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Old 27-Aug-2016, 9:36 PM   #1
featherz
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hi guys! Help with new antenna setup..

We live in a rather rural area, 40ish miles away from any big city. I was gifted a DB8E with a VHF "retrofit" kit as none of the in-house antennas I tried would get more than one channel.

We have it 15-20 feet above ground level and are only able to get channels in the 'green' zone on the TV fool report. We did hoist it up another 10 feet temporarily and did not see a difference.

This is not a huge deal, but even those channels can vary in signal strength and blip out. We are surrounded by 50+ft trees but they are out quite a distance from the antenna.

If I wanted to try and have more reliable signal, would you recommend a new antenna (I do want VHF for WXXA) or getting it another 30 feet up? or both?

We don't have any additional hardware on the antenna and it's a short cable run, maybe 20 feet from the house.

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Old 27-Aug-2016, 10:02 PM   #2
wizwor
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The DB8e is a great UHF antenna. Replace your VHF retrofit with one of these pointed at 203ish to get 6, 9 (maybe from the back), 12, 7, and 13.

http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/30-2476

If you have a phone or a GPS, run a tvfool report from the coordinates of your antenna. Run it at 15-20-25-30' agl to see if height makes much of a difference for channels you want.
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Old 27-Aug-2016, 10:06 PM   #3
featherz
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Originally Posted by wizwor View Post
The DB8e is a great UHF antenna. Replace your VHF retrofit with one of these pointed at 203ish to get 6, 9 (maybe from the back), 12, 7, and 13.

http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/30-2476

If you have a phone or a GPS, run a tvfool report from the coordinates of your antenna. Run it at 15-20-25-30' agl to see if height makes much of a difference for channels you want.
Thanks! I did run another tvfool with the different heights (just from zip code) and it did not make much of a difference at all, but those tall trees could be making a huge difference here. I'll try running it from the exact coords shortly and see if I can get a better listing.

Hubby almost got seriously injured when we put the antenna up higher the last time so kinda hoping it won't help too much. :P
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Old 27-Aug-2016, 10:38 PM   #4
featherz
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this is the tvfool exact lat/long at 30 feet. Doesn't seem like much of a difference.
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e2cb7b1035394d

My db8e is pointed at 203 - we tried moving a panel to try and get a few more channels, but pretty much nothing came in that way. :P

I am hoping it will get better when the leaves fall - the trees are about 400 feet away.

Last edited by featherz; 27-Aug-2016 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 27-Aug-2016, 10:52 PM   #5
wizwor
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How high are the trees? You can angle your antenna up towards the horizon to try to sneak over the trees.
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Old 27-Aug-2016, 11:05 PM   #6
featherz
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100 feet or so. I pretty much live in a forest, but the antenna points out over a few acres of cleared farmland. We could *try* and see what happens, worth a shot!
I get all the major networks and some days they come in without a hitch and others they all seem to stutter. Power lines are quite a distance, antenna is grounded.

Last edited by featherz; 27-Aug-2016 at 11:53 PM.
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Old 27-Aug-2016, 11:16 PM   #7
wizwor
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My house is surrounded by red pines. These trees are about 100' tall with tufts of evergreen at the top which sway in the wind and fill with ice and snow. My DB8e is in the attic pointed out through a peak into blue sky below those tufts. I do not get much value out of the articulating panels just because of the distance to broadcasters.

Do you have an pre-amp on the antenna? How many televisions do you feed? Is that signal amplified?

FWIW, this is about the worst reception you will get all year as the leaves are full of moisture and blowing about.
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Old 27-Aug-2016, 11:52 PM   #8
featherz
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Originally Posted by wizwor View Post
My house is surrounded by red pines. These trees are about 100' tall with tufts of evergreen at the top which sway in the wind and fill with ice and snow. My DB8e is in the attic pointed out through a peak into blue sky below those tufts. I do not get much value out of the articulating panels just because of the distance to broadcasters.

Do you have an pre-amp on the antenna? How many televisions do you feed? Is that signal amplified?

