Best Antenna for my Situation?

G

Guest

Guest
#1
I am looking to pull in stations from NYC. I could also potentially pull in stations from Albany NY too but I assume I'll be looking for a directional antenna.
I live approx 75 miles north of Manhattan in the Hudson Valley. If I am looking to cut the cord, is there any antenna that would be recommended in my situation?
Sorry for such a basic question but this is al new to me.
Thanks.
 

KrissB

DTVUSA Member
#2
Utilizing tools mentioned in this forum somewhere (probably one of the sticky posts after you click on forum, near the top of the posts), like TVFool.com (to be safe, search the web for TVfool, then click on the site that is not an advertisement. Fill in some info, a fake address on your street, or near your street will serve the purpose if you are strange like that lol, and at least your zip code. This will give you a list of numbers, or show on a map where your channels are (depending on how you choose to see the results). Then from there, if you wish to be cheap, build an antenna (look in youtube for HDTV antenna How-to's, or maybe even here "I am a noobie as well here, and to the OTA Antenna world again"). I myself have realized you can make an antenna from multiple dipole's using wire to connect clothes hanger size wire in a neatly dissected sheet of cardboard or you could use 2 parts of cardboard (when you cut it with a utility knife it you can see the waves between the sheets of paper if the cardboard has some thickness. I searched a Dipole calc online (usually a ham dipole would give you the same info if you find that is where the online calc has came from. Basically, you want a dipole that is 2 pieces, of equal length (straight as you can get it "so it can slide in the cardboard") The 2 pieces length added together should be equal to what is called a "Half wavelength" (if you can't find a calc, you can figure out your lengths by finding the frequency your desired station (after using TV Fool, then doing a Wiki search on the station, from there Searching it on the FCC licensing info site) back to my run on sentence; when typing it into a calc *on the computer or a handheld* (channel 28 is 554-560mhz if you live in USA) so using 554 to get the answer you will type 468 / 554 * 6 = 5.068~ so 5-1/8" that is how many inches the 2 dipoles will need to be. That is to make a 1/2 wavelength dipole. This will pull in stations 35 miles away or maybe 70 depending on your location, could be much less. If you live on a hill, and you can see clear land in the general direction of the TV tower, you will get a great reception from a piece of dipole loaded cardboard stuck in the window facing that tower. To connect the dipoles you can snip an old cable wire end off, or utilize a new cable and hook it up directly, by soldering the center coax to 1 dipole, and the shielding to another, careful to ensure the shielding and center wire do not ever touch (I have no idea if it could even work like that, so I don't suggest it).

So what I have done, is made an antenna that is about 13"L x 14"W nearly peeled the center 1" out so that the sheet of paper on the window side is intact, and the open side shows the nasty solder joints to my wire job each dipole set is a different size for the stations that seem to catch in each window (3 windows used). 3 sets of matching dipoles, 3 different sets, wired out of phase, then paired together in phase (sounds technical, but once you see out of phase wiring it's simply wire from one side to the other, without touching any other wires. I'll try to make a text example of what I have decided to utilize.

each `-` = 1/2" If you use this it is for UHF HD channels only. I'm currently wanting to learn how to pick up VHF/LO, and VHF/HI
`A` represents where to solder the wires to dipoles for one side while wiring out of phase
`B` represents where to solder the wires to dipoles for the other side while wiring out of phase
`|` will represent how to connect the sets in phase on each side this will make the whole setup function much better from my understanding.
`.` are for spacing only (sorry for the confusion)

------------A...B------------ 2x6"
.-----------A...B----------- 2x5-1/2"
....---------A...B--------- 2x4-1/2"
------------B|.|A------------ 2x6"
.-----------B|.|A----------- 2x5-1/2"
....---------B|.|A--------- 2x4-1/2"
------------A...B------------ 2x6"
.-----------A...B----------- 2x5-1/2"
....---------A...B--------- 2x4-1/2"

Spacing these about 1" apart or more will make a useful antenna, but mine I have tried to follow the 1/2 wavelength between each corresponding set of dipoles. I'm not promising dynamite signal, or reception as this is what I'm trying to study up on in my spare time lol.

I decided to use the idea after I looked at an Antenna that would go on the roof, noticing the cross wiring connecting the dipoles (elements), then I found this is called "Out of Phase" wiring. When you just connect all the dipoles together on the left, and all the dipoles together on the right this is "In Phase" wiring for antenna's. It is my understanding that if I add a VHF antenna rig to my current setup (if I made a proper outdoor antenna and utilized this setup) I would connect it "In Phase". I'm looking to study up on this, and attempt to make due until I can afford an outdoor antenna, and it is my intention to make a custom roof-top antenna that is specific to my area (call me crazy)! :p

I apologize for any confusion, but your question is kind of how I started dabbling in this venture! Hopefully someone will flame my post, and educate us both or if my idea is good, we will hear hopefully either way...

Also, if you use dipole sets in multiple; I have read that odd numbers work best.
 
Last edited:

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#3
I am looking to pull in stations from NYC. I could also potentially pull in stations from Albany NY too but I assume I'll be looking for a directional antenna.
I live approx 75 miles north of Manhattan in the Hudson Valley. If I am looking to cut the cord, is there any antenna that would be recommended in my situation?
Sorry for such a basic question but this is al new to me.
Thanks.
Please provide us with the URL for your "radar plot" from TV Fool
 
#4
Utilizing tools mentioned in this forum somewhere (probably one of the sticky posts after you click on forum, near the top of the posts), like TVFool.com (to be safe, search the web for TVfool, then click on the site that is not an advertisement. Fill in some info, a fake address on your street, or near your street will serve the purpose if you are strange like that lol, and at least your zip code.
Please use your exact address. Even better is if you can get your exact latitude and longitude from google maps. (The FCC data often gets addresses wrong. They put me 8 miles away on the north side of town.) No need to worry about divulging private information. TVFool deliberately blots out your exact location.

I apologize for any confusion, but your question is kind of how I started dabbling in this venture! Hopefully someone will flame my post, and educate us both or if my idea is good, we will hear hopefully either way...
Consider yourself officially :flame:ed. :becky: DXing can be a fun hobby, but for a one shot deal, honestly good antennas aren't all that expensive. Please wait for advice from some of the world renowned experts on this forum before going on a long DIY expedition.

Rick
 
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