Question: Need advice on upgrading current antenna - putnam county NY

savenelroy

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id=5b94d2ac82a4c6

Looking for some advice on upgrading my antenna. I live in a very woodsy area, on the high-side of a hill. The terrain around me is hills and valleys. My current antenna is pointed at roughly 60 degrees and receives channels listed below, on a good day when the sun is shinning/no clouds. I've since realized this was not the best purchase which is why I am here :) Amplified Digital Outdoor Antenna Amazon.com : Amplified HD Digital Outdoor HDTV Antenna with Motorized 360 Degree Rotation, UHF/VHF/FM Radio with Infrared Remote Control : Satellite Tv Antennas : Electronics I've had it since November and have a feeling the spring growth is going to change my situation which is already sporadic. From what I can tell on TVfool, it looks like 205 degrees is my best bet - but I have experienced little success when pointing in that direction. The location the antenna is currently pointed was determined simply by trial and error.

Current Channels:
7-1, 7-2, 7-3
8-1, 8-2
13-1, 13-2, 13-3
48-1, 48-2, 48-3, 48-4
54-1, 54-2, 54-3, 54-4

I'd like to avoid getting one of the HUGE antennas(110 inches long). I'm willing to give up VHF channels if need be. Really just looking for the greatest chance of getting the bigger networks. Any insight or advice is greatly appreciated!

Rick
 
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KrissB

DTVUSA Member
#2
I'm amazed that antenna made it through the winter personally. I nearly subjected myself to buying one of those. I thought it was "sophisticated looking" so it could easily look appealing I don't discriminate to anyone who bought these antenna's, they are cheap, and have a way to turn them, so it's a gamble, and... We humans like to gamble if the facts are skewed! :p

Alright, so my thought is, Surely that thing doesn't pick up anything VHF below Real Ch. 7? As far as your current channels. 7-1, 7-2, 7-3 is not listed on your TVFool report. Your 8-1, and 8-2 are from Real Ch. 10 (that impresses me that the antenna gets VHF!). I would guess that is your most sporadic channels?

Is the antenna outside, attic, or inside? If it's outside how high, or how close to the roof, at the roofs peak or near gutter (trying to judge if 200 degree aiming is blocked by roof, or just that heavy of trees? I've got some serious crazy reception with my fiddling, so I can closely relate to your frustration. I kind of wish I was in the boonies, I'd just accidently cut down the tree's that obstruct my signal. Don't take my advice, it could lead to a huge amount of work or make a lot of land owners mad if you don't own the land. BUT, it never hurts to ask land owners if you can clear a small path, if you can get LOS (Line of Sight) of any towers. If you are in a Valley, invest in a Plasma-Cannon... To blast land out of the way... Ok back to reality... Can you achieve great heights via a tower outside your house? If so, that may be worth saving money for a job down the road to be done. My opinion would be any antenna up high enough (big or small) will get the stations 50 miles or less a way. Anything further than that, I have no idea what advise.

DB4 if you are on a budget, would be worth a shot, but if you go up pretty high you may as well go with a VHF/UHF antenna, and get any available channels as higher will achieve more! As far as good antenna for your situation, someone will offer some advice there.

I'm guessing you are getting a lot of bouncing signals. That is why your antenna is getting sporadic signals, and odd aiming! Sometimes that is bad, or just VERY bad, but in my case it's been great! I guess learning to utilize it, and a lot of praying to the signal gods is a must lol... For now that's about all I can think of. Sorry, I write books, and my advice may not be worth much, but hey, I offered what I thought!

KrissB
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#3
:welcome: Savenelroy,

Like Kriss, I am also amazed it held up through the winter because the rotor motor uses plastic gears. That antenna is actually engineered (was it?) for Chinese Television frequencies and not for the North American market. The fact that it works at all is promising, because it demonstrates signals are there to be received, in spite of the poor antenna survey.

Your report was based on 20 feet above ground level, but could you go higher if you had a small properly engineered antenna? I'm thinking about Denny's special (tiny) Yagi.

Jim
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#4
I'm really leaning towards higher, and yes, a fairly big antenna. What I need to know is how high can you go, and can we live without all of the VHF-lo (channels 2-6)?
 

