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Old 25-Dec-2014, 9:31 PM   #1
jsc3iii
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Georgia
Posts: 3
Antenna choice NE Georgia Mountains

Hi,

I am in Hiawassee, GA, surrounded by tall mountains. I am on a ridge on the edge of Lake Chatuge, at about 2900 ft elevation. Atlanta is 90 miles south, but the tallest mountains in Georgia are about five miles from me and at least 1500 feet higher. To the north is the heart of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains. My best option for TV signals seems to be Chattanooga, which is about 90 miles west of me at about 280 degrees true.

I would like to get at least one of the following: ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, Fox, CW.

Nothing useful is LOS! Several stations are VHF-hi.

ABC: WTVC, VHF channel 9, 280 degrees
NBC: WRCB, VHF channel 13, 280 degrees
CBS: WDEF-DT, VHF channel 12, 279 degrees
PBS: WNGH-DT, UHF channel 33, 256 degrees
PBS: WTCI-DT, UHF channel 29, 282 degrees
CW: WFLI-DT, UHF channel 42, 282 degrees
Fox: WDSI-DT, UHF channel 40, 282 degrees

PBS: WGTV-DT, VHF channel 8, 197 degrees
NBC: WXIA-DT, VHF channel 10, 203 degrees

The biggest challenge appears to be Fox WDSI-DT on real UHF channel 40 at 282 degrees true.

I ran quite a few TV Fool reports, and the one thing that puzzles me is that it looks like my signal actually goes down in power with increasing antenna height. Moving around on the property, up and down the ridge line, etc doesn't seem to matter as much as antenna height, and the lower the better if the reports are to be believed. Here is a representative sample.

3ft Antenna: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...2c15ffc5a5a38f

10ft Antenna: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...2c1580cae12039

25ft Antenna: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...2c1561d9bae15a

50ft Antenna: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...2c158901672b6e

I did run reports up to 500 feet.

So, I know which direction to point (280), and I know I need both VHF-hi (channels 9, 12 and 13) and UHF (29-42) but what are the best antenna choices and amplifier?

Also, is it really likely that putting the antenna lower is better? I would really rather put it a bit higher as lower blocks my views of the lake.

Thanks!
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Old 25-Dec-2014, 10:01 PM   #2
technicolor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsc3iii View Post
Hi,

I am in Hiawassee, GA, surrounded by tall mountains. I am on a ridge on the edge of Lake Chatuge, at about 2900 ft elevation. Atlanta is 90 miles south, but the tallest mountains in Georgia are about five miles from me and at least 1500 feet higher. To the north is the heart of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains. My best option for TV signals seems to be Chattanooga, which is about 90 miles west of me at about 280 degrees true.

I would like to get at least one of the following: ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, Fox, CW.

Nothing useful is LOS! Several stations are VHF-hi.

ABC: WTVC, VHF channel 9, 280 degrees
NBC: WRCB, VHF channel 13, 280 degrees
CBS: WDEF-DT, VHF channel 12, 279 degrees
PBS: WNGH-DT, UHF channel 33, 256 degrees
PBS: WTCI-DT, UHF channel 29, 282 degrees
CW: WFLI-DT, UHF channel 42, 282 degrees
Fox: WDSI-DT, UHF channel 40, 282 degrees

PBS: WGTV-DT, VHF channel 8, 197 degrees
NBC: WXIA-DT, VHF channel 10, 203 degrees

The biggest challenge appears to be Fox WDSI-DT on real UHF channel 40 at 282 degrees true.

I ran quite a few TV Fool reports, and the one thing that puzzles me is that it looks like my signal actually goes down in power with increasing antenna height. Moving around on the property, up and down the ridge line, etc doesn't seem to matter as much as antenna height, and the lower the better if the reports are to be believed. Here is a representative sample.

3ft Antenna: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...2c15ffc5a5a38f

10ft Antenna: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...2c1580cae12039

25ft Antenna: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...2c1561d9bae15a

50ft Antenna: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...2c158901672b6e

I did run reports up to 500 feet.

