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Outlier 11-Aug-2016 4:04 AM

Can the signal make it over the hill?
I want to know if there's any chance I can receive an OTA signal at my new home near the base of a hill. I'm moving in next month.

Unfortunately, the new home is at the base of a hill. The hill is about 30 yards to my south and is between me and all the local TV transmitters. I'm located too close to the hill for line of sight to the transmitters. The part of the hill between the transmitters and me is about 12 meters above me.

The TVFool google earth map shows purple (poor reception) at the top of the hill. but from the top of the hill there is clear line of sight to the transmitters. The same map shows good reception at the base of the hill which doesn't have line of sight. That doesn't make sense to me.

My new home is located at 32.67426856610088,-97.4840497970581
Its elevation is 224.903 m or 737.870 feet
It's a two story home and I estimate its roof is at about 25 feet.

Here’s a link to a TV Fool report based on an antenna at 25 feet above the ground. I entered the latitude and longitude as the street address didn’t resolve to a specific location

Most of the transmitters are at a heading of 101 degrees and are about 31 miles away. They are located at 32.58778171017113,-96.96642637252808. Their elevation is 249.275 m or 817.830 feet

The hill is about 30 yards to my south. There is a creek between the back of my home and the hill. The hill and extends east and west for a long distance. The part of the hill in my way is roughly at
32.67400666574976, -97.47847080230713
and its elevation is about 237.623 m or 779.604 feet

I'm not aware of any other hills between the transmitter and me that would interfere with the signal. The transmitters are all in the same place as they are on one of the highest hills around.

No one else around there has visible antenna. Either that means they've all opted for cable, an indoor antennae is sufficient, or that the hill is too much of an obstacle to reception.

What do you think?

Jake V 11-Aug-2016 11:45 AM

Your TV Fool Report only generated to he block level. For a more accurate plot please use these instructions: Then post the new link. Thanks.

ADTech 11-Aug-2016 1:26 PM

Also, be aware that the terrain database that is used has an effective approximate resolution of ~30 meters by 30 meters (1/3 arc-second) per pixel if high res data is available or, if not, the effective resolution is only ~100 meters by 100 meters (1 arc-second). Therefore, for locations that are either on extremely sloped locations or are extremely close to them, the data available to the simulator are too coarse to be expected to have any expectation of accuracy.

It all will boil down to your getting an antenna up on the roof and seeing wha't actually in the air there.

rabbit73 11-Aug-2016 5:16 PM

6 Attachment(s)
As ADTech stated, the computer simulations for the reports and coverage are not precisely accurate to the degree you would like; testing will be necessary.

I did three reports using your coordinates at different heights. They indicate that you should get your antenna as high as you can, and you should have reliable reception.

40 feet
25 feet
10 feet

I also did 3 snips from the interactive browser at different heights; see the attachments. Because of the rough terrain and the slightly different locations for the transmitters, the channel listing changes at different heights.

Can the signal make it over the hill?
For some of the channels, my opinion is yes, if you can get your antenna high enough. Tilting the front of the antenna up might help.

Outlier 11-Aug-2016 8:18 PM

Here's the link to the more definitive map that Jake V suggested I create.

I set the antenna height to 35 feet. I might be able to get it higher than that but I'm confident I can get it to at least 35.

Thanks to everyone who has responded. What a helpful forum!

rabbit73 11-Aug-2016 10:19 PM

1 Attachment(s)
That is not the location of your new home according to your first post; I'm confused.

Your original coordinates put you new home in Benbrook TX on Rio Frio Trail. I see the hill and the creek there.

Your new report puts your new home on Hawkins Home Blvd off Hwy 377 near the Whitestone Golf Club. That location doesn't match your description and has these approximate coordinates:

This is where you said the hill was:

Where is your new home? It makes a difference in your report because of the hill.

Outlier 12-Aug-2016 3:30 PM

re: Can the signal make it over the hill?

Sorry about the error in the map. I didn't understand how to use it correctly. I think I've got it this time. Here's the updated URL to the radar plot

rabbit73 13-Aug-2016 1:29 AM

Thank you for the new report. It is close to your first report; I see Rio Frio Trail and the creek again. You haven't given us the coordinates for the latest report, so I think I will stick with the first one I did based on your original coordinates, unless you want to give me the latest coordinates in a PM.

Because of your uneven terrain, the channels listed are in a different order from report to report.

Can the signal make it over the hill?
My answer remains the same: you have a good chance of receiving some channels if you can get your antenna high enough.

You will need a combo antenna aimed at 102 degrees magnetic for VHF-High and UHF because ABC is on real channel 8. I doubt that you need a VHF-Low antenna for channel 6 because KBFW is an FM station disguised as a TV station. You can listen to it on 87.7 FM. KSFW is infomercials.

If you can get it high enough a Winegard HD7694P might work; the bigger HD7698P has more gain. Tilting them would be a DIY modification. Try it without a preamp first. If you have more than one TV you might need a distribution amplifier. A last resort would be a preamp instead of the distribution amp.

A alternative would be separate UHF and VHF antennas that have a tilt feature built in, like the Antennas Direct 91XG and the MCM 30-2475.

What antenna are you using now?

If the antenna is outside, the coax shield should be grounded with a grounding block that is connected to the house electrical system ground with 10 gauge copper wire for electrical safety and to reject interference. For further compliance with the electrical code (NEC), the mast should also be grounded in a similar manner to drain any buildup of static charge, but the system will not survive a direct strike.

Outlier 13-Aug-2016 9:57 PM


Thank you so much for your specific advice. I generated the last map by putting in just the zip code and then moving the icon to the location. The first map I generated with latitude and longitude as the street address yielded a map that was much less precise. The coordinates are 32.67420196220507,-97.48467542231083. The marker I positioned manually may have been off a little from that location but not by much.
Regardless of the precise location I'll likely need an antenna as you suggest. I'll let the forum know how it works out. Thanks again to everyone for all your help.

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