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Old 21-Feb-2013, 3:32 PM   #1
mike0530
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Question Is it even worth trying?

Hi all,

I'm a newbie and really appreciate the chance to get some input from experts.

I'd like to know if it is worth even trying to get over-the-air TV.

I live in Boulder, CO, which is in a valley, and our house is right up against the foothills. They obscure LOS to most TV transmitters, which are on mountain tops closer to Denver. Everyone in the TV business around here I have asked says don't bother with trying. I have not noticed any outdoor antennas on houses in our neighborhood, either.

Here is the signal analysis from TVfool:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...1dda3208aa8f8d

The station I am most interested in getting OTA is, of course, not one of the stronger ones: KRMA-TV, which shows on the analysis as arriving with -79.8dBm signal strength, after 2 edge refractions.

QUESTION 1: what realistic chance do I have of getting satisfactory reception of this signal from a rooftop antenna?

QUESTION 2: if it seems feasible, how to proceed? Where would I find sales and installation help for my situation?

THANK you so much.

--Mike
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Old 21-Feb-2013, 7:49 PM   #2
GroundUrMast
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When one clicks on the KRMA call sign link on your TV Fool report, the path profile appears rather severe. Still, I would be willing to spend some time and money trying. That there are few antennas is not that conclusive... the cable and satellite providers have had 40 years to train people to think they have no other choice that to pay to get TV signals.

So, to answer question 1, My estimate is that your chances are around 40% to 60% that you'll be able to get reliable reception of KRMA. To do so will require a large antenna. My choices (in descending order of preference) would be a Winegard HD9095P, Antennas Direct DB8E (not the older DB8) or an Antennas Direct 91XG. The antenna would need to be pointed southward (165 compass) and may benefit from being tilted to aim at the ridge line of the mountain top on the horizon. To distribute this to several TVs and/or drive a long cable run, use a CPA19 preamp from Antennas Direct.

Re. Q-2, Inquire with and check the references of electricians with low-voltage & home-automation experience, structured cabling installers, home theater system installers & satellite system installers. You would want to do due diligence to confirm their experience, and customer satisfaction... it can be a challenge to find someone with the skill, experience and tools to do the job well.

The remaining signals in your area include some VHF channels, so I would opt for a High-VHF antenna such as the Antennacraft Y10713. I would experiment with it's aim, either northward or to the south. It can be share the same coax down-lead as the UHF antenna, use a UHF/VHF Signal Joiner (UVSJ) between the antennas and the preamp.

If you want to add the stations from the east, you would likely need to build a separate system with an Antennas Direct DB4E facing east. The down-lead would be separate all the way to the TV(s) where you would have at least a couple of options for how to connect. http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=2882

Last edited by GroundUrMast; 21-Feb-2013 at 7:59 PM. Reason: Second & third antennas
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Old 21-Feb-2013, 9:22 PM   #3
mike0530
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Question How about wind?

Thank you, GroundUrMast. You've given me some great info to look into further.

(Just to make it more interesting...) Any sense how your recommended antennas would hold up in winds? We get sustained 40 mph winds several times a year, with gusts up to 75 mph on occassion.

Thanks.
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Old 22-Feb-2013, 12:40 AM   #4
teleview
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K48MN-D Real UHF Digital channel 48 , KBDI.

And K24HQ-D REAL UHF Digital channel 24 , KRMA.

Are showing these as fill in repeater transmitters.

The tvfool radar map and channel list , KBDI is showing LOS = Line Of Sight at 5.9 miles away.
And Rabbitears.info , http://www.rabbitears.info/market.ph...ility_id=22690.
And http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KBDI-TV.

The tvfool radar map and channel list , KRMA is showing LOS = Line Of Sight at 2.5 miles away.
And Rabbitears.info , http://www.rabbitears.info/market.ph...lity_id=167431.

The UHF band channels are 14 thru 51.

I recommend a Channel Master CM4228HD UHF antenna for reception of the 2 PBS's and other receivable UHF channels.
Aim the CM4228HD at about 130 degree magnetic compass direction.

Here is how to aim antennas , http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointinting/pointing.html.

_____________________

Also receivable are VHF high band channels.

The VHF high band channels are , 7 thru 13.

KMGH-TV VHF high band channel 7 ABC.

KUSA-DT VHF high band channel 9 NBC.

Install a Winegard YA1713 VHF high band antenna aimed at about , 163 degree magnetic compass direction.

____________________________________________

Install the YA1713 below and the CM4228HD above on the same mast separated by about 3 feet.

_________________________________

The Tv reception at your location is fairly strong , and Signal Reflections from the surrounding mountains will be Fairly Strong , a signal amplifier will amplify the signal reflections along with the main signal.

