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Old 21-Aug-2014, 3:21 AM   #1
rhinoslim
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diy db8

Hello,
We have went ahead and decided to save money by getting rid of cable. I have since made a vertically stacked db8. I've used plans I found online which called for 7 in. whiskers with a 3 in. gap spaced about 5 1/4 in. and 1 1/4 in. phase lines. I was able to receive NBC and few other stations if directed NW and to SW few Richmond stations. However they were short lived and the signal became weak without any luck.

Based on my data sheet, can you recommend optimum diy measurements/ diy antenna design and best antenna direction for some stations. I honestly would be happy with any major network ( or more). Here is my location data.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...ec2fa28a48cf7f

Thank you and I appreciate your help.
Jake

Last edited by rhinoslim; 25-Aug-2014 at 3:30 AM.
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Old 21-Aug-2014, 7:58 AM   #2
GroundUrMast
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I suspect the whisker length you used for your first build was too short. 9 to 10" is more likely to provide decent UHF and some H-VHF capability. However, unless you model the design before cutting material, you're just guessing.


If you wish to 'role your own', consider going all out... I'd suggest the GH10n3. This is the product of some extensive work with 4NEC2 modeling software and has real world examples that confirm the design.

http://clients.teksavvy.com/~nickm/g...6V9_14u65.html
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Old 21-Aug-2014, 9:59 AM   #3
teleview
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Tv reception is weak signal strengths at your reception.

The tvfool report is not showing any antenna height above ground.

To see if reception improves at higher antenna heights above ground.

Do not delete the tvfool report that is not showing any antenna height above ground.

Please make and post 2 more tvfool reports with antenna heights of 25 feet and 40 feet above.

Last edited by teleview; 23-Aug-2014 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 21-Aug-2014, 1:36 PM   #4
tonyp063
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GuM is absolutely correct. The dimensions you used are too small for the current UHF band.
The Grey-Hoverman he directed you to is an excellent, well designed & modeled antenna.

If you are set on building a bow-tie antenna, look at the ones from McClapp.

http://m4antenna.eastmasonvilleweather.com/

They were tested & modeled also by holl_ands, a very well respected & knowledgeable member of the OTA antenna community

http://imageevent.com/holl_ands
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Old 23-Aug-2014, 5:53 PM   #5
rhinoslim
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Great, thanks for the feedback. I figured the whiskers were too short. The GH10n3 looks good as well as the recommended bowties. I'm going to get some more copper wire, any recommendations on gauge?

Here is the data at 25

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...ec2f9bb1fff954

And 40
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...ec2f38b7f4714e

In terms of grounding, lets say I build the GH10n3 on a pvc support, connect the pvc to a metal mast. What is the proper protocol for grounding? Mast to ground? or???

Thanks again. It is very refreshing to talk to some knowledgeable folks. I had a guy at radioshack tell me hes been doing this his whole life and where I'm at the only way to get reception is a large 12' directional antenna with an amp.
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Old 23-Aug-2014, 6:59 PM   #6
GroundUrMast
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Quote:
I had a guy at radioshack tell me hes been doing this his whole life and where I'm at the only way to get reception is a large 12' directional antenna with an amp.
Based on your TV Fool reports, I would expect a large antenna is needed. Rather than dwelling on the physical size, look at the gain. Reputable antenna vendors will provide plausible gain figures for their products. Don't believe gain figures of 20 and 30 dB. I can only think of one commercial antenna that legitimately claims more than 20 dB of gain... It's a custom built double parabolic dish array from Wade. Each of the dishes are about 8' in diameter and the tower needed to support the thing should be engineered. The GH and M4 designs qualify as 'large' antennas based on their gain. Store bought antennas such as the Winegard HD7698P, Antennacraft HBU-44 & HBU-55, together with the combinations of Antennas Direct DB8E + Antennacraft Y10713 or Antennas Direct 91XG + Y10713 would offer similarly 'large' performance.

The key to reliable reception is that the antenna must be located where there is enough signal with sufficient quality (a combination of factors, not just raw strength, including freedom from noise and distortion.) In weak signal locations, a large antenna is needed to intercept enough RF energy from the air to produce acceptable amounts of RF signal level at the antenna terminals. The distortion produced by rapidly changing reflections and signal fading which can be caused by moving tree limbs, airplanes and other vehicles, can make strong signals unwatchable. It will no doubt be vital that you avoid aiming through obstructions such as your house, roof or trees.

If the antenna has collected a signal of adequate quality, an amplifier can help by pushing that signal through losses in coax and perhaps splitting. No amplifier can 'pull' signal from the air, antenna or coax.

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In terms of grounding, lets say I build the GH10n3 on a pvc support, connect the pvc to a metal mast. What is the proper protocol for grounding? Mast to ground? or???
Have you read http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=901, particularly post #20?
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Old 23-Aug-2014, 8:17 PM   #7
teleview
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Hoverman

http://www.summitsource.com.

Has the.

