Stacking, Ganging, Combining TV Antennas - Page 86 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1276 of 1285 (permalink) Old 2017-05-26, 12:07 PM
Join Date: Jan 2016
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My plan at this point is to get a long extension pole I can run off the top of the tripod tower as I only have a 5' on there right now. This should clear the tree line. If I remove the reflector from 2 of the bays and have the antenna pointing SE, do you guys think that should suffice for me to pick up channels from both locations? I know these things are trial and error, I'm just wondering if my expectations are sound.

If that works, would you recommend I use a preamp or no?

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post #1277 of 1285 (permalink) Old 2017-05-28, 06:04 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
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CM4221HD has a set of FOUR WINGNUTS on the short struts that interconnect Bowtie Assembly and the Reflector Rod Assembly, see fol. User it's easy-peasy to disassemble the just have to FIGURE OUT how to SUPPORT the Bowtie Assembly at least a few inches AWAY from any other Metal (i.e. the Antenna Mast):



It would help if you could tell us WHICH Channels are LOST when you connect BOTH Antennas using RF Combiner, so we might be able to determine SUSPECT CAUSES.

For Example, in your TVFool Report, ADJACENT CHANNEL Desensitization "Issues" are marked with a small Red "a" to the far Left, as indicated for Ch35 [due to Very Strong Ch36, but you don't NEED Ch35] and Ch34 [due to stronger Ch35, carries YOU-TOO-AMERICA, if that is of any interest to you]. FYI: Ch35 [CTV-2] carries SAME PROGRAMS as much stronger Ch42, so presumably you don't NEED it: [See CHCJ on Ch35] [Ch34]

ALSO, Ch32 is your STRONGEST Signal, which means it COULD be affecting Weak Ch35 [just mentioned], 29 [WDTB, DAYSTAR, Duplicate on Stronger Ch9, so you may not NEED Ch29 anyway] and/or 34 [just mentioned]....due to NEAR-ADJACENT [aka "TABOO"] Desensitization, which is only a bit less of a problem as Adjacent Channel Desensitization. If you WANT Ch29 and you have reception issues, a SINGLE CHANNEL FILTER for Ch32 might improve your situation, such as from Jan Jenca or (more expensive) Tin-Lee:

You MAY WANT Hi-VHF coverage in TWO different Directions [fortunately SAME as two UHF Directions]:
CFTO on Hi-VHF Ch9 [towards NORTH] carries CTV-1 Programs [presumably different than CTV-2 on CKVP Ch42].
WBBZ on Hi-VHF Ch7 [towards SOUTH-EAST] carries ME, HEROS&ICONS and DAYSTAR Networks - which you probably WANT:

FYI: Programs on all BUFFALO Stations:

PS: All Co-Channel "Issues" marked by a small RED "c" to the far Left, are limited to TVFool's RED ZONE stations, which I presume are either of No-Interest....or TOO WEAK to be received.


Since Hi-VHF/UHF Combo Antennas are needed if you WANT CTV-1 on Ch9 (Toronto to NORTH) and Ch7 (Sprinville, NY to SOUTH-EAST), I would recommend a pair of RCA 8-Element ANT-751's (or newer 7-Element ANT-7511's), which are small (under 1-m), inexpensive Hi-VHF/UHF COMBO Yagis. The Front/Back Ratios will help to SUPPRESS Interference from ONE Antenna getting into the OTHER Antenna....something a pair of Antennas with RF Combiner...or even a Reflectorless CM4221HD....just can't do.

NOTE: If you don't WANT Ch7 and/or Ch9 NOW, SOMETIME before the 2019-2020 DEADLINES for each DMA (we don't yet know how much EARLIER that might be...probably concurrent with ATSC 3.0 turn-on) the current channelization scheme will CHANGE with Ch34 moving to Ch11, Ch26 moving to Ch5 and Ch9 to Ch8:

BUT WAIT....THERE'S MORE: Those are just the CHANNELS....Some Networks are expected to SHARE Channels in order to make room for ATSC 3.0 it is VERY LIKELY that SOME Networks will JUMP to one of the Hi-VHF Channels [or even Lo-VHF, esp. Repeaters and/or (low-power) LPTV]....and we do NOT know yet WHICH of the Minor and/or Major Networks will move...nor where.... SO it wouldn't hurt to have COMBO Hi-VHF/UHF Antennas in BOTH Directions NOW so you wouldn't have to change SOMETIME prior to 2020 DEADLINE to free up Ch38-51 for Cell Phones.
[We're ALREADY seeing Networks JUMP to another Channel in preparation for the coming a couple months here in San Diego "THE CW" will move from a Tower in Tijuana [FOX up until a few years ago] to SHARE Ch8 with CBS, located 1/2 way to Orange County Border, although still near the Beach]


