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moss7404 7-Apr-2010 4:04 PM

Antenna selection help
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I need some help selecting the right antenna. I've attached my report.

I need to install the antenna in the attic. We have asphalt shingles on the roof. We currently have an HDTV antenna, but the reception is so spotty, we're going crazy! We live in a somewhat remote area, so signal strength isn't overly strong.

Knowledgable advice about a recommended HDTV antenna would be greatly appreciated.


rci2985dx 7-Apr-2010 5:07 PM

Wow, It looks like you will get alot of stations where you live. I would go with a HBU-33 or HBU-44 and I think you will be happy. though I am new to this I put and HBU-33 at 20 ft and am getting more than I thought I would. I should have gone bigger but still happy with my choice.

You have alot more stations in the colors that are easyer to get where you live according to the radar plot than I do so one of those I mentioned would be great.

I am sure someone with much more knowlage will chime in and tell you some thing better.


moss7404 7-Apr-2010 5:14 PM

Which direction do you point the antenna if stations are in different locations?


rci2985dx 7-Apr-2010 5:26 PM

Well you would need a rotor if you want to get all the stations on the plot. Nice thing is a bunch are in the same direction so you can point it in one direction for each group like 184 degrees for 22,26,25,42,44, and 45. Then 294 degrees for 32,19,46,16,40. and there are other stations in groups in the same directions. that is if you want to mount a antenna and rotor outside.

you might be able to get away with a good omni antenna but I dot know any thing about those antennas.

Someone will get in here that knows this stuff and will tell you if my advice is ok or not and maybe have a better sugestion.


andy.s.lee 8-Apr-2010 1:42 AM

Your channel groupings to the south and to the west are pretty strong and may work with an omni antenna. The advantage is, of course, that you can get multiple metros without having to re-point the antenna all the time.

The down side is that omni antennas don't have that much gain, so they're useless on the weaker, more distant stations.

Another down side is that omni antennas can't help you filter out multipath. That is, if you have lots of multipath in your neighborhood to contend with (reflections off of tall buildings, trees, hills, etc.), an omni antenna will pull it all in and this might make it difficult for your tuner to stay locked on to some channels.

If you want only the channels to your south, then an HBU-33 or HD7694P pointed that direction is all you need (no rotator).

If you go with an omni, you will probably get most of the channels to the south and west, but some of the channels might show occasional breakups (depends on how bad the multipath is in your area).

If you go with a directional antenna and a rotator, you can get pretty reliable reception from all three channel clusters (south, west, and north), but you will need to turn the antenna each time you want to watch channels from a different city.

Best regards,

Tigerbangs 8-Apr-2010 2:20 AM

Andy is right on the money with his recommendations, but I must reiterate his caution about using an omnidirectional antenna indoors: most people are NOT successful using an omnidiretional antenna in an attic because of those antennas inability to reject multipath interference, and attics are hotbeds of multipath.. If you go with a Winegard HD-7694P or a AntennaCraft HBU-33 aimed at 180 degrees by your compass, all the Richmond stations will come in well, which are most likely the stations in which you are interested.

moss7404 8-Apr-2010 11:01 AM

Would some sort of pre-amp help (either the regular or omnidirectional antennas)? If so, any recommendations? Do pre-amps require electrical power to operate?

Channel 12 is off in a different direction from the other stations (if I read the report correctly), but it's a station we'd like to watch, so the prospect of an omnidirectional is attractive (but if it doesn't work, what's the point!).

Thanks for your help.


rci2985dx 8-Apr-2010 3:15 PM

12 is very strong for you. If you point a directional antenna Slightly south/south east like at 180-175 degrees you will prob get all the sothern stations + 12.

You dont need a pre amp for the stations in your plot if you go with a good directiona antenna.

I have two groups of channel in my plot and set mt rotor in between them and get all of them 97% signal. that way I need not move my rotor back and forth.


andy.s.lee 8-Apr-2010 11:20 PM

With a directional antenna (which have high intrinsic gain), you will probably get too much power from the strongest channels on your list for a pre-amp. Signal levels this high will put most pre-amps into overload. This creates distortion across all of your channels, which is a bad thing.

You should be fine with no pre-amp.

The "directionality" of an antenna is closely related to its gain. If you go with a modest gain antenna like an HBU-33 or HD7694P, they have a "beam width" of roughly 60 degrees. That means that can do a reasonably good job of picking up signals if they are within 60 degrees of each other.

If you have a higher gain antenna like the HBU-55, HD7698P, HD8200U, 91XG, 4228HD, DB8, SBGH, etc., then they will have an even tighter beam width. For these high gain antennas, you can expect the beam width to be something more like 30 degrees.

Since your local stations are pretty strong, you don't need a super high gain antenna. One of the smaller antennas will be good enough, and they are a bit more generous on the beam width. As long as the transmitter clusters are close enough together, you might be able to get multiple channel groups when the antenna is pointed between them.

Tigerbangs 9-Apr-2010 12:20 AM

Please understand the difference between a preamp, which is an antenna mounted amplifier designed to take low-level signals and raise them up, and a distribution amplifier, which takes strong signals and gives them enough power to run multiple TV sets. I didn't recommend a preamp for the same reason that Andy did: you have too many strong signals in the air to safely use a preamp without overloading it, but a distribution amplifier has much higher signal input levels, and would be indicated in your multiple-TV set system.

moss7404 9-Apr-2010 8:08 PM

Thanks for your help. You've given me a place to start looking for a solution to our reception problems.


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