Question: Questions, Questions, Questions!

#1
What's this I hear about the AntennaCraft G1483 antenna?

UHF Digital 4 Bay Antenna High Performance HDTV Four Bay AntennaCraft Outdoor HD TV Reception Aerial for Local Off-Air Digital Fringe Signal, LIGHT GREEN ZONE, Part # G1483 | With 50' FT Coax Cable

UHF Digital 4 Bay Antenna High Performance HDTV Four Bay AntennaCraft Outdoor HD TV Reception Aerial for Local Off-Air Digital Fringe Signal, LIGHT GREEN ZONE, Part # G1483 | With 50' FT Coax Cable: Oak Entertainment Centers and Home Office Furniture

According to a 2010 post by Escape Velocity (inventor of the Kosmic SuperQuad) the G1483 "is a fantastic performer and beats most of the commercially available 4 Bay Bowties across the newly compacted UHF television band, channels 14 to 51. ... Its fantastic gain of around 12 dBd is where it shines. It also gives you a little something on VHF High, ... One attribute that can be useful on this antenna, is its relatively low F/B ratio of around 6 dB, if you have transmissions from opposite directions. Aim it at the weaker set, and catch the stronger transmissions off the backside."

Is there any independent verification on this? Is that peak gain, or average gain? It hardly seems to have any reflector! "Rod reflectors." How can the G1483 be that good when summitsource.com -- the only supplier -- has it listed as "range up to 30 miles," while they list the U-4000 4 bay bow tie as "up to 60 miles" with gain of only 10 db? :huh:

4 Bay UHF Antenna HDTV Outdoor 17 Electronic Elements Bowtie Antenna Craft U4000 Bowtie U-4000 Bow Tie for Local Off-Air Digital TV Television Signal Reception Aerial, LIGHT GREEN ZONE, Part # U-4000 | With 50' FT Coax Cable: Oak Entertainment Center

Is the G1482 REALLY better than a U-4000? With rod reflectors?? Can you really "catch the stronger transmission off the backside"? Boy, that'd be GREAT for me here, sitting between Milwaukee and Chicago. But everything else I've read implies this is a really sticky proposition. Something doesn't compute!!! :icon_beat:

Here's what we need. We need ONE site, with gain, beam width and front to back ratios for a practical range of VHF/UHF frequencies, measured in standardized consistent units, from independent sources, for every major antenna on the market. Who is working on this RIGHT NOW? Can I look forward to seeing that day after tomorrow? Pretty please?? :bowdown:

Rick
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#2
Here's what we need. We need ONE site, with gain, beam width and front to back ratios for a practical range of VHF/UHF frequencies, measured in standardized consistent units, from independent sources, for every major antenna on the market. Who is working on this RIGHT NOW? Can I look forward to seeing that day after tomorrow? Pretty please?? :bowdown:

Rick
You're not going to see one site with every antenna on the market. That would mean that they have every antenna in their hands and tested them.
 

Tim58hsv

DTVUSA Member
#3
From my own experience the G1483 4-bay will out preform the U-4000. Not sure why it's rated for only 30 miles while the U-4000 is rated for 60 miles. Two additional things about the G1483, it's construction is very cheap. Those reflector elements will snap off in a heart beat so be careful when handling it. On the plus side the reflectors will fold down and out of the way making it an ideal antenna for signals coming from opposite direction. I highly recommend it.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#4
One thing that should be noted is that antenna distance ratings are really meaningless. I've picked up every Denver full power UHF station using a simple 5" diameter loop antenna at 62 miles. Does that mean that it should be rated at 60+ miles? On the other hand those Chinese specials are all rated at "150 miles." All mileage ratings are arbitrary and meaningless. Mileage depends on broadcast tower height above average terrain, ERP, terrain between you and the towers, and all kinds of variables that have nothing to do with the antenna.

Loop Antenna.jpg
 
#5
I think I have the answer!

[I originally had the above title in my post, but somehow neglected to copy it.]

dkreichen1968, I had read Piggie's long rant about meaningless "ranges," but what really confused me is both these numbers are coming from summitsource, and with the same wording -- "up to X miles," whereas you'd THINK summitsource would want to hype the G1483 ... "exclusive shipment" from Antenna Craft and all.

Well guess what? They're different antennas. Same name, same appearance, different dimensions.

The G1483 sold by summitsource (not sure about earlier versions from Antenna Craft or Radio Shack) is 20 inches wide by 30 inches tall. That does not jibe with the dimensions quoted here:
Design of The Gray-Hoverman Antenna - Digital Home Canada

After converting from millimeters to inches, you have just over 30 inches in width, which corresponds more closely to Hoverman's original specs shown here:
The Gray-Hoverman Antenna For UHF Television Reception - Digital Home Canada

The single bay version (aka 4 bay) of the real thing fits neatly in a 31"x31" square box. To get a 30 inch wide Hoverman from summitsource, you have to get the "8 bay" (aka Double Bay) "super G1483" version, which they hype up to a 60 mile range.

