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  1. #1

    Default Need a VHF expert

    So I thought from my location I could get nothing. to my amazement I can get a pretty decent signal 105 miles away from Santa Cruz. watching shows consistently without a preamp from a client that loaned it to me. This antenna tested on http://dennysantennaservice.com/ez_hd_tv_Antenna.html . Ironically I got a bow tie I made with a little longer then normal length elements that works better little better then antennae link above. Trick is I would like to find an antenna with a little more vhf gain then the antennea in link as UHF does nothing for me. I need to keep it to that size or smaller though for where I rent. channel currently VHF8 but will be transitioning

    http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e6a46543761631

    one to look at their is KSBW which is currently 8 and is suppose to move up to 9 (I recall right.), but is planned to stay in the VHF range. Odd part the FCC site shows me having a better chance with that channel then any of the others which is what i'm finding.

    So I figure sense last couple weeks I can get it about 90% of time perfectly clear with antennae example above. I was hoping someone would know of an antenna with just VHF gain add a preamp and I should get a decent signal for ABC and NBC that way.

    Thanks, for your time reading this.

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  2. #2
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    Zephar,

    Your antenna survey is resolved at 5 feet above ground level (by default) but its obvious you are lucky to receive anything! I suggest you build a cut-to-channel 9 Yagi antenna like the one I built for myself out of scrap antenna parts. Its in my album here:
    https://www.dtvusaforum.com/album.php?albumid=70

    This is a 7-element Yagi providing 9.8 dBd estimated signal gain, but you can design and build yours with more elements (more gain) or fewer elements (less gain). As you can see from the photo below, its not very big @ 77" length. If you are interested, I can share some easy antenna building techniques.



    An option would be to buy a MCM 30-2476 9-element Yagi (the extra reflectors don't count). Its about 83" long and their claim of 14 dB gain is comparable with my antennas' 9.8 dBd gain (different measuring scales). http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/30-2476
    At $35.00 its hard to beat.

    Jim
    Last edited by Fringe Reception; 09-30-2017 at 11:16 AM.
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    I agree with the advice Jim has given you. It is my understanding that MCM and Newark are combining operations. After October 1st the Stellar Labs antennas will be available on the Newark site.
    http://www.newark.com/stellar-labs/3...uct+Catalog&so
    http://www.newark.com/stellar-labs/3...uct+Catalog&so
    Last time I checked the MCM site was down.
    I find the Newark site to be a bit difficult to navigate. I did bookmark the Aerials page.
    http://www.newark.com/c/security-aud...gement/aerials
    I see the MCM site is back now.
    Last edited by RF Steve; 09-30-2017 at 09:36 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fringe Reception View Post
    Zephar,

    Your antenna survey is resolved at 5 feet above ground level (by default) but its obvious you are lucky to receive anything! I suggest you build a cut-to-channel 9 Yagi antenna like the one I built for myself out of scrap antenna parts. Its in my album here:
    https://www.dtvusaforum.com/album.php?albumid=70

    This is a 7-element Yagi providing 9.8 dBd estimated signal gain, but you can design and build yours with more elements (more gain) or fewer elements (less gain). As you can see from the photo below, its not very big @ 77" length. If you are interested, I can share some easy antenna building techniques.



    An option would be to buy a MCM 30-2476 9-element Yagi (the extra reflectors don't count). Its about 83" long and their claim of 14 dB gain is comparable with my antennas' 9.8 dBd gain (different measuring scales). http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/30-2476
    At $35.00 its hard to beat.

    Jim
    I would really like to learn your antenna building techniques. As I am running a lot of experiments. I used to install Cable head ends for RV parks and i've installed many different forms of communication devices. FTA is becoming more and more in demand so I've been doing alot of experimenting. I accidentally found this spot. I was putting antenna up 20 feet on a fence poll that is concreted in the ground in several variations. which is about 7 feet down from this location. Everytime I was lifting up this last antenna she would scream I had 60 70% signal. I kept telling Her I only have poll five feet up its not in place yet. I would get it in place and signal would be 40 to 58%.

