Indoor vs. Outdoor antennas?

Niners

DTVUSA Rookie
#1
How much of a advantage does an outdoor antenna offer? I have a cousin in Southern Dallas that needs an antenna so I was going to get him one that's easy to hook up and from what I've seen, the indoor antennas are much easier to connect than outdoor ones. If I get him an outdoor one, I want something already put together, or that's easily mounted on a stand that comes with it.

I don't know his address off hand so any suggestions would help without this information.
 

Don_M

DTVUSA Member
#2
:welcome:

You're right: Indoor antennas are much easier to hook up than outdoor antennas. Happily, south Dallas isn't very far at all from most of the broadcast towers in your market, so an indoor antenna is definitely worth trying first. You won't need anything fancy -- just get a pair of inexpensive VHF/UHF rabbit ears. Avoid antennas with built-in amplifiers, which could cause reception-robbing tuner overload.

Place the antenna away from the TV and other electronic devices to avoid interference. If reception is a bit spotty, get a "barrel connector" and extend the antenna's built-in cable with another 6- or 9-foot length of coaxial cable. That way, your cousin will be able to try a number of different spots in the room to find the best one. Putting it close to a window frequently helps.
 
#3
It will especially help if your location has a window that faces Cedar Hill - the site of the DFW transmitter farm. Your best reception will be in front of that window provided it doesn't have a metal screen on it.
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#4
Using an Indoor Antenna

Greetings Niners welcome to the Forum ! :welcome:

The advice from Don_M and ProjectSHO89 is good.
I have much the same situation here in Houston, that being a strong Antenna Farm just south of me, and am using some Rabbit Ears on a single TV portable system.

Don's term "barrel connector", is a "Union" which connects two Coaxial Cables together, allowing the placement of the Antenna, to a better location for reception. Just so you'll know what we're talking about, here's a picture of the...
Winegard FS8100
this is a bag of 6, and you should be able to pick just one up locally.

Here's an example of a Indoor VHF/UHF Antenna in the...
Channel Master CM 4020
Placement in an optimum location is necessary, but, Don's advice about the length of the extension Cable is wise. No longer than necessary, to achieve the placement.

Here's a typical Chart for the stations transmitting in Dallas Area...
Dallas TX. 75201 Typical Reception Chart
As you can see, you have an abundance of Stations to view, but, you do want to make sure in the placement/adjustment of the Antenna, that you have included all the Major Broadcasters if possible. (shouldn't be any problem in doing that)

The list of Channels shows the strongest at the top, and as you move down the Chart, they get weaker. So, let's select the last of the Majors, that being the WFAA, ABC, Ch 8.1.

After a Scan with your TV or Converter Box, either select this Channel by the up/down toggle button, or, manually enter it into the Tuner/Converter. This is the Channel, which you use to find the best placement/adjustment for your Antenna.

Understand, I'm not saying that you will receive ALL the channels listed on the Chart, probably far from that, but with this simple procedure, and once you have good placement for reception of Ch 8.1. the rest of the Major Broadcast Channels, should be able to be received satisfactorily.

Be sue to run through the other Major Broadcast Channels, and see if they are coming in ok. There's a lot of discussion we could get into here concerning the VHF Ch 8.1, and the others being UHF. So, if you have a problem with any, jut come on back and we'll talk about it here.

Have a good Day ! :)
S.W.
 

JER

DTVUSA Member
#5
Barrel versus bullet

Don's term "barrel connector", is a "Union" which connects two Coaxial Cables together, allowing the placement of the Antenna, to a better location for reception. Just so you'll know what we're talking about, here's a picture of the...
Winegard FS8100
All good advise above from Don and SWHouston. Thanks.

My only comment is that the barrel connector is actually a male to male adapter whereas the bullet is female to female. See here:

Microwave Connectors - Microwave Encyclopedia - Microwaves101.com

Hope that eliminates some confusion!
 
#7
How much of a advantage does an outdoor antenna offer? I have a cousin in Southern Dallas that needs an antenna so I was going to get him one that's easy to hook up and from what I've seen, the indoor antennas are much easier to connect than outdoor ones. If I get him an outdoor one, I want something already put together, or that's easily mounted on a stand that comes with it.

