Towers East, West, & South. Rotate a Directional? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 2016-08-05, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Towers East, West, & South. Rotate a Directional?

Hello, I'm Paul from Grand Forks, North Dakota. While googling for information on TV antennas, I stumbled across a 2014 thread from this forum which compared the DB8e to the DB4e, two antennas I have developed an interest in. In the thread it was mentioned that the DB8e was very directional, which in the poster's experience led to a loss of available channels as compared to his DB4e.

Due to my tower situation, I am strongly considering using a rotor, in which case, the strong directional performance would be a plus. Or, I think it would. I am new to this.

My situation:
I have one TV, no splitter required.
I want to mount the antenna in my attic. Cable run will be around 50 feet (15 meters)
I want to pull in a VHF tower that is 40 miles East of me.
I want to pull in a UHF tower that is 40 miles West of me.
I want to pull in a UHF tower that is 50 miles South of me.
I live in very flat country that is predominantly prairie.

I am especially interested in the VHF tower that is 40 miles away as that is the station that carries the Minnesota Vikings and football season is approaching. From my previous experience with those inexpensive little flat panel antennas, VHF has been a tougher pull than UHF.

Would a rotor-equipped, attic-mounted DB8e be a good choice? Or would the DB4e perform as well or better? Or should I be considering a "conventional" antenna design, like the Winegard HD7694P.

Thanks for any help,

Paul
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 2016-08-05, 12:54 PM
 
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You can forget the DB4e, it is not rated for VHF only UHF.

The HD7694P is an VHF/UHF antenna. However from inside the attic either antenna will perform poorly.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 2016-08-05, 01:32 PM
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Welcome to the forum, Paul:

Jorgek is correct; the DB4e is not suitable for VHF signals unless they are extremely strong.

He is also correct that the attic is a poor location for an antenna because the signal loss is difficult to predict. You can make some tests with a temporary setup. If it doesn't work, you will need to put your antenna outside.

It is possible to have a UHF antenna like the DB4e or the DB8e aimed in one direction and have a VHF antenna aimed in another direction. They can be combined with a UVSJ UHF/VHF combiner.

If you post yout tvfool report, we can see what the signals look like at your location. You can do it here:
TV Fool

The DB8e has more gain than the DB4e, but it is more directional; that is the trade off. The DB4e has less gain but has a wider horizontal beamwidth to cover a wider range of azimuth.

If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.
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Last edited by rabbit73; 2016-08-05 at 01:51 PM.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 2016-08-05, 01:42 PM
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For VHF, I'd suggest getting one of the cheap Stellar Labs VHF Hi Yagis from
MCM Electronics. They are relatively small, and work pretty good. Would be a cheap experiment.
If it works well for you great. If not, no big investment is lost.
My personal preference is to use separate VHF and UHF antennas.
The two frequency bands are significantly different, such that one will never find the optimal postioning
for both UHF and VHF using a dual Band Antenna without sacrificing some of one or the other.
So better off using separate antennas for the most flexibility, allowing to be optimized individually,
rather than sacrificing one frequency band for the other all the time. If there is only one VHF station
and it's close enough to you with good LOS, it may not be of much concern.

Agree, post your TVFool report along with some commentary on what's important to you.

Stellar Labs Fringe Directional Antenna VHF-Hi HDTV 174 - 230MHz | 30-2475 (302475) | Stellar Labs

Slightly larger version:
Stellar Labs Deep Fringe Directional Antenna VHF-Hi HDTV 174 - 230MHz | 30-2476 (302476) | Stellar Labs

DB4E/VHF Yagi rotor FM Bandstop ap-8700 preamp 4way split LG lcd.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 2016-08-05, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
I am especially interested in the VHF tower that is 40 miles away as that is the station that carries the Minnesota Vikings and football season is approaching. From my previous experience with those inexpensive little flat panel antennas, VHF has been a tougher pull than UHF.
Yes, the flat panel antennas don't do well on VHF.

