My greatest [Antenna] invention worked!

#1
My new Phillips HDTV antenna with 50db gain was the best antenna it had, until i took a really REALLY old set of UHF/VHF rabbit ears from the 1960s and tried it as an outdoor antenna.

It's one of those super-ancient models with the big red 'knob' on the front that i would guess was fine-tuning. it's a non-powered (no preamp) antenna and has fixed UHF halos. (two that become one respectively) and two adjustable VHF dipoles.

I hooked a long run of cable, sat the thing on the ground, and pointed each dipole at 45* angles, extended 1/2 way out, and pointed it NW. tuned to the box, for the first time, i can now view all 19 of my digital channels (no WAZE but that one is a loss, sadly) with no dropouts and no amps, and best of all, no aiming every time i choose to change the channel!

Try it! a lot of people are throwing out such older sets of antennas for fear they won't work with DTV and they literally eclipse those high-dollar powered antennas. just got to be creative!

Haven't quite figured out what the 'knob' is for, it doesn't seem to do anything when i click it in any position, although one or two positions causes a dead signal.
 

pghmyn

DTVUSA Member
#3
That is awesome! It is great to know people can find their way around the new DTV integration. I am still wondering what the world is going to do when it is converted to DTV. You know there will always be those who complain a lot about something.
 

casey

DTVUSA Member
#4
Great job with this discovery for yourself :)

See what happens when you put your mind to something, and you try something that popped into your mind. Not every idea is a bad idea, some can be pretty good.
 
#5
Just 1 problem dude -

What about the weather? Rabbit ears weren't made for outside although I did try it like that once, but when the wind blowed the picture dropped out so I took it back inside.
 
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#6
As it's a non-powered antenna, the worry of it shorting out come rain/snow isn't possible. it's a simple set of antenna and there's no electricity involved. i merely forced it to work outside and it seems to hold it's own well.

But that's the job of my next creative inspiration. a way to avoid wind. as i stated in my other threads, wind is a big problem here, in winter it can be over 50mph winds for a few days at a time. i'm thinking of weight. some way to conterweight the antenna set so it doesn't budge in winds or whatever else Mother Nature throws at it. since it's an old 1960s antenna, it's disposable if it breaks. but so-far, so good. i'm thinking of making a stand and fastening down the antenna to it, and having the stand simply strapped down to the ground to some sort of foundation. it's still a work in progress. but hey, i can view all my channels without reaiming it, no worries of missing channels (or hit-and-miss channels), and the only thing that needs to be done from time-to-time, is turn the knob about a few clicks.

The 'knob' on the front apparently does something, not sure what, it has to be turned three clicks to the right to view NBC, THIS TV, and WFIE Weather NOW!. and turned back to view RTN. but no aiming.

I'm hoping that once the DTV transition is done for good, that some channels will be more strong, more power will be available in digital bands, and possibly channels will move to easier-to-pick-up bands.

VHF is limited to the FOX station here, sadly, the only other VHF channel available is channel 9-1, 2, and 3, and that's PBS. but since KET has the same simulcast, (and none of that descriptive video service stuff that cannot be silenced) and more subchannels, i fail to see why i'd miss another public access station.
 
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#8
It's the twin-lead that came with the antenna tied to one of those adapters to make it compatible with the box. it had a good long run already there, i just routed it into the AC-cord opening in my trailer and the box is in the cabinet in back. the output from the box goes to the 'park cable' port so i can use one box for both TVs. if you were in my home you'd never know the box was there. now if i could find some sort of remote control extender so i can change channels from my living room and not have to go to the bedroom to change channels. right now the antenna itself is sitting on the grass just behind the rear of the mobile home. the steel stand (yes, no plastic!) is big and heavy enough to keep it stationary in wind so far (NW 10-20)

I've contemplated adding a small 12db amp inside the home that would have the antenna connect through it and then to the box, in hopes of picking up more channels previously impossible to pick up, since it already has a great signal w/o amp, but i wonder if that was my problem, the amps causing drop outs or making it easier to drop out. all i know is my other powered DTV antennas would go dead on signal if the amp was turned off.
 
