Best and most updated antenna pointing sites? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 2017-11-07, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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Best and most updated antenna pointing sites?

Hi folks!

My first post on this site. Weeeeee!

I wanted to inquire as to which site or sites should be used for pointing an antenna to get OTA signals.

I have seen from my reading of previous posts on this site that tvfool dot com seems to be the popular favorite, but after some personal research. I have noticed that it does not always have all channels that might be available to someone in a certain geographic area.

Some other sites that I have found to indicate which signals a particular person might receive are:
https://www.rabbitears.info/search.php
https://www.fcc.gov/media/engineering/dtvmaps
https://www.antennasdirect.com/transmitter-locator.html

FWI, none of those are spam links.

I am just wondering which antenna pointing sites are more accurate, more up to date, etc.

Which one or ones should I concentrate on as being the most accurate?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 2017-11-07, 01:46 AM
 
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 2017-11-07, 08:04 AM
 
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Quote:
If some channels are not showing with TV Fool you have to click on Pending* All channels . . .
TVFool's latest database is screwed up. There are threads on AVSforum and TVFool's forum that discuss the issue.

Quote:
I am just wondering which antenna pointing sites are more accurate, more up to date, etc.
They're all accurate enough to get you into the ballpark for aiming an antenna as long as you input your location accurately. As far as predicting reception, well, that's a different matter.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 2017-11-09, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for both of your replies!


I am new here, so I don't think I can add attachments.


Basically tvfool does not even show (even with the pending channels checked) 3 stations that are reported to be at the top of the stations listed on Rabbitears site and the FCC dot gov site.


Tvfool also failed to mention that the top station on there site is a repeater station for one of the local networks in that area.


So I am back to my original question, I understand the ball park suggestion, but if a channel is never mentioned, which site should I trust the most, or should I adapt the approach of DTA, Don't Trust Anybody, and be forced to scour them all?
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 2017-11-09, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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Darn, I forgot to mention the address that I used for the above mentioned antenna sites, 999 Wood Rd, Freeville, NY 13068 20' antenna.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 2017-11-09, 11:54 AM
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That address doesn't seem to work very well, so the aiming will be a little off. Coordinates or an exact address would be more accurate.

The TVFool report says only resolved to block level. It uses the Google maps database, which puts that location at the intersection of Wood Rd and Bone Plain Rd, where Wood Rd changes to N Wood Rd.

Bing maps puts it at the intersection of Wood Rd and Sheldon Rd.

The USPS zip code directory can't seem to find that address.

But going by the defective TVFool results, your report looks like this:
TV Fool



and the more accurate, as far as listed channels goes, RabbitEars looks like this:



and the FCC DTV Reception Maps for comparison:



TVFool uses true and magnetic north, RabbitEars use true north, and FCC DTV uses magnetic (compass) north for azimuth.

If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.
Lord Kelvin, 1883

Last edited by rabbit73; 2017-11-09 at 03:56 PM.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 2017-11-09, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you rabbit73 for your response.


I have not been able to contact the person for the exact address but that is the ball park area.


So I am assuming a 4 bay bowtie by itself will not be of much help according to those readings. Would a very high powered preamp increase the likelihood of getting the major networks? I can't see an overpowering of the tuner happening in a sad situation such as this.


If a high powered preamp would help, how much would it help? Any suggestions for a high powered preamp?


Thank you!
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 2017-11-09, 10:25 PM
 
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A "high-powered" amp is not going to help any more than would a "medium-powered" amp unless you have a LOT of cable and splits. More gain is usually not better, it just opens up the chance of more problems.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 2017-11-09, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Tvfool also failed to mention that the top station on there site is a repeater station for one of the local networks in that area
W16AX is Fox from WSYT:
http://www.rabbitears.info/market.ph...callsign=w16ax

I have added the Noise Margin numbers to these reports:





Quote:
Originally Posted by jandrcbrt View Post
I have not been able to contact the person for the exact address but that is the ball park area.
Oh, I thought it was for you.
Quote:
So I am assuming a 4 bay bowtie by itself will not be of much help according to those readings.
A 4-bay bowtie would be OK for the UHF channels, but a VHF-High antenna would be needed also, or a UHF/VHF combo antenna.
Quote:
Would a very high powered preamp increase the likelihood of getting the major networks? I can't see an overpowering of the tuner happening in a sad situation such as this.
It would depend upon the gain of the antenna and which channels are needed. I had a medium gain, 17-23 dB, preamp in mind.
Quote:
If a high powered preamp would help, how much would it help? Any suggestions for a high powered preamp?
The results are hard to predict at this point. The reports are only computer simulations that don't consider where the antenna will be mounted, and don't take into consideration trees or buildings in the signal path.

