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hamsandwich 13-Dec-2019 5:52 PM

Antenna Recommendation for D.C. Suburbs
This post is a followup to a post I made requesting help 5+ years ago.
old post:

New tvfool link:
New rabbitears link:

I have been living with a 2-bay bowtie in the attic aimed at ~150 degrees, and although usually reception is excellent for most UHF, I occasionally get breakup on VHF 9 and also sometimes on a few UHF channels, often 4, 5, and 66 (real 34, 36, and 35).

My goal is to improve VHF reception and if possible, pickup a little more gain for UHF. In the process, I don't want to loose 62 (real 28, 323 degrees) from the backside (not shown on current tvfool report but listed at rabbitears).

It's time to install a proper antenna, so I went back to my previous post and when looking at the antennas recommended at that time, I found the following:

Antennacraft HBU-33: now discontinued
Antennacraft HBU11K: now discontinued
RCA ANT-751: design changed, possibly inferior now

Q#1) I have searched for some available antennas, and wonder if a 4-bay bowtie, such as Antennas Direct DB4e, would improve my situation, or a different design such as the GE 29884, or something completely different, or similar to the discontinued models above, would have the best chance of working well. Please let me know your thoughts.

Q#2) I also have the opportunity to raise my current or new antenna slighty (18 in.) toward the peak of my roof (antenna is under and parallel to the peak ridge), but I don't know how much free air space (if any) should be present between the face of the antenna and the underside of the slanted roof surface. Any guidance in this regard would be welcome.

Thanks for your input.

GroundUrMast 13-Dec-2019 6:29 PM

Are you willing to consider moving the antenna outside? You would likely see significant improvement in reception reliability. The roof structure hinders reception though the exact effect can vary dramatically based on the materials used in construction. There's no hard/fast rule re. clearance from structures in an attic... Test various locations to see what works best in your situation.

The DB4e as an excellent antenna for real channels 14 and up... But not a good choice for VHF reception. Consider adding a separate VHF antenna such as the Antennas Direct ClearStream5 or the Stellar Labs 30-2475. Either antenna can be combined with the existing UHF using a UVSJ ( example: ) With separate UHF and VHF antennas you get more flexibility re. placement and aim.

Tower Guy 14-Dec-2019 6:18 PM

I’d consider an Antennas Direct 2MAX mounted outside, just above the roof line.

hamsandwich 17-Dec-2019 9:56 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. It seems that experimenting with the exact location in the attic is worthwhile and I will pursue that - I am not willing to put the antenna on the roof.

If I can't move the antenna to a location with better reception, I will consider other antennas. I do have some comments/questions about the antennas recommended above:

ClearStream5: Too expensive for my situation. I would probably lean toward the Stellar Labs 30-2475 if VHF continues to be an issue, but see below.

The 2MAX seems expensive compared to the 2V version on amazon which also includes a reflector panel. I have a reflector panel on my current antenna so I am not sure if it is important. I started looking at other antennas on the antennadirect website and found the 'VHF Kit' which looks like it could attach to my current reflector. Is this kit something that is worth considering in my situation? It appears to come with a uhf/vhf combiner which makes it seem quite affordable compared to the other vhf-only options.

jrgagne99 18-Dec-2019 12:48 PM

The VHF kit is a single dipole element that would most-likely improve your reception compared to a UHF-only antenna, but would not even come close to a 30-2475 or 30-2476.

Tower Guy 18-Dec-2019 4:16 PM

You want no reflector to pick up Maryland PBS (real 28) off the back of the antenna.

You could buy the 2V on Amazon and drill out the two rivets that hold the reflector to the frame.

Or you can add the VHF dipole kit to your existing DB-2. If the reception of 28 is sketchy you can see if the reflector on your existing antenna can be removed.

hamsandwich 19-Dec-2019 12:21 AM

Thanks for the suggestion. Reception from channel 28 on the backside is currently excellent (with the reflector) - I am not sure if I remove it if I will lower the reception from the front. I will need to experiment a bit.

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