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Old 23-Jan-2014, 4:59 AM   #41
Damon459
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Ok not sure anyone is following this thread anymore but I have now tried the Wingard PR8800 8 bay antenna and the Antennas Direct 91XG to try and receive KTMF. I was not able to pick up any signal from that station at all. If anyone was reading from the beginning they would see I did have limited success with the Clearstream 2V with KTMF, the signal strength according to my Sharp Aquos tv was 50-55%. So I called Antennas Direct and they believe the reason it worked with the C2V was do to it having a wide beam width, so my question is are there any other options based on this idea? I don't know of any other UHF Antenna with a beam width wider then 70 degrees, and can be mounted on my roof.
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Old 23-Jan-2014, 7:28 AM   #42
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The Antennas Direct DB8e is adjustable... You have the option to give up peak forward gain in exchange for increased forward beam-width.

Take a look at the polar plots starting with pp. 2 of their spec sheet. https://www.antennasdirect.com/cmss_...s/DB8E-TDS.pdf
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Old 23-Jan-2014, 7:46 AM   #43
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The Antennas Direct DB8e is adjustable... You have the option to give up peak forward gain in exchange for increased forward beam-width.

Take a look at the polar plots starting with pp. 2 of their spec sheet. https://www.antennasdirect.com/cmss_...s/DB8E-TDS.pdf
Correct me if I'm wrong since I really don't understand these pictures but isn't http://www.antennasdirect.com/clears...ntalplane.html This one better for beam width?
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Old 23-Jan-2014, 5:49 PM   #44
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The CS2 has a fixed beam-width... If that width is what you need in a given application, then yes, it's 'best'.

The DB8e can be adjusted to provide a range of beam-width... In some applications that may be 'best'.
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Old 19-Feb-2014, 2:45 AM   #45
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Ok one lest question I hope lol. I have my Y10-7-13 up an running on a pole but I have to move it about 20 degrees in order to pick up PBS reliably and still keep CBS/CW. So I just purchased a Jointenna from channel master for channel 11 which is the channel my PBS comes on. So I'm wondering if I use that with a second Y10-7-13 using the jointenna, then connecting the jointenna to my RCA premap on the VHF side. As I understand it the jointenna only has dc passthrough on one side which might be a good think since CBS is so much stronger then PBS. The reason for wanting to connect them both to the preamp is I'm also using a clearstream 2 for my local ABC/FOX, it's working rather well at least 9-10 days. I considered a rotor but I just installed a tivo roamio and I would like all the antenna's in fixed positions to take advantage of all 4 tuners. If my "idea" is wrong on this can someone correct me on how to do this keeping in mind I would like to enjoy all my channels without reaming my antenna to do so.
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Old 21-Feb-2014, 9:53 AM   #46
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While I highly doubt any of my neighbors are on this site for anyone who is I have great news in regards to KTMF AKA our ABC/FOX provider. I have been pestering them since the new owners took over Cowles Publishing Company out of Spokane. I finally got great news from them today. Here is what they sent me. "You're correct in thinking that we'd need a translator on Mt Sentinel to reach Bonner/Riverside/East Missoula/Clinton. Frankly, it's something we've wanted to do for a while and the next time the FCC opens a window for licensing applications we'll probably try to get it done." I will keep anyone interested updated on any new developments when they come along.
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Old 7-Mar-2014, 3:40 AM   #47
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Still not sure anyone is watching this thread but as of now I'm using the jointenna with my Antennacraft Y10-7-13 and my RCA ANT-751 for my VHF channels. The UHF antenna is not currently active but will be once the rain dry's a bit. Now as to the setup the RCA antenna is on the channel 11 only side of the jointenna and it's getting me PBS 6 out 10 days with a high enough signal on my tivo. So I'm wondering do I need another Y10-7-13 or would the Y5-7-13 work for PBS? I'm leaning towards buying the cheaper one but I worry about getting it and it not working once we go back into another cycle of winter, yes it's a ways off but I'm trying to plan ahead since I spent way to much time on my roof this winter. All idea's are welcome.
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Old 7-Mar-2014, 7:55 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Damon459 View Post
Still not sure anyone is watching this thread...
I didn't read the whole thread but skimmed it a bit.

