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Old 25-Sep-2012, 5:55 AM   #2
GroundUrMast's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,771
Originally Posted by oldsmobile View Post

1) From what I can gather, a preamp is not going to help me get WGCB with my present setup. True or false?

2) In layman's terms, how does one measure signal strength at an antenna? If I cannot even get my DTV box to acknowledge any signal at virtual channel 49, how can I tell whether there's signal to be had or not?

3) If I build a Gray-Hoverman (, could I expect significantly different reception than with my present setup? I suspect I would not.

4) Suppose I bite the bullet and purchase a commercial antenna for rooftop mounting. Which one or ones would be appropriate in my goal of getting everything I presently have plus one more channel, and could any of them also double as a good FM antenna? I would be reluctant to spend money on a commercial antenna for TV only as I have more in the way of FM aspirations.

1) If you have only 25' of RG-6 between the antenna and lone tuner, a preamp is unlikely to help much... unless the noise figure of the tuner is particularly bad. The cheapest way to find out is to buy a preamp and try. (I assume you don't have the tens of thousands of dollars worth of lab equipment needed to measure tuner noise figure.) An amplifier serves to overcome the losses in the cable and splitters that are connected to the amplifier output. An amplifier is not an antenna and can not make an antenna better.

2) Few people own signal strength meters. You can buy a tuner such as a SiliconDust HDHomerun for less than $90 and have a tuner with signal strength (uncalibrated) and quality functions along with manual direct entry tuning of real channels. You could get the $300 HDHomerun-Tech version which has signal level metering calibrated in dBmV. These tuners are intended to connect to a computer via Ethernet and not an analog TV.

3) The GH10n3 is an amazing bit of antenna development work. The computer modeling predicts it to be capable of competing against the largest available consumer grade antennas. If you have the skills, tools and desire... give it try. However, it's too directional to expect reliable reception of all your stations of interest unless you rotate it.

4a) I think you'll need a high gain antenna such as the Antennas Direct 91XG mounted outside in the clear to make WGCB reliable. That antenna is far too directional to simultaneously receive the signals to the sides and rear. Your existing home built antenna 'gets' the rest of the signals of interest already, so an A/B switch and two TV antenna system look like a viable solution to me. There are other options:

4b) I would buy or build an dedicated FM antenna, and cable it separately. By using a TV antenna that is not designed to receive FM, you reduce the potential of FM interference to TV reception. A dedicated FM antenna can be aimed at the intended signal rather than a compromised aim if you used a combination antenna. You also avoid splitter losses by using separate antennas.

Last edited by GroundUrMast; 25-Sep-2012 at 6:25 AM. Reason: gramar
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