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Old 10-Sep-2014, 11:40 AM   #1
BigBean
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Question In the Sticks

Howdy!

I've been a-lurkin' but came out of the sticks to see what you all would think.

Here's my report: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...d2433647b6be11

The Terrain: Between two wooded ridges; within 40 miles of most transmitters.

The Setup: Outdoors mast, 20 - 30', within 10' of a chimney and FM antenna,
imperfect but would reduce cable length to TV; New England winters, so we burn.


Several questions:

Should I spring for an MXU59, an RCA ANT751, a 91XG, a Winegard of some stripe?

Preamp, Amp?

According to the report, we should be able to get The Big Three, Fox and at least one
PBS station.

I know the RCA gets rave reviews, but I think we're too far from NYC to get one station,
getTV aka WFUT, but I learned its transmitter is atop The Vampire State Building. Bummer.

Finally, The Rotator. I've read alot of quality issues in regards to the modern models
and don't want to spring for an antique or go nutz building my own. Frankly, making
a hand-operated one would be fine too. Any suggestions on GOOD electric ones or
plans for a manual one?


Thanks for a Great Forum,

BigBean
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Old 13-Sep-2014, 9:32 PM   #2
BigBean
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Ooops ... forget to mention there's an outside chance we will split the signal
for an upstairs TV ... not set in stone and really just hope we get a signal for
the main TV.
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Old 14-Sep-2014, 9:23 AM   #3
StephanieS
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Greetings BigBean,

Your antennas you mention (Ant751, MXU59, etc), I would use none of them. You'll notice you are in 1 or 2-edge conditions. In these situations it is often advisable to have an antenna with a wider surface (IE, an Antennas Direct DB8e, Channelmaster 4228) that can keep a lock on signal that might shift a bit.

Thus, if I were in your situation, I'd focus on Hartford exclusively. With a two antenna system successful reception of ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and PBS is within reason.

Antenna 1: Antennas Direct DB8e. Point to magnetic 0 degrees. This antenna will be responsible for CBS, FOX, NBC and PBS.

Antenna 2: Antennacraft Y5710. Point to magnetic 276. This antenna will receive ABC.

Mount the DB8e on the top of your mast. Mount Y5710 about 4' below. Install on mast a RCA TVPRAMP1R preamp. Coax jump34 from DB8e will go to the UHF input, coax from Y5710 will go into VHF input. This will combine both antennas into one coax going into your home. In your home, have a two way signal splitter split the signal (so when the time comes, you can run a feed into the bedroom).

When doing testing though, it is always best to use the single lead coming down off the antenna system into the back of your TV. This sets a baseline for your performance as a system. If your first test is good coming off the antennas, and after you split the signal problems start, that gives you a good starting point to problem test.

The RCA ANT751 is a great little antenna. I own one. It's been in service two years now. For local stuff it does well. However, for your application it is the wrong antenna and would leave you disappointed. The ANT751 doesn't have much gain, nor does it have a large surface area for signal reception. This leaves it in the domain of best with stronger signals. As long as has a healthy signal to access, it'll do fine. Once you start dealing with weaker or terrain obstructed signals, it won't keep up. My general rule with the ANT751 is if you aren't line of sight or working below 20db signal strength signals, don't go for that antenna. I have an exceptional result with my ANT751 in reliably catch a 17db signal that is 55 miles and line of sight. The ANT751 is strictly a local, line of sight antenna.

Cheers.
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Old 14-Sep-2014, 1:19 PM   #4
BigBean
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Cheers to you, Stephanie, thanks for your opinion!

It's a good thing I ran this setup by you folks first because I would've made a BiG mistake.
I'll snap up the DB8e right now and let you know the result once it's set up.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!


BigBean
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Old 14-Sep-2014, 2:12 PM   #5
BigBean
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A coupla more questions:

I can't find the Antennacraft Y5710. Is it the Y5713?

Also, since I'm pointing the 2nd antenna towards Hamden, I'd like to try for WZME Channel 42,
which has its transmitter almost right in line with WTNH though it's farther down in Shelton.
The problem is that WZME is UHF. I just saw this, the Antennacraft HBU33. Do you think this
model will pull both in? Are there any issues with mounting this below the bowtie?

Thanks!
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Old 14-Sep-2014, 6:15 PM   #6
timgr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBean View Post
A coupla more questions:

I can't find the Antennacraft Y5710. Is it the Y5713?

Also, since I'm pointing the 2nd antenna towards Hamden, I'd like to try for WZME Channel 42,
which has its transmitter almost right in line with WTNH though it's farther down in Shelton.
The problem is that WZME is UHF. I just saw this, the Antennacraft HBU33. Do you think this
model will pull both in? Are there any issues with mounting this below the bowtie?

Thanks!
I believe she must mean the Y5713. I presume you could use any of the three VHF high antennas from AntennaCraft on that page - the only difference being the dB gain that the larger or smaller antenna provides.