    At current location I get 60 all way to 98%. This is with (I kid you not) No preamp running on a 70 foot rg6 cable to a HCDA-1fra-ag Drop amp. (I discovered this is no amp nothing on 100ft cord!!!) then another 30 ft to my laptop.

    When I loose the signal it seems to be from FM interference at about 10pm my time as signal their but lots of interference.

    Now here is what is wierd. If I mount it on wall 2 feet back and bit higher up I loose it. If I mount it up about 18 feet up (where I plan to put it) I get a better signal. Right still in experimentation so low location works best and signal close to same its really wierd to me. I thought it would go out, but I keep getting it every day consistantly

    Yeah, I don't think the survey is right for my exact location. As I just cannot see how I would be getting anything. I am up on a hit though. And the mounts cut across and down.

    Here is the made antenna I made and it gets the signal just as good as the antenna I got loaned to me to test describe in my first post.

    (some reason was not letting me upload the image. )




    The elements are ten inches long and spread out by 6 inches. I thought that was for UHF? How is that antenna picking it up? I know its not the right design so I was curious if someone could educate me on that.

    Thanks for the quick replies. That antenna is cheap at 35 bucks, but I would really like to learn some techniques from this and then I may leave a home made version or buy a better version.
    Last edited by Fringe Reception; 09-30-2017 at 11:19 AM.

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    Zephar,

    I built mine from an old antenna I had in my scrap pile. All I did was shorten and relocate the elements on the boom.
    The following website will run most of the math for you:
    http://www.k7mem.com/Ant_Yagi_VHF_Quick.html
    Use 189 MHz as the design frequency and plug in the rest of the details.

    If you don't have or can't source a donor antenna, you can buy square or round aluminum tubing for the boom and I recommend square, which simplifies element and 'U' bolt mounting. The 'antenna designer' (above) offers two choices: elements that are insulated from the boom or electrically bonded (in contact) with the boom.

    Please view my antenna Projects in my photo albums to see how they work. Here is an example of using Yellow plastic drywall picture anchors as insulators for the director and reflector elements:

    They are available with different size holes (different colors) to accommodate different sized screws or in this case, the size of the aluminum wire you choose for your elements. That's one of the numbers you plug into the antenna designer above.

    For electrically bonded elements I recommend stainless steel tubing clamps (automotive / marine / aircraft use) rather than TIG welding elements to the boom as I did on my Project 35 antenna: it works fine (no problems in 8 years) but the heat from welding softened the wire elements.


    Review the 'antenna designer' website for driven element (dipole) design ideas and check my Photo album here as well. I fabricated my own 'cut-to-channel' baluns on two of my builds, but you can use a standard balun. Good luck and please keep us posted!

    Jim

    PS Be aware your home-brew UHF Bow-Tie antenna is apt to fail over the winter, because the wood support will absorb rain water and thus change the antennas impedance or it might electrically short circuit itself.
    Last edited by Fringe Reception; 09-30-2017 at 12:15 PM.
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    A Halloween Treat For You
    https://www.dtvusaforum.com/content/2...t-For-You.html

    A Weather Station on your Antenna Mast
    https://www.dtvusaforum.com/content/6...enna-Mast.html

    LED Lamps Are Becoming Practical For Your Home
    https://www.dtvusaforum.com/blogs/fri...your-home.html

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RF Steve View Post
    I agree with the advice Jim has given you. It is my understanding that MCM and Newark are combining operations. After October 1st the Stellar Labs antennas will be available on the Newark site.
    http://www.newark.com/stellar-labs/3...uct+Catalog&so
    http://www.newark.com/stellar-labs/3...uct+Catalog&so
    Last time I checked the MCM site was down.
    I find the Newark site to be a bit difficult to navigate. I did bookmark the Aerials page.
    http://www.newark.com/c/security-aud...gement/aerials
    I see the MCM site is back now.
    Was down for me to. The area i'm allowed to install the 30-2476 would be to long. The 30-2475 would fit in the spot, will probably order it I cannot see it having less gain then what im currently testing with. Although ill probably wait and see what I can learn from Fringe Reception on techniques of making my own. (ironically in end probably will even after order one. )

    thanks

    Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fringe Reception View Post
    Zephar,

