Large Directional Antenna with Pre-Amp
This is a discussion on Large Directional Antenna with Pre-Amp within the DTV | HDTV Reception and Antenna Discussion forums, part of the Over-the-Air (Antenna TV) category.
DTVUSA Jr. Member
I went to antennaweb.org and entered my address. I live in Quincy, Massachusetts, and there is a tall water tower not far from my house. Antenneweb.org said I need a "large directional antenna with pre-amp" to view the channels I want to receive (in the violet sector).
I'm having a terrible time finding the right antenna to buy. ConsumerReports.org doesn't rate antennas, and I've searched the Internet for days with no luck.
Has anyone had to buy this type of antenna? If so, can you please give me some help? I have no clue.
Is your zip 02170 and are you trying to pick up ch. 64 out of Providence? A db8 uhf antenna might do the job but a vhf antenna rated for the blue zone would be best since your area has several digital channels on vhf frequencies. Ch. 64 is actually using ch. 12 to broadcast it's signal btw.
You'll also want a quality uhf antenna for everything on the higher (uhf) frequencies, then combine the two antennas with a cm7777 preamp. Two of the best uhf antennas are the 91XG and the db 8. SummitSource.com seems to have the best prices on antennas and the cm7777 preamp but I don't think they sell the 91XG model.
One more thing, I don't believe there are any antennas rated for the violet zone. To achieve that you take a blue zone antenna and add a good preamp to achieve the violet rating.
Avatar is the cover art from The Ghost Busters DVD
see deep fringe prescription thread solid signal sells the 91-xg by far the highest gain UHF
Are any of the channels VHF or are they mostly UHF?
Violet Sector channels are pretty tough and I mostly see the Channel Master 4228 8 bay recommended at a good mounting height, and a preamp is a must with a Winegard AP 8275 or Channel Master Titan 777.
DTVUSA Jr. Member
Sorry I'm so late responding. Had a torn meniscus on my right knee that I had to get fixed.
I'm on Churchill Road in Quincy, MA, zip 02169, and there is a large water tower nearby. I want to pick up the UHF PBS channel 44, UHF CW channel 56, and UHF IND channel 38. These are channels I watch regularly, and they all fall into the violet section. Even without the water tower these channels are still in violet. Thus, according to AntennaWeb.org I need the "large directional with pre-amp" antenna.
Thanks for all your suggestions, and I will research every one. Truth be told I want the easiest to install, and from what I've been reading a large directional with pre-amp is not easy (I'll be doing this myself).
Thanks again, and if you have any other suggestions please post them.
From your address you are not in a weak zone at all, unless you are trying for stations way out of town.
Originally Posted by RaRaLew
Here is the TVFool plot I found down to the road level
Unless Churchill Road is very long , this plot says you would probably use rabbit ears to pick up the Boston station.
Do you live between Furnace Brook Golf Course and the North Commons? If so then the plot above is correct. I looked up the road on Google Maps then plotted the Lat/Long and got the same TVFool plot as above.
Post transition you will have one VHF station, which is NBC WHDH on RF channel 7 back where they were before they temp were on UHF for DTV.
Even at 10 miles and them running 29.KW, unless you live in a metal building, like a trailer or metal walls, I would think even rabbit ears would pick this up.
Now if you want a more stable signal without the rabbit ears getting bumped and having to adjust them, you could put up a small outside antenna.
With the levels on the chart above you should never run an amp, it will overload with strong signals.
AntennaCraft HBU22 22 Element High-Band VHF UHF Outdoor HDTV Antenna (HBU22) | HBU22 [AntennaCraft]
Winegard HD-1080 2-Bay Bowtie UHF and High Band VHF Antenna (HD-1080) | HD-1080 [Winegard]
Channel Master CM2016 HDTV VHF High Band and UHF Antenna (CM2016) | CM2016 [Channel Master]
I didn't put them in order because a lot of things determine which to buy.
The HBU22 is the best antenna overall in the group, but requires pole mount unless you can get a j-pole above the roof line. But it can go in the attic nicely at your distance
The CM2016 has the best UHF gain, but is in the middle on VHF, but it can be j-pole mounted to a wall at your distance
The HD1080 is the weakest, but smallest most compact. It has poor VHF, but your VHF is strong where you live. It's UHF is enough also for Boston stations.
If you mount on a j-pole or a short mast below your roof line, you need to be on the west side of your house, and from the map that seems possible.