Quote:
... but as of now I'm using the jointenna with my Antennacraft Y10-7-13 and my RCA ANT-751 for my VHF channels. The UHF antenna is not currently active but will be once the rain dry's a bit. Now as to the setup the RCA antenna is on the channel 11 only side of the jointenna and it's getting me PBS 6 out 10 days with a high enough signal on my tivo.
I know earlier in the thread you were bemoaning buying the ANT751 but as others have mentioned it never really was the right antenna for your situation. I happen to be a big fan of the ANT751 and it works well in a lot of situations and I think it can be had for under $40 these days.

Also earlier in the thread you mentioned you are in an area requiring "extreme measures" which is why I want to share my story, even though I am not in an "extreme measures" area I thought you could gain from my experience. The balun that shipped with my antenna (an ANT751, of course ;-) was bad out of the box. I didn't bother getting a replacement, I just picked one up local. It was one of those cheap $2 jobs from HD or RS, I don't think its really outdoor rated but it would actually pass signals unlike the bad one. The antenna was working great for almost a year when, just before the Olympics, I lose all my stations. I poke my head up on the roof and I see that the flimsy spade connector that attaches to the antenna broke and I was dead in the water until I could climb on the roof to replace it. I had to wait a few days for the rain to subside but picked up another cheap balun and swapped it out so I could watch the Olympics.

I realized that the replacement balun wasn't going to last any longer than the old one (its very windy on my roof). I thought about getting one of those outdoor rated, heavy-duty baluns from Winegard and others but didn't really want to spend the money. So while I was watching the Olympics I modified the broken balun that I had removed with a 24" extension of heavy twin-lead wire (Radio Shack carries it) instead of the stubby, flimsy 3-4" piece it came with. I added heavy duty spade connectors and soldered and shrink wrapped everything. The twin-lead extension would allow me to move the balun down to the J-pole and keep it from swinging in the wind and stressing the connectors. I was admiring my work and watching the Olympics thinking that I would probably install my modified balun sometime in the spring after the storms subside. Fate would have a different plan.

So I come home one Friday night, looking forward to watching the Olympics and some Burn Notice but when I turn on my TV and all my UHF stations are GONE and the VHF stations are looking pretty bad. I poke my head up on the roof and this time the balun connectors are still attached. I figured I got a bad balun that had failed internally. The rain clouds were rolling in, it had already started to sprinkle but I couldn't resist and decided to put my modified balun into action despite the risks. I donned a coat and broke out my ladder and went up on the roof as rain was just beginning to fall (fyi, lightning is very rare where I live so it was a calculated risk :-) I swapped out the bad balun with my extendo balun, tie wrapped it to the J-pole and hit everything with some e-tape and got off the roof as quickly as I could. I plugged my distribution amp back in and fired up the TV and was thrilled to see all my stations return. Later I took apart the failed balun and it looks like that this time the wind had twisted the coax cable, which twisted the coax connector stub of the balun which turned the ferrite core inductor which cause the twin-lead input wires to short out.

So here is the moral of this story, for those who have followed so far. After installing the twin-lead extended balun the quality signals on virtually every station, UHF or VHF, went up 10% (whatever that means on a Vizio Tuner). Stations that were at 50% were now coming it at 60+%, stations that were coming at 75% were now coming in at 80% and even 90%. I was shocked by this result but was glad because I had a few stations that were a bit flaky and was planning on re-aiming this spring but everything is fine now and I won't mess with success, on the principle that if it ain't broke don't fix it!

