: USA - California, Nevada, and Southwest states - OTA
2011-11-10, 08:04 PM
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d4bba061fa2a0a2 I have a vu-190 rs antenna that i would like to repurpose into a antenna to try a improve the shaky reception i recieve of the san diego channels with it. and im am wondering what model may work best for me? i am looking for the affiliates and the la locals are out of the question due to a hill directly in my way of mt wilson. as it stands my tv will get fox and pbs but not cbs and abc or vice versa, nbc only if i am perfect in locking down the signal but will lose if antenna moves a inch. thank you for all your help and i love this forum even if i cant understand half of it, i just love sticking it to the man whenever possible. also i have tried to build a quick m4 for practice but did not mount it on the mast, just on a ladder about 10 ft in the air got ch 12 with no amp maybe an option?
Your TV Fool report links to a report for Dunnville Ontario when I click on it.
2011-11-11, 01:24 PM
my bad i was looking at multiple tabs when i was typing.
Welcome to the forum.
I'm not sure if you're looking to replace your current Radio Shack vu-190 sr antenna or if you're hoping to put it back into service. The antenna you have is a mid-range medium quality antenna that may work for you if you have to use it. You could consider repalcing the balun with a new outdoor Channel Master balun.
My first choice antenna for you would be a Winegard 8200u antenna or a Channel Master 3671. They are true top-of-the-line deep fringe antennas. If you don't care about the channels on your TV Fool list that are between REAL CHANNELS 2 and 6, then you could get a Winegard hd7698p instead. It is smaller but would work equally well on real channels 7 through 51.
I'd add a pre-amp. Channel Master 7778. And I would replace my existing coax cable with new RG6 if your cable is old. Make sure you have quality ends.
Ideally you would add a rotator. You could get an Antennacraft rotator for a very affordable price. You'd need to purchase 75' of rotator wire - not expensive. With a rotator, you would even probably have some good luck with channels coming out of L.A.
With this one-time investment, I bet you would start pulling in some California-sized numbers of channels into your house.
Best of luck to you!
PS: if you are looking for a cheaper/easier solution let me know and I'll make other suggestions. But the solution given above is the only one that will allow you to achieve your TV viewing potential.
2011-11-11, 03:55 PM
If you want the best results you really need to have the best equipment within your budget.
2011-11-11, 07:11 PM
thank you for the responses, what i am trying to achieve is a way to prove to my wife that i can receive the same ota channels that her parents receive without any additional cost in the way of a new antenna. with the rs antenna i can only receive some channels some of the time. i also have a brand new box of rg-6 swept to 3ghz and plenty of quality connectors. i also have a winegard 8275 or 8725(cant remember which it is) amp to use. i was trying to post in the r and d thread(still not sure how i ended up with this thread, but grateful) in an effort to figure out what diy antenna would best help me to prove to her that we dont need the fios and then she might me more receptive to purchasing a better antenna or let me build a better diy one. i also at this time am researching a outdoor diy am and a diy fm antenna in a effort to prove to her that these things work and are not a waste of time and could save some cash without the computer being on all day to listen to internet radio. anyways thanks in advance for all the answers!
In that case, if you want to prove to your wife that this is all worth doing, then I suggest a new balun and an antennacraft rotator. Between the two, your total cost will be somewhere a little over $50. Make sure you put on the new balun and use your pre-amp.
You might even be so happy with the results that you won't need to bother with the new antenna.
Any other alternative is going to cost you around the same or more (building an antenna, buying a second antenna, items to join multiple antennas.
Your location is less than ideal, but it is not bad enough that you will be missing any stations, but I feel your location warrants a good quality antenna like a Winegard 7698p or and Antennacraft HBU55.
2011-11-11, 08:38 PM
Remember Southern California is very hilly, not like Southern Ontario which is very flat. The terrain can make a huge difference in signals recieved. Your location appears to be closer to LA than San Diego.
2011-11-11, 09:08 PM
8 of your top 10 stations are VHF.
in your tvfool, you have only 2 LOS stations. That's making it difficult.
How high can you safely / reasonably get your antenna? If ya can get it higher, may help.
Try running your TV fool at multiple heights, increasing by 10 ft each run, see what it looks like. That should give ya an idea if it'd be worthwhile trying to get up any higher.
Agree, a rotor would suit you well. And yes if your existing balun is old, it may be worth replacing with a new outdoor balun.
(They can take on water etc, if it wasn't sealed, etc)
Your preamp is probably the Winegard AP 8275
get it installed at the antenna... there is no reason not to use it, can only help.
Hopefully, there isn't a lot of manmade noise in your neighborhood.
