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Old 21-Jul-2010, 3:30 PM   #1
olimazi
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UHF/VHF Antenna on Roof

After contemplating putting an antenna like the CM 4228 in the attic, I've come to my senses and decided to put a VHF/UHF antenna on the roof, something like the Winegard 7697P which will pick up Channels 7-69.
With a WG HDP-269P pre-amp that won't overload on the nearby station.

Here is my TvFool report:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...cd7207a9e594f4

The Channels I'd like to pick up are:
NYC: VHF 7,11,13 and UHF 28,33,38,44
PHI: VHF: 6 and UHF: 17,26,32,34,42

I have some issues:
I realize I will not get Ch. 6 from Philly with this antenna - I will need a much larger Winegard 8200U Ch. 2-69 antenna for that.

Also, we don't need channels 52-69 UHF any more - are there any UHF/VHF antennas that are more streamlined to pick up only Channels 7-51 or 2-51?
Really don't want to combine two seperate antenna for VHF/UHF.

Any feedback or recommendations would be greatly appreciated,

Thanks,
John

Last edited by olimazi; 21-Jul-2010 at 6:13 PM. Reason: updated tvfool report link
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Old 21-Jul-2010, 4:18 PM   #2
John Candle
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Reception

The link is not working
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Old 21-Jul-2010, 4:52 PM   #3
No static at all
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Here is the link http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...cd7207a9e594f4

If I were in your shoes, I would use a Winegard 8200 antenna & Winegard 8700 preamp. The HDP-269 would probably be fine for 1-2 TV's, but I would think the 8700 would provide enough resistance to overload & provide additional gain for the weaker UHF's from NYC..

I would be afraid that the 7697 or 7698 antenna wouldn't get channel 6 well at that distance.
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Old 21-Jul-2010, 6:25 PM   #4
olimazi
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Thanks for the heads up on the TVFool report link.

Static, I will research your recommendation.

My original plan was for an 8200U, but then I took into account size (the 7698P seems so much more compact).
I take it to receive the low VHF channels you need the bigger elements on the antenna.
I may forego trying for Ch. 6 from Philly if I can get Ch. 7 from NYC, this way I can put a smaller Ch. 7-69 antenna on the roof

Also, can you recommend a good rotator for my setup?

Thanks,

Quote:
Originally Posted by No static at all View Post
Here is the link http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...cd7207a9e594f4

If I were in your shoes, I would use a Winegard 8200 antenna & Winegard 8700 preamp. The HDP-269 would probably be fine for 1-2 TV's, but I would think the 8700 would provide enough resistance to overload & provide additional gain for the weaker UHF's from NYC..

I would be afraid that the 7697 or 7698 antenna wouldn't get channel 6 well at that distance.
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Old 22-Jul-2010, 12:05 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by olimazi View Post
are there any UHF/VHF antennas that are more streamlined to pick up only Channels 7-51 or 2-51?
As of yet, I have not seen any commercially available antennas that have been optimized for the narrower bandwidth. However, there are many DIY antenna designs that have been tweaked and optimized for today's spectrum layout.



Quote:
Also, can you recommend a good rotator for my setup?
The Channel Master 9521A should be fine for a single antenna like yours as long as you keep the mast length short.
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Old 24-Jul-2010, 2:03 AM   #6
olimazi
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Looking at 2-69 antennas now... maybe the Winegard HD7084P instead of the 8200U beast... should be able to pick up NYC and PHI with that one eh? Don't think I'll hit ch6 with a 7698P like static said.
Also can I get channels from the rear of these antennas... greek style?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtownsend View Post
As of yet, I have not seen any commercially available antennas that have been optimized for the narrower bandwidth. However, there are many DIY antenna designs that have been tweaked and optimized for today's spectrum layout.