I am not familiar with the other antennas you have (and you seem to have quite a collection :-) but if they have external, dangling baluns (like the ANT751) I would try and modify them with twin-lead extensions so the balun (and twin-lead) is not near the boom and the twin-lead can drop straight away from the boom for a good 5-6" before running toward the mast. I had read that from RF principles and antenna design the best configuration for the balun on an antenna like the ANT751 is angled 90deg from the boom and my experience is consistent with that. Also, even a vertical UHF antenna might squeak out a few more dB if the drop line is twin-lead and not coax with a mongo balun sitting in the middle of the element grid. So is breaking out the twin-lead, shrink wrap, soldering & heat guns too extreme for your situation? Only you can answer that question.
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Old 7-Mar-2014, 8:37 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmfdmf View Post
I didn't read the whole thread but skimmed it a bit.



I know earlier in the thread you were bemoaning buying the ANT751 but as others have mentioned it never really was the right antenna for your situation. I happen to be a big fan of the ANT751 and it works well in a lot of situations and I think it can be had for under $40 these days.

Also earlier in the thread you mentioned you are in an area requiring "extreme measures" which is why I want to share my story, even though I am not in an "extreme measures" area I thought you could gain from my experience. The balun that shipped with my antenna (an ANT751, of course ;-) was bad out of the box. I didn't bother getting a replacement, I just picked one up local. It was one of those cheap $2 jobs from HD or RS, I don't think its really outdoor rated but it would actually pass signals unlike the bad one. The antenna was working great for almost a year when, just before the Olympics, I lose all my stations. I poke my head up on the roof and I see that the flimsy spade connector that attaches to the antenna broke and I was dead in the water until I could climb on the roof to replace it. I had to wait a few days for the rain to subside but picked up another cheap balun and swapped it out so I could watch the Olympics.

I realized that the replacement balun wasn't going to last any longer than the old one (its very windy on my roof). I thought about getting one of those outdoor rated, heavy-duty baluns from Winegard and others but didn't really want to spend the money. So while I was watching the Olympics I modified the broken balun that I had removed with a 24" extension of heavy twin-lead wire (Radio Shack carries it) instead of the stubby, flimsy 3-4" piece it came with. I added heavy duty spade connectors and soldered and shrink wrapped everything. The twin-lead extension would allow me to move the balun down to the J-pole and keep it from swinging in the wind and stressing the connectors. I was admiring my work and watching the Olympics thinking that I would probably install my modified balun sometime in the spring after the storms subside. Fate would have a different plan.

So I come home one Friday night, looking forward to watching the Olympics and some Burn Notice but when I turn on my TV and all my UHF stations are GONE and the VHF stations are looking pretty bad. I poke my head up on the roof and this time the balun connectors are still attached. I figured I got a bad balun that had failed internally. The rain clouds were rolling in, it had already started to sprinkle but I couldn't resist and decided to put my modified balun into action despite the risks. I donned a coat and broke out my ladder and went up on the roof as rain was just beginning to fall (fyi, lightning is very rare where I live so it was a calculated risk :-) I swapped out the bad balun with my extendo balun, tie wrapped it to the J-pole and hit everything with some e-tape and got off the roof as quickly as I could. I plugged my distribution amp back in and fired up the TV and was thrilled to see all my stations return. Later I took apart the failed balun and it looks like that this time the wind had twisted the coax cable, which twisted the coax connector stub of the balun which turned the ferrite core inductor which cause the twin-lead input wires to short out.

So here is the moral of this story, for those who have followed so far. After installing the twin-lead extended balun the quality signals on virtually every station, UHF or VHF, went up 10% (whatever that means on a Vizio Tuner). Stations that were at 50% were now coming it at 60+%, stations that were coming at 75% were now coming in at 80% and even 90%. I was shocked by this result but was glad because I had a few stations that were a bit flaky and was planning on re-aiming this spring but everything is fine now and I won't mess with success, on the principle that if it ain't broke don't fix it!

