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MacHome 6-Nov-2011 2:02 PM

Antenna Selection Help?
Here's my location:

Currently using rabbit ears, get northern stations (WXII, WUNL) very clearly, some multi path problems some days. Clear LOS of site to TX on Sauratown Mtn.

Next nearest desired stations are WFMY, WGHP, SE from here, not much terrain trouble, but distance.

Other desired stations are in Charlotte market, SW from here (WSOC, WBT, WCNC, WJZY). Most near Charlotte, one in Statesville.

I'd prefer a smaller rig without a rotor, because of cost, simplicity, and windage. We're exposed on the north and west, where all the strong weather comes from.

Any suggestions welcome.

Thanks in advance!

GroundUrMast 8-Nov-2011 5:55 AM

All of the stations in the yellow section of your TV Fool report would be with in reach with a 4-bay UHF antenna. (U4000, DB-4, CM4221, HD4400)

One caveat, with the antenna facing 131, you may not see WUNE reliably. (The strong signals from WXII and WUNL can be expected to be picked up through the back face of the antenna.

As you start looking for signals from stations in the red section of your report, you have to start considering a significantly larger antenna and a rotator. The Antennas Direct XG-91 would not be excessive, IMO.

MacHome 8-Nov-2011 3:41 PM

Thanks for the help!

I was considering an RCA 751 on a J-mount mounted at gable eave peak, cable routed through the gable vent, as my cheapest external alternative.

A DB-4 could work in that location, but I'd need a taller J-mount.

I have a central chimney, near the roof ridge line. Strapping a mast to that would gain elevation, but I'd have to penetrate the roof to route the cable.

Any tips about that? There is about 5 feet of chimney exposed on the high side, so I could get the straps about 3-4' apart. What's a good mast length? I imagine the answer would vary depending on the mast material (galv ssh 40 pipe, galv mast sections, alum mast sections).

Also, I'd expect the best way to penetrate the roof with the cable would be with a flashed boot. Any tips on how folks generally handle that?

Thanks again for your help, and for any additional help.

GroundUrMast 8-Nov-2011 8:41 PM

I only see two low-VHF stations on your report, on real channel 3 and 5. The ANT-751 will not have the gain needed to receive those signals so I'd still lean toward a UHF only antenna.

For gable mounting, consider these mounting options:

If you opt to penetrate the roof, I'd suggest 1" or 1.25" conduit, flashing and a weather-head, all of which are available at big box home improvement centers.

MacHome 8-Nov-2011 9:17 PM

Thanks again for the tips. I think I'll opt for the DB-4 you recommended, with a 10' stick on the chimney, and a conduit/weatherhead/boot for the cable through the roof. I'll align by compass, and see what happens.

Thanks for your help!

MacHome 31-Dec-2011 2:20 AM

I've installed a DB4 on a 10' stick strapped to the chimney.
I had a 100' piece of RG59, so I used that to connect the antenna to the set.
Antenna is oriented to 130 MAG.
Got marginal reception on WFMY, WGHP, many dropouts.
Shortened cable by half, reception improved.
WFMY is now pretty solid at 20/100, WGHP shaky at 10/100.
WXII is 70/100, WUNL is 60/100.
I'm guessing that I should change the cable to RG6, and possibly add an inline preamp.
Any suggestions for preamps? I have AC in the attic available for injection.
Any other suggestions?

GroundUrMast 31-Dec-2011 2:53 AM

I'd definitely opt for RG-6 which will have significantly less loss at the mid and upper end of the UHF band compared to RG-59.

Are you aimed into nearby trees or buildings?

Have you panned the antenna left and right to be sure you have the best aim point? And just to be sure, the mast clamp is on the back of the antenna, the 'whisker' shaped elements are the front, closest to the desired station.

If needed, two preamps to consider are the Antennas Direct CPA-19 and the Winegard HDP-269.

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