Dayton, Ohio

Georgey

DTVUSA Rookie
#1
Need help picking up a couple of channels. Here's my TV Fool info: TV Fool

Specifically, I would like to get channels 39 and 33 which are both UHF I beleive.

Current antenna is an old style 6 element type that looks like it needs some TLC. 2 of the elements are slightly broken. Should I just replace it? What kind of antenna should I get? I do have a few VHF channels that I want to still receive so keep this in mind too. Thank you in advance.
 

Don_M

DTVUSA Member
#2
:welcome:

Physical damage to an antenna is a bit like rusted metal or rotted wood: It's always worse than it looks at first glance -- particularly when the first glance is from a distance. The antenna you have also sounds like it's designed for VHF channels (13 and below) only. That's two good arguments for replacing it with one capable of receiving channels 7-69.

If you don't have a rotor, a Winegard HD-7694P antenna aimed toward the southwest will be suitable for receiving 33 and 39. It should be OK for the Cincy ABC and CBS affiliates as long as a) it's mounted high enough above the roof and b) your current antenna pulls them in now. If you have any doubts, you may wish to move up to the higher-gain Winegard HD-7696P. This antenna's greater directionality increases the likelihood you'll need a rotor for accurate aiming, however.

Whatever you decide, replace the outside downlead with RG-6 coaxial cable if what you have now is more than a few years old. All too often, worn-out cable leads to a lot of reception headaches that get solved by new cable. Get black coax as it resists UV damage better than the white-jacketed cable does.
 

Tim58hsv

DTVUSA Member
#3
Need help picking up a couple of channels. Here's my TV Fool info: TV Fool

Specifically, I would like to get channels 39 and 33 which are both UHF I believe.

Current antenna is an old style 6 element type that looks like it needs some TLC. 2 of the elements are slightly broken. Should I just replace it? What kind of antenna should I get? I do have a few VHF channels that I want to still receive so keep this in mind too. Thank you in advance.
I agree with Don that your current antenna sounds like it's for VHF only which would explain why you get vhf channels 9 and 12 out of Cincinnati.

Don also listed some good UHF/VHF antennas which you could replace it with. Another option would be to combine a UHF only antenna with the one you have now. If you do that you can point both antennas toward Cincinnati and the Dayton and Richmond channels should all come in fine since they are all very strong in this area. If you decide to add a UHF antenna to your current set up, I'd recommend the Antenna Craft U4000 or U8000 since they're very good at picking up high VHF channels too. Of the two the U8000 is the better choice.

Just so you know, I live in the Dayton area and use two U4000's mounted inside my attic and have great reception most of the time.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#4
I agree with Don here. The present antenna is old enough to replace, hence it's easiest to just buy a new combo VHF/UHF antenna. I also believe you could point the antenna at Cincinnati and the Dayton stations are so strong at your house you just about receive them on paper clip. The Cincinnati VHFs are not very strong per the TVFool plot, so a lot of VHF gain would be advantageous. This would tempt me to say just buy a Winegard 7496P as it has a lot more VHF gain than the 7694P.

One thing you never want to even try where you live is an amp. You are so close to the Dayton towers you would loose everything from Cincinnati and maybe even the weaker Dayton stations from overload.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#5
If you decide to add a UHF antenna to your current set up, I'd recommend the Antenna Craft U4000 or U8000 since they're very good at picking up high VHF channels too. Of the two the U8000 is the better choice.
While the OP does have the top channels on high band where the 8 bay whisker antennas tend to do the best on VHF, none of the 8 bay's anymore are very good on VHF save the HD4228 after modifications.

None of the 4 bays have much VHF in them at all.

Using 8 bay whiskers for VHF tends to work if the signals per TVFool are in the 45 NM db or higher range. His signals are near 10, which means he needs a serious VHF antenna, not one that also happens to pickup some VHF.
 

Tim58hsv

DTVUSA Member
#6
While the OP does have the top channels on high band where the 8 bay whisker antennas tend to do the best on VHF, none of the 8 bay's anymore are very good on VHF save the HD4228 after modifications.

None of the 4 bays have much VHF in them at all.

Using 8 bay whiskers for VHF tends to work if the signals per TVFool are in the 45 NM db or higher range. His signals are near 10, which means he needs a serious VHF antenna, not one that also happens to pickup some VHF.
I must respectably disagree on some of your points here, Piggie.

I can pick up VHF channel 12 with a 4-bay U4000 in my attic. TV Fool list the channels power at 23.3 nm db here but since the antenna's in the attic I'd assume the channels power rating would be somewhat lower. Never the less it comes in fine with a UHF antenna.

Channel 9 (24.8 nm db) didn't come in until I ganged two U4000's together to form an 8-bay and combined it with an old RS 2-bay. I'd assumed at the time that the RS antenna made it happen but have since moved the RS 2-bay and 9 still comes in 24/7.

Tomorrow I'll try an experiment and separate the U4000's again just to see if channel 9 will still come in with just one 4-bay. I'll let you know the results here.

