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Old 6-Jan-2011, 12:25 PM   #1
youngclarkh
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I'm swallowing my pride

I thought I could figure this out on my own but it turns out I need help. So here goes....

I live in Tucson, Arizona at the base of a mountain. Here is my map:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...da325aff295b70

The transmitter I am interested in is the one that is only 9.1 miles away on top of the mountain. I guess I don't have line of site because it comes up in the Yellow zone at '2Edge'. The channels of interest to me are 9, 25, 23, 32, 30. It would seem I could have success with a simple UHF directional.

I have tried a large All Band UHF-VHF-FM antenna that I am pointing at 7 degrees true north. It looks exactly like the one in this link, second from the left on bottom row.

http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing/pointing.html

I still get nothing from the transmitter 9.1 miles away.

Please advise.

Last edited by youngclarkh; 6-Jan-2011 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 6-Jan-2011, 2:26 PM   #2
Tower Guy
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II still get nothing from the transmitter 9.1 miles away.
Do you get none of the signals from 7 degrees, or everything but KGUN?

Two possibilities,

1. Excessive multipath due to the rugged terrain. The solution would be an antenna with more directivity.

2. FM interference from KMXZ and KRQQ. These stations are half the frequency of channel 9 and about 28 db stronger. That's normally not a problem unless you have a preamplifier or distribution amplifier that is overloaded by the strong FM stations. If you have such an amp, replace it with a Winegard AP4700. That amplifier bypasses VHF and amplifies UHF only.
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Old 6-Jan-2011, 3:16 PM   #3
youngclarkh
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I am not using an amplifier so I suspect the multi path due to rugged terrain is more likely the issue. The antenna I am using seems like it has directivity. What specific antenna do you suggest?

The reason I don't use an amplifier is that the transmitter is only 9 miles away. Is that false logic?
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Old 6-Jan-2011, 3:44 PM   #4
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I am not using an amplifier so I suspect the multi path due to rugged terrain is more likely the issue. The antenna I am using seems like it has directivity. What specific antenna do you suggest?

The reason I don't use an amplifier is that the transmitter is only 9 miles away. Is that false logic?
I would not use an amplifier either.

If you're having trouble with the UHF stations from 9.1 miles away the 91XG is the right antenna. You can either tilt the antenna up a few degrees above the top of the ridge (7.4°) to the north of you, or find a spot with clear ground in front of the antenna and lower the antenna to about 3' off the ground. Play with the height and aiming until all the UHF stations are reliable. If you're having trouble with the VHF station, KGUN; either a Y10-7-13 or YA1713 are good choices. The optimum height for the VHF antenna will be about 7'. Use a UVSJ to add the antennas together.

I derived the height recommendations by calculating the angle to the nearest ridge using google maps and trigonometry and then determine the optimum antenna height to steer the beam upwards at the desired angle using EZNEC.
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Old 6-Jan-2011, 4:54 PM   #5
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One more thought, you could try your existing antenna at about 7' high. That's the optimum height for VHF, and the UHF signal would peak on the second lobe at the same height.

Here's one example of how lowering the antenna made a difference.

http://www.hdtvexpert.com/?p=134
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Old 6-Jan-2011, 5:25 PM   #6
youngclarkh
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The 91xg sounds like it is for deep fringe areas requiring great distance. Why would it be appropriate for a tower only 9 miles away?
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Old 6-Jan-2011, 5:44 PM   #7
Tower Guy
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The 91xg sounds like it is for deep fringe areas requiring great distance. Why would it be appropriate for a tower only 9 miles away?
The very narrow beam of the antenna will pick up more signal from the TV station while simultaneously rejecting bounces off the mountains arriving from other directions.

What did analog signals from that location look like before the analog shutdown? I'd assume that there were numerous ghosts. bounces=ghosts=multipath

The other option would be to try for reflected signal instead of a direct signal. For you that would mean aiming at about 80 °.

Last edited by Tower Guy; 6-Jan-2011 at 6:02 PM.
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Old 6-Jan-2011, 6:01 PM   #8
youngclarkh
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You are correct. The analog was awful awful. I have had to use Dish or Directtv over the years. But I really want to not rely on them anymore. I hope this works. Your advise means a lot to me!

I don't know how I can put the antenna only 7' off the ground as i am on the roof, so I will attempt to tilt it just above the top of the first ridge at 7 degrees from true north.

I see I can get the antenna online. I wish I could find it locally so I can return it if it doesn't solve my dilemma.
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Old 6-Jan-2011, 6:23 PM   #9
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You are deeply shadowed by the bulk of the terrain. I've found that TVFool's forecasts tend to be over-optimistic when you're so close to the intervening terrain obstacle.

The 91XG is about the best choice for your location for the UHF stations (relatively) overhead and behind the bulk of a mountain. It probably won't get KGUN's VHF signal, but you never know. Bore-sight the boom of the 91XG at the visual horizon as a starting point.

Also, keep in mind that a number of your local stations operate translators from the other side of Tuscon due to the difficult terrain on the north of the city. You might try re-aiming the U/V combo WSW and re-scanning to see if you can pick them up.
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Old 6-Jan-2011, 8:11 PM   #10
John Candle
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Tv Antennas and Reception

Aim the antenna at the repeater/translators.
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Old 6-Jan-2011, 11:46 PM   #11
youngclarkh
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Good suggestions. I think I will try hitting the repeaters. It looks like it may be possible to get all the channels I am interested in, except for FOX.

