Question: Replace existing antennas, or relocate one of my antennas?

dave73

DTVUSA Member
#1
I posted a while back (nearly a year ago) about a recommendation on a VHF antenna (specifically the Antennacraft CS600). I've owned it for about 9 months & has been a good antenna. I however have a problem that developed. When I originally installed this antenna along with the Winegard HD9032 UHF antenna (actually 2, since 1 of them was originally intended for South Bend stations), I had the VHF antenna at the highest point, while the UHF antenna was at a lower point on the pole. It was fine in the winter at getting WOCK-CD on RF 4 & WWME-LD on RF 39. As soon as the leaves bloomed on the trees, WWME-LD went out. Now that I moved the Winegard antennas up higher, WWME-LD comes back in, while WOCK-CD goes out. Having the VHF antenna at a lower point doesn't affect WLS-TV on RF 7 or WBBM-TV on RF 12 though. It looks like height matters for WOCK-CD. Before I forget, I also have a pre-amp, which is the RCA pre-amp, model# TVPRAMP1R, that I've owned for 2 years, & I now have the 2 Winegard UHF antennas paired together. A pre-amp is needed in order to get WWME-LD on RF 39 & WOCK-CD on RF 4.

My question would be, should I try to relocate my VHF only antenna & have it on a pole at a similar height as my UHF antennas, or would you recommend a new antenna, or antennas? I am open to the possibility of getting a combo antenna, but it would have to be an all channel antenna, since WOCK-CD is important for America One. As for UHF antennas, I'm even open to the possibility of replacing my yagi antennas with 8 bay whisker antennas (wish I had gone that route). I had a 4 bay many years ago, & wished I had taken better care of it, as it pulled in stations from South Bend on most nights without a pre-amp (analog of course).

TV Fool

To get off-subject a bit, Since pairing my UHF antennas, & since I'm by myself for now, I swung the antenna to point toward South Bend, & I get 2 stations, but had hoped to get more. I got WSBT-TV on RF 22 as expected, & I got WNIT on RF 35 by surprise. I was expecting to get WSJV on RF 28, but don't get that right now. I also don't get WNDU on RF 42 at the moment. For now, I'm not sure if I'll only get South Bend stations at night, or with the right antenna & pre-amp, I'll get all full power South Bend stations during the day as well. I will be looking at an 8 bay UHF antenna (maybe two 8 bays) for South Bend stations when I have the money & time to work on that project.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#2
Based on your TVfool I wouldn't expect you to have that complex and high gain antenna system, or for you to need an amp for any of the Chicago stations. Are there trees or buildings in that direction? If so, is there any way to point around them?
 

dave73

DTVUSA Member
#3
Based on your TVfool I wouldn't expect you to have that complex and high gain antenna system, or for you to need an amp for any of the Chicago stations. Are there trees or buildings in that direction? If so, is there any way to point around them?
I need a preamp for WWME-LD on RF 39, since the signal isn't as strong toward Indiana, as well as my mom's favorite translator, W25DW-D on RF 25 (for HSN on 25.1). I also need a pre-amp for WCIU on RF 27, since they had nulled the signal that much toward Indiana, in order to protect WCWW-LD, when it was on RF 27 (that station has since moved back to RF 25). A pre-amp is the only way I can get WOCK-CD, due to the signal only being 300 watts. There are trees in the direction I point my antennas. Even in the winter, these same stations still won't come in without a preamp. WWME-LD will continue to have that sharp null toward Indiana, because Weigel Broadcasting wants ABC station, WBND-LD to be non-directional on RF 39. I believe the VHF antenna will have to go higher if I want to try & get WOCK-CD again. I'm just not sure I can go higher with the existing pole, due to it being over 12 ft past the roof line.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#4
I posted a while back (nearly a year ago) about a recommendation on a VHF antenna (specifically the Antennacraft CS600). I've owned it for about 9 months & has been a good antenna. I however have a problem that developed. When I originally installed this antenna along with the Winegard HD9032 UHF antenna (actually 2, since 1 of them was originally intended for South Bend stations), I had the VHF antenna at the highest point, while the UHF antenna was at a lower point on the pole. It was fine in the winter at getting WOCK-CD on RF 4 & WWME-LD on RF 39. As soon as the leaves bloomed on the trees, WWME-LD went out. Now that I moved the Winegard antennas up higher, WWME-LD comes back in, while WOCK-CD goes out. Having the VHF antenna at a lower point doesn't affect WLS-TV on RF 7 or WBBM-TV on RF 12 though. It looks like height matters for WOCK-CD. Before I forget, I also have a pre-amp, which is the RCA pre-amp, model# TVPRAMP1R, that I've owned for 2 years, & I now have the 2 Winegard UHF antennas paired together. A pre-amp is needed in order to get WWME-LD on RF 39 & WOCK-CD on RF 4.

