Question: Low success with over the air (OTA) in my upcoming house?

ant

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
Hello!

Does it look like I won't be able to get many over OTA feeds in my upcoming home in La Habra Heights, CA 90631 on the wrong side of the big hills/small mountains facing Mount/Mt. Wilson for Los Angeles/L.A.'s transmitters?

I borrowed a portable 7" DTV with a rabbit ear's single/one antenna. I only got channel 31.x indoor (kitchen next to its big windows) and outdoor on the front side (garage, kitchen window, etc.) of the house I could face on the sloped/tilted ground level. I also sort of got more channels, but sort of stable with FOX 11.x and KABC 7.x if I am outside in front of the house's garage and facing Mount Wilson's direction(?) (forgot to bring a compass to get its exact direction). I had to face the big hills/mountains away from the neighbor's big house. I also noticed the trees were much taller than the houses. I wonder if it possible to stick an antenna up there on their main trunks (they're not higher than the huge hills though). Is that possible?

Also, can I use that existing satellite dish to act like an OTA antenna? For kicks, I tried hooking up it up to the portable DTV and it can pick up channel 31.x like the antenna! And no, it can't get it without coax port connected. Also, the sky was cloudy and started to clear out if that matters.

TV Fool (tried adjusting height and need about 188 feet to get all the ones I want in green color!)
http://i.imgur.com/q7LS4.jpg (antennaweb)
http://i.imgur.com/KWz13.gif (location on Google Maps)
http://i.imgur.com/LTao8.jpg (aerial shot of the rooftop -- note the existing satellite dish from the previous home owner)

Thank you in advance. :)
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#2
:welcome: ant,

Please rerun your TVFOOL survey with the maximum height about ground level that you could realistically install an antenna. The report you provided is at 5 feet above ground level by default. Thanks,

Jim
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#3
I certainly wouldn't give up hope given those results. If you were using the monopole that came with the portable and got signals those signals are probably stronger than what TVfool predicts. That has been my experience in "radical" terrain areas. I've pulled in 15 kW UHF signals from 48 miles over some good sized foothills. The Dish isn't tuned anywhere close to DTV frequencies so the fact that you got 31.x means the signal is quite strong in that area. Your not going to know what you can get for sure until you do some experiments with a better antenna.
 
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MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#5
I just noticed something: go to your TVfool, and where it says "pending applications included" check "only digital".

Your reception improves. However, there is a problem: channel 23. TWO of them, both very strong. I don't understand what's up with that, but even if there is only one, you're still looking at a really strong signal. DO NOT USE AN AMPLIFIER!

You also have mostly VHF channels.
 
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Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#6
I certainly wouldn't give up hope given those results. If you were using the monopole that came with the portable and got signals those signals are probably stronger than what TVfool predicts.
ant,

dkreichen is correct: the single pole antenna on portable TV sets are notoriously poor performers. I am encouraged by your 40 foot elevation TVFOOL report but installing antennas in trees can be problematic. For one, trees tend to move with the wind and that alone could kill reception. It is far better to install a tall fixed mast.

There are sectional telescopic masts available: two section/20 feet, up to 5 section/50 feet (really about 44 feet) and I use them here. They can be installed on rooftops with a baseplate or with wall brackets on the side or end of your home.

Jim
 

ant

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#7
ant,

dkreichen is correct: the single pole antenna on portable TV sets are notoriously poor performers. I am encouraged by your 40 foot elevation TVFOOL report but installing antennas in trees can be problematic. For one, trees tend to move with the wind and that alone could kill reception. It is far better to install a tall fixed mast.

There are sectional telescopic masts available: two section/20 feet, up to 5 section/50 feet (really about 44 feet) and I use them here. They can be installed on rooftops with a baseplate or with wall brackets on the side or end of your home.

Jim
I assume those are stable during big earthquakes and strong winds. I assume they can be placed next to the chiney for the highest point on the house? How much will that cost including the antenna(e)?
 

ant

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#8
I just noticed something: go to your TVfool, and where it says "pending applications included" check "only digital".

Your reception improves. However, there is a problem: channel 23. TWO of them, both very strong. I don't understand what's up with that, but even if there is only one, you're still looking at a really strong signal. DO NOT USE AN AMPLIFIER!

You also have mostly VHF channels.
That explains why I can get KVMD's channel 31.x OTA in the kitchen and outside in the front (north).
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#9
ant,

Here is a website that sells telescopic masts: Channel Master CM-1850 Telescopic Push-up 50 Foot 18 AWG Galvanized Steel Antenna Mast

About two years ago I checked with my local True Value and ACE Hardware stores and discovered they had better prices than any I found online. One of them (I cannot recall which one) offered free shipping to their store.

Rather than relying on a chimney (unless it is massive) to support a tall mast, I prefer using a plate bolted to the roof or wall brackets. As long as you install guy wires, any mast should ride through an earthquake although your antenna might shake itself to pieces.

Jim
 

ant

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#10
ant,

Here is a website that sells telescopic masts: Channel Master CM-1850 Telescopic Push-up 50 Foot 18 AWG Galvanized Steel Antenna Mast

About two years ago I checked with my local True Value and ACE Hardware stores and discovered they had better prices than any I found online. One of them (I cannot recall which one) offered free shipping to their store.

Rather than relying on a chimney (unless it is massive) to support a tall mast, I prefer using a plate bolted to the roof or wall brackets. As long as you install guy wires, any mast should ride through an earthquake although your antenna might shake itself to pieces.

Jim
Wow, $222 just for a mast. I did not think it would cost that much. :O Well, the aerial shot would show you that chimney.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#11
ant,

Considering most people spend around a thousand dollars annually for Cable, its not that expensive. That's only one of many online sources: I chose it because it has good explanatory text of the item. I purchased two 50 foot masts on Craigslist for $100, so that's another possibility.

Jim
 

ant

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#12
ant,

Considering most people spend around a thousand dollars annually for Cable, its not that expensive. That's only one of many online sources: I chose it because it has good explanatory text of the item. I purchased two 50 foot masts on Craigslist for $100, so that's another possibility.

Jim
True. Hence why I was thinking of buying basic cable/satellite (only care for OTA channels) if OTA doesn't work out which I am worried about. :(
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#13
Don't even think of giving up on OTA until you try. This is my TV Fool. KDVR (RF32 Fox31) is the weakest of the full powers but not much of a problem. I'm even able to pull in the 15 kW KZCO which doesn't even show up on the report, and in the past I pulled in KLPD. I get 90%+ signal "strength" (quality) on both KMGH RF7 and KUSA RF9 with a basic dipole mounted less than 10 feet above the ground.

Since most of the receivable channels are high VHF in your new area, you will need to check using an appropriately sized antenna (not the portable's monopole). This is the antenna I use for high VHF. Picture 009.jpg

The folded dipole is 29" long.
 
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