If I see the water tower, it's south of you? If that is it, then your mulitpath problems or blockage should not be bad, as it's off the side of any antenna you mount.
Any reflection off that tower might effect you the most on the HD1080, so you might want to drop that idea.
And if you only want Boston stations, then you don't need a rotor either, as they are all just a little north of west of your street.
If you need suggestions on how to mount it please chime back in, or tell us if any of the suggestions worked.
Hope your injury is better now also.
What's odd is if you put the same zip in Antennaweb.org it shows all the channels being in the red, blue, and violet zones even thou a lot of the stations are only 12 miles away.
What could cause such a huge discrepancy with the two sites results?
Avatar is the cover art from The Ghost Busters DVD
Because Andy Lee looks at his site and fixes things that are wrong in the FCC data base to match reality if someone tells him. Antennaweb.org they paid someone then that person walked off to the next webmaster job.
Originally Posted by Tim58hsv
I put the towers lat and long into Google Maps because I thought, why is one so far off. TVFool has the correct results as I actually did the plots myself on Google maps.
UHF 91-xg VHF wineguard ya-1713
Removed by Author. Did not relate to thread.
Last edited by Piggie; 05-26-2009 at 06:27 AM.
DTVUSA Jr. Member
I probably should have mentioned this before, but I don't have, nor do I intend to have cable or satellite TV. I use a converter box (TIVAX STB-8) and need a VHF/UHF antenna.
I live only 8 miles south of Boston, so I don't know why AntennaWeb.org told me I need the "Large Directional Pre-Amp Antenna". It doesn't make sense. Maybe I'm reading it wrong? I used my full address including my 9-digit postal code. I answered "No" to the following:
"Are there any buildings, steeples, towers, or other structures taller than four stories within four blocks of your location, airports within two miles of your location, and/or many nearby trees over 30 feet tall?"
I cut and pasted below "Show All Stations" from AntennaWeb.org.
red - vhf WGBH 2 PBS BOSTON, MA 305° 11.7 2
red - vhf WBZ 4 CBS BOSTON, MA 305° 11.7 4
red - vhf WCVB 5 ABC BOSTON, MA 305° 11.7 5
red - vhf WHDH 7 NBC BOSTON, MA 307° 10.8 7
* red - vhf WHDH-DT 7.1 NBC BOSTON, MA Jun 12, 2009 (post-transition) 307° 10.8 7
* blue - uhf WBPX-DT 68.1 ION BOSTON, MA 304° 10.7 32
* blue - uhf WCVB-DT 5.1 ABC BOSTON, MA 305° 11.7 20
* blue - uhf WBZ-DT 4.1 CBS BOSTON, MA 305° 11.7 30
* blue - uhf WFXT-DT 25.1 FOX BOSTON, MA Jun 12, 2009 (post-transition) 304° 10.7 31
blue - uhf WLVI 56 CW CAMBRIDGE, MA 305° 10.7 56
* blue - uhf WMFP-DT 62.1 SAH LAWRENCE, MA 306° 11.0 18
blue - uhf WSBK 38 IND BOSTON, MA 305° 10.7 38
* blue - uhf WBZ-DT 4.1 CBS BOSTON, MA Jun 12, 2009 (post-transition) 305° 11.7 30
* blue - uhf WGBH-DT 2.1 PBS BOSTON, MA 305° 11.7 19
blue - uhf WFXT 25 FOX BOSTON, MA 305° 10.7 25
violet - uhf WTMU-LP 32 TEL BOSTON, MA 350° 7.3 32
* violet - uhf WHDN-DT 26.1 IND BOSTON, MA 1° 7.6 26
* violet - uhf WLVI-DT 56.1 CW CAMBRIDGE, MA 305° 10.7 41
* violet - uhf WSBK-DT 38.1 IND BOSTON, MA 305° 11.7 39
* violet - uhf WGBX-DT 44.1 PBS BOSTON, MA 305° 11.7 43
violet - uhf WFXZ-CA 24 BOX BOSTON, MA 306° 11.0 24
* violet - uhf WHDH-DT 7.1 NBC BOSTON, MA 308° 10.8 42
These are the three stations I watch/watched regularly:
WLVI-DT 56.1 CW CAMBRIDGE, MA 305° 10.7 41
WSBK-DT 38.1 IND BOSTON, MA 305° 11.7 39
WGBX-DT 44.1 PBS BOSTON, MA 305° 11.7 43 (already lost this one even with converter box)
To get these 3 channels in the violet zone AntennaWeb.org says...
