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Old 13-Mar-2013, 3:52 AM   #1
stvcmty
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DC PBS, CW, MyN and Ion from Baldwin MD

TV fool maps:

5’ http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...1dda4c077038c4
10’ http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...1dda84053cb1aa
15’ http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...1dda850ae5acdd
20’ http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...1dda772e2088fb
25’ http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...1dda84231a200e
29’ http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...1dda3d9f8a4be8

I moved into my house 5 months ago. When I moved in, I put up a 10’ pole behind the house and put up antennas to get the local Baltimore channels. When I did my initial channel scan, I was quite surprised by how many DC stations I got.

What I have:

I have a Y5-7-13 five feet off the ground.
I have a Winegard HD-4400 ten feet off the ground.
They are both aimed at DC (228 magnetic).
They both have 300 to 75 baluns. Short pieces of coax go from the baluns to a UVSJ. A short piece of coax goes from the UVSJ into a Winegard HDP269 preamplifier. Then about 15’ of coax goes to a flat coax segment that is going in the basement door. A short piece of coax goes from the flat segment to the power inserter for the preamplifier.

Then the signal gets split at a two way splitter. One split goes to my computer room. The other goes to the living room. At both the computer room and the living room, a flat coax is used to get the signal up from the basement into the main floor next to a vent in the floor. In the living room the signal goes straight into the TV. In the computer room the signal is split with a PCT amplified 8 port splitter into 2 dual tuner PCI cards and a HDHR, with the remaining 3 outputs terminated.

The living room TV and the PCI tuner cards are quite good at getting signals. The HDHR does not seem as sensitive as the PCI tuner cards.

I reliably get perfectly clearly:
WMAR (Baltimore ABC) RF38
WBAL (Baltimore NBC) RF11
WJZ (Baltimore CBS) RF13
WUTB (Baltimore MyN) RF41

I reliably get with occasional pixilation on:
WNUV (Baltimore CW) RF40
WBFF (Baltimore Fox) RF46
WMPB (Baltimore PBS) RF29
WMPT (Annapolis PBS) RF42 [WMPB and WMPT show the same thing, so I only need one or the other.]
WJLA (DC ABC) RF7
WUSA (DC CBS) RF9
WGAL (A NBC from the north) RF8
WTTG (DC Fox) RF36
WRC (DC NBC) RF48
WFDC (Univision from the direction of DC) RF15

I can get:
WPXW (DC Ion) RF34
WDCA (DC MyN) RF35
But both get pixilated often and the signal quality of them seems weather related.

Sometimes I can get:
WVNC RF24
But it tends to be at night and it is very weather related.

Occasionally I see:
WBOC RF21
It is from the eastern shore and I do not have an antenna pointed in that direction at all, so when I get it, it is neat.

I have seen, but do not reliably or predictably get:
WDCW (DC CW) RF50
WETA (DC PBS) RF27
WHUT (another DC PBS) RF33

I would like to reliably/predictably/with minimal pixilation get the DC CW (WDCW), the DC ION (WPXW), The DC PBS with the kids sub channel (WETA), and the DC MyN (WDCA). I would like to have them reliable enough to DVR them.

The Baltimore CW moves shows my wife wants to watch for sports games, but the DC CW does not do that. TV fool predicts WDCW should be easy to get, but it is my least reliable channel high up in the TV fool report.

Ion has Qubo, which is good for kids, but there is no Baltimore ION, so I would like to get the DC one.

WETA out of DC has a sub channel aimed at Children, which would be good to have for kids.

The DC MyN has a different pre-primetime lineup with shows I like better than some of the Baltimore options in the 6 to 8 time block.

From looking at TV fool and Rabbit Ear’s reports for my house, I wonder if WPXW and WDCA (real 34 and 35) are suffering CO-channel interference from stations in Philly.

***

Whatever I did for VHF so far seems to work well, so I don’t plan to change it. When I setup the antenna, I wanted 11 and 13. Getting 7, 8, and 9 was a nice bonus, with 8 coming from the complete wrong direction and other side of the house.

All my “problem” channels are UHF. I included TV fool reports from where my antennas are now all the way up to 29 feet.

The peak of my roof is 17 feet high. As long as I stay within 12’ of that, the HOA can’t say anything, so the highest I can go with a UHF antenna is 29’.

So my question is what antenna should I use and how high does it need to be to get WDCW, WPXW, WETA and WDCA.

I will probably need a directional high gain antenna to do that, so I could see keeping the HD4400 to get the spread of the Baltimore stations from 219 magnetic to 246 magnetic, and using an A/B switch as needed. (I use WMC for DVR, so it is easy to have different tuners use different antennas)

Thank you for all your suggestions and input.
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Old 13-Mar-2013, 6:03 AM   #2
GroundUrMast
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Quote:
So my question is what antenna should I use and how high does it need to be to get WDCW, WPXW, WETA and WDCA.
'Go big or go home', mount an Antennas Direct 91XG or DB8E at 29'. Equip it with an Antennas Direct CPA-19. Cable it separately from your existing system, run to a dedicated tuner such as a SiliconDust HDHR3-US. If you want to access the 'DC' antenna from a conventional TV, run a second drop to the TV and use an A/B switch or HD capable set-top-tuner to terminate the 'DC' signal. http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=2882
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Old 13-Mar-2013, 8:38 AM   #3
teleview
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Now is the time to put Antennas Direct DB8e UHF antenna claims , to the test.

Aim both panels at about 228 degree magnetic compass direction.

Also install a Winegard YA1713 VHF high band antenna aimed at about 228 degree magnetic compass direction.

Here is how to aim antennas , http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing/pointing.html.

_______________________________________________________

Do not use the HD4400 and Y5713 antennas you have now.

