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Old 8-Feb-2014, 8:04 AM   #1
cinemative
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Join Date: Jan 2014
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Need outdoor antenna advice in Whatcom County, Northwest Washington State

Hello everyone,

I'm hoping I can get some advice on how to get the best over the air reception in my area of Northwest Washington. I live in the city of Lynden, and my house is just a couple of miles south of the Canadian border. My house is a single story and I have a few tall trees in my back yard, including a cedar that is probably over 100 feet. Although I would prefer to mount an antenna on my roof, I would be willing to run some cable and a mount up into one of my trees if it would be worthwhile.

I don't really understand the technology involved, so conversations about UHF, VHF, and such is all Greek to me.

I've currently got 2 indoor antennas that I've connected to my TV. One is a small powered device with a figure-8 metal antenna attached to a center mount that can be rotated horizontally for better signal reception. I found this at a local thrift store for around $5. If I use it in the house and aim the antenna towards Vancouver, British Columbia... I can get a channel or two but not with very strong signals. If I attach a longer cable and move it outside, the signal is much better and I can get 8 or 9 channels. Leaving this device outside in the northwest weather isn't an option, so I've moved it up to the northwest corner of my attic and mounted it onto a platform. Signals are better than inside the house, but worse than outside. I get about 6 or 7 channels, and sometimes they are good, and sometimes they cut in and out.

The other antenna is one I bought from Costco a couple of weeks ago, and it's the flat panel type that you stick to a window. As far as I can tell after some testing, it works more or less as well (or bad) as my cheapo thrift store antenna.

The channels I can get are all Canadian, and I'm slowly figuring out which American networks they periodically broadcast... so I can get FOX, CBS, and ABC shows once in a while. Thankfully, they broadcast the Seahawks victory in the Super Bowl, but it was all Canadian ads... so that was a little bit of a bummer, but for free I guess I can't complain.

At this point, I'm ready to return the Costco antenna and ditch the thrift store one for something I can mount to the roof. I'm willing to spend $100+ if necessary, but only if I can be assured by someone that my investment will result in more channels and consitently stronger signals.

In doing a bit of online research, I've found antennas with 4/5 star reviews ranging in price from $25 to $75. I was just about to order one from Amazon.com (since I have free Prime shipping), but I found the TVFool forums and discovered that people with antenna knowledge were not fans of those antennas...

So there you have it. That's how I arrived here, on the TV Fool forums, and now I'm hoping to get some advice on what to do next.

WHAT I WANT:
  • I can live with the Canadian stations, since their towers are much closer and they broadcast a few of the shows I want to watch.
  • I would prefer to pick up the Seattle stations, but since I'm about 100 miles north I don't have much hope that I'll be able to get a signal.

Here's my report:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...5b9483a74f763a

QUESTIONS:

1. Will I need more than 1 antenna if I need to pick up stations in Canada (north) and the US (south), or is there a type of antenna that can receive signals from multiple directions?

2. If the answer to question #1 is NO, then do I need to find an antenna with a remote controlled rotating motor so I can move the antenna in order to tune certain channels?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Harold in Lynden, WA.
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Old 8-Feb-2014, 8:48 AM   #2
teleview
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+=>
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The provided Tvfool report shows a antenna height of 75 feet above ground.

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

Do not delete the Tvfool report that is 75 feet antenna height above ground.
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Old 14-Feb-2014, 1:07 AM   #3
cinemative
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 4
More TVFool reports

OK, no problem.

Here's the 25 foot report:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...5b9449395160ba

And a 40 foot one:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...5b94c88f45587a
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Old 14-Feb-2014, 6:43 AM   #4
teleview
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Looking at the , Digital Current Plus Pending Applications Included Radar Report and Channel List.

The Tv stations in the Green and Yellow reception zones will be received with a , Antennas Direct , DB8e UHF channels 14 thru 51 antenna because those receivable channels are All UHF Channels.

The Tvfool channel list report and radar map shows under the channel list , Real Channel , Real channels are the channels that are transmitted and received.

(virt) virtual numbers are not Real Channels even if the virtual number is the same as the Real Channel.

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The antenna heights of , 25 , 40 , 75 , feet show little difference in signal strengths and are all LOS Line Of Sight.

The main issue of reception of your area of the USA is Trees , Trees obstruct and block Tv reception.

If you can install the DB8e antenna at 75 feet that is Ok.

If you can install the DB8e antenna at a lower antenna height and avoid most or all trees and other obstructions in the directions of reception , North West , South West , North East , then a lower antenna height will be Ok.

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Aim 1 panel of the DB8e antenna at about 306 degree magnetic compass direction.

Aim the other panel of the DB8e antenna at about 225 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 antenna.

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I recommend Test reception with the DB8e antenna at about 25 feet or so above ground.

If the house has a chimney , you can lash a pipe to the chimney for testing of reception.

Home Depot and Lowes have , Top Rail , chain link fence pipe , 10 foot lengths , makes good antenna mast.

And the mast pipe and DB8e antenna can be moved around to find a location with the best reception.

For Testing of reception , use a New Continues length of coax connected to the DB8e antenna and run the New Continues length of coax through a open door or window direct to 1 Tv.

The reception signal strengths are moderate strong at your reception location and a antenna system amplifier will most likely not be required.

When you find a good location of the antenna for reception.

Then for 1 Tv connected use No splitter.

For 2 Tv's connected use a simple common 2 way splitter.

For 3 Tv's connected use a simple common 3 way splitter.

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Here are some Above the Roof antenna mounts.

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

http://www.ronard.com/Tripods%200703/4712.html.
Use the , ronard(4712-50-10) , 10 foot tripod antenna mount.

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

Buy the ronard antenna mounts at , http://www.ronard.com , or , http://www.amazon.com.

Here are some places to buy antennas and etc. .

http://www.amazon.com.

Last edited by teleview; 17-Feb-2014 at 4:13 PM. Reason: Clarify information and typos.
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Old 16-Feb-2014, 8:08 PM   #5
cinemative
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 4
Thank you! I really appreciate the help!

Will follow-up once I get the antenna to report on how well it worked.

Thanks again!
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