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Old 24-Apr-2015, 3:15 PM   #1
joes1971
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Cut the cord in Webster NY!

Well I have been receiving OTA for many years at my residence along with satellite but have finally cut the cord!Never was a big fan of paying my satellite provider for local channels that have been free for 50 plus years.So I have been switching sources for around 20 years to get locals.Now it is all I have.

I have been using a very large directional Winegard UHF/VHF antenna (not sure of model) along with a mast mounted winegard pre amp mounted on 20 foot of ROHN with an additional 10 foot mast and digitally operated rotor.I have 75 foot of quadshield split to 5 TV's.The biggest challenge is the numerous large trees in just about every direction.Windy days are the worst for reception but overall I get what I should.

My location is interesting in that I am 6 miles from Rochesters locals and 65 miles east from Buffalo & 75 west from Syracuse locals.I get Canadian programming off the back of my antenna on occasion without rotating(Most likely due to nearness of shoreline to Lake Ontario).

My goal is to see if I can optimize reception from as many markets as possible including canadian programming without the need of a rotor.I know its unlikely to be all the time but I have been inspired by reading these forums and some of the configurations are very interesting.Any and all help on antennas and configurations are greatly appreciated.Here is my TV Fool report.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...f1f09b7abbf6c3

Thanks in advance,Joe.
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Old 24-Apr-2015, 3:37 PM   #2
ADTech
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Quote:
The biggest challenge is the numerous large trees in just about every direction.Windy days are the worst for reception but overall I get what I should.
Yep, common issue. An antenna cannot fix that.

There are only three things I know of that will. See http://forum.tvfool.com/showpost.php...26&postcount=2
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Old 24-Apr-2015, 4:30 PM   #3
joes1971
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TrueI benefit from having some elevation and 60 miles of uninterrupted terrain to the north.This is why I try.

When pointing my existing configuration I am able to draw in some channels from all the listed markets with relative success.What I am interested in trying is to do the same without the use of a rotor.Based on my report and proximity to the various transmitters I am interested in a new configuration & hoping to not have to rescan & point etc...

Thoughts...
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Old 24-Apr-2015, 5:26 PM   #4
tomfoolery
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Location: Rochester, NY
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My neighbor across the street has three antennas for three markets (Rochester, Syracuse, and Toronto) into a dedicated computer with OTA tuner cards and software, so he has a seamless list of stations with no need to rotate or manually switch antennas. I don't know much other than what I just told you (which he had told me), but I find it interesting nonetheless.

Oh, and I'm just south of you, in Penfield.
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Old 24-Apr-2015, 6:58 PM   #5
joes1971
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Hello neighbor! , Interesting...Seems Hi-Tech So I am not the only one trying to pull this off.willing to research any and all combinations that can effectively collect signals VHF & UHF from different directions.

Anyone had a chance to look at the TV Fool report to weigh in on the possibility of reception in this location without a rotor?

Thanks Again

Whttp://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...f1f09b7abbf6c3
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Old 24-Apr-2015, 7:51 PM   #6
rabbit73
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If you have 20 ft of tower and 10 ft of mast, why did you enter 15 ft AGL for your tvfool report? You need all the height you can get for your plan, especially with trees. Here is your report at 30 ft for your estimated location:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...f1f0febab36d07
and at 50 ft:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...f1f056e6796d1a



You have some strong FM signals that might cause a problem for your preamp. See the second attachment.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg joes1971map2_1.jpg (133.0 KB, 586 views)
File Type: jpg joes1971FMest_1.jpg (169.5 KB, 168 views)
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Last edited by rabbit73; 24-Apr-2015 at 8:17 PM.
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Old 24-Apr-2015, 7:57 PM   #7
stvcmty
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If you don’t mind using multiple antennas, there are ways to combine them to get signals from different directions on the same coax.

If you just want specific sub channels from other markets and don’t mind standard definition images, in my opinion, the easiest thing to do is add them to your main direction with converter boxes. So for example in your case point your main antenna south west. Then point a 2nd antenna at WSYT and connect just (a) converter box(s) to that antenna. Use converter boxes that have a set of RCA composite video/analog audio outputs. Feed that (those) analog outputs into analog modulator(s) set to open channels (the 60’s are wide open if you use a low pass filter) that is combined with the feed from your main antenna. Doing this results in SD analog channels on numbers different from their broadcast station in your house.