I am not familiar with the other antennas you have (and you seem to have quite a collection :-) but if they have external, dangling baluns (like the ANT751) I would try and modify them with twin-lead extensions so the balun (and twin-lead) is not near the boom and the twin-lead can drop straight away from the boom for a good 5-6" before running toward the mast. I had read that from RF principles and antenna design the best configuration for the balun on an antenna like the ANT751 is angled 90deg from the boom and my experience is consistent with that. Also, even a vertical UHF antenna might squeak out a few more dB if the drop line is twin-lead and not coax with a mongo balun sitting in the middle of the element grid. So is breaking out the twin-lead, shrink wrap, soldering & heat guns too extreme for your situation? Only you can answer that question.
I do understand you situation but in my case I have already put the good outdoor Balun's. Must of my signals are actually on the VHF band except NBC, ABC, and FOX. ABC/FOX are on the same station IE substation for FOX, they only come in during the summer months with the Antenna in just the spot. That will change the the station owners get permission to add a repeater tower. My other UHF station actually comes in using my high band VHF antenna. The RCA antenna is a good antenna just not the best in my area with 2 edge signals in a very deep valley. All I'm trying to figure out at this point is whether I should go for a $45.00 120" boom antenna or the cheaper 60" boom antenna. They are basically the same but one has higher gain to do the larger size, however they both have similar gain on channel 11? I will keep in mind the idea of longer amounts of twin lead though for the Balun's since I have two of them in my 3 antenna system. My question is though is did you twist the twin lead at all? I have heard you need at least one twist per foot of twin lead, some even say 2 twists per foot for better shielding.
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Old 7-Mar-2014, 10:04 AM   #50
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I do understand you situation but in my case I have already put the good outdoor Balun's.
Right, but if you've got any kind of Yagi with a horizontal boom it has the same problem, the wire leads are too short to drop the balun out of the way so it interferes with reception.

Quote:
Must of my signals are actually on the VHF band except NBC, ABC, and FOX. ABC/FOX are on the same station IE substation for FOX, they only come in during the summer months with the Antenna in just the spot. That will change the the station owners get permission to add a repeater tower. My other UHF station actually comes in using my high band VHF antenna.
Yes, you have a difficult case. In these situations I like to say "every dB counts" because with such low margins and poor signals you never know if you are an iota of dB from a decent pic to an unwatchable one.

Quote:
The RCA antenna is a good antenna just not the best in my area with 2 edge signals in a very deep valley.
Agreed. I wasn't recommending the RCA751 for you, just the twin-lead extension trick that probably applies to any horizontal boom antenna and might wring out a few more dB in "extreme" cases like yours.

Quote:
All I'm trying to figure out at this point is whether I should go for a $45.00 120" boom antenna or the cheaper 60" boom antenna. They are basically the same but one has higher gain to do the larger size, however they both have similar gain on channel 11.
I have not analyzed your case closely enough, nor do I have the experience to help with your antenna selection.

Quote:
I will keep in mind the idea of longer amounts of twin lead though for the Balun's since I have two of them in my 3 antenna system. My question is though is did you twist the twin lead at all? I have heard you need at least one twist per foot of twin lead, some even say 2 twists per foot for better shielding.
I didn't really need to twist it as the extension was only 24" long to the j-pole and from there its coax. I'd be afraid of putting torque on the spade connectors where the balun attaches to the antenna if I twisted it. I am aware of the 1T/ft rule of thumb for twin lead but I thought that applied to long runs along the roof or down a 30ft mast. The twist keeps it from picking up stray RF signals. I don't recommend twin-lead running down the mast. Its hard to work with because you need the twists plus it can't be too close to metal so you need standoffs, etc. People switched to coax because its so much easier to work with. I think the gain in performance that I saw, which was rather dramatic for a system that was already working well, was probably due to soldered connectors (rather than crimped) and getting the balun away from the active elements of the antenna. If you go this route I'd be curious if it helps.

