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Yasue 29-Apr-2016 6:44 AM

Have an antenna; can it get even better?
Hello all. I currently have a Mohu Sky that's been pretty good. I have it on the second floor of my home near a window, since the second floor is finished space with kick walls/crawlspace. Due to illness, I put off having it taken outside and mounted above the roof, but may have an installer out to do so in the coming month or two.

For about a year and a half, I was fine with what I had tuned in, but we just had a few new sub channels added to our market that have me hankering for slightly better reception on some channels and one range that just out of reach as it is now. I'd like to think getting outside should do it, but before I get to that point, is there anything else worth a shot aside from getting it higher and out on the roof?

So that makes sense, here's my report:

The house sits on the top of a hill and my antenna is currently facing out a west window. That window has the fewest trees; the south side of my home has many large trees nearby. If you look at the maps that show how the signals wrap around the terrain, it makes sense that I get in stations out of the Campaign/Decatur IL area, since our home seems to sit on the hill facing that way, more so than the Peoria-region stations. Living in the area, I can tell you the line-of-sight is probably better pointing at the Campaign/Decatur area too. Hmm. What else? Oh, my house was built in '24 and has a tar-shingle roof, wood framing, wood siding.

Currently, I get in most of the channels in my report.

-The channels I care most about retaining are PBS and Comet TV (20.2 or 20.3 - forget which). Comet can be a bit iffy if the weather gets even slightly rough. The only PBS I pick up is the 12 range - the 47 station/sub channels won't even show as a weak signal. We had a tornado a couple years ago though and I wonder if they have yet to bring their equipment back up to snuff. I'm fine if I only get 12 and its buddy channels in though.

-Just a few days ago I added a cheap RCA DTA880 converter/DVR and it tipped things in my favor, so I now get in 3.1 and 3.2 pretty reliably. It seems it tipped me in favor of getting 17.1 etc. too. My TV is a newer flat Samsung (3 years old). I'm not well versed in how converters are supposed to work, but I'm assuming it has a tuner card in it that is better than the one in my TV?

-The ONE range of channels/sub channels that presently elude me that I wish I could get is in the 55 range.

-The antenna is allegedly multi-directional, but I'd reckon the orientation will still matter to some degree. If that's the case and it does go on the roof, do I need to have the installer hang out and mess about with turning it while I scan a couple three times?

So...think I should have an installer get it up and out there first and then see if I need more equipment tweaking? Or should I prep in advance with a few other things and see if I really even need it on the roof? I may build a HTPC and have considered a including tuner card and DVR software now that I've seen how well a cheap, off the shelf box helped.

Let me know if there's any other info that might give more or better insight. Cheers and thanks in advance!

StephanieS 3-May-2016 7:54 AM

Greetings Yasue,

Fairly nice report and opportunity at Peoria and Champaign markets. First, how is your location? Trees? A smart choice of antenna with a open direct line at the transmitters will amaze you how stable signals an be. The Mohu Sky is a nice gadget, but often there are better antennas designs to choose from that will serve your reception needs.

Peoria, is trending weak so an antenna that offers flexibility to aim at both markets would be my choice. Thus, an Antennas Direct DB8e is an excellent candidate. Aim one panel to magnetic 310 and the other at 160. You should see all signals down to WRSP 44. WILL PBS on RF 9 might need further attention due to being the only VHF in your main signals.

Overall, it's always advised to mount your antenna outdoors with an open line to as good as possible to the transmitters. Anytime you have an antenna up against the house, in the house or attic, you are asking the antenna to overcome closeness to household interference and noise in addition to obstruction and ghosting.



I've never been a fan of the gimmick antennnas and johnny come lately antenna companies

Winegard and Channelmaster are the BEST in the industry and have been around for decades so I use nothing but

"multi directional" is NOT a desireable trait for ANY antenna since multipath will cause loss of picture and breakup

HIGHLY directional is the best way to go

The Channelmaster CM-4228HD is by far the best long range UHF antenna made
And it performs fairly well on vhf channels 7-13 as well

In the tv antenna biz there is simply no substitute for size so when these gimmick antennas claim 100+ mile range, they are simply carnival hucksters

Yasue 5-May-2016 4:25 AM

Thanks for your replies. I'll have to come back here in a bit. I've come down ill and I'm a bit out of it at the moment. I'll look into both antennas in the meantime. Have any thoughts on the coax I should use or can I reuse the one with the Mohu Sky?

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