My question would be, should I try to relocate my VHF only antenna & have it on a pole at a similar height as my UHF antennas, or would you recommend a new antenna, or antennas? I am open to the possibility of getting a combo antenna, but it would have to be an all channel antenna, since WOCK-CD is important for America One. As for UHF antennas, I'm even open to the possibility of replacing my yagi antennas with 8 bay whisker antennas (wish I had gone that route). I had a 4 bay many years ago, & wished I had taken better care of it, as it pulled in stations from South Bend on most nights without a pre-amp (analog of course).

TV Fool

To get off-subject a bit, Since pairing my UHF antennas, & since I'm by myself for now, I swung the antenna to point toward South Bend, & I get 2 stations, but had hoped to get more. I got WSBT-TV on RF 22 as expected, & I got WNIT on RF 35 by surprise. I was expecting to get WSJV on RF 28, but don't get that right now. I also don't get WNDU on RF 42 at the moment. For now, I'm not sure if I'll only get South Bend stations at night, or with the right antenna & pre-amp, I'll get all full power South Bend stations during the day as well. I will be looking at an 8 bay UHF antenna (maybe two 8 bays) for South Bend stations when I have the money & time to work on that project.
Dave :welcome: back!

WOW! Please slow down! Lots of manic information but we need you to slow down and offer specific details such as how you combined your UHF antennas and what are those antennas? Identical or not identical antennas / pointed exactly the same direction or at different antenna farms?

Please fall back and regroup.

Jim
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#5
Tim,

My point is that TVfool, which takes all those null factors into account, predicts a Noise Margin on W25DW of 19.5. The Winegard HD-9032 has an average gain of 15 dB. 19.5 + 15=34.5 dB of signal. That would give you 24.5 dB of signal over a 10 dB safety. Of course I'm not taking the trees into account, but 24.5 dB would allow you a 4 way split (8dB) and 300 feet of cable before we ever would need to start talking about an amp. So, I'm a bit confused.

Dan
 

nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#6
Tvfool can be quite incorrect... It doesnt take into account urbanisation, or foliage, amongst other things. Whether that is the case here or if its an installation error remains to be seen.
 

dave73

DTVUSA Member
#7
For some reason, the top portion of my post didn't post. Here's a simplified explanation of what happened since moving antennas around on my pole. I originally had my Antennacraft CS600 VHF antenna at the very top of the pole. The UHF antennas (Winegard HD9032, & 2 of them) were lower. I originally had one pointed toward South Bend, but had problems that I put that on hold, & wasn't hooked up. That was below the VHF antenna, while the other UHF antenna pointed toward Chicago was below that one. I got WWME-LD & W25DW-D in the winter months, but lost them once the leaves bloomed on the trees, that are in the direction my antennas must be pointed. I always got WOCK-CD when the VHF antenna was at the top of the pole. I have since moved all my antennas around, & placed my UHF antennas up higher, & have both UHF antennas combined. The VHF antenna was moved down, & the only VHF station I lost was WOCK-CD, while WWME-LD & W25DW-D came back in. It seems height mattered for WOCK-CD, while not so much for WLS-TV on RF 7 & WBBM-TV on RF 12. I also use a pre-amp, RCA TVPRAMP1R, which has VHF & UHF ports, & is set to separate.

