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samve33 22-Apr-2012 4:17 PM

Trying to figure out my best options
I've been taking a crash course on antennas for the last couple of days and I THINK I've got a decent understanding now.
About 3 months ago I kicked cable to the curb and put up an antenna and use services such as Netflix. Overall I've been satisfied with this set-up.
About a month ago channel 2 WSB out of Atlanta started giving alot of problems. Other channels gave problems too. After several days of checking the antenna it dawned on me that the trouble started about the time the leaves popped out on the trees. So after clearing some trees I was able to make a good deal of improvement, but channel 2 still gave problems. I finally moved the antenna around and was able to get 2 very well with an improvement in channel 11WXIA out of Atlanta also. The problem is I lost other channels.
I'm using an Antennacraft HBU55 on a 20 foot pole and rotor and a hunk of junk radio shack preamp. I'm looking at a cm-7777 now.
If i tried to raise the antenna any futher I lose channel 2. I tried 5 more feet.
2 is a must have channel with channel 3 WRCB out of Chattanooga being second.
I would like to get those lost channels back and hopefully some other channels that I believe I should be able to. Get such as channel 5 WAGA out of Atlanta.
I see several options. First, a better preamp. The others being different antenna arangements.I'm thinking about a second HBU55 on the same mast located back in the old location. Or how about another HBU55 mounted fixed on a 20 foot mast in the present location and move the present antenna with rotor back to the old location and raise it 5 to 10 feet. Other channels did come in better 5 feet up. Got any other sujestions? I appreciate your help.

Electron 22-Apr-2012 6:43 PM

Tv antennas and Tv reception
During and after the switch from Analog to Digital Tv transmission in 2009 many Tv stations are now transmitting on a different Tv channel.

There are now REAL Tv channels and Virtual Tv channels.
WSB and WRCB are examples and not the only examples there Many more Tv stations that are transmitting a different channel then Virtual channel.

WSB was transmitting on Analog VHF low band channel 2 and is Now transmitting on UHF channel 14.

WRCB was transmitting on VHF low band channel 3 and is now transmitting on VHF high band channel 13.

Many Tv stations kept there old Legacy analog channel number (now the virtual number).

The main reason is , Channel Branding.
WSB is known as the number 2 so the Tv station keeps the number 2 even though the station is actual transmitting on UHF channel 14.

Tv Antennas are selected by the REAL channel that is being transmitted and received , not the Virtual channel number. The tv fool radar report shows both the REAL channels and Virtual channels.

GroundUrMast 22-Apr-2012 7:03 PM

Reliable reception of the Atlanta stations will require even more antenna than the HBU-55.

Looking at WSB, real channel 39, the predicted signal in the air is 11.0 dB below the strength needed for reception with a 'standard' dipole connected directly to the tuner. The HBU-55 has a published gain of about 9 dBd in the UHF band, so you are theoretically 2 dB short. An Antennas Direct 91XG has published gain of 15.57 dBi (13.42 dBd) at 622 MHz which is within CH 39. On paper, this begins to put you in positive territory. {11.0 dB NM} + {13.4 dBd antenna gain} = 2.4 dB net Noise Margin at the antenna output.

I would want to give you a solution that provides at least 10 dB net NM at the antenna output, 15 dB net NM is not over-kill IMO. That means that you may have to consider a tall tower to put the antenna at an elevation with more available signal.

Then, to receive high-VHF signals, (real CH-7 through CH-13), you'd need a high-VHF antenna such as the Antennacraft Y10713 or Winegard YA1713.

The CM7777 is a good fringe area preamp. The Antennas Direct PA-18 is in the same class and has better noise performance.

Bottom line, You can improve your situation, but you need to take what some may consider 'extreme measures'. You are up against curvature of the earth, hills and vegetation all of which block your view of the transmitters in Atlanta.

Electron 22-Apr-2012 7:05 PM

Tv antennas and Tv reception
That said , the real channels at your location are located in the channel ranges of VHF high band 7 thru 13 and UHF 14 thru 69.

Most of the REAL digital Tv stations/channels are Very Weak at your location.

Install a Winegard HD7698P antenna with a Winegard AP8275 preamp aimed at about 355 degree magnetic compass.

Here is how to aim antennas ,

Mount the HD7698P antenna above the roof.
Here are some Strong and Sturdy antenna mounts. , , ,
Buy the ronard antenna mounts at solidsignal by typing the word ronard in the solidsignal search box or buy from ronard.

