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bennyfactor 15-Sep-2011 8:59 PM

Any way to get distant major networks with local PBS nearby?
I have recently purchased a Winegard SS-3000. I live in an loft-style apartment with tall north-facing windows, and have it mounted about 25' AGL. There are no tall buildings to the north of mine (the apartment is in the most northerly block of commercial-type brick buildings in the center of town). I am able to pic k up the local university PBS network (WTIU), but can't get the main networks from Indianapolis (NBC and CBS are what I care about).

I got the SS-3000 since it seemed to be the most sensitive indoor antenna available, but it's hard to find dB measurements for indoor antennas. It came with a small external amplifier.

Is there any amplifier which I could purchase that could let me pick up WTHR and WISH? I realize that with such a strong transmitter nearby an amplifier might get overloaded, is there some sort of VHF-only amplification that would work? Or something that could filter out the UHF PBS signal before the amp?

Since it is a city-block apartment I can't mount an external antenna. If there is some other, more sensitive indoor antenna than the SS-3000 I wouldn't be opposed to it, either. An outdoor antenna like the Antennas Direct DB4 or the Winegard 4400 would fit in the window as well, but these are UHF-only. Is there a VHF that has a similar configuration? A yagi-type antenna is no good, obviously.

GroundUrMast 16-Sep-2011 12:49 AM

You're in a tough spot. If you had access to the roof, I'd recommend a large Yagi such as a Winegard HD7698P. The signal levels looking north are too low to expect an indoor antenna to receive enough power to give you reliable reception.

Amplifiers need a usable signal from an antenna... otherwise, why would anyone bother building an antenna? An antenna is a bit like a microphone, you would not expect to set up a microphone in your apartment, hook it to an amplifier and then listen to a conversation between two people in the park several blocks away. If you turned up the gain, you would hear more noise, but probably little if any of the distant voices.

At football games you occasionally see someone standing on the sidelines with a dish reflector that has an attached microphone. The dish increases the sensitivity of the microphone in one direction so it can 'hear' sound across the field with less interference from other sounds from the back and sides. Small indoor antennas don't have much if any ability to focus their sensitivity. Larger antennas have reflector and/or director elements that focus the sensitivity in one direction, making them able to gather more signal when aimed at a signal source.

The reason you don't see published gain figures for indoor antennas is that generally the have little if any gain compared to a reference dipole antenna. The manufacturer probably thinks that advertising a gain figure in the range of -3 to +3 dB would not help sales, so they just don't say anything about gain. offers commercial quality single channel filters. That you're seeing WTIU suggests that the amplifier in the SS-3000 is not overloading. I doubt that addition of an expensive filter will solve your problem by itself. You need a large high gain antenna mounted outside in the clear, a low noise preamp and possibly, a CH-14 blocking filter.

John Candle 16-Sep-2011 6:26 AM

Tv Antennas and Reception
I recommend give this antenna a try , Aim the antenna at about 45 degree magnetic compass. Here is how to aim antennas ,

Tower Guy 16-Sep-2011 1:35 PM


Originally Posted by bennyfactor (Post 11808)
A yagi-type antenna is no good, obviously.

Consider the smallish Y5-7-13. Next get a VHF only preamp such as the Winegard AP-3700.

For UHF reception WTIU is too strong. You can't use an amplified antenna. The amplifer internal to the SS-3000 can't be bypassed. Try the Radio Shack 15-234 bow tie instead.

John Candle 16-Sep-2011 8:08 PM

Tv Antennas and Reception
Can all so try a Channel Master CM4228HD antenna aimed at about 45 degree magnetic compass. , ,

Tower Guy 16-Sep-2011 9:19 PM


Originally Posted by John Candle (Post 11853)
Can all so try a Channel Master CM4228HD antenna aimed at about 45 degree magnetic

WTHR is on VHF channel 13 at 23 magnetic
WISH is on VHF channel 9 at 23 magnetic
The 4228HD is a UHF antenna.

In this the case 4228 could pick up way too much UHF signal. That's why a VHF only antenna is a better choice.

Tower Guy 16-Sep-2011 9:21 PM


Originally Posted by bennyfactor (Post 11808)
It came with a small external amplifier.

Not exactly. The small external device is the power supply for the amplifier internal to the antenna. Omitting or unplugging the power supply will cause unpredictable results.

bennyfactor 17-Sep-2011 4:59 AM

Thanks for the info, everyone. It's really helpful. I didn't realize the SS-3000 had an internal amplifier, I wouldn't have gotten it otherwise.

I'll try the AP-3700 with a bow tie antenna. If that doesn't work I'll see about the yagi Tower Guy recommended -- it's a loft apartment after all. I can see the conduit in between some of the rafters, it's not like an antenna is going to destroy the aesthetic. Plus it'll get me about 10 more feet.

Any ladder reccomendations? :D

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