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Old 28-Jul-2011, 10:08 AM   #1
geronimo
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fringe / trees...

I've done my best, but would really appreciate some help...

Fool Report: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...3e475b9de731b2

Got a DB8 antenna..... no amp (yet).... straight wire (via a few single connectors) maybe 75 feet....

The biggest problem it seems to me is TREES... I picked up 3 channels (22-1, 22-2, 22-3... KZJO, KCPQ-13 (Fox), and unknown) today straight through some trees to the north, not too high quality but did not fade out while watching.... then went to test other areas, and could not find those channels again, unfortunately (and was right back in the same exact spot, trust me). Antenna is as high as it can get, and as unobstructed as it can get.... although might be possible putting it 35 feet up a cedar tree with a better view, but that must be a last resort.

The only channels I want are Fox, NBC, PBS, ABC and CBS.... they are within 18 degrees of each other, but DISTANT.... this may be a longshot, but is the goal nonetheless.... I dream big, but will settle for whatever I can get.

So, TREES..... I have a question about whether a more explicitly directional antenna will be able to cut through trees better and still possible pick up the width I would like...... (I have a chainsaw, but saving that for last)...... also, any amplifier suggestions? And what is the most ideal/efficient way to wire this thing to my TV in terms of cable type and so on?
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Old 28-Jul-2011, 4:11 PM   #2
John Candle
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Tv Antennas and Reception

So , your location is Centralia Washington?? The Tv stations are the directions of , 348 , 10 , 192 , degree magnetic compass. Are the trees blocking all 3 direction?? The main issue at your location is the mountains and hills. Thats what the - path 2 edge - means in the radar report. Please make 2 new radar reports with the antenna at 50 and 75 feet.

Last edited by John Candle; 29-Jul-2011 at 2:11 AM.
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Old 28-Jul-2011, 5:46 PM   #3
GroundUrMast
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There are a few antennas with a bit more gain than the DB-8 and yes, trees absorb RF. However, when I look at the general area indicated by your LAT/LON coordinates, I can see that terrain is far more a factor than a few trees. An antenna such as the DB-8 is primarily a UHF antenna, in locations where there are stong VHF signals present, the DB-8 may be satisfactory. Your situation is not one where I would expect reliable reception of VHF channels using an antenna designed for UHF frequencies.

Have you set a budget for this project?

There are some theoretical options, technically feasible, but requiring an investment of time, money, effort and possibly working with your neighbors.
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Old 28-Jul-2011, 8:45 PM   #4
geronimo
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Centralia, WA: The 192 compass heading is impossible for trees/hill. The 348 and 10 are doable (I was hitting the 348 for awhile yesterday but couldn't find anything to the right of it). What I really want to do is hit the 6 though, which I understand may be impossible, but when I think about how much money directv demands, BUDGET IS NO CONCERN.... I'll be ecstatic to get Fox (KCPQ-13), which means Seahawks, but shoot for the stars and get CBS (more football) and NBC (Olympics next year)......

Yes, hills are an obstacle, no doubt, but toward the 348 and 10 the hills are relatively distant, and the valley I live in generally points north.... here's a Fool Report for a 100 feet up, if it helps get the scope... http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...3e47c5866fbd76.... I have no neighbors..... time and effort are willing to be put forth on this project as well.

Trees are directly in the way on the 348, but I can see blue behind the leaves and it is pretty much clear beyond that..... there are a few branches in the way of the 10, and super clear past that toward a distant hill..... I climbed the cedar tree and have a clear view (on a thick piece of trunk) from 355 to 10+.
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Old 29-Jul-2011, 3:02 AM   #5
geronimo
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Centralia, WA, yes. Forget the 192 station, due to a hill and thick trees. Right now, at just about due north, I'm getting KCPQ-13, KZJO, and "antenna" channel.

The 348 is straight through some trees. The quality is spotty, but might improve with leaf-loss in the winter.... I'll be very happy if I can get the Seahawk games, in any form.

The 10.... can't find it. Maybe an amp would help, as there are only a few branches in the way at times.

The treeless vistas are from about 10 degrees to 100 degrees.

I would really, really like to go after those 6 degree stations.... ABC, NBC, CBS, etc. Considering it's either this or DirecTV contract, money really isn't a factor. I'm willing to put much time and effort into a possible solution. And I really don't have any neighbors, it's all sticks. I could switch to a cedar tree, get 35 feet up and a clear view on it.

Do I have the wrong antenna? I thought my channels were mostly UHF (except KCPQ-13). I would love to tap the knowledge here to help me try something, even if it likely ends in defeat.... thank you for your attention and time.

Fool Report for 50 feet: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...3e476c8698720f
Fool Report for 75 feet: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...3e47c4a7f79f01

Last edited by geronimo; 29-Jul-2011 at 3:56 AM.
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Old 29-Jul-2011, 6:55 AM   #6
John Candle
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Tv Antennas and Reception

If you will give exact latitude and longitude numbers , we or I can have a accurate look at the reception situation. I will go to the >>Start MAPS<< part of tvfool and move the antenna around to find a location and height with better reception. If you choose not to put the Latitude and Longitude for all to see , then you can send me a PM.

Last edited by John Candle; 29-Jul-2011 at 7:34 AM.
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Old 29-Jul-2011, 7:01 AM   #7
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Take a look at this thread. If it makes sense to you, great, let's talk some more. If it makes no sense or is something you choose not to consider, that's OK too.

If you want to consider pursuing the idea, the next step would be to go on a field trip with an antenna, a TV and a portable power source. Look for a hill top within a couple of miles or less that would offer a line of sight to your home. Check to see what the reception conditions are really like at higher elevations, then decide if seeking information re. right-of-way would make any sense at all.

