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billg 18-Jan-2015 2:22 PM

Help pulling channels from 2 directions
Hello all,

I've followed the suggestions/directions from an old thread I posted:

to get channels from both the West Palm Beach and Miami metro areas. I've installed a DB4e antenna without reflectors on a mast about 12' above the roof of my home. Per the Antennas Direct suggestion, I added a VHF dipole above the antenna. The dipole is oriented due N/S, and the UHF bowties are oriented due E/W. There are other trees/buildings in the area, but generally we have a clear shot to the south of us and a minimally obstructed shot to the north.

Unfortunately, while we do tend to pull the Miami stations well, many of the West Palm-based stations either don't tune at all, or will tune for the first second or so before going out. I presume this means that I have just marginal of a signal enough for my TV to tune.

Here are my maps:

I *might* be able to add another foot to my mast, but much beyond that is going to cause technical difficulties, and look ridiculous from the front of the house. I'm having the most difficulty tuning:

12.1 - CBS (12 mi north)
42.1 - PBS (13.5 mi north)
25.1 - ABC (49 mi north)
10.1 - ABC (35 mi south)

I used to be able to get 12 and 25 very consistently, and with a good picture. These days I occasionally am able to tune 25.1 and 12.1 fine, but usually not (or only for the first second before the TV drops out). The system is well grounded, and I'm using a pretty short run of cable from the antenna to the TV (well under 100', probably more like 60 or so). The coax cable is new, and high quality.

Before I go back up on the roof and try turning it in all sorts of directions (which is complicated by the fact that the VGA dipole sits on top of the whole rig, so I need to take it down to adjust, and then put it back up), I was wondering if there were any general suggestions as to how to orient, whether I should use some kind of amplifier, etc., or if there is a "best way" to test without going up to the roof, rotating 1 degree, and then going back to the living room to check all the channels.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

ADTech 18-Jan-2015 3:45 PM

First off, go and re-orient the dipole so its ends face E-W also (and rotate it a bit to split the angular difference)., pretty much the same as the DB4e's elements. It has little to no reception off the ends, its reception is perpendicular to the element as described in the original thread. is useful pretty much for what its name implies. It's not capable of much else so there's no need to post its results. The TVfool plot is what is needed.

You'd be surprised how a what you think is a 'minimal' obstruction can prove to be a MAJOR pita.

Don't be afraid to also try lowering the antenna. "Sweet" spots are never guaranteed to be higher when you're working with near-rooftop elevations. Don't be afraid to pick the whole thing up and move it elsewhere or to have to put the VHF element is a completely different location from the UHF antenna. Incoming RF signals can be cantankerous and generally don't do what we think is going to be convenient.

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