Incredible Reception Story!

#1
The word "Incredible" has two possible meanings: "Incredible, as in Wow -- Terrific -- Amazing!" or "Incredible, as in not credible."

The Super Yooper” or Tropo-Scatter in Da U-P

This guy, Paul Anderson, gen. mgr of AbilityHDTV, claims he consistently receives 14 tropospheric stations over 100 miles away, 24 hours a day, plus another 7 stations 199 to 235 miles away, from evening to about 10 AM. To do this. he combines two Sigma6HD antennas, each amplified with an ULNA/EXT amplifier and combined with a regular splitter.

I pulled up a TV Fool Report for the area, and found translators within 70 miles that rebroadcast a few of those stations. But for the most part I can't explain his claims unless his theory is correct that tropo reception up to 150 miles can be made reliable with the right equipment.

Of course he's trying to sell you something. Total cost for someone in da U-P to implement his system:$560 + cable + a splitter that passes DC + S&H. Easily over $600. This only includes UHF reception -- no VHF.

Comments?

Rick
 
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#2
I ran across that site some time back. I do tend to believe his story. I have had similar VHF, and UHF signal propagation experiences across the hilly, mountainous Wyoming desert using low power FM at 146 mhz and 446 mhz. Signal paths of over 100 miles could be quite predictable based upon weather. Cool calm summer nights from just after sunset until about 10:00 to 11:00 AM would result in reliable signal paths of over 100 miles almost daily. His description of signal propagation matches my own experience.
Knife edge diffraction signal paths over the top of mountain peaks can be very reliable, but that is another story.
Steve
 
#3
Signal paths of over 100 miles could be quite predictable based upon weather. Cool calm summer nights from just after sunset until about 10:00 to 11:00 AM would result in reliable signal paths of over 100 miles almost daily.
You do realize that winters in the Michigan Upper Peninsula are BRUTAL, right? But he claims his results are consistent. Do you suppose he never goes up to fishing camp in da winter?

The gain on a 4221HD is within a hair's breadth of the Sigma6HD, and with rabbit's mods I bet the 4221HD beats it out. As far as I know combining two 4 bays gets the same 3 dB bang as combining two log-yagis. And Kitz makes those 0.4 NF pre-amps. Not sure why you'd need two of them. But either way, you could put together a setup that theoretically should work as well as his "Super Yooper" for $300 - $380.

Rick
 
#4
Rick I agree on your point about price. Atmospheric enhanced VHF/UHF signal propagation can certainly take place year round I was just making mention of conditions that were quite predictable.
Early television signals were brought in to this part of the county by receiving out of state signals and retransmitting them. Large Rhombic and Yagi antenna arrays were built on mountain tops and hill sides. The signals were not always reliable. The transmitters were not always licensed, but we enjoyed a few hours of television in the evenings from out of state broadcasters. They were not always large antenna arrays, but sometimes relied on finding a signal hot spot.
This is a very interesting link about the television situation in rural Wyoming.
Wyoming Media: Television translators
I can tell you over the years things somethings have not changed much.
Steve
 
#5
This is a very interesting link about the television situation in rural Wyoming.
Wyoming Media: Television translators
I can tell you over the years things somethings have not changed much.
Steve
Well, one thing that has changed is the switch to digital. The 150 mile non-line-of-sight leg in a translator chain he mentioned was for analog channel 2! A little snow wouldn't keep you from seeing who dunnit on Perry Mason.

The thing that's unusual about the Super Yooper setup is everything is within 15 degrees of straight south, from Green Bay to Milwaukee to Battle Creek. Notice he doesn't list any stations from Madison, which would be closer. If he had to receive from three different directions, he'd be pushing $2,000.

R.
 

Tim58hsv

DTVUSA Member
#6
Of course he's trying to sell you something. Total cost for someone in da U-P to implement his system:$560 + cable + a splitter that passes DC + S&H. Easily over $600. This only includes UHF reception -- no VHF. - See more at: http://www.dtvusaforum.com/antenna-r-d/59724-incredible-reception-story.html#post123464
Rick
I don't believe it because too many people out there have already tried to get consistent reception from beyond the horizon and it just doesn't work. There's that and plus the schmucks not even using rg 11 cable with his "super yooper" set-up.
 
#7
I don't believe it because too many people out there have already tried to get consistent reception from beyond the horizon and it just doesn't work.
I suppose his response would be those people didn't have his $150 amplifiers and his $130 antennas -- twice over.

There's that and plus the schmucks not even using rg 11 cable with his "super yooper" set-up.
Now ya lost me. The only kind of coax he sells on the site is RG6.

