Question: Help with new guy and antenna - Upstate, SC

CHD Dad

DTVUSA Rookie
#1
Hello Everyone - new member, been a lurker for a bit just trying to wrap my head around things. Going to try and make this as easy as possible for some help.

We ditched Dish over two years ago. When we did that we stuck with online streaming video and I took our Dish off the pole and mounted a DB4 Antenna from Antenna's Direct. I picked that model due to reviews and Antenna Web's site. It was pretty low off the ground (4 feet) but the aim was right and we received enough stations to get by on. Well, now we have a new 29foot camper we have to park in front of the antenna! Signal was gone on several channels and we just received 3 so it was time to move things and upgrade.

I moved the antenna to our attic. It is not a large attic, but there is some room up there. Same antenna. Longest RG6 run is probably 100 - 130ft due to how the wire needed to be run. That is to our main TV. Second TV is 80 - 100ft. Signal strength went way up on 4.1 and 21.1 which we watch a lot of. 38.1, 2, 3 PBS stations were OK. 33 is still hit or miss, some days it comes in, some it does not (signal hovers between 35 up to mid 50's). Same with 62, some days good, some terrible. We have never pulled in 7 or 13 which we really want to do.

TV Fool

There is my TV Fool link. According to that it looks like any antenna would work (almost all green for what we want to pull in). I did notice today for the first time that 7 and 13 are VHF. Oops. I do pull in some signal on those channels (around 15-20%) with the DB4. I have our antenna aimed right in the middle of cluster of channels we want to receive. Thankfully they are all in a pretty narrow cone.

So my question - what can I do or buy to pull in 33 and 62 more consistently and also pull in 7 and 13? 33 and 62 are close to 65 miles. I would like to keep things under $100 if possible.

FYI - our strong stations - 4 and 21 come in around 80 - 90% no matter what the weather.

Thanks in advance for any help.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#2
Two separate problems:
At 65 miles, 33 and 62 are a stretch with a DB4 even. I'd use an Antennas Direct 91xg, about $60, but it's very directional so you may lose some of the channels that are not in line with the others. I would suggest getting it outside if possible, too. DON'T put an amp on it, because channel 14 is so close and strong, it will overload the amp.

And you'll need a VHF hi antenna for 7 and 13 like the Winegard YA1713, or similar.

You'll also need a UVSJ for about $5-10 to connect them together. You will probably spend about $5- 10 on that.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#3
It may be as simple as moving the DB4 outdoors and adding a high VHF antenna. Possible models: Winegard YA1713, AntennaCraft Y-5-7-13, or Antennas Direct C5. If you can get 33, and 62 part of the time with the DB4 in the attic you can plan on doubling the signal by move it outdoors. Just make sure to properly ground your antenna mast and cable.
 
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CHD Dad

DTVUSA Rookie
#4
Cant move the antenna outdoors easily. HOA issues for one and wire routing for the second problem. I could do that as a last resort, but I would rather spend a little bit more/try all options indoors first vs. putting things outdoors. I would always ground the antenna/mast and actually that would be yet another issue. Where I would need to mount this to keep the HOA happy would be out back and with my walkout basement that is waaay up there! Would love to keep this inside! I would even be willing to try and make something if it were easy enough to follow directions.

With adding another antenna, is that better than getting a new model that does VHF/UHF together? I was looking at the ANT751 RCA as one possible option but it looked like it may be too small. I will say my neighbor gets in all the channels I want but he has this monster antenna his electrician installed in the attic when he built his house. There is no way it would fit in my attic, and I doubt it would fit in his had they not put in in before finishing off his drywall! He was told it was overkill and has no idea the model number or maker but he gets great signal. Maybe something in the middle of the ANT751 and his 8+ft long monster would work?

Thanks again for the suggestions and help!
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#5
:welcome: CHC Dad,

Regarding installing your antenna outside, Home Owner Association rules aren't a problem for you unless the HOA chooses to violate Federal Law. Check out this link to see your rights regarding outside antenna installations: FCC Fact Sheet on Placement of Antennas You win. Coaxial cable routing usually isn't difficult and there are several threads on our Forum regarding antenna mast grounding.

Attic antenna installations are often a compromise because the antenna may be near HVAC ducting, water pipes, vent pipes, foil-backed insulation, etc. Its certainly worth a try and if you aren't sucessful at first, try different locations in your attic. Sometimes there is a 'sweet-spot' that is perfect. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!

