TV Fool  

Go Back   TV Fool > Over The Air Services > Help With Reception

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 27-Jun-2014, 2:34 AM   #1
cumak
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4
Is there a better antenna for me?

I live northwest of Boston and I cut the cord about a year ago. My reception comes and goes, and I'm wondering if I could do any better with a different antenna.

Here's my signal analysis report

This is my existing setup:
- Antennas Direct 91XG antenna, mounted in attic
- Antenna pointed to ~152 degrees, which is where the major Boston networks broadcast (UHF only)
- No preamp
- HDHomeRun (HDHR3) located just a few feet from antenna, so virtually no cable loss

The channels I'm interested in are all 1Edge or 2Edge. Sometimes they come in great, other times reception is terrible. I've noticed that not all Boston channels are strongest with the antennna pointed at 152 (which is where the transmitters are located). If I rotate it 15 or 20 degrees, some channels get better while others get worse. Also, the best antenna angle on one day might not be the best angle on another day.

All of this leads me to wonder, is my antenna too directional? With 1Edge and 2Edge paths, are the signals travelling over indirect paths to reach me, and are these paths changing day-to-day?

When I chose the 91XG, I was going for the highest gain at UHF. Now I'm wondering if I would do better with something like an Antennas Direct DB8E, Winegard HD-8800, ClearStream 4, or even a Mohu Sky.

Can anyone comment on these (or other) antennas as a potential upgrade? I know that mounting the antenna on the roof would get me a bit more signal, but I'd really prefer not to do that.

Thanks in advance for your help.

-Mark

Last edited by cumak; 27-Jun-2014 at 4:24 PM. Reason: Fixed location for signal report
cumak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-Jun-2014, 7:52 AM   #2
StephanieS
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 442
Hello Cumak,

I am an owner of a 91XG myself. I am 16 miles distant and pointing away from my nearest stations (major full power affiliates). I consider myself lucky at being able to run the 91XG. The 91XG's gain if pointed at nearby strong signals can actually put you into overload, which means your TV reception will be erratic. Too much signal coming down the lead.

Can you mount outside? If you can do this there are more appropriate antennas for your signal strength and pathway realities.

The 91XG itself is built for weak and/or distant signals in one specific heading. A suburban usage with 45db signals in a 2-edge situation isn't a configuration I'd put that antenna into.

It sounds like to me you have a great deal of signal bouncing around and hitting the 91XG from all sides. It has the effect of cancelling out and destablizing reception. Attics are known for this.

Get your system out of the attic and put a Antennas Direct DB4e on your roof with a clear line of visibility to magnetic 166.

If you want to have a little more fun and pick up a couple Providence stations, add a Antennacraft Y10713 to your outside installation and orientate to magnetic 187. Use a UHF/VHF combiner to consolidate both antennas into one lead. UHF lead is from DB4e, VHF lead is from Y10713. Run single lead down into home.

This would give you Boston and the two Providence VHFs (CBS and Fox).

Cheers.
StephanieS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-Jun-2014, 10:15 AM   #3
ADTech
Antennas Direct Tech Supp
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,939
The selection of the 91XG for the Boston stations (only) for your area is fine, however, its selected mounting location is the problem. Not only is the 91XG appropriate for deep fringe operation, it is also appropriate for suburban usage in multi-path environments due to its narrow beamwidth. If one believes that the gain is too high and that it might overload a tuner, adding an attenuator (6-10 dB) is simple matter. Since most tuners can handle signal powers up to about -5 dBm, there is zero risk of overload in this location from TV stations. The strongest signal on the plot (WUTF) is more than 50 off bore sight and the antenna's gain at that angle should be slightly negative.

The TVFool plot given is imprecise in its location so it is, at best, a rough estimate, as it was done at the block level. The OP's actual location might be several hundred yards away and the location might be further behind that hill than calculated. Additionally, the antenna in the attic may well behind trees which are extremely deleterious to UHF signals.

1. Try various spots within the attic. Sometimes, a mere 6-12" of movement can make or break reception.

2. Get the antenna out of the attic, up in the air, and situated as bar back away from any trees as possible.

3. Bore sight the boom of the antenna to the visible horizon in the direction of Needham, then re-adjust as needed. If you are behind that hill, aim the antenna at the "shoulder" of the hill , then probe for best results.
__________________
Antennas Direct Tech Support

For support and recommendations regarding our products, please contact us directly at https://www.antennasdirect.com/customer-service.html

Sorry, I'm not a mod and cannot assist with your site registration.

Last edited by ADTech; 27-Jun-2014 at 10:23 AM.
ADTech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-Jun-2014, 4:52 PM   #4
cumak
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4
Thank you both for your replies.

First, I didn't realize my first signal report was at the block level, but I updated it to use the exact coordinates. The link in my original post has been updated, and the results got slightly better (no more 2Edge paths for the signals I'm interested in).

Next, i didn't mention in my original post, but I have lots of tall trees behind my house, in the direction the antenna is pointing.

I don't believe that the gain is too high, since if I was overloading the tuner I'd expect to see the signal strength pegged at 100. I generally see numbers in the 70's or low 80's.

You've both provided helpful insight, but what I'm really wondering is with my situation, is it likely that I will find a "sweet spot" that will always provide stable reception? Or, are things always going to be changing based on the weather, season, alignment of the planets . I've already observe the optimal angle for one channel is not necessarily the same as for another channel (broadcast from the same location). And the optimal angle seems to change by a few degrees day to day. When ADTech states "sometimes, a mere 6-12" of movement can make or break reception", will that precise location change day-to-day also? I DVR most of my shows, so I can't use a rotator.

For the channels I'm interested in (generally 500 MHz - 650 MHz) the 91XG is spec'd for 13-16 dBi gain with 30-40 deg beamwidth. Would I better off with less gain and more beamwidth? With the DB8E, for example, I could point the elements to get something like 5-12 dBi with more than 90 deg beamwidth. Would this provide more stable reception for me under (presumably) varying signal propagation conditions? Or would that just be a waste of money?

Thanks again for your help.

-Mark
cumak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-Jun-2014, 6:35 PM   #5
ADTech
Antennas Direct Tech Supp
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,939
Quote:
I don't believe that the gain is too high, since if I was overloading the tuner I'd expect to see the signal strength pegged at 100.
Nope, it would do the opposite. It would tank. The "signal meter" doesn't measure the power of the signal, it indicates the quality (in terms of bit error rate) of the signal. An overloaded tuner will have a very high error rate and will consequently display a low meter reading.

Most likely, your issue is the trees combined with the attic location.
__________________
Antennas Direct Tech Support

For support and recommendations regarding our products, please contact us directly at https://www.antennasdirect.com/customer-service.html

Sorry, I'm not a mod and cannot assist with your site registration.

Last edited by ADTech; 27-Jun-2014 at 6:52 PM.
ADTech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-Jun-2014, 4:00 PM   #6
GroundUrMast
Moderator
 
GroundUrMast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,773
My experience with the HDHR tuner is that it is different than most. It provides metering of raw strength, quality before any attempted forward error correction and quality post FEC.

When I have intentionally overdriven the HDHR, signal strength remains 'pegged' at 100 while both quality measurements degrade.

http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=820
__________________
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.)

(Please direct account activation inquiries to 'admin')
GroundUrMast is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Go Back   TV Fool > Over The Air Services > Help With Reception


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT. The time now is 10:15 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright © TV Fool, LLC