Here are places to buy antennas and etc. , , ,

The HD7698P is a Long Rang Maximum Reach All In One Antenna , and the AP8275 preamp has gain and noise figures that match the CM7777 and PA-19.

GroundUrMast 22-Apr-2012 7:13 PM

I agree with @Electron, the Chattanooga stations should be easier to receive reliably.

Have you tried aiming your HBU-55 in that direction?

Electron 22-Apr-2012 7:52 PM

Tv antennas and Tv reception
What direction is the HBU55 aimed , north or south??

Aim the HBU55 antenna at about 335 degree magnetic compass (north).

I am doing my best to get you the tv stations with out installing 2 antennas or a antenna rotor.

WSB-Tv 14 ABC that shows as virtual channel 2 on the tv screen is located at 217 degree and WPXA-DT 51 ION that shows as virtual channel 14 on the tv screen is located at 98 degree magnetic compass.

To improve reception of ABC and ION , remove the UHF reflectors that are shaped like this >.
The vee shaped reflectors. Or adjust the reflectors so the reflectors are straight up and down like is | .

This will get the reflectors out of the way so more of the signal of the ABC and ION tv stations can be received at the side and back/angle to the antenna.

To prove out the reception. Connect a known to be good matching transformer (balun) to the HBU55 and connect a known to be good coax to the balun and run the coax through a open door or window direct to one tv.
No splitters and preferably no coax couplers. Remove ALL of the amplifier , the out side part the inside part and any or all other parts of the amplifier and power supply of the amplifier.

With the HBU55 a known to be good balun and a know to be good coax direct to the tv. What is the reception like now??

samve33 22-Apr-2012 8:32 PM

The antenna is on a rotor and Chattanoga DOES come in much better than Atlanta.
I'm happy with the signal from WSB right now. It's 70% to 75% . I would be happy to mount the HBU55 fixed in it's present location for WSB and go with a different one in the old location. If I used the one you segest, could I combine the signal with the HBU55? I hate to chunk a new antenna.
I may have a deal on a 7777. Won't know until tomorrow. If that falls through then I'll go with one of the others.
All the channels I lost by moving the antenna was in the UHF band.
Thank you very much for your quick responses.

Electron 22-Apr-2012 8:39 PM

Tv antennas and Tv reception
Make the recommended adjustments with the HBU55 and test hook up connections. And report here with the reception. WFLI-DT 42 The CW is very weak , how is the reception of WFLI ??

The 2 antennas HBU55 and HD7698P can not be connected together on to one coax. The rotor you have can be used to 'fine tune' the reception.

Do the test adjustments to the HBU55 UHF reflector and balun and coax and one tv and retun with a report.

samve33 22-Apr-2012 9:00 PM

I found the HD7698P for $61. I'm willing to give that a shot. The question now is location and height. With this antenna I wonder if I can go back to the old location where the other channels are stronger AND raise it 5 to 10 feet without losing WSB again. Let me know if you think I should jump on the HD7698p and I'll order now.

samve33 22-Apr-2012 9:22 PM

How about this option? If I go with the HD7698P and use the rotor and the 7777 or similar, then I'll have a leftover antenna and preamp which is working fine where it's at for WSB. If I use the new setup to maximize my other channels and disregard WSB and WSB does not come in well I guess I could put the HBU55 back in it's present location and run the two antennas to an A/B switch. What you think?

samve33 22-Apr-2012 10:20 PM

My mistake. That was a hd7695P for $61, not the hd7698. I shopped around and found it for $115 with shipping. Still in the doable range. If you think it's worth it, I'll go for it.

Electron 22-Apr-2012 10:42 PM

Tv antennas and Tv reception
Using the tvfool radar report Pending Applications Included of Digital Tv Stations/channels. For two antennas , one on a rotor and one in a fixed position.

I would do it this way. Mount the HD7698P antenna with the Winegard AP8275 preamp in a fixed position aimed at about 355 degree magnetic compass for the for sure reception of the Tv stations from the north/west , north , north/east.

And put the HBU55 on the rotor for the reception of WSB-TV 14 ABC and WPXA-DT 51 ION if not received by the HD7698P (I think WSB and WPXA will be received by the HD7698P). And the HBU55 can rotate to receive WTJP-TV 26 Trinity Broadcasting Network (there is also another TBN to the north that will be received by the HD7698P WELF-TV 16 TBN) . , WCIQ 7 PBS , WXIA-DT 10 NBC , WGTV-DT 8 PBS , WATC-DT 41 IND.
Here is a Remote Control A/B antenna switch Radio Shack # 15-1968 .