Take a look at your current TVF report (the one that uses the current location and elevation of your existing antenna), the column "NM (dB)" will tell you what stations you have a reasonable shot at... If you have an unobstructed view (no trees or close in buildings) the DB-8 and a good TV tuner should be able to receive stations with NM's down around 0 to 3 dB. Below that, there simply isn't enough signal... and an amplifier would then be like a pump in a dry well.
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Old 29-Jul-2011, 7:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geronimo View Post
Centralia, WA, yes. Forget the 192 station, due to a hill and thick trees. Right now, at just about due north, I'm getting KCPQ-13, KZJO, and "antenna" channel.
You may be seeing a translator such as K25CM which caries KZJO-MyN, KCPQ-Fox plus "Antenna TV"
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Old 29-Jul-2011, 8:58 AM   #9
geronimo
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Thanks, guys.

I am totally surrounded by hundreds of acres of timber forest. I am, however, line of sight, about 2000 feet, from a clear cut hilltop to the east. However, putting the antenna there apparently wouldn't get me the channels I'd like, according to the fool report I generated. I've often thought about putting a wi-fi bridge up there, but for wi-fi (no cable or dsl at my house.... cable stopped about .5 miles down the road and no hope of them coming down to my house.... maybe a glimmer of hope from 4g though, so this project is on hold).

Interestingly, putting the antenna about 750 feet northwest of me, uphill, would get me what I want. See here: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...3e47a62227b64d

There would be no line of sight though..... and patching a cable between those two points would be some rough business.

As I stomp through these woods and hills over the next year, I will scout spots that could be candidates. Loggers are thinning out much of it right now, so that will help. I haven't given up, that's for sure. I like to do weird impossible things like this, so we'll see. Until then, I should be getting most of the Seahawk games on KCPQ this fall, so I am super-stoked.

I have two remaining questions, if you could please:

1) Right now, my antenna is running through 75 ohm coax (old DirecTV stuff) through about 3 extension connectors. Will quality of reception improve at all if I spring for one single cable (about 75 feet), or is it not a big deal?

2) Do you think a pre-amp will help my situation at all, in terms of improving signal quality or possibly finding another tower?

Thanks again.
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Old 29-Jul-2011, 9:55 AM   #10
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If we use the original TVFR from your opening post, yes, a preamp is in order. You already own the DB-8 so I'm going to suggest you add a Winegard YA1713 to provide the best shot at receiving real channel 13. I'll also suggest an Winegard AP2870 or a Channel Master CM7777 pre-amp. Both offer inputs for a UHF antenna and separate VHF antenna. Either preamp would able to overcome the loss of the lead-in coax... but don't expect any amplifier to 'clean-up' a signal that has been degraded by multipath or other forms of interference. (You need a clean, usable signal from the antenna which is going to be determined by the selection of mounting location and the capability of the antenna. Only then can an amplifier help.)

Extra connections may not have significant loss if made up correctly, but they offer points of failure that can be avoided. I would recommend using a single piece of RG-6 rather than patching two or more together.
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If the well is dry and you don't see rain on the horizon, you'll need to dig the hole deeper. (If the antenna can't get the job done, an amp won't fix it.)

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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 29-Jul-2011 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 30-Jul-2011, 6:32 PM   #11
John Candle
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Tv Antennas and Reception

Here is a self supporting , fold over tower , 60 feet high. The tower is folded over and all antenna work is done standing on the ground. http://www.rohnnet.com/towers-foldover. Rohn also has other towers that go a lot higher.

Last edited by John Candle; 30-Jul-2011 at 6:37 PM.
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Old 31-Jul-2011, 11:14 AM   #12
geronimo
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John, that tower looks pretty sweet, but now I'm going to have to start pretending I have a budget (though I can't find the price, I don't think I need to). Besides, I'd feel shameful putting up such a monstrosity amongst the towering trees surrounding my property.

Thank you all for your shared knowledge. My plan now is: purchase the Antennacraft Y10-7-13 and Winegard AP2870 pre-amp (DONE); put climbing stakes in a 50-foot cedar tree with a clear view of my cardinal points (nearly done); mount, connect using RG-11; watch free TV forever.
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Old 31-Jul-2011, 4:26 PM   #13
John Candle
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Tv antenna towers are made to put Tv antennas on. Tv antenna towers are made for places where there are trees to get the antenna above the trees so as to get good reception. Tv antenna towers are not evil.
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Old 29-Sep-2011, 1:43 PM   #14
geronimo
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John, baby.... who said towers are evil? If they were, I wouldn't have worked so hard to GET with one. But I did..... and here's what happened:

---climbed cedar tree and topped at 40'
---installed vhf and uhf directional antennas
---got free tv (channels 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13..... and on) forever

Life is sweet. Thanks, guys.

When I first started this project, I went to the government site on finding reception, and they said there was no signal in my area...... went to tv fool, and its report said I might get a few channels....... listen, people, look at the report, it is valuable, but in the end do not let it determine whether you will get that signal or not...... get out there, quit thinking about it and do some guerilla work to see what you can get...... high gain antennas, amplifier, rg-11 (I got 200 ft. going underground through conduit, can power my amp through that distance too), and just see what happens...... gotta work it.

On a side note, I'm even more pleased with a 4g directional antenna I put up to get my internet in a place that could only get dial-up and satellite before...... now with that, and a verizon mifi device, I am in the upper echelons of internet speeds (albeit with data usages that prevent streaming constantly). Highly recommend for rural homes with poor internet access.

geronimo OUT!
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