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-   -   Joe's Antenna Suggestion (http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=15237)

jp2code 28-Jan-2015 7:06 PM

Joe's Antenna Suggestion
 
We will be moving to a new house within the next few months.

It has an old VHF/UHF antenna on the roof, about 30 or 40 foot off the ground.

The TV Fool data is here:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...2c15dc5fca37fc

http://i.imgur.com/wkGNfc3.png

As you can see, the TV Stations are all around. There is a good grouping of them going out at 75 True Azimuth, but most of those are getting too far away to pull in clearly all the time.

I'd like to replace the old, existing antenna with something that will do us the most good without a rotor.

The following Real Channels are standard viewing: 31 (FOX), 7 (ABC), 22 (NBC), and 18 (CBS).

I would like to be able to also pull in 21 (CW) and 24 (PBS) year around (not just after the leaves fall off of the trees).

Would I be better served with:
The DB8 would likely not be great for Channel 7 (ABC), but that signal is strong enough that we can pull it in at our house now without a VHF-capable antenna.

SPOILER: I am using the Antennas Direct DB8e with the Stellar Labs 30-2475.

Tower Guy 28-Jan-2015 7:14 PM

I'd do a 4 bay UHF aimed at 216 degrees plus a Y5-7-13 VHF antenna aimed at KLTV on channel 7. Couple them with a UVSJ. Pick up CW on channel 51. Get a third antenna UHF only for PBS and the other UHF stations at 75 degrees.

jp2code 28-Jan-2015 7:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tower Guy (Post 49085)
I'd do a 4 bay UHF aimed at 216 degrees plus a Y5-7-13 VHF antenna aimed at KLTV on channel 7. Couple them with a UVSJ. Pick up CW on channel 51. Get a third antenna UHF only for PBS and the other UHF stations at 75 degrees.

So, just to get this straight: Your recommendation is for me to use four (4) different antennas. Correct?

rickbb 28-Jan-2015 8:07 PM

Couldn't he try a DB4 with no reflector aimed at 75 degrees?

That way he should be able to get most of his channels from the front and back of the DB4. Then only add the VHF only antenna aimed at channel 7.

Tower Guy 28-Jan-2015 8:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rickbb (Post 49087)
Couldn't he try a DB4 with no reflector aimed at 75 degrees?

That way he should be able to get most of his channels from the front and back of the DB4. Then only add the VHF only antenna aimed at channel 7.

That could work. If so, add the two antennas with a TVPRAMP-1R preamp.

Tower Guy 28-Jan-2015 8:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jp2code (Post 49086)
So, just to get this straight: Your recommendation is for me to use four (4) different antennas. Correct?

Three antennas. Two coupled together, one with an A/B switch.

jp2code 28-Jan-2015 8:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rickbb (Post 49087)
Couldn't he try a DB4 with no reflector aimed at 75 degrees?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tower Guy (Post 49088)
That could work. If so, add the two antennas with a TVPRAMP-1R preamp.

Does a DB4 offer advantages over the DB8?

I would think more panels would mean more signal.

This (expen$ive) DB8e is advertised as multi-directional.

Is there any real benefit with that technology, or does it just use fancy gizmos to trick ignorant tvfools into spending more money?

timgr 28-Jan-2015 9:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jp2code (Post 49090)
...
Is there any real benefit with that technology, or does it just use fancy gizmos to trick ignorant tvfools into spending more money?

Heh. ;)

ADTech (Antennas Direct Technician) is a regular here, and provides very good advice to a lot of people, without uncritically promoting his company's products.

The DB8e is a great antenna. It's basically two DB4e antennae mounted on a frame so the panels can be pivoted, and both panels coupled into a single cable. AD provides excellent technical specs on their antennas - take a look https://www.antennasdirect.com/cmss_...s/DB8E-TDS.pdf from https://www.antennasdirect.com/store...V-Antenna.html

It's an excellent antenna. When both panels are pointed the same way, it's significantly more sensitive than a single DB4e. And, the two panels can be aimed in different directions at a somewhat lower sensitivity. Up to you whether the extra expense is worth it, but it does what it claims to do.

Potentially you could get a DB8e and remove the reflectors, as mentioned above for the DB4e. That might be better than pointing the panels 180 degrees apart.

