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Terrain antenna recs
This thread has 13 replies. Displaying all posts.
Post 1 made on Monday January 8, 2018 at 00:56
Hi-FiGuy
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Getting ready to put one on the roof.
Towers are 45ish miles away with low hills (less than 800ft) in the way.
My old school a$$ want to put the usual giant Channel Master with giant elements on it up there, as its always worked for me in the past and I kind of like the look believe it or not.

My question is that I am seeing some of these newer ones that are super small in comparison claiming 80 miles and such.
they look like this style.

Question is do they actually work, will be used for FM also.
Do they speak English on What?
Post 2 made on Monday January 8, 2018 at 02:04
Ernie Gilman
Yes, That Ernie!
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That's a UHF antenna. It will probably suck badly for FM.

The size of the antenna is often a clue as to how the bottom of its response range is. Most markets don't have any low VHF channels (2 - 6) any more, so the six foot wide antennas are rarely needed. Unfortunately, FM is just above Channel 6.

This reminds me of the "bow-tie" antennas you still see sometimes. My grandfather had a quad bowtie on his house in the late 50s!
A good answer is easier with a clear question giving the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
Post 3 made on Monday January 8, 2018 at 09:11
highfigh
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On January 8, 2018 at 00:56, Hi-FiGuy said...
Getting ready to put one on the roof.
Towers are 45ish miles away with low hills (less than 800ft) in the way.
My old school a$$ want to put the usual giant Channel Master with giant elements on it up there, as its always worked for me in the past and I kind of like the look believe it or not.

My question is that I am seeing some of these newer ones that are super small in comparison claiming 80 miles and such.
they look like this style.

Question is do they actually work, will be used for FM also.

I put one of those in a system, behind the equipment on the 3rd floor of a house that was built in 1905 and now has slate roofing. It's on the SE corner of the house and all of the broadcasts come from the NW corner, so there's plenty of roof, plaster and other materials in the way- I was never going to put it outside and can't put it in the attic. It's generally OK for the local channels, but a few occasionally pixellate. I'll see how it is after the channels are reassigned.

They all make distance claims, but those always depend on perfect conditions, outside, on a clear day and without other interference.
My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."
Post 4 made on Monday January 8, 2018 at 09:22
ericspencer
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I think an antenna like that is a hit or miss proposition if if will work anywhere close to the distance claims they make. A lot more fluff than function.


Back when I used to distribute antennas, guys in out area were using Digitenna and I heard nothing but great reviews.
Not my circus, not my monkeys
Post 5 made on Monday January 8, 2018 at 10:38
rmalbers
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Actually, that one dipole element looks way too long for UHF so my bet is that they advertise this as a UHF/VHF antenna, lol! I assume there are two wire loops of different size in those round plastic things for UHF. This would work for local stations but with UHF it's such a YMMV thing with tower height, transmitter power ('usually' very high) and terrain.
Post 6 made on Monday January 8, 2018 at 10:40
Hasbeen
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I use that exact antenna.  I bought it from BB for maybe $60-80?  Works perfectly, no amp.  I'm about 20 miles from the stations towers.

I use it on 1 TV and Tivo feeding the rest of the house....

FM?  What is this 1955?   :) 
Post 7 made on Monday January 8, 2018 at 11:50
Ernie Gilman
Yes, That Ernie!
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On January 8, 2018 at 09:11, highfigh said...
They all make distance claims, but those always depend on perfect conditions, outside, on a clear day and without other interference.

And tvfool.com will give you very clear information as to what stations you can receive; will classify the distance range they should be specced for; and will provide a map to tell you which direction to point.

On January 8, 2018 at 10:38, rmalbers said...
Actually, that one dipole element looks way too long for UHF so my bet is that they advertise this as a UHF/VHF antenna, lol!

Don't laugh too much -- one dipole like that will work pretty well for upper band VHF. That's Channels 7 - 13), and of course I mean Channel ASSIGNMENTS 7 - 13, not channel NAMES 7.1 - 13.1.

I use a Yagi style antenna that's UHF combined with a pair of elements like that and it works great.

I assume there are two wire loops of different size in those round plastic things for UHF. This would work for local stations but with UHF it's such a YMMV thing with tower height, transmitter power ('usually' very high) and terrain.

