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Old 28-Jan-2015, 7:06 PM   #1
jp2code
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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



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.
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Old 28-Jan-2015, 7:14 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 28-Jan-2015, 7:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tower Guy View Post
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?
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Old 28-Jan-2015, 8:07 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 28-Jan-2015, 8:15 PM   #5
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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.

Last edited by Tower Guy; 28-Jan-2015 at 8:18 PM.
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Old 28-Jan-2015, 8:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jp2code View Post
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.
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Old 28-Jan-2015, 8:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickbb View Post
Couldn't he try a DB4 with no reflector aimed at 75 degrees?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tower Guy View Post
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?
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Old 28-Jan-2015, 9:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jp2code View Post
...
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.

Last edited by timgr; 28-Jan-2015 at 9:50 PM.
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Old 28-Jan-2015, 10:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timgr View Post
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.
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Old 28-Jan-2015, 10:24 PM   #10
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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.

Last edited by timgr; 28-Jan-2015 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 29-Jan-2015, 12:03 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jp2code View Post
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.
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Old 29-Jan-2015, 2:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tower Guy View Post
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:


* 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.
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Old 29-Jan-2015, 3:50 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 30-Jan-2015, 3:20 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 30-Jan-2015, 3:24 PM   #15
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Yeah, I meant to add a big THANKS to Tim's post.

I just got preoccupied looking up different antenna solutions.
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Old 18-Feb-2015, 11:50 PM   #16
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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.
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Old 19-Feb-2015, 1:22 AM   #17
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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.
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Old 19-Feb-2015, 1:58 AM   #18
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Thanks for letting me know!
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Old 5-Mar-2015, 1:08 PM   #19
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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?
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Old 5-Mar-2015, 2:34 PM   #20
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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.
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