If you want to grab an entire ATSC signal from a secondary market and add it to your main signal, I have had good luck with analog heterodyne processors available from cable head ends on ebay. A heterodyne moves a signal from one frequency to another. So I have almost nothing in the VHF low range near me. I have a bunch of signals from DC and Baltimore, but there are some stations to the north. So I use a heterodyne for each station from the north and move them from their UHF broadcast channel to a VHF-low frequency for distribution in my house. With virtual channels stations end up where they should when channel surfing. Using an analog heterodyne for a digital signal is not optimal. It works for me, but a lot of care went into getting clean signals into the heterodynes. Cable headend equipment has very hot outputs, so I use pads on the outputs. I have a HDHR that I used to the signal strengths close using the adjustment knob on the heterodynes. I put my moved channels on VHF-low so I can use a HLSJ to inject them into the system. (some heterodyne processors on ebay have fixed input and output channels, unless you were really lucky they would probably not work. The best ones to use are the adjustable ones. Cable 14 is not the same as OTA 14, so it is important to make sure the switches are set for UHF and not cable.)
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Old 24-Apr-2015, 8:34 PM   #8
rabbit73
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Quote:
What I am interested in trying is to do the same without the use of a rotor.Based on my report and proximity to the various transmitters I am interested in a new configuration & hoping to not have to rescan & point etc...
I have 75 foot of quadshield split to 5 TV's.
I agree with stvcmty. You need 3 antennas, and a way to combine the signals into one coax before splitting.

If you only had one TV, I would say use an A/B/C switch to select the antenna you want and use a Sony TV that can add a channel after scan, to avoid the need to rescan every time you switch antennas.
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Last edited by rabbit73; 24-Apr-2015 at 8:37 PM.
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Old 24-Apr-2015, 8:49 PM   #9
joes1971
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Rabbit,my existing equipment is as listed in the dialogue, the report elevation was an error sorry for that.30 ft. will be most representative of what I have and likely the most elevation I will get.(Wife)

I have seen some posts with reference to combining different antennas into one coax & also panel style multi-directional antennas as well.

Based on my report at 30 ft. what hardware variations are being used that folks are having good success with?

Regarding the FM signals will the amp trap help or fix issues with this?

Thanks!
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Old 25-Apr-2015, 1:11 AM   #10
rabbit73
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Quote:
existing equipment is as listed in the dialogue
Right; that's why I said "had" instead of "have."

Quote:
30 ft. will be most representative of what I have and likely the most elevation I will get.(Wife)
Ah, yes! We have encountered that before. We call it the WAF, Wife Acceptance Factor or Wife Approval Factor.

"The King lives in the castle at the discretion of the Queen."

A wife will even consider a "man cave" to be her room, because the whole house is her "nest."
That viewpoint is genetic, and necessary for the survival of the human race.

Quote:
I have seen some posts with reference to combining different antennas into one coax & also panel style multi-directional antennas as well.
In spite of some glowing reviews, the antenna with two panels, each aimed in a different direction, often doesn't work. When the same signals from each antenna panel reach the combining point, they can interfere with each other if they are not in phase. It's bad enough for two directions, impossible with three. Three separate antennas combined into one coax, as previously suggested by stvcmty, sounds more complicated, but stvcmty and I feel that it would cause you less grief in the long run.

I am always amazed when someone wants a simple system that duplicates what a CATV system headend does with multiple antennas, amplifiers, and modulators costing thousands of dollars. You will need to cut back on your expectations and settle for improving one direction or be prepared to spend a lot of time and money building a system that does what you want.

Have you read these threads?

If you are good with computers:
An Alternative to Rotators and Antenna Combiners
http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=820

This is a little more simple, but less flexible:
Another Alternative to an Antenna Rotator or Combiner
http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=2882

Don't do this, it isn't legal:
Save money- make a TV transmitter for $35 if not FREE
http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=13095

To rotate, or not to rotate.
http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=8275

The simple system that I favor, if you are not prepared to go down the road suggested by stvcmty, is to use two converter boxes or tuners to add the channels from the second and third antennas to the signals from the primary antenna, using CH 3 and 4 analog outputs, a splitter reversed as a combiner, and a HLSJ to add to the system with a second combiner.