As far as preamps go, I use a CM7777 with the uhf input set to 'combine' in order to pick up VHF channels 9 and 12. Without the preamp I lose WCBH (UHF) out of Oxford, Ohio but all the other Dayton and Cincinnati UHF channels still come in fine. Not sure about the VHF channels 9 and 12 minus the preamp since I've never tried that before. I'll check on that tomorrow too.

All in all I stand by my claim that bow tie antennas are very good at high band VHF and that the CM7777 will not cause signal overload in the Dayton, Ohio tv market, at least not over mostly flat terrain six miles outside of the transmitting towers.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#7
But if you don't live as close to the Dayton towers as the OP then you can use amps.

Another prediction wrong.

But I try and stay with tried and true antenna advice. There is no testing showing your set up should work very well. 23.2 NM would go to at least 20 NM or lower. Your antenna is rated about -6db at ch12. This would put you with about 14 NM db at the feed point of the antenna. That is barely enough margin, saying 10 db margin is needed or more for a stable VHF reception.

So yes, on paper that should work, with 4 db to spare, why you probably needed an amp to get it through the coax to the receiver.

With an amp, you would preserve most of your 4 db of margin, plus add about 4 db due to improved noise figure over the TV alone. This would then add at least 8 db of margin.

Without the amp you are dropping below any margin at all probably into -2 or so NM db range.

So yes, it works. Would I suggest someone do what you have done that doesn't experiment with antennas, wants to put on a pole and hope it works the first time? no.

I will let you disagree but it will not change the way I suggest antennas to posters.
 

Tim58hsv

DTVUSA Member
#8
As promised I'm reporting the results of seperating my ganged 4-bays in order to see if a single U4000 would bring in VHF channel 9.

Piggie, are you ready...

It didn't.

I'm not sure why it didn't since it pulls in the weaker VHF channel 12 just fine. The U4000 did get an occasional pixilated picture on 9 but that was it.

To Georgey,

If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it.

You've got reception on two of the hardest channels to get around here so don't change it, just add to it. Either the U4000 or U8000 will get you all of the UHF reception readily available around here and if you are to the east of Dayton as it appears you are, the U8000 may even get you the Columbus channels if you add a rotor to the antenna.
 

Georgey

DTVUSA Rookie
#9
I've done some reading and I believe I may have an alternative but I'd like to get some feedback. I have the first release RCA converter with the old tuner. I understand that there's now a second revision RCA DTA800B that may pull in channels better. Would I be better off buying that converter and selling mine? It would probably cost me $15 overall. Would it even be worth it? Thank you for all of the help so far, I really don't know which person to follow here. lol
 

Tim58hsv

DTVUSA Member
#10
I've done some reading and I believe I may have an alternative but I'd like to get some feedback. I have the first release RCA converter with the old tuner. I understand that there's now a second revision RCA DTA800B that may pull in channels better. Would I be better off buying that converter and selling mine? It would probably cost me $15 overall. Would it even be worth it?
I doubt the box is the problem and the DTA800B probably isn't the answer if your current box is the problem.

Here's an interesting read on that particular converter box.

http://www.dtvusaforum.com/converter-boxes-atsc-tuners/3374-rescan-problem-rca-dta800b.html

Thank you for all of the help so far, I really don't know which person to follow here. lol
I'll tell you this, folks like Don and Piggie and several others here (as the old cliche goes) have forgotten more about this subject than I'll ever know.

However, what I do know is what works for me here in the Dayton area. Since you can already pick up WCPO and WKEF with your current antenna, adding a U4000 (or better yet) U8000 will pick up the rest of the full power channels in the Dayton and Cincinnati markets.

Good Luck and please keep us all informed.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#11
As promised I'm reporting the results of seperating my ganged 4-bays in order to see if a single U4000 would bring in VHF channel 9.

Piggie, are you ready...

It didn't.

I'm not sure why it didn't since it pulls in the weaker VHF channel 12 just fine. The U4000 did get an occasional pixilated picture on 9 but that was it.
The 4 bays have a little reception on channels 11-13, a little. None of them work at all below 10 unless you live close enough that a paper clip would also work.

Plus there are many other factors that are hard to figure.

Again, why I suggest per engineering specs, which 9 times out of 10 result in the a positive result the first time.
 

Tim58hsv

DTVUSA Member
#12
The 4 bays have a little reception on channels 11-13, a little. None of them work at all below 10 unless you live close enough that a paper clip would also work.
WCPO channel 9 is on RF 10 and it came back in again after I re-ganged the 4-bays this past wednesday. Rock solid reception on WCPO once more.

And just to be clear, I never once stated that Georgey should abandon his current antenna for a U4000 or U8000. I only suggested he add one of those antennas to it.

Again, why I suggest per engineering specs, which 9 times out of 10 result in the a positive result the first time.
UHF reception is great around here when using bow tie antennas and I'd bet engineering specs would agree. If they don't agree, I'd disregard those specs since I have first hand knowledge of what does work here.
 
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