupled together with a UVSJ.

jrgagne99 11-Jul-2017 9:11 PM

OP said he wanted as many channels as possible. That's why I suggested those directional antennas and a rotor.

Would a 4-bay or an ANT-751 pull in the channels in red on his report (WEIU, WTHI, WTWO, WAMV)?

JoeAZ 11-Jul-2017 9:36 PM

Because of your signals are primarily UHF and coming from a number of directions all basically Northwest of you, I would suggest either a 4 bay UHF antenna from MCM Electronics
with one of their VHF HI antennas or Antennas Direct 4max. Avoid amplification at all costs..... it will only cause you
problems because of your proximity to your station a mile
away. Use good RG6 cable, keeping it as short
as possible and be sure to properly ground your system.
The only other stations within reasonable range are those
of Terre Haute. They would likely offer a repeat of what
you already get so any benefit would be limited......

corson6 14-Jul-2017 3:53 AM

Thanks for all the replies! JoeAZ - do you couple these two antennas you suggest? What directions am I pointing them? Once I'm in the house with the RG6 what's the best way to distribute the signal to multiple TVs?

rabbit73 14-Jul-2017 2:20 PM

1 Attachment(s)
You have a problem location with channels in different directions, trees in the signal paths, and a very strong local signal that is already in the overload category. The ideal solution would require multiple antennas and filters, but a simple solution might work with a little experimentation.

I suggest an Antennas Direct C2V, aimed at about 270 degrees magnetic to favor NBC and CBS. Fox is in a different direction, but it might come in. The VHF dipole for the C2V should be able to pick up PBS.

My biggest concern is with WICD that is so strong it will prevent the reception of the weaker channels, as you have already experienced with your indoor antenna. It is, unfortunately in the same general direction as your other channels, so a directional antenna probably will not help, unless you are willing to experiment further, to place WICD in a null in the antenna pattern to make it weaker.

If you are not willing to do that type of experiment, then you will probably need a custom filter from Tin Lee Electronics to make WICD on real channel 41 weaker. WICD will be moving to channel 32 in a few years, so you would have to order another custom filter.
http://www.rabbitears.info/market.ph...&callsign=wicd

WICD has a Noise Margin of 77.3 dB, even before adding antenna gain.

http://forum.tvfool.com/attachment.p...6&d=1471824123

Interpreting Noise Margin in the TV Fool Report
http://www.aa6g.org/DTV/Reception/tvfool_nm.html

This might work:

http://forum.tvfool.com/attachment.p...1&d=1500054625

The narrow beamwidth of the 91XG will make WICD a lot weaker, but it has more gain than necessary. Insert an attenuator in the coax of about 10 or 15 dB to keep WICD weak without making NBC too weak.

If you need WILL PBS, add an MCM 30-2475 VHF antenna aimed at 272 degrees magnetic. Combine the two antennas with a UVSJ.

JoeAZ 14-Jul-2017 6:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by corson6 (Post 58456)
Thanks for all the replies! JoeAZ - do you couple these two antennas you suggest? What directions am I pointing them? Once I'm in the house with the RG6 what's the best way to distribute the signal to multiple TVs?

I would start simple. Order either the 4 bay UHF antenna from MCM which
are currently on clearance for about $19.00 or the antennas direct c2v
or antennas direct 4 max. Connect the antenna of your choice to one
television on a temporary basis, through a door or window. One person
watches the tv, hopefully with a signal meter, and the other positions
the antenna on the roof. I'd start your aim at about 250 degrees which
will help reduce the overload from WICD. Continue to rotate clockwise,
260,270,280 degrees, scanning for your channels in each position.
You might just be able to receive PBS from WEIU and not need any VHF
antenna at all. It's not an easy prospect but if you can position the
antenna where it cannot be seen line of sight by WICD, you have a
decent chance of success.

rabbit73 14-Jul-2017 7:53 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeAZ (Post 58458)
It's not an easy prospect but if you can position the
antenna where it cannot be seen line of sight by WICD, you have a
decent chance of success.

That's an interesting idea; it might work. It would be necessary to ground the coax with a grounding block to make WICD weaker.

http://forum.tvfool.com/attachment.p...1&d=1500059185

If the antenna is outside, the coax shield should be grounded with a grounding block that is connected to the house electrical system ground with 10 gauge copper wire for electrical safety and to reject interference. For further compliance with the electrical code (NEC), the mast should also be grounded in a similar manner to drain any buildup of static charge which will tend to discourage a strike, but the system will not survive a direct strike.

http://forum.tvfool.com/attachment.p...9&d=1441917363

JoeAZ 14-Jul-2017 9:36 PM

In this case, you may NOT WANT to mount a roof antenna.
It will be better to use your home as a block to WICD.
A "J" mounted antenna, properly grounded, gives you, by
far, the best chance for success..... You can mount on
the eaves, on the side of your home or even from a ground
mast. Be certain to keep the antenna away from trees so
it has a good view of your weakest signals...

corson6 16-Jul-2017 4:37 AM

Wow! You guys are awesome! I will get busy on this and report back. You can see what I man about the trees....

corson6 18-Feb-2018 11:51 PM

1 Attachment(s)
OK many months later we are getting good results with an antenna in the back yard (temp. mounted on a tripod stand) but sometimes having problems pulling in WCCU-DT 27.1 360 north about 17.8 miles away. It's there but video "freezes" intermittently. Some nights it's great, other nights audio comes through but video freezes. Could this be from interference of WICD 41 being so close? or is it another issue? I did discover a antenna in the attic a very long (6 feet?) antenna that works great but still can't reliably pull in WCCU. I aimed it 360 degrees in the attic, but getting the same results and the back yard bay-style antenna. I'm real close to pulling the plug on dish, would be great to get these channels. Thanks in advance!

rabbit73 19-Feb-2018 9:05 PM

1 Attachment(s)
http://forum.tvfool.com/attachment.p...9&d=1519074225

Thank you for the report and the interesting photo of your attic antenna. I edited the photo to make it easier to see the antenna.

Is the antenna aimed at WCCU?
Quote:

Could this be from interference of WICD 41 being so close?
Yes

Have you tried a shield to block the antenna from receiving the very strong WICD signal, as JoeAZ suggested? Aluminum foil on cardboard might work, since it's in the attic.

Quote:

OK many months later we are getting good results with an antenna in the back yard (temp. mounted on a tripod stand) but sometimes having problems pulling in WCCU-DT 27.1 360 north about 17.8 miles away.
What antenna are you using in the back yard?

Is the antenna coax grounded with a grounding block connected to the house electrical system ground? It is not required with an indoor antenna, but it might help to reject interference.

corson6 21-Mar-2018 8:18 PM

Thanks for all the replies, just getting back to this. Rabbit73 how big a shield of aluminum foil and cardboard? Where in relation to the attic antenna do I put it to block out WICD 41? I will try to post pics of the outdoor antenna tonight. Thanks!!

corson6 22-Mar-2018 12:47 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Here is a pic of my outside antenna. The WICD 41 tower is BEHIND the tree. So far it's just been a either/or experiment. I don't really know what kind of antenna that is in the attic (or exactly how to shield it with foil and cardboard from WAND 41) Again I would really like to be able to get WCCU DT 27.1 When the interference happens, I see little color squares popping up over the top of the old B&W re-runs I like, so does this mean WICD 41 is trying to come in over the top of WCCU? Thanks again for all the help!


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