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Old 28-Mar-2017, 11:45 PM   #1
OTAfreetv
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Help needed, time to upgrade antennas

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e6a47235b0fe18 My TV Fool Report

The antennas I now use are decades old, so they won't favor the new rebanding. They have worked pretty well in recent years but I feel that I can get better signals by making changes. I have one decades old RadioShack vhf/uhf yagi pointing to NYC. Another uhf yagi is on a rotator to catch stations in Philly and wherever I choose to turn the antenna.

I want to continue using a two antenna system since the uhf antenna is light and offers very little wind resistance, that allows me to mount it higher with less concern of it being toppled by the wind. Most of the stations it is used for are channel 12 and up, South to North. I can get channels 3 and 10 out of Philly very well now with this antenna.

As for the NYC antenna, channels 2-13 come in quite strong, vhf or uhf. I used to get ch21 WLIW out of Long island but since I've lowered the antenna this has become an issue. But as large as the antenna is, I feel a lot safer going top side with it where it is now mounted rather than using a taller pole again.

What might be a good choice to replace the uhf yagi pointing to Philly on the rotator? All things considered, can I also replace the larger old vhf/uhf which is aimed at NYC, with a uhf antenna and still get good reception on the lower NYC channels? A smaller antenna would allow me to mount it higher but I won't be using a rotator, I'll just just compromise as to which direction to point it for the best overall reception on NYC stations.

Thanks for your reply.
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Old 29-Mar-2017, 11:44 PM   #2
rabbit73
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Hello, OTAfreetv

Thanks for the tvfool report, but East Brunswick 08816 is a very large zip code; we need a more accurate report by exact address (which will not show) or coordinates (which will be truncated) of your antenna to give accurate advice. I grew up in Metuchen, so I am familiar with the area from New Brunswick to Perth Amboy.



Tips for doing a more accurate report:
A reliable method for generating a TV Fool Reception Report
http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=14508

I see you have a previous thread that gives a little more background information:

Now using 2 antennas, need some tech advice
http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=15031
Quote:
The antennas I now use are decades old, so they won't favor the new rebanding.
The last rebanding was when the highest UHF channel was limited to 51. The next rebanding will not be until the current FCC incentive auction is over, which gives even more broadcast channels away to cellular interests.

If you want to jump the gun before the new channel assignments, I suggest the Winegard HD8200U for NYC.
Quote:
All things considered, can I also replace the larger old vhf/uhf which is aimed at NYC, with a uhf antenna and still get good reception on the lower NYC channels?
No

It is the real channel number that determines what antenna is needed.

VHF-Low, real channels 2-6
VHF-High, real channels 7-13
UHF, real channels 14-51

The virtual channel number (like 5.1) is a holdover from the analog TV days to maintain the identity of the station, and is what the TV displays.
Quote:
I want to continue using a two antenna system since the uhf antenna is light and offers very little wind resistance, that allows me to mount it higher with less concern of it being toppled by the wind. Most of the stations it is used for are channel 12 and up, South to North. I can get channels 3 and 10 out of Philly very well now with this antenna.
The Radio Shack 150-2161 (U-100R) is designed for UHF only. It will receive VHF channels if they are very strong, but it doesn't seem appropriate for Philly.
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Last edited by rabbit73; 30-Mar-2017 at 12:19 AM.
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Old 30-Mar-2017, 11:30 AM   #3
Jake V
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Looking at the generic map for Zip Code 08876, I immediately wonder about the possibility of something like a DB-4e with the reflectors removed to make it bi-directional aimed at about 50/230 degrees for UHF. And then a VHF-LO aimed at 60 degrees (you probably would not get WPVI-6 off the back).
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Old 31-Mar-2017, 12:08 AM   #4
OTAfreetv
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Quote:
If you want to jump the gun before the new channel assignments, I suggest the Winegard HD8200U for NYC..
Started looking at all the antennas they offer. Downloaded the pdf's for review. Question, can I still get away with just UHF for Philly, I have a listing of stations I watch below?

I see they have uhf/vhf 7694P and 7695P not too big, while the 8200U is a monster at 14' but it would be stationary and barely above the roof line so wind won't be an issue since there'd be no rotator. The HD7697P & HD7698P antennas would be pretty huge too with the 7697P being 3 foot smaller than the 8200 or 7698.

Quote:
It is the real channel number that determines what antenna is needed.

VHF-Low, real channels 2-6
VHF-High, real channels 7-13
UHF, real channels 14-51

The virtual channel number (like 5.1) is a holdover from the analog TV days to maintain the identity of the station, and is what the TV displays.