FWIW, this is about the worst reception you will get all year as the leaves are full of moisture and blowing about.
No pre-amp, just one TV, no other amplification. We have pines and various leafy deciduous trees. Would any amplification help? I've been only net streaming for years after ditching satellite so new to this.

Happy I can see local TV again although the commercials are no fun.
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Old 28-Aug-2016, 1:27 AM   #9
wizwor
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I believe it would. I like this inexpensive preamp with separate vhf and uhf inputs...

https://www.amazon.com/RCA-TVPRAMP1R.../dp/B003P92D9Y
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Old 29-Aug-2016, 1:22 AM   #10
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The NY Capital District market has 4 VHF TV stations:WRGB on low-band channel 6.WXXA on high-band channel 7, WNYT on channel 12, and WNYA on Channel 13. WRGB poses the biggest challenge because the DB-8e is going to be completely blind to it. If you wan to get all of your networks, you will need an all-channel solution.

While I understand that you are reluctant to get rid of the DB-8e, your best bet would be to get a Winegard HD-8200u antenna, mount it as high as you can on the roof, and aim it at the Helderberg Escarpment, where all the Capital District are located. The Helderberg Escarpment lies at 203 degrees south of your location, and should be a fairly easy pull from your location if the antenna is mounted and installed properly. You can add a preamplifier, like an AntennasDirect PA-18 if you want more signal strength to add additional TV sets
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Old 29-Aug-2016, 7:12 AM   #11
featherz
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TWRGB poses the biggest challenge because the DB-8e is going to be completely blind to it. If you wan to get all of your networks, you will need an all-channel solution.
I am getting CBS now, although not sure how if the DB8E should not see it. Maybe it's the clip on VHF addon? I've been pointing at 203ish - we figured out that was pretty much the only decent direction. I think I should definitely add a pre-amp. We'll probably also get the antenna mounted higher.
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Old 29-Aug-2016, 11:45 AM   #12
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WRGB poses the biggest challenge because the DB-8e is going to be completely blind to it.
It is a misconception that the DB8e (or any other UHF antenna design" would be "completely blind to a VHF signal, even a low-VHF channel. While I do not recommend such an antenna where low-VHF reception is required, it's actually very common for customers to report success anyway, in spite of the seeming illogic of the results.

There's a wild card at play that most antenna guys do not know about or acknowledge. I'm not crazy about it but I do know it exists and that can be exploited, usually by luck or chance rather than purpose. I'd just as soon see it gone as it introduces an unpredictable reception mode to the out-of-design-band frequencies. I'd infinitely prefer predictability in the antenna's performance.

Please note that, if the VHF dipole kit is in use, the unconventional reception mode is eliminated by the integrated diplexer.

Quote:
Maybe it's the clip on VHF addon?
Probably, since it's in use. It's only about half the physical and electrical length required for effective reception of a channel 6 signal. Since it's "too short", it's efficiency is reduced for low VHF or FM, but, back in '09, many low-VHF stations, including WRGB, pumped up their power to help indoor antenna uses who were often using antennas that were "too small". As a result, the users of smaller outdoor antennas were also benefited with improved reception of low-V signals.

Quote:
While I understand that you are reluctant to get rid of the DB-8e, your best bet would be to get a Winegard HD-8200u antenna, mount it as high as you can on the roof, and aim it at the Helderberg Escarpment, where all the Capital District are located. The Helderberg Escarpment lies at 203 degrees south of your location, and should be a fairly easy pull from your location if the antenna is mounted and installed properly. You can add a preamplifier, like an AntennasDirect PA-18 if you want more signal strength to add additional TV sets
Swapping to a large all-channel antenna is the logical choice for the Albany market. However, do not use the PA18 in a location such as this as it's intended for locations where ALL signals are weak. My simple rule for for our phone staff is that if there are signals "in the green" on a customer's TVFool plot, use the Juice instead to avoid the risk of signal overload. Keeps things simple that way.
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Last edited by ADTech; 29-Aug-2016 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 31-Dec-2016, 7:41 PM   #13
featherz
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Thought I would necro my own thread back up - we did decide to try a Winegard HD-8200u antenna to see if anything would improve, as we were still getting poor reception when the leaves dropped off the trees - mostly poor on VHF.