Rick
 
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#8
That seems like it could actually be true. But that price is not in a decent range. Maybe if it were lower.
But anyhow, I would like to learn more about the topic. What website is it on?
 
#9
That seems like it could actually be true. But that price is not in a decent range. Maybe if it were lower.
But anyhow, I would like to learn more about the topic. What website is it on?
Link is in the O.P. but this is the theory page, Pecola. Nobody wants you to buy anything.

I saw where you cut TWC and get free internet. Very cool! If you're in the market for an antenna, please read the first post by SWHouston here: http://www.dtvusaforum.com/dtv-hdtv...n/18697-getting-started-over-air-tv-faqs.html Then read these two posts: http://www.dtvusaforum.com/dtv-hdtv...cussion/18368-how-ask-dtv-reception-help.html

Don't go to antennaweb.org, the experts feel TVFool is more accurate. So use the detailed instructions from SWHouston, then start a new thread in the HDTV Reception and Antenna Discussion area, as suggested by Jason. You will get a lot of suggestions, sometimes conflicting or confusing, but you're a whole lot better off with the experts on your side! Nobody makes a dime off this service.

Rick
 

DW-77

DTVUSA Member
#10
Based on the published documentation, the Sigma-6HD antenna seems really good. Rick, I'll call your bet from post #3; how much are you willing to put on the table? (just kidding). All things considered (including SWR), the S-6HD beats the 4221HD across the entire UHF band (by 2.4dB at the low end; at the upper end the gap narrows to 0.3dB). For the 4221HD, I used the numbers published by an enthusiast who put the dimensional data of a "hacked" 4221HD in a Sw simulator, ("hacking" being done following "rabbit's mods").
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#12
... I have had similar VHF, and UHF signal propagation experiences across the hilly, mountainous Wyoming desert using low power FM at 146 mhz and 446 mhz. Signal paths of over 100 miles could be quite predictable based upon weather. Cool calm summer nights from just after sunset until about 10:00 to 11:00 AM would result in reliable signal paths of over 100 miles almost daily. His description of signal propagation matches my own experience.
Knife edge diffraction signal paths over the top of mountain peaks can be very reliable, but that is another story.
Steve
For all readers, RF Steve (post #2) was refering to analog Ham radio and not digital TV reception where we all use comparatively poor tuners / receivers. Unlike in Ham Radio the average person (you and I) have been stuck with 'adequate' tuners built into our TV sets. That sucks.

Last night I received KONA 610-AM for the first time from across my own State (across the Cascade Mountain Range) and the usual 'reason' for this kind of reception is called back-scatter: signals that strike the ionisphere and bounce 'backwards' ...

I have experienced Troposcopic Ducting of Digital Television signals but I do not believe in 'dependable' Tropo. Nonsense. It may occur "regularly" for a time: a few minutes or perhaps even an hour day after day ... but rarely for more than a few days in a row.

Its much like the days (1960s-1970s) of CB radio when Texas was 'hot' one night and Alabama was the following night, but no signals arrived from Texas, ten-four good buddies?

Jim
 
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DW-77

DTVUSA Member
#13
Rick, the description available on the webpage you referenced, states that the ULNA connects "directly" to the Sigma antenna. Not 100% sure what that means; did not see any pictures; I suppose there may be a special design that allows to somehow attach the pre-amp to the radiating element. If that is the case, the need for 2 pre-amps makes sense, as each amp, once installed, becomes integral part of the respective antenna.

Tim, according to the cables' specs, at 700MHz the difference in cable loss between RG-6 and the RG-11 is 0.9dB per 100ft (at lower frequencies, the difference is even less). Unless the cable run is many hundred feet, the extra 0.9dB per 100ft is negligible,when compared to the 24dB amplification provided by the ULNA. Adding in the fact that RG-11 is thicker, less flexible and more difficult to work with... IMO, RG-6 is the right choice.

All these being said, I am also somewhat skeptical with respect to the "stable Tropo' reception" claim.
 
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#14
I don't believe it because too many people out there have already tried to get consistent reception from beyond the horizon and it just doesn't work. There's that and plus the schmucks not even using rg 11 cable with his "super yooper" set-up. ... If one is going to tweak their antenna system to the max, why use RG6 cable when RG11 has less loss?
A thousand apologies, Tim. My confusion arose from the lack of an apostrophe in "schmuck's." I thought you were referring to all the customers who bought Super Yoopers, as in plural schmucks. Actually, I don't know if there's a single buyer of the Super Yooper as described. I can't find any reviews of the system on the internet, though there are a few speculative threads like this one.

But how do you know Anderson didn't use RG-11 that time? I can't find it in the article. Have you corresponded with him?

