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Old 28-Apr-2015, 4:47 PM   #1
Reibisch
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VHF Reception Assistance

I have two antenna mounted in my attic (approximately 25 ft. above ground) pointed towards the Baltimore and Washington DC markets. Both antenna are joined with a 2:1 splitter which is connected to an RCA amplifier. I installed the amplifier due to a pretty long cable run (approx. 200ft) to my basement. Unfortunately there isn't a more direct path without drilling floor to floor so it runs the length of the house in the attic and down through my vinyl siding then to my media center in my basement. The cable is then split 1:2 (one feed to my 2nd floor bedroom and one feed to my HD Homerun). With the long cable run there is some signal/channel loss in my bedroom feed however the feed over my LAN is pretty good (picture below).
http://s1.postimg.org/frj10snnj/image.jpg

I access the HD Homerun via PLEX on my ROKU 3rd generation and iOS devices. It would be ideal if I could pull in Baltimore WBAL 11 and WJZ13 which are the same direction and distance as WMAR 2.1 ABC Baltimore. Any thoughts on what I might need to do? Would a preamplifier work? Should I switch Antennas?

Baltimore Antenna: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

DC Antenna: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

TV Fool Report: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...f1f09ed932a1b7
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Old 28-Apr-2015, 5:18 PM   #2
ADTech
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Since you have two UHF antennas there, it's not surprising at all that you're having difficulty receiving your high-VHF channels (7-13).

Add a high-VHF antenna with at least a 50 beamwidth and your odds of simultaneously picking up 7 & 9 from DC and 11 & 13 from BMI will increase dramatically.
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Old 28-Apr-2015, 6:05 PM   #3
Reibisch
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According to Amazon and the literature in the antenna box, it is a UHF and VHF antenna.
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Old 28-Apr-2015, 6:55 PM   #4
Stereocraig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reibisch View Post
According to Amazon and the literature in the antenna box, it is a UHF and VHF antenna.
While UHF antennas can p/u VHF signals, your situation w/ 2 edge, is not ideal. Dedicated antennas for different bands and/ or directions, will almost always perform better.
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Old 28-Apr-2015, 7:11 PM   #5
ADTech
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reibisch View Post
According to Amazon and the literature in the antenna box, it is a UHF and VHF antenna.
They can SAY whatever they want. The antenna is what it is, a UHF antenna.

That means that any VHF reception it might offer is completely coincidental to its actual design. It is also unmeasured and unquantified meaning no one has any idea of what it actually does since the seller has provided nothing but some wishful-thinking range in miles. Most likely, its VHF reception is at odd angles and the measured gain would be quite negative. Both attributes will vary with frequency making the whole thing a hit or miss on an out-of-design-band attempt.
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Last edited by ADTech; 28-Apr-2015 at 7:15 PM.
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Old 28-Apr-2015, 7:24 PM   #6
Jake V
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Your TV Fool Report only resolves to the block level. Re-do it with the following instructions: http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=14508 -- I think this is important since there are some mountains between your location in Point of Rocks and I-270 that can block the signals. But there are locations that are better than others.
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Old 28-Apr-2015, 7:30 PM   #7
Reibisch
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I guess I have no way of validating the ability to receive VHF channels, other than how the product was sold. I do have a very similar antenna from the same manufacturer pointed towards DC and get VHF channels there. The only visible difference between the two antenna are that DC has 4 Bays and the Baltimore antenna has 2 Bays. perhaps I should just try switching them? While I'd like to get the DC VHF channels, I'd much rather receive channel 11 in Baltimore, for football. If switching doesn't yield the desired results, do you have recommendations on an inexpensive VHF antenna?
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Old 28-Apr-2015, 8:26 PM   #8
No static at all
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You will need a LOT of antenna to get 13. 11 is not as hard to get to areas west of Baltimore, but 13's directional signal is not as strong as TV Fool predicts.

11 & 13 will require a REAL VHF antenna, especially inside an attic. I recommend nothing less than a Y10-7-13. (If you can find one)
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Old 29-Apr-2015, 12:59 AM   #9
rabbit73
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You really have stacked the cards against yourself.

1. You are trying to receive VHF signals using antennas designed for UHF.

2. You are using UHF antennas that most likely have printed ciruit board baluns that have higher losses for VHF than UHF. The older bowtie antennas used ferrite core baluns that were for VHF and UHF.

3. You are using the 4-bay bowtie for the stronger VHF signals, and using the 2-bay for the weaker signals.

4. The signals that you are trying to receive from Baltimore are 2Edge signals with serious terrain obstructions in the signal path. Click on the callsign in your tvfool report to see what the terrain profile looks like between the transmitter at the left end and your location at the right end.

5. You have placed your antennas in the attic which creates an unknown signal loss.

6. You are using a tuner that is less sensitive than many tuners in TVs.

7. You are combining two UHF antennas with a splitter in reverse. This sometimes works, but often not. When the signals from each antenna from the same station arrive at the combining point, they can interfere with each other if they don't arrive in phase.
An Alternative to Rotators and Antenna Combiners
http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=820

8. Your tvfool report is based on an approximate location, instead of an exact address, making it a less reliable computer simulation.

9. The RCA TVPRAMP1R preamp (if that's what you are using) is known to have a problem with the combined/separate switch. It sometimes doesn't make good contact for VHF in the separate position. The workaround is to combine a UHF and a VHF antenna with a UVSJ connected to the combined input.
http://www.rcaantennas.net/docs/comm...PRAMP1R_OM.pdf

Summit Source might have a Y10-7-13. Keep in mind that antennas don't ship well; about half of the ones that I have ordered arrived with some damage. You can find the Y5-7-13 more easily, maybe at a local Radio Shack. A higher gain antenna has a narrower beamwidth, making a compromise azimuth aim less likely to work.

http://www.summitsource.com/antennac...13-p-9259.html

The Y10-7-13 beamwidth is 45 degrees:
http://www.antennacraft.net/pdfs/Y10-7-13.pdf

The Y5-7-13 is 55 degrees:
http://www.antennacraft.net/pdfs/Y5-7-13.pdf

It is possible to use the VHF section of a UHF/VHF combo antenna by connecting it through a UVSJ.
Quote:
Would a preamplifier work? Should I switch Antennas?
Yes, yes.

I don't see any problems with strong FM signals causing interference.
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File Type: jpg ReibischFMtvff2_1.jpg (206.2 KB, 174 views)
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Last edited by rabbit73; 29-Apr-2015 at 2:01 AM.
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