So, I know which direction to point (280), and I know I need both VHF-hi (channels 9, 12 and 13) and UHF (29-42) but what are the best antenna choices and amplifier?

Also, is it really likely that putting the antenna lower is better? I would really rather put it a bit higher as lower blocks my views of the lake.

Thanks!



Wow, that is a ugly chart. You have running water out there? Just kidding.

Higher is better, 50 feet, perhaps may have issues with wind that high.

I'm going to suggest a winegard 8200u hd. It's on sale on amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Winegard-HD820...A1HP7F9AXH8VS3

as far as amplifier, antennacraft 10g212. 30db adjustable.
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Old 26-Dec-2014, 1:24 AM   #3
ADTech
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Quote:
I'm going to suggest a winegard 8200u hd. It's on sale on amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Winegard-HD820...A1HP7F9AXH8VS3

as far as amplifier, antennacraft 10g212. 30db adjustable.
The 8200 might be on sale at Amazon, but you'd be buying a lot of useless aluminum since there's nothing receivable on low-VHF. Stick with a 7-51 or 7-69 system, either a single combo antenna or a pair of selected antennas, one for 7-13 and one for UHF.

Skip the Antennacraft 30 dB amplifier also. Unless you have a lot of coax and splitters, the extra gain is useless. Pick a low noise, medium gain amplifier instead based on your antenna(s) choice.

Quote:
Also, is it really likely that putting the antenna lower is better? I would really rather put it a bit higher as lower blocks my views of the lake.
You're looking at the results of a software simulation of limited accuracy and resolution. It's only a best estimate of what *might* be available...or not. YMMV.

You'd also benefit from a rotor so you can explore reception in different directions.
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Old 26-Dec-2014, 3:47 AM   #4
jsc3iii
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Georgia
Posts: 3
I have a Clearstream4 and a CPA-19 amplifier, but I am pretty sure the CS4 isn't going to get it done (taking it up there this weekend to start finding out).

I was thinking of dual antennas.

The DB8e outperforms the 91XG in the lower part of the UHF band, according to the published TDS), but that is based on the additional assumptions of no loss in combiner and phasing harness for the DB8e - how far from reality is that assumption? Is there any other readily available antenna I should be considering besides these two? The Winegard
HD-9032 or HD9095P seem to claim higher published gain than either the DB8e or the 91XG, but the experts on the web seem to generally recommend the latter two most often.

Along with that, something like the Antennacraft Y10-7-13 for hi VHF, unless someone has a better suggestion - the 9.4 dB gain is going to be pretty marginal for the CBS station on channel 12. Is there anything out there VHF only with comparable gain to the Winegard HD7698P (11 dB for channel 11 and 12 dB for channel 13)?

I guess just looking at published data doesn't tell the whole story, because published comparisons of the Y10-7-13 and HD7698P seem to give the edge to the Y10-7-13, and similarly comparisons between the Winegard PR9032 (I presume similar to the HD-9032) and the 91XG give the edge to the 91XG.

I want to keep the height reasonable if possible, maybe a 10 foot tripod on the roof with a 15 foot mast, with the Y10-7-13 over the DB8e?

As for the rotor, I would probably try manually rotating the mast to see if there was any point in looking at Atlanta, Knoxville or Greenville stations instead of Chattanooga, though the TV Fool reports all seem to suggest that Chattanooga is the most likely candidate.

Any reason to consider maybe a PA-18 amplifier instead of the CPA-19 I already have? Is there a better recommendation for a low noise amplifier with independent UHF and VHF inputs?

Also, does it make any sense to use my Motorola BDA-100S4 as an amplified splitter to distribute the signal around a 4500 sq ft house?
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Old 26-Dec-2014, 1:30 PM   #5
ADTech
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Quote:
no loss in combiner and phasing harness for the DB8e - how far from reality is that assumption?
Not very far, the combining is pretty efficient.

