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Old 10-Feb-2011, 4:40 PM   #1
MetHerb
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Best options for a replacement setup

I have a Winegard HD-9032 and a Radio Shack Pre-Amp and a generic rotor. I live in the hills of Northeast CT about 30 miles from Hartford, CT and Springfield, MA and about 70 miles from Boston.

Here is a link to my signal analysis:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e07c16798dbdde

I'm kind of new to getting OTA signals and I'm impressed with what I've been able to get from multiple cities and I'd like to see if I can get additional channels. I can get most of the channels listed with a signal strength of -5.5 or higher. There are a couple that I cannot get due to local terrain and other issues.

Under ideal conditions, I can get signals as low as WSBK from Boston (signal strength listed as -14.9), but it hasn't been sufficiently strong enough to watch. I'd like to have a setup that would make that possible.

What I'm looking to do is revamp my whole setup from top to bottom to get the best possible reception. I'm going to put up a 40' wooden tower and place the antenna's up there. I'd like to add a VHF anntenna. I'm wondering what they optimum antenna setup would be. Separate VHF & UHF? What type of antenna is best? I've heard pros and cons of different antenna types. What about the preamp and cable? What would a dream antenna system look like?

My cable run goes from my existing 25' pole on top of a hill about 100-150' to my TV. That wouldn't change.

I'm hoping that experts here and others that have gone through this exercise will be able to help me.

Thanks in advance!

Dave
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Old 10-Feb-2011, 6:42 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by MetHerb View Post
I have a Winegard HD-9032 and a Radio Shack Pre-Amp and a generic rotor.

What I'm looking to do is revamp my whole setup from top to bottom to get the best possible reception. I'd like to add a VHF antenna. I'm wondering what they optimum antenna setup would be.
Your UHF antenna is already doing very well. It could be improved by stacking a second HD-9032 above the existing antenna or replacing the single HD-9032 with a pair of XG91 antennas. This article talks about stacking a pair of 4228 antennas, but the theory is valid for any UHF only antenna. http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/16bay.html

The addition of a high band VHF antenna would be helpful. Consider either a Y10-7-13 or YA1713.

It's possible that a Channel Master 7777 would be slightly better than the Radio Shack amp that you have. There is a switch inside the 7777 that allows you to add the antennas together internally using circuitry in the 7777. To use your existing preamp purchase a UVSJ.

These items can be purchased on-line or perhaps in Worcester at Stark Electronic.

The extra height may not offer much improvement unless it helps you clear nearby trees.
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Old 10-Feb-2011, 8:08 PM   #3
MetHerb
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Your UHF antenna is already doing very well. It could be improved by stacking a second HD-9032 above the existing antenna or replacing the single HD-9032 with a pair of XG91 antennas.

The addition of a high band VHF antenna would be helpful. Consider either a Y10-7-13 or YA1713.

The extra height may not offer much improvement unless it helps you clear nearby trees.
Thanks for the input. Good to hear that I'm getting good reception as it is. The extra height is to clear some trees and a house a little ways up the street to get Springfield (and potentially Albany) channels better. If I clear that, I have a clear shot since I'm sitting on a hill in the middle of town.

I was looking at a 91XG and placing a YA1713 about 5' below it. Based on my 'radar', there is only one channel below the YA1713's range at channel 6 but I don't think that channel is important enough for me.

I also want to replace the coax so that it is one piece from the preamp power supply inside the house to the preamp on the antenna mast. It is two connected pieces now. What guage coax would you recommend?

I have one other question about the Boston channels I receive. The three channels listed first are WCVB, WBZ then WGBH. Why is WGBH my strongest Boston channel? It takes really clear weather to get WCVB. I also have an LP channel (WRNT- ch. 48) that I can't seem to get at all.