The Channel Master 9521A should be fine for a single antenna like yours as long as you keep the mast length short.
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Old 24-Jul-2010, 9:25 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by olimazi View Post
I take it to receive the low VHF channels you need the bigger elements on the antenna.
I may forego trying for Ch. 6 from Philly if I can get Ch. 7 from NYC, this way I can put a smaller Ch. 7-69 antenna on the roof
To get channel 6, you'll need a BIG antenna...
A compact, powerful channel 7-69 antenna is listed below, I use it and love it....ignore the channel assignments, just use the frequency assignments, it won't get chan 2 thru 6:

http://www.digiwavetechnologies.com/...ge&PAGE_id=281


The big antenna above the rotor is a channel 6 antenna, the Digiwave's on top....
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Old 24-Jul-2010, 3:16 PM   #8
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Nice Setup KB, would it be better for me to get a separate UHF antenna like the WG 9095P and a separate VHF antenna like the WG ya-1713 and combine them, instead of using a combo antenna?
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Old 24-Jul-2010, 3:23 PM   #9
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^^^You may also want to consider the PR-9032 from Winegard. That antenna has slightly better gain and gets some better reviews from users. I googled both the 9032 and 9035 a while back and found enough info from people using both to come to that conclusion. You may also want to consider the Antennas Direct MXU59. I use that along with a 91xg at my location and they both perform virtually the same.
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Old 26-Jul-2010, 11:54 AM   #10
kb2fzq
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Originally Posted by olimazi View Post
Nice Setup KB, would it be better for me to get a separate UHF antenna like the WG 9095P and a separate VHF antenna like the WG ya-1713 and combine them, instead of using a combo antenna?
With my phased pair of ANT-2075's, and an AntennaCraft 10G212 30db pre-amp, I pull stations 53 miles out to my south and 91 miles out to my north...the distances to your towers looks like they are under 50 miles out, personally, I would get a VHF-hi/UHF combo antenna, such as my ANT-2075 or similar yagi design...and as I mentioned, if you HAVE to get WPVI channel 6 , you're gonna have a BIG antenna, like mine....but, I believe, if you search, you might be able to get a VHF-lo/VHF-hi/UHF antenna that will get all your channels....I couldn't find one on the internet, but they used to make them, maybe not anymore....A combo VHF-hi/UHF would do the job for you....
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Old 26-Jul-2010, 12:44 PM   #11
olimazi
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VHF-Hi/UHF antenna

Thanks man, I am leaning towards the Winegard 7698P VHF-Hi/UHF antenna.
You're right I'm within 40-45 miles from my towers, but I'm a little worried about a big pine tree on my land next to my house in the direction I will be pointing the antenna.
Guess I will have to try and find out - I would hate to mount it and find out that the signal is blocked.
Is there anything I can do to test the signal before I put the antenna up?
Thanks for the help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kb2fzq View Post
With my phased pair of ANT-2075's, and an AntennaCraft 10G212 30db pre-amp, I pull stations 53 miles out to my south and 91 miles out to my north...the distances to your towers looks like they are under 50 miles out, personally, I would get a VHF-hi/UHF combo antenna, such as my ANT-2075 or similar yagi design...and as I mentioned, if you HAVE to get WPVI channel 6 , you're gonna have a BIG antenna, like mine....but, I believe, if you search, you might be able to get a VHF-lo/VHF-hi/UHF antenna that will get all your channels....I couldn't find one on the internet, but they used to make them, maybe not anymore....A combo VHF-hi/UHF would do the job for you....
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Old 27-Jul-2010, 10:42 AM   #12
kb2fzq
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olimazi View Post
Thanks man, I am leaning towards the Winegard 7698P VHF-Hi/UHF antenna.
You're right I'm within 40-45 miles from my towers, but I'm a little worried about a big pine tree on my land next to my house in the direction I will be pointing the antenna.
Guess I will have to try and find out - I would hate to mount it and find out that the signal is blocked.
Is there anything I can do to test the signal before I put the antenna up?
Thanks for the help.
Probably only thing you can do that won't break the bank, get an inside style loop antenna at Radio Shack, put it on the roof (on a nice day), maybe 15 bucks for the looper, point loop in the direction you think the towers are, connect a longer cable with a coupler, then connect to a TV and see what you get....it will only be a dipole quality signal, basically one element as opposed to a multi-element of the 7698p, but if you get ANYTHING at all on that insider antenna, you can guess the Winegard will be much better.
That's all I gots...
The pine tree might or might not be an issue, depending on the power at the towers, and how tall and dense the tree is....OTA reception is just a crap shoot anyways, you may get lucky...maybe not....I receive thru a large forest area and I'm good....