What does anyone suggest I do? Should I consider getting a separate pole of similar height, & place the VHF antenna on that pole, or get a new combo antenna? Regardless of recommendation, any combo antenna recommendation will have to be an all channel antenna, since WOCK-CD is important for 13.4 (America One, & yes, I do watch that from time to time). I might even be open to replacing the Winegard UHF antennas for an 8 bay antenna (that was my original plan for UHF antennas, but I got a bargain on the Winegard antennas, & bought them instead). Also, regardless of choice on antenna, the pre-amp has to stay in the setup, since WOCK-CD, WWME-LD, & W25DW do not come in without one. I do get WDCI-LD (don't care for it) & WMEU-CD without one, since the signal is aimed more toward my home, while the other 2 UHF LPTV stations are nulled toward Indiana, & WOCK-CD only beng 300 watts. For the record, I can't go up any higher with the current pole, due to it already being more than 12 ft past the roof line.
 
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Tim

DTVUSA Member
#10
Hi Dave, I live in Kenosha and I also have trouble receiving 13.4. There are a lot of good shows I see that come on that channel. I'm going to try a 20' pole with the VHF antenna that Speedy Dan gave me the planes for. It picks up almost every other VHF channel in Chicago. This station just must be a week one? I wish I knew how to read my fools report better.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#11
Hi Dave, I live in Kenosha and I also have trouble receiving 13.4. There are a lot of good shows I see that come on that channel. I'm going to try a 20' pole with the VHF antenna that Snappy Dan gave me the plans for. It picks up almost every other VHF channel in Chicago. This station just must be a weak one? I wish I knew how to read my fools report better.
The main issue there is that WOCK is on channel 4 (low-VHF) while my antenna design is primarily for high-VHF (channels 7-13). Best reception for channel 4 would need a longer dipole (around 82 inches).
 
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Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#13
Tim,

A 'simple' dipole may work for you, but don't hold your breath. Low-band reception can be tricky and a simple bi-directional antenna will be subjected to multipath as well as (especially) to other electrical 'noises' that confuse digital signals. Noise sources include your Fridge when it starts and stops it's compresser.

I agree with Dan (above) it is certainly worth a shot but I would use aluminum tubing (copper sags at those lengths do to gravity) and I'd add a 5% longer reflector to block signals from its back side.

Better yet, go here and design your own receiving antenna, exactly as you want it to be: Martin E. Meserve - K7MEM - Yagi Design Help

I used that awesome website to build several antennas including one that dependibly receives a channel 75 miles away from me. Your situ should be easier with a properly designed low-band (channel-specific) antenna.

The Chief Engineer at the station I built this antenna to receive, was absolutely astonished I received him but be aware, I make things happen and don't like to lose. Here's my photo page about 'channel 35'. Fringe Reception's Album: Home-brew Antennas: Project 35

Jim
 
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dave73

DTVUSA Member
#14
Hi Dave, I live in Kenosha and I also have trouble receiving 13.4. There are a lot of good shows I see that come on that channel. I'm going to try a 20' pole with the VHF antenna that Speedy Dan gave me the planes for. It picks up almost every other VHF channel in Chicago. This station just must be a week one? I wish I knew how to read my fools report better.
WOCK-CD is the weakest station overall. They're only broadcasting at 300 watts. WLS-TV on RF 7 is at 7kw, while WBBM-TV on RF 12 is at 8kw. Those stations aren't the problem at all. WOCK-CD is the one since I moved my VHF antenna down. I didn't even have this much trouble with WBBM-TV when they were on RF 3, since that station was at 2.8kw. I'm already thinking of replacing my UHF antenna, now that the rain has knocked out WWME-LD again. I'm putting serious thought of getting an 8 bay antenna, as it's not as directional as my yagi antennas are. It's sad that my last combo antenna picked up WWME-LD better, though it was junk. In my case, yagis are proving to be a bigger problem than they should be. Once I decide to replace my UHF antennas, I'll move the VHF antenna back to the very top, then have the UHF antenna lower. Or I might just get a new combo antenna, but not sure what I'll get if I go that route. My cables are fine. It's the trees that are in the way, & 2 UHF yagis that are way too directional for WWME-LD.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#15
Hi Dan, so if I understand you correctly I need an 82 inch piece of copper tube 1/4" right? Then space it the same 4" ?