The Radio Shack 150-2161 (U-100R) is designed for UHF only. It will receive VHF channels if they are very strong, but it doesn't seem appropriate for Philly.
OK, the Philly and Pennsylvania stations I watch (should have mentioned this in my first post) are:

3 (26) KYW (a dup of ch2.1 NYC)
10 (34) WCAU (a dup of ch 4.1 NYC, except for the news feeds)
12 WHYY (20 kW, inclement weather kills the signal)
17 WPHL
29 (42) WTXF
35 WYBE (I can watch this off the backside of my NYC antenna, 500 kW)
39 WLVT (which I have problems receiving, only 52 kW)
57 (32) WPSG
60 (9) WBPH (3.2 kW rarely watch this one, weak)
69 (46) WFMZ

As for NYC. 21 WLIW with 89.9 kW is my NYC problem. I can get all the NYC stations fairly well except 21, Long Island ~60 miles away. Before digital I could get it most times, now it's very rare to see it. My guess is you'll say the 8200U is my only choice here.
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Old 31-Mar-2017, 1:51 AM   #5
rabbit73
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Winegard has discontinued a lot of their models; what is left is the 7694, 7698 and the 8200. The 7694 might be suitable for Philly, but you haven't given us an accurate tvfool report. The 7694 might even be suitable for NYC if you don't need VHF-Low channel like WJLP, WPXO, and WKOB. You didn't give us a NYC list.

I don't see WLVT on your report. Using the interactive map, it is listed just below WLIW with a NM of -0.8 dB.

WLIW is your weakest listed channel AND it is in a different direction than NYC. If it is that important to you, it will require special extra effort.

Quote:
My guess is you'll say the 8200U is my only choice here.
I wouldn't think of saying that, there are too many variables involved. You must be prepared to do some experimentation if you want to improve on what you have. You are mixing real and virtual channel numbers, which is confusing, and your zip code report is centered on 40.433341,-74.411525, which is at the intersection of Ranger Rd and Farms Rd Cir. I have no idea how close that is to your actual address.

I suggest you try a Winegard HD7694P in both directions to see what you can get. If it doesn't give you what you want, you will have to go bigger. And buy some new RG6 coax.
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Last edited by rabbit73; 31-Mar-2017 at 1:56 AM.
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Old 31-Mar-2017, 8:53 PM   #6
OTAfreetv
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
Winegard has discontinued a lot of their models; what is left is the 7694, 7698 and the 8200. The 7694 might be suitable for Philly, but you haven't given us an accurate tvfool report. The 7694 might even be suitable for NYC if you don't need VHF-Low channel like WJLP, WPXO, and WKOB. You didn't give us a NYC list.

I don't see WLVT on your report. Using the interactive map, it is listed just below WLIW with a NM of -0.8 dB.

WLIW is your weakest listed channel AND it is in a different direction than NYC. If it is that important to you, it will require special extra effort.
Forgot about WLVT. I used to watch it but was using the uhf/vhf antenna now facing NYC with a rotator. Tough station to get but it has such low power and is far away. I can give it up to gain WLIW as they are both PBS stations.

Quote:
I wouldn't think of saying that, there are too many variables involved. You must be prepared to do some experimentation if you want to improve on what you have. You are mixing real and virtual channel numbers, which is confusing, and your zip code report is centered on 40.433341,-74.411525, which is at the intersection of Ranger Rd and Farms Rd Cir. I have no idea how close that is to your actual address.
Very, very close to those coordinates.

Quote:
I suggest you try a Winegard HD7694P in both directions to see what you can get. If it doesn't give you what you want, you will have to go bigger. And buy some new RG6 coax.
I think my best bet is to get the 8200 for NYC, no rotator so I'll have to point it to where I get the most stations or favor WLIW if the antenna can still give me a good signal on the other NYC channels.

As for Philly (S-W-N directions). I might pick the 7697 if I can find one. The 7895 is gone but maybe someone has one. What is Winegard going to replace these antennas with?
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Old 31-Mar-2017, 10:28 PM   #7
rabbit73
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Quote:
What is Winegard going to replace these antennas with?
I don't think they are very concerned about that. They are focused on the bottom line and will only stock what they can sell at a profit. That's called business.
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Old 1-Apr-2017, 3:17 PM   #8
Tower Guy
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I would get a 8200U and put it on the rotator. You might get WPVI in Philly and improve reception of WHYY. As for the best long term antenna, a few stations will be going off the air later this year and many stations in the Northeast will be changing channels in 2019. Channels above 37 were sold for cell phone use. Stations on 38 and above must switch down below 37 and others below 37 may need to move to make the system as efficient as needed to make room.

The repacking channel list is due out in mid April.
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Old 4-Apr-2017, 6:42 PM   #9
JoeAZ
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Greetings, Unfortunately, there is no one antenna that will fit all your needs
except for the Winegard 8200. The problem with that antenna is it's size and
the long elements. It may not hold up well with your weather conditions. I offer
an alternative. I'd try a 8 Bay UHF only antenna, like the MCM 30-2430 or similar
Channel Master. I point one array at NYC and the other at Philly. See what you
get. If you aren't happy with the results, I'd point both panels at NYC or Philly
and check your results. That antenna should give you all the UHF stations, even the
hard to get ones, like WLIW. For VHF I'd go with one of the MCM Hi-VHF antennas.
Those antennas should get you all the full power hi-VHF stations from Philly and NYC.
They should work on some of the stronger low VHF signals as well. You would need
to test each antenna in each direction and then configure your system with or without
a rotor. I'd avoid any amplifier or preamp until you are certain you really need one.
The MCM antennas are fairly well made and inexpensive... Good Luck!
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