Be sure to distinguish between the DB8, the DB8e and the DB4e. The "e" antennas are more recent designs, optimized for the narrow bandwidth for TV that the FCC mandated in 2009. The DB8 is an older antenna.

jp2code 28-Jan-2015 10:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timgr (Post 49093)
Potentially you could get a DB8e and remove the reflectors, as mentioned above for the DB4e. That might be better than pointing the panels 180 degrees apart.

Be sure to distinguish between the DB8, the DB8e and the DB4e. The "e" antennas are more recent designs, optimized for the narrow bandwidth for TV that the FCC mandated in 2009. The DB8 is an older antenna.

Which parts of the DB8e/DB4e antennas are the "reflectors"?

...and, is a DB8 antenna just as good? I'm guessing if it is older, it would be less expensive. Here, my FCC ignorance is showing. I don't know what the 2009 mandate did. It could have been something to prevent lawsuits, or it could have provided great TV viewing benefits.

timgr 28-Jan-2015 10:24 PM

The screens behind the bowties.

In 2009 the FCC narrowed the UHF TV band from chs 14-69 to chs 14-51. The 700 MHz band chs 52-69 was turned over to wifi and local public service uses. The sensitivity of the DB8 peaks in the 700 MHz band, which is no longer TV. The DB8e peaks below 700 MHz, in the current TV band. Many of the UHF antennas on the market are optimized to the pre-2009 TV channels, and thus miss an opportunity to increase sensitivity by narrowing their target bandwidth. So the DB8e is not only newer, it is more sensitive than the DB8.

Tower Guy 29-Jan-2015 12:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jp2code (Post 49090)
Does a DB4 offer advantages over the DB8?

I would think more panels would mean more signal.
?

The extra panels pick up more signal if the stations are in exactly the same direction. In your case the signals are spread out and the DB4 will work better than the DB8.

jp2code 29-Jan-2015 2:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tower Guy (Post 49106)
The extra panels pick up more signal if the stations are in exactly the same direction. In your case the signals are spread out and the DB4 will work better than the DB8.

Yikes! I had that DB8e in my shopping cart when I saw this post, too.

OK, now, discounting Channel 7 (VHF) and the channels I don't know what they are (no virtual channels, so nothing appears on my tuner anyway), I am left with only two (2) main groups. One around the 215 range, and the farther out stations at about 75.

Edited Radar Plot:
http://i.imgur.com/2mzEqWq.jpg

* NOTE: If anyone can make suggestions with the guys at TV Fool that do the plots, it would be nice if the grid had a Check Box option to display it on the graph. As it is, I had to edit it.

I was thinking that DB8e could point half of its antenna along one azimuth and half along the other.

If I used a DB4e and pointed one panel along each azimuth, would a single panel by itself be able to get those stations on the distant Edge?

I also saw where Antennas Direct makes a VHF add-on for their UHF antennas.

Antennas Direct VHF-1 VHF Retrofit Kit

It says "Range: 25 to 50+ miles", and my one VHF channel is at ~27 miles. Would that eliminate my need to purchase the separate TVPRAMP-1R preamp.

...looking like what rickbb told me in Post 3.

Is there a decent 2009+ DB4 or DB8 (enhanced versions) that already comes without the reflectors? I'd hate to buy something new only to tear off half of the antenna and throw it away.

timgr 29-Jan-2015 3:50 PM

Ok, you have a group at 75 and 225 magnetic, that's ca 150 degrees separation. Look at page 7 of the DB8e specs https://www.antennasdirect.com/cmss_...s/DB8E-TDS.pdf - that shows the two arrays at 75 degrees off broadside, or 150 degrees separation. This gives you about 10 dB gain at these axes, which should pick up all those stations if you mount the antenna in clear air with no obstructing trees or building in the LOS to the transmitters.

Rather than the VHF retrofit kit, I'd use an Antennacraft Y5713 on the same mast, and combine it with a UVSJ http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=uvsj if you don't want a preamp. That's the same setup you'd be getting with the VHF retrofit kit, but you'd have a lot more signal. The VHF kit would probably work, but you are getting the small add-on dipole and a UVSJ, same as the link above... except it will say "Antennas Direct" on it.