EDIT:
You have a few UHF stations running 600+ Kilo Watts of power, one 1000 KW...you may get lucky...
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Last edited by kb2fzq; 27-Jul-2010 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 27-Jul-2010, 12:40 PM   #13
olimazi
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OTA & Tivo

I will put the antenna on the roof and pray... if the pine tree blocks NYC towers then I'll aim the sucker at PHI.

One other thing that concerns me is my TIVO... anyone know what type of converter is in the TivoHD's(series 3)?

Also, ff I can get both PHI and NYC, I'm thinking 2 antenna pointed in 2 different directions w/ a JoinTenna(or something similar).
Reason being is I've heard rotators can be a nightmare w/ Tivo.

J
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Old 27-Jul-2010, 7:55 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by olimazi View Post
anyone know what type of converter is in the TivoHD's(series 3)?
If you mean what kind of tuner is inside the TivoHD, then the answer is that it has a ATSC/NTSC/QAM capable tuner. That means it can pick up broadcast TV and unencrypted digital cable signals directly. If you get a CableCARD from your cable company, it's also possible to record the encrypted cable channels. You do not need any kind of external converter box for your Tivo to deal with OTA signals.



Quote:
ff I can get both PHI and NYC, I'm thinking 2 antenna pointed in 2 different directions w/ a JoinTenna(or something similar).
Most of your signals are fairly strong, so this might be possible to some degree. The JoinTenna won't work because there are just too many channels alternating in between each other. However, a direct combination of antennas might partially work.

The main problem with combining antennas is that the performance of the antennas goes down. A high-gain antenna needs to be very directional, but by combining antennas you are making a less-directional antenna, and that means lowering the effective gain. Furthermore, having a less-directional antenna can increase your susceptibility to multipath interference (multiple signal reflections making their way into your antenna and down to your receiver).

What this probably means is that the channels lower down in your list (lower part of the "red zone" channels) might not come in so reliably. You are effectively trading off low-end sensitivity for an antenna configuration with broader coverage.



Quote:
Reason being is I've heard rotators can be a nightmare w/ Tivo.
The issue has to do with unattended recording of shows. If you had a single antenna on a rotator, then the antenna might not be pointing at the station(s) that the Tivo is trying to record. If you leave the antenna pointed at Philly, the Tivo won't be able to record shows from NYC and vice-versa.

With a two-antenna setup pointing at both markets simultaneously, you can record shows from either market (or both simultaneously) without having to touch the antenna system. However, as stated above, the sensitivity and resistance to multipath interference might not be as good.



The alternative approach is to give up on one of the metros and just concentrate on one city (since about 80% of the programming is going to be identical anyways). You'll miss out on some of the localized programming that's out there, but you'll be no worse off than people who have no choice and are restricted to just one market due to their location.
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Old 28-Jul-2010, 1:56 AM   #15
olimazi
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I'm getting there....

mtown, you make too much sense brotha, I think yer right, I'll just focus on NYC with one antenna.
I do have a multi-stream cable card for my tivo btw - didn't like the fios stb.

I didn't realize combining the antennas would decrease my gain... something I don't want to do since I'll be using a VHF-hi/UHF combo antenna and I need all the UHF gain I can get.

