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Old 3-Feb-2013, 7:25 PM   #1
dustyz
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OTA in Rural KY

Report: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...1dda673092b55d

Itís ugly, I know. I live in a rural area. But, Iím optimistic. The ranges are wide, and the signals come from multiple directions.

Iím a DirecTVíer, but want to go 100% OTA for some local channels, if possible. Currently, I have the classic coat hanger homemade bowtie antenna in the attic, aimed 5-10į off north thru aluminum siding on the eve, with large ducts adjacent to it, with 1960ís original coax going thru a few splitters, a Wal-mart brand pre-amp, hitting a HDHomerun that distributes a few channels thru WiFi. It works for a few channels, WDRB being the priority. Here are the channels I pick up with that setup, and the strength & quality of each (multiples denote different sub-channels from the same number, same signal):

13 WBKO 71% STRENGTH 52% SIGNAL QUALITY
13 WBKO
13 WBKO
43 WKZT 67% 51%
43 WKZT
43 WKZT
47 WAVE 65% 56%
49 WDRB 71% 59%
49 WDRB

Strangely enough, this setup does pretty good. The channels cut out occasionally, but thatís on a very poor configuration. We use it daily for morning news on the iPad, using the InstaTV app.

I want to move to OTA 100% now. That means upgrading a lot of things to increase signal quality and hopefully pick up several more channels. Hereís the goal. I have a TiVo premiere Iíd like to bring the antenna setup straight to. The more channels, the better. No splitters, one TV. Iíll run new RG-6 coax for that. Iím thinking (2) new roof mounted DB4 or 4221HD bowtie typeís, putting me at 15ft roughly. One will be pointed @ 30-40į off north to grab the priority channels, while the other will be aimed @ little over 180į to add to the totals. Maybe a pre-amp combiner to bring the signals together? I might be able to get @ 30ft on an empty pole in the yard, but that will push me a good 120í+ from the TV versus 35í, adding some line resistance. Iíd rather stick to the roof mount. Iím elevated quite a bit above my surroundings. Just getting the antenna out of the attic and away from the obstructions will probably do wonders.

Looking at the report, it seems impractical... but with my current setup, I canít help but be optimistic. Everything is old, rigged, or homemade, and it does ok. Upgrades can only make it better, right?

Am I going about this the right way? The right antenna config, coax, etc? Should I stick with the amp, or leave it out until I test it? Grounding. Can I just run #10 gauge copper to the existing house grounding system? Thanks in advance!
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Old 4-Feb-2013, 3:06 AM   #2
dustyz
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The more I read, the more I think a directional setup with an A/B switch might be a better option. Point the directional to the priority channels, and play with a omni for other channels.
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Old 4-Feb-2013, 6:51 AM   #3
teleview
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Antenna System #1.

For reception of the , Louisville / Lexington , area Digital Tv stations/channels.

Above the Peak Of The Roof.

Install a Antennas direct DB4e UHF antenna aimed at about 65 degree magnetic compass direction.

And on the same antenna mast , below the DB4e , install a Winegard YA1713 VHF antenna aimed at about 45 degree magnetic compass direction.

Here is how to aim antennas , http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing/pointing.html.

Connect the DB4e and YA1713 antennas together with a UVSJ = UHF/VHF Separator/Joiner.

The DB4e is connected to the UHF connection of the UVSJ.

The YA1713 is connected to the VHF connection of the UVSJ.

Type the letters uvsj in the , http://www.solidsignal.com , search box.

The remaining connection of the UVSJ is connected to a Winegard HDP-269 preamp.
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For 1 Tv connection use No splitter.

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

For 3 Tv's connected use a , HFS-2D , 3 way splitter.

Buy the HFS splitters at , http://www.solidsignal.com , http://www.hollandelectronmics.com.

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Here are some above the roof antenna mounts.

http://www.ronard.com/909911.html , if using a tripod antenna mount use the 5 foot antenna mount.

http://www.ronard.com/34424560.html , if using the eave antenna mount use the #4560.

http://www.ronard.com/ychim.html.

http://www.ronard.com.

Buy the ronard antenna mounts at solidsignal by typing the word ronard in the solidsignal search box or buy from ronard.

Here are some places to buy antennas and etc. , http://www.solidsignal.com , http://www.amazon.com , http://www.winegarddirect.com.

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I strongly recommend use the Correct splitter that has the correct number of outputs to the Tv locations.

Example , if 2 Tv locations are to be connected then use a 2 way splitter.