Tower Guy 30-Jan-2015 3:20 PM

Timgr's suggestion is an elegant solution. I've had mixed luck with multiple lobe 4 bay antennas, but I've not tried the DB8e.

jp2code 30-Jan-2015 3:24 PM

Yeah, I meant to add a big THANKS to Tim's post.

I just got preoccupied looking up different antenna solutions. :cool:

jp2code 18-Feb-2015 11:50 PM

So, the $160 Antennas Direct DB8e is on backorder for an undisclosed amount of time.

Solid Signals is recommending that I get their $70 HDB8X instead.

They said it was just as good as the DB8e, but how would I know? The description doesn't say it has been updated to the 2009 FCC spectrum - that I can see.

ADTech 19-Feb-2015 1:22 AM

Quote:

doesn't say it has been updated to the 2009 FCC spectrum - that I can see.
It hasn't.

We anticipate that the DB8e will be back in stock soon, perhaps next week.

jp2code 19-Feb-2015 1:58 AM

Thanks for letting me know!

jp2code 5-Mar-2015 1:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ADTech (Post 49524)
It hasn't.

We anticipate that the DB8e will be back in stock soon, perhaps next week.

It has been 3 weeks since that post.

Any idea when the DB8e is going to be available?

ADTech 5-Mar-2015 2:34 PM

Three days ago.... It took longer than anticipated to get our stuff through Long Beach.

As of this morning, we have about 100 ready to ship but our Sales Dept is sitting on a very large order that will take us back to zero balance for a little while. Supply is going to be sporadic for a week or three longer, but it then should stabilize properly.

jp2code 15-Mar-2015 2:01 AM

My DB8e got here yesterday, and I got it installed today.

...well, I got it hung, but not wired up.

How do I tell which side is the front? Both sides are flat, and the instructions don't say.

GroundUrMast 15-Mar-2015 4:28 AM

The 'bow-tie' elements have red insulating material at their tips. This is the front end of the antenna. The back end of the antenna is wire mesh grid material. The elements should face the signal source.

jp2code 15-Mar-2015 10:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GroundUrMast (Post 50102)
The 'bow-tie' elements have red insulating material at their tips. This is the front end of the antenna. The back end of the antenna is wire mesh grid material. The elements should face the signal source.

Thanks!

123456789

jp2code 1-May-2015 1:47 AM

So, just FYI:

That antenna is badass!

http://i.imgur.com/sxT8CDQh.jpg

jp2code 7-Dec-2015 12:54 AM

So, the AntennaCraft Y5713 was working great at pulling in that one VHF High channel - right up until a limb fell and crushed it.

Now, it appears AntennaCraft has discontinued it.

I can't seem to find any basic little VHF antennas anymore. What's up with that?

Does anyone here have any good leads on a decent VHF antenna? It doesn't need to be fancy.

ADTech 7-Dec-2015 2:09 AM

Antenna Craft is out of business, part of the Radio Shack bankruptcy.

Flint Ridge 7-Dec-2015 12:05 PM

Stellar Labs has stuff out on Amazon. Have not used them... There are others, too I'm sure.

Flint Ridge 7-Dec-2015 12:07 PM

Here is another one... Again, can't say how good it is...

http://www.abilityhdtv.com/product-i...nna-pid65.html

Tower Guy 7-Dec-2015 12:26 PM

MCM also carries a cheap VHF only antenna. I don't know anything else about it.

ADTech 7-Dec-2015 12:36 PM

..and we do have out ClearStream 5, of course. Compact, medium gain high-VHF performance. Performance similar to a 5- 6 element Yagi but much more compact.

jp2code 7-Dec-2015 8:32 PM

Oh! That would explain it.

I just ordered this one:

http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/30-2475

It has 2 reviews, both good.

Fingers crossed.

MikeBear 8-Dec-2015 8:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jp2code (Post 53967)
Oh! That would explain it.

I just ordered this one:

http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/30-2475

It has 2 reviews, both good.

Fingers crossed.

That's a great antenna, I own two of them. They are very comparable to the AntennaCraft Y5713 antenna.

I gave Holl_ands all the specs over on the digitalhome Canadian forum, and he modeled it through the 4Nec2 program. Post starts here, and runs a couple pages: http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/186-...ml#post2583505

jp2code 20-Dec-2015 12:02 AM

You're right, Mike!

The Stellar Labs 30-2475 antenna is made much better quality than the AntennaCraft Y5713 it replaced!