Thanks - Dave
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Old 11-Feb-2011, 2:21 PM   #4
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Your UHF antenna is already doing very well. It could be improved by stacking a second HD-9032 above the existing antenna or replacing the single HD-9032 with a pair of XG91 antennas. This article talks about stacking a pair of 4228 antennas, but the theory is valid for any UHF only antenna. http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/16bay.html

The addition of a high band VHF antenna would be helpful. Consider either a Y10-7-13 or YA1713.

The extra height may not offer much improvement unless it helps you clear nearby trees.

Tried posting a reply yesterday, but it did not show up so I'm trying again.

It's good to know that I'm getting good performance, but I'd like to have an "optimum" setup to know that I'm doing all that I can. I'm thinking about replacing the HD9032 with a 91XG and adding a YA1713. I'd connect those through a CM7777.

One other thing that I'd like to do is replace the existing coax with one run from the preamp to the preamp power supply in the house. It's currently two pieces connected outside. I'm wondering guage coax I should use for a 120-150' run?

The extra height I'm considering is to get over a house that's a little higher than my house down the road.

Thanks, Dave
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Old 11-Feb-2011, 3:08 PM   #5
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TV Antennas and Reception

RG-6 coax is the standard. You can install RG-11 it has less loss then RG-6. The next step up is 'hard line' like the cable company uses from pole to pole or underground.

Last edited by John Candle; 11-Feb-2011 at 3:16 PM.
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Old 11-Feb-2011, 3:52 PM   #6
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With the 91XG and the YA1713 you are pretty much at the end of the rope. Beyond that , you are getting into antenna stacking like stacking like stacking 2 , 8 bay bow tie antennas and quad stacks of YA1713 type antennas and quad stacks of UHF antennas , and the dollar amount goes into a steep climb. There are DX web sites for this sort of thing , Tv and Radio Dxing. DX means D= Distance and X= Unknown. Here are commercial antennas , http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=491

Last edited by John Candle; 11-Feb-2011 at 4:24 PM.
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Old 11-Feb-2011, 6:59 PM   #7
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With the 91XG and the YA1713 you are pretty much at the end of the rope. Beyond that , you are getting into antenna stacking like stacking like stacking 2 , 8 bay bow tie antennas and quad stacks of YA1713 type antennas and quad stacks of UHF antennas , and the dollar amount goes into a steep climb. There are DX web sites for this sort of thing , Tv and Radio Dxing. DX means D= Distance and X= Unknown. Here are commercial antennas , http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=491
I think I'll stick with the pair for now and see what I get. I'm thinking that the 91XG will allow me to get a better signal on those that I already get and using a signal line should prevent some loss (at least I would think so). I posted another forum question about the antenna height and maybe playing with that I could get some additional gain as well. I didn't think that lowering and antenna would improve the signal!

Let me ask a hypothetical - what does it take to get a station that a NM of -19? Is that for execptionally clear air where signals travel well? Would I ever be able to get such stations by stacking antennas? At 10', I could make a pole that comes down easily and add antennas as time goes on. I'm thinking that 2 or 4 YA1713's would be my limit. Not sure if I can double up on the 91XG's and have them both pointed in the same direction or not.

Thanks again for the advice!

Dave
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Old 11-Feb-2011, 7:43 PM   #8
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Let me ask a hypothetical - what does it take to get a station that a NM of -19?
Theoretically, an antenna with a gain of 22 db and a preamp with a noise figure of 2 db; preamp gain of 23 db or more, and coax plus splitter losses of 6 db or less. This calculation allows for a receiver noise figure of up to 7 db.

Such antennas are impractical, but if you can eek out 6 db of ground gain it's not as bad. Even then, expect frequent dropouts.
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Old 11-Feb-2011, 9:20 PM   #9
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Theoretically, an antenna with a gain of 22 db and a preamp with a noise figure of 2 db; preamp gain of 23 db or more, and coax plus splitter losses of 6 db or less. This calculation allows for a receiver noise figure of up to 7 db.
Interesting. I can see from the equipment that I will have that the only thing I would not have is an antenna with a gain of 22 db.