_______________________________________________________

For your reception situation the following information is more then 100% true.

As always , trees and tree leaves do a good job of , multipath/reflecting , absorbing , blocking , Digital Broadcast Tv reception and so do buildings and other obstructions including your own roof and house.

It is best to install the antennas at a location that has the least amount to no amount of obstructions in the directions of reception including your own roof and house.

_______________________________________

For your Digital Tuners Reception Equipment , getting the cleanest signal possible is Very Important.

The Digital Tuners Reception Equipment you have does not tolerate multipath and signal interferences very well.

Last edited by teleview; 15-Mar-2013 at 4:47 AM.
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Old 13-Mar-2013, 6:48 PM   #4
stvcmty
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Teleview and Ground Ur Mast, thank you for the quick replies. I enjoy reading your suggestions for other people’s reception questions, so I am glad to get your opinions on my situation.

It sounds like there are two votes for the DB8e. I went to solidsignal and they list it as “Pre-Release”. When will it become available to order? It looks like the “right” antenna is not available at the moment, and what I have works “good enough for now”, so for now I will wait.

Out of curiosity, what are the benefits of a DB8e over a 91XG?

While doing all this, I might as well do it the best I can. Is there be any benefit to having one preamp for a VHF antenna and a separate preamp for a UHF antenna? Then the UVSJ would be after the preamp’s but before the distribution in the house.

-----------------------------------------

As an aside, does the FCC rule limiting what a HOA can say about TV antennas protect FM antennas? If I am going to put up 29’ of mast, I should have some space on the mast for a dedicated FM antenna.

-----------------------------------------

Is WETA a lost cause long term? The pending TV fool plot shows WGAL having a translator on RF27.
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Old 13-Mar-2013, 7:44 PM   #5
GroundUrMast
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teleview is correct, the HD4400 can be removed from the system, replaced by the higher gain UHF antenna. I had Baltimore and DC directions wrong in my head.

Antennas Direct is now indicating the DB8E is in stock: http://www.antennasdirect.com/store/...V-Antenna.html

The 91XG is long so at 29' AGL, it will be a bit more challenging to maneuver into place, then it will be affected by wind and ice more than a panel style antenna. That said, it's well built, and would serve well, I own one and don't regret it.

The DB8E is based on a newer design that focused the gain into a narrower range of frequencies (real CH-14 through CH 51). Older UHF antennas are usually designed to include real channels 14 through 69, so they sacrifice a bit of gain compared to a design optimized for a narrow range of frequencies. The net result is, the DB8E will give you about 1 dB more gain than the 91XG... not insignificant, but not a big difference either. The DB8E can be configured as a conventional high gain unidirectional panel (both sub-panels facing the same direction) or as a variable medium gain, mutlidirectional antenna. This feature is not relevant to your application, you want to set up as a high gain, unidirectional... left and right sub panels facing the same direction.

Placing a preamp on each antenna, ahead of the UVSJ eliminates the few tenths of a DB loss in system noise margin caused by the UVSJ (which should have no more than 1 dB insertion loss). If you are at the edge of reliable reception, this might provide noticeable improvement.

You're in a spot that has some issues with co-channel and adjacent channel interference. Your first and best tool to overcome this is a highly directional antenna. The only way to know what will be received reliably is to hang some metal in the air.

Last edited by GroundUrMast; 13-Mar-2013 at 7:53 PM. Reason: WETA and other C/A-CH interfered
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Old 13-Mar-2013, 8:08 PM   #6
No static at all
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stvcmty View Post
I should have some space on the mast for a dedicated FM antenna.
I'm jealous, you are in a GREAT location for lots of FM stations. What antenna were you planning on using?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stvcmty View Post
Is WETA a lost cause long term? The pending TV fool plot shows WGAL having a translator on RF27.
I don't see any issues with reception of WETA. The most difficult DC UHF station is usually the CW 50.
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Old 13-Mar-2013, 8:59 PM   #7
stvcmty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No static at all View Post
The most difficult DC UHF station is usually the CW 50.
Why is CW 50 (WDCW, RF50), a challenging UHF station?

------------

The DB8e is expensive. In the short term, given a choice between putting a DB8e 19’ up or putting the antennas I have on 29’ of mast, which is better? Right now I can afford the DB8e or a strong-tall mast, but not both. Whichever one I don’t get will be a purchase for later.

Last edited by stvcmty; 13-Mar-2013 at 9:17 PM.
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Old 13-Mar-2013, 9:38 PM   #8
teleview
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The Federal Antenna Law protects you and multipul millions of other people from , Over Bearing , Hoa's/Aho's , housing coven-nuts , dead restricted housing , crazy neigh-boors , cities , counties , and etc.

The Federal Antenna Law says Yes you can install , FM antennas , broadcast tv antennas , small satellite dishes , and other antennas above the roof.

http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html.

Last edited by teleview; 14-Mar-2013 at 2:34 AM.
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Old 13-Mar-2013, 10:49 PM   #9
GroundUrMast
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There is no harm in mounting your existing antennas higher. If it gives you what you want, great!
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If the well is dry and you don't see rain on the horizon, you'll need to dig the hole deeper. (If the antenna can't get the job done, an amp won't fix it.)

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Old 14-Mar-2013, 2:43 AM   #10
No static at all
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stvcmty View Post
Why is CW 50 (WDCW, RF50), a challenging UHF station?
I have found CW 50 the hardest of the full power DC stations to receive reliably in the fringes. Not sure why since they are broadcasting an omni-direction signal with the maximum UHF power allotment. I'm thinking their antenna is mounted on the side of the broadcast tower & not at the top.

Last edited by No static at all; 14-Mar-2013 at 11:58 AM.
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