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Old 7-Nov-2014, 2:50 AM   #1
comcast_hater
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Help Choosing an Antenna

I'm planning to cut the cord soon, but don't know much about antenna's or OTA tv in general. I'm looking for any advice people can give to help me choose a good antenna to get VFH and UFH channels. Some of the channels I want to get in are 31 miles away and I live in a very wooded area. Here's my TV Singal Analysis Results:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...d243c0ede1b1f4

I was thinking about this antenna, because some of the channels I want to get in are in opposite directions, but wasn't sure if I'd be able to get in the VFH channels:

http://www.amazon.com/Terrestrial-Di...nal+tv+antenna
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Old 7-Nov-2014, 9:13 AM   #2
Pontiack5
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DB8E should work well, but might be more than you need with those numbers. You might consider a DB4e and a five element Antennacraft VHF. I'm new to this, let us see if the experienced members think my suggestion is feasible.
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Old 7-Nov-2014, 11:56 AM   #3
ADTech
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The DB8 likely wont work.

Before picking an antenna, sit down with your TVFool plot and make the following lists of stations:

1. Must Have
2. Nice to Have
3. Don't Care

Once you make those lists, we can analyze what is required.

It is my experience that trees will make any prediction which would otherwise be correct irrelevant. For UHF, the trees usually win, especially when they're leafed out, wet, and the wind is blowing.
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Old 7-Nov-2014, 12:56 PM   #4
timgr
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Very wooded is a problem. Trees break up and attenuate TV signal badly, in general. Your best approach would be to get above the treeline with your antenna, or aim through a gap in the trees.

Look here for some insight on how trees affect TV signal - http://www.hdtvprimer.com/antennas/siting.html

If you want to post some pictures of the line of sight (LOS) from where you want to place your antenna, we could comment.

Aside from the trees, it all depends on how ambitious you are, what channels you really have to have, and how much time and effort you want to spend.

The DB8 is a good antenna, and it might pick up WTNH if pointed in its general direction. The grids on the antenna are reflectors, and they focus the incoming signal from the front, and block signal from the rear. So the antenna has a front and a back - this is typical. The DB8e is a newer antenna, and more is more sensitive (narrower band) and more flexible in aiming. https://www.antennasdirect.com/store...V-Antenna.html But it's just UHF - unlikely it will pick up any VHF stations, even the close-in one. One option is to add the VHF dipole to either of these - https://www.antennasdirect.com/store/Reflectors.html - then you'd pick up strong VHF stations in front of the reflector.

But frst I'd look at siting. Ideally you want to be on the roof peak, as high as you can manage, above the tree tops.
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Old 7-Nov-2014, 2:29 PM   #5
ADTech
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Quote:
But it's just UHF - unlikely it will pick up any VHF stations, even the close-in one.
It's not THAT nearsighted on VHF... But, VHF reception will be at odd angles, exacerbated by the seemingly infinite variations of panel alignment. YMMV.

Only one of the field tests I conducted with the DB8e prior to its launch was in a location that included anything VHF, a rest area on I-55 about 30 miles south of Springfield IL. Channel 13 came in fine from about 30 miles away over flat ground.

I will point out that the VHF dipole as far more reliable in that its performance and pattern is well established and documented, therefore predictable.
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Old 10-Nov-2014, 9:06 PM   #6
comcast_hater
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Thanks to everyone for the replies; I really appreciate the help! The link about how tree's affect reception, especially UFH, was very interresting and helpful.

Here's a list of the channels in my area with my prioritization (by distance):
WTNH-DT - Must Have
WZME - Don't Care
WFTY - Don't Care
WCTX - Nice to have
WEDY - Don't Care
WEDW - Must Have
WLNY - Don't Care
WTIC - Must Have
WPHX - Nice to have
WVIT - Must Have - Highest
WCCT - Don't Care
WEDH - Nice to have
WFSB - Must Have

I actually built a really simple bowtie antenna and placed it in my attic. With that I was able to get in several channels with varying degree's of success. This was a couple of months ago, so I don't remember specifically which one's, but there was a total of 6 that were watchable. WTNH came through in crystal clear high definition... I built my antenna off a similar design to this one: http://www.diytvantennas.com/bowtie.php
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Old 14-Nov-2014, 5:57 AM   #7
ZippyTheChicken
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mmmmmmm i hate them toooooo

looks like you have a lot of stations within 35 miles that are giving you decent signal strength.