I'd also be curious if the method can be used on the one of those flat, vertical UHF antennas and if it would make any difference. I think the RF principle are the same -- get the wire away from the antenna, 90deg being the most direct method. But now your twin-lead drop line has to run along the front of the antenna at least 4-5" away from the mast, so you'd need to secure it with some kind of plastic standoffs and you'd need to twist it if its longer than a couple of feet. Once it clears the lower elements of the antenna, you could terminate into a balun and then run coax the rest of the way. This is a real world test I'd love to see.
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Old 7-Mar-2014, 10:44 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by dmfdmf View Post
Right, but if you've got any kind of Yagi with a horizontal boom it has the same problem, the wire leads are too short to drop the balun out of the way so it interferes with reception.



Yes, you have a difficult case. In these situations I like to say "every dB counts" because with such low margins and poor signals you never know if you are an iota of dB from a decent pic to an unwatchable one.



Agreed. I wasn't recommending the RCA751 for you, just the twin-lead extension trick that probably applies to any horizontal boom antenna and might wring out a few more dB in "extreme" cases like yours.



I have not analyzed your case closely enough, nor do I have the experience to help with your antenna selection.



I didn't really need to twist it as the extension was only 24" long to the j-pole and from there its coax. I'd be afraid of putting torque on the spade connectors where the balun attaches to the antenna if I twisted it. I am aware of the 1T/ft rule of thumb for twin lead but I thought that applied to long runs along the roof or down a 30ft mast. The twist keeps it from picking up stray RF signals. I don't recommend twin-lead running down the mast. Its hard to work with because you need the twists plus it can't be too close to metal so you need standoffs, etc. People switched to coax because its so much easier to work with. I think the gain in performance that I saw, which was rather dramatic for a system that was already working well, was probably due to soldered connectors (rather than crimped) and getting the balun away from the active elements of the antenna. If you go this route I'd be curious if it helps.

I'd also be curious if the method can be used on the one of those flat, vertical UHF antennas and if it would make any difference. I think the RF principle are the same -- get the wire away from the antenna, 90deg being the most direct method. But now your twin-lead drop line has to run along the front of the antenna at least 4-5" away from the mast, so you'd need to secure it with some kind of plastic standoffs and you'd need to twist it if its longer than a couple of feet. Once it clears the lower elements of the antenna, you could terminate into a balun and then run coax the rest of the way. This is a real world test I'd love to see.
I'm interested in trying this but my radioshack only sells twin lead in 100 foot rolls, if I can find it by the foot it will be on my to do list. As for trying it on a flat uhf mine is out since it uses a pcb balum which is a true 1 to 1 75ohm connection. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 7-Mar-2014, 4:20 PM   #52
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I'm interested in trying this but my radioshack only sells twin lead in 100 foot rolls, if I can find it by the foot it will be on my to do list.
Yeah, I bought a lifetime supply of twin-lead last year for $12 or so from Radio Shack. I think after the makeover they aren't even carrying antenna stuff anymore. Its no longer in my local store (neither are the baluns, BTW) and the website says out of stock. RIP RS!

The twin-lead has come in handy for other uses like custom FM dipole antennas for my radios but I still have about 80'. I'd send you some but shipping cost would probably be about the same as buying local.

>
Quote:
As for trying it on a flat uhf mine is out since it uses a pcb balum which is a true 1 to 1 75ohm connection. Thanks for the tip!
Good point, I hadn't thought about the impedance. I'd like to look up the specs on your UHF antenna, what make and model are you referring to here? Thanks.
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Old 10-Mar-2014, 11:24 AM   #53
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Yeah, I bought a lifetime supply of twin-lead last year for $12 or so from Radio Shack. I think after the makeover they aren't even carrying antenna stuff anymore. Its no longer in my local store (neither are the baluns, BTW) and the website says out of stock. RIP RS!

The twin-lead has come in handy for other uses like custom FM dipole antennas for my radios but I still have about 80'. I'd send you some but shipping cost would probably be about the same as buying local.

>

Good point, I hadn't thought about the impedance. I'd like to look up the specs on your UHF antenna, what make and model are you referring to here? Thanks.
I'm using the clearstream 2v but I didn't hook up the vhf side. I got the 2v only because it was cheaper at the time then the regular clearstream 2. It's made by antennasdirect.
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