Antennas Direct Juice
CM 7778
RCA TVPRAMP1R (inexpensive, but some quality control problems)
CM7777HD, has HI and LO gain settings, odd mounting, weather plug for DC connector

You must understand that some experimentation will be necessary.

The only possible threat from FM interference would be from WYXL, depending upon the exact location:
http://www.fmfool.com/modeling/tmp/f...8/Radar-FM.png

If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.
Lord Kelvin, 1883

Last edited by rabbit73; 2017-11-09 at 11:38 PM.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 2017-11-10, 02:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you again rabbit73.

Sorry for any confusion I may have introduced.

I don't believe a VHF antenna will be required because the sought after channels will be in the NE/SW quadrant for the most part.

I fully understand experimentation will most likely be needed. Antenna relocation and such.

Am I foolish in thinking -80 dBm or so would be the minimum needed signal value at the antenna to have a chance of receiving the signal at the tv? I realize a preamp would need to be installed at that point to counter act any loss from signal after that point.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 2017-11-10, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Sorry for any confusion I may have introduced.
You haven't introduced the confusion, it is the channel changes as a result of UHF Repack that has introduced confusion.
Quote:
I don't believe a VHF antenna will be required because the sought after channels will be in the NE/SW quadrant for the most part.
Um, I don't quite understand that. A quadrant is a 90 degree sector, like from 0 to 90 degrees, or North to East. No CBS from the SE?
Quote:
Am I foolish in thinking -80 dBm or so would be the minimum needed signal value at the antenna to have a chance of receiving the signal at the tv?
That's a good starting point; you might be able to go as low as -85 dBm. As you can see, the two reports don't agree on signal strength.

To answer your original questions:
Quote:
I am just wondering which antenna pointing sites are more accurate, more up to date, etc.

Which one or ones should I concentrate on as being the most accurate?
The TVFool report is the best for aiming the antenna IF the channel is properly listed, but it is NOT up to date. The RabbitEars and FCC reports are more up to date with the channels, but more difficult to use for aiming an antenna.

You will just have to put up an antenna, and see what you get. Less TALK and more DO.

Although the FCC channel list gives the direction based on magnetic (compass) north, the map they show is based on true north.


If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.
Lord Kelvin, 1883

Last edited by rabbit73; 2017-11-10 at 09:07 PM.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 2017-11-10, 09:31 PM
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When the TVFool Interactive Map is working properly, you can use the green signal lines to aim an antenna.
TV Fool



When it isn't working properly, you can use the black signal lines on the FCC DTV Reception map:
https://www.fcc.gov/media/engineering/dtvmaps



If you use the FCC DTV Map in Canada, it will show the US channels, but not the Canadian channels:



Using RabbitEars in Canada:



compass diagram


If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.
Lord Kelvin, 1883

Last edited by rabbit73; 2017-11-10 at 11:50 PM.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 2017-11-11, 02:13 AM Thread Starter
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Wow! Thank you again rabbit73 for your responses and those maps, I will play with that shortly.


Sorry for the confusion on the "quadrant" statement I made. Let me try to clarify a bit. The desired channel ranges are, for the most part, located at about 37 degrees, so I was thinking a 4 bay reflectorless bowtie antenna would have a 30 degree beam width to the front and the rear. That should basically cover the 22 - 52 degree range, and the 202 - 232 degree range. The desired RF channels in that field are RF 14 - RF 47. I don't see any need for VHF there.


CBS from the SE? CBS hopefully would be picked up via WTVH from the NE @ 37 degrees.


Thank you also for the tip that the FCC Map is true North headings, as opposed to the values in their charts. I probably would have missed that.


I wanted to report that I am at my parents winter home and he is receiving a channel that the rabbitears website says is -98.20 dBm/Bad/2Edge. He has an omnidirectional antenna. That gives me some hope for the NY address mentioned above.


Are we in agreement that a Preamp couldn't hurt the NY address antenna? Also Anything else that might assist that location such as a FM trap or anything else?


Thank you so much to this site for all of the assistance received thus far.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 2017-11-11, 03:27 AM Thread Starter
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BTW, I couldn't get any antenna pointing lines on the htt p //ww w . fcc . gov /media/engineering /dtvmaps site you mentioned.

The other one worked perfectly. Thank you so much.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 2017-11-11, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jandrcbrt View Post
BTW, I couldn't get any antenna pointing lines on the htt p //ww w . fcc . gov /media/engineering /dtvmaps site you mentioned.

The other one worked perfectly. Thank you so much.
Go to:
https://www.fcc.gov/media/engineering/dtvmaps

and enter coordinates or US address:



Switch to satellite view
You can remove street names by removing check from Labels in drop down menu
Zoom in on marker
If marker is in wrong location for antenna, move it by drag and drop
New coordinates will appear in box at left for a short time, but original coordinates will remain in search box



Click on callsign in list at left and black line will show in satellite view


If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.
Lord Kelvin, 1883
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