Let me ask the question another way, with a UHF antenna with a gain of 16.7 db (the 91XG) and a preamp gain of 26 db and coax and splitter losses of 6 db or less, what would be the "weakest" signal that I could expect under ideal conditions? -15 NM?

What about the same setup with a VHF antenna with a gain of approx. 10 db?

Thanks again!

Last edited by GroundUrMast; 20-Jul-2012 at 9:45 PM. Reason: repaired BBcode
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Old 11-Feb-2011, 10:47 PM   #10
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Let me ask the question another way, with a UHF antenna with a gain of 16.7 db (the 91XG) and a preamp gain of 26 db and coax and splitter losses of 6 db or less, what would be the "weakest" signal that I could expect under ideal conditions? -15 NM?

What about the same setup with a VHF antenna with a gain of approx. 10 db?

Thanks again!
On UHF the tvfool NM level that works with that set-up would vary between -6 db and -22 db. The wide variation occurs because of the way that the receive antenna interacts with the surroundings, plus transmit power variables that occur due to antenna pattern scalloping. However, the likelihood that you'd stumble on the optimum antenna location and height for -22 db NM reception is small.

On VHF with 10 db antenna gain the variation would be between -2 db and -18 db.

There is a ray tracing program called HFTA that can be used to determine what heights are more likely to work well. While intended for frequencies below channel 2 I've used the DOS based predecessor to HFTA (YT) for antenna height calculations for both VHF and UHF TV. The key is to find a height where the main lobe is aimed at the horizon. Other than height, the biggest variable is the slope in front of the antenna.
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Old 17-Jul-2012, 8:40 PM   #11
MetHerb
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It's been a little over a year since I opened this thread and I've been doing a lot of research on the best value in equipment without going too overboard and I'm getting ready to "pull the trigger" and order what I need.

Before I do, I want to make sure that there aren't any other "tweaks" that I could make from the experts here.

Here's an updated radar plot:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...990081e212f92d

Based on my research, I'm going to go with a 42' guy-wired mast about 35' closer to my house with a rotar and mast that has an Antennas Direct 91XG on top and a Winegard YA-1713 5' below that or just above the rotar. That should put my UHF antenna at 47'.

I'm also going to use a Kitz Tech KT-200-COAX pre-amplifier to minimize noise.

I plan on using RG11 to connect everything with only one splitter to combine the UHF & VHF antenna's to the pre-amp. The total length from antenna to my receiver should be about 100'.

Based on that, I should have a 9db signal reaching my pre-amp, correct? The KT-200-COAX has a 24db gain with <1db in noise. I figure then that I should have a 32db signal reaching my receiver so I'm hoping that I might be able to pull in all of my target stations (down to -15db) and perhaps some of the other ones down to -20 as a bonus from time to time.

Am I being realistic and are there any other ways that I can "tighten" up my system to maximum gain?

Dave
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Old 17-Jul-2012, 9:03 PM   #12
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Here is an option , http://www.palcoelectronics.com/pe300.aspx.

Light Weight Aluminum Lay Over Tower that uses no guy wires. Tv antenna mounting and adjustments are done standing on the ground.
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Old 17-Jul-2012, 9:25 PM   #13
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Take a look at these examples of how to use the data in your TV Fool report: http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=109

The equipment you've spec'd is at the top of the list of high-gain, low noise & low loss respectively.

Bear in mind that in addition to signal strength (measured as total power delivered to the tuner), you need to take into account interference from stations on the same frequency and adjacent channels.

As an example... When I run the numbers for WCTX, real CH-39 (with some assumptions) I get a net NM of 15.2 dB (a descent fade margin). But you also need to consider the interference from WSBK on the same channel and WGGB on real CH-40. WSBK is about 16 dB lower in level and roughly in the opposite direction. The relatively high front to back ratio of the 91XG should keep enough of the WSBK signal out to allow reception of the WCTX signal. The stronger signal from WGGB is well off to the side, so you are still in fair shape. You won't know for sure until you point the antenna for real. (attached screen shot)

The bottom line is, you've got some of the best directional antennas on your list. These are going to give you the ability to maximize reception of the station you're aiming at while receiving less of the signals to side or rear. To beat this would require custom built antenna arrays.