Usually the Y10713 gets recommended here, but I expect because WTNH is only 12 miles away, even though obstructed, the mid-sized model will do.

Regarding WZME, you might be able to pull it in with the HBU33, but that kinda messes up your plan to mix the VHF signal with the UHF signal using the TVPRAMP1R. The preamp expects the two inputs to be on different bandwidths, amplifies both and mixes them. I expect the VHF input for the RCA preamp will filter out any UHF signals, either by intentionally filtering the input signal, or because rf preamps just don't work outside of their design bandwidth. You could pick a different preamp with a broader bandwidth for the HBU33, and try mixing the signals, but the results will be unpredictable.

A similar plan for mixing two UHF antennas was discussed in another recent thread - http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=14812 - the experts here were skeptical, but the OP claims it works. IMO he was lucky to some degree. You could do the two-tuner solution with two separate UHF antennas if you want ... also discussed in that thread.
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Old 14-Sep-2014, 8:28 PM   #7
StephanieS
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Yes, that was what I meant. Thank you.

Typing at 2:30am leaves some things to be desired!

Quote:
Originally Posted by timgr View Post
I believe she must mean the Y5713. I presume you could use any of the three VHF high antennas from AntennaCraft on that page - the only difference being the dB gain that the larger or smaller antenna provides.
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Old 15-Sep-2014, 11:55 AM   #8
BigBean
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Thanks, Tim! Yeah, you can tell I'm a newb. UHF, VHF ... d'Oh!

Can either of you recommend a preamp for such a mix? I saw a Channel Master that also had an
FM switch I may benefit from because of my FM antenna literally next to the spot I'm putting
these. Or will that screw things up?

Stephanie, OUCH! Don't lose sleep over lil' ol' us!
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Old 15-Sep-2014, 12:27 PM   #9
timgr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBean View Post
Thanks, Tim! Yeah, you can tell I'm a newb. UHF, VHF ... d'Oh!

Can either of you recommend a preamp for such a mix? I saw a Channel Master that also had an
FM switch I may benefit from because of my FM antenna literally next to the spot I'm putting
these. Or will that screw things up?

Stephanie, OUCH! Don't lose sleep over lil' ol' us!
Well, I'm not part of the industry, just an amateur that picks up a few pointers here and there, understands a little physics, and has a passing interest in radio. So I'm reluctant to recommend any products.

Plus, I'm not sure what you mean. Maybe you should read what I posted again. I am not recommending that you try and mix the signal from two UHF antennas. Or a VHF-UHF antenna, the HBU33, and a UHF only antenna like the DB8e.

You cannot mix two different UHF signals from different antennae and be certain of what will happen. At least, that is my understanding. Might work ... chances are good that it won't. The two signals may coexist, or they may clobber each other - they may add, or they may cancel, or one may add noise and no signal to the other. It all depends on the reception environment and the placement of the antennae. Hard to predict that.

Wrt the FM filter, I think you miss the point. The FM antenna beng near the TV antenna will only matter if they are so close that the antennae electrically couple. More than a few feet of separation and they will not. If they couple, the sensitivity of both antennae will drop.

Normally these preamps will have an FM filter so that strong local FM radio signals do not overwhelm the preamp simply by their relative amplitude. FM radio covers part of the spectrum between VHF-low TV and VHF-high TV, so the preamp will filter the FM signals out of the signal before the signal is amplified.
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Old 16-Sep-2014, 12:07 AM   #10
BigBean
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I see what you're saying about the signal mixing ... I wonder if it's worth trying Stephanie's
plan and skewing it slightly west to pick up WZME, but that may screw up Hartford.
Frankly, I care most about PBS, WZME, CBS and everyone else follows, in that order.

Your points are helping ... so there's no real benefit to getting that CM amp then ...
I'm going to assume that individual preamps per setup while applying a coupler after
the power source may work.
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Old 4-Oct-2014, 12:26 AM   #11
BigBean
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Can I point the DB8e in two directions to get MeTV? Or do you think the power of all panels
is necessary to pull in just Hartford? I just learned the DB8e panels can be pointed in
multiple directions.
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Old 4-Oct-2014, 12:50 PM   #12
Charles
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The OP also asked for recommendations on rotors, I am also interested in seeing what makes and models should be considered. In a different thread, I was pointed to this one, http://www.nteinc.com/antenna-rotors.php?a=28, are there others?

I am aware of the arguments, both pro and con, concerning rotors and feel that in my situation the pros overshadow the cons.
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Old 4-Oct-2014, 2:20 PM   #13
timgr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBean View Post
Can I point the DB8e in two directions to get MeTV? Or do you think the power of all panels
is necessary to pull in just Hartford? I just learned the DB8e panels can be pointed in
multiple directions.
It would be helpful to specify which call sign or real channel you want to add.

That said, all it will cost you to try it is a trip to the roof to change the aim of one of your panels. You could probably do some BOTEC based on the dBm strengths of the subject stations and the change in the sensitivity of the antenna when you reaim the panels... but I expect it's less time and more accurate just to try it.