If Antennas were mounted OUTDOORS, you likely would NOT need a Preamp...even with up to 4 Drops, but INDOORS you should try to improve the Sensitivity as much as possible ["typically" about 10 dB], so I'm going to recommend using a Preamp. This can be a combination VHF/UHF Preamp with a VHF/UHF Combiner....or, my preference, the inexpensive PCT (Channel Master) CM3410 Distribution Amplifier [specs claim it is water resistant], which has been tested to have about SAME Overload resistance as the A-D Juice Mast Mounted Preamp.....and the small amount of Loss between Antennas and DistroAmp (incl. about 1 dB in VHF/UHF Combiner) can actually HELP the Overload/Desensitization since Intermod Noise is reduced 3 dB for every 1 dB of LOSS on DistroAmp's Input:

[BTW: Although it can be configured with SEPARATE VHF and UHF Inputs, I would AVOID RCA TVPRAMP1 in your situation, since it has significantly WORSE Tolerance to Overload/Desensitization.]


As mentioned above, a SINGLE CHANNEL FILTER on your Strongest Ch32 MIGHT be needed to prevent Preamp Overload [which is actually Desensitization for Weaker Stations]. Your Attic Loss ["typically" 13+ dB +/- 7 dB] will "probably" protect you against a similar situation with your second Strongest Ch36, so you "probably" don't need a similar Filter for Ch36.....hopefully.

HOWEVER, I also entered your (approx) location to generate the fol. FMFool Report. You have MULTIPLE EXTREMELY and VERY Strong FM Signals. The RCA PRAMP1 has a built-in FM Filter that is fairly good....HOWEVER, due to the extreme signals, I am going to recommend that you ALSO insert a FULL BAND FM FILTER on the input of whichever PREAMP you chose, such as:

BTW: These are actually strong enough to possibly ALSO affect UHF Channels....and the Tuner with or w/o Preamp.

PS: Since we do not know your ACCURATE Location, I used the nearby [3.9-mi] POST CODE of CKVP's Tower.....I would recommend you enter your Location into and then click on "FM Channels (save image)" so you can do a simple Copy/Paste of the URL (WebAddress) into this Thread.

Antenna Simulations, Overload Calculations, etc:

Last edited by holl_ands; 2017-05-28 at 07:45 PM.
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post #1278 of 1285 (permalink) Old 2017-06-01, 12:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 11
holl_ands thank you for your advice. I had already purchased the RCA preamp so I went and wired it into the splitter today. I got a few more channels but nothing significant. I connected the Buffalo antenna standalone into the preamp, did a rescan and it picked up 52 channels. I removed my Toronto antenna and moved this antenna higher up so this only helped the signal strength become stronger. It's pointed into patches of pine trees so it seems the preamp really helped out here. I'm sure the FM filter built into the preamp had a lot to do with it is well.

I've lost a few channels from Toronto but nothing I care enough about to work for. Most of the other channels coming out of Toronto are still being picked up from overlap. I can see how every location requires a certain effort to get the best results.

Thanks again for all of your help!
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post #1279 of 1285 (permalink) Old 2017-06-11, 10:09 PM
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Windsor/Detroit
Posts: 71
Today I ganged vertically 2 4 bow tie antennas.One on top of the other , no distance between them on a mast pipe.

The amp i used is a LNA 200.

I also used a antenna joiner.

My Q is ......the Ant. joiner has a vhf connection and a uhf connection.But the 2 antennas are basically a uhf antenna.But i still hooked them up through it.

Should I have just used a splitter instead of this joiner??? Would that have worked better.???

I have only noticed a bit of better reception not what I would have hoped for.Maybe bc I did something wrong, just asking.

Thx for any help...........

Last edited by DetroitTVFAN; 2017-06-11 at 10:33 PM.
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post #1280 of 1285 (permalink) Old 2017-06-12, 07:56 AM
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Location: Kanata
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Yes, you must use a regular combiner/splitter. At the moment, the UHF signals coming from the antenna on the VHF port of the combiner will be greatly attenuated.

