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Old 24-Jun-2015, 1:35 PM   #1
MarkSB
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Add a second bay to my Gray-Hoverman? (York, PA)

Per the title, I just moved to the York area and would like to get all of the major channels out of Baltimore, especially for NFL season. Baltimore is the city I chose, because there appears to be all the major channels in that one direction, so I could (hopefully), just point my antenna in one direction and get everything. In addition, I'm living on the second floor of an apartment complex, and the only place I can really put an antenna is on the deck which is on the south side of the building. The south side of the building is also facing down a hill, so there's not too many obstructions (besides some trees which are about 20 feet away from the deck, and hills of course on the horizon).

I currently have a SBGH, and had good success using it to pick up diffracted TV signals in a similar situation - where the signal was traveling about 70 miles over some rough terrain with a lot of elevation changes. Similar situation here, but I'm having some trouble getting good reception with the SBGH. So what I'm wondering is:

1. If I add a second bay, should I be able to pull a signal. I know the only real way to find out is to try it, but was wondering if anyone has used it in a similar situation and got good reception.

2. I've got a couple signals to the east (signal analysis is below), which I can also pick up with an antenna placed on the patio, but then I lose reception with the TV stations to the south. I'm wondering if I can add a second (Omni-directional) antenna which I have, to pick up the stations to the Northeast (mainly Fox, channel 47), and use the DBGH to pick up the stations to the south. I know there's VHF/UHF diplexers out there (my antenna's pre-amp has one), but is there anything that I can use to combine two UHF channels? Or would I be stuck with having to rotate the antenna?

Any thought/ideas/discussion is appreciated. My signal analysis is below. I can't give too much detail about my elevation, I put 15 feet as the antenna height but I'm not sure what TV Fool is referencing it from, because as said, I'm on a hill (almost at the top, but not quite).

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...82301bf0644f0a

Last edited by MarkSB; 24-Jun-2015 at 1:38 PM.
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Old 24-Jun-2015, 2:14 PM   #2
Jake V
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Your TV Fool Report is only resolved to the block level. You might consider re-doing with the following instructions for a more accurate report: http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=14508
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Old 24-Jun-2015, 2:37 PM   #3
rabbit73
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I agree with the suggestion by Jake V. We need to see a more accurate report because you want the Baltimore signals which are 2Edge signals from terrain interference. You can see the terrain path by clicking on a callsign in your report.

We want you to go here to use coordinates for your exact antenna location. If you don't know your coordinates, you will see that they change under the map as you move the cursor (drag and drop).
http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?opti...pper&Itemid=90

Your full coordinates will not show in the report; they will be shortened to 2 digits after the decimal point.

Quote:
I can't give too much detail about my elevation, I put 15 feet as the antenna height but I'm not sure what TV Fool is referencing it from, because as said, I'm on a hill (almost at the top, but not quite).
The computer simulation knows about the hill, but it doesn't know the antenna height above ground.
Quote:
If you know your (planned) antenna's height, you can specify that here in feet above ground level, AGL
(e.g., 25)
If you use the interactive map browser, enter the height in the box below the map before clicking on Make Radar Plot >> above the upper right corner of the map.
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Last edited by rabbit73; 24-Jun-2015 at 3:12 PM.
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Old 24-Jun-2015, 3:00 PM   #4
MarkSB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake V View Post
Your TV Fool Report is only resolved to the block level. You might consider re-doing with the following instructions for a more accurate report: http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=14508
Awesome, thanks for the tip. Here it is, at the maximum possible height I can get it to (about 15 ft):

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...82303873c4c858

Also to note, the length of my building runs from SW to NE, so its at a bit of an angle when you're looking at it on a map / satellite image.
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Old 24-Jun-2015, 3:15 PM   #5
MarkSB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
I agree with the suggestion by Jake V. We need to see a more accurate report because you want the Baltimore signals which are 2Edge signals from terrain interference. You can see the terrain path by clicking on a callsign in your report.
I was able to pull 2Edge signals at my last residence, but not so much here. I don't have much wiggle room for positioning either - it only seems to pick up signals on the one corner of the deck. I tried tilting it back at various angles, since that made a world of difference last time... but I'm still getting inconsistent results.

The channels I'm able to pick up now are (real channel #'s):
38 - good
8 - good
41 - good
30 - good
40 - bad

I was able to pick up more channels with it in the same position, but only in optimal conditions (one specific night, during late evening/after sunset). I can also get reception on channel 21 at times, even though the transmitter is on the other side of the building, and can get channel 47 if I point it t the E/NE. I should also mention, its a 3 story building so there's another level above me.

Last edited by MarkSB; 24-Jun-2015 at 3:59 PM.
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Old 24-Jun-2015, 3:24 PM   #6
MarkSB
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Also, here is the preamp that I'm using with the SBGH:

http://www.acehardware.com/product/i...a=pla_16505290

My cable run is about 50 ft.