An omnidirectional antenna should get the following from there:

04 NBC
13 CBS
16 ABC
28 PBS
44 CW
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Old 7-Jan-2011, 12:08 AM   #12
John Candle
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The thing about omnidirectional antennas is that they Do Not reject multipath / reflected signals , and you are in a Very High multipath situation. Do not use a nondirectional preamp/amplified antenna it will amplify the multipath and make the reception even worse. At receive situations where the transmitters are on top of a mountain , and the receiving antenna is close to the mountain , and the reception is blocked by that same mountain , repeater/translators are often put a distance away so that antennas can receive the main transmitters via~ the repeater/translator. Highly Directional antennas are the best to use in high multipath situations.

Last edited by John Candle; 7-Jan-2011 at 1:12 AM.
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Old 7-Jan-2011, 12:50 AM   #13
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The thing about omnidirectional antennas is that they Do Not reject multipath / reflected signals , and you are in a Very High multipath situation. Do not use a nondirectional preamp/amplified antenna it will amplify the multipath and make the reception even worse. At receive situations where the transmitters are on top of a mountain , and the receiving antenna is close to the mountain , and the reception is blocked by that same mountain , repeter/translators are often put a distance away so that antennas can receive the main transmitters via~ the repeater/translator. Highly Directional antennas are the best to use in high multipath situations.

Well said.
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Old 7-Jan-2011, 12:54 AM   #14
John Candle
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I suggest a Winegard HD7210P Ghost/multipath killer antenna with No preamp , the forward beam width of this antenna is wide and the antenna rejects signals at the sides and back of the antenna. Point the antenna at about 214 magnetic compass about half way inbetween 40 and 44. And turn the antenna to the left and right for the strongest signals of all the channels in those directions. If you are lucky you will get them all , if not then you will need to use 2 antennas.

Last edited by John Candle; 7-Jan-2011 at 1:09 AM.
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Old 7-Jan-2011, 1:29 AM   #15
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Also Ground the coax that goes from the antenna to the inside of the house with a coax grounding block , the electric service ground wire is the best , if not that then use a cold water pipe as the ground , the cold water pipe needs to be real metal that goes into the ground , not plastic. The reason I am making a big point of this is not because of lightning , the point is that your receiving situtation has a lot of multipath and the grounded shield of the coax will direct undesirable signals to ground. Make sure to have good metal to metal electrical contact , and no , paint is not a good conductor.

Last edited by John Candle; 7-Jan-2011 at 7:35 AM.
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Old 7-Jan-2011, 7:26 AM   #16
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The receive location is in the Catalina Foothills or Tanque Verde.
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Old 7-Jan-2011, 2:41 PM   #17
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The receive location is in the Catalina Foothills or Tanque Verde.
You should be able to do better than that. Try the vicinity of 32.284566,-110.734184

Feel free to use the forum's EDIT feature instead of multiple posts one after the other as new thoughts enter your head. Paragraphs and punctuation are also helpful when communicating through the medium of the written (or typed) word.
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Old 7-Jan-2011, 5:57 PM   #18
youngclarkh
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Thanks you John Candle for all the feedback. You saved me from running off and buying an omnidirectional antenna.

The exact location of my receiver is 32.284721 -110.734161

I have now attempted a full 360 degree rotation of the receiver, rescanning the channels every 5 degrees. In doing so I have verified that pointing the antenna directly at the Repeaters (253 degrees True North) gives me the best results, using my current antenna.

I now get the following Real channels: 13, 16, 28, 40, 44

I knew I had no shot at picking up 25 (FOX) because they don't have a presence at the repeater location. The real mystery though is why I can't pickup 4 (NBC). That is very disappointing.

This is the info on the channel 4 transmitter:
K04QP-D 4 (4.1)
NBC
Max ERP: 0.300 kW
Eff. pwr: 0.300 kW
Rx: -49.7 dBm NM: 41.3 dB
Az: 253.1 degree (true)

Perhaps my antenna won't go that low in the VHF range? If this is the case is there something I can add to my antenna to pull in NBC?

Last edited by youngclarkh; 7-Jan-2011 at 6:17 PM.
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Old 7-Jan-2011, 6:28 PM   #19
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Perhaps my antenna won't go that low in the VHF range? If this is the case is there something I can add to my antenna to pull in NBC?
You need a very good antenna to reject multipath, even for the translators. Your antenna is capable of low band reception. I'd guess that the difference is a better F/B ratio on UHF than VHF. Those mountains to the east of you are very close and very tall.


In order to get FOX, I'd still try a 91XG, and then you should get NBC too.
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Old 7-Jan-2011, 7:53 PM   #20
youngclarkh
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You need a very good antenna to reject multipath, even for the translators. Your antenna is capable of low band reception. I'd guess that the difference is a better F/B ratio on UHF than VHF. Those mountains to the east of you are very close and very tall.


In order to get FOX, I'd still try a 91XG, and then you should get NBC too.
First) Are you suggesting a 91XG directed at the translators? If so, how would that get me 25 (FOX) since it doesn't transmit from there?

Second) The 91XG is not supposed to get VHF in a range low enough to pickup channel 4 (NBC).

I'm confused
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