Antenna recommendations

Reception, channel detection, network issues, CableCARD setup, etc.
larrylegg7@gmail.com
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:55 am

Antenna recommendations

Postby larrylegg7@gmail.com » Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:13 am

I live in a neighborhood that doesn't have a direct line of sight to the local station antennas. I also have issues with stations loosing signals with slight weather change. I currently have a RCA Compact Outdoor Yagi HDTV Antenna with 70 Mile Range.

I need some good antenna recommendations.

ACraigo
Posts: 418
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:32 pm
Device ID: 1062E8EE
Location: Deep Canyon in WV (by God)

Re: Antenna recommendations

Postby ACraigo » Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:52 am

You'll need to reveal your zip code so somebody can go to tvfool.com (or you can) then bring back an image of the station locations in your area. We'll also be able to make a reasonable assessment of any possibilities while also identifying the impossible.

An outdoor antenna is best. One advertised for 70 miles sounds good, but if you had an exact make and model it would say a lot more.

jseymour
Posts: 381
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 8:46 am

Re: Antenna recommendations

Postby jseymour » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:28 am

Even the zip code won't necessarily do it. You really need the street address.

OP: Go to TV Fool, enter your location information and see what it says. You can post the results, if you want, unless you feel the bearing and distance information would give away too much information about where you are.

Problem is: Lacking that information: Nobody can really guide you. And even then: Any guidance you get may or may not be useful. Reception is a tricky thing. E.g.: I live on what Ham Radio people call a "super QTH." ("QTH" is the Ham Radio Q-code for "location.") It's a super QTH because it's on high ground relative to the immediate surroundings, high ground relative to the region, and has a high water table (good for what's called the "ground plane.") All my stations of interest are a mere 10-16 miles away and LOS. Yet I still have problematical stations when the wind blows. Probably due to trees.

Here's an example of just how capricious RF can be: I turned my antenna slightly off-axis to the median of the bearings to the cluster of local stations--the hypothesis being that would get the diffraction noise from the trees out of the antenna's radiation pattern (it's called a "radiation pattern" whether it refers to transmission or reception) and perhaps improve foul-weather reception. I'd tried everything else--short of erecting a tower behind the house to get out from behind the trees. Not only did that improve foul-weather reception, but it's allowed me to pull in two stations 65 miles away with 2edge diffraction--often with little or no disruption.

larrylegg7@gmail.com
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:55 am

Re: Antenna recommendations

Postby larrylegg7@gmail.com » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:55 am

Thanks for your input and help. I went to TV Fool and enter my info. This is my results:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapp ... 4b48ceb5aa

My antenna is currently align on the axis about 14 degrees to pick up the majority of channels. However, I find WDAF-TV is very problematic, which is 345 degrees. And all channels will drop in windy or cloudy days. You can see I am not that far from any antenna but experience frequent pixilation. With my current antenna, a RCA Compact Outdoor Yagi.

Again, thank you for any help, input or recommendations! I am a total noob at antennas.

Larry

ACraigo
Posts: 418
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:32 pm
Device ID: 1062E8EE
Location: Deep Canyon in WV (by God)

Re: Antenna recommendations

Postby ACraigo » Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:14 am

Well, knowing a bit about Kansas there's not likely to be much in the way, except Corn. Usually not a problem. If you are located in an Urban setting large obstructions will definitely play a large part in any discomfort you may be having.

The antenna is on the small side, but one would probably assume 11 miles is not going to be a problem, but I don't know much about that antenna. It appears to be a UHF/VHF High - but that's a guess judging by the size. There is certainly no illuminating info online about it. For all I know it's designed for Chinese Channels.

You can discuss transmission lines (coax), their lengths and all the equipment you may have inline. You'll definitely need another antenna for that one troublesome station off to the side and that means you'll need a Diplexer or a simple backwards splitter to allow the use of two antennae for one transmission line. <--- that part is easy.

You may need to replace your current antenna, but perhaps someone that knows more about it will chime in with a review.

jseymour
Posts: 381
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 8:46 am

Re: Antenna recommendations

Postby jseymour » Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:24 am

Well, I'm a bit mystified. All those stations in the green zone are LOS, close, and have excellent predicted signal strength and noise margins. Plus that RCA antenna gets glowing reviews everywhere. IMO you should see well more than 50% signal strength on all of them--even the one with 1Edge diffraction.

Except KCTV and WDAF (349° and 345°, respectively). Those are 25° and 29° off-axis for your antenna, respectively. A yagi's maximum attenuation is off to its sides. I'd try splitting the difference on those bearings and try aiming at 0° and see what happens.

Do you have nearby trees? Big trees? What I did was essentially find the biggest gap between the nearby trees and aim right down the middle of it. That just happened to put the nearby stations at the edge of the antenna's main forward radiation lobe on the "left side" and those distant stations right at the edge on the "right side."

I'm also wondering about antenna mounting and wiring. Antenna should be securely mounted so it doesn't move around in the wind. National Electrical Code, which is usually adopted as local code, requires proper grounding. You should use quality RG6 coax, properly terminated with moisture-resistant compression fittings. There should also be a lightning arrestor in the feed line.

ACraigo
Posts: 418
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:32 pm
Device ID: 1062E8EE
Location: Deep Canyon in WV (by God)

Re: Antenna recommendations

Postby ACraigo » Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:41 am

It does seem like something is wrong somewhere.

Common antenna problems:
Bad Coax (no coax)
Coax not terminated correctly (F type fittings not put on right)
Too many split feeds without line amplification (don't put an 8 way splitter in line - or it'll act just like yours is acting)
Your house is sandwitched between many large concrete structures - or you live in the bottom of a rock quarry

The possibilities are endless, but something just doesn't seem right.

gtb
Expert
Posts: 3799
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:00 pm
Location: Sunnyvale, CA USA

Re: Antenna recommendations

Postby gtb » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:05 am

Probably due to trees.
Details certainly matter, but also read up on Fresnel zones. Trees are simply one part of the possibilities that can include terrain, buildings, and even vehicles on roads.

