Question: Thoughts on antenna suggestion for use at bottom of a hill? Lots of trees.

brendan

DTVUSA Rookie
#1
Loving the site, lots of great information!

I would like some help with the following:

Type of antenna used: RCA 751
Type of antenna wiring used: RG6
Which channels are you trying to receive? Major networks only from Cahnnel 8 though 42.
Anything else that you feel that the forum should know about your setup or what you're trying to achieve. I have RCA TVPRAMP1R Outdoor Antenna Preamplifier available also as I was planning to split the signal between multiple TV sets.

My TV Fool is below:
TV Fool

Right now I'm not picking up ABC on VHF at all and 36 (27.1) is very poor. I have the RCA 751 but its in the return window.


Everything seems to be 2Edge. What type of setup works best for that type of transmission.

Thanks for your help.
 
#2
Based on your TV Fool Report, I can predict the future! One expert moderator is going to recommend the Clearstream C2-V antenna, and another expert moderator will recommend the CM-HD4228 antenna. I'm a cheap b@$tard and will recommend this: Stellar Labs VHF/UHF HDTV 60 Mile Fringe Yagi Antenna | 30-2440 (302440) | Stellar Labs

It has much better VHF gain than either the C2-V or the HD4228, and comparable gain in the UHF band. It has a 43 degree beam width, so if you point it at 100 magnetic, it should do you fine. One reviewer thinks it's not well constructed for outdoor use, but you can buy three for the same price as either of the other two. So pick your poison. :cheers:

Rick
 
#3
I would have to recommend a large VHF/UHF antenna like the Winegard HD7697, HD7698, or Antennacraft HBU44, HBU55. The RCA 751 was not enough antenna, or needed to be placed in a better location. Searching for second edge signals can be tricky, time consuming, and frustrating. I'm all for cheap small antennas when that is all that is needed. On the stellar labs antenna I think we are still looking at Chinese gain claims that need some clarification.
Steve
 
#4
On the stellar labs antenna I think we are still looking at Chinese gain claims that need some clarification.
:flamewar: I don't agree at all. Solid Signal did tests on their "Xtreme" brand antennas, which clearly come from the same manufacturer, and found all those antennas met specifications. Specifically, on the tri-boom type antenna, can you find any objective evidence anywhere that the Televes numbers are inflated? They have been in business for over 50 years, and are as respected overseas as Channel Master or Winegard is here. We had an Australian expert on these forums who swore by the tri-boom design, and wrote that 19 dB unamplified gain would be typical. (The tri-boom I mentioned only claims 14 dB -- it's not as big as the Televes.)

JMHO,
Always happy to be proven wrong,
Rick
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#5
Rick,

Given that the O.P. is having problems with Channel 8, which shows up as one of the stronger channels, I'm not going to suggest a C2-V. The main reason that I suggest the C2-V often is because of the wide beam angle. Often posters have stations coming from multiple locations, and that seems like the best bet to pull them all in. In this situation I would suggest a Winegard HD7694 or larger antenna. The larger antennas RF Steve suggested would be good choices also. Especially since there are a large number of red strength receivable stations in that 109-114 degree direction. "When in doubt, make it stout!"
 
#6
I did not say that the gain on the Stellar Labs antenna was exaggerated. Only that some clarification is needed. Solid Signal has helped us with that on the models they sell by showing us that the gain is in dbi, and peak gain on some models is outside the current US band. I think I first commented about the gain claims of the Stellar Labs antennas on this forum before I was a member. I'll have to look that one up. I found it.
http://www.dtvusaforum.com/dtv-hdtv-reception-antenna-discussion/48715-real.html I was the guest. The eleventh post in that thread.
While there have to my knowledge never been any published gain claims on the RCA ANT751 I would expect the high VHF gain to be quite similar to the Winegard HD 7000r, and the Stellar Labs VHF/UHF antenna to be very close if not slightly better.
The O.P. clearly needs a bit more antenna.
Steve
 
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D

digital rules

Guest
#7
It has much better VHF gain than either the C2-V or the HD4228 the same price as either of the other two.
Maybe a little better on VHF, but nowhere near the 10 db claim. That would make it better than the state of the art Y10-7-13 on VHF. That is a HUGE exaggeration, so I would take any other stated claims with a grain of salt.
 
#8
I did not say that the gain on the Stellar Labs antenna was exaggerated. Only that some clarification is needed.
I honestly don't know what you need clarified, but if you need it, go get it! I wrote MCM/Stellar asking for clarification on something related and they were very helpful.

