Time for my first TV antenna build - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 2019-08-11, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 2
Time for my first TV antenna build

Hello all its not my first time using a TV antenna but my first time building one. This last winter I had to ditch my cable and go back to OTA so I started to play around with a purchased antenna initially indoors until I could get a small 20 ft mast mounted outdoors. The antenna I purchased was a Xtreme Signal 8-Bay Bowtie (HDB8X). Here is my tvfool TV Fool As you can see from my report I have three stations using high VHF ch. 8 and 23 on RF 9 and ch. 13 on RF 13 and coming soon after this next repack coming this sept. or oct. I will have one station on RF 7 also. I knew when I bought the HDB8X that it is UHF only. For me it gets great UHF my signals have been very solid. But I wanted to try and get High VHF on this antenna and was partially successful with a modification. By extending the bowties I get ch 13 all the time but my ch8/23 RF 9 is in solid at night but not always in daytime. [IMG][/IMG] And with RF 7 coming soon I am guessing it will not come in any better than my ch 8/23 so time for an antenna build. I researched alot of designs on these forums and some of the designs by some fellow forum members sites and finally decided on a design. I wanted to try and get signals from three directions so I wanted a design to get signals on front and back i.e. no reflector and my one station that is off to the side is close enough and strong enough I could probably pick it up on a paper clip. So you would like to know what I am building? Here is the first half being tested. and even though it is mounted at only 10ft to center of antenna I am getting my ch. 8/23 and 13 rock solid even without any preamps and getting most of my UHF channels to boot. Some of the low power stations from INDY are not coming in like on my other antenna but to be fair its not mounted high up yet and the other antenna I used a RCA preamp for it. Stay tuned in because part two of my build will be coming in a few weeks which will mirror the first half (another 4 bays to play with).
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 2019-08-12, 06:28 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 3,395
FYI: Taking your posted TVFool Report, I determined your Lat/Long by "Bi-Lateration" by matching TVFool "MAP" Results (within 0.1 mile), which allowed me to use Google Map to determine an arbitrary street address in that vicinity, which I could THEN plug into RabbitEars.Info "SEARCH" Engine to derive Current and Post-Re-Pack Results shown below.

I also show the CURRENT Details of WISH/WNDY on Ch9 and (simulcast?) on Ch17, which you see below....the info in third entry for Ch17 is DUPLICATE to first entry for Ch9 [althouth R-E doesn't display any TECHNICAL DATA[. And second entry for WNDY on Ch9 appears to be yet another DUPLICATE, with same Tower Location. There appears to be only one set of 5 Sub-Channels on Ch9, which is duplicated on Ch17.

Although I have Validated TVFool Predictions to be Accurate, they have NOT been keeping up with various Channel Chances. RabbitEars.Info is much better at this, so I have to TRY to merge BOTH Results. First of All, TVFool hasn't even kept up with the CURRENT Channel Changes: Ch32 is actually Ch9 [in Hi-VHF Band], Ch15 is actually Ch29, Ch22 is actually Ch45, Ch23 is actually Ch44, Ch18 is actually Ch34 and Ch40 is actually Ch18. And TVFool did NOT include Calculations for the fol. Stations: WHMB Ch20, WTWU (Ch51), WDNI (Ch19), WCZA (Ch15) and WIIH (Ch8). But you should do your own verification re. what is REAL.

So when channels change (esp. to Hi-VHF Band) the Rabbit-Ears "Signal Margin (dB)" Predictions can be expected to be a bit DIFFERENT than TVFool's NM (dB) Net Margin prediction as different ERP power levels are assigned. Overall, I see that Signal Margin values are perhaps 4-10 dB HIGHER than NM [so average about 7 dB]. And then there are the exceptions: WFYI (Ch21) has NM=26.9 dB, but SigMargin = +39.99 dB; WQDE (Ch33) has NM=6.5, but SigMargin = -39.89 dB; and WUDM (Ch39) has NM=-5.9 dB, but SigMargin = -39.98 dB. Perhaps someone else can reconcile these BIG differences.....

As you have surmised, CURRENTLY you only need Hi-VHF Band Reception for STRONG WHMB (Religious) on Ch7 [if that is of interest to you]. Since WISH is CURRENTLY being broadcast on both Ch17 and Ch9, you would not "NEED" to receive "THE CW, etc" on Ch9, except perhaps as a backup mode. So depending on whether you want Ch7, there may NOT be a CURRENT "NEED" for a Hi-VHF Antenna capability. [And weak WIIH on Ch8 is another Duplicate for "THE CW, etc" and might be too weak to receive anyway, esp. with Strong Ch7 Adjacent Interference....and BTW TVFool did NOT include it in their list.] Also bear in mind that even UHF-Only Antennas can receive STRONG Hi-VHF Stations....although "typically" they MIGHT have lower Gain Forward than to the Rear (YMMV)....I have included Hi-VHF Azimuthal Plots for many of the UHF-Only Antennas I have analyzed (with Loss through likely UHF-Only Balun NOT included).

IF you don't care about Religious Programming (so don't "need" reception from Due-North), "Best" reception results for long term reliability "should" be provided by pointing Antenna (with Reflector) towards Indy at about 227-deg (re True North). Extremely STRONG WIPB (Ch19) "should" come in from 127-deg, but may require rotating Antenna a bit more in that direction so the Narrow Beamwidth SIDE NULL of the Antenna doesn't fall exactly in that direction....which MIGHT be more towards 210-deg (more or less). And if you DO care about reception from Due-North, you MIGHT succeed by removing the Reflector (as you have done)....but at the risk of lower reliability on your weaker UHF stations. Good Luck....

Post Re-Pack, 11 channels CHANGE [out of 24 on the list], including WHMB (Ch20, Religious) to Ch7 in Hi-VHF Band and WUDZ (Ch28) to Ch6 in Lo-VHF Band...so you should check your program listings to see if you even WANT Ch6....which would be fairly weak and likely would need the Monster Winegard HD-8200 on a Rotator to receive....or one of my DIY Lo-VHF Antenna Designs. In glancing at the Post-RePack List, I see that R-E's Calculated Signal Margin for WISH (Ch26, "THE CW" etc) greatly improves, while the Ch9 Simulcast is much weaker. So again you might NOT "NEED" anything other than a UHF-ONLY Antenna.

CHANNEL CHANGES:23 to 19, 45 to 22, 29 to 15, 20 to 7, 44 to 23, 46 to 17, 51 to 28, 17 to 26, 19 to 16, 28 to 6, and 47 to 36.

Antenna Simulations, Overload Calculations, etc: http://imageevent.com/holl_ands
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 2019-08-12, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 2
Hi holl_ands yeah the other half is wanting the ch 27 of Marion she went to college there and they show alot of local history programing on their channel but I know I am going to have to get over my trees in my back yard to get it and its a very low power station to boot. I have a 30ft tower waiting to be erected. My eventual plans is to put the antenna on the tower. Also you might recognize the design because it is based on one of the computer models you have tested. Also I am very impressed with the antenna so far. I had limited time to do a quick test but it was receiving ch 8/ch23 rock solid and I had to rotate the antenna pointing almost 80 degrees away from it each way from center before I started to get break up. And I got the same result from ch 13 and ch 59. Not sure if it was starting to pick up maybe some repeat stations or if it just is receiving the stations that good at 10ft. My line of sight toward INDY is clear. No trees or houses or anything like that nearby. My Muncie station ch 49 which is only 18 miles away it didn't matter which way the antenna was pointing it still came in regardless which is what I was expecting and that is with my house in the path also.
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