ACraigo
Posts: 418
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:32 pm
Device ID: 1062E8EE
Location: Deep Canyon in WV (by God)

Re: Antenna recommendations

Postby ACraigo » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:13 am

Probably due to trees.
Details certainly matter, but also read up on Fresnel zones. Trees are simply one part of the possibilities that can include terrain, buildings, and even vehicles on roads.
... or Corn/Corn Silos/Corn Plants (Whiskey/Syrup/Ethanol)...

lol

rrussis82
Posts: 280
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:46 pm
Location: Western MA

Re: Antenna recommendations

Postby rrussis82 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:19 pm

There seems to be many very knowledgeable members here of antennas and how they work. I have looked at TVfools website and it indicates I need a blue zone preamped antenna. I am seeing a lot of antennas on amazon that I just cannot trust how well they would work. My zip code is 01080 and I would place an antenna on my roof eave. I live in a lower part of my town that slopes down to a river and my yard is mostly sloped so it would be hard to explain how high the antenna would be. Where the antenna would be positioned is the height of a walk out basement, 2 stories, then the roof. So I could estimate that at about 30 feet high, but if I went from the reference of hight at front of my house it would only be 24 feet. does anyone think the ULTRAtenna 60 – CM-4221HD listed on SD's store would work sufficient for me to get the major network channels? Or should I go with the extreme? Or even better someone guide me to the best one to use

Here is my tvfool information http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapp ... e5b891cdd1

ACraigo
Posts: 418
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:32 pm
Device ID: 1062E8EE
Location: Deep Canyon in WV (by God)

Re: Antenna recommendations

Postby ACraigo » Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:28 pm

Go Big or Stay Home.

Every single one of your possible targets are 2 Edge. That means there's something enormous in the way. You also have multiple directions to aim (I didn't look at your image very closely) so you may need two of something very big and even then it's very likely all you'll get is disappointment.

Whatever you buy, get the biggest one you can get and get it from Amazon so you can return it, no questions asked.

I have worked 2 Edge signals, some quite well, but that was back in the VHF-Low days when you could count on some 'bendy-bouncy' (and tolerate some analog 'snow' if necessary). There is no 'Bendy Bouncy' for VHF-High and UHF (and there is no digital 'snow' - it's there, or it's not). It's basically LOS (line of sight) or nothing.

larrylegg7@gmail.com
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:55 am

Re: Antenna recommendations

Postby larrylegg7@gmail.com » Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:28 pm

I live at the bottom of a hill. My antenna points directly to the side of our neighbors house. It is an old neighborhood with a lot of big trees. I would imagine that doesn't help the situation. When I first hooked up the antenna it was a mild day in the 70's with no wind. I could get 60+ channels. When it is cloudy, cold, windy or rainy it is down to 35 channels. On perfect days I can still go back up to 60+ channels.

The coax is RG6. Half of the cable I am using was installed by Time Warner for HD TV to a junction box. The cable to the antenna is 100' RG6 for outdoor use. All ends were factory installed (I know they can still be bad). I use the same ground Time Warner used. I also have a
Winegard LNA-200 Boost XT HDTV Preamplifier installed but I seem to get better results with the power turned off.

Because at times I get good reception, I believe my problem is where I live. The only other possibility is the heat/cold causes the connections to shrink/expand causing good contact then bad contact—but I think that is unlikely. That's why I am looking to get a larger antenna to capture more information. Is my thinking flawed? Any recommendations?

Thanks again!!!

Larry

jseymour
Posts: 381
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 8:46 am

Re: Antenna recommendations

Postby jseymour » Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:55 pm

That's horrible. I think that's even worse than my buddy's cabin that's out in the middle of nowhere. Literally nowhere.

I don't even know where to tell you to start. That's not laziness on my part. Or a lack of desire to help. I literally have no idea.

Well, no reasonable idea. Going under the assumption that a Rilly, Rilly High Tower is probably not in the cards...

larrylegg7@gmail.com
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:55 am

Re: Antenna recommendations

Postby larrylegg7@gmail.com » Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:00 pm

This is the antenna I have been looking at:

https://www.channelmaster.com/Masterpie ... m-5020.htm

jseymour
Posts: 381
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 8:46 am

Re: Antenna recommendations

Postby jseymour » Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:08 pm

I live at the bottom of a hill. My antenna points directly to the side of our neighbors house.
That's a problem. You need to get your antenna either over or around that house.
It is an old neighborhood with a lot of big trees.
The question is are any of those trees on or close to the bearing of your antenna very close? ("Very close" I'd say is w/in a couple hundred feet or so. "Close to the bearing" I'd define as w/in ±30°.)
The cable to the antenna is 100' RG6 for outdoor use.
Say what? Just how big a house are we talking about, here?
All ends were factory installed (I know they can still be bad).
And old. Coax isn't forever. Hold old is that coax?
I also have a Winegard LNA-200 Boost XT HDTV Preamplifier installed but I seem to get better results with the power turned off.
That's little surprise. Your problem is as much reflections and diffractions as it is low signal strength. Take it out of the line entirely. All it's doing is adding to your problems.
That's why I am looking to get a larger antenna to capture more information. Is my thinking flawed?
Yes, it is. You have a siting problem. You can't point an antenna, any antenna, at an obstruction and expect adequate performance.

You first need to get your antenna out from behind that obstruction (your neighbour's house).


Return to “HDHomeRun Hardware Setup & Troubleshooting”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: callenbrand and 1 guest