It's time to hang some metal in the air.
Attached Images
File Type: png Net NF Calc WCTX real 39.png (38.8 KB, 258 views)
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 17-Jul-2012 at 9:34 PM.
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Old 18-Jul-2012, 3:11 AM   #14
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Go with the Antennacraft Y10-7-13 instead of the Winegard Y1713. I set up both on the same mast at the same spot and the Antennacraft was able to get a lock on a very weak Ch. 7 while the Winegard could not. Someone actually modeled these antennas on another board and his spectrum analyzer photos showed the Antennacraft antenna has a solid 2 db higher gain across the entire VHF hi spectrum. Bottom line. If you need more gain then go with the Antennacraft antenna.
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Old 18-Jul-2012, 3:22 AM   #15
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Go with the Antennacraft Y10-7-13 instead of the Winegard Y1713. I set up both on the same mast at the same spot and the Antennacraft was able to get a lock on a very weak Ch. 7 while the Winegard could not. Someone actually modeled these antennas on another board and his spectrum analyzer photos showed the Antennacraft antenna has a solid 2 db higher gain across the entire VHF hi spectrum. Bottom line. If you need more gain then go with the Antennacraft antenna.
And another possible reason to consider the Antennacraft is, it has a balanced 300Ω output (no integral matching transformer / balun) which makes it a better candidate for use in a low loss stacking arrangement where 450Ω open wire or ladder line is used as the phasing harness. Something one may consider doing if getting deep into the DXing hobby or if trying to make a difficult signal more reliable. http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=1024
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Old 18-Jul-2012, 1:27 PM   #16
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Go with the Antennacraft Y10-7-13 instead of the Winegard Y1713.
I agree. I have found that the Antennacraft Y10-7-13 outperforms the Winegard YA-1713 in real world situations as well.
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Old 18-Jul-2012, 1:31 PM   #17
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Yep. He may actually be able to watch WPRI in Providence with the Y10-7-13.
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Old 20-Jul-2012, 9:31 PM   #18
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I agree. I have found that the Antennacraft Y10-7-13 outperforms the Winegard YA-1713 in real world situations as well.
I like the fact that the Antennacraft is actually cheaper...thanks for the tip!

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Yep. He may actually be able to watch WPRI in Providence with the Y10-7-13.
I'm curious why you say "actually be able to watch WPRI". The TV Fool report list the db at 4.1 and regularly can get stations now the -4 range and as low as -14. My new setup should have an antenna with higher gain (actually, I don't even have a VHF antenna now) and shorter and better cabling for less signal loss. Do VHF signals work differently? My only distant VHF station that I'm hoping to pickup is WRGB from Albany which is listed at 1.5.

Also, I wanted to ask about a low noise spliter/combiner. What does everyone recommend? I have a couple of ideas but I'm just wondering.

Thanks again everyone for your thoughts as I put everything together!
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Old 20-Jul-2012, 10:16 PM   #19
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I would personally use a pre-amp like the Winegard 2870 with separate inputs instead of using a combiner. You will never get back the 1/2 to 1 db gain lost with a UVSJ antenna combiner. Not sure if the low noise figure of the Kitztech amp will make much difference at the end of the day, so maybe others can comment.
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Old 20-Jul-2012, 10:55 PM   #20
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You are certainly approaching, if not already in the area of diminishing returns.

If the goal is optimize to the 'nth' degree, then equip each antenna with a dedicated preamp. Combine downstream of the preamps thus avoiding the NM hit due to the insertion loss of the combiner.

Only if I had a marginal signal that I wanted to make more stable would I consider spending time and money on such a plan.
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