Electron 22-Apr-2012 10:48 PM

Tv antennas and Tv reception
Aiming the HBU55 inbetween REAL channels 26 , 14 , 7 , will get those 3 and aiming the HBU55 at REAL channel 8 will get REAL channels 10 and 41. This what is on 41

samve33 22-Apr-2012 11:08 PM

I'll get the HB7698P on order right away. Prehaps the wind will have died down by the time it gets here. Let me give you a list of the channels I have now. 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 17 is now weak, 18, 21, 23, 60 is now weak. I lost 46, 53, 61, 63, and 69. I think this is all the channels I've got now or had.

samve33 23-Apr-2012 12:38 AM

One other thing, which antenna gets the good preamp or should I chunk the Radio Shack and get 2 good preamps?

Electron 23-Apr-2012 3:01 AM

Tv antennas and Tv reception
If it were me I would put the radio shack amp in the trash. However it is your choice not mine.

samve33 23-Apr-2012 3:43 AM

Good enough. It looks like it'll be 2 AP 8275 amps since the bid I had going on the 7777 got to be more than I could get the 8275 for. I'll get everything ordered up and give you a shout back when all is in place. This week I hope. Any mods to the new antenna or anything else I need to do before I put it up? Thank y'all very much for all the help and I'll contact you again soon with the results.

samve33 27-Apr-2012 11:45 AM

Everything is here except the antenna. It's expected to come in today and hopefully I can jump on this tomorrow. Let me ask you this. Since I'll have 2 preamps the same with 2 coaxs coming to the tv, could I combine the 2 antennas after the preamps on the inside and not use the A/B switch?

signals unlimited 27-Apr-2012 12:58 PM

Combinding antennas that are aimed in different directions in the same band will always have a negetive effect on some of the channels. To get the best results from your investment and all of your hard work, use the A/B switch.

Electron 27-Apr-2012 4:50 PM

Tv antennas and Tv reception
The answer of combining antennas for your reception situation is one single word , NO .

Antennas can be combined in the same direction to increase gain.
Antennas can be combined such as Separate UHF and VHF antennas using UVSJ.
Separate antennas can be combined such as VHF low band and VHF high band using a LHSJ. However for your reception the one word answer is , NO .

Yes you can connect the antennas you have together with out the amplifiers to prove a point , use a splitter in reverse.

samve33 27-Apr-2012 11:00 PM

Got the hint, USE the A/B switch. The antenna came in today and I was going to put it together, but the rain vetoed that. The wind finally died down, so weather premitting I'll have plenty to do tomorrow and hopefully let you know something tomorrow evening. Anything else you can think of?

samve33 28-Apr-2012 12:53 PM

Let me ask you this, the picture for the 98P shows the short boom at the top. I thought it was suppose to be on the bottom. Does this make any difference? Should I put the short one on the 55 at the top too?

No static at all 28-Apr-2012 2:03 PM

The short boom of the 7698 goes on top. Otherwise it will be in the way of the snap on cartridge the coax connects to on the bottom.

The HBU-55 support boom should stay as is on the bottom.

samve33 28-Apr-2012 2:34 PM

I seen that as I was putting the 98P together. I just wasn't sure if I had it right on the 55. I wasn't sure if that short boom had any effect on signal or support as to where it was mounted. I suspect is for support and has little if any effect on signal.

No static at all 28-Apr-2012 3:41 PM

Correct, the boom keeps the antenna sturdy & prevents sagging.

samve33 28-Apr-2012 5:07 PM

So far I've been disappointd with my test runs. I've seen no improvement over the HBU55 and the radio shack preamp. Seems to be about the same. I'm slightly lower because I'm doing these test without the rotor in place. I did catch WSB off the side one time but I lost it and haven't been able to get it back. I was at 335 then. Was only about 40%. About to try it 10 foot higher.

No static at all 28-Apr-2012 5:22 PM

Are both antennas on the same mast? If so, how much vertical separation?

samve33 28-Apr-2012 5:38 PM

As of now I'm only dealing with the 98P. THAT 10 foot made a world of difference. The very best I had been able to do was75%, I'm at 86% now. Before I was 20 feet. At 25 feet I lost WSB altogether. I'm at 30 feet now. Must had got over something.

samve33 28-Apr-2012 5:46 PM

I do plan to put the 55 on the same mast. How far would be good? Think I'll try to add that 5 foot section also. It getting a little hairy doing this bymyself and the wind has picked up.