Last edited by timgr; 4-Oct-2014 at 3:26 PM. Reason: misspelled BOTEC
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Old 4-Oct-2014, 3:57 PM   #14
BigBean
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Hey Tim!

Yesh, I'm too busy / lazy to look into this more closely which is why I'm leaning on you guys ...
that station is WZME, transmitting from Shelton, CT. But I done well by you folks and I'm
going to finally get this setup and be done with it after yakking about it for two years.
I fully anticipate problems and if it means I gotta roost on our roof several hours to get
it right THE FIRST TIME, so be it.

Now, since I can't send beer through the mail, I can offer this in thanks:

GREAT beers to enjoy now:

Ommegang's "Scythe and Sickle"
Allegash's "Tripel Ale"
Victory's "Hop Devil Ale"
Inbev's "Leffe" and "Hoegaarden"
Spaten's "Oktoberfest"

Later,

Victory's "Storm King Stout"
Smuttynose "Porter"
Anchor Steam "Porter"

I also unnerstand Vermont's "Fiddlehead" brewery is particularly awesome,
BUT, you gotta get it there! Ugh.

Cheers!
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Old 22-Oct-2014, 12:55 AM   #15
BigBean
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Thumbs up Update!

Thank you folks! Your recommendations bore tasty fruit:

Posting the DB8 4' high on a temporary post out in the front yard,
pointing it imprecisely, we picked up 31 digital stations and 2 analog!
I'm not sure just yet if we picked up our New Haven ABC affiliate,
a VHF channel ( yeah, I know we shouldn't get it ) but we got all
channels on our wish list plus several that we thought had no chance
of receiving:

GetTV, The Works, and up to three PBS stations.

What's really cool is the possibility of getting GetTV from Manhattan,
well over the antenna's 70 mile specs and the antenna's not even
mounted on the roof yet! ( I've checked on Get's transmitter, the only
info I have is it's on the Empire State Building. The station is in Smithtown
New York, so I assume the signal may be "goosed" there but I've not seen
anything online indicating such. ) We're also picking up PBS out of Springfield
Mass, a transmitter up in Holyoke. We're very positively impressed with our
results thus far. Even if nothing improves on the roof, it's all good. In fact,
there's a chance some signals may suffer once the reflectors are more in
line with tree leaves ... who knows?

We can't thank you enough in your guidance. Cheers!
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Old 22-Oct-2014, 2:43 PM   #16
tomfoolery
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBean View Post
What's really cool is the possibility of getting GetTV from Manhattan, well over the antenna's 70 mile specs and the antenna's not even mounted on the roof yet! ( I've checked on Get's transmitter, the only info I have is it's on the Empire State Building. The station is in Smithtown New York, so I assume the signal may be "goosed" there but I've not seen anything online indicating such. )
Redo the input map with your location but don't create the TVFool report. At the digital station listing at the bottom-right, click on the little button next to WFTY, and you'll see the heat map of relative transmitter power (or NM - don't know which), which is clearly originating in Smithtown, Long Island. They seem to identify themselves as FUT (on rabbitears.info), so it's a safe bet that's where you're getting that signal. Which is good for you, as even with a 200 ft antenna height input, WFUT from the Empire State Building (real 30, virt. 68.1) doesn't show at all on the TVF report.
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Old 22-Oct-2014, 8:27 PM   #17
KBEX
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nice list bigbean I was up in Ommegang brewery this summer, cool place, awesome beers, grabbed a couple of Games of thrones fire and blood ales as souvenirs.

I agree with tomfoolery,I bet your pulling in GetTV from across the L.I sound as well , which is a subchannel of the spanishstation. Are you getting channel 55/10 WLNY as well? It has an excellent CBS NY news cast at 9 and great sports on the weekends.
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Old 24-Oct-2014, 1:16 AM   #18
BigBean
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Tom: Thanks for the clarification, if I recall right, I did do a check on that last year
but forgot ... sounds familiar. One can only get that sort of info at sites as this which
is very helpful since everyone else lists WFUT coming from Manhattan.

KBEX: I've seen those and I'll try 'em. Yep, Ommegang is my fave new brewery,
and there's others to seek: Allagash and Fiddleheads, tho the latter is only had in
VT at this time.

Thanks for the head's up on WLNY, I'll try to aim for it.
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Old 26-Oct-2014, 5:37 PM   #19
BigBean
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The GetTV confusion: WFUT is atop The Vampire State Bldg, WFTY, the Smithtown affiliate
for Get and Telemundo, has its transmitter on the Island. Didn't realize there were two
call signs.

Signed,

Slow Learner
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Old 27-Oct-2014, 12:13 PM   #20
tomfoolery
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Check out the last two entries on rabbitears.info. http://www.rabbitears.info/market.ph...&callsign=wfty They both identify themselves at "FUT" in the last column
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