    Jim

    PS Be aware your home-brew UHF Bow-Tie antenna is apt to fail over the winter, because the wood support will absorb rain water and thus change the antennas impedance or it might electrically short circuit itself.
    Oh, that was just a proof of concept to understand how it works. I never actually intended for it to work as long as it has. Just a little baffled why it works as well as it does with high VHF is all.

    Sadly living situation I dont have much room for my tools and that. So why such a poor grade just to understand the concept. Any work I do I like to understand how it works. So then I know how to explain it to my clients. (Not near their yet with OTA.) Thanks for your pictures and explanations. I bookmarked that website and based off information their and few you tubes based off of that. I got a few things explained that I did not understand before. So this has been a really productive day. I'll probably order the 30-2475 over the 30-2476 . Sounds stupid when were talking a foot, but its a matter of the area where I get the signal and where I am allowed to install it. I hate stuff like that as its a freaking foot !!! , but I think over what im using the gain should hypothetically be better? Any thoughts on the gain on the 30-2475 over what I am currently using?

    Want to thank you again for all help on this forum, I will keep everyone updated. The project is strawberry near complete I am just waiting long enough on that one to update how it all went.

    Thanks

    Paul

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    There are quite a few Hi VHF antenna designs on the 4nec2 Antenna Sims by holl_ands site, but keep in mind they are only computer models and some of them have never been built in the real world. Free air space designs do not always translate real well into working real world hardware.
    http://imageevent.com/holl_ands;jses...tgk6w1.eagle_s
    My experience has been the closer I can get to the dimensions used in the computer models the more likely I am to succeed.
    VHF yagis start at post 34 on this page.
    http://imageevent.com/holl_ands/yagi...hc8eb1.camel_s
    While I have not built any of the directional VHF loop antennas as my location requires a bi-directional VHF antenna, and VHF signals are quite strong at my location VHF loop designs are worth looking into.
    https://sites.google.com/site/maycre...f-loop-antenna
    http://imageevent.com/holl_ands/loops/looprefl
    http://imageevent.com/holl_ands/loop...squarelooprefl
    There are many other VHF loop ideas presented on the web site.
    I hope to try some of them as I've always liked loop antennas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RF Steve View Post
    There are many other VHF loop ideas presented on the web site.
    I hope to try some of them as I've always liked loop antennas.
    The VHF loop looks interesting. Actually think I have copper tubing I could use out of fun just see what it does.

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    So everything has been working great. Now all of a sudden I loose sound on 8-1, but have it on 8-2 and 8-3??? picture comes in perfect and signal is actually showing higher then it was before. Is the tuner picking up interference perhaps? I know their is an FM station near here. Curios to check if a different tuner picks it up a hair different or not? Think it would be LTE or FM ? Seems to have problems when signals would be stronger. At 105 miles lol. Its been great having live tv so bummer to all of a sudden be missing sound on one of the channels. Oh turns out 8-2 sometimes looses sound, but 8-3 (of course Spanish channel :P never looses sounds :P) 8-1 seems to have never gotten sound back after it went out yesterday.

    Edit
    So I tried the other tuner I have on my laptop and the sound works has a solid 80% signal. Some reason the TV shows 100% ( I know all devices can rate signal differently.) So wondering if the TV tuner is not filtering something as well or is going out? Anyone else ran into this issue?
    Last edited by Zephar; 10-23-2017 at 05:56 PM.

  11. #11
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    Zephar,

    I have a 16" Samsung in my office and from time to time it loses audio and/or information on the program I'm viewing on single channels. Here, the remedy is to cycle the power and all is well. I have no clue why it misbehaves and its not seasonal such as caused by a static electric charge in dry winter weather.

