Question: Antenna recommendation for me

cxcflunky

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
Hi,

Like anyone else new here I am here to find out what a good antenna choice for me would be. Although I have a astronomy degree, I do not know the ins and outs of RF transmission and reception, so please bear with me on some of my more basic questions :) Anyway, here is my TV Fool, I see that any post worth anything has its requisite TV Fool link :D I'd be open to indoor and outdoor solutions, but indoor is better. I live on the bottom floor of a 2 story house which is, just like any home in Hawai'i, single wall construction with a metal roof. Oh, if I can get my basic channels to watch football season I'll be happy. Looking at the list from TV Fool I gather that I would only need to go out about 30 miles at most, and for the most part 5-10 would be sufficient. If I have left out any other information please let me know. Thanks in advance for any help.

One last question, I might be able to get a secondhand DB8 Antennas Direct antenna, would this be an okay choice. I see that it is optimized for the UHF, so would that mean that I would be missing some of the VHF channels with this?

Anil
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#2
First, I'm going to ask you to go to rabbitears.info and enter your info. It's similar to TVfool, but with more details. Please use a 20 foot height for your antenna.
RabbitEars.Info

By searching rabbitears, just looking at Hilo, I can see you have some weird channel sharing going on - like NBC and CBS sharing 13. For football, you'll also need to get Fox, channel 11.
Your TV fool was done at ground level, but it does give me the general layout.

I don't have much faith in indoor antennas, and you have a metal roof. Can you put an antenna on the roof or high on an exterior wall?

In fact, I'm thinking that you may need two antennas, one pointing to ch. 22 at 17 degrees, and another one at 311 degrees. You may be able to join them using a splitter / joiner since your transmitters are fairly strong, but if you have problems you will have to run 2 cables from the roof, and use an a/b switch.

Another option would be a single antenna and a rotor, if you don't mind having to wait for the antenna to turn.

The DB8 is a bit of overkill, quite large and you have a bunch of VHF-hi channels. I'd suggest you start with a single RCA ANT 751 on your roof or high on your north or west exterior wall and see how that goes, then get back to us with your results.

But first, I would wait for the rest of the DTVusa gang to give their opinions.
You're up, guys!
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#3
:welcome: cxcflunky!

Your TVFOOL report is unusual, because the channels you could potentially receive are coming at you from around the compass at almost equal strengths. By definition, omnidirectional antennas do not exist for Television for a variety of reasons (google multipath).

Indoor antenna reception is almost always hit and miss and undoubtedly would require you to move your antenna every time you select a different (direction) channel - assuming you receive the stations you want to receive at all.

You said you could have a DB-8 to work with, but in your situation I think a DB-8 would be the penultimate wrong antenna because it is a directional "fringe' antenna -- unless you are willing to mount it on an antenna rotator (rotor) and are willing to point it toward the various transmitter sites (I would).

You see where I'm going ... an outdoor antenna is best (in the air) and in your situ, it must be well above your metal roof to work, or the roof will interact and potentially kill your reception. The signals are there ... but ... can you capture them ...

Jim
 

dave73

DTVUSA Member
#4
I looked at a number of translators listed in your TV Fool, and some of them are PBS translators. So I wouldn't worry about K41JT-D at all, since it's simulcasting KMEB. With your signals being so strong, I'd actually look at a DB4 over a DB8 for UHF. I say you could get by with a Winegard HD7694p or Antennacraft HBU22 for VHF-Hi/UHF & a DB4 for 22 & 28 (real channels), or a 2 DB4's & an Antennacraft Y5-7-13 antenna for VHF, I'd go that route. I don't know what might be on those analog stations, but lets hope they're just religious stations, & you more than likely won't need them. Now if you decide to get a DB8, then don't get a pre-amplifier for the antenna(s), because of the fact that your TV signals are that strong. In fact, don't use a pre-amplifier at all.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#5
Recently talked to a guy in Lafayette, CO, where there are similar signal strengths, and he was able to get all of his stations with a MDA-5600 Indoor/Outdoor Antenna sitting behind the TV. It may, or may not work for you, but it is designed to be mounted both indoors or outdoors and to work with both VHF hi and UHF signals.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#6
I have heard good things about the Monoprice antenna, although I never had a chance to check it out myself. Everything I've ever gotten from Monoprice was great and great prices.

I would still mount it outside as high as possible, though!
 

Trip

Moderator, , , Webmaster of: Rabbit Ears
Staff member
#7
As strong as the signals are for cxcflunky, I have to think he would be able to get KHBC and K28JV-D off the side with something of reasonable size for the rest of them (all in one direction).

- Trip
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#8
I thought that too, Trip, as long as he is willing to play with the aiming to get both directions with enough signal. Perhaps 20 degrees north of 311 degrees with a DB8 or KSQ, but those VHF-hi channels concern me.

Is there an antenna that's good for UHF / VHF-hi, with a wide enough beam?
 

Trip

Moderator, , , Webmaster of: Rabbit Ears
Staff member
#9
I'm really not sure what to recommend. I'm much more familiar with antennas for weak signals rather than strong signals.