Example , if 3 Tv locations are to be connected then use a 3 way splitter.

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Here is a easy way to to use Digital Broadcast Tv tuners and DVR's.

http://www.epvision.com.

http://www.channelmasterstore.com.

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Antenna system #2.

Is a SEPARATE Antenna System and is not connected to antenna system #1.

Install a Winegard HD7696P antenna with a Winegard HDP-269 preamp.

For 1 Tv connected use No splitter.

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

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

The HD7696P antenna can be aimed by hand at the Evansville group of Digital Broadcast Tv stations/channels at about 285 degree magnetic compass direction , or , Bowling Green group of Digital Broadcast Tv stations/channels at about 186 degree magnetic compass direction.

The HD7696P antenna can be turned by hand to Test receive the 2 groups of Digital Tv stations/channels to find the group you will like to receive all the time.

Or can put the HD7696P antenna on a separate antenna mount and install a Channel Master CM9521A antenna rotator.

Or in place of the HD7696P antenna and HDP-269 preamp.

Can install a , Winegard 2002 Metro Star , Or a Channel Master CM3000A , Omni directional antenna for reception of Evansville / Bowling Green , and what is received is what is received.

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Antenna systems #1 and #2.

Are Not connected together on to one coax.

Antenna systems 1 and 2 are Separate antenna systems All the way to the Tv locations.

At each Tv location a Remote control A/B antenna switch will be connected to the Separate antenna systems.
http://www.mcmelectronics.com , #32-4425.

A/B antenna switching is Channel Surfing Friendly , press the button on the hand held remote control , change antennas and keep on channel surfing.

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Here are some places to buy antennas and etc..

http://www.solidsignal.com.

http://www.amazon.com.

http://www.winegarddirect.com.

http://www.channelmasterstore.com.

http://www.hollandelectronics.com.

http://www.mcmelectronics.com.

Last edited by teleview; 4-Feb-2013 at 3:56 PM.
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Old 4-Feb-2013, 8:56 AM   #4
GroundUrMast
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I agree with the antenna suggestions teleview has made.

Like you, I'm a fan of the HDHR. You obviously have your HDHR up and running, so I have to politely disagree with the suggestion that you transition to a less flexible boxed solution. The HDHR is the best consumer grade signal meter and antenna alignment meter I know of. If you choose to add a second HDHR, you can connect it to the second antenna system, making both antennas available to any iPad or PC in the house, that's more reason to stick with it.

For traditional TVs, the A/B switch is simple, inexpensive and reliable. A premium alternative to the A/B switch in a two antenna home would make use of the STB tuner/DVR... http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=2882

My personal experience with the DB4e has impressed me. Antennas Direct appears to have refined the 4-bay to take full advantage of the narrower range of UHF channels now in use. Higher gain with wide forward beam is a handy combination in many locations.
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Old 4-Feb-2013, 2:14 PM   #5
dustyz
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Awesome! Thanks for the replies.

I will definitely consider the HDHR before using the TiVo. I don't really like the idea of paying for a service anyway. The HDHR has been a really nice device thus far.

As for the antenna recommendations...

I'm planning to piece this setup together slowly. In Antenna setup #1, which antenna would be the priority? I'm buying the mount, coax, and one antenna today to get the process started. Then, as time allows, I'll add other components. Should I go with the HD7696P or DB4e first? (VHF channels aren't that important, so I'd think the DB4e would rank a tad higher) One last thing, would a 40" roof mount be adequate for the DB4e & HD7696P?

Thanks again.

Last edited by dustyz; 4-Feb-2013 at 2:18 PM.
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Old 4-Feb-2013, 5:09 PM   #6
GroundUrMast
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If you opt to start with just the UHF only antenna (DB4e) you likely don't get to see WBKO reliably. As I go down the list, the other ABC affiliates are also broadcasting on VHF channels. For our household, no ABC would be unacceptable. I would start with the DB4e, UVSJ, YA1713 (or Antennacraft Y10713) and preamp. Though you could opt for the HD769X and preamp to start.

The 40" J-pole is OK, but the higher you mount, the better. Reliable reception primarily depends on the selection of the antenna and it's location. Amplifiers and other accessories can't fix reception problems caused by poor antenna location.
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Old 4-Feb-2013, 6:54 PM   #7
dustyz
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Thanks again. With the luck I've had with the little homemade bowtie, I am going to get the mount installed, throw the DB4e on it for testing, and grab the YA1713 towards the end of the month.