Rick
 
#15
Based on the published documentation, the Sigma-6HD antenna seems really good. Rick, I'll call your bet from post #3; how much are you willing to put on the table? (just kidding).
A thousand dollars, more or less! :becky:

All things considered (including SWR), the S-6HD beats the 4221HD across the entire UHF band (by 2.4dB at the low end; at the upper end the gap narrows to 0.3dB). For the 4221HD, I used the numbers published by an enthusiast who put the dimensional data of a "hacked" 4221HD in a Sw simulator, ("hacking" being done following "rabbit's mods").
Point of order, Mr. Robert! If you're going to use data from the mfr of the Sigma6HD, you have to do the same for the 4221HD! I strongly suspect a simulation from an enthusiast would yield lower numbers on the Fracarro line.

As far as subtracting for SWR, I'm aware of two sets of 4221 simulations on the internet, and the authors seem to disagree on that point. holl_ands says that "net gain" (after SWR subtration) only applies at atypical intervals, for certain lengths of coax for certain frequencies, while the purveyor of hdtvprimer.com seems to think net gain is much more important than raw gain! I think holl_ands might be closer to the truth on this one. It's easy to be deceived by language, as in the term "net gain."

Rick
 
#16
For all readers, RF Steve (post #2) was refering to analog Ham radio and not digital TV reception
... I do not believe in 'dependable' Tropo. Nonsense.
Yes, but it sounds like Steve totally disagrees with your "Nonsense" assessment. He says: "I do tend to believe his story.

I haven't expressed any views. I'm just here to stir up trouble. :applause:

Rick
 

DW-77

DTVUSA Member
#17
Point of order, Mr. Robert! If you're going to use data from the mfr of the Sigma6HD, you have to do the same for the 4221HD!
Rick
Well, I would gladly compare manufacturer provided data, if CM published it (but they don't - let's not go back there). The data you pointed me at (the one that someone managed to obtain from CM after "pulling teeth") only shows Raw Gain. So, If we were to do a Raw Gain only comparison, the Sigma still wins (by 0.5dB at the low end / 1.2dB at the upper end).

I agree that the SWR correction is not a simple thing; in order to apply it "100% by the books" one would need to know how the input impedance of the tuner varies across the band, as well as the characteristics and exact length of the cable. There are many unknowns there though. To get an idea of antenna behavior, one could figure the impact of the antenna's SWR when connected to a 75 Ohm load (which is what the manufacturers do BTW, when they calculate and measure the values). It is a simplified approach, but it gives a good estimate on gain reduction due to reflections. Real life results may vary :), but if we compare antennas using similar conditions, the results should be relevant.
 
#18
Well, I would gladly compare manufacturer provided data, if CM published it (but they don't - let's not go back there).
But we have to.

The data you pointed me at
A simple Google search would show you that data was available from several different sources. So CM did publish it. Even if they only gave it to one person, that would still constitute a publication, under any legal definition I'm aware of. (And my lawyer made me very aware, back when the Sharp corporation threatened to sue me for copyright violation.) But in fact, the data was widely available in various forms.

They just don't publish it the way YOU would like it published -- ready to hand out to John Q. Public. It's a sad fact of life that many companies see a law suit waiting to happen, whenever a consumer asks for hard data. BTW, true to form, CM never answered my follow up question about the apparent revision of the 4221HD.

(the one that someone managed to obtain from CM after "pulling teeth") only shows Raw Gain.
I don't know how you think you know that. Probably true, but it wasn't stated anywhere in the chart I posted.

So, If we were to do a Raw Gain only comparison, the Sigma still wins (by 0.5dB at the low end / 1.2dB at the upper end).
And they intersect at about RF43, so overall there's less than 1 dB of difference -- before the modifications suggested by those Canadian folk. So the 4221HD wins. :first: Obviously we would do the mods. Context matters.

I agree that the SWR correction is not a simple thing; in order to apply it "100% by the books" one would need to know how the input impedance of the tuner varies across the band, as well as the characteristics and exact length of the cable. There are many unknowns there though. To get an idea of antenna behavior, one could figure the impact of the antenna's SWR when connected to a 75 Ohm load (which is what the manufacturers do BTW, when they calculate and measure the values).
Whoh!!! You really think manufacturers have some kind of universal standard for something so esoteric?? Only when this: :flypig: happens!!

It sounds like you agree more with the tvprimer guy than with holl_ands. The post I saw tells me that holl_ands thinks raw gain is more typical, in fact much more typical, than net gain. I'm going to stick with him.

if we compare antennas using similar conditions, the results should be relevant.
To that limited degree, we may have some small area of agreement. ;)

Rick
 

DW-77

DTVUSA Member
#19
... I don't know how you think you know that. Probably true, but it wasn't stated anywhere in the chart I posted.
I think that is what you stated right before pasting that chart:

:... Here is a chart that comes from Channel Master. A respected poster on another site pulled teeth to get it, and verified the numbers are in dBd ...
Rick
Did I misunderstand what you wrote in that posting?

