Anything inexpensive?

Orrymain

, Blogger: Orry's Orations
#1
I've long made it clear that I'm frustrated because I do have a rooftop antenna, but I assume it's damaged or rusted or something because the thing has been up there for many decades. It makes no difference in what I get OTA.

Here's my TV Fool.

Now a) I can't make anything myself b) I can't get up there and do any manual labor and c) I don't have the cash to do much or I'd have an antenna guy come out and look at/repair the antenna.

BUT -- is there any inexpensive, easy to set up, indoor antenna or something that might make those yellow channels come in? I do get the green ones, albeit not always with the best reception, but I'm wanting more.
 

Don_M

DTVUSA Member
#2
Orry, do you have access to an attic where you could place a compact (3 feet wide, ~5-6 feet long) antenna and run a cable down to the TV from there? That would offer an ideal indoor setup as long as the antenna wouldn't be pointing through brick, stucco, metal siding or a tile roof. An AntennaCraft HBU33 or a Winegard HD-7694P and a coax cable shouldn't set you back more than $75.

Next best solution would be a set-top antenna like Terk's unamplified HDTVi, which is comparatively inexpensive and more widely available than the bigger antennas above. Gain's not as good as the antennas above, but you could make up for some of that by putting the antenna in front of a south- or west-facing window. Chances are good the built-in cable won't be long enough, but it can be extended with a second length of coax and a "bullet" connector.

Note: Pay close attention to the model name. The HDTVa is the same antenna, but with a modest built-in amplifier. Your signals are just strong enough that the booster could make reception worse, not better.

Finally, reliable reception of those signals down in the yellow (below, say, 35 dB in the "NM" column) will be problematic with any indoor antenna. I rather doubt any of them are worth pursuing. Stations with no listed network affiliation usually broadcast 24/7 infomercials, Spanish-language shows or Christian programming. Not that there's anything wrong with them -- I'm starting to understand conversational Spanish from the snippets of soccer games that I've watched -- but I'm presuming you already receive plenty of local stations broadcasting these formats.
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#3
Orry,

What about a...
Antennas Direct DB4

If you have a window facing South, you could just set it up behind the Curtain.
There's not much to the setup, just point and cable. And you probably can get it for under $50.
I know it's advertised for UHF, but, I've herd it does pretty well on VHFhi, you got two channels (9 &10) that are "reasonably" within it's capability.

Have a good Day ! :)
S.W.
 

Don_M

DTVUSA Member
#4
Among 4-bay panels, EV's SuperQuad or the Channel Master 4221HD are better matches for this situation. The designs of the DB4 and 4221 are the same, of course, but the balun boxes make a big difference. The DB4 balun's circuit board has a bad reputation for cracking way too easily when attaching a cable, and it attenuates VHF signals far more deeply than the 4221's balun does. Meanwhile, the SuperQuad has been shown to beat both on channels 7-13, where it has positive gain numbers.

You're right to bring up the 4-bay class here; I should have mentioned them earlier as well. Lots of gurus sniff at using 4-bays in attics due to multipath concerns, but a 4-bay is much easier to keep away from rafters, trusses, ducts and all the other stuff in an attic that can interfere with reception than the Yagis I listed above. Thanks!
 

Orrymain

, Blogger: Orry's Orations
#5
Thanks for all the options. I will have to research and see what I might be able to do. I gotta say -- there's an attic, but I've never been in it. I't's more of a crawl space for insulation and such.
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#6
These old discontinued American made Channel Master 3021 4 Bays are great. Decent price too. They are the same as the old discontinued American made Channel Master 4221 4 Bay.

eBay listing.

Lighter than the KSQ.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#8
Finally, reliable reception of those signals down in the yellow (below, say, 35 dB in the "NM" column) will be problematic with any indoor antenna. I rather doubt any of them are worth pursuing. Stations with no listed network affiliation usually broadcast 24/7 infomercials, Spanish-language shows or Christian programming. Not that there's anything wrong with them -- I'm starting to understand conversational Spanish from the snippets of soccer games that I've watched -- but I'm presuming you already receive plenty of local stations broadcasting these formats.
Orry, take Don's comment about stations below 35 db in the NM column just into the harder category. I have stations in that range I have never seen here with all sorts of antennas. But the next person will be able to receive such signals with a simple attic antenna.

My experience on stations that weak, it seems to be more a matter of antenna placement (including being lucky or unlucky over your entire property), than antenna gain. I found a spot in my yard that a small 3 element yagi pulls in WNBW at 16 db NM, where my stacked long boom yagis can't hold it steady up 20 feet higher.

One idea to try that is not expensive is the Eagle Aspen 2 bay. It has half the reception (3 db) of the 4 bays, but it's light weight and inexpensive. It's light enough you could try hanging it many places including just setting up in the attic by leaning it against a box (no metal) in the attic, or put it near windows. You might be able to put it on a small pipe or PVC 10 ft off the ground outside and find a hot spot. I have an 11 ft pole on a tripod and it's amazing the reception changes around my yard, more so at the lower height.

If nothing else, the 2 bay Eagle Aspen will give you more signal on your green channels. Eagle Aspen DTV2BUHF DIRECTV 2 Bay UHF Antenna Digital HDTV Terrestrial Bowtie Outdoor Roof Top Local Signal Bow Tie Aerial, RED ZONE, Part # DTV2B-UHF: Oak Entertainment Centers and Home Office Furniture, TV Antennas, Audio/Video, Satellite, Cable,
Now one question is how well it works on PBS and ABC on VHF. The antenna comes with a balun but I am not sure how well that balun works at VHF, though it might be fine. Your VHF signals are strong, so even though the antenna has little to no VHF capabilities it may be fine.

If you just wanted to make green channels come in better and want a small light weight antenna, an alternative to the HDTVi is the Winegard FVHD30 Search Results for "FVHD30" - Shop at SolidSignal.com
But it doesn't have enough gain to pull in the yellow by any means.
 

willcail

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#9
If possible the Radio Shack Indoor Amplified HDTV Antenna and the RCA Indoor Amplified HDTV Antenna are great. If possible for the RCA antenna and if you have a window inside the attic then you can put the RCA antenna facing out and run a Coax cable to your TV.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#11
If possible the Radio Shack Indoor Amplified HDTV Antenna and the RCA Indoor Amplified HDTV Antenna are great. If possible for the RCA antenna and if you have a window inside the attic then you can put the RCA antenna facing out and run a Coax cable to your TV.
Hi willcail ! Not to be the heavy that disputes things or anything like that, and thanks for posting. But where she lives an amplified antenna would overload and cause more problems than it would solve.
 

Orrymain

, Blogger: Orry's Orations
#12
Thanks again for the responses. I'm checking everything out to see what I might be able to do. I'm limited in a way because I can't access the attic and have no technical expertise, so it needs to be something put together that I can essentially stick up some place, if you know what I mean.

Jim, I haven't contacted that source. Too chicken at this point - lol
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#13
Orry, to put in more of a conclusion after thinking about this. I would do nothing, unless you want to spend the money for at least a 20 and better a 30 ft pole outside with a new medium range antenna. If you are already getting all the green stations you desire, the yellow ones are going to be a challenge. If you were an experimenter, I would suggest a number of things to try, but knowing you aren't, you would have to spend several hundred dollars to even get a chance at the yellow stations.
 

Orrymain

, Blogger: Orry's Orations
#14
Yeah, I may not do anything. I just really wish I could get those other channels. Channel 20 out of the bay area is one I've always liked. It came in for a couple of days when I first used the converter box and then hasn't come in a day since.
 
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