My wife is a fan of "Once Upon a Time", so I think ABC is probably needed. :-)
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Old 4-Feb-2013, 7:51 PM   #8
GroundUrMast
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As you get things up and running, the HDHR will help with aim and system adjustment. You can use the HDHomeRun Config utility to manually select a real channel number to view relative strength and quality. Signal quality of 60% or better is your goal for each channel.
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Old 6-Feb-2013, 12:18 AM   #9
dustyz
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I adjusted my homemade setup tonite, after reading the advice here and downloading a nice iPad App called "Signal GH", and had some nice improvements. I'm really anxious to get my new setup started now.

13 WBKO 73% 50%
26 WLKY 70% 56%
43 WKZT 80% 80%
47 WAVE 72% 67%
49 WDRB 75% 70%
51 WMYO 73% 61%

Not bad for a homemade antenna in the attic! The roof mounted DB4e should definitely boost those numbers.
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Old 7-Feb-2013, 1:15 AM   #10
dustyz
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Installed the DB4e tonite, in the exact same location as the homemade setup. Nice improvements on the priority channels. The mount & coax should be here before the weekend, and I'll get it roof mounted & hopefully pick up those that were lost. It still needs to be rotated towards the east a tad too.

13 WBKO N/A
26 WLKY 79% 64%
43 WKZT 67% 38%
47 WAVE 85% 77%
49 WDRB 90% 85%
51 WMYO 80% 64%
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Old 7-Feb-2013, 3:21 AM   #11
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Thanks for the update.

Given that the DB4e was engineered as an optimized CH-14 to 51 UHF antenna, with a narrowed bandwidth compared to older CH-14 to 69 or still older 14 to 83 antennas, it's to be expected that it will reject CH-13 (a feature). Some of the DIY 4-bay antennas are actually fair at receiving some signal in the CH-7 to 13 range.

As you tweak the aim, signal quality takes priority over signal strength. When in the clear, I expect significant improvement. in both quality and strength.
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Old 11-Feb-2013, 2:31 PM   #12
dustyz
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*Update*

I installed the DB4e on the roof. I definitely need to get the pre-amp up there soon.

Like my original post said, I had a wal-mart amp in the line to the TV. When I've done previous tests, I just left it there. It was about 4 feet away from the antenna in the attic. When I put the DB4e on the roof, 30' away from the amp, I actually lost signal strength & quality... which really disappointed me at first, before I removed the amp from the line. After that, the signal shot up slightly below my in-attic results... without the amp.

So, based on what little I know about these configurations, I think I over-saturated the tuner. That is possible, right? The amp I had said it pushed 24db of gain, down-line gain at that. The pre-amp would be only 12db of quality gain, allowing me to turn the antenna further away from the Louisville channels, and more towards Lexington, while still maintaining a strong signal on the priority channels.
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Old 11-Feb-2013, 6:42 PM   #13
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Here is the situation that is consistantly and repeatedly over looked.

Many question askers that come here to tvfool , refuse to believe that coax and connections and hardware can be bad.

Many question askers will not change out a coax until it is the last possible part of the system to change.

Many question askers will not even install a jumper coax , as a test , to see if coaxes and connection hardware are bad.

Having the DB4e above the roof should be providing strong signals.

As a Test , I recommend connect a New loooong coax to the antenna and run the New loooong coax through a open door or window - direct to 1 Tv.

No splitters , No couplers , No ground blocks , No nothing.

And then try reception.

Then connect the HDP-269 preamp to the New loooong jumper coax.

_____________

Digital Broadcast Tv tuners can develop - Digital Glitches - that are not cleared out with a simple channel scan.

Do a Double Channel scan.

http://www.dtv.gov/rescan.html.

Last edited by teleview; 12-Feb-2013 at 5:34 PM.
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Old 12-Feb-2013, 2:24 PM   #14
dustyz
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Thanks teleview! I ran new coax to the DB4e when I installed it. No jumpers, nothing... just straight to the TV. The old attic setup used the old coax. Mounting it on the roof did increase the run of the cable a good 25'+ from where it was in the attic tho.

The signals are strong, just not quite the 90%/85% I was getting on 49/WDRB with the attic setup... with distribution amp installed. I'd rather leave the amp out of the mix anyway.

I ordered the pre-amp yesterday. I think that will fix a lot of these problems. With only 12db gain, I think it'll be a solid improvement over the 24db low quality distribution amp that was placed 25' down the line.
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