So I resorted your list as you can see you have signals from all directions
The db8 can be pointed in a single direction or it can be opened up
when it is opened you increase your directions but cut your strength
Most of the stations are within a reasonable distance and give you
reasonable signal strength.

The largest number of stations followed by the second
*350 Compass direction
#280 Compass Direction

The distance is almost 90 degrees so you would have to open the antenna and point one at each of those directions

Another problem WTNH-DT is on Real VHF channel 10 and the 8bay antenna is a UHF antenna.. You might get it since its such a strong signal of 54DB but you might not because of the limitation of the antenna.

Umm it is difficult to say what your signal will be like but if you expect to pickup more than one direction a 8Bay Antenna that can be opened / Bent at its center to point to two directions is probably your best bet over a conventional Yaggi style which can only point in one direction and is very sensitive to direction so you got to point them accurately.

The thing about Bay Type Antennas is they have a wider oval shape of reception so if you point at 0deg you can get -20 and +20 or a span of 40degrees .. its probably not a full 40 degrees but slightly less

So if you have one pointed at 280 one at 350 you will get the stations in those directions and some overlap which might get you channel 10

Bay Designs also have rear gain which is stronger than a yaggi
So even if you are pointing at 0 degrees you will pick up some stations from the back at 180 degrees if they are strong enough.

That might get you channel 26 and 9 but more likely 26 if you are lucky.

The DB8 has good gain but you can also add a preamp

Your CoChannel Warnings are from distant stations so you should be ok if you add a strong preamp and your choice would probably be between an RCA 20db and a Channel Master 7777 30db

RCA is what I have.. I am at a farther distance with weaker signal It may benefit you more.

Once its inside the house using the shortest cable you want to look at a distribution Amp ... they come in up to 8 connections to serve 8 TVs

Normally they are 1 2 4 8 connections.. a distribution amp will cover the signal loss inside your home so you can have 100 feet on each connection if you needed it...

You know you look like you are headed in the right direction.
The problems you will have are channel 10 real is vhf
The stations are in many directions but you can cut your losses and get what you can get by picking 2 directions...

Don't expect the world.. you know.. Don't expect anything under 10db or in a direction outside of your antennas radius of reception..

If I was you I would concentrate on 350 and 280 and see what you can get by adjustment.


Also what you are buying is a big antenna and it needs to be mounted well especially where you live and considering the winter storms.

Good Luck

Umm also you are not getting this info from an extreme expert .. you are getting it from someone who has been in your position for the past 6 months or so and is still working out the bugs.

as for your antenna if you built it out of steel thats like half the strength of copper and copper half of aluminum and you will be using aluminum so you can expect a large increase in performance from a commercial antenna.

but you know.. cool .. you're attempting it and .. share your results
it will help a lot of other people ..


Quote:
Originally Posted by comcast_hater View Post
Thanks to everyone for the replies


Here's a list of the channels
Real DB Direction CallSign Priority
*35 23 352 WVIT - Must Have - Highest
*#10 54 303 WTNH-DT - Must Have
#49 44 275 WEDW - Must Have
*31 25 352 WTIC - Must Have
*33 19 344 WFSB - Must Have co-channel warning
*45 22 353 WEDH - Nice to have
#39 49 290 WCTX - Nice to have
26 23 91 WHPX - Nice to have
*20 22 353 WCCT - Don't Care
47 31 219 WLNY - Don't Care
#41 47 280 WEDY - Don't Care
#42 53 287 WZME - Don't Care
23 49 221 WFTY - Don't Care

I actually built a really simple bowtie antenna and placed it in my attic. With that I was able to get in several channels with varying degree's of success. This was a couple of months ago, so I don't remember specifically which one's, but there was a total of 6 that were watchable. WTNH came through in crystal clear high definition... I built my antenna off a similar design to this one: http://www.diytvantennas.com/bowtie.php
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