By the sound if it, you're stacking the antennas (i.e. pointing them both in the same direction) rather than ganging them (pointing them in different directions). If this is the case, you must connect each of the two antennas to the combiner with exactly the same length and type of coax.
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post #1281 of 1285 (permalink) Old 2017-06-12, 11:02 AM
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Windsor/Detroit
Posts: 71
Thx for the reply DXer

Yes, Im stacking them pointing in same direction.Sorry for the wrong term used.

Its for the family cottage near lake erie kind of in the middle of Detroit,Toledo and Clev. axis. We have a reception problem bc of the wind turbines out that way.

Im going out this weekend again and will replace the joiner with a regular 2 way splitter and see if this helps.And also the 2 lengths of RG6 are the same.

will report back ...........thx again for the help.
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post #1282 of 1285 (permalink) Old 2017-06-12, 11:56 AM
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If you have wind turbines in the path of the signal, you might as well go satellite. You might want to contact the turbine owner/operator as some of them have mitigation policies for area residents whose OTA reception is destroyed by the operation of the turbines.

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post #1283 of 1285 (permalink) Old 2017-06-12, 10:20 PM
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Or "Bare Bones" Cable [if available], which provides up to 20 Local, Govt and Shopping Channels....which is frequently NOT ADVERTISED...YOU HAVE TO ASK to find out the price...typically $15-20/mo incl. 1 or 2 of the low-cost SD DTA or HD DTA (Digital Terminal Adapter). Do NOT confuse with "Basic Cable" which used to be called "Extended Analog" with DOZENS of Digital Channels....for many dozens of $'s/mo:
What is a DTA? What channels can I get with a DTA? What about those new HD-DTA? Comcast Cable TV FAQ | DSLReports, ISP Information [Guide for ONE Example DTA.]

You usually have to ASK (perhaps ASKING to talk to a SUPERVISOR) re. most CATV system's [usually non-advertised] "FAMILY TIER" with additional Digital Channels that USUALLY costs LESS than the "Basic Cable" offering they typically ADVERTISE as their lowest cost offering....NOT!!!!

And OTT Internet Providers are FINALLY carrying SOME of Major Network Feeds to "Cable Cutters"....although some only allow access to Prime Time shows the DAY AFTER their Prime Time appearance....incl. ESPN and other Sports Channels.....

Antenna Simulations, Overload Calculations, etc:

Last edited by holl_ands; 2017-06-12 at 10:43 PM.
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post #1284 of 1285 (permalink) Old 2017-07-04, 10:53 AM
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 228
Not exactly a stacking or ganging question but I couldn't find a more apporpriate thread.

holl_ands, you have an 83"x3" folded dipole design optimexed for channels 2-6. this is such a simple build I'd like to make one but I have a couple of questions.

As you may know I'm in an apartment building high up, I was thinking of fixing this to the facing on the bottom of my balcony, simple and safe to do but I 'm curious about how far it needs to be away from other metal objects. I am envious of William Hepburns far flung captures of low VHF stations, would this antenna give me a chance of hitting some of those stations or is the gain on this simple dipole too low.

Thanks in advance.
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post #1285 of 1285 (permalink) Old 2017-07-04, 06:11 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
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Since neither of us KNOW how much METAL is inside the Structures, the only way to find out how MUCH it affects reception is to TRY IT....First strung up in mid-air as much as you can and then move it into the desired location. [I predict that you will lose most of the signal.....]

There is no getting around how BIG a Ch2-6 Antenna is...and even PARTIAL-BAND Antennas need VERY FAT Copper Tubing [Q: 83x3-in???? That would help Ch2 at expense of Ch6...esp SWR.]:
Lo-VHF Folded Dipoles
I posted fol. Ch2-6 Folded Dipole Design....where upgrading to 1-in Copper Tubing could help SWR:
82.0 x 2.5 inch - 0.569-in (Type M) Copper Tubing (Ch2-6, although SWR high on Ch2 & Ch6)

However you MIGHT want to consider some alternatives, esp. the fol. that are NOT sensitive to Wire Size if AWG12 or thicker...and also have HIGHER Gain and better SWR:
LoVHF Hourglass-Loop - No Reflector [Ch3-6, with good Gain on Ch2 but Poor SWR]
LoVHF+FM Hourglass Loop [Ch2-6, PLUS]
VHF Square & Circular Loops [Circular or Square Loops, Mostly for just ONE or Adjacent Channels]

You MIGHT want to consider mounting Indoors, such as on a conveniently oriented WALL.

Antenna Simulations, Overload Calculations, etc:
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