Antenna Craft , 16 Bay Supper G1483.

Antenna Craft , 8 Bay Supper G1483.

Antenna Craft , 4 Bay G1483.

Antenna Craft , UH-S2 , Stacking Kit.

Antenna Craft has been making these Hoverman antennas for a long time , and currently sells them through Summit Source.

Last edited by teleview; 23-Aug-2014 at 10:23 PM. Reason: Clarify information and typos.
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Old 23-Aug-2014, 11:59 PM   #8
teleview
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Above the Peak of the Roof in such a manner that the , attic , roof , building , are not , obstructing , impeding , blocking , reception in the directions of , North , North West , South West.

At no less then 25 feet above ground.

Install a , Antennas Direct , DB8e , Current UHF channels 14 thru 51 antenna.

http://www.amazon.com.

Aim 1 panel of the DB8e antenna at about 335 degree magnetic compass direction , aim the other panel at about 356 degree magnetic compass direction.

-----------------------------------

Here is how to aim antennas.

http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing/pointing.html.

Use a Real and Actual magnetic compass to aim antennas , do not trust a , cell phone , tablet and etc. compass.

Also to help with the Best reception , most Digital Tv's have a Signal Strength Meter and some Digital Tv's also have a Signal Quality Meter.

-----------------------------------

Also install a.

http://www.antennacraft.net.

Y10-7-13 , VHF high band channels 7 thru 13 antenna.

-----------------------------------

Install a.

http://www.antennacraft.net.

10G221 preamplifier.

-----------------------------------

Connect the , DB8e , UHF antenna to the UHF connection of the 10G221 preamp.

Connect the , Y10-7-13 , VHF high band antenna to the VHF connection of the 10G221 preamp.

-----------------------------------

For 1 Tv connected use No splitter.

For 2 Tv's connected use a , Holland Electronics , HFS-2D , 2 way splitter.

For 3 Tv's connected use a , Holland Electronics , HFS-3D , 3 way splitter.

For 4 Tv's connected use a , Holland Electronics , HFS-4D , 4 way splitter.

Buy the , HFS-2D , HFS-3D , HFS-4D , splitters at. http://www.hollandelectronics.com. or . http://www.amazon.com.

-----------------------------------

Here are some above the roof antenna mounts.

http://www.ronard.com/909911.html. Install the , ronard(911) , 5 foot tripod antenna mount.

http://www.kyes.com/34424560.html. Install the , ronard(4560) , eave antenna mount.

http://www.ronard.com/ychim.html. Measure around the chimney and use a , ronard(2212) , ronard(2218) , ronard(2224) .

-----------------------------------

The following information is important.

As always , trees and tree leaves , plants and plant leaves , have a Negative Effect on Broadcast Tv Reception and so do buildings and other obstructions including your own , attic , roof , building , in the directions of reception.

Some and not all Negative Effects are.

Absorbing and Blocking Reception.

Multi-Path Reflecting Tv Signals Bouncing All Around.

The Best Practice for Reliable Reception is to install the antennas at a location that has the least amount to no amount of obstructions of any type or kind in the directions of reception including your own , attic , roof , building , in the directions of reception. North , North West , South West.

Last edited by teleview; 24-Aug-2014 at 1:33 AM. Reason: Clarify information and typos.
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Old 24-Aug-2014, 5:37 AM   #9
rhinoslim
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Teleview, Thanks for all the recommendations. There are some good options to consider. I think you covered it all. And thank you for supplying the links. I have been looking at everything you've mentioned.

If I was to go the DIY route, how would the GH10n3, suggested by GroundUrMast, compare to what you have recommended (based on my report)? It would pick up both UHF and VHF correct? Also, would this require an pre-amplifier?

Fortunately, I am only using this for 1 television so I don't have to worry about signal loss from splitting. However, there are a few large trees around. That is why I am putting this on the peak of my roof(secured by the chimney mount you so graciously recommended).

I will probably end up purchasing one of your great recommendations, but money is tight with a newborn now and want to exhaust all options before making a major purchase.

I really appreciate the input here. I'm science teacher and learning about the logistics of OTA signals is pretty fascinating.
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Old 24-Aug-2014, 7:24 AM   #10
teleview
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For 1 Tv connected and 1 Antenna and No Antenna System Amplifier.

Install a.

http://www.antennacraft.net.

HBU44 , UHF/VHF antenna aimed at about 345 degree magnetic compass direction.

--------------

Looking at the , Tvfool Radar Map and Channel List for the Current Plus Pending Applications Included Digital Broadcast Tv Stations/Channels.

Of the Tv Stations to the , North , North West.

You will be looking for reception in the Yellow and Pink reception zones , Down The Channel List to and including , WDCW , Real UHF band channel 50 , The CW Network.

--------------

You must make a effort to install the antenna at a location that has the least amount to no amount of obstructions in the directions of reception. North , North West.

The closer trees and other obstructions are to the receiving antenna in the directions of reception the more disrupted reception will be.

