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Old 6-Mar-2015, 3:53 AM   #1
Ultra
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What's wrong w/this low-cost antenna? (Digiwave ANT2084)

Why are places only asking 25$-30$ for this wide band, high gain antenna? What am I missing? Will it fall apart w/the first gust of wind? Are the gain figures fudged? Do most municipal by-laws forbid them?
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Old 6-Mar-2015, 12:28 PM   #2
timgr
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Your link does not work.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...?EdpNo=8203559

For $18 you could buy one, test it and report back. Probably works fine. It's an import copy of some existing design, I would guess. The two-bay Eagle Aspen is similar, but fewer elements, and is said to work well. Supposedly the E-A is a copy of the Antennas Direct DB2.

Since this product competes on price, I would be very critical of the materials and assembly quality. I think it's clear what it is - a cheap-as-possible copy of an existing design. No R&D costs and no support.

Realize that digital TV does not give you much feedback about recieved signals. Either the channel is received perfectly, or it's simply missing ... typically. Do you have a way to measure received signal strength and quality?

Last edited by timgr; 6-Mar-2015 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 6-Mar-2015, 1:21 PM   #3
Ultra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timgr View Post
Your link does not work.
Does for me. Must be a geographical thing (I hate that)

Quote:
For $18 you could buy one, test it and report back. Probably works fine. It's an import copy of some existing design, I would guess. The two-bay Eagle Aspen is similar, but fewer elements, and is said to work well. Supposedly the E-A is a copy of the Antennas Direct DB2.
That might not be a bad idea. Right now I'm on a reduced income, so buying something low-cost to get me to the point where my income is up to speed might make sense.

Quote:
Realize that digital TV does not give you much feedback about recieved signals. Either the channel is received perfectly, or it's simply missing ... typically. Do you have a way to measure received signal strength and quality?
I don't, but since I'm sizing up OTA for my home, I could do a comparison against other antennas. I haven't received such a signal in 15 years, and the last time I had an outdoor antenna was 25 years ago and in a difference city. So I'm trying to understand how to do this right.
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Old 6-Mar-2015, 1:37 PM   #4
timgr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultra View Post
Does for me. Must be a geographical thing (I hate that)

I'd say you already have their tracking cookie on your computer. They want a postal code before they will show me the page. Privacy Badger shows an attempt to place 4 tracking cookies by that site, two from Staples and two from DoubleClick. No thanks.

Tiger Direct will have the lowest price. They are well known in the computer-builder community - they sell lots of computer hardware. I'd skip Staples and buy from TD.

This is really really cheap for an antenna. Realize that it is UHF only. They also have an 8-bay antenna from this importer, at a somewhat higher price. Looking at your TVFR, neither of these qualify as "extreme measures" ...

Do you have lots of property? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhombic_antenna

Last edited by timgr; 6-Mar-2015 at 1:50 PM.
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Old 6-Mar-2015, 1:55 PM   #5
Ultra
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UHF only??? Hmm... it does have "UHF" in its name, which is strange, because the description says it receives VHF as well.
"Extreme" are beyond the measures I'm willing to take. I've given up on receiving ABC, and may well write off PBS also
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Old 6-Mar-2015, 2:41 PM   #6
timgr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultra View Post
UHF only??? Hmm... it does have "UHF" in its name, which is strange, because the description says it receives VHF as well.
"Extreme" are beyond the measures I'm willing to take. I've given up on receiving ABC, and may well write off PBS also
Mmm. Maybe it does say VHF in the description, but I think the physical size of a bow-tie array means it has to be most sensitive to UHF. Antennas with exceptional VHF sensitivity tend to be big (ie long) ... like the Y10713 with a 10' boom. The Antennas Direct CS5 is a VHF-high antenna that is designed to be compact, and it's still about 30" square. AD does some tuning and matching voodoo to get such a small antenna to be a good receiver of VHF. And then, it's only about as sensitive as the Y5713, a yagi with a 5' boom. CS5 $140 vs. Y5713 $30. Boom length is the cheap path to VHF sensitivity. Small antenna == poor VHF sensitivity.

I would expect $7 rabbit ears to be more sensitive to VHF broadcast than this antenna. http://www.kyes.com/antenna/rabbitear.html

Last edited by timgr; 6-Mar-2015 at 5:37 PM.
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Old 6-Mar-2015, 10:32 PM   #7
Ultra
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Ya know something else? The reception report for my place shows few VHF stations I have much chance of receiving and of those, they are either close enough to smell or I might not even be able to receive them anyway. High VHF sensitivity might not do much for me over low sensitivity.
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