Need help with antenna for 2edge channels

ratatosk

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
Hi,

Here is my TVFool report: TV Fool

Is it realistic to pull in the 2edge channels listed in red without extreme efforts, and what would be a good antenna to do this?

I have tried omnidirectional antennas in the past and I receive the first 4 channels in green and yellow on the list with ease, but my goal is to pull in ABC, MyN, CBS and NBC from Philly.

Any help would be appreciated!
 

Fringe Reception

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

Your real channels 2 and 6 are low-band VHF and it is quite possible to receive them as well as others, but that depends on what you consider to be extreme efforts. Your antenna survey is based on 15 feet above ground level but antenna height is often king: can you go higher if necessary?

I recommend a VHF low/high band UHF combination Yagi such as a Winegard HD8200U. It is a very large antenna and you should add guy wires to your mast to support it during wind storms. Depending on your initial testing results, you can add an antenna pre-amplifier to your system (if necessary) later.

Personally, I receive a 2-edge channel from 75 miles away using no amplifiers on a 110 foot coaxial cable run that is split to 4 rooms.

Other will probably chime in here with their opinions and please keep us posted on your results.

Jim and the DTVUSA Forum Staff - and back to the Superbowl!
 

ratatosk

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#3
Thanks for taking time away from the game to give your input!

I have a single story ranch, so there is a limit to how high I can get, unless I mount in one of the very tall trees on my property.

I was hoping I could get away with an attic mounted antenna, but I guess that's out of the question?

If I don't care about the VHF channels, would that make things easier?

I will take a look a the antenna you suggested.

Thanks!!!
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#5
Ratatosk,

The antenna survey website has been offline for at least 18 hours, but when it returns I'll review your survey and get back to you.

Jim
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#6
OK, TVfool is back.
I'd go with the combo that Jim suggested or similar. Point directly to 170 degrees. I wold try a few locatins before mounting permanently, edge signals can be elusive. Try higher, yes, but also lower sometimes is better (I know it is not common sense).

I really don't think you'll have much problems, except for Fox. 42 has a weak signal, and 38, while quite strong, is almost exactly 90 degrees off axis. But you won't know till you try!
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#7
Ratatosk,

Channels 2-6 are low band VHF and your only ABC Network station is on Channel 6 which will require an antenna such as the Winegard HD8200U I mentioned above. This antenna will receive VHF-low band, VHF high band and UHF stations.

If you want to receive high-band VHF channels 9 (Independent) 8 and 12 (both PBS) AND UHF channels, you can use a smaller antenna like a Winegard HD7698P.

If you want to receive only UHF channels, a Winegard HD-9095 is a good choice: I tested that model a few years ago and it is well constructed.

Jim
 

ratatosk

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#8
Thanks to both of you for great answers! I've been getting FOX 38 with a small indoor antenna, so I was hoping that anything mounted outdoor will be able to pick it up even if it is off axis. I will look at the other antennas suggested and figure out what I want to do. I also have a bunch of trees around here which might be a problem, but I guess I just have to try and see.

Thanks again!!
 

ratatosk

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#9
So I have to admit I'm a little bit intimidated by the size of the first two antennas suggested, so I think I'm gonna go with the Winegard 9095 to get my feet wet and just worry about the UHF channels for now.

I have a few questions before I order. Should I get any kind of signal amplifier to go along with it?

Also, while the Winegard seems like it probably will be the ticket for me, I keep seeing different versions of 8 bay bowtie antennas pop up as I look up stuff online. Is that something I should consider, or just forget about it and get the Winegard?
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#10
ratatosk,

If you choose the HD9095 you cannot expect to receive any VHF channels. Do not buy any amplifiers before you discover/capture channels that might need to be amplified.

8-Bay antennas are good for UHF as well, but they have less 'gain' compared to Yagi designs. Your decision.

Jim
 
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ratatosk

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#11
Thanks again,

I got a bit eager to try this out the other day, so I went to BestBuy to see what antennas they had in stock. I bought the Clearstream 4v with the idea that i can always return it if it doesn't work for me, but I was just curious to see if I would get anything at all before ordering an antenna that I might not be able to return.

After experimenting with placement I was able to get a lock on all the Philly networks I was looking for. I am getting everything on my TVFool report from the top down to Channel 34 WCAU except KJWP. The Clearstream has a little VHF attachement and it easily pulls in channel 6.

So while this all sounds awesome, I still have a few issues. While I am receiving WCAU, which is the weakest channel on my list, it is not stable. It keeps falling out, so I probably will take this antenna back, and order what you guys suggested.

I did not have great results when placing the antenna on the roof, the best results so far is from a corner of my back deck where I have the antenna temporarily mounted on a stand on top of a patio table putting it a total of about 10ft about ground level. If this is indeed the best spot, it will limit my mounting options a bit.

Also, the antenna is below nearby treetops, even on the roof it would be below the trees, so I am worried that this will only last until the spring when the foliage comes back...