    Jim
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    So, since I plan to move soon and my friend who is really happy with the Antenna I installed for him. He decided to give me the EZ HD TV Antenna (which my understanding the RCA Yagi rated at 70 miles is the same antennae.) that he loaned me to try. So sense its been working good and when I move I should be able to reuse this antenna I decided to install it on the apartment.

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    So I decided to do an antenna scan with the new location. I am now barely picking up fox as well now. KCBA (physical channel being 13)

    So I am going order a preamp and see if I can get fox as well. I am considering buying the CM-7777HD . Any other preamps you think I should consider?
    Last edited by Fringe Reception; 11-01-2017 at 11:07 AM. Reason: I repaired a word his spell-checker "fixed" for him!

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    Zephar,

    I've used Channel Master amplifiers and they are good quality. Be aware, you have to have a signal present to be able to amplify it and they do not differentiate between 'clean' and damaged data-streams.

    Jim
    Three of my popular blogs posts:

    A Halloween Treat For You
    https://www.dtvusaforum.com/content/2...t-For-You.html

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    https://www.dtvusaforum.com/content/6...enna-Mast.html

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    https://www.dtvusaforum.com/blogs/fri...your-home.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fringe Reception View Post
    Zephar,

    I've used Channel Master amplifiers and they are good quality. Be aware, you have to have a signal present to be able to amplify it and they do not differentiate between 'clean' and damaged data-streams.

    Jim
    Well, my guess is the fact the signal strength and the Signal quality seem to match each other. That their is more Signal quality to pick up the length of line is degrading. Also some of interference I think is the local FM station here. Plus at 104 Miles their are quite a few cell towers in between. (which not sure if channel 8 in the range of that. Could be wrong, but figure its worth a try. Ill update what ends up happening. Ill have to update with a picture a bit away. as reality its higher up then it looks as im siting up on side of a hill facing the right direction.

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    Well odd results, first putting the antenna up halved the signal I get on channel 8. Not sure if its the height or maybe from where I placed it I actually should of went back a bit on the wall. (above the green window trim would make closer to same angle its on the fence their. THinking might be the tree.

    Name:  Antattempt.jpg
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    ironically works better then id ever think on fence like that but I cant keep it their.

    I did try out the channel mast 7777HD preamp. Which I was really happen with the results in Strawberry, but not so much on this project. Infact my guess is the preamp just not as good with VHF then it is with UHF?

    With the preamp im getting signals I cannot pick up hardly at all channel 18 goes from being a signal strength of 10% (white noise) to SS of 60 and a SQ 48% that it cannot lock in and not shocked as not only am I not pointed at that channel but their is a hill in the way. (so assuming this is creating alot of noise.) Channel 25 goes from 13% SS to a 50%SS with a 42% SQ (that randomly comes in.) Now reason on long explanation of all this. Is channel 8 seems to overall perform worse with the Preamp then without.

    Not just the signal but actually using it. Which me is odd and I wonder at this point if the CM 7777HD is picking up so many other signals barely that its creating alot of noise for only channel im pulling in.

    With CM preamp

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    Without

    Name:  Selection_228.jpg
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    Now, I understand signal varies, I been regularly comparing the same time of day when the signal weeker and this is what seems to consistently happen is I am getting better SQ with out preamp. At night its similar where I will be in the 80s alot and in 70s with the preamp. I am sure the SS should be a tad better.

    By some chance did I get a bad preamp? Should I maybe try the RCA and just use it through the VHF side?

    Obviously a bigger antenna, but this is the size I have approved for the apartment I simply need to get it off the ground.

    Anyways any thoughts on those signals with the preamp as I in past would see generall SS strong (of course) and SQL just a little better. like couple % more. Honestly as close as I am to that FM station and distance of signal I thought the prebuilt FM and LTE filter would help but apparently not for VHF station 8.

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