So I guess EV started writing about the G1483, then went on enthusing about the great numbers for the Hoverman studied by the digitalhome people one year prior to his post. I searched the internet diligently, and apparantly to get the real Hoverman, ya has to DIY. Maybe summitsource doesn't want to compete with its 4 bay bowtie U-4000.

tim58hsv, is your experience based on the 30" DIY version, or the smaller one from summitsource? I can easily believe a 50% increase in width is going to make a big difference in range/gain.

After studying the performance charts from digitalhome, I have to conclude the 30"x30" DIY Hoverman is identical in gain, for all practical purposes, to the CM 4221HD and the new AD DB4e, and lower in FB ratio (8 dB compared to 18 dB) which has pluses and minuses, I suppose. The bowties are a little smaller, but the Hoverman is much easier to build. If you change the reflector on a Hoverman to wire mesh, you get even higher gains along with the higher FB ratio.

So the original Hoverman, as well as the one outlined by digitalhome, really *IS* a remarkable design. The G1483 sold by summitsource (as opposed to the "super G1483") -- not so much.

Rick
 
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Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#6
dkreichen1968, I had read Piggie's long rant about meaningless "ranges," but what really confused me is both these numbers are coming from summitsource, and with the same wording -- "up to X miles," whereas you'd THINK summitsource would want to hype the G1483 ... "exclusive shipment" from Antenna Craft and all.
Rick,

Antenna range is determined in the Corporate Boardroom and has very little to do with the Engineering Department nor testing during honest field proofs in real life.

Last summer I raised a DB-2 to a rediculous height above ground level here and it outperformed almost any antenna I have ever tested. So, since this little square panel received a station 86 miles away ... should I claim that as its' range? I bet if it was mounted on a Cessna flying at 5,000 feet, it might have a 300 mile reception range or more. Wow! The best antenna ever! Not.

Jim
 
#7
Antenna range is determined in the Corporate Boardroom and has very little to do with the Engineering Department nor testing during honest field proofs in real life.
??? So my discovery is all wrong? Are you saying the 20 inch Hoverman has gain figures just as good or better than the U-4000? Just as good as the 30 inch Hoverman studied by digitalhome?

I understand there is no accepted standard for range figures, which is why I now believe the CM 4221HD (45 mile "range") is every bit as good as the AD DB4e ("range" up to 65+ miles), despite all the ballyhoo. However, in my experience individual companies try to be consistent with their numbers. It's a credibility thing.

Rick
 
#8
You're not going to see one site with every antenna on the market. That would mean that they have every antenna in their hands and tested them.
Not necessarily, Ryan. I have some background in copyright law, and I can tell you only the "form of the work" is copyrighted. You can copy numbers into your own charts from any source whatsoever, as long as it's clear you formatted them to fit your chart (i.e. no copy and paste). As a courtesy, it's traditional to name the original source.

I was being facetious about "day after tomorrow." I know it would take years. But I think it would be a great project to get started on. Eventually, antenna hobbyists, and even antenna manufacturers, would be competing to get their data up on your chart!

R.
 
#10
Yes the one I have (had) is the Summit Source version and reflector elements up or down it had more range than the U-4000.
Tim, could they have changed the antenna since you had it? Is there any way you can be sure your G1483 was 20 inches wide, as per the the one they sell now? Geez, if this is true, hell widit, I'll just buy the summitsource G1483.

Also, did you use the G1483 inside or outside, and how far were you from the transmitters?

Gracias,
Rick
 
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Tim58hsv

DTVUSA Member
#11
It's the exact same one as described on the Summit Source web site. 20" wide x 30" long. I bought it 3 or 4 years ago and put it in the attic in place of the U-4000 I had been using. The signal indicator on the Zenith converter box showed that all signals had improved on all channels, one of which was over 50 miles away and several others that were over 40 miles away.

Soon after, we moved and I was able to put an antenna up outside and I tested both the U-4000 and the G1483 for several weeks each and came to the conclusion again that the G1483 was better with reception. Then that winter we had an ice storm, high winds, and the mast buckled (my fault as I didn't have it guyed properly) sending the G1483 onto the roof where it busted off 3 or 4 half's of it's reflectors. Even so, it still worked like a champ.

It's a way better antenna than what Summit Source might have you believe.
 
#13
It's the exact same one as described on the Summit Source web site... It's a way better antenna than what Summit Source might have you believe.
Thanks a million for your very thorough and helpful reply!!

Now I have a decision to make. I think I'm going to go with the 4221HD for a few reasons. (The signal bounces around quite a bit in my apartment, so directionality might be a good thing. plus the gain is probably a bit higher on the 4221HD, though you've convinced me the G1483 is better than the U-4000. Geez! Would you believe I didn't even have to look those numbers up? I'm waaaaay too deep into the antenna maze right now.) But when I get a some pocket change, I'm going to get that Hoverman -- or make one myself -- just out of curiousity. Things are pretty tight right now.

Thanks again,
Rick
 
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