Requesting advice for antenna selection (SW Colorado)

billydee

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
Hi there folks!
Recently moved to a reasonably remote area and am very interested in exploring the possibilities for OTA. From what I can gather the channel selection for me is quite limited but that's ok, I'm not looking for much. 5-6 stations would be great.

I tried some cheap rabbit ears connected to two different TVs and was only able to pick up two channels total (one in a south side of the house room and another in a room on the north side.

Here's my TV Fool report- TV Fool

There's currently a Direct TV satellite dish mounted on the one story house (no longer being used) and wiring from there to the basement which is then split to three different rooms for televisions.

So ultimately I'm looking for an antenna that will maximize the little reception available in my area. I'm guessing that mounting to or next to the existing Direct TV setup might be the best bet? But if there's an indoor option that's fine too.

Anyhow, thanks in advance! :hail:
 
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MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#2
All major networks EXCEPT ABC for you are at about 109 degrees and UHF. These are all translators. A fringe UHF antenna will get you KRMU (PBS/Vme/Create), KASA (FOX), KREZ (CBS), and KOBF (NBC/ThisTV). To get KOAT (ABC /Estrella) you will need to point to 242 degrees.

I am going to suggest an 8 bay antenna that has 2 separate 4 bay sections that can be aimed independently - allowing one section to be pointed to 109 degrees and one towards 242 degrees. You will probably need a pre-amp if you are routing it to 3 TV sets using the existing wiring, but try without the amp first. Your dish mount can be used to mount the antenna, IF it is sturdy enough (These are fairly large antennas) and IF it has a clear view at 109 and 242 degrees - I suspect it does not. You'll probably have to install a new mount on the roof in a different location.

Suggested antennas:
Solid Signal Xtreme Signal HDB8X

Stellar Labs 30-2430

Antennas Direct DB8e


 

billydee

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#3
MrPogi, thanks for the quick response and what I'm sure is sage advice.

Regarding your comment "IF it has a clear view at 109 and 242 degrees - I suspect it does not. You'll probably have to install a new mount on the roof in a different location"

By a "different location" do you mean the highest spot on the roof it could be mounted?

Also, there's a significant price difference in one of the three suggested antennas you mentioned, is the quality of that unit substantially better than the other two?
billydee
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#4
Billydee,

I like Mr Pogi's solutions and personally, I'd try the DB8e. In your situation, antenna height is very important so if its possible to mount it higher than 15 feet above ground level, it would be advantageous. Please keep us updated with your results.

Jim
 

billydee

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#5
So if I were to settle for everything here except ABC "All major networks EXCEPT ABC for you are at about 109 degrees and UHF. These are all translators. A fringe UHF antenna will get you KRMU (PBS/Vme/Create), KASA (FOX), KREZ (CBS), and KOBF (NBC/ThisTV)"
might there be a simpler (not necessarily less costly) solution for my situation?
 
#6
Possible lineup:
K45DH-D KOAT translator ABC 342°
K25GE-D KOB translator NBC 342°
K46FM-D KOB translator NBC 109°
K42DI-D KRQE translator CBS 109°
K50FS-D KASA-TV translator Fox 109°
K36IH-D KTSC translator PBS 109°
K31FV-D KRQE translator CBS 342°

MrPogi, I'm pretty sure you mean 342° not 242°.

Serious question: how can it be better for him to get one 8 bay antenna that bends in the middle as opposed to two separate 4 bay antennas (or even two small Yagis)? Does the requirement to keep two antennas one wave length apart disappear for some reason with an 8 bay setup? At least with two 4 bays he would have the flexibility to put each antenna wherever required to get line of sight in two directions.

I believe in combining antennas to get multiple directions, but I've never read anything good about using one of these bend-able 8 bays for that purpose. For example:

With one half of the antenna towards Franklin county, and the the other pointed towards Mt. Pisgah, I was surprised to get KMTW, KPNZ, and on one TV, KSVN. The down side is I lost some of my Franklin county channels due to re-radiation out the other antenna...
And from our own ProjectSHO89 on another forum:
The DB8 is very directional despite its being (mis)labeled as `multi-directional'.
Am I missing something?

Rick
 
#8
Yes, Ricki,

DB8 versus DB8e.
No Jim, I knew that. The first quote was very specifically about the DB4e. Project also mentioned the DB8e, and didn't add "Oh, but the DB8e is just fine for two directions." DB8 was just his generic term for both antennas. Ken Nist also wrote about this. And if "e" stands for hinged on the DB8e, what does it stand for on the DB4e and DB2e? Hmmmm...?? :cool:

Rick
 
#9
The "e" stands for "enhanced" or "extended (range)" and distinguishes the rescaled Antennas Direct bowties from their predecessor models.

