New Antenna Setup Help Requested

bluehenag

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
I'm new here... stumbled across these forums while searching for information on OTA HD signals. Y'all have developed a nice community and resource here... bravo.

Here is my signal report from tvfool: TV Fool

What I want to do:

Install one OTA HD antenna either in my attic or attached to my roof (if it is not to big)

provide signal to 2 TV's (30 and 40 ft. away from the antenna max)


Here is some background:

I have tried to set up an antenna to get local OTA HD channels before and I failed MISERABLY. I tried a set-top antenna in both interior and exterior rooms in my house and couldn't make it work (i.e. I coundn't seem to get any signal of any kind on any channel on either of my TV's. Next I tried an external antenna (an RCA antenna that mounted on my Dish network pole) that had the same miserable results. I gave up assuming that the trees in my yard were preventing me from getting any signal. Recently I have read some things online that make me think it was my ignorance rather than the trees that caused my failure.

I literally have no idea where to start other than going to Wal Mart and buying what they have (which failed miserably last time). Any help or advice would be really appreciated.

Bluehenag
 
#2
You should have some pretty strong signals at your location. You should have gotten something with the antennas you tried. I'll cover a couple of basics first. The televisions need to be newer than 2007. A converter box is needed for older TVs. You will need to scan for channels. Make sure you are scanning for TV Antenna (ATSC) and NOT Cable TV (QAM). Scanning for cable stations will bring up partial or no channel list. You may have already known that. Some building materials can completely block signal. The building I'm in requires an outdoor antenna we have a huge attic but no indoor signals. I would check the attic for signal first.
Yes dense foliage could completely block signal. For antenna I would recommend the Stellar Labs 30-2440 aimed at about 100 degrees.
Stellar Labs VHF/UHF HDTV 60 Mile Fringe Yagi Antenna | 30-2440 (302440) | Stellar Labs
Steve
 

bluehenag

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#3
Thanks Steve.

Do you think I need an amplifier as well? I'm wondering if my previous issues were that I didn't use a directional antenna or an amplifier.
 
#4
I normally advise to try without an amplifier. Most antennas are more directional then the manufacturers of so called omni-directional antennas care to admit. Placement and aiming is critical. A directional antenna would be a step in the right direction. All of your receivable signals are in about the same direction you need an antenna with some gain in that direction. The ABC WAPT signal is the weakest one I would expect you to receive.
 
#8
Good to here back from you. I'm glad that everything worked so well with the antenna at your location. I was a bit concerned that you might be in an area that was totally blocked by trees or buildings after reading of your first failed attempts.
At the other location it might not be quite so easy.
While the small Stellar Labs antenna might work at that distance mounted out side if there are no near by obstructions that might block signal. In an attic I'd say no. None of the signals are line of sight, the distance is close to 40 miles, and two of the major network signals are VHF. There is no substitute for size I would have to suggest a larger antenna. Before I make antennas suggestion I did notice the TV fool report was only resolved to the zip code level at 7 feet. Can an antenna be mounted at 15, or 20 feet at 38 miles you are going to probably need to get the antenna higher. What does the TV fool report look like at 15 or 20 feet at exact location? Do any of the signals become line of sight.
Steve
 
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#9
I took time to take a closer look. The town of Cameron is small enough, and the terrain flat enough to do that using the TV fool map feature. At 20 feet in most of the town signals look good. On the west side of town signals are not near as good. We really do need a more exact location before making antenna recommendations.
 
#12
At 20 feet the major network channels become line of sight. PBS could be a problem, for me that one's a priority. You can use the map feature on TV fool to get to the exact location and from there generate a TV fool report. The Stellar Labs 30-2440 should work fine for the top 5 signals on the posted TV fool report. The difference in direction combined with the signals being weaker could make reception of anything below that difficult.
Steve
 
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