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Old 2-Feb-2017, 2:54 AM   #1
MaxBox424
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Reception Advice in MA

Hello, I have recently placed an antenna and am getting fairly good OTA.
I have a Clearstream 4V in a cupola above the roofline. I did remove the VHF unit which improved the reception. I have preamps and distribution amps. Getting about 4/5 bars on most stations and 3/5 on a few. The picture is good.
I am questioning whether an 8 bay bowtie offers me any worthwhile improvement- it should be able to fit in the space.
There is a set of towers at 350" which is giving most of what I want- WGBH, WGBX, and the major networks.CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox
Another tower at 317 gives me WSBE which I also like. That requires my antenna to be as high as it can go in the space but it's acceptable.

Here's my report- note there is a chimney which is about 2-3 feet wide directly north of the antenna in what seems to be the best path:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e6a4a6c04f6cfe

Thank you for your help. I've really enjoyed reading this site- actually more than watching the darn TV!
Bob
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Old 2-Feb-2017, 3:10 PM   #2
ADTech
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Bob,

If you would send me your precise antenna mounting coordinates via private message (or via the "Contact Us" page on our website), I will be happy to investigate your situation with precision that's not available from the plot alone.

I will tell you that if you want reception from a broader swath of azimuths, moving to a standard 8-bay is exactly the incorrect thing to do. A 4-bay is usually the better choice as it has approximately twice the effective beamwidth (pick up window) as a standard 8-bay and, if the angles work out correctly, avoids the extra expense and potential complications that an adjustable 8-bay can introduce.

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Last edited by ADTech; 2-Feb-2017 at 4:27 PM. Reason: Fixed typos (need more coffee!) and added additional details
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Old 2-Feb-2017, 4:37 PM   #3
rabbit73
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Quote:
I did remove the VHF unit which improved the reception.
That's odd; the VHF dipole should be needed for WNAC and WPRI.
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Old 2-Feb-2017, 9:56 PM   #4
ADTech
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
That's odd; the VHF dipole should be needed for WNAC and WPRI.
With that TVFool plot, the C4 doesn't need the VHF kit, it's good enough "barefoot" for channels 12 & 13.

There seems to be a misconception that UHF antennas are blind to UHF signals, that's far from correct. It would be more accurate to describe them as myopic in varying degrees. If the signals are of adequate strength and quality, it will still work, same as pretty much everything else antenna-related. If you have a margin of 30+ dB and an inefficient antenna that is, say -10 dB gain, you still have 20 dB of margin, plenty to work with before other variables are incorporated.
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Last edited by ADTech; 2-Feb-2017 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 3-Feb-2017, 2:07 AM   #5
MaxBox424
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
That's odd; the VHF dipole should be needed for WNAC and WPRI.
Thanks for your reply.
WNAC and WPRI are coming in pretty well at 4 and 5 bars respectively. I don't watch them much since I usually watch the Boston Fox and CBS stations.
When I took out the VHF box, WGBH and WBZ seemed to come in stronger- maybe just a coincidence.
regards Bob
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Old 3-Feb-2017, 2:09 AM   #6
MaxBox424
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Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
Bob,

If you would send me your precise antenna mounting coordinates via private message (or via the "Contact Us" page on our website), I will be happy to investigate your situation with precision that's not available from the plot alone.

Done, thanks
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Old 3-Feb-2017, 1:06 PM   #7
ADTech
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Got them, thanks. See your PM reply.

Please tell us about your preamp and distribution amp and describe the basic cabling scheme. One amp is usually sufficient, two amps are too often too many. There are situations when using both might be appropriate, but that configuration is best handled with a signal analysis first to prevent inadvertent over-amplification.

That chimney is dead in the signal path to Boston. If you swap from a C4 to a DB4e (for example), the extra height of the DB4e will mean that half of it will be below the chimney, rendering half of the antenna ineffective. The shorter (vertically) C4 *might* be the better choice, depending on what improvement you're targeting or seeking. My best technical advice for reliable reception would have to be "don't put the antenna behind the chimney".

Trees are probably going to be your biggest issue once they leave back out. Probably unavoidable. You'll likely find that several stations seem to be immune from issues while the rest may be affected in varying degrees depending on the foliage density, whether they're wet or not, and how the wind is blowing at the time. I often refer to the trees acting like a Cuisinart and the resulting signals are like Humpty Dumpty after his fall. You get the allusion, I'm sure.

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Old 3-Feb-2017, 4:13 PM   #8
MaxBox424
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
Got them, thanks. See your PM reply.

Please tell us about your preamp and distribution amp and describe the basic cabling scheme. One amp is usually sufficient, two amps are too often too many. There are situations when using both might be appropriate, but that configuration is best handled with a signal analysis first to prevent inadvertent over-amplification.

That chimney is dead in the signal path to Boston. If you swap from a C4 to a DB4e (for example), the extra height of the DB4e will mean that half of it will be below the chimney, rendering half of the antenna ineffective. The shorter (vertically) C4 *might* be the better choice, depending on what improvement you're targeting or seeking. My best technical advice for reliable reception would have to be "don't put the antenna behind the chimney".

Thanks again.
Re distribution: We previously had cable. The system has a some sort of preamp. One of the feeds went to a 3 way splitter in the attic. I reversed the cable, fed with the antenna and changed splitter to 4 way, now antenna feeing cable distribution system. I needed a preamp before the 4 way splitter RCA tvpreamp 1Z which helped a lot.
I have taken a TV directly to the antenna in the cupols and am getting same signal.
Overall, seems like I'm doing as best as I can. Lowest signals are 4 bars and look great so I'm sure many would envy my concerns. D B 8 seems like would not be big help.
Many thanks. Bob

Last edited by MaxBox424; 3-Feb-2017 at 5:36 PM.
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Old 3-Feb-2017, 9:07 PM   #9
ADTech
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I wouldn't recommend either the DB8 or the DB8e for the reasons cited in my first post. I expressed my concern regarding the DB4e more recently. You're probably doing about as well as you can be expected to given your antenna's location.

Best of luck!
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