I recommend try reception With Out a signal amplifier.

Because the signal reflections will make reception worse when amplified.

_________________________________

The CM4228HD and YA1713 are connected together with a , UVSJ = UHF/VHF Separator/Joiner. Type the letters , uvsj , in the http://www.solidsignal.com , search box.

The CM4228HD is connected to the UHF connection of the UVSJ.

The YA1713 is connected to the VHF connection of the UVSJ.

The remaining connection of the UVSJ is connected to 1 Tv with no splitter.

If 2 Tv's are connected use a HFS-2D , 2 way splitter.

For 3 Tv's connected use a , HFS-3D , 3 way splitter.

Buy the HFS splitters at , http://www.solidsignal.com , http://www.hollandelectronics.com.

___________________________________________

Some antenna aiming adjustments Will most likely be required.

Most Digital Tv's have a signal strength meter and some Digital Tv's have a signal quality meter.

________________

Here are some above the Roof antenna mounts.

http://www.ronard.com/909911.html , if using the tripod antenna mount use the 5 foot antenna mount.

http://www.ronard.com/34424560.html , if using the eave antenna mount use the #4560.

http://www.ronard.com/ychim.html.

http://www.ronard.com.

By the ronard antenna mounts at solidsignal by typing the word ronard in the solidsignal search box or buy from ronard.

Here are some places to buy antennas and etc. , http://www.solidsignal.com , http://www.amazon.com , http://www.winegarddirect.com , http://www.channelmasterstore.com.

____________

As always , trees and tree leaves do a good job of , reflecting , absorbing , blocking , Digital Tv reception and so do buildings and other obstructions including your own roof and house.

Install the CM4228HD and YA1713 antennas at a location that has the least amount to no amount of any type or kind of obstructions in the directions of reception including you own roof and house.

At your location the directions of reception are , south , south east , east , north east , north.

Last edited by teleview; 22-Feb-2013 at 5:19 PM.
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Old 22-Feb-2013, 7:01 AM   #5
GroundUrMast
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Thanks teleview, for looking up/catching the translator information. That makes the situation much easier.

An 8-bay panel antenna such as the CM-4228 or DB8E will certainly present less wind area than a long boom Yagi antenna.

Regardless, a properly installed tripod and mast will be able to carry even the larger antennas.
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Old 1-Mar-2013, 4:58 PM   #6
mike0530
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Question Multiple UHF antennas, or rotator?

Thank you 'teleview' for the thorough and detailed info. Very interesting. Your info about the repeater for KRMA was especially helpful.

To make the OTA approach worth it, I'd need to be able to get not just PBS (KRMA not the other PBS one) but also ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. That means both UHF and VHS antennas. All of these stations are at bearing 163 mag, though KRMA also offers the repeater you found at a different bearing, 120 mag.

Anyway, I am concluding I would do things as follows:
1. Buy both UHF and VHF antennas and aim them at 163 magnetic.
2. If I don't at least get ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox OK, stop and give up on OTA.
3. If I get these OK and also KRMA, I can go the OTA route, cancelling cable. This is SUCCESS!
4. If I get the other stations at 163 mag but not KRMA, try pointing the UHF at the repeater at 120 mag. If that works, I know I can get the signals I need, so have the potential for success.

Is that correct thinking?

If I need to point at 120 for only the one station, what is the best way to do that? Do I need 2 UHF antennas? How to couple? I fear an antenna rotator would defeat DVR usage, since I wouldn't know how to have a DVR tell the rotator where to point.

Finally, you caution about trees. Well (naturally, another complication) there are neighborhood trees on those bearings. Should I wait till summer when the leaves are on the trees to try all this out?

Thank you so much! You guys are great.

--Mike
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Old 1-Mar-2013, 7:07 PM   #7
teleview
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No requirement to wait until summer. Install the antennas now.

Install the antennas above the roof.

The caution about the trees is because Very Often , question askers will aim a antenna Directly into a close tree or trees even though it is real easy to install the antenna on the roof were there are no trees blocking reception.

It seems that some question asker 'do not really want to receive' Free Tv. So they aim the antenna into the biggest tree they can find.

The PBS repeater stations are Strong Signal Strength and will be received.

According to the tvfool radar plot report and channel list , there should be no major reception problems.

As always , the starting antenna aim direction is the --> starting antenna aim direction.

The antenna aim direction can be adjusted for best reception.

Most Digital Tv's have a signal strength meter and some Digital Tv's also have a signal quality meter.
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Old 6-Mar-2013, 7:52 PM   #8
mike0530
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Thanks

Thanks so much for all the good info and the encouragement. I have a project for the spring!
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