Thanks, Tim
Tim,

I haven't had the chance to experiment with a longer dipole since there isn't any low VHF in my area, but I believe that if you add it on to the existing design you will need to space it at 18" behind the 29" dipole. My theory is that each element acts as a reflector for the one in front of it and the signals add in phase. If you were to space the 82" at 4" behind the 29" I have a feeling that it would cancel out the high VHF signals. But, like I say, I haven't had a chance to experiment with that layout.

Dan
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#16
WOCK-CD is the weakest station overall. They're only broadcasting at 300 watts. WLS-TV on RF 7 is at 7kw, while WBBM-TV on RF 12 is at 8kw. Those stations aren't the problem at all.
Do remember that low VHF propagates better at lower powers than high VHF, and the FCC power allowances reflect that. It still comes down to how strong the signal is in your area and the gain of your receive antenna on that particular channel (and the condition of your cables). The same thing is true for UHF. A 17kW signal on channel 14 propagates much further than a 17kW signal on channel 51.

The CS600 is rated as follows: Gain VHF Low: 2.3 dB VHF High: 5.5 dB
 
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#17
Hi Dave, I live in Kenosha and I also have trouble receiving 13.4. There are a lot of good shows I see that come on that channel. I'm going to try a 20' pole with the VHF antenna that Speedy Dan gave me the planes for. It picks up almost every other VHF channel in Chicago. This station just must be a week one? I wish I knew how to read my fools report better.
Tim, the NM column has the numbers reflecting the strengths of signals from each station. The "real" channel numbers translate right into the frequencies (if you have a chart), so those can tell you whether its low VHF, high VHF, or UHF. The WOCK channel 13.4 you are interested in is real (AKA RF) channel 4, so that's low VHF, and the NM is about 18, which is much lower than some other VHF channels in Kenosha, like WMVS (NM=~31.8), WBBM (NM=~31.5), and WIWN (NM=~27). I don't think WLS is doubling on VHF anymore, so I think that's a mistake in the tvfool report. WLS is RF 44, very strong.

If you are getting the two really low VHF stations (WKQX, NM=~6.2 and WGVK, NM=~-14.9) through all those trees, then god bless ya.

Rick
 

Tim

DTVUSA Member
#18
Thanks Rick,

Yeah I'm not getting any of the low VHF stations at all. I do pull in all the high VHF stations with snappy Dans antenna. I'm not sure you have been by the house lately and seen the GH4 and the VHF antenna yet? They work way better then the bow tie ever did. Those storms we had last week, I never had any interruptions with the VHF antenna at all. Ever! really the only channels I'm not getting in to well is 12.1 and 4.1 but my cm7777 went out. So I'll see how things are once I get the new one back.

I went to Menards to find some 1/4" aluminum tubing but they didn't sell it. Any suggestion on where I could find it?

Thanks, Tim
 
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#19
Hi Tim,

Been out a few weeks with health issues. I did see your setup, and still no reflector, right? That's pretty exciting that the Hoverman is working better than the bow tie! Geez, maybe you just got screwed on that off brand monster. Or maybe it just had a bad connector somewhere. Orrrrrr..... maybe there's something about a Hoverman that makes it better than a bow-tie in a no reflector environment??

My next antenna has to be a Hoverman. Then I'll have excellent UHF to the north and to the south without rotating. I'm not ambitious enough to build my own, though. :hail:

R.
 
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