Last edited by MarkSB; 24-Jun-2015 at 3:29 PM.
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Old 24-Jun-2015, 3:29 PM   #7
rabbit73
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Quote:
If I add a second bay, should I be able to pull a signal.
The SBGH is primarily for UHF signals, real channels 14-51. An added second SBGH combined with the first aimed in the same direction, might help with the UHF Baltimore channels, but it wouldn't help with the VHF channels 11 and 13 for NBC and CBS.
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Old 24-Jun-2015, 3:34 PM   #8
rabbit73
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Quote:
The channels I'm able to pick up now are (real channel #'s):
2 - good
8 - good
41 - good
30 - good
40 - bad
Please give us the callsigns
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Old 24-Jun-2015, 3:38 PM   #9
MarkSB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
The SBGH is primarily for UHF signals, real channels 14-51. An added second SBGH combined with the first aimed in the same direction, might help with the UHF Baltimore channels, but it wouldn't help with the VHF channels 11 and 13 for NBC and CBS.
If I remove the reflector, could that help make it more Omni-directional? (I imagine this would come at the cost of poorer reception with the transmitters it is pointed at?) I saw an old thread where someone removed the reflector, and had good luck with it. The reason I ask is because I can get the CBS station (WHP) to the north sometimes, and perhaps adding the second bay will help me pick that station up... so then I'll have all the major stations. (Local channel 8 carries NBC).

I'm a Packer fan living in York, so getting all Baltimore stations isn't too imperative, as long as I get all the major stations. Although with being in between so many stations, it would be nice to get as many stations as I can for NFL season, and have a few more games to choose from.

Thanks again for the help.

Last edited by MarkSB; 24-Jun-2015 at 3:51 PM.
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Old 24-Jun-2015, 3:43 PM   #10
MarkSB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
Please give us the callsigns
Here we go:

WMAR
WGAL
WUTB
WGCB

WGAL and WGCB are very close - I could probably pick them up with a paperclip. (The antenna fell over, and I still got them)

WUTB and WMAR are Baltimore stations.
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Old 24-Jun-2015, 3:50 PM   #11
rabbit73
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I think your expectations are not realistic. Forget about the OMNI idea. If you want Baltimore, then a VHF/UHF combo needs to be aimed at Baltimore. If you want another direction, then you often must aim the antenna in that direction, or have a second antenna for that direction.
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Old 24-Jun-2015, 3:54 PM   #12
MarkSB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
I think your expectations are not realistic. Forget about the OMNI idea. If you want Baltimore, then a VHF/UHF combo needs to be aimed at Baltimore. If you want another direction, then you often must aim the antenna in that direction, or have a second antenna for that direction.
How would I combine the 2 antennas? I hunted around for diplexers a little bit, and most of them seem to be UHF/VHF. In this case I'd be trying to get UHF stations with both antennas.

Last edited by MarkSB; 24-Jun-2015 at 3:57 PM.
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Old 24-Jun-2015, 3:55 PM   #13
rabbit73
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Oh, OK
WMAR is real channel 38, virtual channel 2.1
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Old 24-Jun-2015, 3:58 PM   #14
MarkSB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
Oh, OK
WMAR is real channel 38, virtual channel 2.1
Opps... yep, sorry about that. Fixed it.
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Old 24-Jun-2015, 6:02 PM   #15
rabbit73
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Quote:
I know there's VHF/UHF diplexers out there (my antenna's pre-amp has one), but is there anything that I can use to combine two UHF channels? Or would I be stuck with having to rotate the antenna?
How would I combine the 2 antennas? I hunted around for diplexers a little bit, and most of them seem to be UHF/VHF. In this case I'd be trying to get UHF stations with both antennas.
As you are aware, a VHF antenna and a UHF antenna are easily combined with a UVSJ, which is a UHF/VHF diplexer. Combining two UHF antennas is not easily done in all cases.

If you have two identical antennas that are aimed in the same direction, you can combine them with a splitter in reverse, if the coax lines are the same length. The signals arrive at the combiner in phase, so they add together for more gain.

If the two antennas are not aimed in the same direction, the same signals from each antenna might not arrive in phase at the combining point, causing the two signals to interfere with each other. This is why the DB8E doesn't do what you expect it to do when the two panels are aimed in different directions. Sometimes it works, sometimes not; trial and error.
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Old 24-Jun-2015, 6:17 PM   #16
Jake V
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Rabbit73 speaks with wisdom.

The only thing I'll add is that if combining two of the same antennas (like the DB-8e) works best when you have them at 90 degrees to another, and face the antennas "out" towards the signals (so the signals don't cross each other).

I'd say that what you get when the antenna separately face east and south is going to be (at best) better for those channels than anything combined.
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Old 24-Jun-2015, 6:21 PM   #17
rabbit73
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Quote:
I just moved to the York area and would like to get all of the major channels out of Baltimore, especially for NFL season. Baltimore is the city I chose, because there appears to be all the major channels in that one direction, so I could (hopefully), just point my antenna in one direction and get everything.
I'm reminding you of your initial goal stated in your first post. I think that's realistic, but even that goal has some problems. If you want more than that, it gets complicated.