No static at all 28-Apr-2012 5:52 PM


Originally Posted by samve33 (Post 23731)
How far would be good?

4 feet of vertical separation with those 2 antennas would be my recommendation. You can then fine tune vertical height once both are installed for overall best performance.

I have found just a few inches can make a substantial difference with UHF frequencies.

samve33 29-Apr-2012 12:00 AM

This has been interesting. I ended up having to get some help. Kinda figuered it would be too much for me when I got everything mounted. Still ended up with a sexy looking mast, got a little curve to it. I've got the HBU55 on top as sugested and the 98P mounted 5 or 6 feet below. I'm going to try to go another foot or two up when I get the other ladder on the roof. At the moment the 98P is not connected or aimed. I'll go in the attic in the morning when it's cooler to run the coax. From what I'm seeing so far I think I did better when I was testing the 98P on the 30 foot mast. The HBU55 is at about 32 feet right now. I was able to get WAGA on the 98P at 30 feet, so far I've been unable to get it with the HBU55. Think I should put the 98P at the top?

Electron 29-Apr-2012 12:15 AM

Tv antennas and Tv reception
The plan is/was to have the HD7698P antenna aimed at the north group of stations and the HBU55 rotate to look to the south west and south east. The antennas can be put on different mounts. You install the antennas the way you think is best.

samve33 29-Apr-2012 12:36 AM

That should work best really. I already know WSB won't come in at the height the 98P is/will be at, so north would be better for it. Got a great signal on WSB at 86% on the HBU55 right now. Got my lost stations back plus some. Haven't checked north much yet. I've got the 98P pointed in the general direction but it's not zeroed and didn't pick up much when I tested. Now I've got to play with the tv and rotor and see what all I've got. Let you know soon.

samve33 29-Apr-2012 1:24 AM

Well, it's looking more and more as if the plan is going to be the way to go. The extra height has greatly helped me on the Atlanta stations, but it's hurt the weaker chattanooga stations. Right now the 98p is at about the height they came in better. I really would like to get good signal on channel 61 since tha will be my FOX station. I think the 98P can do that the best. Guess I wanted my cake and to eat it too. Hard to get all the stations guess I better take what I can get.

Electron 29-Apr-2012 2:38 AM

Tv antennas and Tv reception
Fox Virtual channel 61 is REAL UHF channel 40 and is in the gray reception zone and is Very Weak at minus -11.0 NM(dB).

Concentrate on receiving the Digital Tv stations of the Pending Applications Included in the , green , yellow and red reception zones , Reliably , and then go after the stations in the gray reception zone.

samve33 29-Apr-2012 1:05 PM

These radio waves are some strange critters. I was expecting the signals to be much better this morning and Atlanta is coming in very strong. Even got WAGA at 77%, but Chattanooga is a flop this morning. WRCB has always been one of my strongest stations, didn''t think I could hurt it, but it's not really watchable this morning. Came in fine last night. I believe once I get that lower antenna going they'll be ok. I did get several more Atlanta stations programmed in. This set-up is much better than what I had.I hope I can get 5 or 61 to be reliabe since those are my two FOX choices.

No static at all 29-Apr-2012 1:58 PM

Enhanced tropo activity is likely responsible for some of the inconsistent reception you are seeing.

samve33 29-Apr-2012 3:10 PM

Inconsistant is the key word. I had some glowing numbers on WSB and suddenly it' dropped to 15%. Wonder if something else has went wrong. I tried that link you gave me, but it said not found.

No static at all 29-Apr-2012 3:13 PM

Type in "Tropospheric Ducting Forecasts" in your search box & you should be able to locate the website.

Electron 29-Apr-2012 4:27 PM

Tv antennas and Tv reception
.We can do this step by step that way you are not going 60 directions at the same time.


The plan is/was to have the HD7698P antenna NOT Mounted on the rotor and aimed at about 355 degree magnetic compass to receive WKSY IND. to the north west , WNGH PBS to the north east and the Tv stations/channels in between WKSY and WNBH .

QUESTION NUMBER ONE --> are the Tv stations/channels being received and what Tv stations/channels are being received reliably .

QUESTION NUMBER TWO --> And also any Tv stations/channels being received reliably that are outside of the spread of Tv stations from WKSY to WNGH with the HD7698P ??

With the HBU55 out of the way you can raise and lower and turn the HD7698P antenna to to the left and right find the best one mounting position for reception day and night.

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