Antenna height adjustments ?

fletch99

DTVUSA Member
#1
Without a signal meter it can take a lot of tweaking to find the sweet spot. Is there a common sense distance to adjust the height of an antenna like 6 or 12 inches at a time. Based on how these Rf signals move. Yesterday I made one small downward adjustment and it helped out with one station. I'd like to try and minimize my trips up and down to the top of an extension ladder.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#2
fletch,

My experience is by trial and error. By an absolute fluke, I established a dependable NBC Channel 5 here in the process of lowering my antenna ... but I somehow managed to rotate it 45 degrees away from their transmitter while lowering it: I am now catching a signal 'bounce' off of a downtown skyscraper! There's a bit of black magic in OTA reception.

By all means, have someone at your TV set while you 'walk in' your antenna on the roof. A pair of walkie-talkies can really help, too.

Jim
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#4
Self- alignment!

Self- alignment! I Know, it sound like some new-age hocus-pocus.

Here's how I do it:
With a pair of cheap 2 way radios and an RCA converter box. The RCA is not the best box, but it DOES have an audible signal meter, the pitch changes as you aim. With the transmit locked down on one of the radios, you can climb up with the other radio and tweak away.

I don't know if any other converters have this feature.
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#5
Well now I have a full fledged signal analyzer but I do also have a portable DTV set. Innovative DTV solutions with a 7" screen. Has a signal meter than updates relatively fast.

RadioShack has had some too I think they were like $70 - $90.

But honestly nothing beats the signal analyzer to actually "see" your signals.
 

fletch99

DTVUSA Member
#6
Thanks

I just noticed on the TV Fool that there is adjacent & co-channel warning. The channel I really would like to get 24/7 is ION WPXV RF 46. Real late and early AM I even get stations where the NM is below zero. ION is above zero but still not an easy one for me.

TV Fool
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#7
Well now I have a full fledged signal analyzer but I do also have a portable DTV set. Innovative DTV solutions with a 7" screen. Has a signal meter than updates relatively fast.

RadioShack has had some too I think they were like $70 - $90.

But honestly nothing beats the signal analyzer to actually "see" your signals.
Yep. Wish I could afford the meter. Or the portable TV! I have to go with what I have, and it does work pretty good for the price ($10 after the coupon) ... UNTIL it dies. The RCA boxes run hot and die early!

Thanks
I just noticed on the TV Fool that there is adjacent & co-channel warning. The channel I really would like to get 24/7 is ION WPXV RF 46. Real late and early AM I even get stations where the NM is below zero. ION is above zero but still not an easy one for me.
I am in an ION free zone... I just want the QUBO (usually subchannel 2) for the kids. If i put up a super UHF antenna and mast JUST for that channel, I may get it. A lot of money for a "Maybe!"
 
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n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#8
I was thinking that a rig using two HLSJs and one of those cheap portable analog TVs might do the trick, if you don't have a DTT901 or similar box with audible output.

Converter box end: connect converter box input to the high end of one HLSJ, converter box RF output to the low end of the HLSJ, antenna downlead to the "line" side

Turn on the box, set your desired channel

Then go up to the roof with your portable analog TV, connect the antenna to the "high" side of the HLSJ and the portable analog TV to the "low" end of the HLSJ, and the "line" side to the antenna downlead

Turn on the TV, turn to channel 3 (or channel 4)

That way you are feeding high VHF and above to the converter box while you have a feedback loop on channel 3 to visually adjust signal strength.

Of course this only works if your channels are on 7-51 (or 69 if you live near Canada/Mexico)

I haven't tried this but it seems like it might work?
 
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FOX TV

Contributor
#10
Battery Powered DTV sets are common today. You can get one just for antenna aiming for around $99. A new electronics store in town has one for that price, and it has a fairly decent tuner in it with an antenna signal data screen. Remember as a warning that some of the lower end sets may have surplus older generation chipsets in them, so its hard to tell what you are getting.

Example: I bought a 19 inch $199 off brand LCD TV from that same electronics store, and it would not pick up either of the most distant transmitters I can pick up with other tuners, and one of my antennas is a cut to channel antenna. I took it back and spent a little more money and got one that would pick those channels up. I mainly wanted a set that worked on 12 Volts for portable use, and it foots that bill just fine for that. The clerk actually asked me if it could be the antenna, but that's a different story...only to say that the clerk now knows a little more about antennas himself !!
 