Does the requirement to keep two antennas one wave length apart disappear for some reason with an 8 bay setup?
The requirements for precise spacing and identical length feedlines disappears when the two antennas (or panels) are no longer mounted so they are in phase and aimed in the same direction. After that, it doesn't matter so much since you're going to get pot luck results.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#10
Yes, I did mean 342 degrees!
I have a DB8e. It works very well but as I have noted before, I think 2 DB4e antennas would work just the same. The DB8e has very good construction but I haven't used the others - so I'm not sure it is worth the extra money. I use mine to pull in signals from translators abot 180 degrees apart.

Yes, you could use 2 identical antennas with feed lines of identical length one wave+ apart. But the hinged 8 bays are so much easier to set up. And yes, the highest point on the roof is probably the best place to mount it.
 

billydee

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#11
Wow, thanks for all the insight folks! I'm sure learning a lot...

So let me pose this question. Being as the DB4e sells for about the same price as these two 8 bay suggested options-
*** Solid Signal Xtreme Signal HDB8X***
*** Stellar Labs 30-2430***
should I just go for one of them or is the DB4e significantly better for just one direction? Which looks to be 109 degrees in my situation.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#12
I would go for one of the 8 bay antennas. They are easier to deal with than 2 4 bays combined. You will have to mount them far enough apart, plus you will need 2 identical short coax cables and a splitter combiner, which are already a part of the 8 bay units.
 

billydee

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#13
I would go for one of the 8 bay antennas. They are easier to deal with than 2 4 bays combined. You will have to mount them far enough apart, plus you will need 2 identical short coax cables and a splitter combiner, which are already a part of the 8 bay units.
Sounds like a plan. I'm going to get up on the roof this weekend and check out the existing Direct TV dish rig, see if I can leverage it's mounting hardware for one of those 8 bay units, and while I'm up there also see if there's a better spot on the roof for mounting. I'll keep you all posted on what I find and end up going with.
Thanks! :cheers:
 

billydee

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#14
Hey folks,
Well I have an update. We installed (and I have questions and pics about that) the HDB8X over the weekend, pointed at appx (may need some adjustment here too) 342 and 109 degrees.

Initially picking up 12 channels on the primary TV although 3 of them were duplicates and two are Spanish language which we may not get much mileage out of. So effectively we're getting 7 channels. Fox, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, Create and This network.

I am recovering from a hand/wrist injury so I had to hire someone to help me mount it. He recommended a 2" EMT conduit in two 10' lengths so we went with that. So the antenna height is a little less than 25 feet right now.

The local Home Depot was out of grounding material so we're not yet grounded properly which of course is a concern.

In the other three rooms of the house I get from 4 to 11 channels (CBS is a problem in all of them) and some of this may be due to length of cabling etc...have not yet tried an amplification of the signal.

So here's a few pics of the setup, which I consider temporary still as it's not yet clamped down, just being held with strapping.
I'm not a fan of the 2" conduit and suspect we could have gone with something less than that.

Any thoughts and advice appreciated, thanks.
 

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MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#15
We would have suggested chain link fence top rail for mast material.
Splitting to that many TV sets, I would put a pre-amp on it.
 
#16
Well I have an update. We installed (and I have questions and pics about that) the HDB8X over the weekend, pointed at appx (may need some adjustment here too) 342 and 109 degrees.
I don't ... how can they be? There's only 127° difference between 342° and 109°. These are pointed more than 180° apart. I think one of them is backwards.

Either I'm crazy or I'm right. If I'm right, the backward one should have its reflector removed.

Rick
 

billydee

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#17
Rick,
No doubt the degrees are not correct. If it helps in picture 1, the bay on your left is supposed to be pointing at 109 degrees.

I'm not real happy with the setup from an aesthetics point of view so it'll probably be coming down. From what Mr. Pogi indicated the 2" conduit may also be a bit much.

Any suggestions on a preamp?
 

billydee

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#19
We would have suggested chain link fence top rail for mast material.
Splitting to that many TV sets, I would put a pre-amp on it.
MrPogi, so in your opinion is the 2" conduit too much for the application I need? It wasn't my idea but I had to roll with it just to see if the antenna did what it's supposed to do. Now that I've verified I'm getting the channels I'm supposed to get I think it's time to clean up the installation.
 

billydee

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#20
I've decided to take this setup down and go with two 10' lengths of 1 1/4" conduit instead of the 2". I like that I can thread the ends to get to the 20' I need. Hopefully get to it this coming weekend.

I'm also going to make just a minor adjustment to the angle of the two antenna bays unless I'm drastically off in my pointing at 342 and 109 degrees.

The way I read it the angle between them now is at about 110 degrees instead of the 127 degrees it should be. Either way the current setup is getting me excellent reception on all the possible channels where I reside.

Here's another couple pics from directly below the antenna for perspective.
 

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