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Old 14-Jan-2017, 4:22 AM   #1
xyzer
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Tree mount Antenna + more

I am in a quite rural area south of Bend Oregon and on a quest to receive as many OTA signals out there. My report is at 30 feet to reflect the way my current test configuration is mounted. 200 feet coax.

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In the late summer early fall I started testing with a cheap 150mile antenna to see if anything was out there.

It encouraged me to invest in a DB8E. The scan brought in more channels.

I installed a Juice preamp.That gave me a couple more except our PB broadcasting station. It is down in the real channel 11 VHF area. I installed a VHF kit and got it.

I tried to hook up a TV in another room and it all went to 1 channel. I installed a Channel Master CM3414-4 way splitter. and that works great.

All of the gains in new channels always had a new few that would vary on usability.

I know elevation is part of my problem now. I am surrounded with Ponderosa trees with a few holes in the direction of the towers. I have the opportunity to have my way with a 65' boom bucket for a week or so. My intention was to mount the antenna to a tree at about 60'. I know there are probably pro and cons on this but I don't have many choices.

While I have the opportunity to make a more permanent home for the antenna this summer I have no problem spending a couple of satellite bills or more for a good VHF and maybe separate UHF antenna and if necessary a rotor. I wont be able to adjust it after it is installed.

Any suggestions are welcome.

Dave
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Old 14-Jan-2017, 3:16 PM   #2
WIRELESS ENGINEER
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The 200 ft of coax is a signal killer.

First you must use SOLID copper center conductor coax that has a heavy gauge braid as well.

Copper plated steel center conductors and aluminum foil shields are very poor conductors of electricity.

When using a preamp at that distance, you will be lucky to have enough voltage and current at the antenna mounted preamp to allow it to work properly.

You can also upgrade to rg11 coax to reduce the loss.
Your polar plot indicates you need to either aim each 4 bay side in slightly different directions or simply use one aimed northeast.

In either case, the plot indicates there is plenty of signal available if you aren't blocked by trees etc.

Last edited by WIRELESS ENGINEER; 14-Jan-2017 at 3:20 PM.
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Old 14-Jan-2017, 4:24 PM   #3
xyzer
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Wireless, Thanks for the reply. I agree the 200ft run creates a loss. I learned that when I had an extra 100' inline do to the absence of a 12' piece need to connect my test system. I can upgrade 100ft (approx.) of the run to RG11 that runs from the house to the antenna and will be on my final install. The wire within the house walls I have to live with. I might be a bit over on my estimated distance but they are longer than the average install. Part of my plan is to find an antenna configuration the will gather the highest db to help overcome the other unavoidable losses involved. I have been looking at the
http://dennysantennaservice.com/hd_s...enna-html.html

on a rotor. Or any not big(giant) uhf/vhf directional on a rotor. My research shows me the average vhf/uhf antenna makes compromises in certain areas of the band to help it do both. If I use a specific vhf plus a uhf antenna will it improve the gain on its specific band areas? The rotor will allow me to adjust to specific towers. I agree the rotor may not be needed but will remove some doubt on best direction compromise.
Thanks!
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Old 14-Jan-2017, 4:58 PM   #4
WIRELESS ENGINEER
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The 8 bay bowtie design of the db8e has much greater performance than the stacker on uhf and yes, any combo antenna is a compromise.

Size matters on antennas and the DB8e is the largest capture area UHF antenna available

Since you can get everything from rf channel 2 thru UHF, you could benefit from a 2-13 vhf antenna as well.

If you can't pull off running the two antennas on a rotor, then the winegard 8200 on a rotor would likely be the best you can do in a combo antenna.

While it would likely work better than the stacker, it is a very large and heavy antenna so you would need to keep the pipe above the rotor as short as possible.