...And they intersect at about RF43...
Rick
Are you sure? How many other UHF antennas have you seen out there with a gain variation like this? 4221HD-1.JPG

IMO, whoever typed this chart made some mistakes. If we swap the gain values for channels 14 and 27, and also swap the values for channels 43 and 52, the gain curve looks like this:

4221HD-2.JPG

I am not saying that the changes I am suggesting make the data correct, what I am saying is that the second curve makes sense (for gain variation vs frequency), while the first one does not. When a manufacturer "publishes" such self contradicting data, I question the entire chart, as well as the seriousness of the engineering team that "published" it in the first place. (the word "publish" was used in this sentence based on the way you defined it in your previous post, therefore the quotation marks)

... so overall there's less than 1 dB of difference -- before the modifications suggested by those Canadian folk. So the 4221HD wins. :first: Obviously we would do the mods. Context matters.
Rick
Are you sure that those mods really work? It seems that "Rabbit" verified them using OTA signals as an incoming source. Could it be that the incoming signal itself improved gradually, as a result of changes in the propagation conditions, while he was applying the mods? Again, I am not saying that this is what happened, I am saying it is a possibility. To know for sure if/how the mods affect performance, one would have to compare two antennas (one "stock", one "hacked") either in a controlled environment (RF Lab), under similar conditions; or via parallel simulation. AFAIK, there is no such relevant comparison data out there.

Of course you have every right in the world to declare any antenna you want "the winner", based on any combination of numbers and assumptions you want, especially if the 4221HD worked best for you. The numbers I was able to find and make sense do not seem to confirm your winner "verdict" but, after all, it is your personal opinion, and I respect it.

... Whoh!!! You really think manufacturers have some kind of universal standard for something so esoteric?? Only when this: :flypig: happens!!
Rick
TV antennas are measured (or simulated) with a "standard" load attached. That load is either 300 Ohm (if measuring the dipole output directly), or 75 Ohm (if the balun is also included in the measurement). That is standard procedure. There's nothing "esoteric" there.
 
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#20
I think that is what you stated right before pasting that chart: ... Did I misunderstand what you wrote in that posting?
Apparently so. I stated nothing about raw gain, or net gain, or any specific type of gain. I just passed along some numbers from multiple third parties, which reportedly came from Channel Master.

Are you sure? How many other UHF antennas have you seen out there with a gain variation like this?
Just take a look at any simulated data. There are multiple examples of small variations like that. E.g.:
Comparing some commercially available antennas
or
UHF Multi-Bay Comparison Charts

Logically there should be even more variation in net gain or physical data from a range (a.k.a. statistical flux) than in simulated raw gain.

When a manufacturer "publishes" such self contradicting data, I question the entire chart, as well as the seriousness of the engineering team that "published" it in the first place.
On the contrary, you should trust the mfr that much more for being willing to publish real data -- warts and all.

(the word "publish" was used in this sentence based on the way you defined it in your previous post, therefore the quotation marks)
You should immediately adopt my definition and use it forthwith in all your posts. :thumb: You'll be more accurate. There's nothing in the dictionary about an obligation to publish repeatedly on demand.

Are you sure that those mods really work? It seems that "Rabbit" verified them using OTA signals as an incoming source. ... AFAIK, there is no such relevant comparison data out there.
I think there is overwhelming evidence that it works, yes. You have solid theory going in behind it. Then you have multiple reports from people on that site that it worked. Then you have rabbit73's hard data. Finally, there is this statement from well regarded simulation expert holl_ands: "It is presumed that anyone interested enough to view this webpage will implement the "Hacked Balun" modifications per photo in fol. rabbit73 post (flip over the Feedlines going into the Balun plus an additional offset): CM4221HD Hardware Hacks - Page 15 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums "

It's safe to assume holl_ands did simulations with and without the mods. He had no reason to put his reputation on the line without that simple check. It's just a few parameters to change.

TV antennas are measured (or simulated) with a "standard" load attached. That load is either 300 Ohm (if measuring the dipole output directly), or 75 Ohm (if the balun is also included in the measurement). That is standard procedure. There's nothing "esoteric" there.
I don't believe there is any standard procedure among antenna mfrs. If you can get representatives from two major antenna companies to swear publicly they both adhere to one particular standard, spelled out in detail, then I'll give it 50/50 chance of being true -- just for those two people. I won't hold my breath. :rolleyes:

Rick
 
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