It is important to be aware that the CH 3 and CH 4 RF outputs of the the converter boxes are mini transmitters, and must have their outputs attenuated as much as possible before combining. The port to port isolation of a splitter used as a combiner is not sufficient to guarantee that their analog signals will not reach the primary antenna and be radiated, unless you take measures to attenuate their signals and provide additional isolation. The isolation provide by two combiners and a HLSJ is probably sufficient.

Quote:
Regarding the FM signals will the amp trap help or fix issues with this?
Yes, but you might need to insert some attenuation between the primary antenna and the input of the preamp to prevent preamp overload from your strong local signals. If the FM trap in the amp is not sufficient, you can add a second FM trap or a HLSL between the antenna and the preamp.

Please let us know how it works out for you.
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Last edited by rabbit73; 6-May-2015 at 3:12 PM.
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Old 27-Apr-2015, 8:27 PM   #11
joes1971
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Well that was some deep reading. I am digesting all of this so thank you very much!I'm trimming my expectations... and some trees as we speak.

I am looking more now at an antenna choice to capture the Rochester market & possibly the majority of the Buffalo Market in the range from 208- 260 degrees while sacrificing the balance of the Buffalo Market at 270-290 as its probably not within the beam,miles or desired channel interest.

I am using the above TV Fool report at 30'.

16 channels are UHF(between 6 & 70 miles) while 2 are VHF (at 6 miles).

i'll keep my rotor for now as I don't see a solution to combine the canadian programming as easily as I had hoped.

Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks Again Joe.
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Old 29-Apr-2015, 3:13 PM   #12
BigDaveyL
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Hello fellow Rochestarian!

I am also a cord cutter, I am on the other side of the city in Greece.

I would suggest looking into a Tin Lee Combiner. It could get a bit pricey. He is out of Toronto.

Also, several of the local Radio Shacks are going out of business and have FM traps. I picked up 4 for $2/each.

I haven't had much luck with Syracuse, other than the Fox affiliate.

I do get Ch. 27 (Global). I also get RF 26 (TVO) and 12 (CBC - CHEX) from time to time.

Based on my tests, I come up 2-3% short on signal strength/quality based on the on the output of my HD Homerun.

I have a dumb questions for the Rochestarians... Do you guys have an extension ladder that I could happen to borrow? I don't have one and don't want to pay $300-$400 for something I'll use once in awhile. I am trying to squeeze the last few percent of performance on RF 12 so that the wife and I can get some additional programming and would like to add an FM trap, since we have several local FM channels that could interfere - 100.5, 101.3, 102.7, 103.9. I also want to see if my RCA amp is overloading and possibly swapping it out.

I did also buy 2 10' masts and have an extra HDB8x, but that is a future project. My idea was to point that one at Buffalo to get the Buffalo stations and point my 8200 at CHEX 12 and combine them with a USVJ.
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Old 30-Apr-2015, 12:52 AM   #13
Billiam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDaveyL View Post
Hello fellow Rochestarian!

I am also a cord cutter, I am on the other side of the city in Greece.

I would suggest looking into a Tin Lee Combiner. It could get a bit pricey. He is out of Toronto.

Also, several of the local Radio Shacks are going out of business and have FM traps. I picked up 4 for $2/each.

I haven't had much luck with Syracuse, other than the Fox affiliate.

I do get Ch. 27 (Global). I also get RF 26 (TVO) and 12 (CBC - CHEX) from time to time.

Based on my tests, I come up 2-3% short on signal strength/quality based on the on the output of my HD Homerun.

I have a dumb questions for the Rochestarians... Do you guys have an extension ladder that I could happen to borrow? I don't have one and don't want to pay $300-$400 for something I'll use once in awhile. I am trying to squeeze the last few percent of performance on RF 12 so that the wife and I can get some additional programming and would like to add an FM trap, since we have several local FM channels that could interfere - 100.5, 101.3, 102.7, 103.9. I also want to see if my RCA amp is overloading and possibly swapping it out.

I did also buy 2 10' masts and have an extra HDB8x, but that is a future project. My idea was to point that one at Buffalo to get the Buffalo stations and point my 8200 at CHEX 12 and combine them with a USVJ.

Check some of the rental stores around to see if you can rent something for a day. Also, they now make extension ladders that break down to a small size and I've seen them in hardware stores as well as Wal Wart. You should be able to find something in the Rochester area.
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