Is it possible to simply use aluminum wire to connect the elements of two antennas? Where would you do it? Eg on two 4221s- whiskers or reflector? Is this better than using a conventional joiner/reverse splitter for signal gain/loss?
I know this might be more about the new 4221HD model, but several years ago, I wanted to put a 4228 in my attic on a rotor (didn't really want anything outside if I could avoid it). But the opening to my attic was small and would only allow a 4221 to fit through. So I bought two 4221s (the old kind, of course) and attached them together side-by-side with two long horizontal metal brackets attachd to the backs of the reflectors. I then mounted them on a mast (the mast and brackets clamped to the back side of the reflectors right at the vertical seam between the two), with the U-bolt clamps holding the edges of the reflector screens together right at their edges and against the mast.
I then followed some online close-up photos of the 4228's connection setup, and I fashioned stiff parallel aluminum wires to connect the two 4221s, joined at the center in front of the antennas just like the 4228. I used a small rectangular piece of wood and drilled two holes in it for the attachment bolts. At the time, I tried to orient and wrap the aluminum wires to look identical to the 4228 picture I was following. I used whatever 300-75 ohm balun I had sitting around at the connection bolts and ran coax down to the tv from there.
This setup has worked well over the years. Analog signals were receivable out to about 60-65 miles with a signal strength of about 7 out of 10 (maybe 8 out of 10 at night). In digital, it is right on the threshold of 65-mile reception (somewhat stable at night, not stable or nonexistent during the day).
This question is quite timely for me now, as I've learned a lot about antennas by lurking on this board for a while. From reading the recent balun thread comments, I plan to replace the existing balun with a CM 0089/94444 that I just bought, to see if that helps any. Also, (now that I know much more than when I connected these 4221s) I now suspect that perhaps the lengths of the two aluminum wire connector pieces are supposed to be exactly identical. Could someone please confirm that for me? They might be identical (or close), but I'm not sure how exact I was, so I plan to check that soon also. Although the aluminum wires I fashioned are parallel, I knew nothing at the time about their wrapping at, or angling away from, the attachment points, nor did I know anything about distance for these wires in front of the antenna or proper spacing for the attachment bolts at the center wood block. I'd very much appreciate any comments on which of these might be critical dimensions, and I'll adjust/improve accordingly.
I also seem to remember reading some recent comments about wood pieces/blocks not being that great at connection points for SBGH/DBGH antennas (PVC or other plastic was recommended instead). Wondering if I should replace that wood piece connecting my 4221s with some PVC/plastic.
As a side note, inspired by DogT, 300ohm and others, I've nearly completed a 30"x75" DBGH (original screen version) that very closely resembles DogT's PVC design. I plan to compare the results to my twin 4221 setup, and I'll of course report my results here.
Thanks to all for this very informative and helpful forum...