Are you saying also that combining separate UHF and VHF antennas pointed in the same direction would decrease gain - as opposed to a combo antenna?
Something like a 91XG and a YA1713 on the same mast as opposed to a 7698P?
Thanks for all the feedback.
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Old 28-Jul-2010, 3:39 AM   #16
Dave Loudin
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Combing VHF and UHF antennas will have very little effect on gain so long as you combine with a special coupler known as a USVJ and maintain about a five foot spacing between them.
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Old 28-Jul-2010, 5:30 AM   #17
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Dave is exactly right.

When you're combining antennas from different bands, you need to use a diplexer that isolates the low-band antenna from the high-band antenna. The UVSJ (Dave had the V and S transposed) is the ideal diplexer that splits between the VHF and UHF bands.

Antennas connected this way can perform as if they were operating independently (no loss of performance).



Some pre-amps (like the Channel Master 7777) come with dual inputs (one for VHF and one for UHF). These types of amps will internally combine the signals (like the UVSJ) and amplify them at the same time, eliminating the need for an external diplexer.
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Old 28-Jul-2010, 12:41 PM   #18
olimazi
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Cool I can see clearly now...

All this OTA stuff is becoming clearer to me, thanks to you guys...

I think I have all the pieces for my OTA project in place, now for the installation - getting up on the roof and strapping the antenna to the chimney....
whch bring up another concern - from looking at maps and direction of the towers from NYC, the best place to place my antenna is on the chimney for my boiler exhaust.
For one it's smaller than my fireplace chimney and it smokes alot in the winter - so a little worried about high winds and a big antenna cracking the chimney, and a little less worried about fumes degrading the signal.

Another thing, I will be installing Solar panels soon on the roof - should I be worried about my reception witht he antenna and the panels up there?
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Old 28-Jul-2010, 3:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olimazi View Post
the best place to place my antenna is on the chimney for my boiler exhaust.
For one it's smaller than my fireplace chimney and it smokes alot in the winter - so a little worried about high winds and a big antenna cracking the chimney, and a little less worried about fumes degrading the signal.
How small of a chimney are you talking about? and what is it made of?

So far, I have never heard of anyone breaking a chimney due to a TV antenna. I suppose anything is possible, but chances are that the antenna mast will bend or the chimney mount itself will break (causing the antenna to fall over) before the chimney gives way. I've seen bent masts and broken mounts, but never a broken chimney.

The antenna should be at least about 4-5 feet above the roof. Don't go any higher than necessary and you can keep the stress on the chimney, mount, and mast to a minimum. The peak stress levels go up approximately with the square of the distance from the mounting point, so if you double the mast length, you almost quadruple the peak stress at the mount.

For taller mast installations (perhaps because neighboring buildings or other obstructions make antenna height a necessity), I recommend using guy wires (usually if the mast is over 10 feet). This will offload a lot of the lateral stress on the mast, leaving mostly downward force on the mount.



Quote:
I will be installing Solar panels soon on the roof - should I be worried about my reception witht he antenna and the panels up there?
Probably not. As long as the antenna is at least 4-5 feet above the roof, I wouldn't anticipate any problems.

The antennas are designed for ideal operation in open space (that is, no other objects around them, especially metal). The mast is already factored into the design, so it is safe to use a vertical metal mast. The influence of other nearby objects falls off with the square of the distance, and usually, by the time you are more than 1 wavelength away from the antenna, the effect is starting to get very small. The wavelength of channel 7 is approximately 5.6 feet. The wavelength of channel 36 is approximately 1.6 feet.

Even if you have objects less than 1 wavelength away (like for channel 6, having a wavelength of about 11.6 feet), it does not necessarily mean that anything bad will happen. It just means that the potential exists for the antenna's behavior to change at those frequencies.

With the antenna 4-5 feet above the roof, you should be pretty safe. This should be enough distance such that even after the solar panels are installed, any influence that they might have would be small or negligible.
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Old 28-Jul-2010, 4:36 PM   #20
Billiam
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Considering the cost of solar panels it might be wise to make sure that you locate the antenna in a place where, if it should fall over, it won't take out a panel or more.
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