What is the callsign of the VHF channel?

http://www.vikings.com/schedule/season-schedule.html

If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.
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Last edited by rabbit73; 2016-08-05 at 03:07 PM.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 2016-08-05, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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My TV Fool report:TV Fool


One that is (I think) a little less cluttered and illustrated the channels I am interested in:
AntennaPoint.com - Antenna Locator (click on the balloon for broadcast details)

Fox/Vikings: KBRR
CBS:KXJB
ABC: WDAZ
NBC: KVLY

If the weather is decent (little wind) I can get PBS, ME TV, and CBS pretty good with a cheapo flat panel stuck against either an east or north facing window).

I would really like to avoid an outdoor antenna mounted on the roof if I can. I would also like a full head of hair and a somewhat flat belly. I have lots of likes, but the attic won't work, then I would like (prefer) the lightest, simplest antenna mount I can get away with. I put an antenna on a 50' tower when I was young living on the farm, but I no longer care for ladders or heights.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 2016-08-06, 06:36 AM
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Need to see your TVFool Report (enter your location and then Post the RESULTS URL, i.e. Web Address at top of Browser).

It is also likely that a THREE Antenna arrangement (Hi-VHF and TWO UHF's) would be suitable in your location, using less expensive UHF Antennas.

BTW: FLAT Panel Antennas are TOO SMALL to be very effective in UHF Band [Optimized UHF Antennas are at LEAST 2-feet Wide]....and have very NEGATIVE Gain in Hi-VHF Band.....only suitable when close to Towers....

Antenna Simulations, Overload Calculations, etc: http://imageevent.com/holl_ands
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 2016-08-06, 11:09 AM
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Thanks for the link to your report, Paul. You have used your zip code and it isn't accurate enough for us to give you good advice because the zip code area is very large.



The link to antennapoint.com doesn't work because that site is down now, but you also used just the zip for that too.
Quote:
antennapoint.com%2Fantennas%2Fshow%3Fid%3D58203%

Please go to the tvfool map browser and move the cursor to your location, and click on the upper right of the map where it says Make Radar Plot>> to generate your report. You can do it here:
TV Fool

Quote:
Fox/Vikings: KBRR
CBS:KXJB
ABC: WDAZ
NBC: KVLY
Based on your report:

KBRR Fox, real channel 10, NM 47.1 dB, 24.4 mi, 87 deg true
KXJB not listed on your report
WDAZ ABC, real channel 8, NM 44.1 dB, 41.8 mi, 288 deg true
KVLY NBC, real channel 44, NM 48.8 dB, 43.2 mi, 190 deg true

If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.
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Last edited by rabbit73; 2016-08-06 at 11:50 AM.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 2016-08-06, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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If I did it right, here is my map: TV Fool

I will check back when my post is posted to see if the link does what I intended.


I will mentio

- my attic walls are uninsulated (attic floor is insulated) and the roof design is such that it "peaks" in the four Cardinal Points (N,S,E,W,) so that, for whatever it is worth, the antenna signal would not have to travel through a shingled portion of the roof, uninsulated wall only, if the antenna were rotated.

-with my current indoor flat panel antenna (Terk, powered, 9" square?) I can usually get PBS and ME TV, and CBS, if it isn't windy, with CBS being the most dodgy of the three. I wonder if CBS has a booster signal somewhere between its tower and Grand Forks. I also get some upper band UHF I have no interest in).


Thanks for taking the time to help.

paul
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 2016-08-06, 02:22 PM
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Is your Attic really only 10 feet high?

Looks to me like you are most interested in receiving distant
Fargo, ND UHF 44 for NBC,CBS,MeTV
and Thief River Falls, MN for VHF 10 Fox.
RabbitEars.Info

The good news is that even at only 10 feet above ground, you have a decent LOS path to both of them. That's not including nearby clutter like trees, houses, etc. that will block the signal.
Why it is generally a good idea to get up as high as ya can.
The bad news is they are in different frequency bands and in different directions.

