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Old 11-Mar-2015, 5:02 PM   #1
ukiltmybrutha
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 2
Best Outdoor Antenna for DC Richmond exurb?

I am looking for an outdoor antenna. Shape doesn't matter too much because there is no HOA.

I can place it at the roof eave which is about 20 feet off the ground. I could place it at the top of the chimney which is 22 feet off the ground.

DC is 57 air miles from me and slightly to the Northeast.

Richmond, VA is 45 air miles from me and pretty much due South.

Charlottesville is 51 air miles from me and Southwest of me.

Baltimore is 92 air miles from me and like DC slightly to the Northeast.

I hung a 5 dollar cheapie antenna out of my 2nd story window which is on the east side of the house and got around 20 stations.

I was a bit surprised.

Side note: there are Trees surrounding my house...especially on the east side.

I was wondering what your antenna suggestion would be.

Here is the TVFool report link:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...f1f0e38c9a5376


Was thinking of one of these since they are on sale and I did rather well with next to nothing IMO:

http://store.gomohu.com/sky-hdtv-outdoor-antenna.html

or

http://www.amazon.com/Eagle-Aspen-EA...35eba6bb839916

or even:

http://www.amazon.com/Winegard-HD708...ews/B001DFS4AE

(This guy with the top review lives in my area....Spotsylvania and raved about the antenna in his review). The thing is my roof rake is rather sharp and I can't count on anyone in my area to help me mount this thing.

Thanks for the help!!

Last edited by ukiltmybrutha; 11-Mar-2015 at 5:16 PM.
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Old 11-Mar-2015, 5:24 PM   #2
ADTech
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Posts: 2,942
A couple of tips:

1. Antenna reviews are pretty close to useless for selecting the appropriate antenna for a given situation.
2. Marketing fluff, unfortunately, is pretty close to customer reviews as far usefulness in selecting the best-fit antenna is concerned. Ironic, isn't it?
3. The best fit for any given application depends mostly on you: What do you want to achieve, what will you accept as a minimum as success, how much of a learning curve are you willing to endure, how much expense and work are you committed to investing, and more.


Start by letting us know some of those details and we'll be happy to make recommendations and discuss the possibilities.

Here's my discussion of each of the antennas suggested:

1. Sky - lots of marketing fluffery but zero specifications. Cant analyze the performance of hype alone.
2. A very capable copy of our old DB2 antenna. Great for short-range UHF reception only.
3. A very capable, very durable, VERY LARGE all-channel antenna. However, you don't have any low-VHF channels to be received making all those long elements at the rear of the antenna useable only as bird roosts or for wind loading. They could better be put to use for something like beer cans, for example. :beer:
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Last edited by ADTech; 11-Mar-2015 at 5:26 PM.
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Old 11-Mar-2015, 5:42 PM   #3
ukiltmybrutha
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
A couple of tips:

1. Antenna reviews are pretty close to useless for selecting the appropriate antenna for a given situation.
2. Marketing fluff, unfortunately, is pretty close to customer reviews as far usefulness in selecting the best-fit antenna is concerned. Ironic, isn't it?
3. The best fit for any given application depends mostly on you: What do you want to achieve, what will you accept as a minimum as success, how much of a learning curve are you willing to endure, how much expense and work are you committed to investing, and more.


Start by letting us know some of those details and we'll be happy to make recommendations and discuss the possibilities.

Here's my discussion of each of the antennas suggested:

1. Sky - lots of marketing fluffery but zero specifications. Cant analyze the performance of hype alone.
2. A very capable copy of our old DB2 antenna. Great for short-range UHF reception only.
3. A very capable, very durable, VERY LARGE all-channel antenna. However, you don't have any low-VHF channels to be received making all those long elements at the rear of the antenna useable only as bird roosts or for wind loading. They could better be put to use for something like beer cans, for example. :beer:
BEER CANS FTW!!!

Thanks for explaining this to me.

My goals are to put just a little time into this project as I have so many other things to do.

I'd like to get as many stations as I can reliably if even for the heck of it.

Contradictory goals I am sure, but that is part of the fun I HOPE.

Budget....it's hard to say, but as long as I am beating the pants off of cable I'd be happy to put maybe $200-300 into an antenna.

As a rough *guess* it seems like Richmond, C-Ville, and DC stations aren't that hard to get (case in point my $5 antenna getting me 20 stations out in the boonies).

I'd really like to get some of the Baltimore or other Maryland stations because there is a large cultural divide which is reflected in TV programs between VA, MD, and DC and that cultural divide reflects my household pretty well.

I don't know if that is possible with B-More's distance and being roughly in the middle of DC and Richmond.

I'd like to ensure the highest level of reliability as well. Getting a station just sometimes would be fun for me, but it won't fly for the rest of the household.

I hope this helps!
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Old 12-Mar-2015, 3:53 PM   #4
ADTech
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Posts: 2,942
I don't see much realistic prospect of reliable reception from Baltimore or DC except as an experiment unless you can hit the trifecta of a great location, the right equipment, and a bit of luck in have an obstacle-free signal path out in front of the antenna. I'd give DC a bit better odds, but B'more would be very poor.

I'd go with a DB8e plus a 10-element high-VHF combo on a rotor with an amp like our Juice. You probably don't need the preamp for Norfolk or C'ville, but it's needed for the stuff up north. You *might* get away without using the rotor to re-aim to the south and southwest as there will be a certain amount of reception off the rear of the antennas when aimed the opposite direction, but plan on a rotor just in case as antennas perform far, far better when aimed directly at the signal source than when they're not.

You can use the tool on this page https://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=90 to pinpoint your rooftop in satellite view, turn on the lines, then examine potential signal paths for trees and buildings. If your location happens to have the oblique angle view in Goggle's maps available, make sure you use only the overhead view for primary decision making while using the oblique view only for alternate views. Please note that the 45 view is the default satellite view if it's available whenever you zoom in. You have to turn it off manually for a straight overhead.
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