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#11
BTW i found out the invention i did worked during a storm. i'm impressed.

The old antenna is of course steel bottom or some sort of heavy metal base so it stood its own during another 50mph windstorm last night, along with heavy rain and thunderstorms. the signal never missed a beat, i was watching 14WFIE and the WeatherNOW! channel, and this morning it was still raising hell outside and i was watching Patty Duke and Mister Ed just fine. that's a first. let it be known 1960s tech works better with DTV than the new stuff!
 
#13
on the roof it would be harder to service if there *was* a problem, plus a tree can hit it and damage it. i still need to adjust a dipole or two when switching between RTN and NBC, for some reason the other channels are perfect, no aiming required, but RTN and NBC require different orientations or they won't work. so i i were watching WFIE and wanted to then change channels to RTN, i'd need to flip the antenna, the other channels, KET, MyNetworkTV, and such work regardless. i think the adjustments to pull in the only two weaker stations are due to Spring and the trees are sprouting leaves and the forest is growing back so it's causing more interference.
 
#16
I'm reworking the setup to include three antennas. this one, and another one tied into a two-input splitter, so i can tune some channels on one, and another like RTN on the other (so no aiming required that cancels out my other channels, seems RTN and my others cannot be up at the same time) so all i'd need to do to pull in RTN is flip a switch, plus adding the rooftop Winegard RV antenna to the mix, so if wind befalls my other antennas all i need to do is flip a switch inside and there ya go. i'm going to have it so complicated there's no way any weather is going to deny me my TV. one antenna is not enough! must have more!
 

Todd2

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#17
I'm reworking the setup to include three antennas. this one, and another one tied into a two-input splitter, so i can tune some channels on one, and another like RTN on the other (so no aiming required that cancels out my other channels, seems RTN and my others cannot be up at the same time) so all i'd need to do to pull in RTN is flip a switch, plus adding the rooftop Winegard RV antenna to the mix, so if wind befalls my other antennas all i need to do is flip a switch inside and there ya go. i'm going to have it so complicated there's no way any weather is going to deny me my TV. one antenna is not enough! must have more!
Doesn't it seem like a lot of work for something that's supposed to be free?
 
#19
I get ONE of our PBS affiliates. They don't have any sub-channels though. They have the main network. 1 HD 1080i stream and the second one is a 480i SD stream.

Our other PBS affiliate (sister station), has 4 channels. Main network, Create, World, and Kids (SD streams). I can't get them though.

There is a spot in my room where I can, but I'd lose all the other channels.
 
#20
We have three subchannels for PBS, first two are the same, difference being HD/SD feeds, the other is a third but it says 'Under Construction' hmmmm....me being the Public Access buff wonders what is coming? :)

We also have a local affiliate with 4 sub-channels. (KET) none of them are PBS Kids 24/7 though, i do like the cartoons. about 4-8 hours is about it. i do like some of the primetime shows like NOVA, Nature, and some of the specials like the one about the Amazon. i love knowledge, esp in a format i can watch. glad it's back since March ended. whew, i was getting withdrawal since most of KETs programming was also in the basketball junk.

Got the rooftop antenna working, it works better than the others. only issue *it* has is the inability to pull in NBC (WFIE) in during wind. easy solution, flip the switch from 'ANT' inside to 'CABLE' and then it feeds in the old antenna outside that's plugged into my 'Park Cable' port.

The triple-antenna method is for a similar reason, if i tune in RTN on my setup, i lose all the other channels. if i tune the other channels, i lose RTN. either way it means hell to re-aim it the next time esp with weather in the way. (if it's raining, tornadoes are coming, etc) so i am constructing the triple-antenna to avoid it; one is exclusively for RTN, one is for all the rest, and the last one is a backup for the latter.
 
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