With the 8200u we are getting AWESOME max signal on all VHF stations, but terrible reception on UHF, pretty much all stations.

Full disclosure, the box from Amazon was pretty banged up on arrival but everything seemed ok with only minor re-bending. The main circuit board box had bent connectors, but they also bent back easily and appear to make good contact. I had no say in keeping this item, as it was given to me for Xmas so I didn't see it until Santa brought it in. :P

We've aimed and reaimed but doesn't seem to help. Is it defective? I'd hate to try and send this massive thing back! :P Any possibility we put something together wrong (common idiot install errors?)..
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Old 31-Dec-2016, 10:35 PM   #14
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It is possible that there is something wrong with the UHF section of the HD 8200U.

There are several tests you can make. One would be to connect to the DB8e, if you still have it, to check for UHF reception. If the UHF reception is good, you can combine it with the 8200 with a UVSJ UHF/VHF combiner.

Another thing you can do is troubleshoot the 8200. Winegard has a video:

How To Troubleshoot a Winegard Antenna Cartridge Housing
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlQk...ule1MX8jCAfvPQ

If the circuit board was defective, maybe Winegard will send you a new one.

http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=cb-8269













I think the way the circuit board connects to the wires is a weak link in an otherwise good design.
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Last edited by rabbit73; 31-Dec-2016 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 31-Dec-2016, 11:59 PM   #15
featherz
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It is possible that there is something wrong with the UHF section of the HD 8200U.

There are several tests you can make. One would be to connect to the DB8e, if you still have it, to check for UHF reception. If the UHF reception is good, you can combine it with the 8200 with a UVSJ UHF/VHF combiner.

Another thing you can do is troubleshoot the 8200. Winegard has a video:

I think the way the circuit board connects to the wires is a weak link in an otherwise good design.
thanks for the assist.. I don't have the thing to test with but will see what I can get. The DB8e is still hooked up and it does have better UHF even with the 8200U in the way. :P Would rather not use both, but let's see if I can get the 8200 working.

I think the delivery guy must have drop kicked that huge package..

We did manage to get a slightly better signal from the 8200 after aiming it considerably off of where it should be (20-30) degrees, making me wonder if something else is off. It's still not great (3/8 bars of signal on most channels), but better than dead air.

Last edited by featherz; 1-Jan-2017 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 1-Jan-2017, 12:56 AM   #16
wizwor
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Just send back the 8200u and couple an inexpensive 30-2476 for vhf. I would couple with an RCA TVPRAMP1R rather than a passive uvsj in your situation.
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Old 1-Jan-2017, 12:58 AM   #17
featherz
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Just send back the 8200u and couple an inexpensive 30-2476 for vhf. I would couple with an RCA TVPRAMP1R rather than a passive uvsj in your situation.
Would be a pain in the tush to send back - the package is thrashed and huge, plus it's already mounted on a pole. Hopefully we can make something work but I'll keep your suggestion on the list!!
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Old 1-Jan-2017, 1:07 AM   #18
wizwor
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I would call and complain that the package arrived damaged and that the antenna does not pick up uhf then insist on an RMA for a free return. Regardless, the 30-2476 is the best VHF high antenna available at this time. Using two antennas lets you point each optimally. If you can pickup WRGB on 39, there is no need to worry about vhf low.
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Old 1-Jan-2017, 10:56 PM   #19
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The trouble with high gain vhf antennas is that they also make all the FM radio stations, police, fire, ambulance, aircraft, paging systems, and Weather stations stronger as well.

This can desense or overload the TV tuner causing one signals to get weaker.

The fact that you have to misalign it to get signals tells me this may be what is happening

Even if the 8200's UHF section is working normally, its no match for the perfortmance of an 8 bay bowtie like the DB8E
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