Antenna advice for SW Nashville, DIY antenna trial

Bryce

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
I've decided to cut the cord on my cable, and have been reading the postings on DTVUSA for the past week or so. This weekend, I decided to make my own antenna with materials I had on-hand based on the UHF design Dan published (http://www.dtvusaforum.com/dtv-hdtv-reception-antenna-discussion/47526-my-antenna-system.html). Here's what I made:

photo.JPG

Even on the first floor it brought in 17 channels. Some had a strength of 98 on some channels and some had as low as 25 (CBS). I moved it to the attic (25 ft. high) and received 6 more channels. The signal strength improved such that all of the channels I care about have signals at least above 88 and most in the high 90s (ABC=88, CBS=98, NBC=98, PBS=97, and Fox=98). ION is at 73, but I don't think I'll have much use for those reruns, but I'm not sure.

Here is my TV Fool map. TV Fool

If I were to purchase an antenna, would would your recommend? I can elevate my DIY antenna about another 5' or more in the attic. I could also add a VHF antenna like the DIY Dan has on the page reference above, but I don't know if that would help.

Now I need to figure out the best DVR for my new TV and converter boxes for my old ones. What are some good forums or sites to find out the best DVRs and related issues? I want to make sure I have the DVR and converter box issues figured out before I buy any.

Thanks for the site info! I can't believe I could make an antenna in an afternoon that would work this well. I even made the balun!

Bryce
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#2
Good work!
From your TV fool, seems you're going to need both high and low VHF. and it looks like you have 2 channel 5's causing co-channel interference.

Also, adding a reflector will improve reception to the north of UHF, without losing 27 (ABC).

Lets wait for some more opinions from the forum members.
 

nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#3
Lets do a quick check of the channels, assuming antenna pointed at 8 degrees magnetic:
ABC - WKRN - Likely to come in off the back of any antenna (very powerful signal). [UHF]
CBS - WTVF - Pick up their CH25 feed to save co-channelling issues with CH5 (CH50 feed is no longer operational). [UHF]
NBC - WSMV - Likely to come in off the side of any antenna (very powerful signal). [UHF]
PBS - WNPT - Only available on Ch8 VHF off back, but strong [VHF-High]
FOX, CW, ION + most others on same heading - No issues here, will likely miss the weaker (all non-major) ones with an attic mount.

With a proper 4bay (bought or with reflector added) on the roof, or very likely still even in the roof, you shouldnt have too many issues. You should have enough strength to pull in even the VHF channel off the back. If not, then a small VHF-High antenna pointed at 199 degs magn and diplexed in should sort that out. Either that or just go without PBS if its of no interest.

If have issues with CBS, make sure you are getting the CH25 broadcast and not the one on CH5.

it looks like you have 2 channel 5's causing co-channel interference.
Even though we can pick it up on UHF so no issue in the end, I cant find much info on WMB, possibility its off air anyway? Any locals able to solve this mystery :)
 
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#5
Even on the first floor it brought in 17 channels.
Question: Do you mean 17 channels including subchannels, or 17 stations (totaling something like 40 channels)??

Some had a strength of 98 on some channels and some had as low as 25 (CBS). I moved it to the attic (25 ft. high) and received 6 more channels. The signal strength improved such that all of the channels I care about have signals at least above 88 and most in the high 90s (ABC=88, CBS=98, NBC=98, PBS=97, and Fox=98). ION is at 73, but I don't think I'll have much use for those reruns, but I'm not sure.
Can't tell much from signal Strength$ (actually, they are signal quality meters). Unfortunately, every TV/converter box meter is different. On my box, anything consistently over 50% is solid. Other people report needing 80%. Others get by on 30%. It just depends on the manufacturer's internal standard.

If I were to purchase an antenna, would would your recommend?
As long as you've come this far with DIY, why not stick with it? The Hoverman is a great design. You can certainly add a reflector to it -- you might want to go with a "reflector light" (full wavelength rods), since you have important signals coming from the sides and rear, as nbound so aptly outlined. The Gray-Hoverman Antenna For UHF Television Reception - Digital Home Canada

I can elevate my DIY antenna about another 5' or more in the attic. I could also add a VHF antenna like the DIY Dan has on the page reference above, but I don't know if that would help.
Depends on what stations you decide you really need. No hurry on that.

Now I need to figure out the best DVR for my new TV and converter boxes for my old ones. What are some good forums or sites to find out the best DVRs and related issues? I want to make sure I have the DVR and converter box issues figured out before I buy any.
I think you found it already! :becky:

Thanks for the site info! I can't believe I could make an antenna in an afternoon that would work this well. I even made the balun!
R U sure it's a 300 to 75 ohm balun? I think they go for under $5. Might be possible to go too far with the DIY thing. :dizzy:

If you're actually getting some 23 stations, then you're doing pretty dogone good!

Rick
 

Bryce

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#6
Thanks for all the info and advice!

I will get a factory balun. I just didn't have one and didn't want to wait to order/purchase it.

Regarding the number of channels, I was counting sub channels, too. I'm not familiar with the distinction between them, but my count included 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, etc.

Bryce
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#7
... Thanks for the site info! ... I even made the balun!

Bryce
Bryce,

Good job but I agree with the other comebacks about your coaxial balun. Coaxial baluns have special uses. Please understand they are 'frequency-specific' and this is not what you want to use with your type of antenna which is intended to receive many channels.

I use them on two of my 'cut-to-channel' Yagis because when properly designed they pass only ONE channel efficiently and they attenuate or reduce signal levels from all other channels or frequencies.

Visit Radio Shack and get a 'conventional' balun, replace the balun and rescan.

Jim
 

Trip

Moderator, , , Webmaster of: Rabbit Ears
Staff member
#8
"WMB" is a fluke in the FCC database. WTVF filed a special request to boost power above the FCC's normal limits, so the "WMB" entry was the FCC's way of being able to test it for interference purposes. There is no actual "WMB."

- Trip
 

nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#9
Even though we can pick it up on UHF so no issue in the end, I cant find much info on WMB, possibility its off air anyway? Any locals able to solve this mystery :)
"WMB" is a fluke in the FCC database. WTVF filed a special request to boost power above the FCC's normal limits, so the "WMB" entry was the FCC's way of being able to test it for interference purposes. There is no actual "WMB."

- Trip
Ah! nice one :)
 
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