Ideas on how to improve reception

#1
I am using a coat hanger antenna (from Babblin5's youtube video) and it works very well. The only problem is that there are a few stations (NBC and FOX) that come in pretty well but are very choppy. While watching those channels, you're lucky to get to see 2/3 of the show you're watching. The signal jumps from the mid 70s to 0 and everywhere in between. These stations are in the same area and within 1-2 miles of the other stations that we can get in.

What should we do?
 

BCF68

DTVUSA Member
#2
A) go here and post your results. We can't help you if we don't know where you are located.

TV Fool

B) Babblin5's antenna is not up to proper specs as the many experts here will tell you. So something as simple as building one to correct specs might help. But we won't know until you post the info about your location.
 
#3
A) go here and post your results. We can't help you if we don't know where you are located.

TV Fool

B) Babblin5's antenna is not up to proper specs as the many experts here will tell you. So something as simple as building one to correct specs might help. But we won't know until you post the info about your location.
TV Fool

I had no idea that Babblin5's antenna was not good. I had heard so many good things about it.
 

BCF68

DTVUSA Member
#4
You're signals are pretty strong. You link says you have it 20 feet high. Is this mounted outside? Are you splititng the signal at all? Which direction do you have it pointed? Really reception shouldn't be an issue. Especially if you're not having any issues WEHT( ABC ) and WNIN( PBS ) since they are high-VHF. Also do you have a lot of tall trees or buildings in the direction you have the antenna facing?

I had no idea that Babblin5's antenna was not good. I had heard so many good things about it.
It works for most people that live near the stations because their signals are strong. A lot of those same people could stick a paper clip in the back of their TV and get good reception.

Basically the bowites being 7 inches is too small for most. That was ok when you needed to go up to CH 69 but now only need to go up to 51. Also it hurts reception on the lower UHF channels. Your 3 UHF stations are 28, 45 and 46 so perhaps 7 inches is ok. The bigger problem is that the 5 3/4 spacing is too close together. Even if you kept the 7 inch bowties you'd want the spacing to be closer to 7 inches. Also he mounts the antenna right on the wood which really is going to affect reception if you have the thing outside and it gets wet.

I guess the easiest thing to do is perhaps just take the antenna and make sure the bowties are 7 inches apart instead of 5 3/4 and see how that works. If you still have problems then we can work form there.
 
#5
You're signals are pretty strong. You link says you have it 20 feet high. Is this mounted outside? Are you splititng the signal at all? Which direction do you have it pointed? Really reception shouldn't be an issue. Especially if you're not having any issues WEHT( ABC ) and WNIN( PBS ) since they are high-VHF. Also do you have a lot of tall trees or buildings in the direction you have the antenna facing?


It works for most people that live near the stations because their signals are strong. A lot of those same people could stick a paper clip in the back of their TV and get good reception.

Basically the bowites being 7 inches is too small for most. That was ok when you needed to go up to CH 69 but now only need to go up to 51. Also it hurts reception on the lower UHF channels. Your 3 UHF stations are 28, 45 and 46 so perhaps 7 inches is ok. The bigger problem is that the 5 3/4 spacing is too close together. Even if you kept the 7 inch bowties you'd want the spacing to be closer to 7 inches. Also he mounts the antenna right on the wood which really is going to affect reception if you have the thing outside and it gets wet.

I guess the easiest thing to do is perhaps just take the antenna and make sure the bowties are 7 inches apart instead of 5 3/4 and see how that works. If you still have problems then we can work form there.
I live in an upstairs apartment. I have the antenna mounted on a wall, almost to the ceiling. I wasn't sure what to put for the feet so I just guessed. It is not split at all. It goes from the antenna to the tv. The cable is about 8 feet long. We used the street level map on AntennaWeb.org and figured out that we should put it on our front wall because it faces the direction of most of the station towers. There don't seem to be many tall trees between here and the towers.

So we should take the antenna apart and move the bowties 7 inches apart? I guess that means we'll also need longer hangers for the middle part.
 