So how close is close??

If big tree/s is/are in your yard and the size of the yard is the typical size of a residential yard and the tree/s is/are blocking the reception of the antenna in the direction of reception. North , North West.

Then that is close.

You must avoid aiming the antenna or any antenna into close tree/s or other obstructions.

You can do this by locating the antenna at a location that is not blocked by close obstructions.

If the tree/s or some other obstruction to reception is/are in the neighbors yard on the other side of the yard further away from the receiving antenna , Then that is Better.

If the tree/s are further away , a block or more away , That is Better.

This final bit of information.

Because people freak out and do not install the antenna at all or do something really strange.

Yes you can Test reception at any location.

And Yes you can install the antenna above the chimney.

Last edited by teleview; 24-Aug-2014 at 8:35 PM. Reason: Clarify information and typos.
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Old 24-Aug-2014, 2:04 PM   #11
w1zofaz
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rhinoslim, I feel you when you are saying that money is tight. I was very surprised at the cost of setting up a system that would allow one to watch free OTA tv. But I went even more and got software for my pc that would allow me to also record off hulu, netflix, and so on. Got have the shows that are on cable that the wife watches to keep her happy.

But on to the cost, even though I am gritting my teeth at the current cost I keep telling myself that it is a short term investment. It will have paid for itself in six months, and then after that everything is pure savings over the cost of paying for cable.
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Old 25-Aug-2014, 3:48 AM   #12
rhinoslim
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Originally Posted by teleview View Post
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For 1 Tv connected and 1 Antenna and No Antenna System Amplifier.

Install a.

http://www.antennacraft.net.

HBU44 , UHF/VHF antenna aimed at about 345 degree magnetic compass direction.
Okay. What would be the major difference from the HBU set up as opposed to the Y10-7-13 /DB8e set up you have mentioned.

Yes I do have a tree that is obstructing the signal I believe. It is on its way out so some branches here and there may not be a problem. Thanks again for the suggestions. Learning a lot here.
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Old 25-Aug-2014, 3:48 AM   #13
rhinoslim
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Yes. I agree, wiz. Just trying to weigh my options right now.
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Old 25-Aug-2014, 3:57 AM   #14
rhinoslim
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Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
Based on your TV Fool reports, I would expect a large antenna is needed. Rather than dwelling on the physical size, look at the gain. Reputable antenna vendors will provide plausible gain figures for their products. Don't believe gain figures of 20 and 30 dB. I can only think of one commercial antenna that legitimately claims more than 20 dB of gain... It's a custom built double parabolic dish array from Wade. Each of the dishes are about 8' in diameter and the tower needed to support the thing should be engineered. The GH and M4 designs qualify as 'large' antennas based on their gain. Store bought antennas such as the Winegard HD7698P, Antennacraft HBU-44 & HBU-55, together with the combinations of Antennas Direct DB8E + Antennacraft Y10713 or Antennas Direct 91XG + Y10713 would offer similarly 'large' performance.
Okay, I would like to keep it compact if that is even possible. Do you think the GH10n3 would provide enough gain for at least receiving some major network signals, based on my report? I don't mind building it. I drew up the measurements yesterday. Im just wondering if it be worth the time.

On the bright side, my diy db8 is recieving signals, ABC, Fox, and others (even with the shorter length whiskers) it just has a tendency to go out for no apparent reason after a while. very unreliable.

So, If I am getting signals with that, then the GH10n3 should do a better job, right?
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Old 25-Aug-2014, 5:24 AM   #15
teleview
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You said money is tight.

1 UHF/VHF combination antenna , 1 Tv connected , No splitter .

The HBU44 antenna with no antenna system amplifier is the minimum size antenna I will recommend. A Antenna Craft , 10G201 preamplifier can be installed -If- required for reliable reception.

Notice that the word is -If- , not will be.


No , I will not recommend a smaller antenna.

No , I will not recommend a smaller antenna with or without a amplifier.

Last edited by teleview; 26-Aug-2014 at 4:28 AM. Reason: Clarify information and typos.
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Old 25-Aug-2014, 7:07 PM   #16
GroundUrMast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhinoslim View Post
Okay, I would like to keep it compact if that is even possible. Do you think the GH10n3 would provide enough gain for at least receiving some major network signals, based on my report? I don't mind building it. I drew up the measurements yesterday. Im just wondering if it be worth the time.

On the bright side, my diy db8 is receiving signals, ABC, Fox, and others (even with the shorter length whiskers) it just has a tendency to go out for no apparent reason after a while. very unreliable.

So, If I am getting signals with that, then the GH10n3 should do a better job, right?
A well built GH10N3 will deliver performance that is very competitive with the largest consumer grade antennas. It covers the UHF band as well as the High VHF band. (Real CH's 14 through 51 and CH's 7 through 13 respectively.)

As with any antenna, mounting location and height will play a key roll in the final results.

As you design and build, think 'precision, stability and durability'.
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