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FOX TV

Contributor
#11
Cool

Self- alignment! I Know, it sound like some new-age hocus-pocus.

Here's how I do it:
With a pair of cheap 2 way radios and an RCA converter box. The RCA is not the best box, but it DOES have an audible signal meter, the pitch changes as you aim. With the transmit locked down on one of the radios, you can climb up with the other radio and tweak away.

I don't know if any other converters have this feature.

Cool idea..Got'a love that American ingenuity !!
 

Don_M

DTVUSA Member
#12
I am in an ION free zone...
You're probably not alone. By the time Bud Paxson founded the old Pax Network more than a decade ago, there wasn't much room left for its affiliates in or near the traditional "antenna farms" in many markets. Now re-branded and re-formatted as Ion Television affiliates, a high number of these stations are significantly off axis -- or many miles farther away -- for OTA viewers in many cities. It's 65 degrees away from Denver's main signal cluster from my house and behind one edge, so I need a second antenna to get it.* KPXC's signal aligns closely with those of most other stations for only a small sliver of the market's population. The situation is similar in literally scores of TVFool reports I've looked at over the past couple of years.

*Note A small dividend: This allows for a little bit of after-sunset DXing. KPXC's signal, 32 miles away, is 1 degree off that of KWGN, the CBS affiliate in Cheyenne, WY, which I'm pulling in every night from 102 miles with an attic-mounted Winegard HD-9032!
 

web3221

DTVUSA Member
#14
:eyes:
Without a signal meter it can take a lot of tweaking to find the sweet spot. Is there a common sense distance to adjust the height of an antenna like 6 or 12 inches at a time. Based on how these Rf signals move. Yesterday I made one small downward adjustment and it helped out with one station. I'd like to try and minimize my trips up and down to the top of an extension ladder.
generally, the more height the better reception. what is more important is which way the antenna is facing, yes it can even make a difference with a multi directional antenna. to make your life simpler, if you do not have is all the fancy gadgets to help you tune it in (most of us do not). all u need is a compass and a priint out from antenna web, i believe that is the name, it has been a while. those 2 things will get u by just fine in most cases. :eyes:
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#15
Battery Powered DTV sets are common today. You can get one just for antenna aiming for around $99. A new electronics store in town has one for that price, and it has a fairly decent tuner in it with an antenna signal data screen. Remember as a warning that some of the lower end sets may have surplus older generation chipsets in them, so its hard to tell what you are getting.

Example: I bought a 19 inch $199 off brand LCD TV from that same electronics store, and it would not pick up either of the most distant transmitters I can pick up with other tuners, and one of my antennas is a cut to channel antenna. I took it back and spent a little more money and got one that would pick those channels up. I mainly wanted a set that worked on 12 Volts for portable use, and it foots that bill just fine for that. The clerk actually asked me if it could be the antenna, but that's a different story...only to say that the clerk now knows a little more about antennas himself !!
I have one of these that I paid $129 for:

MyGoTv - Innovative Solutions

What I like about it:
Decent signal meter which updates fast
800x480 looks like HD at that screen size. plus the screen is pretty bright
12/24v operation (good for big rigs too)
Intuitive joystick UI
Manual channel input, rescan or update scan
External input

What I don't like:

Ext antenna requires a pigtail, connector appears to be fragile
Battery life is ~2-3 hours, uses LiIon battery so you can't use AAs (smaller 3.5" set uses AAs)
"Toothpick" antenna is good only for strong signal areas, and fragile to boot
Does not come with a wrist strap (but has the holes for one).

All in all though it's the best of what's available and even though I may get a M/H TV I still like this one because not all channels are going to be M/H.
 
G

Guest

Guest
#16
Mr Cheapman

Try an omnidirectional outdoor antenna
I just noticed on the TV Fool that there is adjacent & co-channel warning. The channel I really would like to get 24/7 is ION WPXV RF 46. Real late and early AM I even get stations where the NM is below zero. ION is above zero but still not an easy one for me.

TV Fool
 
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