I am always amazed when someone wants a simple system that duplicates what a CATV system headend does with multiple antennas, amplifiers, and modulators costing thousands of dollars. You will need to cut back on your expectations and settle for improving one direction or be prepared to spend a lot of time and money building a system that does what you want.

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Old 24-Jun-2015, 6:50 PM   #18
rabbit73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSB View Post
Also, here is the preamp that I'm using with the SBGH:

http://www.acehardware.com/product/i...a=pla_16505290

My cable run is about 50 ft.
Thank you for the new more accurate report and the equipment details.

If you just focus on Baltimore you can use your SBGH for the UHF channels and add an antenna for your VHF channels, using the separate VHF and UHF inputs on your RCA TVPRAMP1R. You need to be aware that the RCA preamp has a history of problems with the combined/separate switch. Sometimes it doesn't make good contact with the VHF antenna in the separate position. The workaround is to put the switch in the combined position and use a UVSJ.

Unfortunately, the supply of separate VHF-Hi antennas is much smaller now. You can use a VHF/UHF combo antenna for Baltimore, but that type of antenna might be too long for your location and would stick out too far from the deck. I'm thinking of the Winegard HD7697P or 7698P.

If you need antennas that are flatter, use your SBGH for UHF and an Antennas Direct C5 for VHF, which comes with a diplexer.

If you are into DIY antennas, you could build a 2-bay bowtie antenna with reflector for VHF. It would be big, but it wouldn't stick out like a combo.

Quote:
I'm wondering if I can add a second (Omni-directional) antenna which I have, to pick up the stations to the Northeast (mainly Fox, channel 47),
What antenna is your Omni?

If you also want the channels from the NNW, I suggest a separate antenna with an A/B switch to select which antenna you want. Your TV should be able to add a channel after scan, or you will need to rescan after every change. An alternative would be a separate tuner for the second antenna, with its output going to the A/V or HDMI input of the TV.

You have some strong local FM signals that might cause interference to TV reception. The FM filter in the preamp should take care of it. If not, you can add an FM filter. See attachment.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MarkSBtvf FM est.JPG (109.3 KB, 254 views)
__________________
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Last edited by rabbit73; 24-Jun-2015 at 7:34 PM.
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Old 25-Jun-2015, 7:56 PM   #19
stvcmty
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You are in a multipath hell, between you and Baltimore are so many hills and there are hills all around you so that is working against you. But all hope is not lost.

For football you need:
Any NBC station
WPMT Fox Real 47
WHP CBS Real 21
WJZ CBS Real 13
WBFF Fox Real 46

There is something really sucky about needing Real 46 for Fox from Baltimore; you are practically next to real 47, so selectivity of your receiver becomes important. It also means combining signals from WMPT and WBFF passively is going to be very difficult.

VHF should take care of itself with a VHF antenna pointed at Baltimore to get WJZ. WGAL has a STA to run way more power than TV fool is predicting them using so a paper clip in the back of your TV would probably get WGAL. A VHF antenna pointed at Baltimore will be very likely to get WGAL just from the large amount of signal you have.

UHF either needs 2 separate antennas, one to get WPMT and one to get WBFF, or it needs 1 antenna that can be rotated to get either. You cannot combine the two antenna leads, with WBFF and WPMT being adjacent channels and WPMT being nearly 50dB stronger anything you do to combine them will result in WBFF being lost. Whatever antenna you use to get WBFF ideally will null out WPMT. I don’t know what to tell you about WHP, it is on the other side of your building. Last season when I checked WHP and WJZ had the same games.
If you use a rotor, you need a way to control the rotor. Or,
You can use a UVSJ to combine the VHF antenna pointed at WJZ with one of your UHF antennas. If you use 2 UHF antennas, you could even split your VHF antenna and feed 2 UVSJ’s, one for the WPMT antenna and one for the WBFF antenna. At your TV you will either need an AB switch or a 2nd tuner connected to one of the TV’s inputs.

I focused on the football stations above. Antennas from one system or the other will pick up most other networks. The one place you may have problems is WHTM Real 10, your local ABC. My gut feel is it will be easier for you to get WMAR than to get WHTM.
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Old 28-Jun-2015, 7:35 AM   #20
MarkSB
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^^Wow, thanks for all the info!!

So its sounding like my best bet is to expand to a DBGH, and add a VHF antenna. Unfortunately, I'm also in the market for a new antenna amp, it seems. I was messing around with the antenna trying to get a signal, had the power inserter outside and it started to downpour. Well the power inserter got wet while it was plugged in, and now it won't work even after its dried out (at least, I assume its the power inserter that's not working, because everything else looks good.)

I'm thinking about getting a CM7777, but am hoping that it won't overload the tuner with the channels which are close by.
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