2011-11-11, 09:21 PM
yes i am closer to la but there is a hill directly in front of my house in the line of the la transmitters that is approx 500 ft higher than my house. i have the pre amp installed now and only received one station before its use. ive had the antenna as high as 40 ft but it was worse 22-30 ft is best for me as far as signal goes. i am only interested in the networks and those first stations are all a waste for me. i have a lot of spare wire and probably will try to build a diy antenna first as since i think this rs one is getting old and really flimsy, but i will try to get a new balun first to see if that helps
2011-11-11, 09:31 PM
I would retry the 40 ft height since it's achievable, but add a rotor and the preamp.
if your intent on trying DIY, I would try a VHF Yagi, Most of the simple DIY antennas are UHF antennas and there is only one UHF network (PBS) in your TVFool, so not much point building a UHF antenna. UHF antennas are suitable for DIY because UHF means small elements. Doesn't mean ya can't build a decent VHF Yagi though. Several users here have had success building their own VHF Yagi.
Here is one such success story to read through:
this one may be worth giving a try also, especially since it's inspiration came from forum member holl_ands,
who hails from ur neck of the woods, San Diego. So, highly likely it's been tested under similar conditions to yours.
It sounds like you know what you're doing. Best of luck and report back your results once you have done something.
There's nothing wrong with building a DIY antenna, but my gut tells me it will take a lot of time and will cost much more than you think.
Buying an Antennacraft HBU55 antenna and an Antennacraft rotator might cost as little as $100 or just over $100 when purchasing online in the USA. If you get a good antenna, you'll know for sure where you stand in terms of OTA reception. If you build a DIY antenna and your antenna has a flaw in it, you will reinforce your wife's belief that she needs FIOS.
Anyway, I wish you the best and I'll be watching for your Reception Report!
2011-11-11, 10:25 PM
thanks for the great advice and i will keep you'all informed. btw, i love how you all are so into this, whereas down here everybody just seems content paying up the wazoo for something that is free
Cable/satellite penetration is actually higher in Canada than in the United States, but this forum certainly is a great place for us kindred spirits to share our enthusiasm, to spread the good news about OTA, and to plot the demise of the cable companies. haha.
Welcome again to the forum!
2011-11-12, 08:15 PM
If you want the best results you really need to have the best equipment within your budget.
I have a fool report like yours and a wife with high expectations. You will need to spend lots to get results that can compete with FOIS. Anything less will be frustrating for you/her.
2012-01-17, 07:06 PM
or Santa Ynez Valley, California.
I'm a long time lurker, finally registered.
Here's my TVFool data:
Currently I'm running a bow tie in the attic at about 15 feet (max) and was able to receive 11 channels without any problems. Channel 28 used to be our PBS affiliate (KCET from Los Angeles) with 4 separate channels(or is that stations?) but last January they dropped their PBS lineup and went independent -continuing with 4 channels.
Enter KBAB-LD 50 to fill in the PBS void (also with 4 new channels) only I can't pick it up. I built a DBGH (without reflector) and still can't manage to find it. I even had it outside on a portable mast/derrick (my 8 ft ladder and a couple of outdoor umbrella poles) at about 25 ft. and still nothing. Admittedly, I had to join 2 COAX cables together.
Would a simple mesh reflector solve the problem or would Narods be a better option?
Any other suggestions?
Thanks in advance
2012-01-17, 08:23 PM
NARODs are designed to provide some VHF Hi gain so that won't help on UHF Channel 50.
Didn't notice any digital VHF Hi channels in your TVFool.
Looks like u have 2 main directions with transmitter sites, so your reflectorless build should be OK.
Doesn't look like multiple strong stations so your location may be a prime candidate to try a good quality preamp, without any risk of overloading the preamp. That might be enough to help pull in channel 50 if it's just below the threshold now.
Are you seeing any indication at all of a signal present on Channel 50 now?
Like with whatever signal quality indication there might be on your TV?
2012-01-18, 12:34 AM
If you can still get the ABC and Univision stations plus the KCET translator, then it is possible that KBAB-LD might be temporarily off the air. Otherwise, you may need to add to you antenna.
You are using a single bowtie? Perhaps a 2-bay would be in order. Check mclapp's (http://m4antenna.eastmasonvilleweather.com/index.html) site for more information.
2012-01-18, 04:02 PM
Thanks for the quick responses
...then it is possible that KBAB-LD might be temporarily off the air
I thought about that too. But I noticed that Ch. 50 started-up back in April and I know I've done a couple of rescans of my stations since then and it never showed up. Just for kicks while I was up in the attic I hooked up an old radioshack antenna with a built-in amplifier and managed to pull in Ch. 29 which is decidely in the red zone. I didn't try it outside though. Perhaps it might manage to get Ch. 50 outside on a tower for just a test. It would be nice to know if Ch. 50 is actually sending. Is there any website where they might have that info?
Oh...and the bowtie I'm using in the attic is a 4-bay coat hanger on a 2x4 (I know...I know) but for testing locations outside I was using a Dual Bay Gray-Hoverman which I also tried in the attic.
2012-01-18, 04:14 PM
When I rescan for stations there is a slight hesitation over Ch. 29 and Ch. 50 with the bowtie. I was able to pick up Ch. 29 with the aforementioned radioshack antenna in the attic but never was able to get Ch. 50.