Recommendation for antenna, TV Fool report included

jalanrr

DTVUSA Rookie
#1
I would like to get rid of my cable service and am looking for recommendations on antennas. I am willing to put up a reasonable sized antenna on the roof, or a large one inside my attic (I have lots of open space in the attic, so size is not an issue). I am willing to spend around $200 (or more as I realize this is a one time expense) and would like to get as many channels as possible to keep the kids and wife satisfied.

Here is my TV Fool report: TV Fool

Thanks for the advise in advance!
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#2
You have a set of transmitters @ 29 degrees, and another clustered around 205 degrees. They are almost 180 degrees apart. all the other stations are either duplicates or channels you won't watch. You have two VHF channels (13, CBS and 11, ABC) but you also have other ABC and CBS affiliates in the UHF band.

So, I'm going to suggest that you don't need an antenna that gets VHF. I think you have a fairly simple option: A hinged 8 bay antenna, like the Stellar Labs 8 Bay 30-2430, with one half pointed to 29 degrees (Raleigh) and the other half pointing to about 205 degrees (Goldsboro and beyond). While this is a larger antenna, it's fairly unobtrusive. I would put it on the roof, attic installation is not the best, reception - wise. Use good RG6 coax. Your entire install should come in at under $100.

If you feel you need channel 11 and/or 13 for some reason, things are going to get a LOT more complicated.
 
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Fringe Reception

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

I agree with My Pogi's recommendation. I note you have your survey set at 22 feet, but before you commit to an antenna height, try a few inches or feet lower or if possible, higher. OTA reception is a black art and you often have to hunt for signals.

Jim
 
#4
I like the over all plan MrPogi has suggested. I think there is a pretty good chance channel 11 will probably be received with the proposed antenna configuration. If VHF reception proves to be a problem, and needed adding an Antennacraft Y5-7-13, and UVSJ should solve it.

Assembling the Stellar Labs antenna in an almost 180 degree configuration could require some creativity. I've read that even a 123 degree spread requires purchase of shorter bolts. That comment is based on the assumption that the HDB8X is the same antenna.

I've seen many TV fool reports that show the need for a good high VHF/UHF bi-directional antenna, but such an antenna does not exist in the current market place. With a bit of research, careful planning, and construction it is not difficult to build such an antenna. There are both very good, and very poor antenna plans on the internet. No one design is correct for all locations, and situations.
Steve
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#5
I've used an Antennas Direct DB8e in a similar situation, and it worked well. I think if you assemble one of these other hinged antennas knowing that you will point each half 180 degrees apart, it can be done. I'm not familiar with all the available brands, but there are 2 different 180 degree configurations possible - one with the antennas side by side, and the other back to back.

Although these antennas could well receive strong VHF channels, their balun design often blocks VHF. That's the situation with the DB8e - I couldn't pick up channel 8 VHF even when I pointed directly at the transmitter. It is possible to change the balun on these antennas, but with some designs it would be difficult. Every one of the commercial 8 bay hinged antennas I've seen photos of appear to have a printed circuit board balun like the DB8e has, none have this type balun that will pass VHF:

 
#6
While it is well known that the Antennas Direct PCB balun attenuates VHF signals the problem is not always entirely the balun when using a UHF antenna to receive VHF signals. I've had the experience of having a strong channel 10 signal on the front side of a home brew 2bay disappear when adding a 24" wide reflector while channels 7 and 8 to the rear remained strong. The combination of the under sized reflector moving VHF gain to the rear, and high SWR on the feed line canceled out the channel 10 signal. In this case changing the length of the feed line, or adding a pre-amp at the antenna would have probably brought back the channel 10 signal. High SWR on a feed line can make ATSC signals magically disappear. The point being using an untested UHF antenna to receive VHF signals is always a crap shoot.
Steve
 
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