BCF68

DTVUSA Member
#6
I live in an upstairs apartment. I have the antenna mounted on a wall, almost to the ceiling. I wasn't sure what to put for the feet so I just guessed. It is not split at all. It goes from the antenna to the tv. The cable is about 8 feet long. We used the street level map on AntennaWeb.org and figured out that we should put it on our front wall because it faces the direction of most of the station towers. There don't seem to be many tall trees between here and the towers.
Well it seems most of your stations are due south and Fox is more east so that could explain that. What is the building made out of? If it's brick that could hinder reception beyond what being indoors normally does. Is there a window where you could perhaps put the antenna in front of? Also try moving it on various places on that wall. Sometimes you get a spot that's better than others.

So we should take the antenna apart and move the bowties 7 inches apart? I guess that means we'll also need longer hangers for the middle part.
Well you could start from scratch. The 7 inch bowties by 7 inch spacing isn't idea either. I was trying to save you from having to make more bowties too. Actually a guy call Mclapp has a better design. It has 9 1/2 bowties with 9 inch spacing

http://www.frontiernet.net/~mclapp/Antennas/4baystuff/4 bay 9 1-2 element layout.pdf

http://www.frontiernet.net/~mclapp/Antennas/4baystuff/4 bay 9 inch phase line.pdf
 

FOX TV

Contributor
#7
I am using a coat hanger antenna (from Babblin5's youtube video) and it works very well. The only problem is that there are a few stations (NBC and FOX) that come in pretty well but are very choppy. While watching those channels, you're lucky to get to see 2/3 of the show you're watching. The signal jumps from the mid 70s to 0 and everywhere in between. These stations are in the same area and within 1-2 miles of the other stations that we can get in.

What should we do?
This looks like a classic case of multi path interference, which can confuse the average consumer as to what to do about it. I looked at your TV FOOL data, along with Babblin5's antenna design, and it has another major flaw besides the ones pointed out about element length in the previous posts.

This type of antenna design MUST have a back plane reflector in order to function correctly, and to address the signal drop outs or picture blanking you are seeing, which looks to me like a classic case of Ghosting, or multi path reflections.

There is also a possibility of interference from some device in your apartment complex that could be causing these issues. The antenna elements could be effecting your reception, but that issue would normally be seen by viewers much further away from the transmitters than you are located.

I would recommend adding the back plane reflector similar to the one pictured in this web link Antennas Direct | DB4 The Best HDTV Antenna on the Market. The Babblin5 antenna is actually a home made version of this antenna, and it MUST have the back plane reflector to work properly. I would bet that if you were to add the reflector that most of your reception issues would go away.


You may also want to see this thread listed below on page 2 on this forum that I posted earlier in the week that addresses some additional issues that apartment dwellers may face. I just happened to be building the very same antenna (DB-4) knockoff antenna.

http://www.dtvusaforum.com/dtv-hdtv...receiving-certain-channels-downtown-dc-2.html .
 
#9
This looks like a classic case of multi path interference, which can confuse the average consumer as to what to do about it. I looked at your TV FOOL data, along with Babblin5's antenna design, and it has another major flaw besides the ones pointed out about element length in the previous posts.

This type of antenna design MUST have a back plane reflector in order to function correctly, and to address the signal drop outs or picture blanking you are seeing, which looks to me like a classic case of Ghosting, or multi path reflections.

There is also a possibility of interference from some device in your apartment complex that could be causing these issues. The antenna elements could be effecting your reception, but that issue would normally be seen by viewers much further away from the transmitters than you are located.

I would recommend adding the back plane reflector similar to the one pictured in this web link Antennas Direct | DB4 The Best HDTV Antenna on the Market. The Babblin5 antenna is actually a home made version of this antenna, and it MUST have the back plane reflector to work properly. I would bet that if you were to add the reflector that most of your reception issues would go away.


You may also want to see this thread listed below on page 2 on this forum that I posted earlier in the week that addresses some additional issues that apartment dwellers may face. I just happened to be building the very same antenna (DB-4) knockoff antenna.

http://www.dtvusaforum.com/dtv-hdtv...receiving-certain-channels-downtown-dc-2.html .
How do we make a reflector? I would like to try that before we go off building an entirely new antenna.
 

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