Anyway, I'm encouraged by the results, and I think my next step is to order the Winegard 9095 and see if that yields better results.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#12
ratatosk,

Glad to see you have been experimenting and thank you for the report on your CS2 about receiving Low-Band channel 6. You might want to keep the CS2, buy an HD-9095 and an "A-B" antenna switch to select which antenna works best, because I can almost guarantee the 9095 will not receive channel 6. Those antennas cannot be combined on a single coax, so a second coaxial run and a switch would be necessary.

Regarding foliage, it may or may not hurt your reception. In my situation I lose my ABC channel every autumn when the leaves drop from the trees.

Thanks for the update! :thumb:

Jim
 

ratatosk

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#13
Yeah, it was pretty exciting. I have the Clearstream 4, not the Clearstream 2. It came with a VHF attachement, so I am gonna have to return the whole assembly. I see that I can buy just the Clearstream VHF kit for about $20 online, so my plan was to add that to whatever UHF antenna I get to work with the rest of the channels. When I look at the specs for the Winegard 9095, it says it has a coupler to add a VHF antenna, I was hoping it would be as simple as just connecting the Clearstream VHF kit to the Winegard?

I am glad it got me channel 6, and while I really don't care about channel 2, I'm curious why I didn't pick that up as the signal strength seem to be the same...

I did some more testing on placement. When I had the antenna about 12 ft above ground level I received all the channels, but if I raised it by another 2 ft, the distant ones dropped. Then, if I lowered the antenna to about 6ft and moved it to the middle of my deck, I got a good signal for WCAU, but all the other distant channels dropped. This doesn't quite make sense to me as they are all broadcasting from the same direction. I would think signal strenght would make a difference, but not antenna placement between the channels coming from the same direction, but I guess these signals are kind of elusive.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#14
ratatosk,

The Winegard HD-9095 has a built-in device with a 'F'-fitting female connector, called a UVSJ (UHF-VHF-signal-joiner) so if you want to add a separate antenna for High-band (only) VHF reception, their signals can be combined right there and they will share the same coax into your home. I highly doubt you could adapt the CS4 VHF add-on to work with an HD9095. Here is a good VHF-High-band antenna: http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/STELLAR-LABS-30-2476-/30-2476

You receive low-band channel 6 by fluke, because the CS4 VHF 'attachment' was designed for High-band VHF. A dipole element for channel 2 would be somewhere around 9-10 feet wide.

Regarding antenna height, welcome to the world of black magic and pixie dust! TV signals tend to travel like a stack of pancakes and you want your antenna located in the center of a pancake, not at the gap between them. The following website explains it and more about signal propagation: http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/siting.html

Jim
 

ratatosk

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#15
Jim,

Thanks for even more great information.

I looked at the link you provided, and the layering of the signals is interesting. That might explain why I didn't have much luck on my roof. I simly tried to mount it as high as I could, I probably should have moved it up and down a few feet in the same spot.

Maybe I should do some more experimenting with the CS4. Since it is doing a good job with pulling in channel 6, it would be nice if I could get everything done with this one antenna.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#16
ratatosk,

I would try testing in other locations, up / down / right / left / forward and backwards. The ideal location might be on the opposite end or opposite side of your home.

Above you mentioned you received all channels (except WCAU ? ) at 12 feet above ground level. That might be the right height, but the wrong physical location.

Jim
 

ratatosk

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#17
I think I am going to give the Clearstream another shot once the weather gets a little better to allow for climbing on my deck and roof.

The size of the antenna sure is attractive, and I am really close to getting everything I was hoping for. I am able to receive all the channels with a single placement of the antenna, but WCAU is not steady, i get some freezing and pixelation at times, but I do get a channel lock when I search.

I did add a Radioshack signal amplifier with the idea of compensating for the long cable I am using when testing the antenna in different spots. I went with the Radioshack since it was available locally, but is there another preamp I should be looking at that might perform a little better?

Looking at my TVFool report, WCAU is 1db less than KYW-TV at my location, so I have a feeling I'm really close.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#18
ratatosk,

Good. I would do the same and 'walk' your antenna around to find the 'sweet-spot" location for it. You wrote that you added an amplifier: how many hundreds of feet and/or how many rooms are you feeding off of your antenna cable run?

I split a signal from KVOS-35 that is 75 miles away from me into 4 rooms using no amplifiers and all of my coax runs are over 100 feet. I strongly suggest testing using no amplifiers.

Please ignore the TVFOOL db numbers because they are theoretical and rarely spot-on accurate. In College I recall learning (and laughing about) the definition of "one db" as ... (quote) the exact level of increased energy received equaling the sound of a baby mouse urinating on a previously saturated blotter with a microphone located exactly one meter away. Half of my Class laughed and the rest of us 'got it'.

Jim
 

ratatosk

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#19
Thanks for all your help!

After some more testing, I found the best and most practical spot to be on my back deck. I found a spot very close to where I already was testing it that gives me all the channels I was looking for. I am still using it with the radioshack preamp. Without it, some of the philly channels do fall out.

Everything seems to be pretty stable for now, I'm curious to see if things will change in the spring when the foliage comes back...
 

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