YMMV, indeed. One client had hills to the east and north and really wanted to get the local PBS station located thirty miles to the east. All the VHF stations came in on an antenna pointed right at the hill to the east, but that PBS station's signal came in strongest from due north! So that's where we pointed the UHF antenna.
A good answer is easier with a clear question giving the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
Post 8 made on Monday January 8, 2018 at 14:29
buzz
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On January 8, 2018 at 11:50, Ernie Gilman said...
One client had hills to the east and north and really wanted to get the local PBS station located thirty miles to the east. All the VHF stations came in on an antenna pointed right at the hill to the east, but that PBS station's signal came in strongest from due north! So that's where we pointed the UHF antenna.

Sometimes a good reflection is more useful than the direct signal.

Odd aiming can be helpful if there is multi-path. We think of the polar response of the antenna as being 100% in the front direction and 0% in the rear. There can be side lobes and nulls too. One might be able to improve reception by pointing a null at the multi-path. This is a useful technique in urban areas where there is plenty of signal, and lots of reflections.
Post 9 made on Tuesday January 9, 2018 at 01:56
Ernie Gilman
Yes, That Ernie!
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buzz,
I used that exact technique in an odd FM situation. There's a high-powered FM transmitter at 98.7 along Mulholland Drive between LA and the Valley. There's a low-powered jazz station at 88.1 about thirty miles south and up over a hill that was close to the client.

Well, she wanted to hear jazz! She had some odd interference, which some listening showed was the station at 98.7.

How the hell was that station interfering? 98.7 is 10.6 MHz from 88.1. The IF frequency of the usual FM tuner is 10.7 MHz. The 98.7 station was WAY more powerful than the 88.1 station, so powerful that some of it was leaking through the IF section.

Once I realized that, I turned the directional FM antenna that I had installed for her so that the 98.7 station was nulled out. The interference disappeared.

Null response is WAY further down, and so much more aimable, than peaks.
A good answer is easier with a clear question giving the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
Post 10 made on Tuesday January 9, 2018 at 18:24
andrewinboulder
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I've used those a few times with good luck.

You can also call the maker Antennas Direct and give the the exact address and they will review the terrain and make a suggestion based on the channels you're trying to pull in. They seem to me to be competent...
Post 11 made on Tuesday January 9, 2018 at 20:53
Ernie Gilman
Yes, That Ernie!
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On January 9, 2018 at 18:24, andrewinboulder said...
You can also call the maker Antennas Direct and give the the exact address and they will review the terrain and make a suggestion based on the channels you're trying to pull in.

But nights and weekends, tvfool.com is there. I used to use antennaweb and don't remember why I switched, so check it out too.

It was very cool to be on top of a roof in the Hollywood hills holding a printout of a map of the address I was at, adorned with lines pointing in the direction of the transmitters. All I had to do was line up the streets with the streets on the map!
A good answer is easier with a clear question giving the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
Post 12 made on Tuesday January 9, 2018 at 22:48
FreddyFreeloader
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[Link: channelmaster.com]

Right Ernie?
Post 13 made on Tuesday January 9, 2018 at 23:08
Ernie Gilman
Yes, That Ernie!
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Nope.

[Link: channelmaster.com]

And this one is great where you have length and width... but it fits into a 12" high "attic" because none of the elements go up out of the plane of most of the antenna

[Link: solidsignal.com]

Last edited by Ernie Gilman on January 9, 2018 23:16.
A good answer is easier with a clear question giving the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
Post 14 made on Wednesday January 10, 2018 at 01:17
buzz
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On January 9, 2018 at 01:56, Ernie Gilman said...
How the hell was that station interfering? 98.7 is 10.6 MHz from 88.1. The IF frequency of the usual FM tuner is 10.7 MHz. The 98.7 station was WAY more powerful than the 88.1 station, so powerful that some of it was leaking through the IF section.

That’s unusual. Images are usually twice the IF frequency above the tuned station. Some of those early transistor FM tuners had very poor RF performance. I could believe almost any bad tale about those tuners. I’m afraid that we are slipping back to these levels as various Apps and technology licensing deals steal money from the tuner design.


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