I'll leave that to some of the other experts around here. :)

- Trip
 

Tim58hsv

DTVUSA Member
#10
From past experience I believe all the channels that are 7 miles away or less should come in pretty easy rather the antenna is on the ground floor or above the roof and they should come in no matter which direction the antenna is facing. Can't guarantee any antenna will do that but a 4 bay bowtie would (at least in my case.)
 

cxcflunky

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#11
Hello all,

Sorry for not getting back to you all sooner, but work and my 2nd temp job of moving my stuff had me offline for the last 2 days :) Anyway, so took a look outside of my place and luckily I have good places to mount an antenna outside which face west and there are no large objects in the way - well maybe a tree or two. So would most of you agree with the MDA-5600 pointed ~ 320 degrees as a start? I don't mind spending the extra on the RCA ANT 751, Amazon will ship it to me for free.

It is hard to try too many things since I will have to mail order most everything. What we do have here is a Radio Shack, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Target and a Wal-Mart. Outside of that I would have to have it shipped.

Thank you again for all the help so far.

Anil
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#13
Anil,

I'm not familiar with the MDA-5600 and how well it works for VHF signals or for receiving channels from its side. I think I'd try what you suggested, working from your northwest around 320 degrees to start. If you don't capture what you want the first time, be sure to rotate it slightly from right to left AND raise or lower it a foot or two. TV signals tend to arrive in "layers" so if there is little or no signal at 20 feet above ground, the missing signal might be present at 22 or 24 feet.

Have you checked with your local Radio Shack to see what antennas they have in stock? The Shack usually has a good return policy (always ask) and that might save you on return-shipping an antenna back to the Amazon supplier. My local Ace and True Value Hardware stores used to have a fair selection of antennas, so it might be worth stopping in to your local stores to see what they have. If there is a Fry's Electronics Store near you, they may have a good selection. Good luck and please keep us posted.

Jim
 

cxcflunky

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#14
Jim,

I was going to check out the local stores this weekend. I was going to get the mast and mounting hardware from Radio Shack, but they don't seem to have too much to select from antenna-wise. I also find that nowadays all that the folks at Radio Shack want to do is sell you a cell phone and plan - anything else and you are on your own. Maybe I'll do a quick check and get back with what is available locally. If I don't have to order it online then that would be best.

Anil
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#15
Anil,

If you have the option of mounting it at different locations, I suggest you and a friend 'walk' the antenna to those different spots before you mount it, to see where signals are received best. Sometimes moving an antenna sideways a foot or two (or to the opposite side of a building) can be as beneficial as changing its height up or down. It may be necessary to rescan for new channels many times, so that's where the friend comes in.

Be sure to use black-jacketed name-brand coax: black coax tolerates UV radiation (sunlight) far better than colored coax. Radio Shack coax is not preferred by one of my local engineers because he tested it and claims it is leaky and lossy. I use it indoors and I haven't had any issues. Good luck!

Jim

PS You're right about Radio Shack wanted to sell cell phones. I went there to buy a new battery for my current phone and they wanted $55.00 for it! Then came the hard-sell for a new phone. Amazon dot com has the same battery for under $5.00.
 
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cxcflunky

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#16
Well, times like these are when I really feel isolated. I went to all the stores and none of them stock any outdoor antennas except Radio Shack. They had one model for $149 and no returns once you open the box. They and Ace Hardware could special order them for me, but they add $25 - $30 for "shipping" it here. Now that I am relegated to the online stores is the RCA ANT 751 still my best bet? Is it worth trying an indoor antenna? Thanks again.

Anil
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#17
Anil,

In your first post you said you might be able to get a used DB-8. Is it still available to you? Look on your local Craigslist dot org under 'electronics' and you might find antennas for sale.

Here is a DB-8 for sale in Kailua-Kona: honolulu.craigslist.org/xxxxx

Do NOT buy the antenna below, because it was designed for Chinese TV transmissions on entirely different frequencies/channels. honolulu.craigslist.org/xxxxx

Another option is to build your own antenna or antennas. Look at my photo albums here to see what my home-brew antennas look like.

Jim

Edited: I removed the links because they have expired
 
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cxcflunky

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#18
I was second in line for that DB8 and lost out :( Although, as soon as I wrote my previous post I found an e-mail from my co-worker who is selling this antenna, Roof mount Antenna, so I think I might be set. He said he got this from Radio Shack and might even have a 4 foot mast as well. See I was feeling all alone and my friends came to my rescue!

Let you all know how this works out. BTW, Jim, that second link is now not available, do you have a screen grab?

Anil
 

cxcflunky

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#20
Okay, got the antenna and hooked it up while still on the ground and I get all the channels. Some dropouts, but I think that it will fix itself once I have it mounted on the roof. The only issue I see is that the audio and video are out of sync. Is this a TV issue? I just bought the TV used, it is a Samsung. Is this easy to fix? I quickly looked it up and Samsung says that with OTA they would have to do it. Seems odd to me, I'll keep looking online. Thanks again for all your help.

Anil
 
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