Jim
 
#6
Maybe something in the middle of the ANT751 and his 8+ft long monster would work?
I like the DB4 that you have for UHF. Try moving it around the attic until you get a more consistent signal. Even though the distance is far, the terrain is favorable.

For VHF you'll want a Y5-7-13 or Y10-7-13 and a UVSJ.

Depending on the orientation of your house, the DB-4 can be mounted on an exterior side wall away from the road and no one will know it's there.
 

CHD Dad

DTVUSA Rookie
#7
Thanks for the welcome Jim. I do know my rights regarding HOA's. I have been through that in the past when my mother's condo assoc. tried to ban people putting up satellite dishes. They actually won at first due to owners not having exclusive use of the roof, only their balconies. In the end there was so much stink about it (and some board members wanted satellite dishes!) that they changed the rules to being not visible from the street. Our HOA is actually very relaxed, but we are a very small community of homes and we all respect each other and I like the majority of our neighbors. It is as much about just being polite and keeping the neighborhood looking nice as it is following the rules. Could they do anything about it legally if I stuck a monster antenna up there? Not really. Would they be unhappy about it? Definitely. The DB4 is pretty small and actually several neighbors have asked about it when it was mounted on the pole next to my home. They may not care if I stick it up there, especially if I placed it behind a dormer or someplace else it would not be very visible.

BUT - I still would rather explore all options inside the attic. Is it ideal, no. Could it cost more? From the sounds of it - yes. If it turns out that the roof really is my only option then I will go that route.

As far as attic placement - there is nothing between the front of the antenna and the air outside other than a sheet of OSB, tar paper and architectural shingles. No ducts, wires, pipes, etc. I have it placed right up as close I can get it to the slope of the roof aimed between the trusses even. If it matters, it is even mostly parallel with the roof since my home faces north.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#8
A DB8 may be an option that may have a slightly larger beam angle than the 91xg. I understand not wanting to piss off the neighbors. Even though you may have the "right" to do something doesn't mean you should do it.
 

scandiskwindows9x

Moderator of DTV Latino
#9
but if he uses an antenna that be VHF-UHF and that have high gain could be good, also a pre amplifier could be good if he try that, the channel 64 is in one edge diffraction that means that needs much more than a antenna, you need look a better placement to the antenna, in the attic could not get good results because the aluminium cause problems with signal receptions, maybe can be needed install in outdoors the antenna in height to compensate or made less the 1 edge diffraction that you get from a mountain, building, or hill.

best regards
Francisco
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#10
A DB8 may be an option that may have a slightly larger beam angle than the 91xg. I understand not wanting to piss off the neighbors. Even though you may have the "right" to do something doesn't mean you should do it.
A db8 is just 2 joined db4 antennas. You could just add another db4, and a VHFhi.
 

Trip

Moderator, , , Webmaster of: Rabbit Ears
Staff member
#11
At 65 miles, 33 and 62 are a stretch with a DB4 even.
Not really, not if your stations are way up on mountaintops like WUNF and WYCW are. I live 79 miles from Poor Mountain and can receive three of four UHFs with an indoor antennas. It's all about terrain.

As for recommendations, I agree with most here. The separate VHF antenna like the Y10-7-13 or the YA1713 will probably bring you WSPA (7-1), WLOS (13-1), and WNTV (29-1) which is the same as WNEH. When fine-tuning, focus on WLOS, because WSPA has a permit to light up a translator on channel 49 (shown on TVFool as W10AJ) from the same mountain that WGGS 16-1 is on. Also as suggested by others, try physically moving the DB4 around in the attic, as you may find some locations are better than others, and that may allow you to clear up the WUNF/WYCW problem.

One thing that I would suggest though, unless I missed it here, is given that you're looking at stations on mountaintops, have you considered putting the antenna(s) outside but on a pole somewhere out of the way of your camper? I'm not sure the added height is doing a lot for you, while the loss of signal from being in the attic is likely rather more detrimental. Even if you just put it on a loose pole and leaned it against the house somewhere to test with and see.

Finally, do you know which 33 signal you're looking at? There are several, WUNF, W19DD-D, W42DF-D, and W19CR-D all carry the "UNC-TV" lineup and display as 33-1. I suspect you're seeing the main 25 signal, but if you haven't tried the other signals on 19 and 42, you might want to see if those are any different in terms of reception. I know TVFool doesn't make it look that way, but in rough terrain these predictions can be off somewhat.

I hope my message is coherent. I don't know why I'm so tired today.

- Trip
 

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