If it were me, I would use a separate VHF antenna fixed at Thief River Falls.
And a UHF antenna on a rotor primarily aimed at Fargo, hoping that the closer transmitters will still work most of the time. It's cold here in the winter and I am lazy. I'd rather be able to adjust my antennas from the comfort of my couch than keep fiddling with them in the winter.

They make adjustable eave mounts that can get your antenna up above your roof line, tying in to the eaves without having to penetrate your roof.

I would suggest getting someone like a local antenna or dish installer or a roofer to help you out if your not keen on climbing yourself any longer.

DB4E/VHF Yagi rotor FM Bandstop ap-8700 preamp 4way split LG lcd.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 2016-08-06, 03:42 PM
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Thanks for the new report which puts you in the city near the University, which is a more desirable location than your first report which puts you about 4 miles NW of the city next to the Grand Forks Sewage Disposal Ponds.

You will need a preamp like the Channel Master 7778 with the FM filter IN because you have two very strong local FM transmitters that might interfere with Fox on real channel 10. If the FM filter in the preamp isn't enough you will need to add another filter between the VHF antenna and the input of the preamp.

http://www.fmfool.com/modeling/tmp/0...4/Radar-FM.png

If you use separate VHF and UHF antennas, combine them with a UVSJ before the 7778.

Channels for 58203, 60 miles or less. Click on callsign to see sub channels:
RabbitEars.Info

I see a lot of trees in your area; trees kill TV signals.
https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=siting+hdtvprimer

If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.
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Last edited by rabbit73; 2016-08-06 at 05:11 PM.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 2016-08-06, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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The attic location I would use would place the antenna(s) 20 feet above ground level. This does leave the mounting at tree height, however, the leaves will be gone during most of the football season and all of winter, if that helps. (in the summer, I rarely watch TV, and if I do Netflex and Amazon serve well enough.)

I will look into antenna installers. The eve mount is also a good idea. If an attic mount (it is uninsulated sides and top) is deemed worth a try, I could get the gear that is outdoor-rated in case an eve mount proves necessary.

One thing that appeals to me about an attic mount is that a rotator would be long-lived. I tried rotators on my tower when I lived on the farm, and none were able to withstand more than a couple winters...and I grew to really dislike crawling up that tower and wrestling with a rotor mount and an eight-foot antenna.

Again, thanks. If any of you guys want guitar or harmonica advice, let me know. (also good with tomatoes and roses)
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 2016-08-06, 09:09 PM
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You might want to try the fol. alternative multiple Antenna System that uses inexpensive Antennas, eliminating the cost and hassle of using a costly ROTATOR PLUS Antenna pretty much every time you change channels....and inability to perform rapid channel surfing....and many DTV's have a problem SAVING Channel Lists when rerunning SEARCH FOR CHANNELS at each of several directions. Fortunately, with NM in excess of 40 dB, there is plenty of excess signal strength available (to go through RF Combiners, etc), even in Attic Location:

FIRST of all you MIGHT want to determine if a simple Hi-VHF Dipole will reliably receive EITHER and preferably BOTH Ch8 and Ch10 at the same time from a particular Location in the Attic. You probably need to try several locations, incl. close to the EAST wall and also the WEST Wall. This test could be done using Rabbit-Ears (at about 14.5-in Extension for each Whisker).

If the Rabbit-Ears work for BOTH Ch8 and Ch10 at the same time, you could simply keep using them plus a UHF/VHF Combiner from A-D, R-S or "UVSJ" from Pico-Macom or Hollands. Or buy A-D VHF Antenna Kit [about $20 + s/h] which includes the UHF/VHF Combiner.