Solid Signal has helped us with that on the models they sell by showing us that the gain is in dbi, and peak gain on some models is outside the current US band.
We know that. dBi is clearly marked in the spec sheets for several of the Stellar Labs antennas, as well as the gains at various frequencies. Almost everyone except CM uses dBi rather than dBd, which makes perfect sense. The question is: what is the gain within the U.S. range and how does it compare to the other antennas being recommended?

Since we now know their figures are in dBi, we know they weren't exaggerating in the spec sheets. The only inflated number, IIRC, was 20 dB in the ad copy for the first tri-boom MCM sold. That 20 dB figure was directly contradicted by the spec sheet posted on the same page, and they subsequently changed it to 15.5dB "maximum." They also added the word "nominal" to their range figure, which shows they are doing their best to keep it honest, IMO. Stellar Labs HDTV 60 Mile Fringe Yagi Television Antenna | 30-2155 (302155) | Stellar Labs

I think I first commented about the gain claims of the Stellar Labs antennas on this forum before I was a member. I'll have to look that one up. I found it. Is This For REAL? I was the guest. The eleventh post in that thread.
Man, that thread is from a YEAR ago! Hopefully, we've moved ahead in terms of clarifying all kinds of stuff since then.

While there have to my knowledge never been any published gain claims on the RCA ANT751 I would expect the high VHF gain to be quite similar to the Winegard HD 7000r, and the Stellar Labs VHF/UHF antenna to be very close if not slightly better.
Long discussion here on ANT751 gain: http://www.dtvusaforum.com/dtv-hdtv-reception-antenna-discussion/3177-rca-ant751-how-vhf.html

Consensus, if you read to the end, was about 5 dBi gain for VHF. The Stellar Labs I linked to is 7 to 10 dBi. The figures for the ANT751R on UHF would be about 2 dB higher than those quoted for the ANT751, because the R version is tuned for the lower frequencies now enforced in our country. That would not affect VHF. My source for this is "Denny" who sells the identical EZ HD antenna. I guess he could be making it up. At some point you have to believe SOMEbody!

The O.P. clearly needs a bit more antenna.
The numbers we have would indicate my Stellar Labs antenna is a "bit more" than the antennas you guys are recommending!

http://www.mcmelectronics.com/content/ProductData/Spec Sheets/30-2440.pdf
http://www.winegard.com/kbase/upload/HD7694P.pdf
http://www.starkelectronic.com/hbu44.pdf

Those long Yagis make a heckova wind mast too, you know. I don't have any stake in MCM or Stellar Labs. It just seems we need to get off the Winegard/CM merry-go-round. And I hate to see people throw away money.

Rick
 

brendan

DTVUSA Rookie
#9
Thanks to everyone for the help and suggestions.

I found out why I was not getting Channel 8 at all. The pre-amp has a switch to select between combined vhf/uhf or separate signals. The manuals indicated this should be preset to the combined signal but it was not.

After switching it off I am getting Channel 8 now but it is very glitchy so I would agree I need a bit more Antenna.

Looking around my neighbors are using something similar to the big Winegard/AntennaCraft Yagis.

For the price difference I am be temped by the tri-boom as I used something similar back in the UK. I ended up replacing it with a Log periodic due to the lower wind resistance and noise immunity.

I was offered was a C4 for $69 but that looks like it does not cover the vhf band at all and everything I need is in around 110 degree direction.

Thanks again to everyone for your help!

Brendan
 
#11
Forget about Beamwidth, anything worth watching is between 109-114°, and get Brendan to buy a 50' mast.
At 50' all he'll need is a paperclip.
Good job, SWH, intriguing observation! Do we know for sure 50 feet is required?

I put brendan's zip into TV Fool with several different heights. Even at 20 feet -- LOWER than what he has now -- almost everything was Line-Of-Sight. Paperclip territory indeed! Obviously brendan is at the bottom of a hill very local to his exact address. I'd like to suggest he get TV Fool reports to his exact address at 30 - 35 - 40 feet, as well as 50 feet.

Rick
 

brendan

DTVUSA Rookie
#12
Good job, SWH, intriguing observation! Do we know for sure 50 feet is required?

I put brendan's zip into TV Fool with several different heights. Even at 20 feet -- LOWER than what he has now -- almost everything was Line-Of-Sight. Paperclip territory indeed! Obviously brendan is at the bottom of a hill very local to his exact address. I'd like to suggest he get TV Fool reports to his exact address at 30 - 35 - 40 feet, as well as 50 feet.