"You need a Large Directional Antenna.
These large, multi-element rooftop antennas are used in weak signal areas for maximum possible TV reception. These antennas can be used in ANY LOCATION, but require an amplifier and roof mounting to receive blue and purple channels. Amplifiers are not recommended for yellow channels."
It also showed "Large Directional w/pre-amp" in the violet area of the diagram.
I tried TVFool.com using my street address with 9-digit postal code. Here is the link for my TV Signal Analysis Results from TVFool when I asked for "Post-Transition - All Channels":[/I]
It looks like it tells a different story. Maybe it's the "Post-Transition" factor in TVFool?
Sorry for sending you all this info, but I don't know what to exclude. If it turns out I just can't interpret the info correctly I apologize profusely.
Thank you so much,
good to see someone else in the boston market! welcome to the forum.
Stephanie, first my pleasure. Antennas have been my hobby and sold and installed them (not TV antennas but commercial 2way) about my whole life from first 41 meter shortwave long wire when I was a kid.
Originally Posted by RaRaLew
Antennaweb.org is wrong. Look at it this way. Its commercial, and very conservative to sell more antennas. They paid someone to set up the site, that ties into the FCC database which is not some much full of errors but they have trouble keeping it up to date. They paid someone a few years ago to built the site, and it just sits there and runs without input unless the FCC database changes. It was also built before a lot of stations were on the air reception issues learned.
TVFool.com is run by Andy Lee. He hangs out in his own "Official TVFool Thread" at AVS forum. Official TV Fool forum - AVS Forum He goes by andy.s.lee over there. He takes input from members if they find something wrong and he does his best to fix it. So though not perfect, it is a living breathing project run by a living breathing human and with updates as he has time. You can read a lot about TVFool in the above thread. You can report errors in that thread. That should be enough said why TVFool.com hands down wins.
On another aside he also have FMFool.com with it you can tell if yo need an FM trap on your system to watch CH 7-13. If you live within 5 miles of an FM station, you probably need the trap. You have a low power FM right in the neighborhood but it's very low power. Also WGBH-FM is actually in Quincy, not Boston. I think and hope for you, that WHDH on RF CH 7 is so strong you won't need an FM Trap.
Your three favorite stations are all actually on UHF and will stay UHF post transition.
WLVI-DT RF41 (means it's really on CH41 though the dial reads 56)
Since all of your stations are in one direction, strong (to an outdoor or attic antenna) the best thing to do is put up an VHF/UHF antenna so you can watch NBC if you want. You won't save any money excluding VHF from the system.
You don't need a rotor, you don't even want to think about a pre-amp. A good antenna outside would drive 4 TVs with splitters.
Now is just depends on what type of mounting you want to do, could determine which antenna to choose. And do you need to feed more than one TV.
Do you want to put the antenna:
2) Pole mounted to the side of the house
3) J-pole mount bolted to the side of your house.
A J-pole is the same thing you see satelittle dishes mounted on the sides of house. If you use an outdoor j-pole, it would need to be on the west side of the house. If you are close to the neighbors house, the pole below might be better.
Pole mounted to the house means one that goes from the ground, up bolted to the side of the house then above it for the antenna.
Attic means literally in the attic. It can be hung with sting from the rafters or a short pole (like a short j-pole) can be mounted to the bottom boards.
Think about your mounting options now and then we can move to the next step.
What part of town do you live in and what antenna do you use?
Originally Posted by staticMHZ
use the antenna craft U8000 place it on the outside of the house it will have the the broadest range you need no pre amp. place it about 25 ft in air or more, it will also pick up HIgh Vhf so it will get some of the high VHF as well. point it to 290 degrees and see what happens, solidsignal.com has the antenna. there is no assembly with this 8 bay that's one reason why I like it.
Last edited by cowboyup4christ; 05-25-2009 at 11:59 AM.
yes but they have to be 8 ft apart on the mast.
Originally Posted by Piggie
but a Antenna craft U 8000 would get the UHF and the High VHF it does for me.
Removed by Author. Does not relate to thread.
Last edited by Piggie; 05-26-2009 at 06:28 AM.
No i just replyed to them I accidentally hit edit one time but caught the mistake and didn't save it
I lost track of what you meant. Which antennas should be 8 ft apart?
Originally Posted by cowboyup4christ
the two YA-1713 should be 8ft apart from most people I know that stack these antennas you can also gang them side by side.