If you find you need More Gain for one or BOTH Ch8 and Ch10, you could instead buy TWO MCM/Stellar Labs 9-Element Yagis [about $25 + s/h] to point EAST and WEST respectively. You can use a standard RF Splitter/Combiner [about 4 dB Loss] prior to sending Hi-VHF Signals through UHF/VHF Combiner:
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/produc...ductid=30-2475

The most cost effective solution for UHF is to use a PAIR of the fol. 4-Bay Bowties [currently ON SALE for about $25 + s/h], pointed EAST and SOUTH, going through a standard RF Splitter/Combiner [about 4 dB Loss] prior to sending UHF Signals through UHF/VHF Combiner:
Xtreme Signal HDTV 4 Bay Bowtie Outdoor TV Antenna 50 Mile VHF/UHF (HDB4X) from Solid Signal
Although I haven't seen detailed SPECS, or accurate measurements from which to construct a 4nec2 Model, they PROBABLY are roughly equivalent to the CM4221HD, providing about 11-15 dBi Gain:
http://imageevent.com/holl_ands/mult...uhfnewcm4221hd

Since each UHF Antenna is pointed at nearly Right Angles to each other, the Multipath Crosstalk between UHF Antennas is very low. If one of the Hi-VHF Antennas results in excessive Multipath into the other Antenna, a Single Channel Combiner/Eliminator Filter MAY need to added....but bear in mind that 5th Gen (and later) ATSC Tuners built since about 2008 have MUCH BETTER tolerance to Multipath than earlier Tuners, so [Long Delay] Multipath Interference has become much less of a problem. [Short Delay Multipath, such as inside an Attic can still cause problems in some cases.]

Antenna Simulations, Overload Calculations, etc: http://imageevent.com/holl_ands

Last edited by holl_ands; 2016-08-06 at 10:39 PM.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 2016-08-06, 09:46 PM
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Since you only have ONE Drop, I doubt that you NEED a Preamp (or Distribution Amplified) as recommended above...although you might need it if you add more than say one more Drop. You might want to first try it WITHOUT a Preamp.

It would help if you could Post your ACTUAL FMFool Results to see if there is an actual PROBLEM....both Ch8 and Ch10 might be affected by the Second Harmonics of Strong FM Stations, depending on how close they are. Posting FM Results is a bit different than TVFool results. If using FireFox: First Rt-Click and select "View Background Image"....THEN, you can Copy/Paste the Results URL (webaddress at top of Browser) into a Post. With IE, it is more convoluted...I would "SAVE SCREEN" and paste into a Image Editing Program, such as MS-Paint, to Crop and Convert from *.bmp to compressed *.jpg file that can then be Uploaded to your DigitalHome IMAGE Library, allowing it to be linked in a Post.

Since FM Notch Filters in various Preamps are targeted at protecting adjacent Ch6 from FM Band interference, from the Factory the Narrow Notch is tuned to the LOWER part of the FM Band. Hence they are only partially effective against Second Harmonics interfering with Ch8 and pretty much ineffective at protecting Ch10 and above. IF there is an Interference Problem, you should use an inexpensive FULL BAND FM Filter, available from A-D or MCM [do NOT use R-S PARTIAL Band FM Filter]:
https://www.antennasdirect.com/store...l?cjid=6147531
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/produc...-FM-88-/33-341

Antenna Simulations, Overload Calculations, etc: http://imageevent.com/holl_ands

Last edited by holl_ands; 2016-08-06 at 10:19 PM.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 2016-08-06, 10:31 PM
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Although you didn't mention NORTH, the fol. VERY STRONG signals are very likely to come in on the UHF Antenna pointed SOUTH anyway:
KCPM, Ch17 (MyN) has many programs that might be of interest:
https://www.mynetworktv.com
K17HG, Ch18 (3ABN), Religious Programing from Three Angels Broadcasting Network:
Home - Three Angels Broadcasting Network (3ABN)

Additional Station From EAST:
KCGE, Ch16 is Another PBS Station, you might check TV Guide to see if they have different programs

Additional Station From SOUTH:
KRDK, Ch38 (IND) broadcasts numerous Low-Rez programs that might be of interest:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KRDK-TV

Antenna Simulations, Overload Calculations, etc: http://imageevent.com/holl_ands
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