Here are some pics of it put up:

http://i.imgur.com/xPvqbL6h.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/foZmX6mh.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/fRXhvV2h.jpg

There are a lot of trees for it to force a signal through, though.

MikeBear 20-Dec-2015 12:14 AM

Looks good. However it's too closely mounted under your UHF antenna. They need to be at least 2 feet apart, and should really be 3 feet apart.

Otherwise they will interact in unpredictable ways.

jp2code 20-Dec-2015 12:26 AM

Oh!

No one ever said that before.

jp2code 11-Mar-2020 5:34 PM

Very old thread, but I did move the VHF antenna inside the attic and it was doing great all these years.

A few months ago, we had a big storm and the one VHF station went away. I thought their tower had issues, so I ignored it. Time went by and I contacted them. They said there is no issue with their antenna. When I look in the attic, everything is still connected.

What would cause the VHF station to go away? What is a good, basic way to troubleshoot this? I don't have RF testing equipment.

The UHF and VHF are joined at a splitter (maybe there is a better name for that) and they both travel down the same coax to the television.

MikeBear 11-Mar-2020 5:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jp2code (Post 62683)
Very old thread, but I did move the VHF antenna inside the attic and it was doing great all these years.

A few months ago, we had a big storm and the one VHF station went away. I thought their tower had issues, so I ignored it. Time went by and I contacted them. They said there is no issue with their antenna. When I look in the attic, everything is still connected.

What would cause the VHF station to go away? What is a good, basic way to troubleshoot this? I don't have RF testing equipment.

The UHF and VHF are joined at a splitter (maybe there is a better name for that) and they both travel down the same coax to the television.


Perhaps the station changed frequencies, due to the repack going on? Have you rescanned your channels to see if it then comes in? What are the stations call letters? Maybe it's running lower power temporarily due to repack issues

Do you have any other VHF station, that still comes in right now? What are it's call letters?

Here's the big daddy version of your Stellar Labs VHF antenna. If you ever want to upgrade: https://www.newark.com/stellar-labs/...nna/dp/71Y5462

jp2code 11-Mar-2020 6:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeBear (Post 62684)
Perhaps the station changed frequencies, due to the repack going on? Have you rescanned your channels to see if it then comes in? What are the stations call letters? Maybe it's running lower power temporarily due to repack issues

Do you have any other VHF station, that still comes in right now? What are it's call letters?

Here's the big daddy version of your Stellar Labs VHF antenna. If you ever want to upgrade: https://www.newark.com/stellar-labs/...nna/dp/71Y5462

Back on Post 1, I listed the TV Fool data. It hasn't changed. There is still only one VHF station in my area. It is KLTV, and in the green zone.

I have done a rescan of the channels, and it no longer appears. I have to punch it in manually.

I suppose it could be running in low power mode.

MikeBear 11-Mar-2020 6:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jp2code (Post 62685)
Back on Post 1, I listed the TV Fool data. It hasn't changed. There is still only one VHF station in my area. It is KLTV, and in the green zone.

I have done a rescan of the channels, and it no longer appears. I have to punch it in manually.

I suppose it could be running in low power mode.

What does: "I have to punch it in manually" mean? Are you saying if you punch in say 7.1 on your remote, it then comes in and works?

If so, then what does: "It no longer appears" mean? No longer appears WHERE, or on what?

What brand and model number of tv set, or tuner device are you using? If you have more than one, does this happen on all of them?

By the way, TvFool hasn't updated in a very long time, it's no longer accurate. Here's a RabbitEars report for your area: https://www.rabbitears.info/searchma...study_id=68840

jp2code 11-Mar-2020 7:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeBear (Post 62686)
What does: "I have to punch it in manually" mean? Are you saying if you punch in say 7.1 on your remote, it then comes in and works?

If so, then what does: "It no longer appears" mean? No longer appears WHERE, or on what?

What brand and model number of tv set, or tuner device are you using? If you have more than one, does this happen on all of them?

By the way, TvFool hasn't updated in a very long time, it's no longer accurate. Here's a RabbitEars report for your area: https://www.rabbitears.info/searchma...study_id=68840

That means the channel search doesn't find it, and I have to push in 7.1 on the remote to see a bunch of static.

EDIT: Actually, it isn't static. People on here are too literal. The TV says there is no signal.


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