KrissB

DTVUSA Member
#5
I'm really leaning towards higher, and yes, a fairly big antenna. What I need to know is how high can you go, and can we live without all of the VHF-lo (channels 2-6)?
MrPogi, I would not think he is getting Real 2-6 VHF-lo signals, unless they are just flooding his area. Considering the antenna! :p

I didn't notice the 20ft above ground, oops. I think a pic or 2 may give them (the antenna guru's) a better idea as well.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#6
MrPogi, I would not think he is getting Real 2-6 VHF-lo signals, unless they are just flooding his area. Considering the antenna! :p

I didn't notice the 20ft above ground, oops. I think a pic or 2 may give them (the antenna guru's) a better idea as well.
I'm sure he's not getting them (VHF-lo), I wonder if he needs or wants them. RF2 wkob-ld is Daystar, (no need for that!) wpxo-ld (4) is Spanish (Mundo Fox) and that leaves wrgb 6, CBS affiliate out of Albany. If OP can get WCBS out of New York, then there is no need for VHF -lo.

That eliminates the need for VHF-lo, but I would like to hear back from the OP before making a firm recommendation on specific antennas.


A description of the location may be helpful, too.
 

KrissB

DTVUSA Member
#7
I agree there, I didn't look what the VHF-lo's were, kudo's! I assumed they were not needed as TV fool didn't mention much. Any idea what his virtual Channel 8's are coming from? From what OP said 60 degree's I couldn't find the info.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#8
I agree there, I didn't look what the VHF-lo's were, kudo's! I assumed they were not needed as TV fool didn't mention much. Any idea what his virtual Channel 8's are coming from? From what OP said 60 degree's I couldn't find the info.
The only thing I found was WTNH-DT, that may be it.

And we still haven't heard back from the OP.
 
#9
And we still haven't heard back from the OP.
Yup. He made one post. It slowly dawned on me that if we say anything that seems to contradict the antenna ads, our credibility takes a nose dive! Sometimes they get insulted and turn this forum off completely.

So then, what do we do? Start recommending omnidirectional amplified indoor antennas encased in plastic?? Unbereevabul...

R.
 

KrissB

DTVUSA Member
#10
Yup. He made one post. It slowly dawned on me that if we say anything that seems to contradict the antenna ads, our credibility takes a nose dive! Sometimes they get insulted and turn this forum off completely.

So then, what do we do? Start recommending omnidirectional amplified indoor antennas encased in plastic?? Unbereevabul...

R.
If it wasn't for the plastic... Those tweedle little elements wouldn't last a minute... Actually... They probably don't last either way, the plastic just makes it keep looking pretty as well as supporting it so it doesn't just flop in the wind lol, all the while the signal falls!!!

I'll give the OP some credit, it's easy to read those ads, and think... Wow, really, that much has changed? If I wasn't into electronics so much I would have grabbed one of those as well I bet. They give you the retail price, then sell it to you for 10x what it cost to make it, and you feel like you just won big! It works for "X" months, and well then you realize... lol I figure the OP will chime in this weekend. I only come here on the weekdays because I would go crazy trying to contain the non-sense in my head.

KrissB
 
#11
I'll give the OP some credit ...
I wasn't commenting so much on our OP, but there are many, many people who make one post and then vanish from the face of the earth. Best not to spend hours and hours answering tough questions till you're sure there's some t-r-a-c-t-i-o-n there.

That's a form of trolling, you know! Asking questions requires little effort compared to answering correctly. Go on a Linux site. Ask "What makes Linux so much better than Windows?" Come back a month later. Observe hundreds of posts. Big yucks. :clown:

Rick
 

savenelroy

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#12
I'm still here! Created an account this week and assumed I'd get an email notification when there was a new post. Not even in my spam folder. Need to look into this.

There is traction here, so reply away!

Few questions to answe:

1. The antenna is mounted about 10 feet above the eave of my roof . Total height is 20+ feet from the ground. My property is surrounded by trees. Closest to the antenna is 50 feet, most 200+ feet away, but definitely interfere with the line of sight in almost 360 degrees. A few random patches of openness.