Rick
Rick even at 50' I'm still getting 2Edge signals:

TV Fool

At 75' some of the local LP channels are LOS but everything I want is still 2edge.

TV Fool

I was offered the HD7697P for $80, would it be worth over the cheaper Stellar Labs tri-boom?

Do either have an advantage with respect to minimizing multipath interference?

Thanks,
Brendan
 
#13
Rick Antennacraft, and Winegard state antenna gain in dbd.
From the foot notes on the HBU44 specifications
1: Over Half-Wave Tuned Dipole (Ch. 7 - 62)
I know the fine print on the Antennacraft page is hard to read. Winegard makes it very clear in all of their published specifications. Channel Master has recently started using dbi on some of their product line. On the Stellar Labs specs it simply says db. The U.S. company that states antenna gain in dbi is Antennas Direct. Using an across the high VHF channels the way Antennacraft does the Stellar Labs antenna would have a High VHF gain of 7dbi, or 4.85 dbd.
I have read quite a bit of information, and discussion on the RCA ANT 751.
I have to agree completely about wind loading. I have an antenna grave yard out on the property I use to live on. I don't know about now days, but Winegard, and Channel Master were at one time built much better than Antennacraft. While rare in this part of the country freezing fog can destroy an antenna. I've seen it happen. I've never put up an antenna that the Wyoming weather didn't eventually tear down. I've been at this a few years.
I'm all for the cheap part, and had been looking at the Stellar Labs antennas long before they were mentioned on this forum.
Steve
 
#14
Rick even at 50' I'm still getting 2Edge signals:
Ouch! That's one heck of a hill you got there -- or whatever it is. You must be able to see it, right?


I was offered the HD7697P for $80, would it be worth over the cheaper Stellar Labs tri-boom? Do either have an advantage with respect to minimizing multipath interference?
That's a great deal, and the 7697P is almost a lock on solving all your reception problems. I would say it might be slightly better for multipath than the tri-boom, and the gain figures are a little higher throughout.

Only issue I would have is safely installing an 11 foot monster like that. Make sure it's far from any power lines, in case it ever falls!

http://www.winegard.com/kbase/upload/HD7697P.pdf

Good Luck,
Rick
 
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#15
I cross posted a few minutes ago. There are draw backs to a large antenna. Tighter reception pattern. More wind load. More work to get it up. Stronger support needed to keep it up.
When more signal is needed from one direction bigger is usually better.
 
#16
Using an across the high VHF channels the way Antennacraft does the Stellar Labs antenna would have a High VHF gain of 7dbi, or 4.85 dbd.
??? The spec sheet says 7-10 dB on VHF. How did a high of 10 dBi change into 7dBi? Thanks for the other info, but I think you better rev up your calculator again on that one.

Now, when Antennacraft shows one figure for all high VHF channels, are they guaranteeing that much gain throughout the band? I'd be surprised if that were true.

Rick
 
#17
The way I read the Antennacraft statement that is the way I would take it. Given the boom length, and number of elements of the antennas that does not seem out of line to me.
Steve
 
#18
The way I read the Antennacraft statement that is the way I would take it. Given the boom length, and number of elements of the antennas that does not seem out of line to me.
If that were true they would surely use the word "minimum." The marketing guys aren't going to screw up in the wrong direction like that. The word "minimum" or "min" would make it very clear, and to their benefit.

But that doesn't touch on my main question about 7-10 dB on the Stellar Labs changing somehow to "a High VHF gain of 7dbi". You don't need to consult AntennaCraft numbers to interpret Stellar Labs' numbers.

Rick
 
#19
Rick I've always wondered about the low gain numbers that Antennacraft publishes considering the size of the antennas. When I read the fine print it made sense to me, but maybe I've got it all wrong.
I read this page the other day when I was looking for specs on an antenna.
Antennacraft VHF Antennas
I do like the channel charts Winegard publishes, and the specs Solid Signal has on their line of antennas. Winegard has been known to publish antenna gain numbers in the negative dbd range. Although at times they have pulled the specs after a short period of time.
Steve
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#20
Rick even at 50' I'm still getting 2Edge signals:

TV Fool

At 75' some of the local LP channels are LOS but everything I want is still 2edge.

TV Fool

I was offered the HD7697P for $80, would it be worth over the cheaper Stellar Labs tri-boom?

Do either have an advantage with respect to minimizing multipath interference?

Thanks,
Brendan
This is strange, I ran your chart at 50' and got all "LOS', but didn't save the link...sorry.
 
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