Hopefully, AD, Rabbit 73, and Ground ur Mast will weigh in on this also

Last edited by WIRELESS ENGINEER; 14-Jan-2017 at 5:08 PM.
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Old 16-Jan-2017, 11:02 PM   #5
GroundUrMast
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I've also got the desire to tree mount several antennas. I've been waiting for sufficient recovery after a surgery to get back into my climbing gear. Perhaps this spring...

I've got several western red cedars in excess of 100" tall. I've already fabricated mounting hardware that will support a 10' mast about 5' out from the trunk. The question remains, 'how will wind induced sway impact reception reliability?"

I've also got a box of coax with messenger, similar to that used by cable companies to run from their pole to a customer's house. I'll have to see how much voltage drop I really encounter.... Though at 200", a high current pre-amplifier would not be an ideal choice.

The bottom line is, we need to hang metal up there to really know whether it will improve our overall reception.
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Old 17-Jan-2017, 2:09 PM   #6
xyzer
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GroundUrMast,
Sounds like we are in the same boat......or out on the same limb. My situation gives me one good shot with the free use of the boom lift. No climbing gear for me! I will have about a week to experiment with what ever I configure. I will upgrade the coax run to the house from the antenna. I know the DB8E would be an acceptable antenna but I did have problems with a channel down in VHF land. I added a VHF upgrade kit that did bring in the elusive VHF channel but it has disappeared with the snow in the trees. I would like to mount a medium size VHF and UHF directional antennas on a rotor. The length of there boom is the problem as to clear the trunk. My tower directions are about 40 degrees apart. I might not need the rotor but I won't be able to tune it after it is installed. I ran across this VHF http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/30-2476. Looking for a UHF in the same size. I truly believe getting another 40' of elevation will improve things but if I can put the optimum equipment up there another 40' I might get another channel.
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Old 17-Jan-2017, 3:16 PM   #7
rickbb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
. The question remains, 'how will wind induced sway impact reception reliability?"
If you can top/trim the tree some it will reduce the wind load area and reduce any swaying of the antenna. Of course you may not want or be able to trim it much, never more than 1/3 of the live growth.
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Old 17-Jan-2017, 6:25 PM   #8
skatingrocker17
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I'm really curious to see how this turns out. I actually put my satellite dish up in a pine tree and considered doing the same for our antenna.... but I can pick up quite a few stations in the basement with a wall antenna so I'm not nearly motivated enough to put an antenna in the tree too.
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Old 17-Feb-2017, 10:51 PM   #9
xyzer
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Will paint on the antenna affect the performance dramatically? I want to blend it in with the surroundings.
Thanks!
Dave
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Old 17-Feb-2017, 10:57 PM   #10
ADTech
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Do not use metal flake paint (lacquer is fine) and keep it out of both the F-connectors and all of the phasing line connections (bowtie and balun).

Paint itself will have no effect on the signal reception as long as you pay attention to the above.
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Old 20-Feb-2017, 2:17 PM   #11
rickbb
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There is another post here about using 2 antennas to redirect the signal from a high spot down to a house mounted antenna. I wonder if that could be used to eliminate the 200'+ runs for these kinds of location installs? You wouldn't have any coax to the tree or pre amp at all.

The setup uses one antenna aimed at the tower(s) to "catch" the signals, a short piece of coax to another antenna aimed at the house to "re-broadcast" the signal, and a 3rd antenna to receive and send to the TV(s).
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Old 20-Feb-2017, 4:18 PM   #12
xyzer
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Thanks guys. The don't use metal flake make sense. I will probably just use flat colors to just get rid of some of the shiny. The signal redirection idea makes sense but would increase the complexity or the install. I am going with the logic that the coax length required to increase elevation to clear other trees for a more direct signal will out way the loss due to coax length for the elevation gain. Time will tell. When the snow is gone the games will begin.
Thanks again!
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Old 21-Feb-2017, 2:36 AM   #13
WIRELESS ENGINEER
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I've found that black krylon works great

in makes antennas quire stealthy
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