I don't know his address off hand so any suggestions would help without this information.
Indoor antennas are worthy if you live under 20 miles or so, and have LOS (line of sight) signals. Farther away then that you will most likely need something on the roof or in the attic. 91-XG is good for long range UHF.
 

IDRick

DTVUSA Member
#8
All good advise above from Don and SWHouston. Thanks.

My only comment is that the barrel connector is actually a male to male adapter whereas the bullet is female to female. See here:

Microwave Connectors - Microwave Encyclopedia - Microwaves101.com

Hope that eliminates some confusion!
JER, any idea on where I could purchase two f-81 connector savers? It would sure save alot of wear and tear on two important coax inputs when doing at home antenna testing (Apex 502 and coax to test tv). I've searched solid signal and summit source but couldn't find f-81 connector savers. Maybe the easiest solution is to purchase a couple of 1 dB pad attenuators?
 

IDRick

DTVUSA Member
#10
Thanks Don! Still looking on-line but not finding anything.... My main concern is that I don't want to strip the threads on my tv or converter box coaxial input. Mine have gone through 30+ connects/disconnects already and the odds of stripping are probably increasing... I could stop playing around but that's no fun! ;)

Best,

Rick
 

Don_M

DTVUSA Member
#11
Rick, if the threads ever strip and you're comfortable using a soldering pencil, you may be able to open the case and replace the RF input with a panel-mounted F-61 jack. In many applications only the tab for the center contact needs soldering; the jack self-grounds to metal chassis through its mounting nut. You'd need to peek inside the case beforehand to see whether this might be feasible (which it may not be, given many makers' habits of cramming components and wiring into teeny boxes!).

:cool:
 
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JER

DTVUSA Member
#12
F connector saver

JER, any idea on where I could purchase two f-81 connector savers? It would sure save alot of wear and tear on two important coax inputs when doing at home antenna testing (Apex 502 and coax to test tv). I've searched solid signal and summit source but couldn't find f-81 connector savers. Maybe the easiest solution is to purchase a couple of 1 dB pad attenuators?
Does this help?

PE9759 - PRECISION ADAPTER; F MALE TO F FEMALE - Adapters Wizard

I use lots of pasternack cables / adapters for my lab. They are generally of very high quality.
 

JER

DTVUSA Member
#15
lol. Maybe you're interpreting the pricing wrong PSHO89, it's 24 adapters for the price of $46.95???

:banplease:
Nope! It really is $46.95 for the adapter. Good quality adapters aren't cheap. As adapters / connectors go these are relatively cheap. Here's a link for the cables and adapters that I use on my HP/Agilent 8510C VNA. Even at those prices they are still way cheaper than the equivalent Agilent/HP stuff. Crazy eh?

TEST EQUIPMENT - RF, Cables, Video Cables, RF Parts, Connectors
 

IDRick

DTVUSA Member
#16
Thanks for the recommendation JER. Little higher cost than I had hoped though... :eyes: For my testing purposes, I can probably get by with making a couple short cables that I leave attached to the APEX and tv plus spring for a couple barrel splicers.... I'm only making relative comparisons with my testing.

Thanks again!

Rick
 

FOX TV

Contributor
#18
Connectors

JER, any idea on where I could purchase two f-81 connector savers? It would sure save alot of wear and tear on two important coax inputs when doing at home antenna testing (Apex 502 and coax to test tv). I've searched solid signal and summit source but couldn't find f-81 connector savers. Maybe the easiest solution is to purchase a couple of 1 dB pad attenuators?
One source for just about any type of connector made is Pasternack Enterprises. Cables, Coaxial Cable, Cable Connectors, Adapters, Attenuators, Microwave Parts - Pasternack Enterprises. They have every type connector imaginable, but they are expensive, and they are very proud of their products which can be seen in their prices. They are also a good source for antenna discharge units as opposed to just using a standard grounding block for static discharge. My apoligies to JER, I did not read your reply, and now I posted the same link to Pasternack Ent. as you. DUH !!
 
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Niners

DTVUSA Rookie
#19
Thank you all of the suggestions. I'm heading to the store today and then on to connect the antenna. I'm a little hesitant on the non-amp antenna as that's what I use here at my home but I'm a little bit north of my cousin and closer to a few of the main broadcast towers.
 
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