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Old 8-Oct-2013, 4:17 AM   #1
skatingrocker17
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The best UHF antenna?

I was curious what the best UHF antenna was? I know there are limitations to what antennas can do with many factors including terrain and everything else.

I was looking at the Antennas Direct 91XG, Winegard HD 7698P, and the Terrestrial Digital DB8.

I know the 7698P is the same as the Winegard 8200U minus the low-VHF elements.

Thanks

While doing some research on Winegards site, I noticed for UHF only, the HD9095P and HD-9032 had more gain over the UHF band than the 7698P.
(all links above link to Winegards spec sheet for the linked antenna)
Here's the 91XG specs.

Last edited by skatingrocker17; 8-Oct-2013 at 4:57 AM.
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Old 8-Oct-2013, 6:49 AM   #2
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I'd like to suggest you add the newly designed DB8e to your list.

Even if you limit the criteria to just gain, you still have to consider the gain vs. frequency characteristics of a given antenna. You may find that the 'best' antenna in one application can be second or third best in another. The 91XG has higher gain at the top of the UHF band so some of it's competitors may have it beat in a case where you're after a weak signal at the bottom of the band.

Depending on the application, you may need to consider beam width to be more critical than gain. In other applications, the front to back ratio can be of concern... In some applications you may want F/B to be as high as possible, in another, a low F/B may be ideal.

That said, the antennas you've listed are so close in gain performance that most will not be able to see a significant difference in day to day use.

I think it's fair to expect some friendly advocacy for each. I own the 91XG and a Winegard HD8800. The 8800 doesn't come close to competing with the 91XG. In fact, my DB4e outperforms the 8800 easily. (All of this is of course just one anecdotal report.)
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Old 8-Oct-2013, 1:30 PM   #3
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Thanks that's some really good information. I looked at the tech specs of the DB8E vs the 91XG and the DB8E seems to have higher gain levels but is also twice as expensive. There are some reviews out there for it but none are that good. So I'm kind of torn between the two.
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Old 8-Oct-2013, 3:25 PM   #4
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Then there's also the Solid Signal Xtreme Signal HDB8X which seems to be very similar to the DB8e.
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Old 8-Oct-2013, 3:44 PM   #5
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You might as well ask a question like "what's the best prescription drug for (name the medical condition).


There is no such single thing as "The best UHF antenna" or the "best" whatever.

The "best" piece of hardware for any specific task is the one that works in the specific situation. Period.

Various designs have various pluses and minuses that must be considered. Higher gain designs have the drawback of of requiring more precise aiming. That's often a plus when broadcast sources are all in one place and are all UHF but is a substantial minus if you're in an area where towers are broadly scattered.

You really need to specify the requirements of the job in order to get a "best fit" response.
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Old 8-Oct-2013, 3:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skatingrocker17 View Post
Then there's also the Solid Signal Xtreme Signal HDB8X which seems to be very similar to the DB8e.
That's an old 14-69 8-bay design that's been around for a few years under other vendor's names (Digiwave, MCM, etc). About the only thing it has in similarity with a DB8e is that it has an adjustability feature so that it has one panel that is movable instead of fixed (both panels on a DB8e are adjustable).
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Old 8-Oct-2013, 4:13 PM   #7
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I understand the semantics of the sentence I was looking for some suggestions to narrow it down. For instance one vs. another. For my situation, longest range is what I'm looking for, more direction is fine, I have a rotator.

The DB8e has higher gain figures than the 91XG but I feel like the 91XG would be more directional because the way it's shaped and therefore have a longer range in one direction.
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Old 8-Oct-2013, 4:25 PM   #8
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Compare the peak gains and the beam-width of the specific channels most of interest to see which might offer an advantage over the other. Keep in mind that the presence of secondary lobes might offer the opportunity for usefulness----or mischief.

Longest range is typically associated with higher gain as it allows the antenna to gather a bit more useful signal power than the lower gain antenna. Having a rotor is a real plus when dealing with the most directional antennas.
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Last edited by ADTech; 8-Oct-2013 at 4:28 PM.
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Old 8-Oct-2013, 5:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
Compare the peak gains and the beam-width of the specific channels most of interest to see which might offer an advantage over the other. Keep in mind that the presence of secondary lobes might offer the opportunity for usefulness----or mischief.

Longest range is typically associated with higher gain as it allows the antenna to gather a bit more useful signal power than the lower gain antenna. Having a rotor is a real plus when dealing with the most directional antennas.
The DB8e seems to have higher or equal gains across all frequencies compared to the 91XG. That's what makes it difficult for me to decide between the two.
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Old 8-Oct-2013, 6:26 PM   #10
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It would actually best if you simply started over with a proper thread in the "Reception Help" section with all the pertinent details so that your situation can be properly evaluated.
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