2. Not really looking to go higher with the antenna. The setup I have for the antenna mount is for an old weather station. Mounted to the eave of my roof like this guy On a budget and would prefer not to buy more materials than i need to.

3. I can live without low Vhf channels if the reward is greater than the sacrifice. Not really picky, just looking for the most channels.

4. Description of location: The area is surrounded by trees. It's very private, wooded and hilly. Rolling hills everywhere, more-so than mountains. But a few big hills too. No real buildings or houses obstructing line of sight.

5. The plastic POS was better than the mohu-leaf i purchased first, which i returned about a day after getting. Looks like i should have come to a forum before making a purchase. The antenna has severed its purpose and I'm ready to put on my big boy pants.

R
 
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MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#14
1. As long as it is strong enough, it should serve the purpose. give it a shake and see what you think. Otherwise, we do have other inexpensive options.

2. As long as the roof isn't blocking your LOS to the south, you should be okay. "Edge" signals are funny - sometimes higher is not better, it's more about finding a sweet spot. A foot in any direction can make a difference.

3. You don't need those channels, if you have no interest in Spanish / religious, and as long as we can get you WCBS from NY you don't need Albany - which is in the wrong direction, anyway.

4. I'm familiar with the terrain, it's those rolling hills and the distance from NYC that are your biggest obstacle. If you can cut back trees it might help, but probably not needed.

5. Many people buy those things, you're not alone. The leaf is not a bad antenna, but its meant for locations closer to the transmitters that don't need VHF. Hey advertising works - note how many people have been convinced by the cable companies that you have to pay for TV.
 

savenelroy

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#15
It's solid. 4 lag-bolts holding it in place.

Been reading up on grounding a TV antenna. This is making me nervous. Sounds like some expertise is needed here. I'm pretty handy but know nothing about electrical work. Worth attempting this? Price tag for this is slowly getting bigger...
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#16
Not really. Clamp a copper wire on that mast and run it to a ground. Throw your antenna up, aim it, and done. I think an AntennaCraft HBU33 or similar antenna would work for you, and the price is around $50.
 
#17
I hope he can get WCBS out of New York, cause if he doesn't, he probly won't get Fox or NBC either. They're both in the weeds down there at -5 NM.

I think an AntennaCraft HBU33 or similar antenna would work for you,
Best prices incl. S&H I can find on "HBU33 or similar":

AntennaCraft HBU33 80" boom -- $56.48 from Solid Signal
AntennaCraft 33 Element UHF / High-Band VHF Outdoor HDTV Antenna (HBU33) from Solid Signal

AntennaCraft HBU44 116" boom -- $67.98 from Solid Signal
AntennaCraft 44 Element UHF / High-Band VHF Outdoor HDTV Antenna (HBU44) from Solid Signal

Stellar Labs 30-2440 43.5" tri-boom $40.99 from MCMElectronics
Stellar Labs VHF/UHF HDTV 60 Mile Fringe Yagi Antenna | 30-2440 (302440) | Stellar Labs

The last one has a couple extra dB gain where he needs it in the UHF band. I think it might be the best shot at pulling Fox and NBC out of the weeds and through the trees.

Rick
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#18
Yea, I do think he's going to have to bite the bullet and get a bigger antenna, Rick. Maybe the Stellar Labs is the best bet - but I have no hands on with it. It is shorter and less expensive than the HBU44 or 55. I do pull in a few signals myself with negative numbers that according to TVfool I should not get - that's the nature of edge signals, though. You don't know until you try.
 

savenelroy

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#19
I think I've been convinced. Will try a bigger antenna and see how it works out. Will be in touch with my progress. Thanks for all the helpful advice! Stay tuned.

R
 

savenelroy

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#20
I purchased the HBU55 and 10G201 pre-amp. Did a pre-install in the attic and am already receiving receiving NBC, ABC, and a few others. Gonna get up on the roof this weekend and mount it in its final resting place. Hoping to see more once it's out of the attic. Looking good so far! 19 channels in total: telemundo, christian and korean/asian channels account for 9 of them which aren't really a priority. Would be nice to have a few more of the major networks. Fingers crossed for FOX, WPIX, and PBS.
 
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