Quote:
with the Y10-7-13 over the DB8e?
Put whichever one provides the best results on top. Traditionally, the UHF antenna gets put on top, but that's never set in stone.

Quote:
I would probably try manually rotating the mast
That's a good compromise to see what's possible. Keep in mind that big antennas are going to need a very robust rotor.

Quote:
Any reason to consider maybe a PA-18 amplifier instead of the CPA-19 I already have?


Not really since you already have the CPA19. The PA18's noise figure would give you less than a dB of advantage in system noise figure so I'd suggest sticking with the CPA19 for your initial tests.

Quote:
Quote:
Is there a better recommendation for a low noise amplifier with independent UHF and VHF inputs?
Antennacraft and RCA are your only current model choices. You might find a discontinued Winegard or Channel Master on ebay if you're patient enough to wait for one to come along. In reality, using an external UVSJ of good quality with a low noise single input pre-amp usually won't make much of a difference in the system noise figures.

Quote:
does it make any sense to use my Motorola BDA-100S4 as an amplified splitter
Only if it's needed. Let's get some reception first before expanding the system.
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Last edited by ADTech; 26-Dec-2014 at 1:44 PM.
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Old 26-Dec-2014, 3:27 PM   #6
jsc3iii
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Georgia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
Not very far, the combining is pretty efficient.
Excellent news!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
Put whichever one provides the best results on top. Traditionally, the UHF antenna gets put on top, but that's never set in stone.
It just seems easier to mount the yagi on top of big multi-bay, but I'll probably do whatever results in the most gain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
Keep in mind that big antennas are going to need a very robust rotor.
Any recommendations for the rotor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
Since you already have the CPA19. The PA18's noise figure would give you less than a dB of advantage in system noise figure so I'd suggest sticking with the CPA19 for your initial tests.
Works for me. If I get down to fighting for every last dB I will worry about a different amp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
Antennacraft and RCA are your only current model choices. You might find a discontinued Winegard or Channel Master on ebay if you're patient enough to wait for one to come along. In reality, using an external UVSJ of good quality with a low noise single input pre-amp usually won't make much of a difference in the system noise figures.
I have an overpriced Rat Shack UVSJ that a long-winded discussion I found on the Internet indicates is comparable to the Pico Macom everybody likes, so I will be using that.
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Old 26-Dec-2014, 4:43 PM   #7
Tim
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Location: Acworth, GA
Posts: 190
Having recently helped some friends with TV antennas in both Blairsville (getting 9, 12 &13 from Chattanooga from a 60 ft tower) and Cleveland (getting 36 from Greenville and 24, 31, & 51 from Atlanta using a rotator), your signal analysis is somewhat more hopeful for picking up a couple of the major networks reliably. I think your conclusion that Chattanooga is your best target is right on the money.

Your best bet is to concentrate on real channels 9 (ABC-WTVC) and 13 (NBC-WRCB). The AntennaCraft Y10-7-13 would be my choice aimed at 285 degrees magnetic and mounted as high as possible. Use your existing CPA19 preamp mounted as close to the antenna as possible and keep the coax to your TV as short as possible to minimize losses. I would consider it 'frosting on the cake' if you were to get a reliable signal from channel 12 (CBS-WDEF).

My suggestion would be to focus fully on those VHF-Hi channels for now. The PBS stations to your NW in NC should be easy to receive, but if you want to shoot for channel 42 (CW-WFLI) or channel 40 (Fox-WDSI) it is going to be a much tougher row to hoe. The Antennas Direct DB8E with a pre-amp and short coax feedline would be a good choice.

Your biggest enemy is going to be trees. Make sure the location you choose for your antenna will have as few trees as possible in the path of the signal while still keeping your feedline as short as you can. Height is your friend in helping to clear the local tree line. The signal attenuation will get a lot worse in the spring when the hardwoods leaf out.

Good luck! Let us know your results.
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